Looking for a consensus or advice from a group of people with actual practical experience in digital marketing? Reddit is your answer.
The Reddit digital marketing community is a goldmine for those seeking to up their digital marketing game or get the lowdown on the next big thing. But getting the best from digital marketing on Reddit typically involves sifting through a lot of ambiguous or irrelevant information.
That’s why, in this article, we’ve scoured the top upvoted Reddit digital marketing posts to provide you with the expert advice you need to keep your skills fresh. We’ve explored topics ranging from common misconceptions to the best digital marketing tools, and more.
We cover these topics and provide the most upvoted posts and comments:
- Reddit’s top digital marketing advice
- Closing thoughts
Let’s dive in.
Reddit’s top digital marketing advice
In this section, we’ve hand-selected some of the best Reddit digital marketing advice on the platform—lightly edited for conciseness and readability—to help you start your career journey.
1. What does digital marketing involve?
As a beginner, you could read 100 articles about digital marketing and still fail to fully grasp how to apply it. This is nobody’s fault, of course. But digital marketing is massively diverse—no two roles look alike, and digital marketing channels are used differently depending on the setting.
“I’m Director of Digital Marketing at a mid-size agency. My department is responsible for several PPC services, and I manage a team of ads specialists […] We use several tools such as Google Ads but mostly utilize internally developed tools. I teach my ads specialists to use these tools to build, manage, and optimize online advertising for clients […] Specialists trying to get into this work don’t need a degree, but it is very challenging to start green. Skills I look for are an analytical mind, attention to detail, ability to adapt to new technology, and an interest in consumer behavior […] Day to day, my specialists manage a book of accounts […] build and manage ads […] provide reporting of results and discuss them with clients. I also encourage [them] to research new ideas/strategies and changes in the field.”
This response is helpful as it provides a manager’s perspective, which is invaluable for those breaking into the field.
Another upvoted response clarifies that, as a concept, “digital marketing” is often perceived as a holistic, clearly defined domain area. In reality, it is a loosely-determined catch-all term that describes a variety of tactics. This misunderstanding can lead to trouble:
“When the [digital marketing] function is well-understood and respected in an organization, you spend 80% of your time ingesting and uncovering market insights (e.g., independent research/analysis, or partnering with an insights team of data scientists/analysts.) The other 20% is scheduling media buys and pitching for budget.
When [digital marketing] is poorly understood, you spend 80% of your time scheduling media buys and coordinating the production of dubious utility. The other 20% is rummaging through data to find out what your campaign’s purpose was after you completed it: ‘Oh sh*t. No leads whatsoever. But look at all those pageviews! I guess this was an awareness campaign, huh?’”
While this example pertains to online advertising, it’s applicable across the board. Digital marketing is much more than simply a list of channels to choose from. When properly embraced, it’s about data and ways of thinking. A valuable takeaway from digital marketing Reddit, there!
2. The best way to learn digital marketing
Next up, we’ll explore some advice for beginner digital marketers from the subreddit r/DigitalMarketing. The top-upvoted post on this subreddit offers a comprehensive list of around two dozen resources, ranging from blog posts and case studies to practical tips for developing your skills. We suggest exploring these first. More importantly, though, it emphasizes why you should apply what you learn to real-life projects:
“As with most things in life, reading about digital marketing won’t take you far. You need to put everything into practice. We usually recommend one of these 4 options:
- Create a test learning environment. Create a website for a basic product or service (even a blog would do!) and start applying whatever you learned about digital marketing to get leads and customers. Even if you have zero budget, this can be an interesting learning experience.
- Get an internship. This can be a bit painful if you’re in the middle of your current career, but hey, swallow the pride. If you do your best, you’ll be doing some real work [land a real job] 6 months after the internship.
- Offer a local business to help them with marketing for free. Find a business you think you can help in your area and reach out to them!
- Create an affiliate blog. Pick a niche, create an affiliate blog, and start pumping out some content. This is mainly relevant if you want to learn SEO or content marketing.”
The precursor to all this is deciding which channel to start with. It’s not necessary (or feasible) to specialize in every area of digital marketing, and as we explored in the last section, focusing on this aspect too heavily risks undermining what digital marketing is really about. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend being aware of each channel.
Learn more: What are the 9 types of digital marketing?
3. Will AI replace digital marketers?
The latest innovation to transform digital marketing (and other fields) is generative artificial intelligence (AI). We can be pretty sure that generative AI is here to stay. The next big question is whether tools like ChatGPT will support digital marketers in the long term or replace them entirely.
