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You will learn digital marketing only if you are ready to get your hands dirty

8 years into digital marketing, I can tell you, its not as simple as it looks. A lot of institutions claim that they can teach digital marketing in 3 months and charge an exorbitant fee. I can guarantee that none of these courses will not teach you what you will learn on your own. The hard way. Here are few of my learnings about digital marketing that might help you understand what it is all about. 

23rd May 2018
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It was only 5 years back when the whole world started talking about digital marketing as the most effective channel in reaching out to people. Many companies (startups) worked around this to provide customers with simplified platforms to automate ad executions, optimisations, efficiency etc. And then came n number of institutions who promised they could teach digital marketing in the shortest duration of time. But this came at a cost of almost a 1 year college tuition fee!

I interviewed atleast 150 digital marketing candidates in my tenure as a digital marketing manager and to my surprise only 10% of them could actually differentiate between reach and impressions and out of these 10% only 20% could actually explain to me an end to end execution process to get an ad up on Facebook. 

Things are very different when practicality hits the ground. And the best way to learn anything is to by first experiencing it. My 8 years of experience has taught me in and out digital marketing. Right from the Flipkart days (when the concept of digital marketing was just evolving) to 3 startups that I worked for and helped grow their revenue by marketing their product and services purely through digital marketing. 

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Digital marketing is not that simple as it looks or sounds. There are more than 30 channels of digital marketing. It is more than just uploading an image and putting money behind it. Boosting a Facebook post is not Digital Marketing.

Here are some of my learnings that I would like to share with you about digital marketing. This would help you understand what its all about. And may also bust some misconceptions that the upcoming digital marketers need to be clear about.

1. Digital Marketing derives its concepts from old school marketing techniques. If you have studied marketing, you would be able to relate to what I am trying to tell here. There is nothing that is beyond this boundary. You will still need to implement the 4 P's. You will still need to understand targeting and segmentation. 

2. Digital Marketing is vast. And it is highly unlikely for you to master all. Experts of specific channels are always preferred by industries. You would always see companies asking for Facebook ad expert or Google ad expert. 

3. Digital Marketing is more than just uploading an image and putting money behind. Boosting a Facebook post is not digital marketing.

4. There is no institution in this country which can teach you Digital Marketing completely. You will learn digital marketing only if you are ready to get your hands dirty and experiment on your own. Create a blog, create a Facebook ad account. Spend INR 200-400 per day to understand the working of this tool. 

5. Stay away from likes. Never ever encourage anyone to run any like Facebook campaign. Because this shows you are buying your fans. And this is not the right way to build your fan following. You might be excited to see the numbers increasing exponentially but you are most probably screwing up your organic reach for future.

6. Facebook audience selection is never accurate. Do not completely rely on the saved audience. Create new audiences every 3 days. to avoid audience saturation.

7. If your frequency is greater than 1.5, refresh your audience because you are showing the ad to the same person more than once. Why would you click on an ad if you already seen it?

8. Facebook is not a place to sell. Its a content platform and it would make ads, selling products completely irrelevant. A lot of marketers have a misconception about this. Selling on Facebook is not a good idea. Its more of a push than pull. 

9. Digital Marketing can also suck up a lot of your money before you even know it. Its takes atleast 3 days to optimize an ad and you may end up spending a lot during the optimization without any fruitful result. 

10. Facebook has brought in a lot changes in its algorithm since the data breach. A lot of things that worked for digital marketer do not work now. And its very difficult to know what works ad what doesnt without experimenting

There are other several points that would be shared in the upcoming articles. But to summarize the above, it is important for a digital marketer to stay updated frequently. There are lot of challenges in the coming future for digital marketers that is already foreseen. For instance, there is possibility of launching a non ad version of Facebook. Gmail may get strict with emails which are non transactional. Google changes its search algorithm frequently. This effects SEO experts to a large extent. Digital Marketing is not easy and it is advised to people who want to learn digital marketing to get to practicality. Things are looking tough for the businesses as well as marketers.

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