5 Digital Marketing Skills You Need to Be Successful

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jul 2, 2018

Jul 2, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

There are more digital marketing jobs than there are people to do them. These roles typically offer greater creativity, flexibility, and many are work-from-home.

Salaries and benefits for the industry are favorable, and with the constant advances in technology, there's always room for career progression. You can be a generalist or a specialist depending on the type of work you enjoy the most.

For many entry-level digital marketing jobs, you won't need a formal qualification, and it's easy to climb the ladder.

If this all sounds ideal, take a look at these digital marketing skills you need on your resume to catch the eye of top employers.

Five Digital Marketing Skills You Need to Succeed

Before you get overwhelmed by this list of key marketing skills employers are looking for remember this: you need to understand the basics of all digital marketing, but you only need to be a master in one or two areas.

An employer isn't looking for someone who does everything: they're looking for someone who understands how each element of digital marketing ties together with their niche.

For example, someone with outstanding SEO knowledge might not be confident with web design, but they'll know how the website layout will affect what they write for each product page.

1. An Understanding of SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ties everything together, from mobile-optimized websites to pay-per-click ad campaigns. To succeed in digital marketing you don't need to be an SEO expert, but you should know the basics.

The keywords and phrases that a customer puts into a search engine are the main resource of SEO knowledge. Knowing how to use this information to inform SEO content will give you a distinct advantage when you're looking for a job in digital marketing.

For example, including common keywords or niche long tail keyword phrases in a blog post will help build organic traffic to your website over time. This is important as boosting organic traffic will help search engines to recognize your website as an important authority. The more important a search engine thinks you are, the more frequently you'll rank.

Still need to wrap your head around the importance and strategy of SEO? There are tons of free learning resources online like the HIVE Digital Strategy blog or online magazines like Search Engine Journal to help you brush up your SEO skills.

2. A Knowledge of Outsourcing

You cannot do everything in digital marketing. You might tell your interviewer that you can, but it's not possible to be an expert in everything. Your digital marketing skills will have a limit, and that's OK.

However, knowing when and where to outsource a task will give you control over projects while drawing on the experience of others. The time you save by handing a task to an expert will make up for the cost of the service you pick.

There are several options for outsourcing. You could post an advert on a job board for a contract freelancer, hire a group of experts from an agency, or have individuals pitch you for work on sites like People Per Hour.

Each option has its pros and cons, and each will have a place within your digital marketing strategy. Knowing when and how to use these different outsourcing strategies will, in turn, make you a valuable asset to a business.

3. Confidence with Content Management Systems

Most digital marketing roles will include some form of writing, whether that's email campaigns or blogs. You've already got the SEO knowledge, but how do you get it onto the website?

A familiarity with common content management systems will help you find a job in digital marketing. If you're not sure how to use the 'back end' system to create an HTML email or upload a blog, have a practice.

There are lots of free content management systems online that you can sign up to as an individual. MailChimp is great for learning how to build HTML emails using templates, while Wordpress will give you an idea of how many websites work behind-the-scenes for both written content and web design.

4. Social Media Savvy

If you use social media in your own time, you're already skilled in the basics. But do you know how Facebook ads work? What about turning your Instagram into a business account?

Social media is highly influential for product marketing: people trust referrals from other people above everything else. Review sites and social media interactions - that everyone can see - will affect how well a brand is perceived and therefore the sales potential of its products.

Any digital marketer needs to have an understanding of the ways social media can be used to influence sales and deliver customer service. If you want a job in digital marketing, start reading up on the ways you can use social media to engage with customers and sell directly to them, too.

5. Intensive Research Skills

Digital marketing involves a whole lot of planning for even a small campaign. You might need to research things such as:

  • Who your competitors are
  • What your competitors are currently doing in your field
  • Which keywords are hitting the big numbers on PPC
  • How customers are using your website
  • Which email campaigns performed well (and why)

Of course, there are highly specialized job roles which take each of these things and make them a full-time occupation. There's that much data around that you can have an entire team of people across the world with each person responsible for analyzing a tiny section of the data picture.

However, having at least a basic understanding of how each bit of the digital marketing strategy ties together and is influenced by data. Knowing how to read the numbers - and using the information to improve conversion rates - will really help your digital marketing career.

You'll also need to research any content you produce, from blogs to infographics and beyond. Being able to find high-quality resources and use them to create something new is a highly prized skill for employers hiring digital marketers.

Keep Learning: Experts to Know

There are many digital marketing gurus out there making a name for knowing their niche inside-and-out. The famous Seth Godin is the godfather of branding, while Neil Patel is a marketer known for improving conversion rates through the roof.

Have a list of marketing influencers that you love and sign up to their newsletters. The world of online marketing moves fast, so these regular updates will keep your digital marketing skills sharp.