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14 of the Best Digital Marketing Interview Questions (& Answers) to Hire the Best Candidate

Getting the green light from your C-suite to build a marketing team for your company is always an exciting day. Your business is going to see some major growth from these new resources. 

But before you run off into the recruiting world guns blazing, you need to make sure you have a plan in place to find the right professionals with plenty of digital marketing experience.

The Importance of Digital Marketing 

Marketing is one of the most important pillars of every successful business, as it is the core of your strategy for attracting prospective customers. Today, digital marketing has largely pushed out older, traditional methods of marketing like radio, billboards, and print campaigns. 

In this day and age, most people spend the majority of their days staring at a screen, whether it’s on their phone or computer. With this in mind, utilizing these spaces through digital marketing is absolutely essential for companies to grow and thrive. 

 

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Here are a few of the key reasons why digital marketing is a must for every business: 

    • You can better target your audience based on segment, which will make your marketing strategies and individual campaigns more effective. 
    • You can personalize content and messaging to better communicate with your target audience based on where they are in the buyer’s journey and how they communicate.
    • You can automate a lot of processes such as email, blog and social media post scheduling, and more, which saves you time and resources.
    • You can gather plenty of data on the success of campaigns to optimize your efforts over time. 
    • By using SEO best practices, you can be front and center when your buyer persona is looking for solutions. 

These are just a few of the many key benefits that come from utilizing digital marketing for your company. But now that you know why digital marketing is so important for the success of your business, how do you go about implementing a strategy? 

Why Hire a Digital Marketer?

No company can afford to put marketing on the backburner, and in the modern age, you especially can’t ignore the power of digital tactics.

But in order to develop and implement truly effective digital marketing strategies, you’ll need to work with a professional who is an expert in the field. Making a hire is essential for many reasons. 

You Need to Designate Time to the Job.

First and foremost, one of the primary reasons you need to hire a digital marketer is because marketing takes time.

Having a designated individual or team to take care of all your marketing efforts ensures that the necessary time and care will be given to ensure that your marketing campaigns are carefully developed and effectively implemented for consistent, positive results. 

You Need an Expert. 

With this in mind, it’s also important to consider that digital marketing requires a fair amount of skill and experience to be done right. It’s not a job that you can throw at any average joe with an iPhone and a laptop.

So no, unfortunately your temp intern can’t run your digital marketing campaigns, because she or he will likely butcher the poor thing, and your company will be the one who suffers for it.

A digital marketing expert will know how to develop strategies and manage multiple channels at once, like social media, email, search, and more. 

You Can Learn the Ins and Outs.

And what’s another benefit of working with an expert? You can learn from them.

Working with someone who is a master in digital marketing will allow you to observe, ask questions, and learn the tricks of the trade, so you can better understand how to attract and delight your customers. 

It's Great for ROI.

Finally, let’s talk ROI.

Hiring a digital marketing expert brings in an enormous return on investment, as the results they produce for your company will greatly benefit your company in the long run.

Effective digital marketing campaigns attract prospects and drive sales, which are two essential ingredients for sustainable business growth. 

Now that you know why you need to hire a digital marketer, you need to understand that there are two ways to do so – by hiring a full-time in-house employee or outsourcing to a digital marketing agency. 

Hiring In-House vs. Hiring an Agency

Both avenues for working with a digital marketing professional – whether hiring in house or outsourcing – come with their own unique set of benefits and disadvantages. 

When you hire a digital marketing agency, you’ll be handing over all of your digital marketing efforts to a team of experts who will manage all of the strategizing and campaign deployment for your company. Since you'll be their client, they’ll work to deliver results and increase revenue for your business. 

When you hire a full-time in-house employee, you’ll be bringing onboard a team member who will work within your office and closely with your executives to develop and implement digital marketing strategies

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of these two options:

The Advantages of Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency 

Outsourcing to a digital marketing agency can come with a ton of great benefits. For starters, you’ll be working with a confirmed group of specialists who are all experts in their field.

Agency teams are often diverse, so their experience covers every avenue of digital marketing to ensure that your company receives a well rounded strategy for optimum impact.

This could include social media experts, SEO specialists, PPC professionals, graphic designers and developers, content creators and copywriters, and marketing strategy specialists. That’s a lot of experts working to get you results. 

 

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Sometimes it’s easier to see things when you have a bird’s eye view. When you work with the outside team of an agency, they’re able to take a step back and have a real, expansive look at your company. They can provide a fresh perspective on your business and may be able to identify the fault lines in your strategies and brand. 

