If you are a Digital Marketing Enthusiast and looking for a head start in this amazing field, this blog article is for you. If there are multiple questions jumping in your mind such as:
From where to start as a beginner in digital marketing?
Should I opt for an online course or an offline institute course?
Which are the best digital marketing courses for beginners?
What is my opportunity in Digital Marketing?
And many more..
Then read this article until the end.
Here’s the content that will be covered in this article:
- What is digital marketing
- Various components of digital marketing
- How can you get started with digital marketing
- Your opportunity in digital marketing
- Golden advice for all beginners
First of all, let us understand
What is Digital Marketing?
In simple terms, digital marketing means promoting goods and services through the use of online channels.
Reaching your target customers with the help of these online channels such as social media, mobile applications, email, blogs, web applications, search engines, websites, or any new digital channel.
Various Components of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is a broad term. It consists of various sub branches, the major components of digital marketing are:
1. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM is the process of gaining website traffic through paid advertising on search engines (such as Google). SEM or PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising) are terms that are often used interchangeably.
When someone searches for a product or service you sell, and if you run an ad focusing on keywords that your potential customer might search for, your website can rank on top of the paid results on that search engine results page (also known as SERP).
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
According to Neil Patel, SEO is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.
In simple terms, the purpose of SEO is somewhat similar to SEM, that is, to gain website traffic from search engines, BUT through organic (unpaid) means, not paid advertising. You might have observed on a SERP, the first 3-4 results for a search query are usually ads (that is because of SEM), however below the ads are organic results which search engines feel are the most relevant results for your search query. In order to rank in those organic sections, you need to optimize your website content with the right keywords through SEO.
Keyword research is considered one of the most important parts in SEO, here’s an in-depth article on keyword research strategies you should definitely check out later.
3. Content Marketing
Content is the King. You might have heard this a lot.
And definitely it is true, content is at the centre of all your digital marketing activities.
Content Marketing is the process of creating, publishing and distributing relevant, consistent and valuable content (in the form of – a blog article like this one, videos, podcasts, social media posts etc) to your target audience in order to attract and retain them.
Content is one of the most important components of digital marketing and there is a high demand for content marketers who can create unique and engaging content.
4. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
In simple terms, social media marketing is the use of social media platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc) to promote a product or a service. The simple philosophy of advertising is – You need to be there where your customers are. And in 2021, no matter which industry a business operates in, its target customers will definitely be using social media platforms. And hence, social media plays a major role in reaching out to your customers with detailed targeting, analysis of your advertising efforts and cost effectiveness (when compared to traditional marketing).
5. Affiliate Marketing
Not everyone has their own products or services to sell. In that case, we can promote and sell products of other businesses by becoming an affiliate for that business, and in return we will get some percentage of commission for each sale. One of the most popular affiliate networks in India is Amazon Affiliate Program. Affiliate marketing is the smartest way to monetize your digital marketing skills. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of smart work, consistency and personal branding if you want to succeed in affiliate marketing.
6. Email Marketing
According to HubSpot, Email marketing is the practice of sending various types of content to a list of subscribers via email. This content can serve to generate website traffic, leads, or even product signups. It’s important that an email campaign’s recipients have opted in to receive this content, and that each newsletter offers something valuable.
In simple words, Email marketing is an opportunity to get in direct contact with your audience via mail. It is one of the best methods even today to engage with your customers as well as pitch your products to them. An excellent example of classic email marketing is Zomato, their emails are witty, interesting and just get the job done. Tools like MailChimp and ConvertKit are amazing when it comes to email marketing.
How can you get started with Digital Marketing?
With its popularity increasing at a rapid rate, quality digital marketing education is becoming rare.
You will see many course sellers and institutes who will try to lure you and make promises like ‘Become a Digital Marketing Expert in a 3 month basics to advanced course’.
Beware of such offers.
To become an expert in something, it takes years of practice and dedication.
And this is applicable to digital marketing as well. But lack of knowledge and proper guidance, newbies willing to enter into the industry are confused and spend money on such courses and institutes. Only to realize later that it was not worth their time nor money.
I am not saying all are fraud, but most of them take advantage of innocent newcomers. As said earlier, qualitative digital marketing education has become rare.
So here I come with the initial steps that you, as a beginner, should take when you decide to jump into the amazing digital marketing world.
