As a digital marketer, you need soft and hard skills to succeed. We’ve outlined seven of each to focus on.
Hard skills you need to become a digital marketer
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is an important digital marketing skill. It involves making a website’s content relevant to people and search engines. You optimize content to include keywords an ideal buyer uses to search for answers. As a result, your content ranks higher on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Ideal buyers can find your company’s solutions, which drives more traffic and leads.
Competitive research and analysis
Competitive research skills will set you apart from the crowd as an entry-level digital marketer. You identify and review competing websites, content, products, and services to uncover useful strategic insights to inform your marketing strategy. These insights give your organization a competitive edge by identifying unique messaging.
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads
PPC uses paid advertising to expand a company's reach and generate revenue. This skill requires creating ads using Google Ads or other search engine advertising. Then tracking, reporting, and optimizing performance based on findings.
Content marketing involves creating digital strategies and high-quality, search-optimized content that generates organic traffic and sales. These content types include:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- White papers
- Downloadable templates or eBooks
The content generates demand and qualified leads, ultimately resulting in more sales.
Repurposing content is a skill that requires converting blog posts into social media posts and vice versa. It involves turning existing content into other content formats for different online channels. For example, turning a blog post into carousels for LinkedIn or Instagram. Or turning a podcast into a long-form blog post.
Content repurposing is a critical skill because it saves time and maximises your marketing budget return on investment.
The company doesn’t have to keep creating content from scratch. Instead, you can repurpose existing content and distribute it through several digital channels.
Reporting is a vital skill that involves tracking the performance of digital campaigns. You learn more about audience behavior, interests, and preferences to improve the strategy. Knowing how to use Google Analytics and other tools will make you an asset to any company.
Basic design and video skills
It never hurts to have some complementary skills to pair with digital marketing. For example, basic design and animation skills can improve your chances of landing a social media role.
Soft skills you need to become a digital marketer
Effective communication is a critical digital marketing talent. It involves sharing ideas, knowledge, and data in a clear and concise manner. It also involves asking questions and active listening to understand your next steps.
Verbal and non-verbal communication skills are important for your career success. They show how well you’ll collaborate with your team, especially after joining a remote team.
Beyond team communication, building the skill makes you a better digital marketer. Especially because speaking and listening are a big part of marketing. You’ll interact with customers, subject matter experts (SMEs), and stakeholders.
That’s why you should build strong communication skills.
Learn how to use communication tools such as Loom, Zoom, and Slack to collaborate better with your team and share feedback with clients.
Critical thinking is your ability to analyze data and draw insights to make better decisions. You question the data to gain fresh insights to develop a winning strategy.
This involves using tools such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads to gather audience insights. Then you pull these insights into a master excel spreadsheet to make data-backed suggestions to the team and stakeholders.
With this skill, you have data-backed insights to get stakeholder buy-in. As a result, your efforts will improve customer experience, boost sales, and grow the business.
Organization and project management skills
As a digital marketer, you’ll have multiple marketing tasks running simultaneously. It could be creating several blog posts, writing sales copy for ads, or anything related to your area of specialization.
Being able to manage your own schedule sets you up for success. You should be able to break down big projects into actionable smaller steps and deliver on time.
Also, keeping the team in the loop of your progress is a critical project management skill. Learn to use collaboration and project management software such as Slack, Asana, and ClickUp. These digital tools will bring your organization and project management skills to life.
Analytical skills involve gathering information, evaluating it, and making decisions to solve a problem. It requires strong research, data analysis, and critical thinking skills.
As a digital marketer, you should develop analytical skills such as:
- Industry and market research analysis
- Data interpretation
- Data presentation
- Marketing analytics
- Strategic planning
These skills help you plan, execute, measure, and improve the efficiency of your digital marketing campaigns.
Leadership is an important soft skill for a career in digital marketing.
Showing leadership potential is critical early in your career. You should start developing and refining these skills. Here are some to keep in mind:
Developing these skills boosts your confidence to influence your teammates and grow your digital marketing career.
Effective collaboration sets you up for success, especially when working with cross-functional teams.
Solving problems with team members creates opportunities for you to learn and perform better. After all, two heads are better than one, so they say. It also helps you understand how your role contributes to the company's overall success.
You should develop an agile approach to collaboration. For example, practice sharing ideas and information to keep the team aligned. Also, learn how to use collaboration, file sharing, and communication tools to break down silos.
Doing this will help you get more work done faster and create meaningful experiences for customers.
Understanding how to handle disagreements is another soft skill worth developing. That makes you a team player, not a lone wolf.
A helpful conflict resolution skill is understanding the power of difference.
Your teammates will be different from you. They may have different strengths and blind spots from yours. However, it’s this difference that facilitates diverse marketing solutions. So don’t let their blind spots create conflict.
Other conflict resolution skills you should develop are:
- Asking the right questions to understand the intent behind a person’s actions
- Giving the right non-verbal cues that correspond with your words
- Understand your and your teammates’ feelings
- Managing the stress, so you don’t flare up
- Understanding what other people are going through
- Not taking sides when resolving conflicts
Staying curious, adaptable, and customer-focused are extra soft skills you should build. Giving and receiving feedback is another.
Of course, these skills aren’t the only ones you should develop, but they are a good starting point. They form the foundation for your career success as a digital marketer.