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What Skills Are Required for Today’s Digital Marketer?

In Blog by A. Lee Judge

The skills needed to be a successful digital marketer are forever changing. It requires constant learning of both skills and software platforms. Marketing is no longer primarily a creative field, nor is it strictly understanding who is most likely to purchase your product. It is a combination of both, PLUS the knowledge to track and account for the digital journey of potential customers. The best digital marketers wear a lot of hats and titles, both official and unofficial. In this article, we discuss many of the skills and roles required for today’s digital marketer.

Table of Contents

Digital Lead Generation

Digital lead generation is the process of collecting a database of potential clients through the use of web search, third-party databases, website traffic, or events in order to get personal contact information. This database is then directed towards the end purpose of increasing sales opportunities and revenue. Leads can include names or e-mail addresses of customers, companies, product interests, and other useful demographics. Lists of leads can be generated from targeted databases or from inbound traffic to your website.

Lead generation demands the ability to conduct research, analyze data, understand customer psychology, communicate clearly, and be agile with the collection and distribution of data. Because the sources of data are broad, knowledge of web tracking technology, website form management, and social media are key.

Data Analysis

When you find your leads, it is important to keep track of them. That’s where analytics comes in.

Data analytics refers to the use of software to collect and process necessary data from different online interactions of your target group. These interactions can come in various forms like transactions, viewed content, search queries, and other relevant online footprints customers leave. Data analytics tools can help you by providing the information you need to understand customers better and target the audience with the right messages. 

Remember, data is useless if you don’t know how to analyze it and study your customers to create effective marketing strategies. Digital Analysts are responsible for tracking the data properly, finding out the results of marketing campaigns, and using data to improve marketing efforts.

A digital market analyst tries to increase traffic to the company’s website and social media. First, they review their company’s online presence, analyze the traffic stats and any other relevant data, and produce reports. They have to define traffic goals and the target audience and then think of methods to reach those goals. When they implement the strategies, they continue monitoring the site to check if the strategies were effective. As part of your duties, you may need to edit content to get better rankings, assess competitors’ websites, and link building.

Digital marketing analysts must have solid computer and social media skills. They also need research skills, and analytical skills to process the data and make conclusions, as well as organizational and communication skills.

Content Management

A content manager’s job is to keep a consistent brand identity and maintain a company’s online presence. The skills involve monitoring marketing strategies to engage the audience and make sure that they have a positive perception of the company. 

A content manager’s responsibilities also include writing and managing the content team, so they need leadership skills and also nurturing a brand identity through creating and sharing multimedia content online. This includes developing strategies, building an online community, and following that community’s growth.

Social Media Skills

A strong digital marketer has a solid understanding of the company’s social media, advertising and marketing. This can include:

  • Social media strategy, planning, and goal setting
  • Improving online reputation and brand awareness 
  • Content management, which also includes the website
  • Generation of traffic and SEO
  • Reputation management
  • Generation of leads and sales
  • Daily engagement with customers 
  • Turning followers into customers.

SEO 

A digital marketer must understand SEO and how it affects their other marketing efforts. You need to understand “White Hat” SEO tactics such as content marketing and link building. You must also be familiar with technical SEO rules like updating title tags, H1, and H2 tags, and using keywords. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, however, the fact that Google wants so present the most useful and quality content is always consistent. 

SEO specialists use analysis and research to improve a company website’s ranking on search engines. They look for the most relevant keywords used in search engines and include them into website content, in order to help search engines find those sites.

Successful SEO specialists have exceptional communication, analytical, and research skills, which help them to understand their clients and give them the best optimization services.

Understanding the Sales Process Beyond Marketing

There are things that every marketer should know about sales, for example: 

  • What does a typical sales cycle look like? What’s the period between a lead getting into the CRM and a deal closing?
  • What are the primary objections that customers present?
  • What percentage of customers are new versus repeat?
  • Where do our prospects spend time online?

The answers to these questions are important because they can direct your strategy and deliver better leads.

  • What marketing materials does the sales team use frequently?
  • What content is best for each stage of the sales cycle?
  • What types of content are best to create for our audience?

When you create marketing materials, keep in mind that they can also be used for the sales team and help convince end-of-funnel prospects.

  • What marketing methods get the most leads?
  • How much detail do our customers need?
  • How do we align content to the correct part of the sales process?

