As a digital marketer, the brand and successful conversion of leads is in your hands. This is an enormous responsibility to have. Despite the basic principles of marketing being the same, the skills every digital marketer should have are ever growing.
Some digital marketers produce marketing content that completely misses the mark, or that feels half-baked to the target audience. While this can stem from many factors, outdated skills can also be the culprit.
To fool-proof your career as a digital marketer in the future, there are certain skills that you need to master in 2021. In this guide we have isolated some of the top skills that will take your digital marketing career to the next level.
Below are 5 essential digital marketing skills you can learn in 2021 to help advance your digital career.
1. Understand Brand Development
The core of any successful marketing campaign is the brand of the company that you are trying to market.
A competent digital marketer should have a good enough understanding of the brand and how to develop it to fit the targeted market. This means that you have to be an intricate part of the development of a consistent brand identity across every online or digital platform. Once you have a clear brand identity that your consumers can identify and be loyal to, half your job is done.
According to Fundera, brand loyalty is an under-utilized marketing strategy. Why? Because 43% of consumers spend more money on brands, they are loyal to. According to trends in the market in 2018, 84% of U.S. adults were loyal to either retailers or product-brands.
Businesses with a well-developed brand do not need to spend a lot of money on marketing campaigns for customer retention. If you polish up your brand development skills, you are guaranteed to retain at the very least 65% of your customers, regardless of what you are marketing.
2. Accurate Competitive Research
To be a successful digital marketer, you need to make sure that you can accurately engage in competitive market research.
The process involves being able to correctly identify the competitors within your market segment and investigating how they conduct their business. This means inspecting their marketing strategies, products, and sales.
Accurate competitive research will include assessing how your competitors set up their online advertisements, how they handle their media coverage, and social media engagements.
Why is this important?
It will help you gain a better understanding of your competitor so that you can strategize how to successfully compete against them. Your goal as a digital marketer is to make your business more attractive than your rival to the consumer.
3. Data Analysis
Technology has many benefits for the digital marketer, one of them being the endless amount of data that is now at your fingertips. Access to relevant data is so much easier now.
You need to master data analytics in today’s world. Not only is it an essential skill to have as a digital marketer, but also it is a significant investment for businesses. But how do you go about mastering this essential skill?
First, understand that data analysis is now so much more than just analyzing website performance or web analytics. A lot more goes into this process. The tools that you must understand and use include:
- Google Analytics
- Social media marketing (including paid advertising, chatbots, and social media communities)
- Ad managers
- CRM software
- Landing page optimization
All these tools are geared toward helping you collect relevant and useful data that you can use to develop successful marketing strategies and campaigns. These tools will also help you purge your database of unnecessary and outdated data that can make you miss the mark completely. As a digital marketer, you cannot afford to shy away from data analysis. Granted, it has become slightly more complicated over the years with the introduction of so many online tools and software. Nevertheless, it is your duty to become well-versed in some of the top data analysis tools that are available today.
4. Copywriting/ Content Marketing
Writing great content is a skill every digital marketer should have. Why? Because you can use written content to market your product or services effectively.
There are so many online platforms today that need awesome content that converts into actual sales. Tools such as emails, social media posts, paid ads, product descriptions, and landing pages all require accurate and engaging content.
This type of written content differs from blogging. With copywriting, the focus is on grabbing attention, showing the value of your product or services, and motivating the consumer to buy what you are selling with little space to write and in very few words.
5. Become Tech Savvy
Whether it’s search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) or pipeline management, today’s digital marketer needs to understand it all. To give some perspective, we’ve broken down two of these digital skills below so you can understand their importance.
SEO – Researchers at Ahrefs found that 90.63%  of online content receives little to no organic traffic from the Google search engine without SEO. This means that even if you have great online content, if you do not use SEO strategies, your marketing campaigns are likely to be a miss.
CRM – What you cannot measure, you cannot improve. Client Relationship Management, or CRM, is a plan that you can implement to measure, manage, and nurture your client relationships.
Becoming tech savvy is no simple task, especially when you are not inclined to the tech world. Your survival in the industry, however, depends on you having a basic understanding of how these technologies and strategies affect and help your marketing efforts.
Resources to Grow Your Digital Marketing Skills
So where do you go from here if your digital marketing knowledge and/or skills need a boost? Self-directed learning is critical to your success as a digital marketing professional. Platforms, algorithms, digital marketing methods, and consumer preferences, are changing at warp speed and we must keep up. That’s why it is so important that we give ourselves the time to brush up on skills, learn new ones, and keep up with trends.
Here are some ideas to keep yourself current:
- Sign up for industry newsletters that keep you in-the-know with latest digital marketing topics and trends. I’ve created the Digital Marketing Roundup curating for you the latest blog articles.
- Take advantage of free certifications offered by industry leaders, such as HubSpot and Google. You can find links to these resources on my Digital Marketing Resources page.
- Keep up with latest digital trends and view digital marketing campaigns from around the world on the Clio Awards site. The link is available on my Digital Marketing Resources page.
 Duct Tape Marketing https://ducttapemarketing.com/competitive-research/
 Mordor Intelligence https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/marketing-analytics-market
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