Digital world is moving forward faster than any other industry. Digital marketers are always in a rush to develop their skills in accordance with fast growing industry trends by consistently following the news and updates of this extremely dynamic sphere.
In the last 10 years social media and digital marketing platforms reached to an interesting stage which can be called neither a sprout nor a peak stage. It has passed through hundreds of continuous development stages but still there is much to be improved and changed.
Facebook, as an example, changed and improved its advertising platform several times. Just recently FB announced its latest patent which is expected to be a competitive threat for other advertising platforms. Such nuances must continuously be tracked and mastered by DMs otherwise the will stay out of the never ending contest.
To understand what specific skills digital marketers need we must identify 1) main challenges they face during their work and 2) what makes their job easier.
Let’s see some major challenges digital marketers face;
- Difficulties with collecting and analyzing a valid data
- Generating organic/non-paid traffic
- Delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time
- Creating a killer content
- Creating a competitive advantage
Here is what makes their work easier;
- Advanced ad tools allowing to deliver a relevant message to the targeted audience
- Software allowing to collect and analyze big data
- Platforms and engines helping to generate organic yet relevant traffic
- Specialized portals and online communities to stay tuned and be aware of latest trends in the industry
These tools and techniques are available for everyone, however, it helps to be effective when you appropriately master it and regularly update your knowledge. Here are some skills which are essential for digital marketers to have in 2015.
#1 Online Advertising
Let’s divide online advertising part into two sections. Digital Marketers should be familiar with both Social Media paid advertising and Search Engine advertising platforms such as Google AdWords.
Social Media paid advertising is a very important part of engaging an interested audience to your SM accounts and for this reason understanding how SM advertising tools work can help to be more effective later when you have built an appropriate audience. Besides creating a group of interested followers SM ad platforms can help to drive a direct traffic to your website or promote a specific content or a product. Unlike other advertising platforms social media creates friendlier atmosphere as the format of ads and posts are more liberal.
Besides social media there are different platforms which will help to bring a relevant audience to your web property. Search engines including Yahoo, Bing and Google provide advertising services allowing targeting people based on what they are searching. Besides keywords search engine advertising platforms consider many different factors such as browsing and search history before targeting a specific IP. Platforms give an opportunity to place CPA, CPC and CPM ads depending on what purpose does ads have.
By the way, online advertising, as a skill, must include in it not only the ability of placing an ad across different but also to generate tracking codes and links to measure ROI and intelligently manage allocated budget.
#2 Web metrics and data analysis
Anyone following Marketing industry news frequently comes across the term ‘big data’ which really matters these days. For me data is a bunch of random information coming to your analytics tools and turn it into information you need to appropriately analyze it. There is no irrelevant data all of it matters. People call irrelevant that portion of data which they are not capable to analyze.
The ability to deal with data is not only your marketers’ knowledge regarding tools but also practical and theoretical knowledge in nuances of different industries. Besides using analytical tools correctly marketers should have sufficient knowledge to identify what kind of data a specific business or business process needs to collect and analyze.
By analyzing relevant data marketers can significantly increase their profitability and efficiency.
#3 E-mail marketing
E-mail marketing is a cost effective way to bring back your existing customers and generate sales through collected leads. What marketers need to know is how to collect and categorize leads as well as create a strategy to engage them through E-mail marketing techniques.
Also, marketers should be able to use email marketing tools such as;
- Hubspot Email
- Boomerang, etc.
#4 Search Engine Optimization
Intelligent SEO implementation is very similar to purchasing a good business location in the center of the city. It helps to have better positions in major Search Engines and thus generate low cost targeted traffic to your website.
Marketers should know how to search for relevant and trending keywords in their field, optimize their websites, finding ways to generate backlinks and creating inbound links.
#5 Mobile marketing
Mobile marketing includes all tools and techniques of engaging mobile users with your brand. Having mobile apps, creating mobile friendly websites and having relevant mobile friendly social media content (direct calling button or maps) helps to engage customers in a faster and more effective way.
#6 Creating content
Content is considered to be the future of marketing and it’s becoming the vital part of the marketing strategy for companies which want to look intelligent and become engaging. Let’s divide the content into two types; 1) content worth reading and 2) content worth watching.
Digital marketers who want to be in rise should know the trends in the field they work, be open minded and creative enough to respond to such trends at the right time and learn advanced tools through which he/she can create an breathtaking visual content.
Any article, product or a post is more attractive and pulling which is supported with suitable visual content. The create a visual content digital marketing specialists should know some software such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. This will make marketers’ work faster and more cost effective as they can create a visual content on their own instead of giving tasks to designers.
#7 Basic HTML and CSS knowledge
Basic HTML and CSS knowledge will help digital marketers to place tracking codes in websites’ html code, create html based emails for broadcasting, edit websites’ content on their own as well as design web pages and templates.
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