This was a topic of one post on the r/DigitalMarketing subreddit. Responses to the question were unsurprisingly varied, with most answers to the effect of “it depends”. Some have already lost their jobs to AI. But the most measured responses were more reassuring:
“AI is incredibly useful and has been used in marketing for quite some time, but it’s really only good for limited specific tasks. Think of it as a tool marketers can use to save time and become more efficient and productive. Is ChatGPT useful for pulling together a list of keywords for SEO? Absolutely. Is it useful for creating a multi-channel digital campaign for a specific brand/ product built on internal performance and insights? No. It’s just another tool available to marketers, it’s not going to replace them entirely.”
Other comments reflected this sentiment:
“ChatGPT is a useful tool to support digital marketers, but I don’t think marketers should rely on it completely. It generates the most general texts ever and is not even accurate. Just treat it as a powerful tool.”
For balance, however, one comment that jumped out made a concise but vital point about the future:
“The key thing is: YET. Who knows how creative AI can be in ~5 years?”
We cannot overstate this point. While we can’t predict how AI will evolve, hiding from or ignoring it is the surest way to get left behind.
Those hoping to thrive in digital marketing should learn how to utilize AI in a holistic manner that will work regardless of its future applications. As a starting point, we recommend exploring emerging AI jobs to see what the future might look like.
4. The best free marketing tools
Now to some more practical advice. We’ll admit that determining the best digital marketing tools depends on your objectives and measures of success. Ultimately, the choice is yours. But this thread on r/DigitalMarketing outlines what the original poster has identified as the best, freely available digital marketing tools. The list includes 30 tools. Here are the first five to give you a taste:
“Clearbit Visitor Report
This is a free tool by Clearbit. You can sign up and install their script. It then generates a weekly visitor report and emails you. The report contains de-anonymized companies visiting your website and showing intent. You can also validate your marketing effort with it.
Want to get alerted when somebody on the web mentions your brand? Mention is a great tool for that. The free plan can monitor blogs, forums, video websites, Instagram, Twitter, and more.
Pablo by buffer
I am a big fan of Pablo and over the years have used the free service to generate and annotate images for social media marketing. It provides over 600,000 images onto which you can write your message. Perfect for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Create stunning images with the help of an AI assistant. Upscale, fix lighting, and remove background are some of the things that this tool can do.
This is probably one of the best free apps out there. Station is an open-source browser that aggregates and displays all of your web applications in a single place. It allows you to multitask without having to switch between apps and windows.”
Run a quick search, and you’ll find countless articles proclaiming to know the best digital marketing tools. The best part about Reddit, though, is that the comments and upvotes allow you to see which tools digital marketers actually use.
OK, so it’s not scientific, but in the case of this thread, for instance, Browsee (website analytics), Yoast (SEO), Ubersuggest (keyword research), and Canva (graphic design) all proved popular with real users.
You can also check out our guide to the most useful digital marketing tools, which we’ve broken down by channel to help make it easier to navigate.
5. How to get into digital marketing?
Last but not least, if you’re looking to change careers, how should you start? Again, Reddit offers some helpful insights into real-world career pivots. On this thread in the subreddit r/marketing, one poster asks: “How do [did] you get into digital marketing?”
Here are some of the responses:
“Taught myself how to build websites entirely using YouTube tutorials. Built a website for a friend who owned a small pest control business […] Did social media marketing for him. Kind of trial and error, but every time I hit an error I would Google the topic […] Took all this after 6 months and built a website portfolio showcasing [my work] step by step.”
Web development and social media marketing often go hand in hand, providing a powerful combination of skills for creating a holistic digital presence.
Another common approach:
“I learned copywriting online. I’ve been doing it for almost a year […] My experience allows me to earn a higher salary than [those] who finished the degree I dropped out of.”
Copywriting is another popular entryway into digital marketing. It applies to various areas of marketing, including writing ads, social media content, and website copy.
Finally, if you’re not sure which area of digital marketing you want to work in:
“Begin by learning the basics of digital marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and analytics. You can find free and paid online courses and resources to get started. [Then] get certified. Earning industry-standard certifications can help demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in specific areas of digital marketing.”
All top advice, if you ask us!
While you’ll find plenty of well-meaning advice online, it’s not all useful. But if you’re new to digital marketing, Reddit is a great place to start. It’s full of advice from experienced professionals who’ve trodden the path already, sharing their wisdom so you can avoid the most common traps and learn what to do if you fall into them.
Since Reddit digital marketing advice can be hit-and-miss, we’ve pulled out some top-upvoted advice and flavored it with some of our own experience in this post. We hope it’s been a helpful first step! But there’s plenty more advice out there. Start exploring digital marketing Reddit for yourself to see what advice you can find for your specific needs. We always recommend taking this advice with a dose of caution, though.
Useful though it can be, every digital marketing experience is unique, and what worked for others may not be a perfect fit for your situation. That’s why you must tailor any advice to your circumstances. Don’t hesitate to experiment to find what resonates best with your audience, brand, and, most importantly, with you.
To learn more about what a career in digital marketing could involve, sign up for this free 5-day introductory course or check out the following guides: