What Is Digital Marketing and How Can You Start A Career For Free From Home

Did you know that the first sale made fully online happened in 1994? A man named Dan Kohn sold a CD for $12.48 over an encrypted website he built himself.

These days, it’s a lot easier to sell things online— whether you’re an individual, a small business, or a big company. E-commerce has come a long way since the 90s, growing into a multi- billion dollar industry. That’s because e-commerce is cheaper, more convenient, and more accessible than storefront sales. And, as the online marketplace has grown, it also launched many new industries, and career paths, like digital marketing.

In Pakistan, many businesses have already transitioned online, while others are actively working to establish their digital presence. Gradually, more and more people are recognizing its importance and seeking to have an online presence of their business.

Before understanding what digital marketing is, it is very important to understand marketing and its basics. 


What is Marketing?

Marketing refers to the activities a company does to promote and sell its products or services to customers. 

Marketing involves everything from making a product, promoting it, talking to customers, selling it, and getting it to people who want it. It’s the whole journey from creating something good to making sure people know about it and can buy it.

Marketing mix: 4 P’s of marketing

There are 4 key elements of marketing called 4 P’s of marketing or marketing mix.

  • Product is what the company offers to the customers
  • Price is how much the customers pay for it
  • Place is where and how the customers can access it
  • Promotion is how the company informs and persuades the customers about it. 

Types of marketing

Marketing can be done through various channels and methods, such as

  • Traditional media: TV, radio, print
  • Digital media: Website, social media, email
  • Events: Organizing or participating in events to showcase products and engage with potential customers.
  • Word of mouth: Spreading information about a product or service through recommendations from happy customers to others.

The goal of marketing is to match the company’s products and services to the needs and wants of the customers, and to build long-term relationships with them. Marketing is essential for any business that wants to succeed in competitive marketing.

Digital Marketing

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the practice of reaching consumers online through digital channels with the aim of turning them into customers.

A digital channel is any communication method or platform a business can use to reach their target audience online e.g. websites, search engines, email, or social media platforms.

An illustrative graphic showcasing what is digital marketing in Pakistan. It features a man with a laptop and a megaphone, surrounded by a burst of icons representing various digital marketing components such as SEO, email marketing, search engine marketing, television advertising, and social media platforms.

Two pillars of Digital Marketing

1. Online Digital Marketing:  

This takes place on the internet such as

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Enhancing your website visibility on search engines
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing):  Paid advertising on search engines
  • SMM (Social Media Marketing): Using social media platforms for promotion

2. Offline Digital Marketing:  

It is done away from the internet but on digital devices like

  • Text messages:  Sending promotional messages directly to mobile phones.
  • Digital Billboards: Eye-catching digital displays in public spaces.

E-commerce and Digital Marketing

E-commerce is a broad term that refers to the buying and selling of goods and services online.

It relies heavily on digital marketing. If the aim of e-commerce is to sell products online, then digital marketing helps businesses make that happen. But there’s more to it than that. It’s not just about selling products; it’s about creating a seamless online experience for customers. From attracting visitors to optimizing conversions, digital marketing plays a crucial role in making e-commerce successful.

Remember, digital marketing isn’t just about transactions—it’s about building relationships and enhancing the overall customer journey. 

Types of Digital Marketing

In this blog, we’ll primarily focus on online digital marketing. Let’s explore the different types of digital marketing, the activities involved, and how it’s done.

1. Search Engine Optimization [SEO]

A screenshot displaying a web search for ‘white T-shirt online Pakistan’, highlighting how a search engine presents results. The top two results are shown.

Imagine you want to buy a white T-shirt online. When you search the web for “white T-shirt online Pakistan,” you’re bombarded with over 50 million results—that’s more than 5 million pages of links! But how many pages will you actually click through before finding the exact white T-shirt you desire? Chances are, you won’t even go beyond the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

This is why optimizing your website content is crucial. Ranking high in search engines ensures that potential customers find you. But how do you achieve that top spot? The answer is through SEO.

Search engine optimization is a process of optimizing your website to improve its visibility and ranking in search engines like google

How is SEO done

Google ranks content that is relevant and high quality. In SEO we do best activities to rank our web pages in search engines. These best practices include:

Keyword Research: 

A screenshot showing a Google search bar with one keyword entered, and below it, a list of Google’s suggested keywords, illustrating the concept of keywords

Keywords are words and phrases that you type into search engines to find information on a topic. 

