For those who have been at it for a while, marketing may seem like second nature. But for those launching their career, it may seem overwhelming to pick a starting point. No matter your level of expertise or experience, you can always up your game! With that being said, it’s hard to nail down the best skills for digital marketing because marketing is a juggling act of tons of hard and soft skills.
However, I’ve done the research and combed through the internet to find the best skills that every savvy marketer should know. Whether you’re looking to refresh your approach to marketing or are just getting started in the field, pay close attention because these are the 3 best skills for digital marketers.
And no – none of these skills require a degree in marketing! Anyone can step into the role of a marketer, it just takes some time, practice, and patience.
Marketing is the very process of creating a media experience aimed at influencing real-world decisions, buying decisions, and sentiments. While it certainly may be helpful, it doesn’t require a 4-year degree to learn about the wonderful world of digital marketing. At its core, marketing is all about connection. With lots of great marketing blogs and resources out there, just about anyone can craft their approach to this field.
3 Best Skills for Digital Marketing
1. Pursue Multifaceted Content
While there are negative connotations to the whole idea of being a “jack of all trades, and a master of none,” content that performs well across various types of outlets can be some of your finest marketing assets. At a basic level, it’s going to be about posting content frequently and consistently, working to build traffic, and find your audience to keep momentum going. Sure you can build a site that performs well. But if you aren’t dividing your content up to reach the main social platforms and places where your audience hangs out, you’ll have little to show for it in the end. Truly, this is one of the most important skills for marketers to possess.
Focus on “evergreen” content, or content that will never lose its relevance or value in the eyes of your audience. While trends change constantly (and you should stay relevant to them), think about the information you’ll always need to share that keeps your initiatives alive. This content will always provide users with some sort of value, a takeaway point of some kind, or if nothing else, a way to reach your products or services.
2. Get the hang of SEO
Amongst many hard skills you’ll develop over time, SEO is certainly one of the most important. SEO (search engine optimization) is the golden ticket to drive traffic to your platforms and increase your audience reach. Using SEO will capture organic traffic – if you know how to use it correctly. It can seem intimidating to even begin to understand the interworking’s of search engines like Google, and even trickier to figure out how to use it to your advantage. But there are endless resources out there that deep dive into the details of SEO. To help you get started, I’ll cover the basics to set a foundation that you can build off. Full disclosure, the information listed below is meant for beginners and those just starting out with SEO. The information is not meant for high-level SEO experts.
Ask yourself these three questions to get started with SEO.
What is your audience searching for?
The foundation of any SEO strategy starts with keyword research. To do this, start by identifying the things your audience is searching for in relation to what your company offers. Determine what key terms (aka keywords) or questions people type into Google when searching for something specific. Once you know what is being searching for, you can identify where you rank in Google for those keywords and then try to do better. The higher your keywords are ranking in Google the more organic traffic your website will receive and (hopefully) the mores sales you’ll make. More on this below.
How do search engines work?
So, what determines where you rank in search results? Google sends out web crawlers that scour the internet. These bots (aka Google bots) take in all the information on every website that they crawl and determine how valuable that site will be to users. There is a multitude of elements that Google bots look for when deciding what value your site has (check this resource out if you’re interest in specifics). Once it finishes crawling, it will index the page into its extensive database, which then allows users to access it with a simple Google search.
How can I optimize my website for search engines?
As we mentioned above, to increase organic traffic to your website, you need to be near the top of the search results. But, how do you do this? First things first, there are many different ranking factors to help your website reach the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). To keep it simple we are only going to focus on keywords and links.
One of the most basic ways to increase you ranking in the SERPs is through keywords. You can do this through in-depth keyword search and keyword mapping. The goal of keyword research is to determine what keywords your audience is searching for and then providing them with valuable, useful information about that keyword and topic. You can rank for keywords through content marketing such as copywriting, social media, and/or video content.
Another important factor that determines how well you website ranks in the SERPs is your link profile. Your link profile includes the number of internal links (links from one page of your website to another) and external links (links from other websites to your website). Internal linking is important because it makes it easier for Google to find different pages on your website. External links, or backlinks, are especially useful and are considered to be one of the most important ranking factors for Google. External links show Google that your content is valuable enough that other websites want to link to it. The biggest difficulty with external links (backlinks) is actually getting them because marketers do not have any control over other websites linking to their website. Because of this, many digital marketers perform what is known as link building to try and get other websites to link to their website and/or content.
This is barely scratching the surface into the complexities of SEO. Be sure to do thorough research before you start implementing this digital marketing skill.
3. Hone your writing skills
Writing will be at the heart of most of your work. When you spend your days crafting emails, social media posts, advertisements, product descriptions, and blogs, being a strong writer is a necessity. The goal of writing content is to convert readers into customers. Telling a story with your words is the best way to capture your audience and inspire action. But you don’t have to be wordsmith to tell a good story – you just have to capture the reader’s attention. Story telling is a powerful tool because it creates visual images in the minds of your readers, leaving them with a lasting impression (and hopefully securing them as a customer). Learning how to share information in a clear way that compels an audience is one of the best skills for digital marketing!
Keep in mind that the work you create represents your brand. Since everyone has a different writing style, it’s important that you stay on brand with the tone of your company. This goes hand-in-hand with understanding the demographic you want to reach. Whether you’re writing social media posts, blogs, or advertising campaigns, research your target audience, and adjust your content accordingly.
While this is in no way a definitive list, it should be a good start to breaking into the field of digital marketing. The best skills for digital marketing are constantly evolving and changing with the industry, so do your best to stay up-to-date and forward thinking!