Navigating the expansive digital industry can be challenging, especially for newcomers or marketers aiming to carve out their niche. Understanding key digital marketing KPIs, mastering SEO, and excelling in content marketing is vital, but it’s crucial to concentrate on areas critical to a business’s success.
The good news is the global market’s high demand for marketers with versatile digital skills. However, the downside is a widespread skill shortage. Our study, ‘The Marketing Evolution: Leadership, Transformation, Skills, Challenges & the Future’, reveals that senior and mid-level marketers face notable skill gaps, with data analysts (47%), general digital marketing skills (37%), and UX designers (34%) being the most in demand.
If you’re aspiring to climb the corporate ladder swiftly or stand out amid competition, especially as a digital nomad or an aspiring successful freelancer, here are 10 key skills to maintain relevance in the dynamic digital landscape:
Video continues to take the internet by storm and this isn’t about to stop. Customers love videos, particularly on social media, and 8 out of 10 people have purchased after watching a brand’s video. For marketers, 93% who use video say it’s an important part of their strategy, and 87% report it gives them a positive Return on Investment (ROI) according to The State of Video Marketing research.
Bear in mind that these are loose statistics that will 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 and relevant. When people can see your face (or the face of the person promoting the brand), they are more likely to trust your business. It’s also wonderfully versatile content to use across different platforms. Just think about the success of Instagram and the rapid rise of TikTok!
Digital marketing professionals don’t have to know everything about video production. However, knowing how to make videos without hiring a professional is a good place to start. There are some great tools to help you do that such as Camtasia or an AI tool like CapCut. And if you have some training in this area and love it, your skills will never be wasted as video will always be in demand.
If you want to learn more on your own, you can try out video editing tools like Apple Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro.
SEO & SEM
Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for anyone venturing into digital marketing, regardless of their expertise level. While the more intricate, technical aspects can be managed by specialized team members, a fundamental grasp of how SEO operates, along with knowledge of best practices and content optimization, is vital for orchestrating effective digital marketing campaigns. This importance is further amplified with the advent of AI technologies like Google’s Search Generative Experience, which are reshaping the SEO landscape.
Content is the cornerstone of digital marketing, and its significance in content marketing remains paramount, irrespective of changes in the industry. However, content marketing itself is a substantial task. It requires the ability to craft high-quality, SEO-optimized content across various channels and the skill to devise effective content strategies that engage and convert audiences. This includes proficiency in leveraging ChatGPT and other AI technologies for content creation and strategy.
Adding to the complexity, content manifests in numerous forms such as videos, social media posts, emails, website content, blogs, e-books, whitepapers, and more. Moreover, a strong understanding of social media marketing is essential, as content plays a vital role in the success of social platforms.
Data & Analytics
In any area of digital marketing, analytics is a key component of your strategy, enabling better, data-informed decisions for campaigns. While monitoring and reporting with tools like Google Analytics is relatively straightforward, the real challenge lies in interpreting this data to gain insights into consumer behavior and using it to enhance website traffic and conversion rates.
Businesses of all sizes are inundated with data, and skilled digital marketers must know how to efficiently collect and utilize this information. Companies are constantly seeking individuals who can not only understand data through their technical marketing skills but also extract valuable insights from customer data to refine and improve future strategies. Demonstrating your ability to do this innovatively and successfully can make you an invaluable asset in the field.
Remember, you’re not limited to a single platform for analytics. Exploring alternatives to Google Analytics might provide solutions that are more suited to your specific needs.
Design Thinking & Planning
Design thinking refers to a methodology focused on addressing problems with a user-centric approach. This method emphasizes adopting a human-centered mindset for tackling complex, large-scale challenges.
As outlined by The Interaction Design Foundation, design thinking encompasses five primary stages: empathizing with users, defining the problem, ideating solutions, creating prototypes, and testing these solutions. Its effectiveness largely stems from its focus on user experience, a crucial element in the success of digital marketing.
An interesting aspect of design thinking is its flexibility in application. The process isn’t strictly linear, allowing for revisiting and refining ideas even in advanced stages like testing.
For designers and developers, this approach is common, but it’s also beneficial for marketers to understand and incorporate it into their strategies. Gaining a solid grasp of design thinking can enhance your marketing skills and enrich your professional portfolio.
In the realm of marketing, possessing a basic knowledge of social media marketing is crucial. Crafting a post for social media involves more than just putting together content; it requires creating material that is not only relevant and targeted but also compelling enough to make viewers pause their scrolling and engage. Understanding the unique strengths of each social media platform and how they align with your target audience is also key.
For instance, if your target demographic is 20-30-year-olds and your business is a fitness brand, utilizing TikTok could be effective in boosting brand awareness. You might post videos showcasing a fitness class or promotional content highlighting your services. On the other hand, if your business involves providing computers to other businesses (B2B), leveraging LinkedIn could be more appropriate for making connections and engaging with specialized groups to generate business opportunities.
Ultimately, it’s about identifying your audience, crafting content that resonates with them, and strategically choosing the most suitable social media platforms for your message.
Email marketing is a vital tool for any marketer, especially in an era where first-party data has gained unprecedented importance due to the decline of cookies. It enables direct communication with an engaged audience and allows for the delivery of personalized messages through the use of segmentation and automated workflows.
There’s an array of helpful tools available for email marketing, such as MailChimp and Marketo, so familiarizing yourself with these platforms is beneficial. Maintaining organized contact lists is also crucial. For instance, when conducting a paid social media campaign, gathering your contacts into a list allows for targeted communication with similar content or messaging. Utilizing triggered workflows is another key strategy, where automation can send timely, relevant messages to re-engage prospects or customers.
According to Litmus, email marketing offers a significant return on investment, with an average return of $36 for every $1 spent. This underscores the importance of dedicating time and effort to your email strategy, ensuring your brand remains prominent in the minds of your audience.
In the technology-centric field of digital marketing, having a solid understanding of marketing technology (Martech) and the ability to quickly adapt to new tools is essential.
For digital natives or those from Gen-Z, navigating these technologies often comes naturally. However, individuals from older generations might need to invest time in learning not just specific technologies but also familiarizing themselves with commonly used software and strategies, such as audience listening tools or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
Additionally, grasping technical skills relevant to marketing can be advantageous. This includes knowing the basics of web coding, effectively utilizing Content Management Systems (CMS), understanding the applications of AI tools, and being aware of data privacy concerns.
An outstanding leader in digital marketing is characterized not just by excellent interpersonal skills but also by their ability to blend analytical thought with inventive problem-solving. This fusion of skills enables them to guide their teams in devising creative and innovative marketing campaigns that propel business growth.
Central to this role is the ability to persuade and influence effectively. This involves convincing potential customers to make a purchase or persuading fellow team leaders to embrace your ideas.
Such leadership isn’t about engaging in arguments; rather, it’s about exuding confidence in your expertise and effectively demonstrating your capabilities.
Showcasing Unique Skills!
In the realm of digital marketing, possessing soft skills such as curiosity, adaptability, forward-thinking, a business-oriented mindset, and a strategic focus is highly valued. However, the field is diverse enough to accommodate a wide range of personalities and skill sets. It’s important to capitalize on your unique traits to maintain a competitive edge in the industry.
For example, it’s relatively rare to find individuals who excel in both SEO strategy and management or those with a computing science background who are also passionate about social media. Embrace and leverage your unique strengths and skills to your advantage.