What is a Digital Strategist?

It can be difficult to pin down a digital strategist’s job description.

Speak with a recruiter about digital strategy, and you’ll find a mix of job descriptions that sound much like variations on account executives, social media managers, web analytics managers, media planners, marketing strategists, or a combination of these marketing roles.

This outlines the unfortunate truth that jobs in Marketing can be challenging to unpack.

This handy guide will explore the intricacies of a digital strategist’s job and how it relates to other marketing roles.

Hopefully, by the end, you’ll be able to differentiate between digital strategists, marketing strategists, and brand strategists to better offer these services.

But first, a word or two on digital marketing.

It can be difficult to pin down a digital strategist’s job description.

Speak with a recruiter about digital strategy, and you’ll find a mix of job descriptions that sound much like variations on account executives, social media managers, web analytics managers, media planners, marketing strategists, or a combination of these marketing roles.

This outlines the unfortunate truth that jobs in Marketing can be challenging to unpack.

This handy guide will explore the intricacies of a digital strategist’s job and how it relates to other marketing roles.

Hopefully, by the end, you’ll be able to differentiate between digital strategists, marketing strategists, and brand strategists to better offer these services.

But first, a word or two on digital marketing.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a relatively new concept in the history of Marketing. The field has blossomed alongside the widespread use of the internet.

Over 4 billion people regularly use the internet. That is a transformative change in human behaviour over a relatively short period in history since the conception of the world wide web.

Advertising and marketing have always been about meeting the target audience wherever they are.

You need to engage with the audience in meaningful ways to help meet business objectives.

Since so many people interact with the digital space on a daily basis, businesses need to determine how to leverage this to their advantage to meet business goals.

In a big picture way of thinking, that’s the aim of digital marketing.

As businesses become increasingly digital, data-driven, and marketing campaigns move increasingly online, digital strategists will be responsible for paving the way and creating digital marketing strategies that lead to growth.

Digital Strategist v Marketing Strategist

A marketing strategy refers to a company’s overall game plan for reaching and targeting prospective consumers and then converting those prospects into customers.

It’s the marketing strategist’s job to establish marketing goals to direct marketing campaigns. Then, they analyse various metrics on an ongoing basis to evaluate success and inform future campaigns.

A digital marketing strategist is an extension of this position focusing on all digital aspects of Marketing.

However, we need to add another element here – brand strategy.

Brand Strategist v Marketing Strategist

A brand strategist’s job is to establish how you communicate the brand to the target audience.

They define the method the brand will use to connect and resonate with who the audience is through strategic positioning and messaging which is then mobilized by the marketing strategist.

It’s about shaping the brand’s perception in the mind of the audience.

So, brand strategy is about building relationships, whereas marketing strategy is more transactional and conversion-focused.

Though, ultimately, there is crossover in the responsibilities of marketing strategists and branding strategists since they both aim to attract customers to a business to grow that business.

Confused? Don’t worry; you’re not alone!

Branding v marketing is not a comparison that’s going away anytime soon.

On top of that, we’re throwing the job title ‘Digital strategist’ into the mix.

Depending on the size of the team,  a digital strategist may encompass all branding and marketing responsibilities that relate to the digital space.

But, enough of the semantical exploration – let’s get into the ins and outs of what a digital strategist might actually do day-to-day.

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What Does a Digital Strategist Do?

The digital strategist within a business’ marketing team can have a variety of duties and responsibilities.

Read a job description template, and you’ll see phrases like

‘steer the company’s digital narrative’, ‘coordinate various digital mediums’, and ‘leverage digital touchpoints’ to pursue specific goals.

Let’s break those rather high-concept phrases into some of the specific responsibilities of a digital strategist.

Evaluate existing digital marketing strategy – identify weaknesses and areas for improvement

SEO optimization

Analyze and report on digital campaigns using Google Analytics

Implement an online content strategy

Develop digital media branding and marketing guidelines to lead brand awareness campaigns

Evaluate paid media campaigns, and implement new ad campaigns across a variety of digital channels, including the use of PPC and Adwords campaigns

Oversee social media channels

Collaborate with clients, sales teams, and the Marketing manager

Implementing email marketing campaigns