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Digital marketing is a role that has exploded in importance over the last 20 years.
And with technology impacting so many areas of life, it is a skill that is only going to increase in demand over the next few years.
The downside is that competition for roles in digital marketing is equally high.
So if you’re going to beat your competitors, as well as succeed in this field, you’re going to need to have a good base of skills at your fingertips to make an impact.
Fortunately, these skills are easy enough to learn, when you know what they are!
So What Skills Do I Need For Digital Marketing?
There are 7 key skills needed for digital marketing, and in this article I’ll cover them all.
Ready? Let’s dive in…!
1. Search Engine Optimization & Marketing
If you are in the world of digital marketing (see also ‘Is Digital Marketing A Good Career?‘), then chances are these terms are familiar to you.
And rightly so, as they are the cornerstones of online marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (also known as SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) focus primarily on how well a given website, blog, page, or any other type of URL performs in search engine results.
Better optimized pages will appear higher on the search engine results pages, with the best appearing in the first 2 or 3 pages of results.
In short, if you want your page to be seen by the people that you are marketing to, you have to be able to optimize it for the search engines.
Otherwise, your content will simply end up on the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th search pages, or even further back.
And let’s be honest: when searching for a result in a search engine like Google or Bing, when have you ever gone past the 3rd or 4th page of search results?
How often do you even go to the 2nd page of results?
Needless to say, if you take nothing else away from this guide, make sure that you understand how SEO and SEM work.
There are plenty of courses that offer key groundwork to help you gain a better understanding of this ever-changing algorithm.
2. Content Marketing / Blogging
The next cornerstone of digital marketing is the field of content marketing.
Content is the lifeblood of digital marketing. Without content, you can’t attract traffic, and without traffic, you can’t make sales.
It’s no wonder that even medium-sized businesses will spend anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 a month on content.
One of the most consistently successful tactics in recent years is the use of organically written blogs and similar content, as they create real engagement and maintain higher amounts of screen time than many other strategies.
So, knowing how to put together a blog that both looks and feels professional, as well as authentic, is a vital skill to have for a digital marketer.
Fortunately, content management systems such as WordPress make it easy for people who otherwise lack expertise in web design.
3. Video Marketing
This is a feature that many people who aren’t even experts in marketing will likely be aware of.
When it comes to engagement with companies and advertisers, there probably hasn’t been a more successful format than video marketing.
The statistics back this up too.
When it comes to purchases, 8 out of 10 people surveyed made their decision to purchase a product after watching at least a portion of an advertisement video.
Needless to say, video marketing is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy.
Plus, videos that help sell products are often also vital to improving a site’s overall SEO, so there is a clear push and need for effective video marketing.
Having at least a little experience when it comes to creating and editing videos is a vital skill that can help set you apart from your competitors.
4. Marketing Analytics Research
Successful marketers obsess over measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Being able to understand and comprehend the data you gather on your marketing strategies, as well as developing and creating new ideas to build on what works in your marketing campaigns, will set you apart and fuel your success.
This point isn’t to say that a digital marketer needs to be able to understand how data analytics work from day one (although that would help).
What this does mean is that you should at least have the ability to use the tools that help format and use data analytics, such as the appropriately named Google Analytics.
If you can navigate these tools, you have the foundational skills needed to start analyzing data.
5. Writing Marketing Words / Copy
Despite the somewhat confusing title used here, the concept behind this particular idea is pretty easy to understand.
This skill is often known as copywriting.
Copywriting is a little different from simply blogging. It’s the skill of creating a coherent and persuasive piece of writing in order to encourage a specific result, such as a sale.
It could be a script for a sales video, an nurturing email to customers, or an advertorial disguised as a humble blog post.
This aspect is as much about crafting a story as it is putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards. We are talking about digital marketing, after all).
6. Social Media Marketing
This point is pretty self-explanatory. A good digital marketer should be able to have a good grasp of how a variety of social media platforms operate.
Or at the very least, the ability to navigate across them, as well as tie posts that they make back to brand and product names.
This means being able to adapt a message, depending on the platform being used as well.
After all, sites like Facebook and Twitter don’t just have different rules and systems when it comes to posting, but also have very different audiences that you may be trying to target a product with!
And this isn’t even considering the other skills that are often platform specific, such as live-streaming and using hashtags correctly.
7. Email Marketing
This one is another skill that is simple to grasp, but takes quite a lot of skill to master.
Marketing for a company or a business will inevitably also include contacting other people in a professional capacity.
As a digital marketer, being able to create templates for a variety of different situations and professionals is critical.
After all, you are often speaking on behalf of a brand, so you must be able to represent said-business in a way that is both authentic to the brand, whilst also being professional.
These can include but are not limited to, being able to send personal email templates for sales teams to use, company-wide newsletters, as well as promotional offer emails that get sent to specific target audiences.
So, as you can see, the various skills that go into becoming an effective digital marketer as varied as they are vital to success.
And while this wide selection of skills that marketers should have can seem intimidating at first, it also presents itself with a bonus.
Chances are that most people will have at least one or two of these skills in some regard, whether they realize it or not.
This gives plenty of people the chance to at least get a start in the industry, whilst also learning and picking up the other necessary skills that they need along the way.
So, if any of these skills sound like talents that you already have, then you may already be set to at least make your first steps into the wide world of digital marketing!