How to become a digital marketer

How to become a digital marketer

by Guest Contributor

20 September, 2017

By Lizzie Benton, Content manager at Datify

The world of digital marketing can appear an intriguing place. After all, not only are we marketing the latest products and innovations to those on the internet, but with the wealth of data that is now available to marketers through social media channels; digital marketing is now one the most successful industries in the UK.

In fact, in 2016, it was reported that the UK digital economy accounted for 40 percent of the UK’s economic growth between 2012 and 2015.

UK digital economy

It is a fast-moving industry, there is no doubt about that. And whether you want to add a string to your bow by learning something new, or are looking to improve your digital marketing knowledge to secure a role in the industry, this guide will reveal how to become a digital marketer.

Get on short courses

Believe it or not, you do not need a qualification in digital marketing to become a digital marketer. In fact, here at Datify, there is not one of us who have a degree or certificate in digital marketing. All of our knowledge has come from experience.

However, I personally have attended one short course and one online course in digital marketing before I came into the industry, just to help me swat up on the basics and understand some of the terminology used.

I would recommend these short courses over an expensive degree any day, as they equip you with just enough knowledge to do something, but not so much that you can’t get to grips with practical marketing and learn more from those already in the industry.

From personal experience I would recommend the following;

→ Future Learn

→ Guardian Masterclasses

Do it yourself

Digital marketing doesn’t have to be learnt in a classroom or from a text book, you can start practicing it right now.

I fell into digital marketing due to my own personal lifestyle blog, and from that I started to pick up and learn ways to increase my followers and what types of content were popular etc.

Start your own blog on any subject you feel like and see what you can learn. There are now endless tutorials on YouTube about how to start your first WordPress website, and there are many guides understanding the fundamental basics of SEO.

Set-up your own website today and see what you can teach yourself. Plus, it’s always a bonus to add to the portfolio if you’re seeking a job in the industry.

Get social

There are many people in the digital marketing industry who would be more than happy to give you advice and guidance on where to start. Plus they also publish great articles on digital marketing that can help you take your skills to the next level.

Follow these industry experts on Twitter and make an effort to read their content;

Meet the experts

Steve Rayson@steverayson


Neil Patel@neilpatel


Matt Cutts@mattcutts


Rand Fishkin@randfish


Paddy Moogan@paddymoogan


Michael A Stelzner@Mike_Stelzner


Larry Kim@larrykim


Danny Sullivan@dannysullivan


Seth Godin@ThisIsSethsBlog



You may have heard of as a way to find out about local events, but it’s also a fantastic way of finding clubs and activities that you can be a part of. Here in my area we have DPIP (Digital People in Peterborough).

It’s a local meetup for those who love anything about digital, including digital marketing. And best of all – you don’t need to have a business or be a marketing expert to attend.

Events such as this are now dotted all over the country and can help you to network in a more casual way with other enthusiasts of the digital marketing world.

Learn what people want

The biggest part of marketing is understanding what people want. After all, if you can understand what they’re searching for and the questions they are asking, you can market your product in a way that meets the needs of the people.

This is digital marketing in a nutshell, and once you start to learn what people are typing into their Google search bar you can quickly pick-up on their needs.

A really simple and fun way of doing this without any previous technical experience is by visiting and start writing in a question about a topic. Google will automatically show you the most popular searches. See below in this image where I have started typing digital marketing and Google has suggested what you might be searching for. This is a great place to start.

Type in any subject and Google will help you.

This is a very basic way to start learning what people want, but once you’ve grasped the concept and why you are doing this, you will quickly pick-up the many other technical ways of doing this.

Become an investigator

The key areas you need to learn to become a digital marketer include;

  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Digital PR
  • PPC
  • Social Media

Take one topic at a time and become an investigator. These are the ingredients to becoming a successful digital marketer, and will give you all the tools that you need to market a product or business online.

Once you have gained a strong understanding of digital marketing overall, you should then take the time to research each area and how it effects a marketing campaign.
As all of these areas work together it’s important to know how you should be doing each of them, as without one, an entire campaign can fall flat on its face.

For example, if you create a fantastic guide on your blog, but then don’t post it on social media or optimise the technical SEO on the page, how is anyone going to find it?

Each element holds significance and there are no short cuts.

While it may seem like there is a lot to get your teeth into, digital marketing provides one of the most varied careers, and even if you’re not looking to go into a role, it can give you business skills that are essential in all areas of work.