7 Essential Skills Every Digital Marketer Needs to Know | Digital Marketing Institute (2023)

The digital industry is vast, and it can be tough to navigate for newcomers or marketers looking to find their niche. From knowing the best data analytics tools to mastering SEO and content marketing, there can be a lot to grapple with if you don’t focus your attention on the areas that matter to a business.

A great digital marketer will have the ability to adapt quickly and learn on their own, even being ready to pivot into different digital careers if old skills become less in-demand. They will be working with diverse teams and clients, so will have to know how to communicate and build strong teams.

The great news is that there is global demand for marketers with agile digital skills. According to DMI’s research paper ‘Perpetual Evolution’, it’s talent and technology that are driving the future of digital marketing with companies keen to hire marketers with digital know-how. And never forget that it’s important to leverage and improve your hard and soft skills as you move forward into exciting new positions.

So, how do you fast-track your way up the corporate ladder or set yourself apart from the competition, particularly if you’re a digital nomad or looking to become a successful freelancer? Check out these 7 essential niche skills to keep you relevant in the ever-changing digital industry.

1. Video Marketing

Video continues to take the internet by storm and this isn’t about to stop. Customers love videos, particularly on social media, and 8 out of 10 people have purchased after watching a brand’s video. For marketers, 93% who use video say it’s an important part of their strategy and 87% report it gives them a positive Return on Investment (ROI) according to The State of Video Marketing research.

Bear in mind that these are loose statistics that will vary depending on who you ask, but the point is that most statistics point to much higher conversion, engagement and higher SEO rankings when it comes to video.

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What makes it so engaging? Because it’s personal and relevant. When people can see your face (or the face of the person promoting the brand), they are more likely to trust your business. It’s also wonderfully versatile content to use across different platforms. Just think about the success of Instagram and the rapid rise of TikTok!

Digital marketing professionals don’t have to know everything about video production. But knowing how to make videos without hiring a professional is a good place to start. There are some great tools to help you do that such as Promo and Camtasia. And if you have some training in this area and love it, your skills will never be wasted as video will always be in demand.

If you want to learn more on your own, you can try out video editing tools like Apple Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro.

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2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to all levels of digital marketing and anyone going into the field must have a basic handle on it. You can certainly leave the highly technical, back-end stuff to the more technical people on the team, but knowing how SEO really works and a solid understanding of best practices and content optimization are crucial for running a successful digital marketing campaign.

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Both SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) inform your entire digital strategy on a data and content level. So you need to be able to communicate to other teammates about this and won’t get far without learning the basics and understanding how SEO and SEM can work together.

3. Content Marketing

Content is at the core of digital marketing and content marketing will continue to be a crucial part of the game no matter what happens. But content marketing is a huge job in itself. You have to be able to create high quality, SEO-friendly content for many channels and understand how to create an effective content strategy to engage and convert audiences.

And to make things a little more challenging, it’s important to note that content can take many forms, from video to social, emails, web content, blogs, e-books, videos, whitepapers…the list goes on. You also have to have a firm grasp of social media marketing as content is crucial on social platforms. Get some inspiration from six global brands that know how to do content marketing successfully.

3. Data / Analytics

No matter what facet of digital marketing you go into, analytics will be central to your strategy and help you make better data-driven decisions for campaigns. Monitoring and reporting via tools such as Google Analytics is pretty straightforward, but the tricky part is how to gather and use that information to learn more about consumer behavior and apply it to solutions that boost traffic and conversions.

Most businesses (even small ones) have huge amounts of data to track, and great digital marketers need to understand how to gather and use this to their advantage. Companies will always be on the lookout for people who not only know how to “read” data using their marketing technical skills but to extract value from customer data to improve future strategies. If you can show that you can do this in innovative ways that result in campaign success, you will be a valuable asset in the industry.

Bear in mind that you don’t have to stick to one platform for your analytics, check out some alternatives to Google Analytics to see if they would work better for you.

