Career Advice

6 Bottom-Line Skills For Digital Marketing

min read
Mikaela Thompson

If you’re apprehensive about the stability of this sector, and therefore standoffish about investing in an unknown future, rest assured job postings for marketers with digital expertise have increased by more than 300,000 in the past year (Glassdoor data) and by the end of 2021, it’s expected that US businesses will spend $120billion on it. Added to that, demand for digital marketing talent sits at 59% with active supply at 19% (The Left Bank, 2019). Driving this demand is the fact that global digital advertising is expected to reach $389.29 billion by the end of 2021 (Statistica, 2020). This year, there’s been a 15.3% growth in digital advertising overtaking print ads while digital marketing accounts for 46% of total advertisements spent so far in 2021. This trend for high demand is set to continue and even increase in future years - irrespective of pandemic outbreaks if the current resilience of the tech industry, and rising levels of online shopping growth, is anything to go by!

All of this is great news for those of you wanting to embark on, or continue rising in, this digital marketing career sector since the current employment landscape favours you, more than the employer. Think strong salary and unique personalized incentives/benefits at play with your enhanced negotiating power! All you need is the relevant skill set and experience these employers are keenly after. On that note, lets recce the most in-demand bottom line skills for digital marketers.

Key foundational skills for the digital marketer

No matter what area of specialty or role you take on as a digital marketer, you need to acquire these essential skills to nail your success. Employers are expecting a mix of these core soft and hard skills.

Soft Skills:

1) Communication and collaboration

Digital platforms used by businesses require the marketer to connect and communicate with their target audience via various mediums e.g., video, images, text. The better the quality of your communication, the more successful your digital marketing campaign will be. You’ll also need to be able to express yourself concisely and empathetically in emails and other written correspondence as well as having a good command of public speaking skills to shine in virtual meetings, master pitches and ace your presentations. As for collaboration skills, you’ll typically work as part of a wider team, and even as a freelancer, you’ll have to be able to listen to the input of others and be receptive to ideas that aren’t your own and recognize the achievements of everybody in your team. You’ll be expected to manage projects which means you’ll have to have the ability to coordinate and communicate workloads between different teams etc. Timely, clear, concise communication as a skilled collaborator will help you deliver the best results for your customers.

2) Adaptability

In a fast-paced, rapidly evolving industry, a digital marketer needs to be able to learn new skills and adapt to changes quickly to fit in, not ignore or resist them. You must be able to respond quickly to new platforms gaining more traffic or significant platforms altering their algorithms, so you and your business doesn’t find itself behind the eight-ball losing ground.

3) Creativity and risk-taking

Being gripped by a trance-like inertia from an overdose of information on digital platforms, is real for your customers. To cut through the clutter, digital marketers need to be sufficiently creative to guarantee your campaigns stand out from the noise of your competitors, hook your customers, and push them towards conversion. Besides, there are no set rules dealing with digital medium nor limits for success. Being willing to take risks trying out new things, underpinned by your solid analytical abilities, plays a pivotal role in being able to strategize and execute digital media campaigns.

Hard Skills:

1) Problem solving and analytical skills

Confronted by a ton of data about your digital marketing campaign is not much use to you unless you can judiciously pick through the figures to identify problem areas and solve them. Otherwise, you’ve just got a bunch of irrelevant numbers. You need to nurture and hone your problem-solving skills so you can respond quickly to emerging issues in real-time e.g., a sudden spike in bounce rate or a dramatic fall in customer engagement with social media campaigns etc. To make use of the data before you though, you need analytical skills to break it down to make wise decisions about your campaign’s goals and to optimize your campaign for success. A hands-on understanding of the very powerful decision-making tool Google Analytics is a boon to any digital marketer and company. It helps you assess customer behaviour, expectations and needs, see website, page, and post views to evaluate your campaign’s effectiveness etc.

2) Campaign management and optimization

Must-have abilities for a digital marketing professional range from understanding foundational concepts to content calendar creation, web traffic measurement and effectiveness testing, such as, A/B testing. The objective of campaign management is to develop skills for a practical analysis of sites, user experiences, device types, user demographics etc. In short, you need to know what works and what doesn’t. Google Analytics is a valuable tool that’s essential you know how to use since it informs you about content performance, data comparison to setting marketing goals. Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is likewise a tool digital marketers should master to drive customers to your website and content, to begin with. You’ll be able to adjust search terms to optimize traffic as well as infer insights for a range of purposes beyond your digital marketing campaign.

3) Social media expertise

In 2020, 3.6billion plus people used social media each month. By 2025, it’s predicted that this number will increase to 4.4billion. Social media therefore is a critical part of any digital marketing campaign strategy. This is the fastest-growing feature of digital marketing and one which now mostly hogs the conversation around this industry generally. Related to this, you need to have the skills to harness and amplify a brand’s reach. To this end, you must be able to leverage social media platforms, such as, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to engage customers, enhance brand awareness, drive sales and sales leads, based on an understanding of the consumer’s point of view. Since Facebook is the largest social platform with 2.7billion users, you need to be able to create ads for this platform using the relevant tools and techniques microtargeting consumers and measuring results.

Something to keep in mind - the most in-demand digital marketing skill is digital advertising with a 45% lion’s share. (The Left Bank, 2019).

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