Digital Marketing

What I Learned in My First Year as a Digital Marketing Professional

Blinks. 365 days pass. Blinks again. This is pretty much how the past year has felt.

I began my adult working life on June 4th, 2018. Now it’s June 2019. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect the working world would be like. I knew it would be challenging, but I was unaware that it would be as rewarding as it has been. All the things I’m about to discuss were not necessarily first learned in the past year, but they have all come to fruition.

I don’t really have a full plan for the layout of this, as it is my first article I’ve written that wasn’t for a grade. But, without further ado, here is a list of things I’ve learned over the last year.

It’s Okay to Fail

“Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he created the light bulb”

Granted, the chances that I invent or do something as revolutionary as invent the glass thing that lights up is small, but you get the point.

Failure was probably the biggest and most valuable takeaway from the past year, and I mean that in a positive way. It is something I also struggled with accepting, because nobody enjoys failing. This is very relevant in the Digital Marketing Industry; it’s important to be bold and take chances in order to excel. I realized that not every marketing campaign we launched would be successful, but it’s how you adapt and learn from the mishaps to plan your next actions.

When taking these risks, it’s important to take that data you’ve captured through the trial period, analyze it, make inferences and implement these changes. One way to successfully get started with risky campaigns is through A/B testing. This allows you to determine what was successful with your audience and grow from there.

Failure is certain to happen along the way, but that’s alright! You can’t fix the things you never tried or attempted in the first place. If you stop trying, you won’t be able to learn.

Everything is Connected in the Digital World

Many goals that companies have with advertising is to drive people to their website to engage with the product/service offered. These goals could be form fills, whitepaper downloads, clicking a CTA (Call-To-Action), product purchase, watch a video, etc. All these goals are the result of content marketing, paid advertising, email marketing and social media posting all working in tandem.

It all starts with the content on your website.

It’s very important to post content across your website whether it is about the products/services your company offers or insights/trends in your industries. Some content options include blogs, articles, white papers, videos, case studies, etc. Having these forms of content benefits your website in many ways:

  • Search engines take notice of fresh content being posted and lend more exposure to those sites in searches.
  • Lending your brand voice on possible industry insights/trends establishes trust and credibility with your audience.
  • Content can be used for Social Media & Email marketing/newsletters; utilize this great content to bring leads to your website.
  • Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts. (Source: Hubspot)

The next way to increase leads is through paid advertising. This includes a large part of digital marketing efforts, as it can be through many platforms like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. Utilizing these platforms to effectively target qualified candidates to potentially turn into leads.

Google is a great place to increase brand awareness through PPC (Pay-Per-Click), Display Ads and Remarketing Ads. Paying to have your company’s ads at the top of search results brings new visitors to your website while also increasing the chances of your company being seen. Paying for keywords that people search, especially when related to content on your website, is a good indicator of a highly engaged lead. Display Ads are also an effective means of advertising, as these ads show up on popular websites to targeted audience in the Google Display Network. As for Remarketing Ads, I’ll cover that a little later on.

Facebook and LinkedIn are effective platforms for advertising to increase brand awareness and drive people to your website. They allow specific targeting capabilities including: interests, demographics, skills, and more. Social Advertising is a continuous growing popularity and it’s important to get your brand, product, or service in front of potential customers.

Unfortunately, utilizing platforms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn aren’t guaranteed ways to generate leads. While they definitely do help with getting your companies product/services on user’s screens, there are a couple more pieces to the lead generating puzzle.

Email marketing is another great avenue to get people to your website while also highlighting important aspects of your site’s content. Emails can be used for a multitude of resources like product information/updates, new content posting, press releases and much more. Utilizing email marketing is also generally less expensive, and it can be very useful for email automation purposes.