Finally, does anything feel better than offloading work onto other people? Working with an agency reduces the workload required of your team and can also save them time running around in circles trying to develop, design, and implement campaigns. 

The Disadvantages of Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency 

While there are plenty of benefits to hiring a digital marketing agency, there are also disadvantages.

One of the biggest turn-offs? They can be expensive. Many agencies offer tiered pricing plans, while others offer custom packages. Regardless, the price tag on agencies can be a hard pill to swallow. 

Additionally, when you outsource your marketing efforts, you have to understand that you’re sacrificing quite a bit of control.

The agency is here to please their clients, but at the same time, they’re going to be the ones developing strategies and designing campaigns, and you have to let them. Trying to micromanage their efforts will drive your agency insane and will likely impact their ability to deliver desired results. 

Finally, you have to consider that you’re working with someone who isn’t sitting at a desk in your office. You can’t walk down the hall to ask them a question or express a concern.

Working with an agency means that there may be a lag in communication time, as you’ll largely be holding conversations through email, and conducting meetings over the phone or via video calls. This can sometimes be frustrating for the client waiting on results, or when you simply want to quickly discuss a small matter. 

The Advantages of Hiring a Digital Marketer 

When you hire an in-house digital marketer, communication is made easy and accessible. With your digital marketer in the office, urgent matters and simple flukes alike can be addressed quickly and efficiently. 

A full-time employee is more committed to your company than a digital agency who has various clients they’re working with at any one time.

Your own digital marketer is focused solely on living and breathing your brand and will quickly gain a more comprehensive understanding of your company, your industry, and your competitors. 

 

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Finally, when you invest in a full-time employee, you invest in their professional growth. You can pave the road for your digital marketer to grow new skills and specialties to become a more advanced expert within their field, and thus help your company grow even more. 

The Disadvantages of Hiring a Digital Marketer

As always, cost has to be a consideration. The average yearly salary of a digital marketing specialist is $60,000, plus benefits. 

One of the most important things to consider is that the digital marketer you hire may only have a singular area of expertise, whereas agency teams are often diversely built to encompass every avenue of digital marketing.

This could mean that your strategies are limited to the one specific area in which your digital marketer specializes. 

Finally, recruiting, hiring, and training a new employee takes time. And once you do get your new hire up to speed, you have just one person to analyze the current state of your company, develop strategies, design campaigns, and implement them.

All of this will take quite a bit of time with a one man team. When it comes down to it, hiring an agency will get you faster results than hiring an in-house employee. 

14 Digital Marketing Interview Questions to Ask to Find the Best Candidate

Once you post a job opening, you open the floodgates – prepare for an influx of applications. So, how do you manage to narrow them all down to just one choice?

Once you filter through resumes and whittle the group down to a select few, it’s time to hone in on these 14 digital marketing interview questions to ask your candidates. 

These questions will help you gauge the level of expertise the candidate possesses. There’s nothing worse than spending the time going through a careful recruiting process to realize you’ve hired someone who doesn’t have the skills necessary for the role. 

Digital Marketing Interview Questions

These are general digital marketing interview questions you can ask to better understand what base knowledge the candidate has.

1. How Would You Explain Digital Marketing? 

Goal of the Question: To establish whether the candidate has a firm grasp on the primary concepts of digital marketing. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should discuss the importance of brand marketing tactics via online channels, and touch upon the techniques used for this, such as SEO, social media engagement, PPC, and more.

2. Please Describe What Keywords Are and How They Impact SEO. 

 

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Goal of the Question: To determine their base knowledge of SEO and whether or not they have the skills to implement these tactics for your digital strategies. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should briefly touch upon what SEO is (an avenue of digital marketing that boosts organic traffic to your website by displaying you on search engine results pages). Then, they should discuss how keywords determine which search terms your website shows up for. 

3. How Would You Describe Bad Backlinks and What Are Some Link Building Best Practices?

Goal of the Question: To determine their knowledge about link building, one of the core pillars of SEO.

Desired Answer: The candidate should discuss what kinds of backlinks you do and don’t want, based on the SEO juice you’ll receive from high quality websites and low quality websites. They should also touch upon how to score backlinks via tactics like direct outreach or guest blogging. 

4. Name Some of the Most Commonly Used Digital Marketing Channels and Briefly Describe Them

Goal of the Question: To determine how extensive the candidate’s knowledge is about available channels or whether their knowledge is limited to just a few areas. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should be able to list a fairly extensive list of channels, including but not limited to: social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, and touch upon the individual benefits of each of these), email marketing, video marketing channels like YouTube, etc., online PR, and affiliate marketing. 

