Finding your digital marketing niche

Digital marketing is huge!

It covers everything from big data and analytics right through to posting pretty pictures on Instagram. And even if you’re a rock star – and we know you are – the chances of you being a world-class stats geek and social media maven are pretty slim.

This is why it’s important to find your own niche. Not only does this allow you to better leverage your talents, you can really zone in your expertise and become more valuable to prospective clients and employers.

Types of niches

It best to think about choosing your niche in one of two ways:

  1. Choosing a specific digital marketing discipline and becoming an expert, or
  2. Finding an industry to focus on while providing a number of digital marketing services.

There is no right or wrong path to follow, and whether you become a jack of all trades or a master of one, you have the opportunity to quickly position yourself as a leading expert in your field.

But to help you on your way, here are the pros and cons of each approach.

Becoming a digital marketing discipline expert

You’d be shocked at how many disciplines make up digital marketing, and how it is now close to impossible to be an expert at everything.

It’s also worth keeping in the back of your mind that digital marketing is a moving landscape. Five years ago, no one had heard of marketing automation, while mobile marketing is also relatively new. So, the niche you choose now may not be the niche you are in forever.

You should choose your digital marketing discipline based on your skills and what you enjoy. Are you a big thinker? Look at the strategy side of digital marketing. Love playing with numbers and stats? Look at analytics. Enjoy telling stories and being creative? Content marketing could be for you.

In general, this approach is best for those who would like to work for a company rather than individuals starting their own agency. There are a lot of SEO agencies, for example, however, if you can service a gap in the market you could become highly sort after.

On the plus side, it is very easy to learn about your discipline, become a thought leader, and work across a large number of different companies and projects. But this means you will really need to stay on top of your discipline and make sure you’re the go-to expert in your field.

Pros Cons
–          Perfect if you would like to work for companies
–          Easy to become a thought leader
–          Educational programs are easily available
–          Blogs, podcasts, and video content easy to find
–          May be difficult to break through as a new agency
–          Need to keep up with latest trends
–          Some disciplines are more sought-after
–          Employers may want experience in other disciplines


Becoming an industry expert

Using your knowledge and experience to service an industry you know well can really differentiate you in the market, and help you cut through to prospective clients and employers.

Not only will you have inside knowledge of the industry, clients will trust you more, and you’ll easily be able to build a strong network within the industry.

There are a number of ways you can find an industry to service:

  • – Something you enjoy – like music or sport
  • – An industry you are knowledgeable about – like real estate
  • – An industry you have worked in or are experienced with – especially if you have demonstrable success as a marketer
  • – An industry you see an opportunity in – that is growing or is not currently serviced by other marketers.

But it’s important to remember you don’t have to have worked in the industry, through building your brand you can position yourself as an industry expert.

Unlike choosing a digital marketing discipline, becoming an industry expert lends itself more to those wishing to freelance or start their own agency. This approach is also much easier to show value to prospective clients and employers, as they will understand your previous projects and imagine how you can apply it to their business.

Pros Cons
–          Perfect if you would like to start an agency or freelance
–          Networks of prospective clients already exist
–          Easy to demonstrate value to clients and employers
–          Easy to develop portfolios of previous work
–          May be difficult to find employment opportunities with companies
–          Must be across a number of different digital marketing disciplines
–          Industry-specific education hard to find


Tips for choosing your niche

Choose something you enjoy – yes, you can turn your passion for taking photos and making videos into a career!

Try before you buy – don’t just choose a discipline without having any experience in it. It’s best to start your digital marketing career as generic as possible with exposure to lots of different aspects, and then choose your niche once you’ve found a favourite.

Don’t be afraid to change – the great thing about digital marketing is there are loads of transferable skills. If you think you’ve made a mistake, never be afraid to branch out or change niches.

Start building your brand – once you’ve chosen a niche, start building your personal brand. There’s no point being an expert if no one knows about it.

Supercharge by combining niche types – this one won’t work for everyone, but if your industry is big enough and there is demand, you can become a discipline expert within an industry. Think of something like an education content marketing expert or banking PPC agency.

Get started with your digital marketing career

Get experience across all digital marketing disciplines and get certified at the same time. The Digital Marketing Certified Associate course gets you certified as an Online Marketing Certified Associate, as well as with Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter!