Do you work in the digital marketing field? Are you constantly looking for new ways to get ahead of digital trends and to make a difference in the social and digital spheres for your brand? Are you currently having difficulty breaking through with some of your creative campaigns that you thought surely would perform well?
If you’ve answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then you are in a similar place that many digital marketers find themselves in today. With constantly shifting web algorithms, an intensely competitive online community that is always competing for consumer attention and real-time tech changes that can turn into trends overnight — you’ve got a few challenges ahead of you!
Also, the landscape is ever-changing with a new phenomenon called “digital disruption.” As digital marketer Wayne Arnold has insightfully noted: We live in a world in which the most competitive companies are digital entities alone. Amazon leads in consumer products fulfillment but doesn’t own any stores! Uber is a leading ride-sharing company but doesn’t own any cars!
The good news is that any savvy digital marketer can overcome the challenges of the industry simply by identifying what they are and making a plan of action to overcorrect. A career in digital marketing can be difficult at times, but sometimes, knowing what the challenges are become more than half the battle — because you can go to the root of the problem and make calculated and strategic decisions to improve your digital campaigns.
If you’re ready to see your digital marketing projects take off in 2017, then read on to get the “Top 7 Digital Marketing Career Challenges” and learn how to overcome them one step at a time. At the end of the day, you’ll find that you have more job satisfaction because you and your campaigns will be performing at a higher level than ever before.
Unlock the secrets to overcoming these digital marketing career challenges right now:
Challenge #1: Producing Effective Referrals
One of the top career challenges a digital marketer faces today is being able to build effective referrals to the brand’s website. You want your consumers to click on your ads, your social posts, and other online media and take action on your website.
This isn’t always easy in a competitive digital space. But you can make the chances of getting click-throughs to your website higher by tweaking your ad and social copy to ensure your calls to action are short, sharp and make a very specific ask of your consumer.
Consider taking a digital marketing copy workshop or online course. Practice with slightly different posts on social and in emails — just make sure to send them at the same time a few days apart — and then analyze the data to see which copy gets more click-thrus. You’ll learn a lot about attracting consumers and generating referrals simply by changing a few words here and there. It’s a subtle but powerful skill to have in your digital marketing toolbox.
Challenge #2: Generating Traffic
Related to generating effective online referrals to your brand’s website, a digital marketer faces the pressure of generating traffic. This is different from a referral — as you want to identify the most efficient way for pushing people to your site with a referral.
Generating traffic refers to the overall number of individuals who are coming to your site and how long they are staying. By increasing the traffic to your site, you increase the possibility of convincing that consumer her or she needs to buy something. How do you do that? You have to post the RIGHT content, as expert digital marketers will attest.
The good content is going to be slightly different for every brand, but you can determine what is the best-performing content on your site by doing a simple analytics analysis. Pull the data from the last 30 days of traffic on your site. Look at your top-performing blog posts, the most-clicked stories or photos, your referrals and the type of content (copy, photo, video, social, etc.)
If you don’t understand your data — then you can’t influence your traffic. That leads us to the most important RIGHT content for your site:
Challenge #3: Become a Video Expert
Another career challenge before a digital marketer is to learn to be a creative, out-of-the-box thinker when it comes to content promotion. The kinds of content you showcase on your social channels, in your ads, and on your website will determine whether a consumer is convinced to stay on your site, browse and buy. Now, as any digital marketer knows, you can’t stick to just one kind of media. You need to layer your strategy so that you are hitting consumers with different kinds of meaningful content.
That being said, you also have to meet consumers where they are with the kinds of content they want to see. That means blogs and traditional stories are going to take a backseat. That’s because the top way to attract consumers in 2022 is going to be via video — both emotive, captioned, short videos and live videos on social media.
So if you’re not on your way to learning to be a video expert, then you need to take a course or brush up on your multimedia skills. Video as the top content for digital marketers is only going to rise!
Challenge #4: Convincing Your Brand You Need More Money
Digital marketers are creative people. They like to think big picture and digital design campaigns that are going to “wow” consumers and make them feel something substantive toward the brand. In theory, this leads to a sale. But the other, more complicated role of a digital marketer is to secure enough money to deploy a killer campaign successfully. To do this, you’ll need to learn the tactics for convincing the higher-ups you require more money to pull off your digital campaign.
Digital assets are not cheap — and the rise of video will continue to boost the buy-in for a digital campaign — but you’ll need to learn how to make your case, prove your point and be unafraid to ask for a boost in your budget. How can you do that? Study your data from your campaigns and show via data that there is a return on investment or ROI for the dollars spent.
