Forrester researchers predict that global digital marketing spend will reach $146 billion by 2023. Are you interested in joining this lucrative and always-growing industry?
If so, a career as a digital marketer might be for you. This is a red-hot niche with incredible earning potential and plenty of upward mobility. Wondering how much you can make in this field? The answer might surprise you.
Today, we’re taking a look at the average digital marketing salary, as well as the different elements that can affect it. This could be the profitable career you’re looking to find!
What Is Digital Marketing?
Before we dive into salaries and start crunching numbers, let’s take a step back and answer a basic question. What exactly does a digital marketer do?
Put simply, a digital marketer is responsible for creating, implementing, and managing a company’s virtual space. This is the person who will oversee every aspect of a brand’s online marketing strategy, top to bottom.
A few of the main tasks that a digital marketer might do include:
- Lead brand recognition efforts
- Manage social media platforms
- Manage content marketing activities
- Manage search engine optimization (SEO) strategy
Depending on the size of the company, this professional might work alone. Or, they may be part of a bigger digital marketing team. They might even work as freelancers, offering their services to one or a handful of companies that require this type of service.
Key Areas of Focus
If you’re eyeing a career as a digital marketer, you can expand your income level by narrowing your focus on a particular niche. For instance, you might become certified in Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, and focus your attention there. Or, you may prefer social media management or content management, instead.
There isn’t a right or wrong answer, but you’ll need to find the sector that appeals to you the most.
Digital Marketing Salary: Base Pay to Expect
As the digital marketing sphere continues to grow, it’s expected that tech-savvy professionals will be able to demand even higher salaries than they’re receiving now.
To date, the average salary for a digital marketer in the United States is around $50,500 per year. According to expert insights, the lower 10% in this profession earn around $37,000 per year and the upper 10% earn around $90,000. If you’re just starting out, you can expect a base salary offer that ranges anywhere from $37,000 to $69,000 per year.
Ways to Improve Your Base Salary
The base salary for a digital marketing job is healthy and realistic. However, you might want to amplify your earning potential right out of the gate. Here are a few ways you can optimize your salary as you move forward.
Choose a Specialization
As mentioned, choosing a specialization is one way to do so. If you can market your unique services to a company that’s looking to fill that specific need, then you’re already one step ahead of the competition. Then, you can request a higher salary to compensate for your personalized services.
Some of the specialized digital marketing skills that are currently in high demand include:
- Budget management
- Strategic planning
- Software-specific capability (e.g. Salesforce CRM, Marketo)
- Project management
- Campaign planning
Over time, you can naturally increase your salary simply by sticking with your job. The same research shows that digital marketers who had been in the field for 20 or more years earned more than $20,000 more per year than their novice counterparts. To use specific numbers, that’s a comparison of $65,000 per year versus $41,000.
Employers in almost every industry look favorably upon professionals who take the time to hone their craft. If you want to eventually make more money, then start now by looking into digital marketing certifications that add legitimacy to your work.
Some of the most common ones to pursue include:
- Digital Marketing Certification (American Marketing Association)
- Google Analytics IQ Certification
- Google Ads Certification
- YouTube Certification
Be sure to list these credentials on your resume as you apply for work! In addition to professional certifications, it’s also important to look for targeted training opportunities that can help you progress in your field. You can look here to learn about your options and how to get started.
Would it be feasible for you to pack up your family and head to an entirely different state, just to follow your job? If so, it helps to know where digital marketing companies are paying the most across the U.S.
The cost of living is simply higher in some areas than it is in others. For instance, it’s roughly 7% higher than the average in Chicago, IL. This can cut into your take-home pay and make it difficult to save.
Benefits to Consider
You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating. Money shouldn’t the end-all-be-all deciding factor in your professional journey. Whatever job you wind up with, it’s important to consider all of the intangible benefits that you’ll receive.
As a digital marketer, you might be able to receive:
- Health benefits
- Insurance benefits
- Work-from-home flexibility
Factor how much you would spend if these opportunities weren’t offered. This can give you a clearer picture of how much you’re really making.
Other Ways to Earn
You can’t exactly rush experience. If you want to make as much money as possible, ask your prospective employers about supplemental income opportunities.
Some of the most common ones include:
- Company bonuses
- Customer tips
- Overtime pay
Opportunities for Advancement
Wondering about all of the different digital marketing jobs available? The good news is that there are plenty to choose from. You can even advance and excel right within your own organization.
If you want to improve your salary, consider the different paths you can take on your way to the top. A few of these include:
- Digital marketing specialist
- Digital marketing manager
- Digital marketing director
- Digital strategist
Your annual base salary will fluctuate depending on which path you take. For instance, the median salary for a digital marketing manager is $67,900 while a digital strategist can bring in around $62,000.
Is Digital Marketing For You?
If you think you’d enjoy helping brands tell their story in the online space, then digital marketing might be an ideal fit. While the work is fun and fast-paced, it’s also one of the best-paying gigs around.
What level of digital marketing salary can you expect? To gauge this answer more clearly, it can help to contact your prospective employers, detail your qualifications, and see what they say.
As you prepare to expand your professional territory, we’re here for you every step of the way. Be sure to check out our other posts for the business and lifestyle tips you need!