The digital industry is vast, and it can be difficult to navigate for newcomers or those looking to find their niche. So, how do you set yourself apart from the competition and fast-track your way up the corporate ladder?
Check out these 7 essential skills to keep you relevant in the ever-changing digital industry.
Video is taking the internet by storm and this isn’t about to stop. According to MarTech, videos have the potential to hold customer’s attention on retail sites for two minutes longer than average (which is really like a lifetime in the digital world) and a well-optimized video can boost your chances of being in a top Google ranking position by at least 50. In addition, more than 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product after seeing it detailed in a video.
Bear in mind that these are just loose statistics are going to vary depending on who you ask, but the point is that most statistics point to much higher conversion, engagement and higher SEO rankings when it comes to video.
What makes it so engaging? Because it’s personal. When people can see your face (or the face of the person promoting the brand), they are more likely to trust the entire enterprise. It’s also a wonderfully versatile content to use through different platforms.
Digital marketing professionals don’t have to know everything about video production, of course, but knowing how to create a quick intro video from your laptop is a good place to start. And if you have some training in this area and you love it, your skills and talents will not be wasted as video will continue to be in demand.
2. SEO & SEM
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to all levels of digital marketing and as such, anyone going into the field must have at least a basic handle on it. You can certainly leave the highly technical, back-end stuff to the more technically-oriented people on the team, having a solid understanding of best practices and how to optimize all forms of content is crucial for running a successful digital marketing campaign.
Both SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) inform your entire digital strategy on both a data and content level, and you need to be able to communicate to other teammates about this, so you just won’t get far if you don’t make a point of learning the basics.
3. Content Marketing
Content is the core of digital marketing and content marketing will continue to be a crucial part of the game no matter what happens. But content marketing is a huge job in itself. You have to be able to understand how to not only create high quality, SEO-friendly content of various sorts, you also have to understand how to effectively get audiences to engage.
And to make things a little more challenging, it’s important to note that content can take many forms, from video to social, emails, web content, blogs, e-books, videos, whitepapers…the list goes on. You also have to have a firm grasp on social media marketing as this will tie in to most content marketing type of work. You’ll need to be able to strategize based on a given client’s overarching business goals, develop a campaign that involves an effective strategy, and monitor analytics as well
4. Data / Analytics
No matter what facet of digital marketing you are going into, Google Analytics will probably be central to your strategy. Monitoring and reporting via such tools is pretty straightforward, but the tricky part is how to gather and use that information to help you learn more about consumer behaviour and apply it to new solutions that boost traffic and conversions.
Most businesses (even small ones) have huge amounts of data to track, and great digital marketers need to understand how to gather and use this to their advantage. Most companies will always be looking for people who to only know how to “read” this data, but to know exactly which data to use towards improving business strategy in the future. If you can show that you can do this in innovative ways and that the way you do it ends with important results, you’re going to be a valuable asset in the industry.
5. Understand Design-Based Thinking & Planning
Design Thinking is a term that basically refers to a way of approaching problems from a user-centred perspective. The approach essentially encourages us to think in a human-centred way when solving large-scale complex problems.
According to The Interaction Design Foundation, there are 5 key phases to this process: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. The reason why this works so well in the digital marketing sphere is that so much of it is (or should be) centred on the user experience. Another interesting thing about this approach is that it can be used in a non-linear way – so that in some instances you may get to the testing phase and then come back to the middle phase, for instance, to re-consider ideas.
esigners and developers are likely to use an approach like this, so even if you’re not one, it’s a good idea to at least have a solid understanding of it and apply it when feasible.
6. Content Management
At the heart of digital marketing is content. Writing and editing are more than just producing articles for blog posts and landing pages. It’s about connecting with your target audience using relevant messages and convincing them to take your desired action.
Of course, having relevant and well-written copy and content is a must for every digital marketer. But, what can help optimize it is creatively incorporating SEO keywords into it. Keyword optimization will help your content rank on search engines so your audience can find it.
7. Email Marketing Skills
Even if email marketing is considered as an old practice, it’s still one of the most effective ways to nurture a good relationship between you and your customers. So, think outside the box and provide the best email marketing service.
To be able to create a dynamic email marketing campaign, you must know and understand the right tools, metrics, and strategies. This includes analyzing click rates, identifying platform navigation, and running email campaigns.
8. CRM Skills
Customer Relationship Management involves strategies you can use to monitor and maximize customer experience. By understanding customer interactions and experience, you can connect with them on a personal and emotional level toward improving your business.
If you want your customers to promote your brand, you’ll need a set of skills to help you improve your Customer Service Management:
Empathy – Start asking yourself, if you were the customer, how would you want to be marketed to? How would you want to be reached and spoken to?
Good Communication Skills – Every client is different. How they do business is also different. But, when you know how to communicate well with different people, it’s easier to work out a good deal with them.
9. Social Media Skills
Nowadays, the world of social media has become one big arena for public conversations. As a digital marketer, you can use that advantage to engage people with your business and inform them about your product or service.
You may already be familiar with social media because you’ve been personally using it since it first emerged. But, an effective digital marketer knows that there’s more to social media than just posting regularly and consistently.
Because businesses are now using social media to reach their target consumers, the platforms have significantly evolved to accommodate digital marketing needs. There’s social media advertising, boosted posts, hashtags, business pages, groups, and more. Indeed, there’s a lot to learn.
management also goes hand-in-hand with social media skills because it’s about seizing every opportunity you have to develop a better relationship with your customers.
10. Paid Social Media Advertising Skills
Social media is no longer as simple as it used to be. Reaching your target market takes more than creating a business page, using the right hashtags, or regularly posting entertaining and relevant content.
Facebook Ads, for instance, provides marketers and advertisers with a comprehensive tool to create and manage advertisements. But, how do you make sure that you’re using it effectively? Without a proper understanding of how social media ads work, you may end up spending more than you need to and fail to reach the right audience.
Learn and develop skills in oCPM bidding, creative ad experimentation, granular targeting of custom audiences, and social media data analytics tools like Facebook Insights.
11. Mobile Marketing
According to Hubspot’s marketing statistics, almost half of B2B buyers do product research on their mobile devices while at work while 51% of consumers have discovered a new company while searching on their smartphones.
Because there seems to be no end to the growth of mobile marketing, various businesses and social media platforms are now coming up with innovative ways to reach people on their mobile phones.
It’s now essential to determine how you can create mobile-friendly content, and how you can leverage consumers’ dependence on smartphones for your business.
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A great digital marketing professional will have the ability to adapt quickly and learn on their own, even being ready to pivot into different digital careers as they choose or as needed should old skills become less in-demand. They will be working with diverse teams and clients, so they will have to know how to communicate well and build strong teams.