Digital Marketing Skills: What a Digital Marketer Needs to Know

What do Digital Marketers need to Know?

Here are the key digital marketing skills every digital marketer needs to know, from general business to specific niche areas of expertise.

General Business Skills:

General business skills play an out-size role in digital marketing because of its multi-faceted nature. If you are planning g a digital marketing career, pay attention to these areas:

  • Strategic thinking: Because you will need clever plans
  • People management: Because digital marketing is a team sport
  • Budgeting and control: Because you need to be a solid steward of financial resources and be able to demonstrate return on investment
  • Good communication: Because you will be collaborating across functions and often with different agencies
  • Outstanding writing: Because you will be writing marketing plans, team briefs, and possibly even content
  • Analytics and statistics: Because marketing is so data-driven and because everything can be measured and analyzed
  • Consumer behavior and psychology: Because you have to know what buyers think and how they make choices
  • Learning how to learn: Because digital marketing is always changing with new technology, new methods, new metrics, new everything

Beyond general business abilities, a digital marketer needs to know about the technologies, techniques, tools, methods and metrics that comprise the field of digital marketing. To work in digital marketing, you need a general understanding of all digital marketing skills. You can become a digital marketing manager as a generalist or you can dive deep in one of the many specialty digital marketing skill areas and become a subject matter expert. Here is an overview of the current collection of digital marketing skills—realizing that it is always changing and growing.

Content Creation Skills

Creating content can be informational, such as product descriptions, inspirational, like tips and tricks, and educational, like how-to videos. It can take the form of text, images, video, interactive activities, and games. Digital marketers should be familiar with topics such as:

  • Web development and design
  • Content management and blogging platforms
  • User experience
  • Graphic design
  • Copy writing
  • Video production
  • App development
  • Landing and squeeze pages
Business Skills for Digital Marketing - Digital Marketing School

Outreach Skills

Great products, valued services, and useful content won’t achieve a thing if people never know they exist. If you create something and wait for people to come, you will be waiting a very long time. Outreach and promotion are an area of critical digital marketing skills.

  • Search engine 0ptimization (SEO) so that your content, services and products show up at the top of search results
  • Search engine marketing (SEM) includes pay-per-click (PPC) ads on search engines
  • Advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Viral marketing
  • Retargeting
  • Notifications
  • Publicity
  • Online events
  • Communities
  • Other platforms
  • Email campaigns
Analytics used in Digital Marketing

Analytic Skills

Measuring results, testing options, figuring out what works, and constantly refining strategies and tactics are core what a digital marketer needs to know. You can measure both what content works best and what outreach methods are most effective. Learn how to use digital marketing analytics — not just web analytics — to turn your business objectives into measurable outcomes that support your bottom line. We are talking about going beyond web analytics that you might track on Google. We are looking at tracking how everything you do supports your overall goals.  Here is a short list of some of the most basic digital marketing metrics you need to consider:

Web site metrics:

  • Visitors
  • Page views
  • Session
  • Traffic by channel, source of a visitor
  • Traffic by device
  • Ratio of new vs returning traffic
  • Time on page
  • Interactions per visit
  • Bounce rate

Lead metrics:

  • Click-through rate
  • Submissions of forms
  • Conversion rate
  • Pop-Up Conversions is the percentage of total pop-up form completions who converted to customers
  • Ratio of Generated Leads to Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQL)
  • The Ratio of Generated Leads to MQL is the total number of “good fit” leads collected from your lead magnet as compared to the total number of leads generated
  • Leads to Close Ratio
  • The Leads to Close Ratio is percentage of leads converted to customers as compared to the total number of leads

Digital Metrics for Email Marketing

  • Open Rate
  • Click-Through Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • Unsubscribe Rate

Digital Metrics for Content and Social Media

  • Engagement Rate
  • Follows and Subscribes
  • Shares
  • Comments

Technology Skills

Technology is playing a growing role in managing the complexity of digital marketing. The number of solutions is growing at a mind-boggling rate in these areas:

  • Content management systems
  • Advertising technology
  • Marketing automation
  • Analytics tools
  • Experience optimization
  • Social media management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Brand asset management
Innovation & Digital Marketing

Innovation Skill Areas

Digital marketing does not stand still. Upcoming areas of innovation are brewing in a number of fields. Keep your eye out for:

Big data: Yes—we have already seen big data, but it is only getting bigger. Digital marketing uses could include attribution modeling to track channel effectiveness, and in-video data harvesting of viewer interactions.

Artificial intelligence: Ideas for using it are in their infancy, from face tracking and personalization to predicting consumer behavior, but expect more and more.

Machine learning: Already used by search engines and social media, companies are identifying patterns and applying insights through automation.

Bots: Chat bots are already here and could evolve into full-fledged digital assistants.

Voice search: People are already using voice to search more and more, creating the need for natural language SEO.

Virtual reality:  Think of try-before-you-buy applications, market research, life-like experiences.

Internet of things: Will everything be “smart” in the future?

Block chain: Disintermediated, verified transactions will change brands and ecommerce.

Beacons: Tiny devices that can transmit information to mobile devices, track movement, and direct context-specific messages are already in testing.

5G mobile network: Better connectivity, faster data transmission, expanded capacity are on the horizon

What a digital marketer needs to know is growing all the time. If you are heading in a management track, as a generalist, you will want basic knowledge across all these fields and will want to track trends and innovations. If you are seeking to become a subject matter expert in email or SEO of influencer marketing, you’ll need in-depth knowledge and experience in your specialty. There is room and need for both approaches.

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