Being a digital marketer means having to dynamics of a fast-growing and ever-changing industry. Because of this a new breed of marketer is beginning to develop - one that is a multi-tasker, both technical and creative minded, tactical and strategic oriented.
So, what are the skills a digital marketing professional needs to succeed?
1. Be data-driven
The term “big data” gets used a lot, but its not about the data but the insights that come with it. A good digital marketer should allow the data to inform them about decisions, using analytics to form and reshape strategic direction, consumer insights and develop new digital tactics to support it.
2. Understand the value in investing in social advertising
The early days of social media allowed brands to leverage the platforms as a free advertising channel. Facebook changed the game and introduced advertising models, and the days of free likes and followers were over. Instead of working against this, digital marketers need to move with the changing times and see social platforms also as a smart, and sophisticated paid channel.
A digital marketer who can become an expert at understanding the different types of ads available (their strengths and weaknesses), how to gather learnings from Facebook Insights, retargeting capabilities like "Look-alike audiences" and custom audiences, testing content, scheduling and generating promotional ideas.
3. Search engine marketing
A strong digital marketer needs to be armed with both organic search marketing skills and paid search marketing skills.
Building earned authority to rank high on search engines takes time and it is no quick fix. But don’t neglect doing this, as it ends up driving the majority of your traffic over time. It will take years of consistent content creation tactical activity.
Developing and learning paid search skills are also important. Understand the basics, then take ongoing free courses with Google on their Adwords platform to keep up to date on latest releases.
4. Use technology and platforms
In the past, marketers needed to be creatively-led. Now, they also need to have a high aptitude for techology and platforms. Using tools such as Hootsuite, Facebook Insights, Buffer, Mailchimp, Canva and Google Analytics should be a staple skill. In addition, effective digital marketing also involves being familiar with new media platforms as they arise, staying ahead of global trends and understanding the impacts it would have on the local market. For example, new platforms like Periscope, Shopify, Bitcoin etc.
5. Be a content creator
Creating engaging, sharable content is key for a successful digital marketer. Social media, blogging, images and infographics need to be designed with the consumer and platform in mind in order to impact SEO, generate leads and traffic.
6. Design-literate (Visual marketer)
Digital marketers need to be great with not just content but also building impactful visuals to influence and engage audiences. Sourcing, branding and creating great visuals is a part of a digital marketer's skill set and requires knowledge of tools such as photography, Photoshop and Canva.