How To Become a Digital Marketing Strategist in 4 Steps

Updated September 30, 2022

Many companies rely on digital marketing to engage with customer segments, promote products and services and generate sales. Digital marketing strategy is essential to developing and monitoring successful campaigns and building brand awareness. If you're interested in a career that combines data analytics, customer engagement and communication management, consider becoming a digital marketing professional.

In this article, we explore how to become a digital marketing strategist, with additional insight into what they do, how much they make and what other positions you can advance to in this career field.

What is a digital marketing strategist?

A digital marketing strategist is a specialist who advises their company on planning and initiating marketing campaigns. Strategists typically use creative and technical approaches to improve campaign effectiveness and increase brand awareness for the businesses with which they work. Many strategists focus on trending strategies, popular mass communication methods and digital insights to help their companies meet goals and attract larger customer audiences. Many digital strategists are also data experts and use information from business and marketing analytics to identify improvements and optimize the performance of future campaigns.

Related: What Is a Digital Marketing Consultant? (With Job Duties)

What do digital marketing strategists do?

A digital marketing strategist essentially oversees the planning and design of marketing campaigns, but their specific responsibilities can depend on the size and type of their organization. In a large business, for instance, strategists may manage entire marketing processes that rely on data analytics, customer relationships and sales integrations. In other organizations, a strategist may direct only the budgeting and performance monitoring aspects of campaign execution. In most sectors, though, marketing strategists often share several key responsibilities:

  • Evaluating and testing suitable digital marketing strategies, including social media, pay-per-click, SEO and email tools

  • Monitoring marketing analytics and creating segments for distributing digital media

  • Performing competitive market analysis and applying strategies to improve campaign success

  • Finding opportunities to improve marketing strategies and approaches with digital technology

  • Using search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to improve digital marketing strategies

  • Developing strategies for website content that drive organic traffic from popular search engines

  • Managing inbound and outbound digital marketing networks and tools

  • Building and maintaining brand awareness through digital platforms and by engaging customer segments

Related: What Does a Digital Marketer Do? (And How To Become One)

How to become a digital marketing strategist

Use the following steps as a guide for entering a career in digital marketing strategy:

1. Complete a bachelor's degree

Many digital marketing strategists complete their undergraduate degrees in marketing, communications, public relations or even journalism to develop the background necessary for the role. A bachelor's degree in business analytics, business management or another related field can also support a career in digital marketing. When choosing your educational path, be sure to look for coursework that helps you develop skills and knowledge in global marketing, marketing ethics, advertising, analytics and strategic planning.

Related: Marketing vs. Advertising Degrees in 2022 (Plus Jobs You Can Pursue)

2. Gain professional experience

Building your experience in a practical setting is highly advantageous for developing specialized skills and advancing in your field. For instance, completing a marketing internship during your education can help you apply the concepts you learn in the classroom. Entry-level specialist roles can also be beneficial for developing valuable skills for your career.

Related: What Is a Part-Time Marketing Internship and How To Get One?

3. Earn a professional certification

Many certifications are available in a range of specialties for digital marketing professionals. For instance, strategists who work with SEO practices can benefit from earning certifications in specific areas of SEO fundamentals and strategy. Certification in analytics or advertising are also options you can pursue to advance in your career.

Related: 15 Marketing Certifications (Plus Definition and Benefits)

4. Pursue a graduate degree

While it's not a requirement to enter a career in digital marketing strategy, a master's degree can help you increase your earning potential along with your career prospects. Fields like marketing, advertising, mass communications, business and public relations are all potential areas of focus for your graduate degree. For instance, a master's degree in marketing analytics can support career advancement in strategy development and campaign management.

Related: A Guide to Marketing Degrees

Average salary for digital marketing strategists

The national average salary for digital marketing strategists is $65,394 per year. This average can vary, though, depending on several factors. For instance, your specific qualifications and experience level in the field are often important indicators of earning potential. Your location and place of employment can also affect how much you earn in the role, as the demand for specialized skills may be higher in certain areas and job sectors than in others. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link provided.

Related: How To Become a Social Media Strategist (With Salary Info)

Career outlook for digital marketing strategists

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the occupational outlook for professionals in advertising, promotions and marketing management can expect a 10% increase in job availability between 2020 and 2030. The BLS projects a higher increase in occupational availability for market research analysts and marketing specialists, with a 22% increase over the same decade. This outlook provides substantial opportunities in the field, with many career options in advertising and marketing professions as companies continue to rely on these processes for growth and development.

Related: How Much do Marketing Majors Make? With Job Outlook and Guide

Related roles for digital marketing strategists

Digital strategy encompasses a variety of roles that all contribute to the success and effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Strategists can often find positions within related areas where they can advance their careers. Consider the following roles that relate to digital strategy, so you can find the best career path for you. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit

  1. Marketing analyst: $64,920 per year

  2. Content strategist: $66,030 per year

  3. Communications manager: $66,887 per year

  4. Director of public relations: $66,926 per year

  5. SEO manager: $67,539 per year

  6. Brand strategist: $70,806 per year

  7. Marketing director: $81,615 per year

  8. Brand strategy consultant: $87,338 per year

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