Must-Have Skills for Success in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is one of the fastest-growing marketing channels, and with that comes a gap of knowledge/expertise for those marketers looking to succeed. The market is growing so quickly that many marketers are struggling to keep up.
The marketing industry continues to evolve and marketers are expected to pick up new skills and broaden their knowledge more quickly. Many believe this rapid rate of change has caused a marketing skills gap, making it difficult to find candidates with the technical, creative, and business proficiencies needed to succeed in digital marketing. This leaves a large opportunity for current and newly emerging marketers. Below are four skills any digital marketer needs to succeed in today’s digital marketing world.
1. Search Engine Optimization Prowess
A digital marketing strategy starts with the need to be found. Your business is selling something, and your target audience is online searching for specific needs. The best way to get your business on your target audience’s search engine results page (SERP) is through search engine optimization (SEO). A good SEO strategy involves short and long-tail keywords tied to your company’s website and social media accounts. Both serve different audiences – short tail keywords are for those who type in their searches into a search engine on either laptops or mobile devices, while long-tail keywords cover those who use voice search – searching through OK Google, Siri or voice search devices such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Cortana. When using voice search, people usually ask a question or pose a statement, so your SEO strategy needs to involve both single words and statements or questions to encompass both.
2. Ability to Develop an Audience
When it comes to digital marketing, the two key aspects to master first are understanding the brand and each individual audience you’re marketing to. Both will play a huge role in creating a unique customer experience that will hopefully make that a recurring customer, or bring more customers in through peer reviews. Understanding your exact audience(s) will help immensely in growing your brand awareness and brand recall in your target audiences. The reason I stress these both at the same time is that it is essential you grow your brand around your target audience. You shouldn’t build your brand and then seek your audience and try to make them like you. Instead, you should know your audience and build your brand around them. Build your product specifically for your audience – no matter how large or small that audience may be. It’s ok to have different messages for different people about the same product.
3. Optimize Social Media and Content Strategies
Social media is the number one way to get recognized quickly and easily in the world of marketing. In order to do that, one must use social media and the content they distribute onto it strategically. Do not post content just because you know you should post something. Your content must have a purpose. Your audience must get something out of it in order for you to remain important in their newsfeed. This is why creating diverse and interesting content among all social media channels is very important for any brand. Have a memorable voice throughout your content, with intriguing visuals and interesting commentary. Video is also a major player in the social media world. Brands can bank on views, clicks, and shares with an interesting and well-produced video.
Tied to your social media content is how you handle social media interactions. A good digital marketing expert will understand the necessity to manage and respond to comments and reviews online. Customers, both current and prospective, rely on their peers to make a decision as to whether they will give you business. The best way to deal with a negative comment is to respond openly and honestly and offer the unhappy customer some sort of reward for their honesty. Companies should use negative comments and reviews to make their company better. Besides, with an incentive, you can easily turn that negative experience for someone into a positive and keep them coming back as repeat customers.
4. Analyze Your Data and Reevaluate
One of the best things you can do for your company is to spend the time and money (if needed) to understand what your analytical data is telling you about your digital marketing strategy. In order to be successful, one must be able to follow the trends and read the data to make better decisions for your marketing budget and strategy. Having the ability to change direction on a dime if needed can be a huge advantage for your digital marketing strategy. Be flexible and understand what the analytics are telling you. Analytics can also be used to improve your marketing organization in the means of more budget dollars if your program is showing impressive progress. Understand the data and use it to your advantage.
To be a solid digital marketer, one must have SEO prowess, have the ability to discover and manage audiences, strategize social media and content delivery, and analyze the data and reevaluate accordingly. Digital marketing is always changing, so being educated is key to understanding what is coming next in the game. And further education can only develop your expertise deeper to understand the changing variables in SEO, the up and coming audiences, and how to strategize on the current channels to deliver content to them.
Of course, there are many other aspects of digital marketing that this article did not touch on, but one can assume that this will be just one part of your self-education journey to be a better digital marketer.