Digital marketing is in higher demand than ever before, and companies are looking for skilled professionals who can oversee their online advertising and outreach.
But what exactly does a digital marketing manager do? And how does a digital marketing manager differ from an SEO professional or content creation executive?
The Definition Of A Digital Marketing Manager
The official definition of a digital marketing manager is somebody who oversees the various stages of implementing a digital marketing campaign to promote a company’s products or services.
Great, but what does that actually mean?
Let’s say that you’re a company and you want to promote your new line of designer sunglasses online. While the job of content creators is to produce written and visual content to accompany the campaign, the task of the digital marketing manager is to come up with a plan that details what content the team will create, and how to use it to attract customers.
Planning is not easy. And in many ways, the digital marketing manager has to be just as creative in their approach as the people in their team generating the content. A marketing manager has to step into the shoes of their online audience and think about what kind of advertising would appeal to them most powerfully. The space of possible ideas is enormous, so the marketing manager has to narrow down their options and then eventually “take the plunge,” pick one and run with it.
Overseeing The Creation Of Content
All online marketing campaigns require some kind of content creation to get off the ground. It can be as simple as designing a banner for a PPC marketing drive, or as complicated as doing native advertising, creating ebooks or white papers, or generating a video series. Many marketing campaigns also specifically target social media with “snackable” content, drip-feeding their audiences with a constant stream of company-related advertising.
Digital Marketing managers sometimes get directly involved with the content creation itself. But most of the time it’s their job to take a step back and think about the kind of content that customers want.
Digital Marketing managers consider the following factors:
- The length of the content. Some audiences, for instance, want more in-depth content while others want something that they can consume in a few seconds.
- The type of content. Digital marketing managers decide on the format of content. Material can either be written, pictorial or in the form of video.
- The style of the content. Many firms have a particular style of communication that fits in with their brand. A legal firm, for instance, will communicate using a more formal writing style than, say, a drive-thru restaurant. It’s the job of the digital marketing manager to communicate to their team the style that they want and to help them deliver it.
- The stage in the marketing funnel. Different forms of content are appropriate for customers in different stages of the marketing funnel. Customers who haven’t heard of a brand before need advertising that raises their awareness of the company’s existence. Customers on the cusp of making a purchase, however, may require things like review articles, banner ads reminding them of products they’re interested in, and email messages.
Overseeing Social Media Marketing Campaigns
While there’s a degree of overlap between content marketing and social media marketing campaigns, the latter requires some novel approaches. Digital Marketing managers must understand the unique features of the social media marketing landscape, and help their teams navigate it successfully.
- Managing followers. The job of the digital marketing manager is to understand and manage social media followers for maximum engagement, impact and sales. Again, as we discussed before, it’s the job of the digital marketing manager to step into their audience’s shoes and understand the kind of content that they want. This drive for understanding might involve tasking team members with researching the company’s target audience, what type of content they like to consume, and what information they might want from the company.
- Controlling company reputation. Social media is an excellent tool for companies to get their message across to customers at the grassroots, but it’s also a liability. Anybody can publicly post about a bad experience that they had with your firm. Social media advertising, therefore, needs to be highly sensitive and deftly reflect customer sentiment. You don’t want your firm to join the list of companies who made marketing faux-pas in the online space.
- Training team members to use social media advertising tools. Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies offer customers helpful software which allows them to customise their campaigns and get value for money out of their advertising spend. But while these packages are handy, they can be challenging to master. Digital marketing managers, therefore, need to have the competence to train team members in how to use these facilities to maximise social media ROI.
Communicating Digital Marketing Strategy To Clients And Employers
Digital marketing can seem like a bit of a dark art. Because of this, clients and employers aren’t always clear in their own minds about the value that marketing managers offer. Explaining digital marketing can be tricky, but it’s an essential part of the work. Digital marketing professionals need to focus on communicating the value of what they do to interested parties.
Overseeing Email And Mobile Marketing
Email marketing remains one of the best forms of digital marketing, despite being nearly a quart of a century old. The role of digital marketing managers in the realm of email is similar to that in other areas: to oversee the strategy and implementation of email marketing campaigns.
Digital marketing managers don’t usually create the content for marketing emails themselves. But, again, they’re often the driving force behind the tone, strategy and mechanistic aspects of the campaign, such as the number of email communications sent to customers per month.
Digital marketing managers also need to have the technical skills required for effective advertising and SEO in the mobile space. Digital marketing managers could perform the following roles:
- Planning and designing apps for sale on Google Play, Apple Store or Amazon App store
- Designing and checking mobile-friendly websites
- Creating special mobile-friendly advertising campaigns, including those that make use of customer location
How Much Do Digital Marketing Managers Get Paid?
We’re currently in the midst of a digital marketing “skills gap” – there are more digital marketing positions available than people willing to take them. The growth in demand for digital marketing services means that many working in the industry today get paid a premium, thanks to the scarcity of their skillset.
The average digital marketing manager earns $75,500. How much you get paid relative to the average depends, not surprisingly, on your level of experience, with those at the top end earning more than 26 per cent above the industry benchmark. Pay tends to scale well over time, with those in the middle of their career earning nearly double of those in entry-level positions.
How Do You Become A Digital Marketing Manager?
Most companies aren’t looking for people who have formal training in digital marketing management: the fact of the matter is that that type of training is hard to find. What they’re more concerned with is a candidate’s ability to put digital marketing theories into practice and generate real results for the firm.
People become digital marketing managers through a variety of pathways. But if you want to maximise your chances of landing a position, you’ll need to learn a range of necessary skills and keep to to date with the latest digital marketing trends.
The first area you’ll want to take on is SEO. You can find dozens of tutorials and guides online for how to become an SEO expert and take your skills to market. But, again, it’s not just about learning the theory, but putting what you learn into practice.
You’ll also want to get to grips with social media, and how to manipulate the platforms to achieve results for companies. Playing around with the tools before applying for work will help you understand how they work and impress interviewers.
The position of digital marketing manager is not an entry-level role. Most people who become marketing managers already have experience working in a digital marketing team, either producing content or doing nitty-gritty PPC work. If you find yourself in this position, then spend time observing what your manager does and start trying to see company operations from their perspective. If you were in charge of your firm’s digital marketing efforts, what strategies would you implement?
Finally, you’ll want to have a deep understanding of Google Analytics and other SEO research tools, like SEMrush, so that you’re in a position to evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns. Being able to use these tools gives you both a low- and high-level overview of marketing operations.
Having an excellent command of basic digital marketing skills, however, is only a small part of the story. The most effective managers are not only those who possess detailed procedural knowledge, but who can also communicate effectively with team members and help them succeed.
If you are looking to hire, check out our digital marketing manager job description.