“Does a digital marketer need to learn Python? If yes, how much knowledge should they have?”– Curious marketer
“How is Python used in digital marketing?”
“What are good Python courses for marketers?
There’s a case to be made for Python in digital marketing. I wrote articles on how coding has become an integral part of the marketing space. Professionals are now curious to know if it’s a good idea to learn it.
As marketing automation evolves at a fast pace, so do the skills required. Digital marketing could be different in the coming years. Digital marketers need to level up skills to be employable and be career-proof.
In this long list of skills, one more thing I want to add: Python
6 Uses of Python in Digital Marketing
As I’m writing this blog post, I learned how to code in Python only five months ago. Python is the easiest to learn compared to other powerful programming languages. Note that I said easiest, not easy. You still need to put in the work. In this article, here are some uses of Python in digital marketing.
Working with APIs
One of the most useful cases of learning Python in digital marketing is APIs. API means Application Programming Interface. In simple terms, APIs allow different software to connect with each other. All software or any tool has an API.
Check any of your favorite software tools. If their website has an API documentation page found on the footer navigation, they have an open API to use.
APIs speed up the work of digital marketers and automates many workflows. Examples of APIs are anything in the marketing automation space. Whether getting social media posts or doing text analysis, there’s an API for it.
Another often scenario for Python in digital marketing is web scraping. In the case of digital marketing and SEO, it’s used for uncovering text data.
For my projects, I scrape web pages. I want to get the word count or text content from pages to do stuff with them afterward. One of them is to create my own free word counter tool to see the word count of any website content. I see a general view of how long the web pages are since I think they matter for analysis.
Example of Python code:
def get_content(url_argument): page_source = requests.get(url_argument).text strainer = SoupStrainer('p') soup = BeautifulSoup(page_source, 'lxml', parse_only=strainer) paragraph_list = [element.text for element in soup.find_all(strainer)] content = " ".join(paragraph_list) return content
Scraping the content allows me to do advanced stuff like Natural Language Processing. I scrape the content to do entity recognition and uncover semantic SEO. Eventually, I’d like to do topic modeling if I get to the more advanced stuff.
Text analysis is quite popular in the Python and data science communities. By virtue, it trickles down to digital marketing as well. Anything related to copy or content is a variation of text analysis at some point. These simple projects lead to more advanced stuff like machine learning.
I built a custom Google search results page that has sentiment analysis output. I want to experiment with easy-to-use models to identify the morale or tone of the content. I want to build something fast without having to dive deep into statistics.
Another use case is in social media marketing. Build an algorithm to create your own sentiment analysis. Uncover the opinions of people about your brand. Or cluster emails and see the patterns through text clustering and topic modeling.
Data Analysis and Data Visualization
Digital marketing is packed with data mining especially in marketing campaigns. At one point, it needs to be visualized. Python has amazing libraries and it’s the perfect fit to solve these problems.
pandas library is a godsend when doing data analysis. A library like
matplotlib is a savior for data visualization. On top of that, using Jupyter notebook makes data mining through large datasets super fast.
You might be asking, why not use Google Data Studio or spreadsheets? Well, sometimes data is overwhelming and unwieldy that it takes too long to load. Have you experienced a spreadsheet with 50,000+ rows? It’s not fun to filter, clean, sort, delete or add data points.
Python has a place in digital marketing, particularly in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is the discipline I come from, and learning Python expanded my toolbox and repertoire. Technical SEO is where I get inspiration to build Python projects, and there are a lot of projects to work on.
SEO Pythonistas is an amazing resource for this. There’s growing popularity within SEO professionals who want to dive into Python and expand their expertise.
Python libraries like
EcommerceTools specialize in technical SEO. Both open-source libraries have features like crawling XML sitemaps and robots.txt files. The beauty of Python is the ocean of libraries for many use cases.
Build Internal Tools
Bringing it all together, you build internal tools. The most amazing feeling is when you create something you thought of. You are the artist of a painting you want to make. Nothing like building, creating and making something to fruition.
Who knows, you might start a software company from internal apps in the future. Marketing Technology expert Yaniss Illous built a tool in Python as a side project. He now published that side project as a set of investment calculator tools.
Streamlit is a web Python framework to build apps completely in Python. This is an opportunity to create any tools that help your digital marketing tasks.
Resources to Learn Python
There are countless Python guides, tutorials, and courses on the Internet. Be careful not to go down a rabbit hole on which one to pick since they are overwhelming. Don’t be a victim of analysis paralysis or go into tutorial hell. In the end, it’s more important to apply them.
FreeCodeCamp is one of the best resources out there to learn Python. They have certifications called Data Analysis with Python and Scientific Computing with Python. On top of that, they also have a huge catalog of Python tutorials on YouTube. They have no shortage of lessons to help you build your side projects.
Another great resource is YouTube. Many crash courses are uploaded (and still counting) to help get your feet on Python. YouTube has an overabundant of tutorials and it’s up to you which plays to your learning style.
Skillshare contains amazing classes as well. The platform not only has courses on Python but also has complementary classes like web design or data science. What’s great about Skillshare is they have specialized courses like building a website in Shopify or WordPress. A great way to practice what you learned.
The courses in Udemy are affordable ranging from $10 to $15 and many of them are on Python. Courses are more structured and some have supplementary materials. Users get a glimpse of the curriculum and they watch video previews on what to expect from them.
I bought Boris Paskhaver’s course Learn to Code with Python. It’s simple to follow, beginner-friendly, and has exercises to practice. This 50-hour course takes its time to explain concepts. So far, I’m happy with my purchase and have never regretted it.
Watch the previews to see the instructor’s teaching style. You don’t want to pay for a course that’s not helpful. I’ve been in the position where I bought courses and regretted that I didn’t get any value from them.
The CXL team has a technical marketing course and lives up to its name. It contains topics on machine learning, coding, and cloud technology. Check the course and resources of CXL if you’re serious about diving into Python.
DataCamp is also great for learning Python. It has a free sign-up. The prices are steep to some because they do monthly subscriptions. Check out the different curriculum and see if they are worth it.
DataCamp uses an interactive learning environment where the system gives the lecture in chunks. Then the student enters the Python code on the web browser. They serve as interactive challenges.
I don’t prefer this type of learning because it’s too rigid. I prefer the open sandbox approach where I need to set up my coding environment on my computer. Then I start coding like a real programmer.
Conclusion: Python is Another Tool in Digital Marketing
You might ask: Why learn Python if there are tools that do automation for you? Well, you extend the functionality of those tools to your custom needs. Granted that it’s not needed to force yourself to learn Python. It’s another tool to have in your back pocket, just in case. You don’t need to be a data scientist.
To some, Python is the language of choice for many digital marketers. It’s easier to build tools and automation to do repetitive tasks.