Over the past two years, we have reviewed hundreds of entry-level digital marketing jobs. Our goal has been to find trends in the position’s responsibilities and the candidate’s qualifications. But now we have shifted our search to remote digital marketing jobs.
In the past, we searched for broader intel. Specifically:
What do companies want from their digital marketers?
How much experience do digital marketers need for an entry-level position in the industry?
In what industries is digital marketing most relevant?
But as the pandemic subsides, 2021 is providing an entirely new set of marketing goals and open jobs. The biggest shift, however, is the major move to remote work. Agencies and in-house teams alike have realized they can do all of their work from home, and talent is looking for flexible opportunities, too. Digital Detroit, for example, has always been a remote-work company because there is no reason we need to be in a central office location.
Before we dig into the findings, keep in mind that our survey is very surface-level and a true convenience sample. We surveyed entry-level, remote digital marketing jobs on LinkedIn, searching nationwide. The job had to be hiring now (July 2021) and the company had to designate the role as “entry-level.” The position had to have the words “digital marketing” in the job title.
We then went through the 127 current results and cataloged keywords that were listed as responsibilities and qualifications. We also captured the years of experience required or at least “recommended.”
What we expected to find in remote digital marketing jobs
Over the past 12 months, Digital Detroit has refined and narrowed its focus as a business. Instead of providing digital marketing solutions, we have moved to a training and education model while also dabbling in hiring support. Thus, we have seen a LOT of job descriptions and corresponding resumes throughout the pandemic.
Based on the small sample we have seen, we expected the job responsibilities to really focus on content marketing, SEO, and social media (both paid and organic.)
On the qualifications side, we expected remote digital marketing jobs to require previous experience and strong communication skills. These broad qualifications are a staple of any job description, especially marketing jobs. More specifically, we expected jobs to require digital advertising experience and an understanding of SEO.
Because we used LinkedIn for our job hunt, we expect responsibilities and qualifications to be clearly defined. The beauty of LinkedIn job postings is they provide a template for your post. The template includes sections for responsibilities and qualifications, among other things.
What we found: job responsibilites
To our surprise, content marketing was not the lead responsibility. Instead, analytics reporting was the most common followed by testing and SEO. Of 127 postings, 99 of them included a responsibility focused on analytics reporting. The details of the reporting varied greatly. Some jobs required regular analytics reporting, others featured analytics with data-driven recommendations for growth.
This relates closely to testing, which ranked second and was part of 65 of the 127 job posts. Testing is a broad term and included approximately a dozen different permutations. Some responsibilities were more statistical in nature, mentioning multivariate testing or something similar. Others were more digital marketing-specific, including A/B testing with emails, landing pages, and advertising. Testing was the biggest surprise term for us. In our 2020 survey, testing was not even among our top 10 terms.
We expected terms like SEO, staying organized, and some digital advertising work. However, “staying on top of digital marketing trends” was not one we expected to see. This surprisingly ranked fourth on the list of most common terms, though similar to analytics, was usually listed lower in the job responsibilities section.
Social media was surprisingly absent from the postings. The term still appeared in 49 postings, but we expected it to be a cornerstone of nearly all positions. Alas, it appears more businesses may be separating digital marketing from social media when it comes to job responsibilities.
What we found: qualifications
Not surprisingly, the most commonly seen qualification is related to analytics. These varied in wording: some required experience in Google Analytics, others only required an analytical thinker. A few even required experience crafting analytics reports for leadership, which seems unusual for an entry-level digital marketer. Analytics appeared across the board, with 105 out of 127 postings including it somewhere on the job description. Of course, some companies prioritized it greater than others. But one common finding was that none of these positions actually listed it at the top of their qualifications list.
Project management and its related keywords ranked second, appearing in 58 postings. Other popular terms appeared 50 or more times, including communication, organization, staying on top of digital marketing trends, and persona development. From there, most terms matched their corresponding job responsibilities.
Another interesting finding was the listed years of prior experience. It is well known across Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok that young professionals are fed up with entry-level jobs requiring several years of experience. We thought these claims were exaggerated, but it turns out they were not far off. The average required years of prior experience was 3 years, with a high of 8 and many not requiring any specific number of years (they did still require at least some experience.)
These findings led us to craft some specific advice for anybody looking to get into the digital marketing industry.
Advice for remote digital marketing job seekers
The landscape for job seekers is saturated right now. Remote digital marketing jobs are among the hottest in business, and they open these companies to a global audience. To truly stand out from the competition requires more than some resume tweaks – it requires new experiences. Here are some tips to build up your resume and background:
1. Get familiar with the numbers
Analytics dominates job postings, even if they are not at the top of the list. We talked to a few select hiring managers to better understand their vision for digital marketing jobs. The consensus: “I need somebody who looks at the numbers and makes data-driven adjustments on the fly.”
An understanding of analytics is difficult to learn in the classroom. The best way to learn this is to dive into Google Analytics and your own social media accounts. Learn the various metrics that are available to you. Begin some testing with publishing new content. Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn are all great networks for analysis. Facebook and Instagram, on the other hand, are limited in their personal account analytics compared to business accounts.
I need somebody who looks at the numbers and makes data-driven adjustments on the flyAnonymous hiring manager
2. Offer your services to small businesses
The most common disconnect we see between talent and job postings is the lack of experience. Even jobs that do not require a predetermined number of years still want experience. If nobody will give you that first shot, how do you get in?
The answer:: pave your own road! You may not have the experience for a salary and benefits, so offer your services for free (temporarily, of course.) Millions of small businesses around the country, from restaurants to online stores, lack marketing support. This happens because they either cannot afford it or do not consider it worth the price. But an intern offering free services is hard to ignore. Try this:
- Write down a list of 25 small businesses in your community
- Check out their websites and social media; highlight those with especially bad digital footprints
- Prepare a strategy and tactical plan how you will elevate their digital marketing
- Contact the business and introducing yourself
- Be transparent and tell them why you are interested in working for them
- Offer them 30 days of free digital marketing support
The business will want to know what you are going to do to improve their marketing. This is where you give them a high-level overview of your plan – not enough where they can take it and do it themselves, but enough so they know you are legitimate. From there, make sure to wrap up the discussion with the point that after 30 days they can either pay you for future work or go your separate ways.
After four weeks in a business like this, you will have new experiences, knowledge, and a true resume builder. During this time you can build your knowledge of analytics, conduct tests with content, and develop the background necessary to round out your marketing experiences.
3. Build your LinkedIn profile and use the platform everyday
This final step may seem obvious but many job seekers do not realize the power of LinkedIn. Fill out your profile in its entirety and begin adding connections. This also means engaging with your connections’ posts, commenting, endorsing, and following pages. Business pages that provide learning opportunities and professional development like Digital Detroit’s page are great places to start. LinkedIn features incredible learning opportunities. Digital marketing veterans, in particular, like to share their wisdom through posts on a daily basis. Find some you like and take notes!
When it comes time to apply for jobs, LinkedIn is a great place to do so. What’s more, having a strong profile can only help your cause. Be sure it accurately reflects your experiences and your goals. A strong LinkedIn profile also conveys to job seekers that you can communicate online and understand the social media landscape.
It’s a difficult time to find a remote digital marketing job, especially if you are entry-level. To set yourself apart from the competition, you need to find your own experiences through an entrepreneurial mindset. That line of thinking comes through in interviews and will stick out to hiring managers. With the proper experience and ability to communicate it on a resume, you can stand out and start your career on the right track.