Marketing and digital design work hand in hand to materialize powerful marketing strategies.
That’s why employers today are searching for people who understand and excel in both fields.
After building Land and General’s online presence from the ground up with both her digital marketing and design skills, Denise Ch’ng, the digital marketing specialist of Land and General Berhad, shares how having both skills can get you hired as a digital marketer or designer.
Want to be a Digital Marketer? Here are 3 Things you Probably Didn’t Expect.
Initially, many employers were hesitant to hire Denise.
This is because she didn’t seem to have a lot of hands-on experience.
However, Denise has been creating website layouts, logos, advertisements and illustrations for seven years. What hands-on experience did she not have?
Many designers will have issues getting hired because the expectations of both the companies and designers are different. Designers may expect to just design advertising materials and content based on an existing marketing plan or idea.
While this is true for some companies, many of them will expect designers to not only create designs but to analyse data and construct digital marketing strategies as well.
- These responsibilities include:
- Analyzing data and predicting market trends.
- Crafting out digital marketing campaigns.
- Managing social media accounts.
After all, what is the point of having beautiful, innovative designs if you can’t find your audience?
Denise notes that companies are particularly keeping their eye out for people who have experience in designing paid ads. This is because social media sites that take time to achieve their ROI (return on investment) while paid ads bring in immediate results.
Designers with performance marketing skills are also in demand.
Luckily, learning how to use simple digital marketing tools such as ROIs, conversations, bookings, and cost per lead, is sufficient enough for designers.
However, these skills should be learnt beforehand. If you try to learn these marketing skills on the job, you will need to gain competent marketing skills within the first few weeks to keep up with the job’s demands.
Digital marketers aren’t excused either.
Regardless of how good of a performance marketer you are, you will need to know how to make great designs to execute your marketing strategies.
You don’t need to be an expert illustrator who can create motion graphics. If you want to have industry-standard designs, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator is the way to go.
However, if Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator is difficult for you to pick up, Denise recommends using websites like Canva that specializes in providing design templates that you can customize to your own needs.
For social media content, Instagram and Tiktok are known to have a good editing software that is easy to use for photos and videos respectively.
However, you should take note whether these platforms are ideal places for your product – it is unlikely that youths on Tiktok will be investing in property any time soon.
The Must-Have Skillsets to Be Good at Digital Marketing (and an amazing digital marketer)
As the sole social media specialist in her digital marketing department, Denise builds webpages; creates and films content; analyses marketing trends; and manages social media sites by herself.
Many would have been stumped trying to rebuild her company’s abandoned website and poor digital presence from scratch.
But because she possessed both digital marketing and design skills, Denise was able to design this beautiful, professional website and set up her company’s Facebook, Instagram and Youtube accounts. All three social media pages are steadily growing in number.
So how can you utilize both skills to create a successful marketing strategy?
1 – Coordinate all aspects of digital marketing to a single vision
Because of your understanding in both digital marketing and design, you will be able to view your marketing strategy with a wider, more complete perspective.
This bird’s eye view will give you a better understanding of what is needed to make your marketing project successful. From there, you can forge a clear, focused direction which allows you to coordinate all aspects of your marketing plan towards your vision.
For this to work, you will need to know what your online brand is. Creating the ideal online brand relies on having a good understanding of your company’s unique view in its niche.
From there, you will know what they want, who their audience is, and how you can promote to this target market
Land and General Berhad’s unique selling point is their high-end, modern living spaces which are designed to be environmentally sustainable. To Denise, the buildings framed by greenery makes it seem like a jewel in the rain-forest.
Denise used this image as a base to redesign the company’s website and create content. On her website, the green and gold palette, leafy background, and high-quality photos of the property buildings placed in the center give the impression of a valuable setting in nature.
Because she is also the designer, she can create a website that aligns perfectly with her plans.
Having both marketing and design skills also enables you to effectively communicate your vision to others and have more productive discussions.
2 – Experiment with new ways to produce content
To create a successful digital marketing platform, you will need to take the risk to experiment with different types of content on your social media.
Creating quality content is a continuous process of reiterating and improving. It’s only by testing how well your social media content works with your actual target audience will you be able to find the right digital assets that for your niche.
In Denise’s case, creating a social media identity was an issue. Although she had a clear company brand online, each of Land and General’s many projects had their unique selling proposition (USP) which made it difficult to synchronize.
So rather than focusing on the company’s brand on social media, she relies heavily on content to draw her audience in.
Through experimentation, Denise came to realize that videos and motion graphics tend to perform better than still images.
For one of her videos, she had costs below ten ringgit and 600 leads in 2 months.
Since then, Denise has been cranking out more videos of housing interiors on social media. She has also made full use of the company’s youtube channel to showcase guided tours of the properties.
Denise notes that we do not constrain ourselves to one type of video either. There are a variety of video formats we can experiment with the latest technology.
For example, 360 virtual tours are a great alternative way for her target audience to explore the company’s property during this year COVID-19.
Test out unconventional ways that we use digital assets and find a practical use for them. This will certainly draw attention to your online presence and make you stand out among other competitors.
Denise also notes that a video does not need to be professionally made for it to work successfully so long as it has good visual quality. In fact, her target audience tends to prefer raw footage tours of the property as it gives a more genuine, personal vibe.
However, whether a video should be raw or professionally made depends on your audience as well. If you were presenting a property video to financial experts and investors, a professional video will be preferred to show quality and expertise.
3 – Look beyond social media to market your products as a digital marketer
Great content will work well with your audience, but it will only make an impact if it can reach your audiences.
Hence, you will need to find the right media platform not just to spread awareness of your product but capture and convince them at the right opportunity to buy your product.
Although Denise has been growing her company’s social media accounts, she has been working on placing paid ads on proficient sites like iProperty to capture people in the moment of property hunting.
She has also been trying out Google and youtube ads. So far, Youtube has worked well as the company’s youtube channel has been growing since June and her last video has gotten 1K views.
This is because although social media is the go-to marketing platform for brand awareness, it is not a guarantee that people will be interested in your product.
Other media platforms like paid ads on websites show clear and direct interest based on the number of clicks.
Once you find the right advertising medium, make full use of SEO search engines such as Market Samurai, ThrowVID and Crow to help potential customers find your website with ease.
If you are worried that broadcasted advertisements will be too expensive, Denise says that SMEs can utilize these platforms because there are packages available to suit their needs.
Specialize on a Niche to Get Hired, not just being a Digital Marketer but beyond
Companies will be keen to hire you once they see that you have both marketing and design in your skillset.
But to seal the deal, you should target your services towards a niche market or industry.
Wait – wouldn’t specialization decrease our job scope and prevent ourselves from receiving more job offers?
Not at all! Instead, you may end up missing out on more opportunities if you define yourself as a general digital marketer or designer.
According to Denise, a marketer who serves all markets will be less likely to understand what is going on in your industry and know what you need. Hence, because different markets have different marketing strategies, they are less likely to come up with a strong marketing strategy.
However, with a marketer who specializes in certain fields, there is a stronger net of security to receive exactly what the companies need to boost their sales.
Make yourself an ideal candidate for your ideal industry by studying and understanding current trends and needs of your domain.
Final Thoughts on Becoming a Digital Marketer
The bottom line is: don’t limit yourself by being a general digital marketer who fulfills the expected requirements of your job.
Take the time to specialize in a niche, experiment with unorthodox ways to produce compelling, purpose content, and pick up additional skills to boost your marketing career.