For instance, if you search “digital marketing” on Google, “digital marketing” becomes a keyword. 

When it comes to a company that sells chocolates, relevant keywords might include “milk chocolate,” “dark chocolate online,” or “sweets online.” As part of SEO, the goal is to identify keywords that are most relevant to your audience and align with what they’re searching for. Once these keywords are identified, they are incorporated naturally into the website’s content. This way, search engines can recognize that your content is relevant to specific queries and it will rank your content on top. 

Remember that simply stuffing keywords into your website won’t guarantee high ranking. Quality content matters, so keywords are used in a way that feels natural and provides value to the audience.

Website structure: 

It’s crucial for SEO that a website’s pages and content are well-organized, interconnected, and grouped. This allows Google to understand and index sites properly. If a site lacks proper structure, Google may not be able to crawl all pages, resulting in content not appearing in search engine results. Google should be able to find, index, and comprehend the importance of each page on the website.

Off-page SEO

Off-Page SEO, also known as off-site SEO, refers to actions taken outside your website to improve your search engine rankings. 

Off-page activities:

  • Building backlinks: Creating quality backlinks from other reputable websites to yours. When other sites link to your content, it signals to Google that your website is authoritative and trustworthy.
  • Encouraging branded searches: Fostering brand recognition and encouraging users to search for your brand directly.
  • Increasing Social Media Engagement: Active participation on social media platforms enhances online presence and indirectly impacts your SEO.

It aims to help both Google and searchers better understand and digest your content. In on-page SEO you try to answer searcher’s query in the best way possible. You see the intent behind that search and try to meet the searcher’s expectations better than your competitors.

A visual comparison between on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO is depicted as focusing on elements within your website, while off-page SEO is represented that refer back to your site.

On-page SEO

On-Page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, is the process of optimizing web pages and their content to improve their rankings in search engines. It focuses on making direct changes to the page itself, enhancing visibility and relevance.

On-page Activities:

  • Answer Searcher’s Queries: Understand the intent behind search queries and strive to meet searcher expectations better than your competitors.
  • Optimize Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: Craft clear and concise titles and descriptions that accurately represent your content and contain keywords.
  • URL Structure: Ensure your page URLs are clear, descriptive, and relevant to the content.
  • Internal Linking: Link to other relevant pages within your website to create a cohesive user experience.
  • Alt Text for Images: Use descriptive alt text for images to convey their relevance to your content.
  • Page Load Speed: Optimize your page load speed for a better user experience and improved search rankings.

Remember: On-page SEO is not about keyword stuffing; it’s about providing value to users while adhering to best practices.

2. Search Engine Marketing [SEM]

There are two primary ways to enhance a business’s visibility in search engine results pages: organic search results and paid advertisements. The paid section on search results pages is referred to as search engine marketing (SEM). SEM ads appear either above or below the regular search listings on Google. 

Search engine marketing is increasing a product or services visibility on a search engine results page through paid advertising.  

How is SEM works

  • SEM operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model. You pay when someone clicks on your ad.
  • Unlike organic search results, where you’re not charged for appearing, SEM charges advertisers only when their ad is clicked.
  • Marketers identify keywords they want their ad to appear for
  • When a searcher types in that keyword, the highest bidder wins the top position for their ad.
  • Advertisers pay only when someone clicks on their ad.
A screenshot of Google search results for ‘web development class’, distinguishing between paid advertisements at the top and organic listings below. The image visually demonstrates the difference between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

SEO involves optimizing your website and content to improve organic search rankings. It requires time and effort while on the other hand SEM provides instant results. It allows you to appear prominently on search engines without waiting for organic rankings to improve.

In summary, SEM provides a quick way to gain visibility on search engines, making it an effective strategy for businesses aiming to reach their audience promptly.

3. Social Media Marketing [SMM]

Creating and sharing content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to increase business’ brand awareness and engagement is social media marketing

How is SMM Done

Five pillars of social media marketing

  • Strategy: involves setting goals, deciding which social media platforms will be used and which type of content will be posted. It requires research and trail and errors
  • Planning and publishing: scheduling posts in advance, considering what time and frequency is best for posting for your target audience
  • Listening and engagement:  tracking and analyzing conversations and trends related to your brand thereby determining your approach to audience engagement
  • Analytics and reporting:  collecting data from your social media platforms and analyzing that data to make business decisions and make reports
  • Paid social media: better control and target your marketing with paid social media, than with organic approaches. And social media ads generally allow you to reach a wider audience than organic posts

The best example of a good social media marketing is Salesforce.

