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What Are The Skills Needed For Starting A Career In Digital Marketing?

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Digital marketing is a very attractive career option for anyone. However, the question is can anyone be a digital marketer? Let’s try and understand this by looking at some key skills needed for starting a career in digital marketing.

Soft Skills:

InnovationInnovation

While innovation is a must for every field, it is one of the important pillars of digital marketing. In the context of digital marketing, innovation means trying out new things and not being afraid of venturing in the unknown. Digital marketers are constantly competing to get the attention of prospective customers, and therefore they always need to try out new things to stay ahead of the competition. Whether you are into SEO, social media or SEM, innovation is a must.

CreativityCreativity

Digital marketers need to have a creative bent of mind to come up with original and unique marketing ideas. They need to be creative to anticipate what the user wants from a campaign and use their imagination to capture the prospects’ attention. However, the good thing about creativity is a lot of this can be learnt. You don’t have to start from scratch as you can always learn from other successful campaigns.

CommunicationCommunication

As a digital marketer, you will be communicating a lot – whether it is with your clients or your team members. For those involved in client management roles, they need to clearly understand the client’s requirements for a specific campaign. And for those involved in actual digital marketing, there is a lot of communication involved with other team members. For example, if you are into social media marketing, you will be communicating a lot with the designing or creative team, and you should be able to clearly spell out your requirements. Or if you work for an agency, you will be required to send out monthly reports to your clients.

Analytical and data skillsAnalytical Skills

John Wanamaker, a marketing pioneer, had said once, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” While this was true for traditional marketing, digital marketing is a different ball game. As more and more business is moving to internet and mobile, marketers are getting detailed statistics of consumer behaviour. This means a lot of data is generated, and you need analytical skills to make sense of the huge amount of data. Note, however, that different roles in digital marketing require different types of analytical skills. For example, people involved in web analytics or SEM require excellent analytical skills, whereas creative roles may not involve too much data analysis.

Execution skills

Digital marketers have their hands full at all times. For example, a digital marketer in a small organization, who is responsible for everything, may be required to wear multiple hats at different times. They will be involved in blogging, publishing content on social media, monitoring social media and web analytics, creating new content ideas, working on new paid search campaigns, and many more. You need to be highly productive to execute on all these marketing tasks. Digital marketing is not a career for those with poor execution skills.

Passion for marketingMarketing

While digital marketing is very different from traditional marketing, it requires a genuine passion for marketing. For example, you need to be excellent with influencing and persuasion. Likewise, you need to know the basics of marketing such as customer segmentation and making yourself stand out from others. You should also have a natural hunger for achieving numbers and targets.

Technical Skills:

Writing skillsWriting

Writing is particularly important for roles like content marketing or social media marketing. For example, if you are creating a blog or website content for the client, you need excellent writing skills to capture the attention of the reader. Likewise if you are into social media marketing, you should have good writing skills to effectively communicate your client’s message in a short, yet engaging language. It needs to be remembered that writing for digital marketing is different from creative writing; writing for digital marketing has to be engaging, persuasive, and crisp.

Basic image editing

You don’t need to be a professional designer, but basic image editing skills are always handy for digital marketers. For example, if you need to upload a picture on Facebook and LinkedIn, and the picture is not meeting the desired size limit, you should know how to edit the picture. Likewise, you should have a basic understanding of Photoshop to enhance the image and make it look better. Or maybe you’ll need to add some captions to the image. All these things require basic image editing skills.

HTMLBasic HTML

Here, you don’t need advanced HTML coding skills, but some basic knowledge of HTML is very handy. For example, you may need some basic HTML for formatting a blog post or making changes to an email newsletter template. There are several sites that can teach you basic HTML. Check out Codeacademy and W3Schools.

WordPress

Just like basic HTML, you need to know the basics of WordPress to start a career in digital marketing. WordPress is almost like the Microsoft Word or Excel for a digital marketer. It can be very useful to know things like how to upload a post on WordPress, and how to use the basic WordPress plugins.

Understanding of social mediaSocial Media

Social media marketing is an integral element of digital marketing, and therefore aspiring digital marketers need to have a basic understanding of the various social media tools and trends. For instance, they need to have a presence on all leading social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Also, they need to be familiar about the trends, i.e. which platforms are getting more and more users, and what’s unique about each platform (Facebook is more of a personal social network, whereas LinkedIn is a network for professional connections.)

Conclusion

These are some of the basic skills needed for starting a career in digital marketing. While you will require formal training in various aspects like SEO and SEM, but these are the starting points to keep in mind before you take up any training. You need to have a natural inclination for some of these skills, such as creativity or analytical or marketing skills. However, all the other skills can be acquired and developed overtime.

Image Credits: innovationmanagement.se, quantumleapalchemy.com, blogs.psychcentral, 4tellus, laserred, writeawriting, familysearch.org

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