With the rise of the Internet and various networks, digital marketing is the need of the hour for businesses looking to promote themselves.

As consumers have become more tech-savvy and adept, entrepreneurs and digitally-enabled companies have expended considerable effort in building their brand through digital marketing platforms.

India is projected to add half a billion more Internet users in the next five years, which is increasingly driving companies to turn to digital channels for promotions.

This will lead to a rise in demand for people with digital marketing skills, as companies feel the need to stand out from their competition in the market.

It is estimated that more than 18 lakh digital marketing jobs will be present in the market by the end of 2020. It means that a great opportunity for a successful career has opened up for fresh talent with an in-depth knowledge of the space.

To help you on this exciting journey into this new digital frontier, here are some tips to help build a successful career in digital marketing:

Learn and understand the basic concepts: Making your initial foray into digital marketing is confusing without expert guidance.

The various components (social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, content, web development, mobile marketing, analytics, AdWords, etc) have their own rules in terms of what works and doesn’t.

Experts can help you navigate to understand the basic concepts well enough to conceptualise, design, and execute online campaigns for different companies with the latest online marketing tools.

Taking up training and getting certified can help remove the conventional barriers into entering this career.

Different tools and platforms also offer multiple certifications, of which the most prominent are Google Adwords and Analytics certifications, Bing ads, Facebook Blueprint certifications, and multiple content and inbound marketing certifications by Hubspot.

Finding the specialisation of your choice: The Internet is vast and digital marketing cater to a variety of different channels and media to communicate with potential customers.

The digital marketing field offers a wide range of career options that you can choose from on the basis of your interest or existing skills.

You could choose to be a digital marketing executive, social media marketing executive, SEO expert, content executive, inbound marketing executive, copywriter, email marketing executive, conversion rate optimisation specialist, affiliate marketer, campaign executive, and graphic designer.

In each of these roles, there is a hierarchy based on your skill-set, experience, and other factors.

Work on your personal brand: Personal branding is one of the tactics to market or showcase one’s talent to attract better opportunities to improve one’s digital marketing career.

Make it a point to exhibit your skills and achievements on your social media networks, especially LinkedIn as it is one of the best professional platforms.

Create a winning resume that showcases your competencies, as it can be a big help in winning over a potential employer.

Keep a finger on the pulse of the latest digital marketing trends: Unlike some other professions where the basic foundation of required skills doesn’t change much over time, digital marketing is a constantly evolving space.

While the need for skilled and creative people in the field remains unchanged, changing trends mean that the methods and processes utilised can change very quickly.

If these trends aren’t kept up with and you lag behind the latest industry developments, you are likely to be replaced by someone more clued in.

You can keep yourself updated on the latest in digital marketing through online resources such as YouTube channels and blogs.

Build relationships: In our increasingly inter-connected world, knowing the right people can make a huge difference.

Reach out to and build relationships to create a robust network on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc, and make sure to share your recent successes with them.

Companies looking to hire you would like to have evidence in real-time of your ability to deliver a successful digital marketing campaign.

So, make it a point to create blogs or vlogs connected to your area of interest and specialisation, such that examples of your work are readily available for viewing by your network.

It is important to remember that the best brand builders are constantly building and improving their networks, and you should do the same.

Don’t hesitate to start: Everyone has to take a first step, and this potential step into the digital market space might be an opportunity.

Don’t hesitate; you can always keep updating yourself on better options through employment sites, and look for alternatives while building up a portfolio and learning while you work.

If you’re a student and are looking for exposure and practical knowledge, take up internships and part-time opportunities through various mediums.

The writer is co-founder, Digiperform