Digital marketing involves promoting a brand’s products or services to a defined online audience to turn prospective customers into paying customers. There are many approaches to connecting with the target audience online. Social media and search engines are the two major platforms where marketing is carried out.
A digital marketer is someone with industry knowledge and specialized marketing skills who helps navigate a brand’s marketing efforts to build more awareness and increase sales. Digital marketers use a variety of tools to aid them in reaching prospective customers on online platforms.
Digital marketing professionals are in high demand, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic forced most businesses across industries to connect with their customers online. Nearly every business in any industry around the world needs digital marketers so it can drive sales.
In 2021, businesses in India spent 200 billion rupees on digital advertising. This spending is projected to boom to 360 billion rupees by 2023. To add to that, the newfound digital economy could unlock up to 65 million jobs by 2025, according to a 2019 McKinsey Global Institute report.
These facts offer a lot of motivation to start a career in digital marketing. But when should someone do a digital marketing course?
You may also be wondering do you need a degree to do digital marketing, how to do a digital marketing course, and how long a digital marketing course takes.
We answer all of these questions in this post.
When to Do a Digital Marketing Course?
The best time to do a digital marketing course was yesterday. The next best time is today!
Here are a few reasons why:
1. Digital Marketing will Continue to Be Essential
With the internet becoming ubiquitous and 83.4% of the world population owning a smartphone, shopping online has become the norm worldwide.
Businesses understand that they need to connect with customers where they spend most of their time. And the typical global internet user spends an average of seven hours daily on the internet.
The average person connected to the internet spends nearly two and a half hours browsing social media, making sense of modern-day businesses’ obsession with social media marketing.
Even the most traditional businesses that did not have any online presence before are making efforts to build one now to ensure they don’t fall out of relevance.
Organizations are trying to bring their websites to the top spot of SERPs more than ever before. Since Search Engine Optimization is the need of the hour, demand for SEO experts is at an all-time high. SEO is the process of optimizing a website so it ranks high on the Search Engine Results Pages.
More intriguingly, Google constantly improves its algorithms, so SEO practices tend to get outdated in a matter of months. Digital marketers have to stay in the loop about these changes and continually update their skill sets to help brands reach page one of the SERPs and defend the top spot if they get it.
The bottom line is that an online presence is the only way for any business to thrive in our modern world, making it the perfect time for anybody to learn digital marketing.
2. Demand for Digital Marketers is Skyrocketing
New job opportunities for digital marketers appear on job sites every day, with LinkedIn reporting that hiring for digital marketers grew 33% year-over-year in 2021.
Businesses globally desperately need digital marketing professionals who can help them meet the standards for target audience accessibility and personalization. The recession induced by the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect the demand for digital marketers. If anything, the demand for qualified digital marketers increased.
With experts suggesting that global economies are headed into recession again in 2023, you can be sure that digital marketers will still be in demand then, ten years from now, and even fifty years from now.
Most job seekers realize this, and many are in an academic catch-up period. If you take a digital marketing course, you can beat students pursuing three or four-year-long university degrees to the punch.
3. Digital Marketing Tools Are More Accessible Than Ever
The booming demand for inbound marketing in recent years has changed the industry. Inbound marketing businesses no longer want to sell to their customers but want to help them achieve their goals. This has reduced the volume of awful interruptive content since businesses had a gripe that it brought negative publicity.
With the evolution of major marketing trends came a fresher, less monotonous approach to inbound marketing, including a plethora of marketing tools better equipped to serve businesses than ever.
For digital marketers, more comprehensive tools translate to simpler workflows and better results. In this way, it can be thought that digital marketing jobs have gotten easier in the recent past.
4. We Are in the Golden Age of Online Learning
Marketing organizations from around the world are offering several free and also paid marketing guides and certification programs. We saw a massive influx of these materials during the COVID-19 period.
You could boil the reason behind this influx down to the goodwill of these organizations or think of it as a marketing tactic that keeps them front and center.
Nonetheless, taking these programs and learning with the help of the guides will take you a long way in acquiring the required marketing skills to get hired or start a business.
If you have one or two spare hours in the day, putting effort into studying free training resources can quickly prepare you for entering the digital marketing industry.
After you finish learning from the free resources, you can also look into purchasing more comprehensive digital marketing courses and enrolling in certification programs.
The best part?
