If you want to transition into a marketing career—or elevate the one you already have—one thing is for sure: These days, you must have a solid set of digital marketing skills.
Digital marketing is everywhere. In 2018, Reuters reported a staggering 44% growth in the digital marketing industry over the course of just one year. Globally, companies spend nearly $100 billion on digital marketing. This number should reach $146 billion by 2023.
So, yes—the field is growing, and there’s likely to be a lot of opportunity in it. But if you want your digital marketing resume to stick out from all the others (without having to get an MBA), you should have these 12 digital marketing skills on your resume.
Digital Marketing Skills: Content Creation
To put it simply, you can’t excel in a digital marketing career if you aren’t creating content.
With that being said, “SEO godfather” Rand Fishkin, SparkToro Cofounder, advises that there really is no minimum amount of content you need to create in order to gain traction and build a strong online presence. So, don’t create high volumes of content just for the sake of it.
Venture capitalist Mary Meeker, for example, published just one internet trends report a year and quickly became a celebrity in the tech, VC, and startup worlds—because her content was hyper relevant and very useful.
In order to master content creation, here are five digital marketing skills and tools you should be well-versed in.
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1. Developing a Content Strategy
You must be very intentional with the type of content you create, in addition to when and where you publish it. A haphazard approach will result in little site traffic and wasted time. That’s where a content strategy comes in—a good one maps out the ins and outs of how your content will be created, managed, distributed, and eventually archived or updated.
To get started, we suggest checking out these comprehensive content marketing strategy guides from SEMRush and HubSpot.
2. Writing Blog Posts (and Other Longer-Form Pieces)
High-quality blog posts build trust with your audience because they show that you know what you’re talking about and that you want to provide as much information as possible in order for your audience to be successful.
These types of posts also form the backbone of your SEO strategy. In fact, research shows that, when it comes to SEO, the best blog posts are between 1,760 to 2,400 words. That doesn’t mean every post needs to be this long—posts with at least 300 words should hold some weight, too—but your website should feature a good number of these to yield the best results.
To help figure out what these longer blog posts should be about, check out this primer.
Copywriting is the text written specifically for marketing materials—most commonly, advertisements. So, it requires a different skill set than the one needed for blog posts.
Good copywriting is often the fastest way to get the most results for the least amount of effort. Simply tweaking the copy on a product can completely change the outcome. We’ve found this to be true at brunchwork. The sales of our business intensive and workshops dramatically changed when we overhauled the copy.
Still not convinced that copywriting can be pretty powerful? Here are some great case studies.
4. Designing Basic but Engaging Visuals
Humans are, by nature, very visual beings. Consistent and high-quality design will grab users’ attention and keep them engaged throughout their journey with your brand.
To establish the look and feel of your content, here are 11 simple design tips. A few of our favorites?
• 90% of snap judgements about a product are based on the color (so choose wisely!).
• People read in an “F” pattern, an “E” pattern, and a “Z” pattern.
• The most important elements should be in the biggest fonts.
5. Producing Video Content
Video content is absolutely dominating every social platform. Just look at TikTok (and Instagram’s answer to TikTok, Reels). It’s clear that people enjoy consuming this type of content—50% of consumers want to see videos from brands—so you don’t want to miss out.
But don’t worry: You don’t have to be a professional filmmaker in order to make this happen. Here’s how you can get started with video marketing.
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Digital Marketing Skills: Driving Traffic
Once you create the content, you need to make sure people are actually finding it and consuming it. Here are seven digital marketing skills that will help you increase traffic to your website.
6. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is when you leverage your social media channels in order to promote your brand and connect with your target audience.
You can do both organic (free) and paid social media marketing. When you’re first starting out, organic is the best way to go since you likely won’t have a large marketing budget. Once you’ve proven that there’s a want and need for your product, paid social media marketing—paying to promote your content to an audience beyond users you naturally reach—is a tried-and-true method for scaling your business.
7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is a great way to increase both the quality and the quantity of website traffic through non-paid search engine results. (Search Engine Marketing is the paid version of this tactic.)
When you focus on the right keywords—the ones that drive the most direct sales for your product—and create high-quality content around those keywords, SEO can produce the highest ROI among all other marketing techniques.
SEO can be tricky, but this Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO is incredibly helpful. And if you want to learn more about what your specific audience is interested in, try Rand’s new tool, SparkToro (there’s a free version!).
8. Google AdWords
This is Google’s advertising system in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google’s search results. It’s an effective—but costly—way to get your product at the top of the search results page.
You can get AdWords up and running and see short-term results fairly quickly, as opposed to SEO, which is a longer-term (but very well worth it) strategy.
Neil Patel’s Intro Guide to Google AdWords is a must-read.
9. Amazon Advertising
Did you know that you can pay to reach users on Amazon? Well, you certainly can. And this approach—reaching customers when they’re making a purchasing decision—can be quite powerful, especially considering Amazon accounts for 25% of all U.S. ecommerce.
Get started with this free guide from Amazon.
10. Influencer Marketing
These days, users don’t trust traditional ads—but they do trust recommendations from their peers, friends, and other people they admire. That’s why so many brands have collaborated with online influencers (individuals with large online audiences) to market their products or services. If that influencer likes what you have to offer, chances are their thousands of followers will, too.
It’s important to note that the influencers you partner with don’t need to be on the same popularity level as Kim Kardashian. Not only would it be incredibly hard to land a deal with a Kardashian, but it would be outrageously expensive, too. Kim can yield an average of $300K to $500K—per post. Rumor has it she’s even been paid $1M for a single ad. That’s unthinkable for most businesses.
Not only can you shoot for influencers with a few hundred thousand followers (vs. Kim’s 192M), but you can also partner with micro-influencers—individuals with between 1K to 10K followers.
Explore influencer marketing with this HubSpot guide.
11. Referral and Ambassador Programs
If your users love your product and are incentivized to share, then you can get major word-of-mouth virality. The key here is understanding the math—on average, how many new users will one ambassador generate, and how much money are you willing to spend for user acquisition? For example, if you give an individual a $100 gift card for referring 10 people, that means that you spent $10 per new user.
Explore this classic Harry’s example, which includes a step-by-step explanation.
12. Contests and Giveaways
People often love contests and giveaways—after all, they’re a fun (and easy) opportunity to win something they want or need. To enter to win, participants must provide their email address, which means that you can add them to your email list and generate more leads for your business.
We recommend creating giveaways that are relevant to your target audience’s interests. For instance, since we are an online business education platform, we recently did a giveaway that featured a bunch of home office-related prizes, like office furniture and Apple AirPods Pro.
Here’s how you can get started.
So, there you have it. These 12 digital marketing skills are paramount to your success as a marketer. Good luck!