Are you looking to expand your online presence over the next year? Digital marketing can be a great way to increase your revenue, bring attention to your brand, and attract new customers.
However, there are certain skills you need to master to ensure your efforts are more of a success than a flop. Here are the top ten skills every digital marketer should know.
#1: SEO and SEM
Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are the two primary factors that every digital marketer needs to understand. In simple terms, these two things include getting your website to rank on Google and using paid advertising to place ads to receive placement in premium spots in a search listing.
Understanding the best practices of these two elements is crucial to your digital marketing success. For example, if you know all the basics of how to set up a website’s meta description, alt tags, and keyword placement within the content, you’ll likely see your organic ranking rise in a few weeks or months. If you understand the process of search engine marketing, you can speed the whole thing up even faster.
In most cases, these two elements are the foundation of every digital marketer’s knowledge toolbox.
#2: Content Marketing
Another important skill to master is content marketing. This means writing evergreen text, blog posts, and articles for your website. Knowing how many times to include a specifically tracked keyword and how long to make a piece is essential.
Furthermore, content marketing also includes writing guest posts for other websites. It can also include things like creating whitepaper downloads and workbooks for your potential customers to receive in exchange for signing up for your email list.
The term content marketing is far-reaching. As long as you understand it involves a substantial amount of writing, you’re on the right track.
#3: Video Marketing
There’s no doubt that video media is big, and it is absolutely here to stay. Whether you are looking to start doing Facebook Live, curate videos for YouTube, or stream on Twitch—there’s an element of video production that you need to know.
It is important to realize that video writing goes far beyond just turning on a camera. There is a certain way to edit, cut in audio, graphic design, and even how to write the description and the thumbnail video you choose.
If you’re looking to increase your video marketing presence, then it is a good idea to study up on these elements. Viewers these days are highly discriminating and will turn away if they feel you are making novice mistakes.
#4: Design-Based Thinking
Another skill to learn is design-based thinking. What is this? Well, when it comes to digital marketing, everything is visual.
This means understanding the right way to layout a website or sales funnel. It includes making sure the emails you are sending and the graphics you are posting to social media look nice. It requires you to have a working knowledge of font pairings and the emotional spectrum behind color use.
In some cases, it requires the ability to utilize specialty programs, such as Photoshop. If you don’t have a design bone in your body, consider saving yourself the trouble and hiring an expert who does.
#5: Social Media Marketing
Of course, all digital marketers need to know at least the basics of social media marketing. This includes knowing when to post, what to post, and how often to post. It also means understanding the ins-and-outs of multiple different platforms.
Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Instagram? LinkedIn? Snapchat? These are all big players, and new ones are being added all the time.
Start to decipher what others are doing on these sites and figure out ways to incorporate them into your digital marketing plan. You’ll also want to brush up on each platform’s paid advertising options. (Hint: Facebook Ads are a great way to boost traffic. Don’t overlook them!)
#6: Email Marketing
One of the most commonly forgotten aspects of digital marketing is email marketing. Far too often, digital marketers assume that having a presence on social media is enough.
Wrong. The best course of action includes finding a way to have an email marketing list. Collect addresses by offering a small incentive, such as a coupon or a free download. Some consultants even provide the chance to have a short phone call or video chat in exchange for sign up.
Next, it is important to send messages to your list on a semi-regular basis. If you’ve ever heard the saying out of sight and out of mind, you’ll understand why this is important. If you regularly appear in their inbox, they’ll remember you the next time they need what you’re offering.
#7: Data and Analytics
How will you know if what you’re doing is a success if you aren’t tracking your results? This is another area where many digital marketers struggle.
Learn how to understand basic Google Analytics reports. You can even take one of several free online classes from Google on how to decipher the data, set up a custom dashboard with specific parameters, and much more.
As a digital marketer, this is perhaps one of the most essential tips on this list. To succeed, you have to be able to see what is working, what is not, and be able to adjust accordingly. Keeping a keen eye on analytics helps accomplish this.
#8: Understand Technology Advances and Algorithm Changes
It’s also important to understand technology advances and algorithm changes. For example, if a new augmented reality (AR) platform comes out, you want to know how this can be incorporated into your marketing plan.
Likewise, it pays to understand how basic algorithms work. If you can determine how search engines like Google and Bing come up with their search results, you can find methods to improve your ranking.
Simply put, never be afraid of the technical side of things. This is often what sets decent digital marketers apart from great ones.
#9: Become a Student of Strategy
Another tip? Become a student of strategy. As a professional digital marketer, it is important to study what other marketers are doing and learn how to implement similar steps in your own business.
The great news about this is that there is a huge wealth of information on the internet. If you want to learn how to do something and aren’t sure where to start, there’s likely a great tutorial ready for you to view.
Most digital marketers are incredibly generous with information when they find something that works. As you see success, remember to share with those just starting, too.
#10: When to Work with a Partner
You can be the best digital marketer in the world, but you can’t possibly master every little thing. There are just far too many facets of this type of business. Instead, knowing when to hire a quality partner is essential.
Choosing between hiring a niche freelancer and a professional marketing company largely depends on your goals and needs. Nevertheless, understanding when you’ve reached your limit of expertise and need to turn things over to the experts is important.
Key Takeaways to Consider
Keeping all of that in mind, it is crucial to remember that digital marketing is a huge topic. While it is great to know a bit about everything, you aren’t ever expected to know it all. Take your time, enjoy the process, and never stop learning.