How you can become a digital marketer in Nigeria

 

Today’s business world has shifted to the digital space with several opportunities to earn a living popping up online. Definitely there are businesses still operating offline but the most serious ones with huge prospects of growth have either completely shifted to the internet community or are gradually targeting customers online. This means you have a huge prospect of developing an online business idea that could yield you tremendous income despite the nature of economies across the world.

Digital marketing is one specialized field you should consider going into, given the numerous opportunities to excel in this discipline. This is the adoption of internet platforms to connect producers and consumers. It is different from the traditional marketing which does the bulk of engagements offline. These days, traditional marketing which is still relevant in modern times, adopts some form or digital marketing techniques to search for and engage customers.

If you’re a fresh graduate, traditional marketer, or a tech-savvy entrepreneur who’s ready for an exciting career change to move to the next level then this article is for you. If you want to excel in a field that provides unlimited learning opportunities and has potentials for rapid personal growth then you should take some time to read about digital marketing techniques and how you can get into this line of job immediately. This is the new normal for upwardly mobile creative people in an ever dynamic info-tech world.

The increased use of internet in Nigeria and other parts of the world makes this a lucrative field for you. Checkout what happened during the lockdown brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The internet world never stopped blinking for a moment. In fact, it became more active even with the lockdown and most online businesses cashed out big time. This shows that there’s never been a better time to start a new career as a digital marketer. First of all, you need to understand what this means and how you can get involved immediately.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing has been referred to in various using various concepts. It has been called Internet marketing, e-marketing and web marketing, among others. Though these concepts refer to the same activities, the fact is that you need a clear definition of what you want to pursue as a career. Digital marketing is the use of internet and other technology-based platforms to connect with actual and potential customers of a company with a view to satisfying their needs and wants profitably. This may sound academic but that is actually what your basic job is as a digital marketer.

As a digital marketer you are managing different forms of online company presence such as company websites, mobile apps, and social media pages of a company with skills that engage people and get them interested in the company’s products. You make use of online communications techniques to achieve this. Such techniques include search engine marketing, social media marketing, online advertising, e-mail marketing and partnership arrangements with other websites. You need to understand these skills to be able to do your job effectively. Remember your basic objective is to acquire new customers and provide services to existing customers that help develop good customer relationship for a company. You hardly find any serous company these days that does not have social media platforms and other websites. You should learn the skills of making such platforms effectively useful in achieving marketing goals of a company. You should note that for digital marketing to be successful, there is still a necessity for integration of these techniques with traditional media such as print, TV and direct mail as part of multichannel marketing communications. Integration of off-line and on-line techniques are essential in fully achieving digital marketing objectives of companies.

In digital marketing you are channeling marketing efforts a company through digital media such channels as websites, email, search engines, and social media. As a digital marketer you connect with consumers on devices like phones, tablets, and laptops. You are to have a good understanding of where your potential customers will be online, what device they will use to connect, and meeting them there.

Digital marketing focuses on providing value to potential customers where and when they need it. The goal of digital marketing efforts is to put what a person wants or needs in front of them when and where they are looking for it. You achieve this through digital means.

Digital marketing is an umbrella term, and there are many specialized jobs involved in the industry, including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media management, content marketing, data and analytics, and Pay Per Click (PPC), among others. You learn these skills before delving into the digital marketing world so that you won’t be lacking in any way. This is a very exciting and interesting profession especially in today’s dynamic digital world.

Which Skills do you Need to Work as a Digital Marketer?

Digital marketing may be an exciting profession but is highly technical and requires creative skills to survive the competitive environment it exists in. Just as several companies in Nigeria and across the world are not just doing a lot of businesses online but also focusing attention on the cyber community, so do you find several persons delving into the field of digital marketing, so to survive in this field you need certain skills in order to keep having clients that would want to engage you to do jobs for them. Here are some of the skills you’re expected to have in order to excel in digital marketing in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is a skill used to position a company’s website strategically online so that it pops up whenever specific words are searched for. People are looking for information on Google and other search engines. Optimizing websites to come up organically in search engines is a fundamental aspect of digital marketing. You need to learn how to integrate keywords into content, change alt text, collect backlinks, and so on, in order to optimize a company’s website.

Social Media Management

You hardly find any company these days that does not have social media platforms. Such platforms provide opportunities to engage actual and potential customers and companies are constantly looking for who will manage these platforms for them. Running Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn is another aspect of digital marketing you need to learn. You have to be able to attract followers and engage with them on a level that’s meaningful to them. An in-depth understanding of who is using what platform and when they are using it, will help drive your social media campaigns. You want to use creative storytelling to post on relevant trends. To do so involves researching not just your audience, but also what they are interested in right now. Social media management is a fast-paced aspect of digital marketing that requires steady management and an ability to think on your feet. You require a lot of creativity to excel here

Content Marketing

This is one area you require a lot of creativity to impress potential customers and drive them towards your company’s products. Content marketing is a type of marketing which deals with the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services. You are not directly promoting your client’s brand but you are writing articles, producing and posting interesting videos, starting up conversations that end up making the person reading the article or watching the video develop interest in whatever your client is selling. This requires a lot of creativity.

