Digital marketing is set to be one of the hottest fields to be part of in the next few years. One 2019 survey found that companies spent over 60% of their budget on digital marketing and that this was expected to grow to 66.8% in 2023. This was before recent global events, however, and we can expect this number to be even higher in the future.
If you were thinking that this might be a great time to get in, you’d be right, but you also have to know that digital marketing is not something that everyone can do, at least not competently. Let’s take a look at some of the qualities, skills, and attributes all digital marketers need.
A lot of people automatically think of SEO when it comes to digital marketing, but a lot of it is driven by video content. YouTube is an advertising powerhouse, and video is one of the most engaging forms of content whether you’re using videos on the platform, on a website, or on a blog.
It has been shown that videos are able to retain customers on a webpage for two minutes more on average according to a study from MarTech. The same study found that well-crafted and optimized videos could boost your chance to be in top-ranking positions on Google by at least 50%. Those who know how to create enticing videos for their audience will be able to get better results for their organization and have a significant advantage in this field.
What makes videos so powerful is that they can help create an instant personal connection with the audience. People connect with other people, and when they see someone represent a brand, they will automatically connect on a human level with it.
We’re not saying that you have to know everything there is to know about video production, but learning how to create quality personal videos on your laptop is a good start. We would also suggest that you learn how to use Adobe Premiere, or Final Cut Pro X if you’re using a Mac.
The Proper Formation
One of the most important things for any marketer is to have a good academic foundation. This also goes for digital marketers, especially those who want to work in a specific field.
If you want to stand out, you could get a degree in digital marketing and data analytics. Those who have a solid understanding of data will have access to some of the best positions in the field and will have a skill set that is highly sought-after.
If you want to know more about how to start a career in this field, we would suggest you check out The Path to an Exciting Career in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics by Emerson College. This blog explains why those with the credential will be a hot commodity in the next few years because of the direction marketing budgets are heading in.
People will not only need people who can implement solutions, but who can model them, analyze results, prepare forecasts, and present complex data in a way that is easily digestible to shareholders. We can also expect more marketing managers to hold the credential and more companies to expect it.
Another reason why understanding analytics is so essential for a digital marketer is because of its importance when it comes to improving user experience. Those with a solid grasp of analytics understand customer behavior at a much deeper level and know how to mold it. User experience will continue to become increasingly important in how websites are ranked by search engines as well, and having a good formation in analytics will help you master SEO in ways other marketers will never be able to.
A Strategic Mindset
Being great with analytics will also help you develop a strategic mindset and it’s one of the most important traits to have as a digital marketer. As a digital marketer, your job will be to help companies grow by increasing brand awareness, conversions, and sales. This is no small task. You not only need to stay on top of daily tasks, but you also have to be able to keep your eyes on the big picture. You’ll need to be able to devise plans to better position the company for growth or meet long-term objectives.
People with a strategic mindset can look at the past to understand the present and predict the future. This is a skill that is essential for anyone in a marketing position and becomes increasingly important as you move up the ladder.
Businesses now spend more of their total budget on marketing than ever before. Companies spend around 12% of their budget on marketing, which is the highest rate in the history of CMO surveys. This means that digital marketers need to show more accountability. They not only have to say that their strategies are working, but show the return on investment and how they performed based on clear key performance indicators. They then need to tie these indicators with business performance to justify digital marketing budgets.
In one report that was released by Forbes, chief marketing officers stated that their inability to demonstrate the value of marketing held them back in their career, and that should be no surprise. Those who master the financial aspect, on the other hand, can gain the trust of CFOs and CEOs since they can speak the same language.
As a digital marketer, you will need to work with all sorts of people. You might have to interview graphic designers one day or hire a contractor to create content for you the next. Not to mention that you’ll have a team under you that you’ll need to manage, as well as people above you who you’ll need to report to.
Leadership skills will make sure that you get the most out of the people you’re working with. Managing mixed teams can be difficult as contractors will not always be as engaged as regular employees. But a good leader knows how to make contractors feel valued, which will push them to perform their best.
They are also better at building and maintaining relationships with top contractors. This allows them to get consistent results without having to spend unnecessary time constantly searching for and interviewing contractors.
Leadership is not only about managing people, however. Good leaders also know when to take the blame. They are also the ones who will have to pick up the pieces when everything falls apart. They are the ones who may have to put in some extra work when it comes to completing projects because someone on their team dropped the ball.
Good leaders know how to make the right people accountable for errors, but they also know how to congratulate. They know how to foster a healthy spirit of competition within their team and give them incentives to perform better as well.
Leadership is something that comes naturally to some. But, contrary to what many people think, all leaders are not born. There are some classes that you can take to develop your interpersonal skills if you feel like your introverted nature is holding you back. While this is a field where introverts can thrive up to a certain level, you will have no choice but to develop your people and leadership skills if you want to advance.
Another trait that digital marketers need is the ability to mobilize a large network. Networking in this business is essential, whether you’re working on your own and are looking for clients, you’re recruiting, or looking for partners. Being great at networking could also put you in the same room as some very important people, or it could even help you land your dream job.
A good digital marketer will need to have a way with words. Lots of the content that is consumed online is in written form and SEO continues to be dictated mainly by text. Knowing how to write powerful headlines is one of the most powerful skills a digital marketer can have. Changing the headline on a website could be the simplest way to increase your conversion rate, but very few people know what makes a headline great.
One study found that including a pain point in a headline could increase a website’s conversion rate by as much as 31%. Another study found that 43% of people only skim through blog posts, but 80% will read the headline. So, this is an important skill to have if you want your content to be seen.
However, it goes deeper than that. You will have to create content that isn’t only well written, but will engage the audience. Sales-driven web content can be very different from editorial content. These are nuances a digital marketer will need to be able to grasp if they want to get results.
So, if you wanted to know what it takes to be a great digital marketer, this should give you an idea. We would suggest that you speak with people who are in the field and try to find a mentor. You can then start looking at how you can get your foot through the door through contract work or internships.