Individuals from any background are welcome to switch to the field with appropriate experience and certifications. And all you need to acquire those things are a laptop and an internet connection.
Just bear in mind that there’s a lot more to digital marketing than social media marketing. Make sure you don’t narrow your focus too much because there’s a lot to learn.
Do You Need a Degree to Do Digital Marketing?
This is a question that pops into the mind of many young students on the fence about pursuing digital marketing. Many ask themselves, “How can you be a digital marketer without a degree?”
There was a time when the majority of professionals in marketing had some type of marketing qualification. It is also true that today, digital marketing demands a set of hard skills.
But most companies do not demand university degrees, though it remains a requirement to get an interview with some companies. That said, having a degree is certainly not as important as having a solid grasp of digital marketing and how it works.
The fact of the matter is that a college degree will not teach you anything more than a digital marketing certification would. A degree will also not give you any hands-on experience with marketing, and most employers recognize this.
Do you need a degree to do digital marketing?
No, you need specialized knowledge and an impressive portfolio showing off the diversity of projects you can handle. When you first enter the industry, it’s easier to work as a freelancer or do an internship to build your portfolio in terms of lifestyle and equipment.
As you work with more and more clients and build your portfolio, most digital marketing agencies won’t hesitate to hire you.
We discuss the steps you should take before doing a digital marketing course and tackle how to do a digital marketing course in the next section.
Can I Do a Digital Marketing Course After the 12th Class?
Since getting hired as a digital marketer does not require a degree in most cases, doing a digital marketing course after the 12th class is a great way to get a head start.
Courses on MOOC platforms do not have any qualification requirements, and some certification courses also do not demand any foundational knowledge of digital marketing.
What’s more, online digital marketing courses are a lot more in-depth than you’d think and help you quickly learn all the ins and outs of the field. You can begin by working as a freelancer or intern and then get a job or set up a business.
Can I Do a Digital Marketing Course as a Fresh Graduate?
As mentioned earlier, individuals from any background can become digital marketers if they learn the right skills.
If you’ve graduated but the jobs in your field don’t interest you, doing a digital marketing course is an excellent way to explore a different job market.
Individuals with art and commerce degrees tend to have limited job options. If you’re in a similar situation with an interest in digital marketing, don’t hesitate to do a digital marketing course.
Doing a digital marketing course is a good option, even if you don’t want to do a job in the digital marketing industry. The skills you learn in the course will help you market your expertise in your chosen field.
Think about it:
Accountants having digital marketing skills can market their skills on social media and blogs. If they do it right, they may be able to secure several clients that pay them well to do what they do best.
Digital marketing has become a key part of nearly every artist’s workflow since artists of all kinds tend to find their fame or build clientele on social media.
Doing a digital marketing course is also beneficial if you’re a business owner, already employed, or want to refine your existing digital marketing skills.
How To Do a Digital Marketing Course
If you think doing a digital marketing course is as simple as making an account on a MOOC platform and buying the one you like, you’re mistaken.
So, how to do a digital marketing course?
Before you think about exploring courses, you need to identify what area of digital marketing you want to work in.
Choosing the right course involves considering a few key factors that will influence your initial successes or failures in your digital marketing career.
We delineate how to do a digital marketing course in three steps below:
1. Take a Look at Digital Marketing Job Listings
Since you’re aiming to start a career in digital marketing, it’s best to begin the journey by checking digital marketing job listings.
A close analysis of the job listings will show you what specific digital marketing skills are in demand. You will also figure out what types of jobs are available in the industry and what role interests you the most.
Take a few hours to explore job search sites like Indeed and Glassdoor and look for digital marketing jobs. When you find positions that pay well and interest you, take a close look at the “required qualifications” sections of the listings.
It’s better to narrow your search down to entry-level jobs to get a fair idea of what’s expected of you and how much you’ll earn.
The majority of entry-level jobs do not demand a marketing degree or work experience, and when your skills are recognized, it’ll get easier for you to find better jobs and earn more money. It also helps to apply remote job filters if you intend to work from home.
Once you know the job market, you can move on to the next step.
2. Choose a Specialization
One of the first things you will notice when you look for digital marketing jobs on job search sites is that there are several specializations in the field.
Understanding the ins and outs of every specialization can be too much information to absorb in a short span. For this reason, it’s best to pick an area of specialty – ideally, one that genuinely interests you – and starts your digital marketing career with a related role.
