Digital marketing is one of the fastest-growing job profiles across the globe right now. According to LinkedIn, “digital marketing specialist” was amongst the top 10 most in-demand jobs in 2021 with over 5,000 open jobs in Japan. In line with LinkedIn, our own data has also shown that digital marketing specialists and managers are one of the most popular jobs in Japan in 2021 which Computer Futures recruited for last year, i.e. those that were the most popular with candidates.
But do you know what exactly makes up a digital marketer? In this article, we will look at the types of digital marketing jobs, skills you need to start a career in digital marketing, and digital marketing jobs in Japan that are increasing in demand this 2022.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is a comprehensive term for all online marketing efforts with the primary goal of attracting, identifying, and engaging with target consumers. At a high level, digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as website, search engines, email, social media, and mobile apps by which companies endorse goods, services and brands.
Benefits of a career in digital marketing
For job seekers considering a career in digital marketing, you may want to look at some of the benefits below:
- No specific degree required
- Fast-growing industry
- High-paying jobs
- Digital marketers are in demand
- Diverse career paths
- Great career progression
- Freelance and entrepreneurship opportunities
- Better job security
Just like many other tech jobs, digital marketing jobs can also allow you to work from home.
Digital marketing vs web marketing
Web marketing is also the term used for online marketing and is often confused with digital marketing. There are similarities where both consist of an online strategy. However, the scope of is different – web marketing is limited to web only whilst digital marketing is much broader. Digital marketing covers all types of online space, whether it's inbound, where you provide content that naturally attracts customers, or outbound, where you present information to a large audience through advertising and campaigns.
What are the different types of digital marketing?
There are many specialisations within digital marketing just as there are many ways of interaction using digital media. Here are a few key examples:
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: Drive immediate traffic and sales via ads on search engines and websites where campaigns are charged based on user clicks.
- Search engine optimisation (SEO): Attract website traffic, users, and sales through relevant information via search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
- Content marketing: Build brand awareness and website traffic with original and quality content.
- Social media marketing: Build brand awareness and website traffic by engaging people in discussions online. The most popular platforms for social media marketing in Japan include LINE, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, with Tiktok and LinkedIn not far behind.
- Email marketing: Acquire and nurture valuable leads with personalised emails.
- Display advertising: Generate sales and brand awareness with targeted ads on websites.
- Native advertising: Run ads that blend in with their surrounding content so that it’s less blatantly obvious as advertising.
- Affiliate marketing / influencer marketing: Promoting your business through a third party.
- Marketing automation: Improve the efficiency and relevance of your digital marketing campaigns by using automation tools.
5 digital marketing jobs in Japan that are in demand
Now that we know what digital marketing is, let’s look at some of the demand within digital marketing jobs in Japan. Although there are lesser digital marketing jobs in Japan compared to other countries, many companies especially start-ups in Japan have started to look for professionals with a strong background or knowledge in digital marketing. Here’s the breakdown of digital marketing jobs that are expected to be in demand alongside a great salary trajectory in 2022.
1. SEO specialist
SEO specialist is the professional in charge of testing, analysing and updating a website to position the site at the top of any search results in search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. SEO specialists use complex strategies that involve web page source code, high-quality content, and user experience on the website just to name a few. By conducting keyword research and leveraging SEO tools such as Google Analytics or SEMrush, SEO specialists can increase the visibility of a website on search engines which in turn drive relevant leads to your site resulting in a big benefit for any company.
2. Digital marketing manager
The responsibility of a digital marketing manager is to run successful digital marketing campaigns and use online channels to create new customer leads, promote the brand, and contribute to the overall company growth. In addition, a digital marketing manager need to work closely with the rest of the marketing team and is expected to collaborate frequently with team members in content production including copywriters, graphic designers, videographers and photographers.
3. Content manager / Content strategist
Content management is a central part for any marketing team or marketing agency. Content managers are responsible for developing a content strategy that aligns with both the company’s business goals as well as the customer’s needs. The content is typically a mixture of long and short-form text content, images, videos, and infographics. The goal of these content is to promote the brands as an authority in the field, build trust with potential customers and provide opportunities to increase website traffic using techniques like backlink building and SEO.
Content mangers do not only plan content which are published but also work closely with the SEO team to write detailed briefs for freelance or in-house writers, run competitors’ analysis and conduct content audits.
4. Social media manager
Every social media channel has a specific set of characteristics and audiences – that’s why it demands a specialist to know how to work with each social media channel. A social media manager is responsible for managing social content by using an editorial calendar to create and monitor social campaign results. These professionals must also have project management and interpersonal relationship skills to collaborate with content creation teams and the business to involve the right target audience.