Scope of Digital Marketing in Pakistan

The digital marketing industry is immense, and according to a study, it is estimated to reach $786 billion by 2026. In this era, it is essential for every business, big or small, to have an online presence. Since more and more people are using the internet than ever, it provides businesses with a huge opportunity to interact with audiences. 

Traditional marketing strategies no longer hold the same weight they used to. Digital marketing enables two-way interaction with customers. You can assess the performance of marketing efforts and determine how much revenue was earned in return for the amount spent on marketing.

Digital marketing has significant scope in Pakistan. Many businesses have already transitioned online, while others are actively working to establish their digital presence. Gradually, more and more people are recognizing its importance and seeking to have an online presence of their business. In 2024, there is no escaping digital marketing; even brick-and-mortar businesses need to embrace it.

The demand for digital marketing experts is on the rise. As businesses increasingly recognize the importance of online presence, they seek skilled professionals to manage their digital marketing efforts. In Pakistan, certifications in digital marketing are highly valued, and training programs are gaining prominence.

The best part is that digital marketing and remote work go hand in hand. You can work from the comfort of your home while contributing to a business operating in the US so opportunities are not limited to Pakistan only.

A Google search result page for ‘digital marketing jobs in Pakistan indeed’, displaying a listing that indicates there are 2,061 digital marketing job opportunities available in Pakistan as of March 10, 2024.

As of March 1, 2024, there are 2,156 digital marketing jobs in Pakistan listed on just Indeed. These positions span various roles, including SEO Experts, Social media managers, content creators, product marketers, digital marketing internships, and more. Not to mention LinkedIn and other job platforms.

Digital marketing is a skill that requires practice to master, but when you master it you have a world of opportunities to earn. 

You can even start your digital marketing agency in Pakistan and offer services in the country or abroad. You can start freelancing or find a job from so many new jobs coming up on a daily basis. The options are endless.

Digital marketing and e-commerce are some of the fastest growing industries out there today. Right now, there are thousands of open roles around the world and millions of people are already working in similar positions. Many of those jobs didn’t even exist five or 10 years ago, and even more will develop as new technologies emerge. If you search any job board, you’ll find digital marketing and e-commerce roles at organizations of all sizes in just about every industry, not just retail and consumer goods.

Jobs in Digital Marketing in Pakistan

In Pakistan, there are two main paths you can pursue in your digital marketing career: in-house and agency positions.

  1. In-house Roles:
    • As an in-house employee, you work directly for a single company to market and sell their products.
    • You become intimately familiar with the company and its products.
    • Your work is focused on a specific organization.
  1. Agency Roles:
    • Digital marketing agencies partner with companies that lack in-house marketing teams.
    • Agency work is project-based, allowing you to collaborate on various initiatives across multiple industries.
    • You get hired by the agency to work on different client projects.

Here are some basic associate-level jobs in digital marketing in Pakistan:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialist

  • Implement optimization strategies to improve search rankings
  • Conduct keyword research and apply relevant keywords for SEO 
  • Monitor metrics to understand SEO performance and provide reports
  • Creating backlinks to enhance search rankings

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) specialist

  • Identify customer personas to target specific audiences.
  • Conduct keyword research for both SEO and Pay Per Click (PPC) ads.
  • Optimize paid search campaigns based on performance metrics.
  • Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) related to SEM.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) Specialist

  • Develop, implement, and manage social media marketing strategies.
  • Collaborate with sales and marketing teams on social media campaigns.
  • Create engaging content to build customer connections and increase brand awareness.
  • Monitor metrics in social media campaigns for insights on customer engagement and content optimization.

Email marketing Specialist

  • Design and execute email marketing campaigns to promote products or services.
  • Maintain an archive of emails for lead generation.
  • Manage non-deliverable and unsubscribed email addresses.
  • Use metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of email campaigns.

E-commerce Specialist

  • Develop and execute campaigns to boost digital sales.
  • Optimize e-commerce platforms for better user experience.
  • Analyze data to enhance online sales and customer engagement.

