Marketing salaries are trending higher and at a faster rate than the baseline, according to the American Marketing Association. A survey of more than 67,000 marketers found an average rise in compensation of 19 percent, including content strategist (40 percent) and social media manager (20 percent). They all exceeded the 3 percent baseline set by the U.S. Salary Increase Survey:
|Marketing Job Title||2016 Median Salary||2017 Median Salary||Change|
|Social Media Manager||$46,511||$55,901||+20%|
|Director of Marketing||$93,435||$109,492||+17%|
That survey encompassed both traditional and digital marketing, but the latter holds a distinct advantage. Nielsen’s 2018 survey of chief marketing officers found that 82 percent planned on increasing their digital media spend as part of their total advertising budget. Only 30 percent planned to invest more in traditional media channels.
Overall, salaries in digital marketing are strong. Digital marketing specialists earn an annual salary of about $50,000, according to real-time salary data from PayScale at the time of publication. Another major classification of professionals in this field is digital marketing managers, who earn an annual salary of nearly $65,000, plus well over $10,000 in average additional compensation.
The following sections introduce the field of digital marketing and examine salaries for specific job titles using figures from PayScale.
What Exactly Is Digital Marketing?
Like traditional marketing, digital marketing is focused on driving business and revenue through brand awareness, targeted advertising campaigns and other methods. However, they differ in how audiences are reached. Traditional marketing uses offline methods like television, radio and print ads, and digital marketing takes place online through social media, emails and website-targeted efforts.
Here are some common types of digital marketing:
- Content marketing involves creating and sharing videos, blogs and social media posts that don’t explicitly promote something. Media generates natural interest, leading to an increase in web traffic and brand awareness.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) examines how a company interacts with customers, drawing on data analysis and feedback to enhance loyalty and drive repeat sales. CRM can be synonymous with the tools used to compile data from communication channels.
- Email marketing uses direct marketing to message customers with coupons, ads and announcements.
- Mobile marketing focuses on portable computing devices like smartphones and tablets. Efforts include optimizing content and advertisements for viewing on mobile devices.
- Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is rooted in the form of advertising that enables marketers to pay for each time a customer clicks on an ad. It typically takes place on search engines.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) marketing enhances visibility of search engine results, including technical and creative elements needed to improve rankings of an organization’s website.
- Social media marketing promotes a company and its products or services through engaging and shareable content.
You can look at those fields and more within digital marketing for employment opportunities. For instance, you could easily build a career as an entry- and mid-level email marketer, and then obtain a managerial- or director-level position after obtaining experience in this specialty. There are several career options across digital marketing.
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Sample Digital Marketing Specialist Salaries
SEO specialists help develop SEO strategies that ensure the organization, product or service appears early in search results. A large emphasis is placed on finding high-volume words and phrases that people are using for online searches. Capitalizing on relevant, opportunistic keywords enables SEO specialists to dramatically boost an organization’s web traffic and, ultimately, success.
Several skills and strategies are utilized by SEO specialists. These professionals need to be aware of technical aspects of SEO, like the different types of “tags” that search engines use to match a person’s search to the results. Cross-linking webpages and inserting keywords in blog article headers are other ways to optimize search engine results. Because search engine algorithms are continually updated, SEO specialists need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and tactics.
The average salary for SEO specialists is about $44,000. A bachelor’s degree in marketing or business is typically required for entry in this field.
Digital strategists play a key role in helping a company roll out digital marketing. These professionals help determine what product development and promotion strategies are appropriate for a certain campaign.
Compared to positions like email or SEO specialists, digital strategists are not typically confined to a specific specialty of digital marketing. In a given day, digital strategists may plan and execute campaigns that relate to email, SEO, social media and content marketing. Identifying the best channels for a piece of content or a new product or service can include several digital outlets. Digital strategists utilize and report on the effectiveness of digital channels to refine efforts for their organization or collection of clients.
The average salary for digital strategists is around $59,000. Employers often look for candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business, along with three to five years of related experience.
Sample Digital Marketing Manager Roles
Content Marketing Manager
Content marketing managers develop and oversee a company’s content strategy. That typically includes blog articles, web pages, social media campaigns and sometimes offline efforts like print ads.
Understanding the target audience of the company or client is essential for content marketing managers. That step enables professionals to develop new content and refine existing content to meet certain needs, preferences and opportunities. Additionally, content marketing managers often oversee the editorial calendar and production plan, along with tracking the effectiveness of various content marketing activities.
The average salary for content marketing managers is just over $64,000. Employers often desire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business, as well as prior experience in editorial and content strategies.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Manager
PPC managers help direct traffic to a company’s website from search engines. They often oversee a team of PPC specialists who are crafting ads, setting PPC bids for certain keywords and reporting on the effectiveness of campaigns. PPC managers may oversee hundreds of these campaigns.
In a managerial role, these PPC professionals take a large-scale view of operations. PPC managers may help create PPC campaigns, but typically they’re reviewing ads created by specialists, analyzing performance of ads and locating opportunities for growth. Developments in PPC happen regularly and campaigns may need to be altered quickly, so PPC managers must act quickly and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the field.
The average salary for PPC managers is nearly $50,000. Typical requirements include a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business, a few years of experience and industry-specific certification, often in Google AdWords.
Digital Marketing Manager
Digital marketing managers can have different responsibilities based on company size and budget. Often, these managers develop and operate promotion strategies that integrate several different areas of digital marketing. For instance, a smaller organization may hire one digital marketing manager to oversee all email, social media and content marketing efforts. This type of structure is more common when having separate managers for each area is not feasible.
The average salary for digital marketing managers is around $64,000. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business, but a master’s degree and related experience is often preferred.
Advancing Your Marketing Career
There are several specialties in digital marketing where you grow your career. With the right experience and education, you can pursue a role like content strategist, which was the highest median salary increase of all marketing roles, according to the American Marketing Association. Compensation went up 40 percent, with a median salary of $87,174. Higher-level titles such as manager or director offer even greater earning potential.
Earn a degree that provides you with a full suite of digital marketing education. You’ll be able to advance in digital marketing areas like SEO, email, content marketing, social media marketing, research and more. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s online master’s in digital marketing can prepare you for the next level of your career.