Top 5 tips for applying for a role in digital marketing

Finger pressing Facebook button. Other social icons are visible.
Written by Tony Nguyen, Digital Marketing for SME Loans.

You’ve been actively studying towards a qualification in marketing and now you aren’t quite sure what career path you want to take. Does this sound like you? Don’t worry, it’s the same for many students in their final year – it was just like that for me too!

So, I’d like to share a few tips with those who want to apply for a role in digital marketing.

“Working in a digital marketing role in the financial industry has taught me a lot over the years. In fact, one of the biggest things I’ve learnt from working at SME Loans is that digital marketing is a dynamic and growing field that is simply overflowing with opportunities.”

Perhaps you’re thinking about applying for a business loan to start-up your very own digital marketing agency, maybe you want to work freelance, or you simply want to apply for a role at an existing company to earn some experience. No matter what path you are considering; let me tell you; you’re in the right place for a bit of advice and guidance. Let’s jump right in…


1. Get to know the lingo before you sit down in the interview.

GIF: What does a 'media impression' even mean...

While a company is bound to know that you are fresh out of university, they probably don’t want to hire someone that they will need to spoon feed. And don’t worry – you won’t be that person, because you are set to learn the industry jargon before you arrive at the interview. Brush up on your digital marketing technical terms before you head off, that way you can use a few of the terms in the interview, but don’t overdo it. Some key terms you’ll need to familiarize yourself with include:

  • KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

These are used to measure the success of a marketing campaign. Your KPI could include analytical data for: bounce rate, click-through rate, and engagement rate.

  • Lead generation

This is a term that refers to any way in which the business is able to generate leads (or potential sales).

  • Lead magnet

This is a small token given to customers (or potential customers) in exchange for their email address, likes or shares. This is often a free e-book, discount voucher, or similar.

  • CPA (Cost per Acquisition)

The CPA is what it costs the company to gain one customer. The CPA is calculated by dividing the campaign expense by the number of conversions (potential customers that have been converted to actual customers). If a company considers the CPA to be too expensive, the digital marketing campaigns need to be altered.

  • B2B

This is a term used to describe business that is done between two businesses (business to business).

  • B2C

This is a term used to describe business that is done between a business and a consumer (business to consumer).

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

This refers to the efforts that a marketing team puts in to ensure that a website or content organically climbs the search engine result ranks. SEO efforts can include optimizing website pages, creating blogs and articles, acquiring backlinks and more.


2. Demonstrate your research & investigative skills.

Anyone working in digital marketing is expected to be an avid researcher. You really need to know your stuff. You can demonstrate this particular skill by doing spans of research before you attend your interview. Google search the company and find out details that you feel would be important to know. Also, search online for industry news that might be affecting the business at the time of your interview.

3. Have an online presence – give them something to look at.

If you plan to work in the digital marketing field, which is entirely online, you need to be able to show that you can handle an active online presence of your own. And that presence needs to be professional enough, so that the company will be happy to associate their brand with your ‘brand’. It’s highly recommended that you spend some time going over your social media accounts with a fine-toothed comb. There is a high chance (at least 90%) that your prospective employer will use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get a better idea of who they are interviewing. If your current social media profiles are scattered with party pictures and crude memes, now is the time to get to work on them.

4. Get some experience and demonstrate it.

The digital marketing field is always changing, especially in the financial sector and I personally found that experience helped me go further than just qualifications and certificates. Try to earn yourself some experience in the field so that you can show this on your CV. Hands-on experience is a great way to prove that you will be an asset to the business. You can volunteer your time to help out at a digital agency, start your own blog and use your learned skills to promote it, or even get involved in content creation. Statistics show that you are more than 2 times more likely than your peers who have the same qualifications, but no experience, to get a job. Demonstrate your experience by referencing it when answering interview questions. 

5. Ask questions that show you have a real interest in the industry.

Regardless of which industry you are applying for a job in, if you will be working in the digital marketing department, you need to have an interest in what that department does. I have found that interviewers respond better to someone who asks questions that show they are interested in the company. It sounds like a complicated way to let a company know that you want to be part of the team, but remember, actions speak louder than words. So, show them you want to be part of the team.

Apply for Digital Marketing Roles with Confidence

While working in the digital marketing department at SME Loans, I have learnt a great deal about how quickly the online marketing world is changing and growing. I have found a field that I am exceptionally comfortable in and I believe that my job security is at its maximum. I hope that you can secure the very same for yourself!

Happy job (career) hunting!