What is Digital Marketing
Gone are the days when having a good career meant being a doctor or engineer only. Today there are many avenues in the job world. One such avenue is the digital marketing job. Digital marketing is a highly regarded job. You can build a very successful career around it. This article will discuss what digital marketing courses and certifications you can opt for so that you can call yourself a digital marketing guru. We will also explain what digital marketing actually means and how it works. In short, this article will be a short course in itself.
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Before delving into the career prospects of digital marketing, it is necessary to know what digital marketing means. Digital marketing is a wide subject with many branches. So, you can’t just go on and take up any digital marketing course available. You have to choose that arena of online marketing that you are interested in.
Digital Marketing is the advertisement or marketing of products and services online. 59% of the global population can access the internet as of April 2020. The exact number is around 4.57 billion. Naturally, the internet can be a gold mine of customers for the sellers and service providers. Today more and more people access the internet on smartphones. Never before in the history of advertising could advertisers reach so close to the customers.
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The problem is, there are many advertisers out there vying for the same eyeballs. It is therefore necessary to be literate in digital marketing - so as to outsmart other advertisers. Digital marketing is not like offline advertising. You have to employ strategies and technicalities to make sure that potential buyers read your advertisement only and not those of the others. We will discuss more about Digital Marketing. But first let’s talk about digital marketing courses in India.
Digital Marketing Course: Degrees and Levels
BBA (Undergraduate Level)- Since this is a fairly new course, as of now there are mainly BBA or Undergraduate courses on digital marketing available.
MBA (Postgraduate Level) - To further strengthen your career prospects, you can opt for an MBA in digital marketing. It is a much more comprehensive course with detailed analysis of all things related to digital marketing. MBA in digital marketing is a two-year long course. However, there are extremely few institutes that offer MBA in digital marketing. You must ensure caution while enrolling into these universities. A quick Google search shows many Indian ‘universities’ offering MBA courses in digital marketing. You must make sure that the university that you choose to enroll in is accredited by sme university or industry body.
Online Certification Courses - Digital marketing is one of the most democratic courses out there - in the sense that a digital marketer does not require to have any formal degree. What matters is whether you know the ins and outs of digital marketing, whether you know the SEO techniques, whether you can write and whether you are tech-savvy. You can very well know all about digital marketing with the help of online certification courses. Let us divide these online digital marketing courses in two categories - free and paid.
Maximum and Minimum Duration of Digital Marketing Courses
Just like any other usual BBA course, BBA in digital marketing is a 3 years course. This course is made of 6 semesters. Although there is a semester system, there is a maximum gap set between two semesters. If you exceed that gap, the previously passed semesters will be useless to you. MBA in digital marketing is a two year course.
Online digital marketing courses offered by well known institutes vary greatly in duration. The beginner-level, Interactive Advertising Bureau-accredited (free) digital marketing course created by Google, for instance, is a 40-hours course covering 26 modules. It provides a certificate on successful completion of the course. This can be a great value-addition for anyone looking to jumpstart a career in digital marketing.
Eligibility Criteria (UG & PG) of Digital Marketing
For the UG course, you need to have passed the 10+2 exam in any stream. Additionally, you also need to pass the entrance test of the concerned institute or you need to pass any of the national level tests relevant to BBA. For the MBA course, you need to have passed the BBA course. Some institutes also require you to have at least one or two years of work experience.
The online courses generally do not have any fixed eligibility criteria.
Admission Criteria for Digital Marketing
Unlike most courses, in the case of the undergraduate digital marketing course, you don’t compulsorily need to have science subjects in your 10+2 level. BBA in digital marketing can be opted by any student regardless of which stream he read in. You just need to have passed 10+2 from a recognised board. But the desired score in the senior secondary exam varies from institute to institute. For example, Birla Global University requires you to possess at least 50% marks in the Senior Secondary exam. You also have to sit for a written test if you want to enroll into the university’s programme.
Certain universities prefer commerce students in their BBA Digital Marketing Programme. However, students from other streams are not barred to enter.
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Entrance Exam For Digital Marketing Course
Undergraduate digital marketing courses are offered as BBA courses in India. Most B-Schools and Management institutes have their own tests that a BBA aspirant needs to take to enroll into the course. For example, Birla Global University has the BGU Admission test. These institutes also accept marks secured in the National Level tests like CAT, MAT, GMAT, XAT etc.