As a content marketer, you are both a creative thinker and data analyst. You use both of those skills to create content across multi-media platforms to spark the interest of your audience so that they come to you for more. This is basically what creates more leads and more conversations. You see a lot of this online these days. It is a smart way to get a lot of customers for a company.

Data and Analytics

As a digital marketer you have to work with the right information. In fact, you require an understanding of Google Analytics. This is s a free Web analytics service that provides statistics and basic analytical tools for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes. One of the benefits of digital marketing over conventional methods of marketing is its measurability. You must be able to use your skills to interpret which of your marketing campaigns are the most successful. The metrics can be complicated but being able to use them to paint a picture of your target audience and what motivates them will give you the tools to scale your campaigns and increase overall profits. Companies are constantly looking for professionals who can do this. Possessing this skill will make you one of the most sought-after digital marketers in Nigeria.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay Per Click is an online advertising model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their online ads. This is what goodly does with Google Adsense. The host of such adverts gets paid when visitors to their websites and blogs click on adverts they see on those platform. In pay-per-click advertising, businesses running ads are only charged when a user actually clicks on their ad. This why it is called pay-per-click. Now you know the meaning of pay-per-click adverts you then need to understand how it works in digital marketing. This is an essential skill you require.

The digital marketer provides keywords that when people search for such words, the company’s adverts will come up in the paid ad listings. A digital marketing carrying out this role is responsible for driving traffic to a website. Your job as the digital marketer is to determine what action the customer takes once the advert listings pop up and the company’s advert is listed among the top. A company can pay Google to have them list adverts for that company’s website at the top and right of the organic search listings. What this means is that a link promoting the company’s website will appear at the top of search results. This will drive more clicks on such ads and bring more visitors to a company’s website. This way, more people will see the products offered by the company. Every time the company’s advert (a link to the company’s website) is clicked, sending a visitor to their website, they have to pay the search engine a small fee. When PPC is working correctly, the fee is trivial, because the visit is worth more than what you pay for it. In other words, if the company pays $3 for a click, but the click results in a $300 sale, then they’ve made a hefty profit. As a digital marketer you should understand how PPC works. Companies are always looking for someone who has that skill.

How can you become a digital marketer?

To become a digital marketer you require some level of skills acquisition. If you want to venture into this field from a totally different field then you have to do so gradually. Aside from the professional skills and the education you possess, digital marketers bring a certain attitude to the table. They are go-getters and thought leaders. If you want to be one, you will need to think like one. The best way to do that is to learn from them. Here’s a guide on how you can begin the journey.

Take an Internship

You would need to learn from those who already know the job. If you are just starting out, an internship can help you gain experience and expand your portfolio. Being around other industry professionals will give you exposure to the different aspects of digital marketing and help you determine which is your preference. You can take digital marketing courses online to build your skills.

Follow Thought Leaders

Digital marketers today understand that the field is growing at such a rate that sharing industry secrets isn’t creating competition or taking business away. Many digital marketers will not only tell you what they did, but they will share with you case studies showing you how they did it. Watch them, listen to them, sign up for their emails. You can even have a mentor among them. You might not get in touch with the person physically but you can just read what the person has written, watch his or her videos and learn from them. There are a lot of videos on digital marketing online that could be of great use to you.

Networking is very essential

You want to be a digital marketer, so go where digital marketers are and talk to them. Attend networking conferences or sign up for online groups. Often, it’s from these places that unexpected opportunities are born, and they can be great learning experiences. Through such platforms you also understand the environment of digital marketing very well.

Always Be Upgrading

Whatever you are good at, you should strive to be better. You can strive to master specific digital marketing skills. As a digital marketer, you will always be upgrading your skills, and there is no shortage of courses, eBooks, and webinars both free and paid to help you keep your skills fresh. Don’t ever think you’ve arrived and it’s time to stop. Just keep pushing for more and you’ll probably end up the best.

Switching to digital marketing from your current career

You might be wondering whether you could switch from your current career to digital marketing. Well, that’s something you can easily do. You can even integrate digital marketing into what you’re doing presently and excel the more. If you have a four-year degree or experience in any number of fields, as long as you have a keen interest, you can make the transition to a role in digital marketing.

A few careers with skills that will translate well include but are not limited to: Journalist, Teacher, Writer, Data Analyst, Newspaper Editor, Print Marketer, Sales, Retail Management, Blogger, movie marketer, farmer, among others. All you need do is develop the requisite skills and you’re god to go.

Finally!

Digital marketing is one field that requires a lot skills and passion to succeed. Companies that understand the relevance of the cyber community in achieving business success are searching for digital marketers constantly. If you’re good in this field you would be well sought-after by a lot of companies. If you want to be a digital marketer, you’ll need to have drive, ambition, and a real passion for the business, in addition to the tech, education, and professional skills required.

Understanding how digital marketing works is very necessary. You have to understand that digital marketing efforts are all about what you can do for the customer, not what you are trying to sell to the customer. If you think you have passion for this kind of very exciting job there’s never a better moment to start than now.

 

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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