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What Does a Digital Marketing Strategist Do?

rowlandcreative | Thinking, Doing, Uncategorized | December 7, 2018

As a Digital Marketing Strategist, I often face the challenge of explaining my job to family members and friends. Often times when I do this I am met with glassy stares. The fact that I geek out about this stuff is probably part of it. You know how it goes. Sometimes you get carried away when you talk about the things that interest you and before you know it—you’ve lost them. I have met many peers in the industry who share this problem of explaining their complex role on a progressive marketing team like ours. This is in part because we live in such a rapidly-evolving world, especially on the internet (99% of my job) that by the time you write down a job description for a Digital Marketing Strategist, it is outdated. One of the best ways for me to explain the skills and strategies required for my job (for me at least) is to put my thoughts on paper and to see how I am coming across.

My work is both an art and a science, so what you are reading here is probably my fifth draft. I get caught up in industry lingo just like anyone else who likes talking about what they do. A great example comes to mind. I share an office with a graphic designer and apparently vectors are a big thing in that profession. I politely nod along but, truth be told, I still just think of the movie Airplane. “What’s your vector, Victor?”

While the term digital marketing encompasses lots of things, I have found myself able to generally group what I do into three buckets: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Paid Online Advertising and Audits. While this is extremely broad, it at least creates nice buckets to expand on.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making strategic website improvements so that the site will organically rank higher in search engine results, think like Google or Bing. We love search optimization here, we have even have written about SEO before. I will touch on this in a later post but basically, our school of thought is that SEO has three main factors, on-page optimization, off-page optimization and technical optimization. When you are wearing your SEO hat, you must think of yourself as a strategist. What are the objectives? What changes will have the greatest impact? Is the industry trending in a manner that we can strategically adjust to be an early adopter?  This takes a lot of strategic thinking from mobile performance to SEO friendly content to get the right “fit.” For the purpose of this post though, SEO is the magic of elevating your brands’ organic visibility.

Paid Online Advertising

Paid online advertising is a term that is very broad. You may have heard it referred to as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or even Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) represents the largest platform for this type of advertising, but there are so many more options available. Paid online advertising goes well beyond search engines and into areas such as social media, YouTube, LinkedIn or industry specific websites. This type of digital marketing allows you many options for targeting specific audiences, showing the same ad to a person over a period of time or narrowing into a specific geo-targeted area. You can even target audiences that visit competitor sites. The number of resources available can be overwhelming, and beyond the resources, the constant updates and new features being added to them. These responsibilities can seem daunting but one thing I have found amongst digital marketers is a passion for the industry. What seems like another bullet point on the job responsibility description is 30 exciting minutes of reading industry news to another.

Digital Audits

Audits. Deep breaths people. Audits make you think of the IRS, but I promise you digital audits are way less scary. The goal of our audits is to help you positively position your business, your site and your marketing goals. We don’t care about those old receipts, except maybe the ones from Google and Linkedin. We care about how well your online ads have performed. We care about brand visibility, campaign effectiveness and what tactics you are using. The history of the website is important, and we care about the data that supports all of your efforts. The digital landscape is very subjective; yes there are best practices that are pretty black and white.

From us, you can expect expert advice and productive results. This can take the form of reviewing an entire website, a single paid online advertising channel or an analytics account. These audits at the very least will inform your team. These audits also sometimes turn into defining the next steps in your partnership with us. Either way audits are always the best place to start.

Now, this was a pretty broad description of the things that keep my mind spinning and my day fun. Hopefully, your interest has been peaked and the next time you think about digital marketing you’ll remember your friends at Rowland Creative. Maybe now you can explain it on behalf of digital marketers everywhere. Keep checking back because we will be expanding on some of these topics in the coming months. Or, if you are dying of curiosity, drop us a line or give us a call. We always love to chat.

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