Challenge #5: Keeping Up with Web Trends
A digital marketer constantly must be nimble when it comes to directing the design and curation of content on the brand’s website. The actual job of uploading content and creating it will not be your job — but the strategy behind the website will be your job, and that will be challenging on several fronts.
That’s because the brand’s website is the gateway for the consumer to understand the company and to decide if he or she wants a relationship. If your website is too slow, you risk losing the customer. If the consumer uses mobile to browse sites — as most consumers do these days — and your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’ll probably frustrate your user and send him or her away. Finally, if your site isn’t optimized via SEO or search engine optimization guidelines, then your site may not even show up in search results.
The bottom line here is that keeping your website updated with the latest trends and securing its optimization for speed, mobile and SEO are critical. Juggling all of these areas is a challenge for the digital marketer — and that’s where delegation really can help you.
You want a team on your side who are experts in each of their roles and who can take on the different optimization layers. You’ll also need to work with a savvy web architect and manager to make sure your site constantly is updated and featuring fresh content. You want your user experience to be seamless, easy and engaging every time he or she clicks on your site.
Challenge #6: Keeping the Customer First
With so much online competition out there for your customer’s attention, you have to be willing to think “customer first.” That means doing everything you can to make sure the customer’s needs, questions, concerns, and perception of your brand are at the top of your list.
One way you can address prospect customer needs is via email and social automation. These are two of the easiest ways you can think of the customer first. Has an automated email set up so that when a customer emails you with a question, they immediately get a reply from you following up, letting them know you are looking into the matter and that you will respond in a set amount of time.
Another way brands have been automating customer service is via social media. Southwest Airlines, for example, has made a reputation for itself in addressing issues in air via Twitter. Be on top of the customer’s concerns via your digital marketing efforts, and you’ll be closer to helping your brand perform ahead of others.
Challenge #7: Sifting Through Technologies and Platforms
Finally, there are new platforms to aid you in your digital marketing campaigns and brand new technologies promising to take your brand to the next level — and you’ll consistently see these and be tempted to try them all. We need only remember how live-streaming video Periscope has under-performed or how a similar app called Meerkat tanked. If you don’t weigh your options carefully — and give new apps a chance to perform in the market — you’ll just get overwhelmed and send your brand underwater if you pursue them all.
As a digital marketer, it is your job to sift through the weeds and cut through the noise to identify the best technologies that can help your brand. Sometimes that means you’ll need to consult with trusted colleagues and experts in the industry. It also means you’ll need to be a student of trends and make a daily habit of reading updates in the industry.
A good way to do this is to set up news alerts via a platform like Google Alerts to make sure you aren’t missing the latest digital trends that are being talked about in the newspapers. Subscribe to your industry newsletters and magazines. Every step of the way, you want to make sure you are keeping up on trends and weighing the pros and cons of new technologies and platforms.
Also, you may want to take advantage of free, online tools that help you better understand your needs as a digital marketer and a brand — and the platforms out there that could help you. One easy tool is called Growthverse. It is free and interactive — and best of all, it shows you the full landscape of tools available that could help solve your very niche issues with a campaign.
Finally, remember that you can’t use just one source. Be diverse and expansive in your reading. Listen to the experts you trust, be practical and logical when it comes to analyzing a platform and keep your eye out for new trends that could get you ahead! Ask new platforms for a trial version of their products to see how they may make your job easier.
For example, Kit CRM is a platform that performed well in 2016 for its novel automated marketing communications. Relying on a term called “conversational commerce” Kit CRM allows you to interact with your customers via text messaging — meeting them exactly where they are and getting more instantaneous feedback. Other platforms, like Facebook, have introduced chatbots in their direct messaging function Messenger — allowing them to communicate immediately with their users.
Are You Ready to Take Your Digital Marketing Career to the Next Level?
You don’t have to wait until the new year to start making changes in your career. You can get ahead in your digital marketing career simply by being a better student of the challenges and problems you face as a brand marketer.
Because the digital space is a rapidly changing and sometimes unpredictable landscape, the more flexibility you have to re-calibrate, overcorrect and try new things — well, that willingness only will make you a better professional and expert in the digital marketing world.
Remember that you won’t be able to change your entire circumstance — or eliminate all of the obstacles you are facing in one day. But over time, by identifying these seven top challenges in a digital marketing career, and understanding the unique quirks of them, you’ll be better able to manage the difficulties and find solutions more quickly.
The job of a digital marketer is a creative, energy-packed, critical role in the success of a brand. Don’t forget that! It will help re-energize you as you work to overcome these top seven challenges and boost your digital marketing career along the way!