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Why everyone should learn digital marketing

99park—sportsjournalists

Illustration by Greg Storey

December 6, 2021

As I work to become a more effective content writer and copywriter, I’ve decided to dive into HubSpot’s Academy and see what types of courses they offer. Anyone following me on LinkedIn has likely noticed that I’ve taken an interest in their digital marketing courses. After over a dozen hours hacking through these courses, I’m beginning to realize that digital marketing may be one of the most important skills anyone can learn to find success in the digital age.

Digital marketing, at least for me, used to be interchangeable with advertising. However, I’ve since learned that advertising is just a small part of marketing and that digital marketing is a combination of disciplines, including design, IT, and economics. In addition, it requires an understanding of the current digital landscape, culture, and the art of selling something.

So why do I think it’s a skill everyone should know? It comes down to the era of the Internet we currently live in, commonly referred to as Web 2.0.

If Web 1.0 is defined as the AOL era of the Internet, where people came online just to (slowly) lookup information and exchange a few emails, then Web 2.0 describes the social media layer of the Internet. Web 2.0 effectively democratized marketing thanks to the powerful tools that social media platforms provide.

It’s never been easier to build a brand around yourself or the content you create and distribute that content to millions of people. Small businesses gain visibility alongside some of the biggest corporations and big-name brands thanks to the endless scrollability on social media sites.  

And digital marketing can be more than just selling a product or service. Anyone who believes they have something important to say will want to find the widest audience possible. So whether they realize it or not, their attempt to go viral or gain recognition will involve digital marketing techniques enabled by whatever social media platform they’re on.

Finding an audience, fan base, or customer base is all about community building, and digital marketing is the most effective way to build a community online.

The reality is that just about everyone is trying to sell you on something, and doing so requires an established community of enthusiastic people to validate your product or idea. Companies employ digital marketing techniques to bolster their brands and foster engagement. Brands that excel in engagement see the highest loyalty and staying power.

Social media scales these digital marketing techniques down to the individual level, opening the door for anyone to monetize their ideas. Digital marketing allows you to tap into the entrepreneur within.

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