How to Level Up Your Digital Marketing Career

Take a stroll through along your future career path as a Digital Marketer. Learn more about salary expectations, job titles and responsibilities, areas of specialization and more!
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There’s any number of reasons you might be interested in the digital marketing profession, one of which might be the lucrative long-term career outlook. The numbers support this: digital marketing spend will rise by 13 percent over the next year according to Deloitte and the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the space will see an eight percent growth rate in terms of number of professionals by the year 2028. As it becomes all but a requirement for firms of all sizes to build out their digital advertising channels, marketers can find an abundance of opportunities in agency, in-house or even freelance roles

Digital marketing appeals to both the creative and analytically-minded as the field encompasses all types of specialties that lean towards both sides of the brain. If you’re still considering where your professional interests lie, this article is for you. We’re breaking down the responsibilities and salary expectations of entry, mid and senior-level digital marketing roles, plus recapping all the critical skills and tips you need to know to climb the industry ladder successfully! 

Digital Marketing Skills

If you were to take two digital marketers who work at different companies and ask them what their day-to-day tasks look like, you might get two completely different answers. The marketing field truly has a lot to offer, with firms constantly reevaluating and increasing their offerings, which might mean adding new channels or tools for their team to master. Nevertheless, all industry newbies will encounter a core set of skills they must know as a baseline to function. A small sampling of them includes:

  • Reporting and defining marketing analytics
  • Managing advertising campaigns across paid and organic channels
  • Content development and asset generation
  • Social media management
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • Knowledge of industry tools, like SEMRush, Hootsuite and MailChimp

As you’ll see below, these core skills come into play at all levels of a marketers career, so acquiring them is critical as you look towards landing your first role. This will likely take a great deal of time and commitment and might require the completion of a formal educational program—like an associate’s degree, undergraduate degree, or a specialty bootcamp. Then, the truly challenging part begins—finding a job! 

Entry-Level Digital Marketing Roles

At the beginning of your career in digital marketing, you’ll likely find yourself as a member of a larger team responsible for reaching a wide audience and convincing them to become customers through paid advertising campaigns. While you might not be driving strategy yet, entry-level Account Coordinators and Digital Marketing Coordinators often have the opportunity to make hands-on decisions regarding day-to-day spend. In this position, you might work in a single channel (i.e. Facebook or Google) or across multiple channels. On the flipside of these platforms, Social Media Coordinators or Strategists are responsible for organically growing and engaging a brand’s social media following and monitoring their brand’s perception among consumers online. Trust us when we say it’s a lot more than checking Instagram! 

Other possible roles focus on the content side of things, with titles like Content Marketer, Content Strategist or Copywriter. These individuals are called on to write all kinds of copy for websites, email, ads and blog, with an eye towards driving conversions or bringing in web traffic. 

An additional area of speciality is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) SEO Strategists or Coordinators perform keyword research and work with a manager to implement changes to a website that align with an overall strategy designed to garner website traffic and organic brand awareness. 

Keep in mind that these roles might overlap, especially at the early stages of the career. A great part of this industry is that you never have to feel tied down to one area, as there’s always room to upskill and make lateral moves into different departments or areas of expertise!

Entry-Level Digital Marketing Salaries

According to data from Indeed.com, entry-level digital marketing roles typically command salaries in the $40,000-$60,000 range, which is higher than the national average. Proving yourself in this role is an excellent way to ensure long-term career success!

RoleAverage U.S. Salary
Digital Marketing Coordinator$60,905
Content Strategist$63,278
SEO Coordinator$54,557
Account Coordinator$41,510

Mid-Level Digital Marketing Roles

The digital marketing industry moves fast. It’s not uncommon for a coordinator to move into a position as a Digital Marketing Manager within 1-3 years. This could mean you’re managing channels, people or both. In the former case, this individual is responsible for executing and evaluating strategy and reporting out to external stakeholders. Digital Marketing Analysts is another move one can make. This position takes a greater deal of ownership over reporting data and identifying benchmarks to keep advertising programs in the black. 

This trend continues across other marketing areas. Brand Managers set the visual guidelines for all assets and are responsible for all communications and media actions across channels. They might work with Content Managers, who take the lead in developing an overarching content strategy and oversee all written and multimedia content. 

Of course the size of a management team is dependent upon the size of an overall company. Other channel-specific titles you might encounter at the midpoint of your career include Paid Advertising Manager, Product Marketing Manager, Account Marketing Manager, Partnership Manager or Marketing Operations Manager.


