It takes a combination of quick-draw responsiveness to technology shifts and a seasoned instinct for marketing best practices to become an online marketing specialist. Whether well schooled in marketing or learning from the trenches, online marketers apply tried-and-true business and marketing principles to a new media context. This means translating well-formed marketing concepts to a channel that can change rapidly, yet has a long memory. It may pay to familiarize yourself with the most proven Web marketing techniques and to adopt a willingness to experiment — without falling for numerous gimmick methods. While formal qualifications are certainly beneficial, they are no obstacle for a motivated individual to master Web and social media.
The Web represents a repository of traditional and new media channels that can offer a dizzying array of marketing options. It is easy to get lost in so many areas of specialization. One of the first considerations to become an online marketing specialist, then, is to determine which area of specialization you prefer.
This might be anything from social media analysis or marketing campaigns to developing content, such as copywriting sales pages, articles, and blog posts. Other areas involve developing public relations and press releases. Additionally, you may wish to branch into content development and production, which may involve podcasts or radio and video productions.
Understand search engine optimization and marketing, organic and paid search, and marketing analytics; these are a natural prerequisite for almost any online marketing venture. Study the subtleties of cost-per-click advertising that places paid ads on search engine results and within Web sites. It has become commonplace for businesses to establish and develop their marketing presence through the use of channels such as blogging and microblogging.
Businesses also list profiles with popular social networking sites. These channels blur the lines between media, as well as digital presence and physical location. The highly complex world of smart technologies that permit people to interact with new applications requires constant updating of one's Web education.
Related areas of specialization can include education in business, communications, and marketing. If you already have a formal education in another field, this may also serve to widen your perspective. For example, statistical experience in one field can be applied very easily to Web analytics.
Writing skills in a certain area, such as business, can be applied to providing white papers and other commercial or technical materials. When seeking to become an online marketing specialist, you might want to ask yourself not what the typical routes may be, but what is unique about your experience and skill set. Distinguish yourself according to your natural strengths and experience; soon, marketing your own unique value may be your first campaign.