The candidate should be able to describe why each of these channels are important, and how utilizing them benefits your business. 

5. What Are Some Digital Marketing Tools You Know? Describe Your Experience With Them. 

Goal of the Question: To determine the candidate’s knowledge of digital marketing tools and whether or not they know how to use them to benefit your company. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should be able to touch upon a wide expanse of digital marketing tools, including but most definitely not limited to: Moz, Ahrefs, Google Analytics, XML Sitemap Generator, RankWatch, and Crazy Egg Heatmaps. 

Social Media Marketing Interview Questions

If you’re looking to hire a social media specialist, try asking these questions to determine their expertise. 

6. Which Social Media Channels Should Our Brand Be Using and Why? 

Goal of the Question: To determine the expanse of expertise that the candidate possesses and whether or not they’ll be able to develop well rounded social media marketing strategies

Desired Answer: The candidate should touch upon the key social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and how each one benefits your company in a different way.

For example, Twitter is a great way to engage with your customers quickly and effectively and show off some brand personality, while LinkedIn is a great place for recruitment marketing and identifying networking opportunities and good B2B prospects. 

7. What Are the Best Metrics for Tracking Social Media Marketing ROI? 

Goal of the Question: To determine whether the candidate has the experience to not only implement campaigns, but also track their efficiency and impact and adjust accordingly for the most effective strategies to bring you results. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should know that engagement alone is not enough for a strong ROI on social media marketing. The most important metrics to track are lead generation and conversions.

8. How Do You Stay on Top of Industry Trends and New Social Media Platforms and Features? 

 

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Goal of the Question: To ensure that the candidate is savvy enough to stay ahead of the curb, so your company never falls behind on the latest social media trends. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should be able to discuss the ever-changing landscape of social media and how it requires specialists within the field to constantly remain aware and adaptable.

9. What Is the Most Important Thing a Social Media Marketer Should Be Doing? 

Goal of the Question: To determine what the candidate prioritizes in terms of how they will develop, shape, and design social media strategies and campaigns. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should know that in order to be a truly effective social media marketer, they need to engage in active social listening with your audience to understand their goals, pain points, what they want, how they communicate, and what digital spaces they flock to. This is how to develop impactful social campaigns that bring in results.

10. Which Social Media Tools Do You Use?

Goal of the Question: To determine the greater depth of the candidate’s experience with managing multiple social media channels at a company-wide level. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should be able to identify multiple social media management tools and why they choose some over others. This will show their experience with each of these tools. 

Email Marketing Interview Questions

One of the primary focuses of digital marketing is keeping your email list engaged. Here are some questions to ask candidates who specialize in email marketing: 

11. How Would You Describe Email Marketing? 

Goal of the Question: To determine the candidate’s base knowledge of email marketing and how it works. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should discuss how email marketing allows you to encourage engagement from and create conversations with leads, prospects, and current customers. They may briefly touch upon contact segmentation – directing specific campaigns to different groups of contacts. 

12. How Can You Grow Our Email Subscriber List? 

 

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Goal of the Question: To determine how the candidate will specifically be able to help your company – whether or not they have tried and true strategies to implement for your benefit. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should touch upon a few different methods by which they can help you grow your subscriber list, including but not limited to: creating impactful, valuable email content, developing opt-in campaigns, creating lead generation offers with materials like ebooks and templates that require an email address for download, and more.  

13. What Companies Do Email Marketing Well? 

Goal of the Question: To determine how active the candidate is within their own field of expertise. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should be able to list a few different companies that carry out killer marketing campaigns and explain why they’re so effective. 

14. Describe What Types of Emails You Would Use to Move Our Prospects Down the Funnel. 

Goal of the Question: To determine whether or not the candidate has a more advanced knowledge of the important attributes and tactics of effective email marketing and whether they’ll be able to implement them to benefit your business. 

Desired Answer: The candidate should be able to discuss how different content and offers are relevant to different prospects based on where they are throughout your funnel and what kinds of materials they would deliver to them based on this information. 

The Right Talent, the Right Way

Asking the right digital marketing interview questions is essential to finding the right talent for your company.

As digital marketing is one of the most important pillars of success for your business, it’s important to make sure that you’re working with someone who is truly an expert in their field.

Hiring the right person for the job is the very first step in building your kickass marketing team and developing strategies that will drive long term sustainable growth for your business. 

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Claire Cortese

Claire Cortese

I am a content creator here at Bluleadz. In my free time, I enjoy hugging dogs, watching reruns of The Office, and getting sunburnt at the beach.