It’s clear today that all businesses, no matter what their size or industry, must include digital in their marketing activities. A survey of more than five hundred marketing executives from around the world found 74% believe that marketing organisations are facing a critical talent shortage due to a lack of digital skills that are required to meet ongoing customer demands. This means not only are there plenty of opportunities to further careers, it is also the perfect time for those looking to make the move into digital marketing specifically.
Digital Marketing Skill Set
Digital marketing is not so different from traditional marketing, but you do need to get to grips with a new skill set. Whilst you will still need to employ the 4Ps to bring your product to market, you will also need to use new skills such as video production, social media engagement and insights, copywriting for SEO, automation and AI knowledge, technical appreciation (e.g. algorithms, code cleanliness, responsive design) and data interpretation. You don’t need to be a Developer or a Video Editor (although you may want to) but appreciating the challenges within these areas is important for any digital marketer.
Upskilling is a great way to ensure you deliver the best results for your business, your clients and your career. Here is a list of digital marketing skills you should look to master:
Just as in wider marketing, writing is at the heart of digital marketing too. Marketers communicate through blogs, web copy, e-books, newsletters, social posts and so on. Even the most impactful graphics must be supported by strong copy. These content types are used for education, entertainment and conversion primarily. Understanding the intent of the user and therefore how best to position the content and what tone to use will make a big difference to your success.
What to do? The best way to become a better writer is to write more and measure your results to determine what works. Over time, you’ll develop a sixth sense for what makes an outstanding copy and the kind of phrases and words that inspire your audience to act. Make sure your copy is compelling by setting time aside to plan good stories that will engage your audiences and encourage them to interact with you. Having a read of my 5 rules to writing amazing content will also help!
Data is a digital marketer’s biggest asset. With a growing variety of online tools available to measure data across all platforms, it’s important to learn how to analyse it. Companies are on the lookout for professionals that cannot just “read” data, but also extract value from it to build effective marketing plans. Remember, the Insight that you gain from the data is infinitely more valuable than the data itself.
What to do? Read my guide to google analytics to get started. After that, take advantage of various free online analytics courses. Slowly branch out and try to learn more about how to use Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, Google Ads, Facebook Ads Manager and a variety of other analytics platforms for analysing channel specific, attribution, engagement, multi-channel and performance data.
3. Search Engine Optimization [SEO]
A well-written piece of content is pointless if people can’t find it. Organic search results are approximately 8.5 times more likely to be clicked than paid search results, so it is important to get SEO right.
According to studies, 93% of online experiences now begin with a search engine. As a digital marketer, knowing how to research which keywords to include in website text, blogs and PPC is essential.
What to do? SEO is a fairly technical skill that cannot be mastered without studying it. You can begin with learning how to use tools like Semrush. Remember: SEO is a slow process that takes time to show results, so don’t get disappointed.
To learn the fundamentals of SEO through key activities that maximise performance, you can sign up for my SEO training course. This includes content writing techniques, outreach and PR, technical code updates, local SEO and much more.
4. Social Media
Social media has been a huge influencing power in the world over the last 15 years. Over half of the world’s population (3.96 billion) uses social media to connect, interact and chat with family, friends and co-workers. This makes social media an enormously effective tool for marketers and organisations to reach and engage with their target audiences. It is important to plan and learn how to use each platform’s tools to build your brand, increase sales and drive website traffic.
Social media is much more than just publishing a post every few days. There are 3 criteria that marketers must consider while developing social media strategies:
- The relevance and timeliness of the content to your target audience.
- Using multiple formats such as carousels, polls and videos.
- Be social. Interact and converse with other accounts
Each social media platform has its own way to help businesses target their content to certain audiences and obtain reliable statistics, each has their own audience and therefore each responds differently – don’t assume you can post the same content everywhere at the same time and get the same results.
What to do? Learn more about algorithms, keep up with ongoing trends, explore hidden functions and engage with different communities. Investigate the strengths and weaknesses of each social media platform and how to optimise content for each channel. But most importantly, be human. Most people participate in social media because it is social. So leave your corporate image to your website and bring out your personality on social.
5. Content Creation
Content is, and will always remain, king. Without content, there is nothing to market. Equipping yourself with basic content creation skills will help set you apart. And if you learn any new content creation skills in 2022, make sure it is video. Video continues to take the internet by storm, and this isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. Eight out of ten people have made a purchase after watching a video and are more inclined to trust your business if they can see your face (or the face of the person marketing the brand).
Another way to boost your written content is to make sure you support it with the right image. Once your optimised copy has brought someone to your site, your graphics should engage them further. Positive, human, emotional and brand reinforcing images all make a surprising difference to your performance. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a pro at photoshop; basic skills and understanding of design will be sufficient. Be on a look out for designs that grabbed your attention… what was it that caught your eye?
What to do? Let me introduce you to your new best friend – Canva. From simple graphic designing to full-length video editing, Canva is one place that will fulfil all your basic content creation needs. Just remember that Canva is no substitute for authentic and original ideas and it does lack some of the power of the more complex design tools. When it comes to creating and editing videos, learning how to produce short films without having to pay an expert is an excellent place to begin. You can find out more on how to leverage video marketing here.
Ultimately, to make it in Digital Marketing, marketers must have a thorough understanding of their customers’ goals, needs and problem areas – the same as any field of marketing. The majority of the Digital marketing skills you need are the same as any field of marketing – understanding people, analysing results, being creative etc. But the specific skills above will certainly help you get ahead.
Finally, don’t forget that we live in an age of fast-paced technological invention; at any moment skills can become obsolete and the only way to remain relevant is to be ready to reinvent yourself. Never stop learning!