Digital marketing is a large and rapidly evolving industry, making it a great choice for those looking to start a new career. Keeping up with the changes can feel like a full-time job, yet it’s essential if you want to reach the top of your game…But, if you don’t have a solid grasp of the basic digital marketing skills, keeping up will be impossible.
First, you need to understand the basics, and then build on that knowledge. This will give you the strongest foundation and a good understanding of digital marketing, something many marketers lack.
To be competitive in today’s market, marketers need to understand the digital marketing skills outlined below. If you want to create a valuable and sought-after CV, you need a moderate understanding of all of them, and a deep understanding of one or two.
5 Essential Digital Marketing Skills
You can create the most beautiful websites, design exceptional adverts, perfectly understand your audience’s behaviour, etc., but if you can’t engage them, it’s all for nothing.
There are a few skills within this overarching skill set. First, there’s copywriting. Writing good copy is a skill, and despite what people say, you can learn to write better copy. Learn from the experts, such as Ogilvy and Sugarman. Both of these books offer excellent help and advice.
You need to adopt a slightly different strategy when writing copy online. There’s a great program offered by Coursera, called “The Strategy of Content Marketing”. It’s co-written by one of the leading Authors at copyblogger.com (considered an excellent resource for content writers) and has some excellent advice about creating effective content marketing strategies.
Second, there are audio and video content skills. Understanding how people interact with different types of content is a valued skill – creating this content, even more so.
Metrics and Conversions
Where the above skill set asks you to be creative, metrics and conversions asks you to take a scientific approach. It involves the ability to analyse data reliably. Testing and measuring the way people interact with digital content is the key to creating campaigns that work. It is therefore a prized skill.
Analysing conversions using set metrics allows digital marketers to work out how users interact with a website, how people respond to email marketing campaigns, whether they engage with social media accounts, etc. These insights are invaluable in informing digital marketing strategies that work.
Understanding metrics and conversions allows you to tweak and hone your strategies until you find the ones that work best. Ogilvy took the same approach with his copywriting work. He would test and measure his response rates and analyse his competitor’s campaigns. He would then create and test his hypotheses. This is how he became the world’s number 1 copywriter.
Nowadays, it’s much easier. We have access to things like Google Analytics to offer a comprehensive way to collect, analyse, and test data.
Search Engine Optimisation
Whispers within the digital marketing world say that SEO is becoming obsolete. This isn’t true, although it can appear that way. It’s lost its pedestal status. That’s all. Other skills, i.e. those listed here, are now just as important to successful digital marketing as SEO.
SEO is still a fundamental skill but it no longer holds a privileged position.
The ability to create high-end websites with content that enhances user experience is highly valued. It’s all about merging form and function: web content needs to be beautifully presented and easy to navigate.
Walking the tightrope between form (visual design) and function (information architecture) borders on a gift, and digital marketers with these skills are in high demand.
Adobe XD is a free package that you can get online. It offers you the ability to work on both UI and UX within a single software package. Working through their tutorials can be a great place to start honing your skills.
Social & Community
This is something that you’ll rarely see mentioned in reference to digital marketing skills, as everyone’s too busy focusing on the more technical side of digital marketing. However, keeping your finger on the pulse of modern culture gives you a great advantage within this industry.
Knowing your audience is the key to everything. It’s only by understanding the culture that you can create content that works and deliver it in a way that people want.
Remember: Digital Marketers work in teams, with individuals specialising in different areas. Having a basic understanding of each skill set is essential, but developing expertise in one or two areas is the best way to make your skill set invaluable.