BruceClay - 4 Hot Digital Marketing Jobs & Salary Data; Is a Career in Digital Marketing for You?

4 Hot Digital Marketing Jobs & Salary Data; Is a Career in Digital Marketing for You?

Marketing professional searches online for digital marketing jobs.
The pandemic has changed the way businesses market and employees work.

As consumer behavior changed over the past couple of years, businesses had to pivot. Many turned their focus to digital channels. In fact, Statista shows digital marketing spend as of August 2021 is as high as it’s ever been and still rising.

The work-from-home, remote employee role also became a new norm. In 2020, 71% were working from home, and the majority (54%) say they wish to have a permanent work-from-home role, according to the Pew Research Center.

While working from home may have been challenging for many employers initially, it presented new opportunities for them too, such as being able to source talent from anywhere in the U.S.

The good news is that digital marketing roles are the perfect type of remote job. So long as you have the skills and an internet connection, you can do just about anything from anywhere.

And digital marketers are in demand. In fact, LinkedIn lists “digital marketer” among the top 10 most in-demand jobs.

Of course, “digital marketer” is a pretty broad role. Within that category, businesses are looking for all types of skills, including social media, content strategy, SEO, Google Analytics, Google Ads and more.

So what does a career path in digital marketing look like? Let’s look at four in-demand digital marketing roles, their salary ranges and job requirements. Later, I’ll show you how you can uplevel your digital marketing skills to be more attractive to employers.

What Are the In-Demand Digital Marketing Jobs Right Now?

Let’s focus on four in-demand digital marketing roles:

  1. SEO Specialist
  2. Web Content Writer
  3. Social Media Marketer
  4. SEM Specialist


SEO Specialist

What they do: Having a search-engine friendly website is critical to businesses. An SEO ensures that a website is search-engine friendly, meaning there are no issues preventing it from being crawled and indexed by search engines. An SEO also optimizes the website to get more organic web traffic, improve user experience and capture more online revenue for a business.

There are three factors that impact a website’s search rankings: the search engines, a company’s competitors and SEO. We can’t control the search engines and we can’t control competitors, but we can control a website. That makes the work of an SEO invaluable.

Plus, SEO is truly a never-ending process, which makes it fun and challenging. And for companies that value SEO as an ongoing strategy, it offers job security. And speaking of job security, according to research by Backlinko, SEO jobs weren’t negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Out of the digital marketing jobs out there, SEO specialists are among the highest in demand, and many of those jobs are touting remote roles.

What skills they have: So what skills do you need as an SEO? That really depends on who you ask.

According to Backlinko, the majority of SEO jobs out there were more general in nature. Only about 23% required technical SEO skills. But certain technical skills also meant more pay, like the ability to code.

Here at Bruce Clay Inc., we only hire experienced SEOs. And we place a lot of value on technical SEO skills. So it really depends on the employer and their SEO needs.

In general, SEOs need to be analytical and able to thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment.

In all cases, you need to have a good foundation for how to do SEO the right way. Good SEO programs can drive revenue for a business; bad SEO tactics can cause businesses to lose money and be a near-death experience. So great care needs to be taken in how you learn and do SEO.

And guess what else? About 64% of SEO jobs don’t require a college degree, according to Backlinko. So what’s the best way to get up and running with SEO? Training and experience.

What they make: How much do SEOs get paid? It depends.

  • According to Robert Half salary data, $68,500 is the median salary that SEO specialists make, with about a quarter earning above $80,000 per year.
  • Backlinko states the average salary for a general SEO position is about $60,000 per year.
  • Search Engine Journal (SEJ) reports from a 2021 survey that the majority working across job titles in SEO make between $50,000 and $74,000 per year.

Of course, pay varies on job level as well as the required skills and experience. For example, 30% of junior roles, according to SEJ, start between $35,000 and $49,000. But the salary climbs as you head into positions requiring five to 10 or more years of experience.

Job preparation tips: To get a sense of the types of things we look for in an SEO analyst, you can check out the types of questions we ask SEO candidates and the types of soft skills that are important to an SEO role as well.

Web Content Writer

What they do: A web content writer writes copy for websites and blogs. This is an important role in digital marketing because what is a website without quality content? A site that doesn’t have good content won’t be able to compete in the organic search results or provide a good user experience. A web content writer is the person who develops text for a website.

When done well, web content attracts more website traffic and causes visitors to take action — whether that means learning more about the company or buying a product. That makes the web content writer an invaluable asset to any digital marketing team.

It is also the web content writer’s job to create content that supports SEO keywords and the overall expertise and authority of a website.

What skills they have: Web content writers need to understand the written word, be great at research and be able to create quality content that looks as though it has been written by an expert on the topic.

Not all writers will automatically be good at web copywriting. Writing for the web is a specialty niche, and typically takes training and experience.

A good web content writer will understand how content fits into the larger digital marketing strategy. For example, knowing how to create content that competes in the organic search results can ensure that you are delivering your best work in the context of a digital marketing program.

