The Top 7 Digital Marketing Careers In 2020

Digital marketing is going to be more important than ever for brands in 2020, and recruits with the right skills will be in serious demand. This is good for recent graduates and young job seekers—vacancies in the industry are popping up faster than they can be filled—but it may be challenging to know where to start.

Digital marketing covers a huge range of skill sets and that list is growing by the day. Knowing what position needs what skills isn’t always clear-cut either because there’s a lot of overlap. Do you need a degree in marketing or graphic design? Can you even get a job in digital marketing these days without some basic coding experience? And what about soft skills?

If you’re serious about landing a job that will kickstart your digital marketing career, here are seven positions that all digital agencies will be looking to fill in 2020 along with the skills you’ll need to impress your next employer.

Digital Marketer or Account Manager

If you’re thinking of becoming a digital marketer, or account manager, here’s one thing you should know: it’s both the most common, but also the least well-defined position out there.

Every business has different needs and priorities when it comes to their digital marketing approach, so job descriptions will inevitably vary from place to place. In this sense, you can expect to be a kind of marketing “jack of all trades”.

But some basic skills you should have in your arsenal are: familiarity with how search engine optimization (SEO) works and current SEO trends, an understanding of how paid search campaigns and web analytics work, the ability to write clear and persuasive copy for content marketing campaigns, and experience with social media management.

“If you’re thinking of becoming a digital marketer, or account manager, here’s one thing you should know: it’s both the most common, but also the least well-defined position out there.”

Web Developer

We foresee the demand for good web developers remaining sky-high in 2020. The reason is simple: developers are the backbone of any project aiming to create a functional and effective web product.

Basic programming languages like Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, PHP, C#, C++, etc. will still be a must, but if you’ve branched out into emerging languages like Elm, Rust and Kotlin, you may be much more likely to catch an employer’s eye.

Likewise, good communication skills are increasingly in demand these days. As the digital strategies of businesses become more sophisticated and collaborative, developers will be expected to have a voice in the wider conversation. This means that devs will not only have to translate brand needs into implementable web solutions, they’ll need to be able to “sell” their ideas to design teams, content creators and clients.

If you’re thinking about certifications, while the sheer number of coding languages out there might seem a bit overwhelming, you can pick and choose depending on which side of development you want to be (front-end, back-end, UX, UI, apps, etc.). An appetite to learn and adapt is as important as mastery of the technical aspects of the job.

Web Designer

The digital marketing industry expects quite a lot from web designers already. A meticulous eye for the right design, an understanding of page layout, hierarchy, color, and of course, typography is all expected. But creating stunning websites that work in perfect harmony with developers’ visions and client requirements is just the start.

As we head into 2020, brands won’t just be looking for web designers that can reproduce the latest design trends. After all, just think about all the trendy out-of-the-box solutions already available for €20/month from platforms like Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. They’ll be looking for forward-thinking designers with original ideas who can take trends one step further to make their brands stand out.

In 2020, web designers should also expect to have some experience with the developer’s toolkit. Practically speaking, this means that if you’re looking for a job where you’ll be working side by side with web developers, you should at least be familiar with coding languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Content Writer or Copywriter

Brand storytelling has now been established as a key element of marketing strategy, making content writers an essential part of any digital marketing team. While an academic background in marketing, advertising or creative writing is an advantage, it’s not a must-have.

That said, writing for the web is both a science and an art. As a copywriter, you need to balance skillful and creative storytelling with functional considerations such as boosting search relevance. This means knowing how to write with keywords and a web layout in mind is a huge advantage if you’re pursuing a career as a web content creator.

Performance Specialist

The digital marketing industry has become increasingly dependent on big data to succeed. If analysing brands’ digital performance in the market is something that gets you excited, then this data-driven position may be the one for you.

Performance specialists drive overall digital strategy, crafting and honing online marketing plans that better promote products and services. A certification and/or experience with analytics is crucial here (Google Analytics and SQL), in order to provide insights and propose best practices, as well as track and report on KPIs.

User Experience (UX) or User Interface (UI) Designer

UX/UI designer is a popular career path for two reasons. UX/UI designers report a high level of job satisfactionand many of them get hired fresh out of university regardless of their academic background. It’s no surprise then that this is another digital marketing position you can expect to hear a lot about in 2020.

As UX and UI figure so heavily in web design and development, designers and developers often work on their UX/UI skills to round out their skillset. That said, you can also find specialist UX/UI job vacancies, especially in larger companies or web agencies.

If you’re keen on becoming a UX designer in 2020, you’ll be responsible for making sure the websites and apps your team builds provide the optimal user experience. As websites are the endpoint of many customer conversion funnels these days, effective UX is especially important for digital strategy. As a UX designer who provides solutions that can drive brands, you’ll need to be both detail-oriented and a critical thinker.

If UI is more up your street, then you’ll be focusing more on the right layout of elements, and more specifically, on how end-users interact with them across all customer touchpoints.

Social media manager

90% of marketers see social marketing as crucial in increasing brand exposure. This means that social media channels have become the platform of choice for many businesses and brands that want to reach out to and engage potential customers. As such, social media management is one of the most important customer-facing positions in the digital marketing industry.

If you’re the kind of person who loves creating and testing new strategies to engage with a targeted audience, then social media management might just be the perfect fit for you.

As with most positions on this list, the qualifications you need to succeed aren’t set in stone. What you do need to bring to the table for sure are excellent writing and communication skills, attention to detail, as well as an enthusiasm for producing, curating and evaluating digital content and nurturing online communities.

“While qualifications are important, experience is usually what gives your resume that extra boost come job-hunting time.”

And as with every job we’ve mentioned, while qualifications are important, experience is usually what gives your resume that extra boost come job-hunting time.

If you’re just starting out, one way to get your foot in the door is to score an internship at a company or digital marketing agency you eventually see yourself working at.

But even if a placement proves elusive, you can still develop plenty of your own practical experience on your own. These days, many digital marketing tools are wonderfully accessible, and often low-cost or even free (e.g. Mailchimp, Canva, WordPress).

Put your coding or design skills to the test by building your own website. Write some blog posts or simply collect the best samples of your work and put a portfolio together. That way, when you do land an interview with your dream employer, your work can do a lot of the talking for you.

Have a browse through our list of current job vacancies to see if there are any Digital Marketing jobs at www.freerecruit.co.za