As a Digital Marketer, it’s important to keep up with the latest changes and trends in the industry.
But even more important is ensuring that you have the skills necessary to be successful in this field.
There are many different ways to upskill yourself such as joining online communities, reading industry books, undertaking courses or industry events. The opportunities are endless.
In this blog post we’ll outline some of the best ones.
So whether you’re just starting out in digital marketing or looking for new ways to stay ahead of the competition, read on for some great tips!
Decide On A Specialism or Key Focus Area
One of the best ways to upskill yourself as a marketer is to decide on a specialism or key focus area after you’ve gained initial experience across many different channels.
Some marketers, particularly those working in-house, will gain experience with a number of different Digital Marketing Channels.
In my first job at an education recruitment startup, I was responsible for organic social media (across Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram), All aspects of SEO, Google Ads, Email Marketing and Graphic Design.
Yes – it was pretty intense, especially as I was the only marketer in the company!
It’s great to get that experience of other channels and the understanding that each channel doesn’t work in isolation. They all work together to drive business growth and having knowledge of that is key for any Digital Marketer.
However by becoming a specialist, you can really get into the finer details of your chosen area and improve your depth of knowledge.
So how do you choose your chosen specialism to upskill yourself in?
Work Towards An End Goal
Working towards an end goal be will naturally influence your chosen specialism and learning path.
Now this could be a goal that is personal to you or a goal that is relevant for the business.
For example, outside of Almond Marketing, I run the social media accounts of two world-renowned musical groups and an internationally recognised charity. Since specialising in SEO back in 2019, I was a little out of practice when it came to all things hashtags and selfies.
I knew that in order to run these accounts successfully, I had to make sure I was up to speed with the latest tactics, strategies and trends within social media.
So by working towards an end goal of improving my social media knowledge for these projects, I had a very clear idea of what I had to do to achieve it.
It posed questions such as
What did I already know about social media?
What did I need to familiarise myself with?
What tools did I need to get to grips with?
What are the latest tactics and strategies?
Similarly when I worked at an education recruitment startup, the business goal in terms of marketing was to drive traffic to the site via organic traffic. With this in mind, despite overseeing all aspects of marketing my main learning path centred was around SEO.
Read Relevant Books on Digital Marketing
Despite Digital Marketing taking place mostly online or on mobile devices, I do highly recommend getting to grips with a solid book. There’s some amazing books on all aspects of marketing from Paid Advertising, Social Media and SEO.
I often find myself studying books on branding, marketing psychology, using marketing for business growth and customer retention.
These books have principles that can apply to any marketing channel or business making them a highly valuable learning method.
One of the downsides when it comes to using books to upskill yourself is that because the world of Digital Marketing is always evolving and changing, the information in them can go out of date very quickly.
Despite this, I do recommend that you start by picking up a marketing book to start you on your journey of upskilling yourself. Especially if it’s one of the following from my recommended reading list.
Building A Story Brand
Never Lose A Customer Again
The Art of SEO
Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Jessie C. Stricchiola
Take An Industry Leading Course
Courses are a really good way of levelling up your knowledge and experience in the Digital marketing industry.
Undertaking a Digital Marketing course shows to businesses and employers that you are committed to improving your skillset thus making you more employable – so they are a great investment to your learning.
One of the downsides of courses is that anyone can make one. I’ve seen and experienced first hand low quality and low value courses by so called ‘experts’ – so my first tip around courses is to really do your research.
As with any form of learning in Digital Marketing, the key trick is to implement it within the context of our job and your business. I’m guilty of this myself where I spend a lot of time learning but not always putting into practice what I’ve learned.
So once you’ve started your course – make sure you put your learnings to good use!
If you’re looking for a Digital Marketing course to strengthen your Digital Marketing knowledge, I suggest investigating the following
Google Analytics For Beginners
The Customer Value Journey
Digital Marketer Laboratory
Grow Your Audience
SEO Manager Course
The Blue Array Academy
YouTube For Bosses
Attend An Industry Event/Conference
There’s so many great events in the Digital Marketing space at the moment.
Attending a Digital Marketing event is a fantastic opportunity to gain knowledge, learn from some of the leading experts and most importantly to make new friends and meaningful connections.
Just to provide some insight in the importance of attending a Digital Marketing event, it was at my first one back in 2018 which led to me meeting our founder, Phillipa James.
3 years since meeting at the event, she offered me an interview for Almond in late 2020 – and the rest is history!
When it comes to events, they could be small locally focused meet ups or larger scale conferences.
For example, this year I recently attended BrightonSEO which had thousands of attendees eager to learn about SEO. However I’ve also attended more informal networking style events.
When it comes to events take a look on sites such as EventBrite and MeetUp to see if there are any close to you.
Join Relevant Communities To Learn And Ask Questions
One of the best things about being a marketer is that someone will have the answer to the most interesting questions.
But where do you go to find and ask these questions?
There’s an abundance of online communities within the Digital Marketing world to join and contribute to.
As an SEO specialist I often find myself on Twitter given that’s where most SEOs go to learn from each other. Despite my Twitter being my personal preference, there’s plenty of other communities on various different platforms to look into.
If we take a moment to relook at online courses, as part of the course, some educators may have a private members group, where you can join to gain inspiration and support the other participants.
A really good example of this is Digital Marketer Engage and the Moolah Buyers Club
Another good place to look for a community to learn from is on Reddit.
I haven’t used Reddit much but I do know there are some very active Digital Marketing communities on the platform such as
When it comes to joining an online community, the key thing is to get involved with the many conversations that are taking place. It’s no good joining a community only to not ask questions or support others.
With the majority of communities taking place on a social media network, one of the downsides is that you will receive a lot of notifications.
As marketers we can often be quite distracted and we’re quite prone to being influenced by others especially when that individual or group is successful.
In my experience from being in online communities, I often found myself dealing with ‘shiny object syndrome’ and trying a multitude of different strategies because they were popular and generating results for someone else.
The key thing to remember is not every golden nugget of advice in an online community is going to be relevant to your job or your business. Make your own judgement when it comes to implementing advice and be sure to ask as many questions as possible to get the full picture and context.
So there you have it, these are some of the best ways to upskill yourself as a Digital Marketer. By doing this, you will be able to stay ahead of the curve in your field and continue delivering value to your business.
If you want the experience of a highly skilled team at the forefront of Digital Marketing, contact us at Almond Marketing today. We would love to help you reach your goals!