Fees and Expenses of Digital Marketing Courses
UG -The fee structure for BBA In Social Media and Digital Marketing varies from institute to institute. But generally, the fee hovers around Rs.6 lakhs to Rs.10 lakhs. For example, Birla Global University charges Rs.6 lakh 24 thousand for the course. BML Munjal University charges Rs.8 lakh 16 thousand for the course.
PG - Since MBA is a 2 year course, the course fee is rather less. Most MBA colleges offering MBA in digital marketing charge Rs.2 lakh to Rs.4 lakh for the entire course.
There are many free digital marketing courses that can teach you the a-z of digital marketing.
Hubspot is a company that sells digital marketing and CRM software. It also offers a free digital marketing course. And no it’s not a PR stunt - the courses are of extremely high quality and offer a comprehensive knowledge on SEO, content marketing, inbound, email marketing and more. The beautiful part is, Hubspot always pushes for practically implementing the ideas it teaches.
Digital marketers always fight for the top space on the Google search results page. Naturally, when the search engine - the king - itself offers digital marketing courses - and that too for free - nobody will say no.
The business model of Alison is very interesting. It offers free courses on digital marketing. The topics are vast. The course materials are created by learned individuals. However, after your course finishes and you pass the test - you need to purchase the certification. So, Alison’s courses are free but the certification isn’t.
Moz, like Hubspot, is also a company that helps digital markers with things like keyword research, backlinks analysis and other SEO aspects. It offers a free course to help you build a strong foundational knowledge on digital marketing.
Just like Moz, Ahrefs is also a company offering digital marketing solutions. It also has free resources that can help you know deeply about digital marketing.
There are many other free online digital marketing courses providers on the web like Coursera, Udemy etc. Make sure that you read the reviews of these courses. Quality matters, not quantity.
Paid Online Digital Marketing Courses
When you pay for a service, obviously you will be getting a service that will be of high value. There are many paid courses on digital marketing.
LinkedIn Learning can be an excellent resource to learn all about digital marketing. This job oriented social networking site leverages its deep connections across the industry to formulate the course material. Rest assured you will get value for money. The courses are as great as any other course offered by traditional BBA universities.
Simpli Learn is another paid digital marketing learning platform. One look at the selection of the courses and you will realize that the courses are made by the industry leaders. From basics to advanced -you can learn everything.
Lynda dot com is yet another paid digital marketing course provider. The clean, crisp and no-nense way of presenting the course is the USP of Lynda. You will get only the best from Lynda.
There are many other paid resources. Make sure that you read the review. Some of these courses are priced unjustifiably by some companies - do not get scammed.
Popular Colleges in India are Offering MBA in Digital Marketing
|Annamalai university||Sikkim Manipal University|
|Amity University||Lovely Professional University|
|Symbiosis University||IMT CDL Ghaziabad|
|The University of Madras|
Scope of Digital Marketing in India and Abroad
This is the age of the internet. The brick and mortar shops are making way for the online marketplaces. Today customers make their decisions only after a thorough online research. Think about yourself, when you last bought your smartphone, did you not read about its features on the web? The demand for digital marketers is going to increase more and more considering the fact there are still more than 40% of the population who are yet to be connected to the internet. So, the potential customers on the internet will increase for sure. Hence the need for digital marketer is not going to ebb any time soon.
Now, the scope for digital marketing cannot be explained separately for India and abroad for the very fact that the world wide web is flat and almost borderless. A digital marketing agency located somewhere in Bangalore or Noida can easily help a US-based brand to rank high on Google SERP or vice versa.
In 2019, the global digital marketing spend was valued at US$290-310 billion. By the end of 2020, it is estimated to cross US$350 billion growing at a CAGR of 12.8%. So, one can understand from this the potential of digital marketing as a field of work. It is booming now and this boom is anything but a bubble.
Course Fees Digital Marketing
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Since this course is under BBA, the curriculum is quite similar to other BBA courses - the only difference is the fact that the focus is on digital marketing. Here are the subjects that are taught in the BBA Digital Marketing Course -
Management - Business and Financial
Market research and niche analysis
Human Resource Management
Social Media Marketing
There will be many other subjects depending on the institute you choose. Some of the core digital marketing subjects taught in the certified digital marketing courses are:
Competitor and website analysis
Website design using Wordpress CMS
Content creation and promotion
SEO, SEM, SMM
PPC Google ads campaign creation and management
YouTube video marketing
Website data analytics
Careers in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a huge domain. One person cannot grasp all. It is important that you fix beforehand what role you want to see yourself in and then proceed accordingly.