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4. Understand Design Thinking & Planning

Design Thinking is a term that refers to a way of approaching problems from a user-centred perspective. The approach essentially encourages us to think in a human-centred way when solving large-scale complex problems.

According to The Interaction Design Foundation, there are 5 key phases to this process: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. The reason why this works well is that so much of it is (or should be) centred on the user experience which is key to digital marketing success. Another interesting thing about this approach is that it can be used in a non-linear way – so that in some instances you may get to the testing phase and then come back to the middle phase, for instance, to reconsider ideas.

Designers and developers are likely to use this type of approach, so it’s a good idea to at least have a solid understanding of it to pump up your marketing resume and apply it when feasible.

5. Be Tech Savvy

Because the industry is technology-driven, you need a decent grip on technology as well as be able to learn it quickly. If you’re millennial-age or younger, this is probably going to be second-nature as a digital native, but older generations may want to take some time to learn not only specific technologies, but also get familiar with commonly used software and tools such as audience listening or SEM.

(Video) Essential Skills Every Digital Marketer Needs to Master

It can also be beneficial to understand the technical skills needed for marketing such as the basics of web coding, as well as having a clear idea of how to use Content Management Systems (CMS). For example, a CMS like Wordpress - used by a third of websites - can be tweaked to boost SEO if you know the right steps and help you land that dream job.

6. Be Persuasive

A great digital marketing leader will not only possess great people skills, they’ll also be able to combine analytical thinking with creative problem solving. This will help their teams come up with innovative marketing campaign ideas to drive businesses forward.

A big part of this is having great persuading and influencing skills. Can you convince someone to purchase a product? What about persuading other team leaders that your idea is the best? This isn’t about arguing, it’s having the confidence that you know what you’re doing and demonstrating it.

7. Highlight Your Unusual Skills

As far as soft skills go, great digital marketers should be curious, enjoy versatility, forward-thinking, business-focused and strategy-centered. But there is plenty of room in this field for all kinds of personalities and skillsets. So, you should leverage your unique personality to stay competitive in the industry.

It may, for instance, be unusual to find someone talented in SEO strategy as well management, or it may be unique to find someone with a computing science degree that also loves social media. Never be afraid to use your strengths to your advantage.

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(Video) 5 essential skills every digital marketer should know | Digital marketing tips

Drive career success with a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is fast-paced and demanding. Understanding the fundamentals will help you to hit the ground running in whatever role you choose. Our Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing will give you the digital marketing and soft skills that matter. From SEO to social media, content marketing and strategy, you will gain up-to-date and relevant knowledge that will help you become an awesome digital marketer.

First published April 2018, Updated November 2021

FAQs

Is digital marketing a hard skill? ›

Every job requires a certain set of skills, usually a combination of “hard” and “soft”. Digital marketing is no different. Hard skills vary depending on the specific specialty, but can include knowing how to use social media and SEO tools, in addition to video conferencing and collaboration software.

Why skills in digital marketing are important? ›

Developing a solid understanding of search gives you insights into how consumers are searching for information about the products and services you offer. Having the skills to develop and implement an effective search marketing strategy, you'll attract more of the right traffic to your site and increase conversions.

Is digital marketing a good skill? ›

Digital marketing skills are of immense value – whether you are already working in an agency or waiting to land your dream job in one. However, most people believe that these digital marketing skills can be acquired on the job, or through watching YouTube videos.

What is a skill example? ›

They can be soft skills, such as problem-solving abilities, effective communication, or time management, or hard skills, like speed typing, using Powerpoint or Excel. Feel free to include any universal skills even if they're not specifically required or mentioned in the job description.

