Marketing jobs have come to include more digital marketing skills than ever before. For a single person tasked with the role of “digital marketing”, the responsibility can feel overwhelming. Some even pile online marketing on top of another full time job, and then feel guilty when they don’t see results.
If you’re wondering whether you can see meaningful results from gaining digital marketing skills, the answer is YES, you absolutely can. There are no barriers to entry, and the world is your playground. However, if you are looking for an easy way to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), then hire someone.
The problem is, many people eagerly watch a few videos about specific skills like keyword analysis or Facebook advertising and then lose their enthusiasm. The digital marketing journey requires dedication. You’ll need at least 10 hours a week of time dedicated to your business’s online presence. If you’re able to commit to this journey, then read on.
Consider the symbolism of the lotus flower. Its roots are in muddy water, but it reaches toward the light to produce something beautiful.
Owning your digital marketing is like plunging into the murky waters of uncertainty. At first you’ll struggle and you may even find things that make you cringe. Then you’ll gain new knowledge and discover new passions.
Along the way you’ll learn to use the tools available to you and explore new ideas. Perhaps your “Mad Men” style marketing assumptions don’t hold up to the data. You may even decide to change elements of your business.
Finally, you’ll emerge with a greater understanding of how your business brings value to people. Digital marketing will be a source of real connection with your customers, and you’ll be able to engage with them like never before.
11 Digital Marketing Skills
Start by committing dedicated time each work day to digital marketing. Plan to dedicate two hours each day. No matter what happens during those two hours, you’ll have made progress toward your goal of engaging with your customers online. While every little bit helps, your competitors may have a full-time digital marketing director or even a digital marketing team. Take a deep breath, evaluate your resources and make a realistic plan.
If you dedicate enough time and approach each task methodically, then you will excel in any marketing channel you choose. Don’t fall into frustration. Remember, this is a job for an entire team of people. Celebrate each small victory.
User Experience (UX)
Before you dive into any fancy analysis tools, it’s helpful to walk through the online experience you’re providing. Pretend to be your customer and complete the entire buying process online. Go all the way through from landing pages to checkout. What did you learn simply through this role playing exercise?
Now take a look at Google Analytics behavior flow to see how users are traveling around between pages. Hotjar heatmaps can give more insight into how people navigate your site. Did this data spark your curiosity?
Just as curiosity is great for relationships, it’s also what will keep your love for digital marketing alive. Are you curious about your customers, your competition and innovations within your industry? The information you glean will inform your business decisions and make you a relevant participant in the online conversation.
At this point, we’re plunging into the unknown in hopes that our research and data analysis will provide us with the answers we need to make informed decisions that will change our business. Curiosity will spark the questions to direct our research.
Take your questions and run with them. Never stop pursuing your question until it leads to a new question. You may even achieve the bliss of working in a flow state as you devour information and find new information relevant to your industry. Immerse yourself to discover who your competitors are, where your customers are talking and what they really think of your business.
Don’t shy away from data analysis. This is now regarded as one of the crucial skills marketers must have. Data will let you know what’s working and where opportunities for effective content lie.
You can use data to determine the topic of your next blog post, find dropoff points in your lead generation, and obtain better search results. The more you wrap your head around your data, the more you can start layering it to understand how your digital marketing is affecting your business.
Start with solidifying your brand positioning statement and then examine each component of your online presence. Think about all the paths that your current customers take to find you. It’s better to have a consistently wonderful web presence than to be sparse on several social media platforms. Use data analysis to determine which channels that are working for you.
This skill can’t be understated for digital marketers. Spend time creating fail-proof systems that will ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Make checklists and schedules for tasks that you’ll repeat.
A systematic approach is crucial to ensure you’re engaging with your customers in a timely and relevant manner. Marketing automation is your friend here. Any time you automate a task, set it up.
Now that you’ve researched, analyzed and organized, maybe the digital landscape no longer seems so murky. Now we come to the flower of your efforts: content marketing. Your curiosity will have lead you to several topics you can write about.
High quality content will begin to flow. You can write about interests that many of your customers share and target that content directly to them. You can use data to find topics with decent search volume that don’t have much competition. All your ground work will start to pay off when your relevant content reaches the right audience.
You’ve seen the data and hopefully you’ve been able to pinpoint some successes from your online marketing efforts so far. Take everything you’ve learned to make a plan. It can be broad at first, and the goal is to keep finding frameworks that you can repeat. Always leave room for experimentation.
While social media marketing gurus and other experts often have useful tips for how to improve your marketing, nothing will tell you more about what works for your audience than experimentation. Remember the scientific method? You start by asking a question, and then create an experiment that will answer your question. Marketing campaigns are perfect places to test your assumptions.
A/B tests enable you to send 2 different promotions to determine which version is the most effective. Many email marketing softwares have this feature built in. Remember to only change one element of your campaign in each test to gain clear insight. Always be willing to change your strategy.
Need help with strategy? A digital marketing agency can review your strategy, or set you up with one to follow. Even experienced marketers find value in enlisting consultants.
If you made one person think or feel differently, then you were really able to engage that person and your effort was worthwhile. Now that you’ve organized and automated the activities that used to stifle your enjoyment of digital marketing, you can engage as a member of the online community.
Doesn’t it feel good to be on top of your digital marketing skills? Moving past the “I should post to Facebook” stage is definitely better for your brain. The next time you tell someone new about your business, you can smile confidently and say, “look me up online.”
If you made it to the bottom of this article and decided that you’d like help with your digital marketing, then reach out. Our team has thousands of hours of digital marketing experience and a lot of patience. Our mission is to give people more freedom to pursue their passions.