If you want to work in digital marketing – you probably know why. This is a job where a word travels fast, maybe even the fastest, considering the fact that it is happening on the web.
Still, there are practical twists and turns even an experienced digital marketing specialist can learn from, and they come from actually doing the job and keeping up with the changes. The best way to join the legion of successful digital marketing specialists is to get right into the fire and start playing the game by participating in real projects.
Even if you don’t have a clue where to start from, but still like to test the waters because you’ve heard nice things about the job, then a digital marketing internship may be the excellent way to move things forward.
How to Prepare Yourself for the Internship
Although there is an abundance of courses you can enroll in online (for example, you can sign up for the Google Online Marketing Challenge), nothing compares to solving challenges that don’t follow a strict schedule or curriculum. You guessed it – the element of surprise boosts your creative potential. That’s one area you need to pump up all the time, in real life, to mark each project as a success.
Getting a digital marketing internship in a skilled marketing team will be worth as much as the course itself, if not more, because you will be dealing with people and projects at the same time (and courses don’t usually provide as much focus, if any, on how people can help projects thrive.)
If you were to sign up for a digital marketing academy, this is what the official study curriculum would most likely list as the qualifications you will receive: develop and implement marketing strategies to attract customers and improve company’s online presence; use statistics to measure, analyze and improve online performance, and explore sales channels and develop compelling content.
Seeing it set up like this, the job may seem more ‘blah’ than ‘wow’. Living and breathing it through a digital marketing internship can totally change your perspective. It is true that there are fun and excitement in the job, and the overall experience of digital marketing analysts, campaigners and specialists cannot be covered by a bland job description.
Making it Work in a Team
In contrast, landing your first digital internship can be a unique and not so straightforward experience. Depending on the company (and your education and experience), you can expect all sorts of varying responsibilities. Before you nail the digital marketer job interview, make sure that the company in question won’t just need you to do coffee runs. Even if they do, make sure that you find a way how to steal as much knowledge as you can so that the coffee doesn’t come cheap. You’ll definitely need to collaborate with many people, not all marketers, providing support and asking for the same from a diverse team. You’ll need to analyze tracking reports and monitor social media channels, keep an eye on the competitors and try to give ideas on how to outperform them. Possibilities for exercising your creative juices will be plenty, but you will also need to engage in bouts of patience and wisdom combined to keep everyone on board happy.
By the way, in case you don’t manage to find a job you like with the exact same title of digital marketing intern, don’t despair. Even employers struggle with the best labels, especially when things change so quickly. Try using searches like ‘digital marketing analyst’, ‘marketing assistant’, ‘marketing and communications intern’, ‘brand manager’, and even ‘social media manager’ or ‘ppc manager’. Although not exactly synonyms, each of these job positions can provide an opportunity for your first digital marketing internship.
What things can you expect from a digital marketing internship, off the record?
1. Learn many things, fast.
Even if you got that course or have a degree, prepare to absorb vast amounts of knowledge. The ever-changing nature of digital marketing makes you stay on your toes because new tools are showing up each day, and they are better, different or both better and different than what was current yesterday. There is no learning without doing and experimenting, so hone your “try-and-fail” skills and be ready to learn from what works, as well as from failure. For interns, that’s normal. No one expects you to present a 90-percent successful campaign like they would from a digital marketing analyst with years of experience. Fail more now to do it less later.
2. Ask questions and share ideas.
Don’t shy away from having your voice heard. If you think you can’t contribute, ask questions. Don’t count them. Ask again. Don’t worry about being remembered as “the intern who asked too many questions“. There is no such a label. On the contrary, you should be worried about getting the label “the intern who spent his digital marketing internship in silence”. Squeeze as much as you can from your colleagues; digital marketing specialists are typically helpful to share fundamentals, even if they keep the best tricks of the trade for themselves.
3. Try to have fun.
A digital marketing team is not a classic office group. Many jobs include a variety of tasks, and you will be able to share daily tasks and a workspace with fun individuals. The entertainment aspect, combined with the hard, but ultimately rewarding work of the competitive industry is what attracts so many people to digital marketing. Combining sales with innovative technologies can rarely get boring since new things constantly show up in the tech market.
Did we mention that you’ll need to work hard? As with any new internship, where you need to digest many facts fast, you’ll need to conquer the initial challenges by doing the legwork. This will help you properly understand more than enough of the basics, as well as help you feel qualified enough to be able to pass the internship stage, call yourself a digital marketing specialist and start searching for more prosperous digital marketing jobs.