Before you invest heavily elsewhere, check out these online material and courses available to sharpen your basics:
This free course by Google is one of the best if you are just starting out.
It is a 40 hours self paced learning course which includes 26 modules covering different aspects of digital marketing.
This course focuses on the fundamentals of Digital Marketing.
These modules are created by Google trainers, packed full of practical exercises and real-world examples to help you turn knowledge into action. To get a certificate you have to pass the 40-question final exam after completing the 26 modules.
You can Sign up here
Udemy is one of the most valuable platforms when it comes to online learning.
It offers a wide variety of digital marketing courses and tutorials that help individuals gain knowledge of latest trends and techniques in the digital marketing field.
These courses are created by some of the best tutors and instructors of Udemy, who have more than 10 years of expertise in the field.
Both, free as well as paid (starting from ₹360) are available on the platform, the major difference between these 2 is course completion certificate. If you are someone who wants a certificate after completion, you can opt for paid ones.
Or else, to gain knowledge the free ones are enough in my opinion.
Check out the courses here.
Digital Deepak is one of the best digital marketing experts in India.
He has been in the digital marketing arena for more than 12 years now.
This free course provided by him is for complete beginners who are just starting out.
It consists of 25 video lessons covering overview of major components of digital marketing.
It is a self paced course with lifetime access and you will also get a course completion certificate at the end.
You can sign up for the free course here.
Digital Deepak has created many other paid courses as well as crafted an Internship Program where you get an opportunity to become his intern and learn digital marketing practically, that too technically free of cost. I have myself been a part of his internship program batch 4. Here’s my honest and detailed review of the internship.
Neil Patel is a well known name in the SEO industry.
Neil Patel has created free training on digital marketing topics such as SEO, Ecommerce, Content Marketing and Social Media.
The training lessons are in the form of videos, ebooks, guides, templates, and more.
You can check out his free training courses here.
I have myself learned and implemented the techniques he has shown in the LinkedIn Unlocked training course. I have shared my learnings from this training in this blog article.
Yes! You read that right. Everything you need to learn is already available on YouTube, you are just a search away.
You will also be amazed to know that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google.
Digital marketers from all around the world create videos on their specialization and upload it on YouTube to share their knowledge with everyone for absolutely free.
All top digital marketing experts in the world like Neil Patel, Gary Vaynerchuck, Deepak Kanakaraju, Sorav Jain and many more share amazing content on their respective YouTube channels.
Your Opportunity in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing has existed for a long time now. However it is gaining immense popularity at a rapid rate from the past 5 years, and the demand for skilled digital marketers in the country is going to skyrocket in the next 10 years.
Businesses now have started focusing on digital channels as well along with traditional marketing. Traditional marketing is not dead and will never die. But digital marketing is definitely an upgrade and offers more benefits and flexibility to businesses.
But how is this an opportunity for you?
Let me tell you, businesses need to focus on their main functions, and that is why they need someone who is expert in digital marketing, so they will either hire a full time digital marketer or hire a freelancer to get the job done. This is where your opportunity kicks in. Once you go through the free courses, based on your interest you will be able to pick an area / component of digital marketing to master.
Learn it, practice your learnings through implementation, and become an expert in it.
Golden Advice for All Beginners
No matter how many courses and certifications you complete, your learnings will not be put to use unless you practically implement what you learn.
If you learn about some social media techniques, try it out on your social profile and analyse the results.
Buy a domain name and hosting then create your blog on WordPress. Experiment what you learn practically on this blog.
If you learn about on page SEO, you can try it out on your blog posts.
These steps will serve as a portfolio for you in the long run – A proof that you not only ‘know’ digital marketing, but you can ‘do’ digital marketing as well. If you are appearing in an interview with your portfolio live on the internet, there are 80% more chances that you will be hired.
The aim of this article is not to overwhelm you with links to various courses provided on different platforms on the internet.
The aim here is to press the clutch and shift your digital marketing journey in the first gear.
One thing I learned in 2020 was “Do not strive for perfection, Strive for efforts, just get started and everything will fall right into place”
If you are a beginner, let me know in the comments section below how you plan to get started.
And if you are an experienced digital marketer, share your journey and experience with digital marketing. Also, what advice would you give to the upcoming digital marketers?
Hope this information was helpful.