How can I improve my digital marketing skills? ›

Here are some important tips to boost your digital marketing career.
  1. Advance and Refine Your Skill Set. ...
  2. Be Aware of the Latest Trends. ...
  3. Develop a Strong Digital Presence. ...
  4. Build a Personal Brand. ...
  5. Understand Data. ...
  6. Don't Be Afraid to Take Risks. ...
  7. Learn to Adapt. ...
  8. Always Seek Feedback.
11 Dec 2018

What should I learn first in digital marketing? ›

Here are the top 17 ways to learn digital marketing
  • Start your own blog.
  • Enroll in paid digital marketing courses.
  • Read digital marketing books.
  • Read digital marketing blogs.
  • Watch videos on YouTube.
  • Do an internship.
  • Follow influencers on social media.
  • Listen to a digital marketing podcast.

What are hard skills in marketing? ›

Top Hard Skills in Marketing
  • Data Analysis. Data-driven marketing is an essential component of business growth. ...
  • Communication. Excellent communication skills are a must-have in any leadership position. ...
  • Technological Proficiency. ...
  • Project Management. ...
  • People Management. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Collaboration. ...
  • Curiosity.

What makes a great digital marketer? ›

A great digital marketer will have the ability to adapt quickly and learn on their own, even being ready to pivot into different digital careers if old skills become less in-demand. They will be working with diverse teams and clients, so will have to know how to communicate and build strong teams.

What is the role of a digital marketer? ›

A digital marketer is responsible for getting the word out in the market about a brand. They use a wide variety of digital channels to build brand awareness and generate leads. The digital channels include the company's website, and social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and others.

Is digital marketing Easy? ›

Like many professions, digital marketing requires both a core set of hard skills (which can be relatively straightforward to learn) and a longer list of career attributes that might take years to master.

What is the best digital skill to learn? ›

Notwithstanding your industry, here are some of the most common technical skills that employers are looking for, and tips to acquire them.
  1. Digital marketing or social marketing. ...
  2. Business data analytics. ...
  3. Coding. ...
  4. Cloud. ...
  5. Artificial intelligence.

Which marketing job is best? ›

Top 13 Marketing/Advertising Jobs by Salary
  • Brand/Product Manager.
  • Marketing Executive.
  • Sales Channel Development Manager.
  • Art Director.
  • Advertising Account Director.
  • Interactive Art Director.
  • Demand Generation Director.
  • Public Relations Director.
14 Feb 2022

Who is the father of digital marketing? ›

Philip Kotler ... The “father of digital marketing,” Philip Kotler, is often referred to as such. He is an American professor who is credited with founding marketing as an academic discipline and has produced over 60 marketing books.

What is your best skills answer? ›

Sample Answer: “I have very good organizational and time management skills, but my greatest strength is my ability to effectively handle multiple projects and deadlines.” Sample Answer: “My strength is my flexibility to handle change.

What is skill simple words? ›

1a : the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance. b : dexterity or coordination especially in the execution of learned physical tasks. 2 : a learned power of doing something competently : a developed aptitude or ability language skills. 3 obsolete : cause, reason. skill.

What are your top 3 skills? ›

Top skills employers look for
  1. Communication skills. Communication skills are needed in virtually any job. ...
  2. Leadership skills. ...
  3. Teamwork skills. ...
  4. Interpersonal skills. ...
  5. Learning/adaptability skills. ...
  6. Self-management skills. ...
  7. Organizational skills. ...
  8. Computer skills.

What are the 4 stages of marketing? ›

The marketing process consists of four elements: strategic marketing analysis, marketing-mix planning, marketing implementation, and marketing control.

How can I learn SEO? ›

6 Steps to Learn SEO for Free – Learn SEO at Home
  1. Understand the goal of SEO. ...
  2. Master keyword research. ...
  3. Know the difference between on-page and off-page SEO. ...
  4. Learn to identify UX signals. ...
  5. Embrace SEO-friendly content creation. ...
  6. Start link building.

What marketing skills means? ›

“The activity, set of institutions, skills, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

What makes a great digital marketer? ›

A great digital marketer will have the ability to adapt quickly and learn on their own, even being ready to pivot into different digital careers if old skills become less in-demand. They will be working with diverse teams and clients, so will have to know how to communicate and build strong teams.