Mid-Level Digital Marketing Salaries

Salaries can vary quite a bit at this career stage. Because promotions can happen quickly in the field, Marketers can expect smaller bumps at more frequent intervals. If you start at the $40,000 range, you might find yourself closer to $60,000, while others will land closer to $65,000-$80,000 per year at this stage. Remember that geographic location, industry, and years of expertise all play a role in this number. 

RoleAverage U.S. Salary
Digital Marketing Manager$60,905
Brand Manager$62,604
Content Manager$60,240
Account Executive$64,806
Growth Marketer$79,959
Product Marketing Manager$89,792

Senior-Level Digital Marketing Roles

Anywhere from 5-10 years into your career, you might be ready to ascend to an upper-management role. In corporations, titles like Chief Marketing Officer, VP of Marketing and Director of Digital Marketing are reserved for those with an absolute expertise of the profession. These individuals normally take a step back from day-to-day implementation, and focus on overall strategy, delegating responsibilities and client outreach and retention. These roles often report directly to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) or Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and take a high-level approach of integrating the marketing team’s efforts with the rest of the organization.

Another option for experienced marketers, is to step off the ladder altogether and take on freelance work. Becoming a freelance digital marketer allows one to be their own boss and use the experience they’ve gained throughout their career to garner their own clients. As a freelancer, you’re in total control of all of your income streams and can choose to focus on only your areas of interest. 


Senior Level Digital Marketing Salaries

At this point in your career, you can expect to take home at least six figures a year. These roles often include additional compensation in the form of stock options, profit-sharing, or other on-the-job perks. 

RoleAverage U.S. Salary
Chief Marketing Officer$125,640
VP of Marketing$142,103
Director of Digital Marketing$102,626
Freelance Marketer$118,500+

Specialty Digital Marketing Roles and Salaries

As we’ve mentioned, along their career path Digital Marketers  have the opportunity to hone in on a specific specialization that aligns their passion with their base of knowledge. Because the field is applicable to so many industries, the options here are nearly endless! Here are just a few examples of these roles you can take on:

  • Ecommerce Digital Strategist – An expert in pricing and promoting physical goods on online platforms
  • Graphic Designer – Creates visuals for online ad, social media, blogs and more. Ensures visual brand consistency
  • Web Designer – Uses UX and UI principles to craft a brand’s online identity
  • SEO Specialist – Manages technical and non-technical SEO aspects, like keyword research, improving domain authority and content writing
  • Social Video Producer – Strategies and creates video assets 
  • Paid Social or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Analyst – Instead of being an omnichannel expert, this person spends their time mastering the PPC online advertising platforms of a single channel on either the social or search engine side
  • Partnerships Marketer – Implements and manages strategic partnerships with affiliates, third-party brands and influencers


Advancing Your Marketing Career

Making the jump from entry to mid to senior level is often easier in theory than in practice. Here are our top tips for putting yourself in the best position to continue climbing that corporate ladder!

  1. Consider Additional Education – Moving into a management role means seriously upgrading your leadership skills, which could come in the form of a master’s degree in marketing or an MBA. Digital Marketing bootcamps are another option to consider if you’re looking to prove your seriousness about the field. These skills-focused programs can be completed online or in person, with programs aimed at both amateurs and experienced professionals. 
  2. Obtain Internships – Internships are a surefire way at getting hands-on experience and your foot in the door at the beginning of your career. Cast a wide net and be open to taking on roles that are not necessarily in your target field: you never know what you’ll excel at until you try! Keep in mind that many businesses are also now offering virtual internships, so don’t feel constrained by your geographical location. 
  3. Become Certified – A number of top-tier organizations and industry groups offer certifications for digital marketers that are widely recognized across the business world. Obtaining a certification indicates your competence and passion for the role to recruiters and is also a great way to fastrack a promotion. Even if you’re looking to make a lateral move into another department or specialization area, certifications can upskill you quickly and cost-effectively. 
  4. Never Stop Networking – You never know where your next professional opportunity will come from. Expanding your network is one of the easiest, but most impactful ways to grow your career. Seek out a mentor in your chosen field who can provide you guidance on the proper steps to take to walk in their shoes. Don’t forget to connect with those you’ve encountered throughout your career on LinkedIn or via email, and reach out every so often to share where you are on your professional journey. 
  5. Stay Up-to-Date – Just because you’re not actively on the lookout for a new role, doesn’t give you an excuse not to keep your resume, social profiles, and personal website up-to-date. You should always ensure these documents reflect your current abilities and position to present yourself in the best possible light online.

Learn More About Digital Marketing

This article only scratches the surface of the vast options available to you in the wide world of digital marketing! If you’re curious about other ways you can kickstart a digital marketing career, be sure to take a moment to browse our bootcamp offerings or check out additional articles on the topic below! 

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