10 tips to kickstart your career in digital marketing


If you’re looking to break into the digital marketing industry, there’s no better time than now. The digital media and marketing industry in Vietnam is growing much faster than the traditional economy which will result in an even bigger skills gap within the next 24 months.

Here at VDA we’ve compiled our top tips for aspiring digital marketers who wish to kick-start their career today.

1) Be passionate and eager to learn - The digital marketing industry is both fast growing and incredibly competitive. It’s easy for businesses to differentiate between candidates who have the willingness to learn, and who are along for the ride. This industry requires passion and a desire to succeed.

2) Stay Updated –You need to keep on top of local, regional and global industry news by following major digital marketing sites and influential people on social media and news sites. Major platforms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter regularly update their paid advertising platforms and algorithms, you’ll need to keep abreast of the latest changes.

Here’s some recommendations on websites to get started -

Digital Communications - Digital Buzz Blog, Emarketer, 

Social Media – Social Media ExaminerSocial Media Today, Social Bakers

Marketing & Advertising - Advertising Age, Mashable, Mumbrella, Campaign Asia

Industry bodies - IAB, MMA

3) Networking – Surround yourself with people more talented and experienced than yourself. Learn and be mentored from those that have done the journey.

Attend industry meetups and conferences in your area to nurture relationships with other digital marketers and enhance your skill set through training workshops and presentations.

4) Create personal projects – Try out your own ideas and theories. Everything isn’t always black and white in the digital marketing industry. 

Every digital marketer should have personal projects to test out theories, try their hand at multiple disciplines (SEO, PPC, Social Media, Content Marketing etc.) and be able to take accountability for the success or failure of a project.

5) Learn the terminology – Digital marketers needs to be comfortable with acronyms such as PPC, SEM and SEO. Don't misunderstand or miscommunicate with other marketers. 

6) Build your personal brand – It is hardly credible that you present yourself as a digital marketing expert but you have no visible online presence. If you want to show to an employer or client that you have the digital skills, then you need to show that you can firstly build your own personal brand.

Try building a blog, or contributing at Industry events or developing PR and awareness about your successful digital work.

7) Be a multi-channel marketer – Having a basic understanding of multiple marketing disciplines allows you to understand the overall marketing picture. By specialising in one or two disciplines it can really add value to your career.

It’s not uncommon for companies to find candidates with a broad digital marketing skill set to be a valuable asset as there’s considerable cross over between the different channels. It will also make you better equipped for choosing a more specific path of focus that you can specialise in.

8) Get Nerdy – Digital marketing can often be perceived to be fun and glamorous, but more often its more technical and data driven. You won’t be developing websites from scratch but you will be communicating your marketing strategy to a team of developers or designers who have a responsibility for incorporating your recommendations.

A basic knowledge of HTML and graphic design would help to make you stand out among the less technically minded candidates. Having a general idea of mobile phone platforms, CRM systems, CMS frameworks and programming language will also help bridge the gap between the techies and marketing teams (a rare skillset).

9) Be driven by numbers – Do you know your CPC from your CPA? If you want to set yourself apart in your career, talk about the return on ad spend for a campaign you’ve run yourself. It’s easy to talk about an exciting creative concept you’ve helped to develop but in the end companies and clients are looking for financial returns. Understand and measure how digital channels can drive a company's bottom line and you're on your way.

10) Get qualified – If you really want to stand out from your peers in the industry, completing a digital marketing course will help. One of the issues facing the digital marketing industry is that there are no barriers to entry, meaning that anyone with a loose grasp of industry terminology can potentially get a position in a company.

As this industry matures, recruiters are becoming more savvy about what differentiates a candidate that 'uses digital' as opposed to somoene that understands how its used to drive business. 

Surround yourself with passionate people at VDA and get a real insight into working for the industry in any of our upcoming courses. From basic techniques to strategic planning skills you'll be well equipped to handle a role in digital communications and become a digital leader in Vietnam.