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Learn digital marketing with online courses and programs

Businesses can benefit from professionals who understand how to develop a successful digital marketing strategy to reach more customers. Learn about digital branding, reputation management, and online marketing tools with edX.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing can be described as marketing methods delivered by electronic devices, which use some form of computer technology. Websites, search engines, blogs, social media, video, email, and text messaging are examples of channels businesses use to implement digital marketing strategies to connect with customers. 

The arrival and rapid growth of the internet in the 1990s fueled the creation and development of digital marketing. Since those early days, methods have multiplied as technology has advanced. Digital marketing trends are constantly evolving, providing more ways for businesses and organizations to tap into technology to reach their target audiences. 

If you’re interested in pursuing a role that uses creativity, problem-solving, and customer insights to drive business, gaining digital marketing skills can open the door to a gratifying career in countless industries. And with a variety of specializations and applied strategies within the field, there are ample opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds and interests.

Digital marketing strategies involve many different approaches.Footnote 1 They include, but are not limited to:

1. Content marketing: producing and promoting useful information to increase brand awareness; may include blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, infographics, podcasts, and videos.

2. Search engine optimization (SEO): leveraging keywords and keyword volume to raise rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) when users type in queries.

3. Email marketing: delivering engaging, relevant, and entertaining messages that target potential and current customers via email in a systematic manner and cadence.

4. Instant messaging marketing: communicating directly with customers using text, images, or videos sent through a messaging app or mobile phone service.

5. Paid search or pay-per-click (PPC): paying for ads or ad listings typically placed at the top of the SERP directory or in customers’ social media feeds.

6. Social media marketing: raising brand awareness on social media platforms by posting videos, images, and text messages, which capture an organization’s voice.

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Digital marketing course curriculum

Individuals who want to learn digital marketing can start with introductory courses that can cover foundational topics such as creating user personas to understand target customers; producing innovative content; conducting competitor analysis; and implementing specific digital marketing strategies, including online advertising and social media. More advanced programs leading to digital marketing certificates may focus on applying specific strategies like email marketing, social media marketing, and SEO.

Explore digital marketing jobs

Digital marketing covers a broad range of roles, responsibilities, and skills. Depending on the size of the company, individuals may work across disciplines or specialize in a particular area of digital marketing. Jobs and their responsibilities may include:

  • Content managers and strategists: work across multiple channels that create content, coordinating teams, working with stakeholders, and more.

  • Content writers: create written content for online marketing, sometimes across multiple platforms such as blogs, emails, and videos. 

  • Email marketing specialists: write persuasive and effective emails, and develop email marketing strategies that will attract and engage prospects.

  • SEO specialists: analyze and convey best practices for businesses to raise visibility and ranking in the results search engines deliver to prospects or potential customers.

  • Social media specialists: communicate with prospects and current customers through both original and repurposed content on social platforms, working to build brand reputation.

  • Graphic designers: create visual concepts, such as charts, illustrations, and animations, to communicate ideas that inform and engage consumers.

Regardless of the position, success as a digital marketer requires creative and technical savviness, ability to think outside the box, and a knack for persuasion. Interested in the management track? In addition to gaining experience in your role, earning a bachelor’s degree can provide the relevant experience and knowledge needed to advance in your career.

How to become a digital marketer online 

For anyone who wants to know how to get into digital marketing, the paths can vary. Some digital marketers find their previous work experience in fields such as graphic design, journalism, public relations, and project management to be a helpful stepping stone into the field. While every organization is different, employers may require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree for marketing management positions.

Candidates just starting out may find it useful to build their skills by successfully completing digital marketing courses, which are available online. Digital marketing boot camps are another option for gaining hands-on experience in a short timeframe. Programs leading to digital marketing certificates do not necessarily require students to have bachelor’s or master’s degrees, and may attract learners with a variety of professional backgrounds. However, experienced digital marketers can advance their careers with additional education and training provided by boot camps.