In this blog I will highlight 7 key jobs in Digital Marketing and how you can become great at them. So if you are a marketer who wants to specialise in the digital sphere or if you already work in digital marketing but would like to enhance your skills, this blog is for you.
How to be a great SEO Manager
- Prioritise the user above Google. At the end of the day, that’s what the user wants, but it’s also what Google is optimising for. Don’t bend your SEO strategy to Google’s current specifications because when they next change, you’ll end up chasing your tail. So focus on your users and you’ll avoid future curveballs.
- To that end, make sure you follow Google’s news on their algorithms and stay up-to-date with blogs such as Search Engine Land.
- In my book Digital Marketing Strategy I introduced the concept of the SEO Triangle. This model splits SEO into three groups: Technical, Content and Links. Breaking SEO down into these three areas will help you add structure to how you tackle ranking factors and how you assign value and effort in each area. You can read more about this specifically on my blog The SEO Triangle
- Get to grips with the wealth of great tools that are out there, in particular AHrefs and Semrush. Screaming Frog is also a good one and I recommend regularly using Google Search Console and the tools from Google Ads. The Moz toolset is also important a great compliment to your tech stack and has been for many years..
How to be a great Social Media Manager
- Be human. That might sound obvious, but so many brands forget! People engage with people not companies, and you can see the impact when brands get it right.
- Develop your brand strategy so that you have a different persona on Facebook or Twitter compared to your website or corporate communications. Bring out your brand’s personality on social media so that your audience want to communicate with you. Talk to your community, engage with them back and encourage conversations. Be real.
- Speaking of real… Getting au fait with Reels and short form video in general is going to become more and more important. Learn how to produce video content easily and quickly, and how to give them different treatments so you can repurpose videos across different social media platforms. Videos are critical not only because that’s what users want, it’s what the algorithms want too.
- Test different tools all the time. Each platform is launching their own features and you need to understand how to use them. Investigate how you can make the most out of Instagram Stories, LinkedIn newsletters and Twitter Carousel ads. Don’t focus on just one; you need to be present on them all and tailor your content for each.
- Finally don’t forget that social media is about… drumroll… being social. It’s not just about posting but more about two way communication. Get involved with similar accounts to yours, comment on the posts of large accounts, build relationships. This will drive engagement as people want to talk to you and listen to you. No one likes that friend that only talks about themself and never listens to you!
How to be a great Performance Marketing Manager
- Look at your lead generation techniques. Would Click-to-Call work for you? Have you optimised your Google My Business listing? Are you running regular A/B tests to understand what your audiences react to?
- There are so many different techniques to stay up to date with – keyword targeting, audience-based targeting (which applies to both Google and to social networks). More broadly, there are the app stores, in app, video and audio streaming not to mention the metaverse. Train and learn all the channels – don’t just specialise in one or your next campaign may demand channels that you aren’t familiar with.
- Performance Marketing is a huge area and can be overwhelming, so the key is to create really smart reporting and automate as much as you can. There are some great tools that can help such as Data Studio from Google.
- Use data wisely. Ensure you’re using first party data to target the right people at the right time. Stay close to regulations on Third Party Data, especially in relation to how Google, Facebook and others are treating them. Read up on the Privacy Sandbox.
How to be a great Content Manager
- This is harder to simplify a skills list because creativity isn’t something you can teach or learn. But the more you produce, test and analyse, the sooner you can see what works and what doesn’t for your audience. Be creative. Follow other creatives and campaigns. Look outside your niche for inspiration.
- If you don’t have a creative mind-set – cheat! There are so many tools available these days to help you look like a creative genius. For example, Canva– even my children can create works of art on here. Technology is a great enabler for creativity and allows those who are not naturally skilled to produce beautiful content.
- Understand the science of design. Know that green call-to-action buttons will give you higher clicks. Understand that photos of humans that are smiling will win you more likes. Learn how best to position and layout graphics so that you keep important information above the fold.
How to be a great Digital Strategist
- Clearly, I think Digital Strategy is fascinating as it’s the main topic of my books… but the key to this role is having a really good understanding of the breadth of the industry. The line between marketing and digital marketing is more and more blurred, so you need to be clear on how the different parts integrate together.
- SEO should be a critical part of your strategy to grow your business at a low cost… but in order to produce great SEO, you need to have a well-designed website. And this website needs to deliver good UX, offer great content and be supported by relatable social media.
- If you do have gaps in your SEO, fill them with paid search. Your audience might not have a specific intent, so you will need to create that intent via social media advertising or in-app advertising to drive people into the funnel.
- Look at the bigger picture – not just digital marketing, but at how other channels are affecting your audience acquisition. Make sure you understand how PR, TV and radio advertising affect Google search patterns and multi-channel behaviours, so you can establish how to best work alongside them.
- Of course, for a detailed overview on this topic, you can read my book. However, Digital Marketing Strategy is one of the areas where I would recommend academic study as it can be quite complex.
How to be a great UX Manager
- UX, also referred to as XD, is really important to understand if you’re going to be building any sort of app (mobile or web) or online experience. Read up on the fundamentals of UX design, what makes a good UX navigation and how hierarchies and information architecture work.
- Establish a critical starting point and make sure you offer a logical flow by using tools and methodologies to organise the information you need to get across. Where errors can happen make sure you have clear error messaging to enable users to complete their journeys with ease.
- Short, well signposted journeys are the most important step in UX. From there concentrate on understanding human psychology and what impact it has on peoples’ behaviour. There are many tools out there to help you undertake UX research such as Heatmap software, usability testing and eyeball tracking.
- Look into how to improve your deep data analytics to understand how people are moving between and around your platforms.
- Read more about website design thinking in my latest book, The Digital Marketing Handbook.
How to be a great Communications Manager
- Communications manager is a role that has changed enormously in the last 10 years. Despite being the earliest form of digital communications, email is still one of the fastest growing channels. However, simply sending an email newsletter once a month won’t cut it. Instead you need to understand how smart marketing automation works and when to employ it at key moments in your audience’s behaviour.
- Keep privacy in mind while at the same time, joining journeys together. You want your communications to be as personal as possible (without crossing the line). Encourage your customers to provide you with enough data to build profiles by delivering content that is truly relevant to them.
- Understand the art form of creating compelling subject lines and designing emails that get straight to the point… avoid making people read too much or wasting their time. Read my email implementation guide which breaks down each step.
- Beyond email, investigate how best to manage online chat, optimise your automation platforms and integrate your different communication channels.
No matter what you choose to specialise in, what’s important to remember is that Digital Marketing is a fast-paced and ever-changing field and what skills are best today won’t necessarily be the ones you need tomorrow. But grasping the core technical skills from the start and keeping up-to-date with the latest trends (by signing up for my newsletter) will help ensure you stay ready for whatever the digital world throws at you next.