A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing a Digital Marketing Career


Podcasting can be a brilliant digital marketing tool, and, if you know it well, there may be opportunities to develop a career in this field. So with that in mind, I’m going to offer a step-by-step guide for anyone who’s looking to grow their digital marketing career. 

As you read on, you’ll discover the importance of solidifying brand presence on different online platforms, including a website, social media, podcasting, and more. 

By Ron Stefanski

Ron Stefanski is a website entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business.  You can learn more from him by visiting OneHourProfessor.com

We’ll also discuss ways you can develop a data-driven approach to increase KPIs on each platform. My advice is drawn from my own personal experience with One Hour Professor and other websites I’ve monetized. 

With that said, let’s dive right in.

The Importance of Solidifying Brand Presence

Before we look at the step-by-step process for growing a digital marketing career, it’s important to understand why you should solidify your brand presence on a website, social media platform, online course platform, podcast, or other digital channels.

For the most part, customers turn to the internet to find companies or products. Even if you own a brick-and-mortar business, you still need a strong digital presence as a way to bridge the gap for your customers.

When you have a strong online presence and a recognizable brand name, it makes it a lot easier for customers to find you when they need your products or services. 

For example, let’s look at one of the most popular online business podcasts in the market, Niche Pursuits.  Started by Spencer Haws in 2020, this podcast focused on his journey while becoming an internet entrepreneur.  

While on the surface, this looks like it’s just a blog, I personally know Spencer, and he’s been able to attribute much of his success as an entrepreneur to the podcast directly.  It’s allowed him to have conversations with hundreds of other successful entrepreneurs, led to many partnership opportunities, given him the ability to get early access to many products, and, more importantly, helped him build trust with the tens of thousands of folks to listen to each episode.  

Keep in mind that building a strong presence online doesn’t mean that you have to be on every platform all the time. Simply strive to be on the platforms where you can most easily connect with your target audience, giving your brand the opportunity to boost engagement, build credibility, and maintain your reputation.

Developing a Data-Driven Approach to Increase KPIs

Once you’ve determined which platforms to focus on, it’s time to create a data-driven strategy to increase KPIs (key performance indicators) on each platform. 

For my part, I’ve managed to monetize my websites by focusing on the following KPIs on each site:

Traffic

Conversion rates

MoM (multiple of money) costs

MoM revenue

Profit margin

… and others.

Depending on the platform you’re focused on, these KPIs may change.  For instance, with a podcast, you may focus on things such as downloads per episode, subscribers, retention of listeners, rankings, social shares, sponsorships, and overall revenue, 

Looking at these metrics will help you determine how best to focus your time and that of your team to increase your ROI (return on investment).

Once this is done, you can then start developing a plan to branch out into other channels and similarly build up KPIs to ensure the highest possible ROI.

3 Steps to Growing a Digital Marketing Career

1. Choose a Specialty

Ideally, you must specialize if you want to stand out more as a digital marketer. However, for someone like myself who wears different hats in their business, this may not always be possible. 

Having said that, specialization is key and will make it easier for you to market yourself based on your differentiation from the competition. So, even if you still have to focus on multiple areas of digital marketing, it’s worth paying particular attention to your chosen speciality. 

For most people, choosing a speciality sounds intimidating, but if you take a moment to think about it, it’s likely that you already have skills that set you apart from the rest. 

For example, maybe you are a tech person, or you might be more into the marketing or creative side. Maybe SEO is your thing? Or you could be someone who loves to write about business. Whatever it is for you, find it and cultivate it as the first step toward growing your digital marketing career. 

Here are some areas that are in high demand in the digital marketing fields:

Social media

Web development/Graphic design/UX

Mobile marketing

Video production

Digital publishing

Analytics

Content strategy and SEO

Google Ads/Facebook Ads

PPC/SEM 

Project management

No matter which route you take, just make sure you have a niche and are able to demonstrate that you have the skills to achieve measurable results.

2. Choose the Right Platforms

When choosing a digital marketing platform, you want one that will help you plan, analyze, and oversee marketing campaigns, so it’s important to ensure that the platform comes with the tools you need for your business. 

The best marketing platform for you will be the one that meets your needs and is aligned with your overall business and marketing objectives. 

For example, social media is a great platform to choose because it allows you to connect with your target audience, find prospective buyers, nurture their interest to the point of conversion, maintain engagement with current customers, and more.

The platforms I mainly focus on are online courses, YouTube, email marketing, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Online course platforms like Systeme.io, Thinkific and Kajabi can help you to connect with a broad audience of learners who are interested in your topics.

Email marketing platforms like Aweber and Mailchimp help you to get subscribers and nurture them through engaging email templates and regular newsletters.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn are great for contacting target clients. You can use Facebook to connect with groups of interest, and YouTube to share videos about your business and products.

You might also include podcast hosting platforms and any other marketing platforms that can help you orchestrate experiences to strengthen relationships with your prospects and customers and carry out the important functions of growing your digital marketing career. 

3. Focus on Important KPIs

Once you’ve chosen the platforms you want to be active on, it’s time to decide on the digital marketing KPIs that will help you achieve your best results through measurement.

Key performance indicators are metrics that show the performance of a specific action in digital marketing. They are a set of indicators whose function is to show where strategies are in relation to their goals. 