What is expected of a digital marketer? ›

A Digital Marketer's job is to drive brand awareness and lead generation through digital channels, and that means that Digital Marketers spend their days creating, posting, or updating content, monitoring or handling social interactions and campaigns, or performing other work in an attempt to bolster a company's ...

Is coding required in digital marketing? ›

Digital advertisers do not need any programming abilities or coding background upfront to begin their career in Digital Marketing. In the ability sets required of a Digital Marketing Professionals, many marketing experts see coding as not very fundamental or the exclusive domain.

What should I learn first in digital marketing? ›

To learn digital marketing, you need to become an expert in the following areas:
  • Search Engine Marketing.
  • Content Marketing.
  • Inbound Marketing.
  • Social Media Marketing.
  • Email Marketing.
  • Digital Marketing Analytics Tools.
6 Sept 2022

How can I improve my digital marketing skills? ›

Here are some important tips to boost your digital marketing career.
  1. Advance and Refine Your Skill Set. ...
  2. Be Aware of the Latest Trends. ...
  3. Develop a Strong Digital Presence. ...
  4. Build a Personal Brand. ...
  5. Understand Data. ...
  6. Don't Be Afraid to Take Risks. ...
  7. Learn to Adapt. ...
  8. Always Seek Feedback.
11 Dec 2018

Is digital marketing Easy? ›

Like many professions, digital marketing requires both a core set of hard skills (which can be relatively straightforward to learn) and a longer list of career attributes that might take years to master.

What is digital marketing strategy? ›

What is digital marketing strategy? A digital marketing strategy is a plan for establishing an internet presence through online channels such as organic search, social media, paid ads, and other web-based mediums such as your website.

How do I write myself as a digital marketer? ›

i love to do my work and I'm a digital marketer, expert on SEO and advertiser. I working this sectors since 2018 a local SEO service company in Bangladesh. Search Engine Optimization, ON Page & Off page SEO, Social Media Advertising, PHP, WordPress, etc. So gues, You can do your work by me and I will satisfy you.

What does a digital marketer do daily? ›

This category covers all media outlets from social platforms to email marketing and automation to paid advertising campaigns and content marketing. All these pieces work together to meet the goals set by the digital marketing strategy. Quality planning and excellent communication are essential.

Which language is used in digital marketing? ›

HTML. HTML is a great first language to learn, not only because of its prevalence throughout our lives as digital marketers but also because it teaches the fundamentals that translate well into all coding.

What are hard skills in marketing? ›

Top Hard Skills in Marketing
  • Data Analysis. Data-driven marketing is an essential component of business growth. ...
  • Communication. Excellent communication skills are a must-have in any leadership position. ...
  • Technological Proficiency. ...
  • Project Management. ...
  • People Management. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Collaboration. ...
  • Curiosity.

Is digital marketing a tech job? ›

Just like with other tech roles, many digital marketing jobs allow you to work from home and earn a higher salary than you might in other junior positions. Landing a digital marketing job is one of the most direct ways for tech newcomers to start working in the industry.

Can I do digital marketing from home? ›

Arguably the biggest advantage to a career in digital marketing is the ability to work from home. Most digital marketing tasks can be completed online so many companies and agencies choose to let their employees work from home. Some of the more popular work from home digital marketing positions are: SEO specialist.

Who is the father of digital marketing? ›

Philip Kotler ... The “father of digital marketing,” Philip Kotler, is often referred to as such. He is an American professor who is credited with founding marketing as an academic discipline and has produced over 60 marketing books.

What is the best digital marketing platform? ›

However, many of the tools and platforms available to assist marketers will help with all these types of marketing. In reality, they assist multiple types of modern marketing, including: Social media marketing.
...
  1. Brandwatch (Formerly Falcon.io) ...
  2. Loomly. ...
  3. Sendible. ...
  4. Referral Factory. ...
  5. Refersion. ...
  6. Audiense. ...
  7. Brand24. ...
  8. Sendinblue.
14 Oct 2022

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