Another important piece in the lead generation puzzle is nurturing the lead. This can happen a couple of different ways like email nurture campaigns and Remarketing ads. Email nurture campaigns are also email automation campaigns in which they keep your company fresh in the lead’s mind and getting them back to the website. It is also possible to monitor how engaged people are with the emails based on whether they open or click into the email. Remarketing ads are a way to target customers who have previously visited a company’s website. These ads are shown all over the internet through Google’s vast Display network (found on websites like ESPN and CNN). These Remarketing ads help keep a company top of mind for customers that have already shown interest in the products/services offered. Both email nurture campaigns and retargeting ads are key in continuing the lead through the buyer’s funnel/journey.

Not All Media Are the Right Fit for Every Campaign

As I mentioned earlier, social advertising through Facebook or LinkedIn is able to provide great value along with results. Although they are pretty great, not each of these social platforms would necessarily be ideal for each advertising campaign.

Knowing who your target audience is key before deciding which social platform to run advertisements. For primarily business to business (B2B) companies, LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for generating leads and now makes up 46% percent of the social media traffic generated to company websites for B2B firms. But, if your company is trying to sell baseball bats to 16-24 year-olds, Instagram might be more appropriate.

Coffee is Awesome

Coffee has been a lifesaver this past year. Whether it’s cranking through the final leg of a project or staying on top of the ever-changing digital marketing industry, it has gotten me through the tough days that end in “y.”

It’s Okay to Ask Questions, Kind Of.

This was an important concept and quite a process that probably took a little longer than I would have liked; here’s why. During the first couple months, I struggled to ask questions because I didn’t want to seem ignorant (spoiler: I’m very ignorant, but who isn’t). I learned to utilize the resources and knowledge all around me in my coworkers. It took a little while, but I started to get more comfortable and possibly a little too comfortable.

Where this gets tricky is to avoid asking too many questions and coming across as needy. There was a point that whenever I would get stumped on something, I would just immediately ask someone for help. This wasn’t an issue at first, because it was fairly time-efficient and I would get solutions faster and get back to work.

However, there were a couple of issues with this. The first being that I wasn’t learning and getting a better understanding of how to be a problem solver. This goes back to my first point where it’s okay to fail because you learn from mistakes and can get solutions on your own. The other issue was I asked questions for things that I could easily find the answer to or were right under my nose (Google it, right?). Therefore, I had to figure out a way to compromise and come to a solution.

I found a successful way to tackle this “should I ask for help” question I was continuously asking myself, and it’s pretty simple. I would always try to figure it out myself to the best of my ability with the resources available (usually Google). When I first find myself in a situation where I need help, I’ll decide how long I should allow myself to try to find a solution alone without consulting others. An important part of this is to make sure not to waste too much time before asking for assistance, but who doesn’t love the feeling after figuring something out by yourself?

Optimism is 🔑

Having a positive attitude goes a long way in the workplace. Sounds cheesy, I’m aware. I have also found it a lot easier to cope under stressful situations when you have positive outlook on the situation. Having that positive outlook has a multitude of benefits whether its impacting coworkers around you or just benefiting your own mental health.

Probably one of the best compliments I’ve received, came from a coworker that just simply said “you’re always in a good mood, I like that.” This made me feel good that just having a positive attitude had an impact on a coworker at the office and they took notice.

You can decide to live a positive life, see the good in any situation, and work to resolve conflict in a reasonable and stress-free way. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember to keep your chin up and smile as much as you can. These are things I’m continuously trying to improve on as an individual and employee.


Subscribe to DeanHouston

Get fresh marketing content right in your inbox as soon as it's posted!

Recent News

See All News

DH+ Cincinnati

310 Culvert Street
Suite 300
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 421-6622
cincinnati@deanhouston.com

DH+ Chicago

15255 South 94th Avenue
Suite 200
Orland Park, IL 60462
(312) 235-2049
chicago@deanhouston.com

DH+ Los Angeles

9375 Archibald Avenue
Suite 101
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
(909) 870-9180
losangeles@deanhouston.com