The 4 essential skills every digital marketer needs to master
Don Draper, of the AMC series Mad Men, is a romantic, flawed, and brilliantly creative character. Yet, despite his media savvy in the 1960’s, he would probably not have survived in the modern world of digital marketing. The online marketplace is a much faster and more fickle place than anything old school marketers like him had to deal with in the past.
The good news, for ambitious graduates, is that the marketing jobs market is growing, especially in digital and content marketing. In 2017, forty-four percent of companies planned to hire more marketers, up 16 percent on the previous year, according to McKinley.
Moreover, managerial jobs are well paid. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual compensation for marketing managers was $127,560 USD, far above the US (median) average of $37,000. Those with a master’s level qualification can expect a 20% (approx.) premium on their counterparts with only a bachelor’s degree.
From sales and promotions managers, to public relations officers, to marketing directors, there are many careers that a master’s in marketing graduate can opt for. And as the world becomes more mobile-orientated and location-independent, graduates can seek out freelance consulting work and become a digital nomad – working from anywhere in the world while simultaneously building a career.
The fact is, today, every marketer is a digital marketer. Whether they are helping organisations to implement digital transformation, or are developing online growth strategies of their own, there are a number of key areas that every marketer needs to master.
Marketing is a science, after all, and now, with so many insights at their fingertips, digital marketers need to be more data-driven than ever.
This means they need to be able to find and interpret relevant data in order to make key decisions, such as which campaigns to invest in, which audiences to target and retarget, how to designate budget across channels, and so on.
Without analytics, marketers cannot realistically calculate their return on investment.
Google Analytics is therefore an essential part of every competent marketer’s skill set. The free platform plugs into websites and gives in depth insights into web traffic, bounce rates, browsing time, clicks and many other key metrics.
In essence, the Google Analytics allows marketers to understand how their website is working, what needs to be improved, and how campaigns, ads and search terms and keywords are performing.
Marketers also need to understand how social media ad campaign analytics function. Platforms like Facebook give them hundreds of data points to sift through. It’s essential that they know what to focus on, when and why.
More importantly, analytics allow digital marketers to iterate on their campaigns. This means they can split test, optimise and continually improve their efforts until their marketing campaigns run like well-oiled machines, producing excellent return on investment (ROI).
- Social media
There’s no getting away from it. More than one billion people use Facebook daily and there are 800 million monthly users of Instagram. Linkedin has nearly 470 million users in total, and is growing steadily, and then there’s Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and dozens of other niche platforms.
While marketers aren’t required to know the ins and outs of each individual platform, they should know and understand the platforms where their audiences hang out. They should also be skilled in creating, testing and analysing the content types that resonate well on those platforms.
What’s more, digital marketers need to know how to develop a social media strategy and understand the important balance of organic and sponsored content.
Mastery of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is also essential. Unlike social ad campaigns, which target people who just happen to be browsing social media feeds, SEM campaigns can find people who actively want to buy a product or service online. After all, that is one of the key functions of a search engine.
Through Google Adwords (and other major search engines like Bing), marketers can target keywords and long-tail search terms to find and redirect this “high intent” traffic.
Digital marketers need to know how to use the Google Adwords and Analytics platforms in conjunction with each other. They should also understand how to target keywords, create relevant ad content for desktop and mobile, and know how to tailor ads for both the search and display networks.
- SEO strategy
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is another, ever-shifting skill set.
A search engine optimised website appears further up the search results than competitors – and it’s not by chance. A lot of work goes into to researching keywords and long-tail keywords, writing focused meta-descriptions, as well as creating relevant and engaging content, and link building.
Google changes its algorithm regularly – and sometimes dramatically. Unfortunately, this means that, sometimes, what once helped SEO suddenly starts to harm it.
For this reason, digital marketers can never be complacent; they must learn the intricacies of SEO strategy and stay up to date with the latest trends.
While Don Draper would not recognise very many of the skills practised by today’s marketers, he would certainly see a fast-paced, creative industry focused on the consumer – and we think he would approve.
Are you ready to take on the exciting challenge and become a digital marketer?
Check out our Master in Digital Marketing program and see how ESEI International Business School can set you on the path to success!
Great article. I am thinking about switching to a digital marketing career, this kind of information really helps me. thank you so much for sharing.