Digital marketing has evolved significantly in the last decade. With so many new platforms and channels to use, it can seem like it’s constantly changing, but there are some skills that will always be necessary to an effective campaign. These are the 5 digital marketing skills that won’t go out of style, no matter how much the industry changes around them.
1) Design Creativity
Web design skills are an essential part of digital marketing that won’t go out of style. Understanding how to use graphic design software will make you more valuable to your employer. Designing for print, web, and social media are different mediums with their own conventions, so it helps to have experience in all three. If you want to focus on one in particular, it helps to understand what makes good design for that medium. While there is no best way to learn digital marketing skills, many students benefit from taking courses like multimedia production or computer art.
It’s important to note that many digital marketing skills can be learned without formal training. Digital marketing skills are highly transferable and other disciplines like web design, graphic design, user experience design, and even filmmaking can help fill in gaps where your background is lacking. Understanding how to use Adobe Illustrator (and even Photoshop) will make you a better digital marketer and animator.
Inbound marketing is based on getting people to take action on your site, and it’s all about helping them convert. Understanding how to write effective copy (and use persuasive calls-to-action) is an essential digital marketing skill for creating a great user experience that converts visitors into leads. Copywriting also involves being able to identify and edit out jargon, so visitors can understand you without feeling confused or annoyed. If your copy doesn’t lead visitors down a path that gets them from Huh? to Oh, I get it! then you need to take another crack at it.
It’s also good to learn to write effectively for people who speak a different language. The internet is international, and your ideal customer may be living in Spain or France. If you don’t know how to write copy that appeals across cultural lines, then you risk losing potential customers right out of the gate. This is especially important because so many websites already use language that won’t resonate with non-native speakers.
3) Understanding Your Audience
You wouldn’t go up to someone in real life and immediately start pitching something. They probably wouldn’t be interested, they probably don’t have money, and they definitely won’t care how great your idea is. In digital marketing, it’s a similar situation—you need to understand who you are talking to before starting any conversation.
Each network has its own specific demographics that will determine what content works best for them, so whether you're writing for Twitter or LinkedIn, first understand your audience. The same could be said about keywords; different platforms use different terminology and each will bring users that are looking for something specific. Knowing what these terms are can help make sure your content isn't overlooked by users on a certain platform.Take Twitter for example.
The short-form nature of Twitter makes it easy to get into conversations and stay in them, but you’ll have to use specific language in order to attract users. If your content is full of jargon or very specific keywords, then it will go over the heads of many users. Instead, write with a more general audience in mind; remember that not everyone will be familiar with digital marketing lingo or tactics and make sure to use terms that even beginners can understand without being confusing.
4) Data Analysis and Digital Tracking
Tools like Google Analytics, Heap, and Kissmetrics are great for digital tracking. These tools measure and report on everything from where your traffic is coming from to how long a user stays on your site (and what pages they land on) to which specific keywords convert best. But not every business owner has their own data analysts.
Instead, it's important to know enough about digital marketing analytics so that you can track and analyze data relevant to your business. At a minimum, you should be able to know why traffic dipped yesterday or which industry keywords convert better than others. A deeper understanding will allow you to predict if changes in landing page copy will increase conversions or how many leads a $500 spend on Facebook ads would result in.
The ability to manage, manipulate, and use your data is a critical digital marketing skill. If you have one or more data analysts on staff (or can hire one), you should be able to develop a deep understanding of what's working for your business, in which channels and at what cost. You will also be able to see what hasn't worked so that you can make adjustments as needed.
5) Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
Web analytics is a fundamental skill for any marketer. An understanding of what’s working (and what’s not) on your website will help you design sites that convert and develop specific goals in mind. Conversion optimization, on the other hand, is a process that focuses on designing sites to maximize how many visitors actually complete a conversion or desired action. These skills can help you build better websites and make more money from existing traffic – but only if you stay ahead of industry trends. Luckily, digital marketing skills are some of those that won’t go out of style anytime soon – they'll just get faster and more relevant over time.
On top of that, you’ll need to be on top of SEO trends and learn about ongoing industry changes. It’s not just one skill or tactic – it’s an ongoing process that requires dedication and a thirst for new knowledge. You need to stay on top of digital marketing skills if you want to make sure your sites are optimized for conversion and generating profit.
Whether it’s a result of its shiny newness or because we live in an era where everything feels like it’s constantly changing, marketing is one profession that gets pegged with constant change. Even digital marketing. Despite many popular predictions to our increasingly short attention spans, digital marketing skills have changed very little over time. The fundamentals are still there and they won’t go out of style anytime soon, as long as we keep using them effectively.
To sum it all up, make sure you’re a jack-of-all-trades by focusing on honing your core skills and specializing in one area at a time.