No one can deny that marketing is an ever-changing and exciting field that keeps introducing new strategies, technologies and markets to explore.
In other words, if you choose a career in marketing, you’ll always have to remain on top of your game, so if you’re a fan of expanding your skill-set and learning new things, this is the career path for you.
Another great thing about marketing is that it allows you to meet various people, lets you constantly work on new projects and come up with new strategies to one-up your competition. There’s never a dull day at the office for those working in this field.
Best of all, marketing offers a wide variety of employment opportunities in its various subtypes and sectors. You could be freelancing as a content marketer one day and working at a top-level New York web design company the next. You may even choose to start your own company.
Choosing the Right Marketing Career Path
Between exploring new techniques, networking with people worldwide, sharing ideas, and keeping your mind engaged by following all the trending content and topics, you’ll have a blast as a marketer.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. As great as it sounds, marketing is a fast-paced and demanding job requiring lots of training and a specific skill-set. This means that it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
To reach the particular set of skills needed to succeed in marketing, you’ll need an appetite for learning. The good news is that the industry keeps growing and has produced a wide variety of subsections over the years.
Rather than trying to learn all aspects of marketing at once, your best bet is to focus on one role.
We understand that this is not an easy decision to make, but you don’t have to think of it as strictly permanent. Being proficient in one role could be an excellent springboard if you choose to go down a different career path down the line.
For now, your best bet is to choose a path that suits your skills and sensibilities, and this post should help you get started. So, should you pursue a career in SEO, social media, or content marketing? Take a look at our outline of each and find out what works for you.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) focus on reaching customers by being among the top results when they perform Google searches.
Basically, it is about tailoring a business’s website and marketing content to appease search engines, allowing you to target a specific set of customers.
This marketing branch is particularly exciting because search engine algorithms change very often, forcing SEO professionals to always stay on top of their game.
The job of an SEO specialist is to match their company’s or client’s overall marketing strategy to a series of “indexing” algorithms that search engines use to rank websites in their result pages.
SEO is an excellent starting point for a career in marketing for many reasons, one of which is its overlap with other marketing fields, such as ecommerce.
You can easily use your skills as an SEO specialist to promote an ecommerce store. It is about drawing customers in with optimized results such as explainers and curated listicles, getting them to purchase the products you’re selling or advertising.
Another reason SEO can be a great place to start as a marketer is that some level of understanding of search engine optimization is pretty much mandatory if you’re interested in becoming a top-level marketing professional.
Thankfully, Google has a range of training programs that can teach marketers about the best practices in SEO and SEM.
If you have a knack for searching and think your “Google-Fu” is exceptional, you may be able to build on this savviness and become an SEO specialist.
One of the best ways to hone your skills is to create a personal blog and try out different strategies there. Not only will you learn a lot of valuable lessons through trial and error, but you’ll have something to show hiring managers down the line.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media has come a long way in the last decade or so. In large companies, the Social Media Manager position used to be a place for new hires to interact with the audience and present their “out of the box” ideas.
Nowadays, any self-respecting business puts a lot of focus into its social media marketing presence and works hard to integrate the channel with other aspects of its marketing strategy.
Social media marketers in 2021 are expected to not only be creative and produce content that engages the audience but also keep their posts on brand and use social media to extend the company’s reach.
Aside from posting content that matches the brand’s style, social media marketers are expected to engage with the customers and leads in real-time, representing the company in the best way possible.
They often also spend their time preparing future campaigns based on engagement data, collaborating with other sectors within the company and coming up with the best social strategy to support the brand’s overall image.
If all this sounds like fun, the best place to start is to develop a solid personal social media presence. Your personal Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts are your portfolios here.
3. Content Marketing
The internet has opened the door for brands to create a wide range of content and use it for marketing purposes. The writers, designers, and video creators hired to do this are called content marketers. Sounds simple, right?
Well, yes, but actually, no. To be a successful content marketer, you need to be able to tell a story. Consumers have become savvier to marketing tricks in recent years, and if you’re trying too hard to sell them something, they’ll usually see right through you.
You need to be able to entertain your audience and challenge them creatively. There’s a need to focus on storytelling not only in blog posts and ebooks but also in internal documents and even PowerPoint presentations.
Even skilled writers and experienced marketers may need further training in branded storytelling, and they’ll most certainly have to adjust to the voice of their particular brand. Although telling a story may seem intuitive, it is sometimes difficult to weave a narrative when your primary job is to sell a product or service.
Although it may be difficult, the path to a career in content marketing is not complicated. All you have to do is produce content, and you have to produce a lot of it. Even a marketing degree from a top university likely won’t get you as far as a rich writing portfolio.
No matter what form of marketing interests you, you’ll likely find that strong interpersonal and communications skills open lots of doors. Providing examples of your previous work will also come in handy, as the marketing industry needs experienced professionals who are not afraid to collaborate and get involved in new projects.