The answer to this question will help you focus on marketing methods that provide the best ROI.

  • How do your customers usually like to engage?
  • How digitally active are our customers?
  • How often do they visit our digital assets?
  • How many engagements are required to get to a sale?
  • Do customers remain engaged after the sale?

Frequent communication with Sales is necessary to understand your end goal. After all, your end goals and Sales end goals are the same. Driving revenue.

Marketing Automation Platforms

A marketing automation platform is a software programmed to automatically follow up, grade, and distribute potential customers through the marketing and sales funnels. They assist in keeping communication with potential customers consistent as well as remind your internal staff of how digitally active your prospects are. There are many tools for marketing automation and it’s a good idea to get familiar with several of these tools, but keep in mind the automation process isn’t just about the software.

A characteristic of a digital marketer operating marketing automation is an insatiable curiosity and need for experimentation.  Finally, an excellent marketing automation manager should be equally good at storytelling through the statistics generated by the automation platform. They need to see beyond the data and reports to draw conclusions and, more importantly, create compelling stories to help convince the organization to implement their recommendations.

CRM Skills for the Digital Marketer

A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management tool, goes intimately hand-in-hand with marketing automation. With the help of a CRM, you can monitor important data about users, such as the automated workflows they’ve been through. Popular CRMs include Salesforce, Hubspot, and Microsoft Dynamics .

A digital marketer acting as a CRM manager is responsible for interacting with key customers by nurturing existing relationships. They will continuously look for opportunities to build the customer base and good relationships with new and existing clients. This should also include being analytical and strategic in introducing new solutions to existing clients’ problems. This means that a strong digital marketer will need to work closely with Accounts and Sales Managers.

Digital Marketing Project Management

Project management is a key skill of any digital marketer.  Whether Digital Project Manager is their official title or not, it is a skill that is important to have. In order for everything to run smoothly, a Digital Project Manager (DPM) combines the company’s online resources (videos, social media, etc.) and human resources (content creators, designers, copywriters, etc.) to create marketing campaigns. DPMs convert raw ideas into an actionable plan based on their company’s strategic goal(s) by:

  • Creating notes so everyone can stay on track in meetings
  • Scheduling and assigning tasks
  • Leading and helping team members with their projects
  • Keeping track of budgets and schedules
  • Offering quality assurance on all project results
  • Creating reports
  • Evaluating and assessing the success of the whole project

Campaign Flow Development

Transitions between campaign steps are called “flows.” In some cases they can also be referred to as “engagements” or “drips”. Instead of planning things along the way, digital marketing managers have to be able to create and implement campaigns based on analytics and SEO data. They need to determine the natural sequence of campaign elements and conditions that all participants have to fulfill so the campaign is able to advance to the next step. The best digital engagement flows not only have pre-programmed steps that guide the customer journey, but the flow also should also react with the appropriate action based on what the customer interacts with. This is at the root of what a digital marketer must be able to master.

Digital Creativity 

As a digital marketer creativity comes in two dimensions. There must be creativity regarding the use of their marketing technology stack as well as the traditional creativity involved in content creation.

The main role of content creativity in marketing is differentiation. No matter what platform or type of content you’re using, your content needs to be creative and engage your audience at the right time with the right message. Most importantly, it needs to differentiate your brand from the competition. What is it about your creative expression that is different from other brands? What special deals are you offering? What kind of experience can you give your customers that no one else can? These are the questions you need to answer during your creative process and convey them quickly and efficiently via content. This is what captures the attention of an audience and allows you to stand out from the rest.

Marketing stack creativity requires a deep understanding of the technology stack at your disposal. A successful digital marketer must know what each technology does, how they integrate, and how as a whole they can be used to optimize the marketing process. This may sound straight forward, but with the vast amount of marketing technology tools available, each stack requires a unique amount of creativity to get them to work together gracefully for the most effective impact.

Old-School Marketing Psychology

While marketing is definitely changing with the times, there are some elements and techniques which don’t seem likely to change in the near future. The drama associated with spinning signs or the psychological hooks of engaging slogans or jingles, may very well stay with us permanently since they depend more on human nature than any kind of new technology. A digital marketer that is able to include both traditional and modern marketing strategies will be leaders in the market. Even if it means going analog every now and then.

If you are looking for a digital marketing partner or consultant to cover all of these bases for you, talk to a professional at Content Monsta!