Following are the few broad domains of digital marketing jobs:
Digital Marketing/Online Marketing: Digital Marketing is an umbrella term for activities related to search engine optimization (SEO), email campaigning, digital promotion, paid promotion, affiliate marketing and what not. If someone wants to place himself as an indispensable employee in the corporate world he can do it.
Content creation and marketing: Content creation is the process of writing pleasurable-to read texts and come up with ideas for video and infographic marketing. The aim of content marketing is to reach the heart of the potential buyers and educate them about a particular product or service.
Email marketing: People associated with this job have one of the most challenging jobs - finding a right balance between email based marketing and spamming. These people try to come up with persuasive emails that they send to potential and existing customers.
Social media marketing: Social media marketing is the activity of reaching out to the potential customers who are spread across various social media platforms like facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, YouTube, etc through posting of sharable content including stories, videos, images, and so on. The idea is to grow engagement and create a loyal follower base that can be leveraged upon to generate potential leads.
Affiliate marketing and influencer marketing: Affiliate marketers are those people who have a strong authority and thousands of followers online. The companies know that if these markers promote their products - there will be many people who would consider buying the products.
PPC advertising: Companies spend their hard earned money to pay for ads to reach more people. If the ads don’t provide value for money, it will be sheer loss of time and money. PPC specialists come up with ad ideas and ad texts that people cannot overlook. PPC specialists also try to make the ads as relevant as possible.
Copywriting: This involves writing crisp, relatable content for ads. This is actually a play on buyer’s psychology; sometimes, it employs reverse psychology. The objective is to nudge them to make a favourable buying decision.
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Gone are the Web 2.0 days when digital marketing meant text based or image based marketing. Today people’s attention span is decreasing. They are not going to stay on the web page that is full of text. It is the videos that are acting like magnets these days - they attract potential buyers more than what text based ad copy gets. So digital markets who are expert in making good quality videos, who can edit videos and add effects will be of high demand in the near future. You can learn video editing along with your digital marketing course if you want a rocking career ahead of you.
Some of the upcoming trends and topics which are being increasingly included in the digital marketing courses are:
Digital marketing automation / Use of SMM panels
Online reputation management
This is just the beginning. The future looks promising for digital marketing.
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Job Profiles and Top Recruiters
The job profiles that are most coveted among certified digital marketers are:
Digital marketing executive/manager- One who is responsible for promoting the products online. He makes sure that when people search for a specific thing on Google, his company-website shows up on the first page of Google. He is also responsible for the quirky yet informative posts on social media. He is always ready to answer the questions of the people online.
SEO executive/manager: Responsible for keyword research and generation that content teams need for content generation. They also look after the on-page and off-page optimisation.
PPC expert: PPC experts are knowledgeable in paid marketing. He knows what keywords to target, what locations to target, how to bid for the spot and how to optimize posts for paid marketing.
Web analytics associate: He is the brain of digital marketing activities. He looks for the ranking keywords. He finds out how his competitor is managing to get more visitors than his company. He acquires backlinks. He examines the posts and videos posted by his company to single out which posts are doing well and which aren’t
Email marketer: Email marketers send emails to the leads and existing customers. It is a more intimate form of marketing.
Affiliate marketer/influencer: Influencer or affiliate marketer works for himself. His first task is to gain loyal readers or viewers who repeatedly visit his website or YouTube channel. Brands will come to promote their products.
Chief digital officer: A new position but perhaps the most lucrative of all digital marketing job profiles, CDOs are going to spearhead every brand and every company in the near future. They will be the ultimate decision-maker for a company’s digital strategies.
Some of the top recruiters in the Online digital marketing space are:
The top agencies in India which also hire digital marketing candidates include:
Neil Patel Digital India
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
One can build a celebrated career around digital marketing. In India, companies are gradually realising the value of the digital marketers. With the push for Digital India, the companies will see a rise in digitally literate customers. To cater to their demands, they will need more people having proper digital marketing degrees/diplomas. Hence, digital marketing is not going to fizzle out anytime soon.