What they make: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for writers was $67,120 in May 2020. That can change depending on the industry and niche. For example, those in media and communications averaged $61,310 and those in professional services averaged $66,680.

Robert Half data shows that the median wage for a web copywriter is about $67,500 per year. Technical writers in marketing and creative can make a little more, with $74,250 as the median. Superpath reports the average income for a content writer $60,721.

Again, these salaries can vary based on many factors, including skills, experience and location.

Job preparation tips:

Social Media Marketer

What they do: Social media marketers are responsible for maintaining a brand’s presence and building visibility and customer relationships within social channels. This can encompass many different activities, from creating social media business profiles and developing social media posts to engaging with customers and building relationships with influencers.

(Read this Bureau of Labor Statistics description for more on what a social media specialist does.)

Most people today are likely accustomed to using social media on a regular basis. The good news is that over the years as digital marketing evolved, it opened the doors to jobs within social media.

Businesses now see the value of having a social presence and are willing to pay someone to help them manage it.

What skills they have: Social media specialists need to understand popular and emerging social media channels. They need to be tech-savvy and somewhat analytical as they will be using various tools to manage social media.

It is also important for social media specialists to be able to understand a business’s audience. Because they help create the face of a company, social media specialists need to be able to communicate on-brand and as equals with their target audience.

They need to stay on top of trends and social issues and also know how to use discretion when handling sensitive topics. Finally, creativity and communication skills are key. Coming up with new ways to communicate from a business to an audience is critical.

This job is a good fit for anyone who is naturally social, enjoys creative content creation, and embraces analytics and reporting to show the value of their social media efforts.

What they make: The BLS lumps social media specialists with public relations professionals. And, according to their data, in 2020, the median annual wage for public relations specialists was $62,810.

Robert Half data shows that social media specialists make $53,750 on average. Data from Zippia shows that the average salary for this role is $46,000 and can go up to $61,000.

Job preparation tips: Prepare your knowledge of social media for business with these social media manager interview questions.

Search Engine Marketer (SEM) Specialist

What they do: An SEM specialist runs the paid online advertising efforts of a business. This role creates and manages ad accounts for pay-per-click platforms, including search and social media and other online ad campaigns, such as display.

Not only does the SEM specialist create or direct the creation of ads, but he or she also manages the bids for those ads and reports on the performance of the campaign.

What skills they have: An SEM specialist needs to have a deep understanding of online advertising platforms, including how to succeed in them, the rules of engagement and so on.

This is a great digital marketing job for someone who is analytical because they’ll be looking at average bids, cost per click and other numbers every day. There is a lot of monitoring and reporting involved, so it is a good choice for someone who likes digging into data, too.

Finally, an SEM specialist needs to be creative if they are writing the ads as well. The best online ads require a deep understanding of what will get the target market’s attention in unique and emotionally resonant ways.

What they make: Salary.com reports that the median salary for an SEM specialist is $74,170, but the range is anywhere from $43,657 to $121,480. Robert Half data shows the median income as $54,250, with the top 25% making more than $68,000 per year.

As with all other jobs, pay is commensurate with experience, skills and location.

How to Launch or Uplevel Your Digital Marketing Career

Eight-seven percent of employers say they are struggling to fill positions as a result of a skills gap. So whether you are just starting out your digital marketing career, or you want to uplevel it, training is the way to go.

At Bruce Clay Inc. we offer search engine optimization training that can get any professional up to speed on the foundations of SEO.

We’ve completely reimagined the way SEO training is delivered online. Our membership format gives students the most value with expert training as well as access to continually updated information and a variety of resources, support, and opportunities for interaction.

Whether you are an entry-level SEO or a digital marketing professional with some experience under your belt, SEO training can not only teach you how to get started with SEO best practices, but also keep you up to date on industry changes and approaches to SEO.

For more, see: It’s Time to Rethink Your SEO Training or visit our SEO training site.

In summary, digital marketing has opened up a wide array of job opportunities for recent graduates and self-driven learners alike. There are a lot of options to choose from within the digital marketing space as these roles are in demand now more than ever.

Plus, digital marketing jobs usually come with good pay, benefits and job security. Today, many of these jobs are remote, which offers great flexibility and makes them even more attractive.

Here at Bruce Clay, we’re looking for experienced SEOs, content writers and other digital marketers. Our staff works remotely throughout the U.S. If you’d like to consider joining our excellent team, see our employment page for current opportunities.

Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn or through the BruceClay.com website.

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (2)
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent SEO posts is better than the last!

2 Replies to “4 Hot Digital Marketing Jobs & Salary Data; Is a Career in Digital Marketing for You?”

Content writing is an emerging skill to learn for future benefits. By the way, thank you for this article.

such a nice article , this is used for my business . As consumer behavior changed over the past couple of years, businesses had to pivot. Many turned their focus to digital channels.

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