Successful digital marketers must possess and constantly hone a diverse set of skills. Employers filling digital marketing positions look for candidates who are seek jacks-of-all trades with aptitude in, at a minimum, these 10 areas:
- Copywriting and content marketing: Content in one form or another is the foundation upon which all digital marketing is built. Digital marketers need to be able to create blog posts, images, infographics and e-books, among other materials; or have the skills necessary to oversee their production. Basic copywriting is essential to enable marketers to persuasively share their messages and inspire readers or viewers.
- Google AdWords advertising skills: A solid understanding of how to use AdWords to promote marketing campaigns can drive targeted traffic while promoting the desired results. AdWords is designed to serve up ads directly to people searching for specific keywords or phrases. This, in turn, can increase the chances of a conversion if those ads are well-targeted and persuasive.
- Photo editing: Photo editing skills are important for making online content compelling. Marketers don’t have to possess all the skills of designers, but a basic understanding of Photoshop, cropping and resizing can add pizazz to blog posts, online advertisements and social media blasts.
- Analytics and data analysis: Understanding how to track and analyze data related to content and campaign performance is critical for learning what resonates and what doesn’t. Having the ability to delve into the data to gain insights for current and future projects is critical. Understanding which metrics matter most for a campaign’s goal also is crucial. A blog post that gains 1,000 page views and only five sales conversions, for example, might not be as “successful” as one that boasts only 100 page views and 50 sales conversions.
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- Social media skills and advertising: Social media provides marketers a more open and conversational way to connect with target audiences. Having a keen understanding of how to use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to promote a campaign and company is vital. It is also important for digital marketers to understand the ins and outs of advertising on different platforms to reach targeted audiences. Social media advertising space is often more budget-friendly than other options and can produce strong conversions when advertising spends are leveraged to target custom and lookalike audiences, so called for having traits similar to a business’ customers.
- Search engine optimization: Digital marketers don’t necessarily have to become search engine optimization (SEO) experts to perform well in their field. They do, however, need to have an understanding of SEO basics, such as keyword densities, link anchor texts, title tags and meta descriptions to help the content they produce and promote rank high in organic searches.
- Conversion rate optimization: This skill involves designing and testing different versions of pages to see which produce the desired results. Also known as A/B testing, this analytical exercise enables marketers to move forward with content that best relates to customers and more readily entices them to complete the desired action, such as clicking through to sales page, commenting, signing up for a newsletter or making an outright purchase, for example.
- Email marketing: This skill involves more than simply crafting a great email and blasting it out to potential customers. Digital marketers need to know about niche targeting and how to analyze such factors as bounce rates, open rates and conversions. Understanding how best to reach a target audience and gain the desired conversions in this format is a powerful skill that is often underestimated but which can produce highly desirable conversion results.
- HTML/CSS: A basic handle on the behind-the-scenes coding that drives online content is important for enabling the creation of well-formatted digital documents, such as emails and blog posts. Digital marketers do not have to know how to code an entire website, but the basics of CSS and HTML can help them resize photos on the fly, change color links to enhance visual presentation and drop in headers that make content stand out to viewers and sometimes the search engines.
- WordPress: This blogging platform is one of the basic tools of the digital marketing trade. Marketers should know how to write a post in this program or a similar one, and also how to format and schedule it. While there are many content management system (CMS) designs, WordPress is the standard tool of the trade.