Note that position names vary from company to company in digital marketing. New terms emerge regularly. Small companies often hire a small team and assign them multiple responsibilities, while larger companies have specialized positions for each role. Although position names may differ, the essential skills remain the same.

Below are some advanced roles in digital marketing in Pakistan.

Digital Marketing Manager

  • Plan and execute digital marketing strategies, including SEO/SEM, email campaigns, social media, and display advertising.
  • Measure and report performance metrics and return on investment (ROI) for digital marketing efforts.
  • Design, execute, and evaluate A/B tests and experiments.
  • Continuously enhance the end-to-end customer experience across multiple channels and touchpoints.

Social Media Strategist

  • Oversee and manage social media content.
  • Assess the success of social media campaigns.
  • Monitor and analyze metrics to recommend effective content optimization solutions.
  • Network with industry professionals and influencers using social media platforms.

How can you learn Digital Marketing from home for free?

If you search on YouTube for how to learn digital marketing, you’ll come across videos claiming that you can master the field in just an hour or a day. These videos often feature enticing thumbnails with money to attract an audience.

However, let me set the record straight: there are no shortcuts when it comes to digital marketing. It’s a field that demands attention, continuous learning, and plenty of practice. While the quick results are tempting, true mastery requires time and effort.

Here’s my advice: consistency and patience are your allies. If you’re serious about learning digital marketing, give at least 4 months to immerse yourself in this domain. During this period, focus on both studying theory and applying practical skills. 

Here are some free ways you can learn digital marketing by being in home:

1. Google’s Free Digital Garage Course: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

  • Google offers a free course called “Fundamentals of Digital Marketing.” This course covers all the basics you need to know about digital marketing.
  • It consists of 26 modules, each created by Google trainers. These modules are packed with practical exercises and real-world examples.
  • Upon completion, you’ll earn an award that you can add to your public Skillshop and LinkedIn profiles to showcase your new skills.
  • While this course is quite basic, it’s a good starting point to understand the digital marketing industry.

2. Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate

  • This comprehensive digital marketing certificate program comprises 7 courses in total.
  • Each course typically costs $49, but there are tricks to cut the cost and take it for completely free.
  • Here’s what you’ll learn in this certificate:
    • Fundamentals of digital marketing and e-commerce: Gain the skills needed for entry-level jobs.
    • Attract and engage customers through digital marketing channels like search and email.
    • Measure marketing performance using analytics and present valuable insights.
    • Build e-commerce stores, analyze online performance, and foster customer loyalty.

The course takes you from the very basics to an advanced level in the simplest possible way.

Remember, there are no shortcuts in digital marketing—it requires attention, practice, and consistency. Give yourself at least 4 months to delve into this field before expecting outcomes. 

3. Umar Tazkeer

  • If you’re starting from scratch and want to learn digital marketing in Urdu or Hindi, I highly recommend following Umar Tazkeer on YouTube.
  • Umar covers every topic related to digital marketing, from the basics (like “What is digital marketing?”) to more advanced concepts (such as running campaigns and creating websites).
  • His detailed explanations make learning easy, and the best part is that his courses are absolutely free on YouTube.

4. HubSpot Academy

  • HubSpot is a comprehensive customer platform that offers software, integrations, and resources for various aspects of your business, including marketing, sales, content management, and customer service.
  • Their HubSpot Academy provides free courses on digital marketing ranging from basic to advanced levels.
  • Upon completion, you can earn certificates, which are highly valued by companies.

5. Neil Patel

Neil Patel is a well-known figure in the digital marketing industry

Forbes recognizes him as one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine credits him with creating one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil runs a blog about digital marketing and shares informative videos and courses on YouTube.

Whether you’re a beginner or an industry professional, Neil’s content is worth following. 

If you start now, how long will it take to your career in digital marketing?

If you remain consistent, focused, and work hard, you’ll likely find a paid internship within 3 months. Personally, I secured a paid internship in 2 months of learning digital marketing. However, it’s essential to recognize that digital marketing isn’t something you can master solely by watching videos or studying theory. It’s a practical field, and the best way to learn it is through a combination of study and hands-on practice.

Remember: Consistency and determination are the keys to success. With these qualities, failure is unlikely!

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