As you learn to do the work and understand the industry, you can spend time expanding your skill set and working towards the goal of becoming a digital marketing manager.
Some of the roles you can consider starting your career with include:
Content Marketer: These professionals are proficient in written English and well-rounded in all aspects of content marketing, such as implementing and optimizing marketing campaigns.
Social Media Marketers: These experts understand how to run effective promotion campaigns on social media networks, can analyze the metrics of these campaigns, and make improvements accordingly.
SEO Expert: This role involves keyword research, fixing technical SEO errors, and optimizing content, so a brand’s website ranks high.
Affiliate Marketer: These marketers work on a business’s affiliate program to help improve sales.
Email Marketer: An email marketer understands the principles of conversion and is responsible for running and continually optimizing email marketing campaigns.
PPC Specialist: These marketers run paid ads campaigns on sites like Facebook and Google. They have the skills needed to work on PPC platforms, target the right audiences, and get the most sales for every dollar spent on advertising.
When you decide what specialization you want to begin your digital marketing career in, you’ll find it easier to decide which digital marketing course is best for you.
If you’re in doubt about which of these areas is right for you, begin by learning about SEO because it is closely related to content marketing, PPC marketing, and affiliate marketing. Learning SEO will give you a feel (not a full understanding) of these other aspects of digital marketing.
3. Find the Right Digital Marketing Course and Commit to it
Whether you think that taking a course from a MOOC platform is better or prefer getting certified from a recognized institute, the steps involved in finding the right course and taking it properly are more or less the same:
1. Choose Comprehensive Courses that Launched Recently
Digital marketing practices evolve continuously as market trends, tools, and platforms change. So, when choosing a course, it’s important that you pick one that is recent and offers up-to-date knowledge about digital marketing regardless of the area of specialty.
Generally, the older courses are also less helpful than the newer ones. We recommend steering clear of any digital marketing course over a year old, but you could make an exception considering the other factors below.
Besides the recency of the course, you must also look at the number of modules in the course. A course with more modules and assignments is bound to teach you more.
2. Consider the Course Length
The number of hours of instruction offered in the course is a good indicator of course depth but does not necessarily tell us much about its quality.
If the course includes live classes, check the number of hours of weekly study required and the number of sessions per week. Also, check whether there are any practice sessions and assessments you have to turn in to complete the course and/or get certified.
Doing a digital marketing course from an institute or a university typically involves a certification exam. You may make the course a priority so you can do well on the exam, but there are no such exams for digital marketing courses on MOOC platforms.
For this reason, if you’re taking a course from a MOOC platform, it’s vital to prioritize the course and set aside fixed hours every day to tackle the material. Making a schedule or setting up a calendar can often be helpful.
3. Do a Background Check on the Instructor’s Experience and Compare Fees
The cost of the course is one of the more important factors that you will consider. Courses on MOOC platforms tend to be more affordable than courses offered by universities.
The courses offered by universities are typically designed by the professors at the institute, and these courses come with mentor support and one-on-one time with the professors.
For some, taking a certification course from a university is the best way to hone their marketing skills and get better at giving interviews with mock interviews.
But this does not invalidate the quality of the digital marketing courses available on MOOC platforms. There are many experts that have got real-world marketing successes under their belt, offering practical courses on digital marketing on the platforms.
But not every instructor is great, which makes it important for you to do a background check on the instructor and understand their background, experience, and accomplishments.
4. Look at the Reviews
Reviews posted by other individuals who have taken the course are the best resource you will find about the viability of the courses. You must read through the reviews before deciding to spend money on courses.
If you’re taking a course from a university or institute, it’s worth reaching out to a few students from the previous batch. They will tell you everything you need to know about the institute and the quality of instruction. If the institute or instructor is unreliable, you will know immediately.
How Long Does a Digital Marketing Course Take to Complete?
If you’re doing a digital marketing course from a MOOC platform, a comprehensive digital marketing course can be between 50 and 100 hours long and will cover all aspects of digital marketing.
Specialized courses teaching specific skills such as SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing tend to be between five and 50 hours long.
Assuming that you study for an hour a day and also take the time to do the exercises and self-study, it’s reasonable to assume that you will complete these courses in a month to three months.
On the other hand, if you take a digital marketing certification course from an institute or university online, you can expect to spend between five and ten hours a week learning digital marketing for between four to six months.