5. UX designers
UX designers in the digital marketing team contribute to every aspect of a user’s experience with a product including the first impression of a user has with the brand via a website, blog, or social media. The main goal of this role is to use their user research to that of the marketing team’s to gain a rounded vision of the target customer including their needs, wants and goals to ensure their experience is the best it can be.
As the definition of the UX designer is broad, it is predicted that UX designer jobs will be categorised into different roles depending on the different stages of UX design – from design strategy building and planning to actual website design and journey.
Skills required for digital marketing jobs in Japan
What are some of the essential skills that companies in Japan often look for in job seekers applying for digital marketing jobs?
1. Extensive marketing knowledge
The first skill required for digital marketing is having broad marketing knowledge. Due to the nature of digital marketing where it’s constantly evolving, and comprises of many different platforms, you will need to understand all of their features and understand which would be the most suitable depending on objective and resources.
Basic terms such as KPIs, segmentation and targeting, LTV, and important frameworks such as 3C, 4P and SWOT analysis should not be taken for granted as marketers.
2. Content planning skills
In the digital marketing industry, as in the general marketing industry, developing your content planning skills will increase your market value as a marketer. Content is increasingly important, especially within digital marketing where content is often used on websites for search engine optimisation as well as in campaigns.
You will need to develop your strategy, draw ideas and prepare key points for planning, organising and implementing them.
3. Information gathering / data analysing skills
Like the IT industry, digital marketing is subject to rapid change, therefore information gathering and data analysing are important. Search algorithms change, new features get added to social networking sites and regulations evolve. Hence, the ability to look at trends, consumer behaviours and use those to map out potential returning customers for example is extremely sought after.
Digital marketers will also need to keep an eye on the latest trends to update themselves on relevant knowledge and capabilities needed as technologies evolve.
4. Interpersonal skills / Soft skills
In digital marketing, the emphasis is not only on technical marketing skill sets but also on your people skills, such as good communication and cooperation skills to work well with your team and other departments. There may also be situations when you need to exchange communication with engineers, market research departments and consumers. In these situations, high level of negotiation skills and communication skills are also required.
5. Self-learning skills
The digital marketing industry is also a fast-changing industry. Without a keen interest in different aspects of the industry and a desire to improve, you may not be able to keep-up with being a successful digital marketer.
To become a digital marketer who can always improve the quality of your work, it is important to have an appetite for all kinds of knowledge and to keep up with it. You can deepen your learning by reading new publications on current affairs and interacting with established marketers.
Can I get a job in digital marketing without experience?
As organisations realise the importance of digital marketing, the demand will exceed the number of digital marketing professionals in Japan. This will create the need for greater investments within digital marketing, as well as an increase of entry-level job opportunities where training and development are provided. Regardless of the industry, there will always be different types of digital marketing jobs available.
Additionally, there are some transferable skills that you might already have which may be appealing for companies when you’re looking for a digital marketing job without any relevant experience.
Skills that are transferable includes but not limited to:
- Communication skills: understanding verbal instructions, speaking effectively, information sharing, assertiveness, networking, empathy, customer focus
- Commercial acumen: business acumen, self-initiative, creative, and innovative
- Planning and organisational skills: goal setting, management experience, strategy
- Technology knowledge: computer literacy, experience with new technologies
To ensure you have an all-round set of skills, it might also be a good idea to get involved in new projects. Be flexible and open to trying new things so that you will be able to expand not only your skill sets but your network too.
If you want to learn or improve digital marketing techniques or learn basic knowledge and theories of digital marketing, you may consider taking a digital marketing course. You can even do this on various online platforms where digital marketing courses are priced quite reasonably.
Digital marketing course in Japan (online)
Apart from a few universities in Japan that offer digital marketing courses, you may also opt for online courses that are offered from Japan or outside of Japan. Below are some suggestions:
- Future Learn
- MIT Sloan School of Management
- Yale School of Management
- Google Analytics Academy (Google analytics)
Digital marketing certifications
Digital marketing certifications are usually not required to start a career. However, there are some certifications that may help you get a job faster:
- Web Analyst Certification (Google Analytics)
- Web Director Certification
- Web Analytics Consultants Association
Interested in a career within digital marketing in Japan?
Digital marketing is a flourishing industry with a lot of career opportunities. It may be the best time for you to consider a digital marketing job with the demand and investment companies are putting into digital marketing jobs in Japan.
Computer Futures offers career support for a variety of digital marketing jobs in Japan, such as Digital Marketing Specialists, Digital Marketing Managers, Web Designers, and more. For more opportunities, check out our jobs page via the link below or contact us via the form below.