Digital marketing is the way of the future. New data shows that 79% of Americans shop online, and most devote about 10 hours a day to screen time.

The majority of consumers are on Facebook or their smartphones – not sitting in front of the TV or listening to the radio. While traditional marketing avenues are still being used and are still effective, digital marketing is what many successful companies are focusing on.

If you're thinking about getting into business as a digital marketer, there are a few things you should know:

1. Networking is Key

Networking is a key aspect of being a successful digital marketer. Connect with people who have already made a name for themselves in the business. These connections will help you better understand how the industry works and how to get ahead.

Your network can also open new opportunities that you may not have found otherwise.

There are many ways to network. Conferences and industry meetups are two great places to start building your network.

2. You Have to Do More Than Drive Traffic

In the early days of online marketing, the goal was to get people through the door, or traffic to a website. What happened afterward was none of the digital marketer's concern.

Things have changed.

Today's digital marketers monitor leads throughout the entire buying process, and they also come up with strategies to retain customers over the long-term.

Gone are the days when marketers focused on high rankings to drive traffic and nothing else. The job is more complex and robust than in the past, but that makes the job more rewarding and interesting.

3. The Law is Not on Your Side

The Internet is still the wild west, but laws are catching up. Digital marketers should understand rules and regulations to avoid getting themselves and their clients into trouble.

According to https://www.gordonlawltd.com/, "Advertisements that make false promises to customers are subject to legal action waged by government regulators. Intellectual property rights for digital content such as: photographs, text, music, and video can swiftly lead to hefty fines."

Even something as simple as posting a photo to the company blog can get you in legal trouble if you don't own the rights to the photo or don't have permission to use it.

4. Building a Personal Brand is Key

Reputation and credibility are the most important things in the digital marketing world. Anyone can build a website and call themselves a digital marketer. The industry is rife with scammers and people who use unethical tactics that can do more harm than good for businesses.

To succeed in this field, you'll need to build your personal brand. Guest post on reputable blogs, create a blog of your own, stay active on social media and provide potential customers with proof of your results. Demonstrating your expertise will help foster trust among new leads and help establish your personal brand as an authority.

5. Social Media Will Be Your New Best Friend

Social media is now an integral part of digital marketing. Along with blogging and advertising, marketers are leveraging the vast audiences offered by social platforms to build brand awareness and drive traffic. Be prepared to use social media on a regular basis.