A quick search on the premiere job search portals reveals that in India a digital marketer gets anything between Rs.1 Lakh to Rs.10 lakh per annum. An SEO executive gets around Rs.2 lakh to 6 lakh comfortably. The affiliate markers work independently. For them, the sky's the limit.
The pay package, however, depends on the employer, state/city where a person is employed, and the individual’s qualification and experience.
Required Skillset for Digital Marketing
A digital marketer should have these skills -
Knowledge of SEO: Without SEO knowledge, the content cannot reach the masses. A good SEO skill can save the company thousands of paid marketing money. SEO is an ever evolving process. With so many new algorithms like Panda or Penguin, you have to remain always updated.
Understanding consumer behaviour: Digital marketing is for all intents and purposes marketing. You must be open to criticisms, you must know how to handle difficult customers, you should have great soft skills if you want to be a successful digital marketer. All this is possible, if you have prior experience in dealing with people.
Data analysis: Digital marketers have to handle a huge volume of data, day in and day out. Based on this data only, they have to strategise their digital marketing plans. So, if you love numbers and the grids of Excel excite you, then you must go for a digital marketing course.
Skill in writing crisp and to the point content: Today, people have little time. You have to capture the readers’ attention from the very beginning. Your ad copy, long form contents and blog posts must be written in an exciting and humorous way. Not all digital marketing institutes teach content writing; you have to be a self-learner or rely on your own research to find the right content writing training institute for you.
A little HTML knowledge: Do you know how to buy a domain? Do you know how to make a 301 redirect? Would like to link to a website but not pass any link juice to it? All this and more requires little HTML knowledge.
Basic graphic design skills: Text based digital marketing is outdated. Today people are more interested in multimedia. So digital marketer is expected to know about Graphic Design.
Basic video editing: Content with video gets more views. So video editing is a required skill. Further people are interested to see the product they wish to buy in all angles and in action. Video marketing is quickly gaining on text based marketing.
Soft skills: A digital marketer must know what to say to sway the opinion of the buyers. He must know a little about the psychology of the buyers. Soft skills is a must for email marketing.
Discipline: Ability to meet deadlines.
Tenacity and patience: It takes time to make a web page or an eCommerce product rank higher. You must have patience and a go-getter attitude. And you must be ready to spend hours in front of the computers.
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Course Curriculum for Digital Marketing
The standard curriculum of a certified digital marketing course looks something like this:
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
Search engine marketing (SEM)
Social media marketing (SMM)
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Media buying and planning
Integrated digital marketing strategy
Besides these modules, BBA Digital Marketing includes other modules which are similar to that of a conventional Marketing course.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a tried and tested method of online marketing. When you visit websites - chances are 80% of them request you to give your email address. After they get the email address, they send you product news, new offers and discount coupons. It is a great way to reach thousands of people within a short period of time. However, there is a fine line between email marketing and spamming. A good digital marketer knows the difference.
Question: What are paid ads in online marketing?
Some people like smart work instead of hard work. There are ad networks (mainly Google) spread across the web. Many websites use these ad networks to display ads. Digital marketers leverage these ad networks to show advertisements to potential buyers. You can also pay and make your websites appear on the first page of Google. The beautiful thing about using paid ads is - these ad networks take into account the location of the potential buyers, their interests, likes and dislikes. So your ads are shown only to those people who are more likely to buy from you.
Question: What is affiliate marketing?
It is the marketing done by the social media influencers. Affiliate marketers promote brands and products on their Facebook or Instagram profile or in their YouTube videos. Becoming an affiliate marketer is not a child’s play. You need to have an authority of your own. You have to build your page, profile or channel in such a way that people find your content useful. Once people regard you knowledgeable in some domain, they will subscribe to you - and most importantly - listen to you.
Question: What is social media marketing?
Today people in India spend around 2.4 hours on social media - every single day. Naturally, the chances of your company website getting noticed on Social Media are very high. So, people make company Facebook pages, company Twitter Handles, YouTube channels. The key to getting engagement on your Facebook Page or YouTube Channel is to come up with content that is both informative, humorous and at the same time has the subtle marketing pitch.
Question: What is content based digital marketing or simply content marketing?
This kind of marketing requires writing prowess as well as digital literacy. In this marketing strategy, you write contents on your website that are related to the trending topics of the current time. But at the same time you have to make sure that your products are getting advertised. The goal of content marketing is to get your website and business noticed on Google.