Anyone who’s ever looked for a job in digital marketing knows that it’s no easy feat. The number of spots is limited, making for a competitive market and a very tiring (and not to mention, demoralizing) job search.

The key to success in digital marketing is understanding the tools that make it work. By mastering marketing tech and software, you’ll get a leg up on all those other applicants and boost your chances of receiving an offer.

So, we’ve put together this list of things you can learn today to get your digital marketing career off the ground.

  1. Build a website. No, this definitely doesn’t mean that you have to learn how to code it from scratch. There are all kinds of tools you can use to make a visually-pleasing and effective website. Learn to use Wix, Wordpress, and/or Squarespace.
  2. Do some email marketing. Getting your marketing email out there is about so much more than clicking “send.” You’ve got to carefully configure your copy, plan your send times, and fine-tune your process. It’s easy to learn: send some emails to family and friends to get a feel for the tech. Try out email marketing tools like MailChimp — it’s free and used by mid-sized companies like Zoom, the video-conference company.
  3. Test out some ads. Create ads with Google AdWords and Facebook, which are used by companies across the board: from Internet companies like Appcues to airlines like Air Canada. Then you can see how it performs, play around with your keywords, and improve with iterations. Plus, if you want to get the full rundown on how to use Adwords, you can go through Google’s Adword’s certificate program.
  4. Understand affiliate marketing. In affiliate marketing, businesses reward affiliates with a certain percentage of their sales. To get a better feel for what affiliate marketing is and how it works, play around with Amazon Associates — ask your friend to buy a product from you, then see what happens.
  5. Try out analytics software. At the core of all good digital marketing strategies is the analytics. Without sorting through the results of your efforts, it’s impossible to know what went well, what went so-so, and what went absolutely abysmally. Tech analytics software companies like Google Analytics, Amplitude, Heap, and Mixpanel help businesses across industries and countries gather the data they need to inform their digital marketing efforts. Implement the code on your own site to see how your visitor discover and navigate your site.

Research the company’s marketing stack. Look into what software your interviewers are using and learn the basics. That way, when the dreaded “do you have experience in [insert software]” question comes up, you’ll be ready to go with an answer that’s sure to impress. Keep in mind that software will vary not only by role, but also by industry. In the retail industry, you'll often see companies (J.Crew, for example) using software like Custora, Kibo, and BazaarVoice.

Bazaar Voice, Monetate and LivePerson are some of the many software J. Crew marketers would use

We know that job hunting isn’t always simple. It can be an intimidating, time-consuming, and painful process with anxiety-inducing uncertainty at every turn. But by putting in just a little more effort than everyone else, you can be a standout candidate and a shoe-in asset to any digital marketing team.