For example, one of the most common KPIs is to measure the number of visits to a company website from Facebook or any other social media channel. By tracking this KPI as it varies according to campaign performance, you’ll always know where you are in relation to where you would like to be.

The KPIs you choose will be fundamental in measuring campaigns with quality and accuracy. In my business, I focus on KPIs like traffic, conversion rates, profit margin, MoM costs, and revenue. 

There are many more KPIs I could track, but these are the most important ones that help me detect sales results, engagement, conversions, and media investments. 

From each of the various channels on which I run campaigns, I can monitor different activities, and keeping track of these numbers helps me to stay on a steady path of improvement.

Since your goal is to grow your digital marketing career, I would recommend that you focus on a larger selection of KPIs. 

Examples to consider include:

Cost per Lead

This metric shows the individual costs of each lead you earn, making it easy to understand how much money you spent from your budget to get a new contact. If the amount you’re paying for each lead isn’t compatible with the time, energy, and effort you applied to acquire the lead, then you know it’s time to find ways to reduce the figure.

Cost per Conversion

You can apply this KPI to find out what you have invested in turning leads into actual paying customers. This metric helps you measure the quality of your mid-funnel media strategies. The higher the conversion, the better. 

So, on your customer relationship management (CRM) software you might check the number of leads received within a particular period. After that, measure the number of conversions performed within that same period. 

You can then evaluate the cost and effort applied to achieve those conversions obtained. Divide the monthly cost of each source of leads by the number of conversions achieved to find out how much each new customer cost you.

Monthly Website Traffic: 

This is a basic and straightforward metric that shows you the monthly traffic volume on your website. This information is easy to find when using a tool like Google Analytics. 

You’ll be able to see details such as:

Visitors in pages

Visitors on the blog

Visitors in product categories

Visitors on landing pages

Visitors by price filters

… and so on.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The net promoter score allows you to discover the level of customer satisfaction with your business. To do this, you simply ask the following question in a survey: 

“What is the chance of you recommending our product to a friend?” 

Customers can choose a rating ranging from 0 to 10. Depending on how the customers rated you, responses can be arranged into three categories:

9-10: This rating shows that these people are brand enthusiasts and were extremely happy with your product or brand.

7-8: Those who rated you from 7 to 8 are satisfied with your product, but not as engaged as the previous group. Also, these customers are constantly seeking better products, offers, etc.

0-6: The customers that voted between 0 and 6 are dissatisfied customers who may even speak ill of your brand.

To calculate your net promoter score, subtract the lowest level (0-6) from the highest level (9-10), and this will result in the average rating of customer satisfaction in your company.

If your score is above zero, it’s considered to be good. It means that your audience (or the majority of them, anyway) is more loyal than not. 

An NPS score of above 20 is considered favorable, and 50 is excellent. If your score is 80 or above, it’s world-class!

Source: B2B International

Visits per Channel

When the goal is to attract customers, it’s important to know which channels work better than others so you can focus your attention on what works. 

You can easily see which channels your traffic was built through using analytics tools that present these details in the metrics.

Check your analytics to see metrics from the following channels:

Organic search traffic

Direct traffic

Referral traffic

Social media traffic

Email traffic

Display ads traffic

Paid search traffic

Other

Average Time on Page

The average time on page is one of Google’s main ranking factors. If users don’t spend long on the page, Google takes it to mean that the page doesn’t offer all the information the reader is searching for. 

In your analytics dashboard, you can track this KPI and check different metrics for individual pages, including:

Your homepage

Product category

Landing pages

Blog posts, etc.

Calls to Action (CTAs) Conversion Rate

CTAs are typically used to generate conversions when accessing a page, downloading content, purchasing an item, etc. The KPIs related to this activity track the rate of conversions that you get through a call to action. 

This KPI is offered precisely by marketing data analytics, but you will need to consider in advance which buttons to track and then access the indicator afterwards to see the conversion rates for each CTA.

Traffic from Organic Search

This is one of the simplest KPIs to track. It allows you to visualize the volume of access your website has from regular Google searches. This traffic source is free and results from good SEO practices that allow your website to rank high in search.

Pro Tip: Commit to constant and never-ending growth. According to recent stats from HubSpot, 85% of working people dedicate 30 minutes per week to job-specific learning outcomes. 

In fact, the majority of professionals stated that they would like to devote even more time to improving themselves. This is a great way to ensure that you continue to grow your skills and your worth in the marketplace.

Growing a Digital Marketing Career: Conclusion

There you have it. Three effective steps to grow your digital marketing career. The trick is to be present on relevant platforms, track the right KPIs to measure the effectiveness of your investments and efforts, and develop a data-driven approach to increase those KPIs.

In terms of where to start, I personally feel that developing a podcast of your very own is one of the best ways to show your knowledge and expertise to build up your brand.  It’ll help to have social media profiles in order to share your content and get discovered, but remember that there are plenty of effective ways to promote and grow your show, provided you’re creating consistently great content that your target audience loves.

Whether you’re a marketing professional who is just starting out or are already successful and want to find new ways to advance, these tips will help you improve your skills and gain a competitive edge to take you to the next level. 

By focusing on these major digital marketing KPIs, you’ll be able to visualize the effectiveness of your strategies more accurately and allocate proper budget investments.


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