Looking for the top marketing skills to round out your portfolio or get a new job?
Digital marketing skills are in demand as more companies shift to the inbound way of doing things. Digital marketers serve as the vanguard of a brand’s online publishing operation, attracting qualified leads through helpful and informative content.
Of course, there’s even more to inbound digital marketing than content.
Getting the most from your online content strategy – and ensuring it is conversion-focused and optimized at every step in the buyer's journey – requires a whole slew of other skills that are just as vital. A full stack digital marketer will bring many (or all!) of these to the table.
So, what are the most critical digital marketing skills in today’s employment landscape?
Digital Marketing Skills Everyone Needs in 2018
Online Content Writing and Content Strategy
With everything going on in the world of inbound, it’s no surprise web content and content strategy are the keystones of successful digital marketing campaigns in 2018.
You’ll want to be able to write, research, plan, and execute amazing content. Don’t forget about auxiliary skills, like conducting keyword research and using your favorite content calendar app, either!
Social media is one of the most valuable demand generation methods you can have in your arsenal.
In many B2B organizations, you can even narrow your focus a little to emphasize LinkedIn specifically. Just be careful to learn everything you can about why social works, not just how it works – you never know when other platforms might come into play later on in your career.
Video Content Marketing
Video marketing content has a different production workflow than most other digital marketing collateral.
The difference between writing a blog and creating a video is night and day, although writing comes into the equation in the form of your script. If you’re on a smaller team with no dedicated video specialist, work hard to familiarize yourself with the process from soup to nuts.
Marketing Data Analytics
Without data analytics, you don’t have a marketing campaign: You just have a series of guesses. While informed guesses can get you started, they’re never a substitute for a cohesive, data-driven approach.
Master a suite like Google Analytics to get on the road to unprecedented results. To add value to your team as a whole, learn to present data to execs and argue for marketing’s ROI.
As websites are segmented into more specific persona-driven funnels, conversion optimization is growing more important.
Conversions are the engine of growth and progress, and you should always be refining your landing pages for better performance. Luckily, if you have a handle on data analytics, you can easily break into conversion optimization by learning to split test pages.
Digital Marketing Skills for Specialists in 2018
Paid Traffic (PPC Advertising)
Paid traffic can bring leads to your doorstep overnight, but it comes with a steep learning curve. Not only is it heck to maintain, but many smaller businesses aren’t interested in the risks.
Make an early decision on how much PPC you want to do – many agencies love it, but prefer true specialists.
What to Go for Instead: Organic search will continue to form the bedrock of inbound for the vast majority of small and mid-sized enterprises. Learn about the dynamics of SEO in 2018, or focus on another traffic generation strategy, such as social media community management.
While it’s essential to know the basics of web design, it’s no longer the entryway into a long-term position.
The days of writing out HTML by hand in Notepad are long over, especially for B2B sites that have thousands of pages packed with dynamic content.
What to Go for Instead: General content management system skills do everything most marketers need.
Want to drill into the topic? Experts in user experience can be indispensable in large organizations. Learning to design and build landing pages is still helpful for generalists.
A graphic designer is often the second or third hire for companies planning to build out a digital marketing team. You want these people to be your friends, not your competitors!
Most marketers should be able to catch design mistakes, but they don’t need to compose graphics from scratch.
What to Go for Instead: Learn just enough about graphic design to recognize complementary colors and analyze a page in terms of its balance and composition.
Then, focus your attention on a common martech tool. Design-focused options (like an infographic maker) can be rewarding.
With this list of marketing skills for 2018, you’ll find yourself ahead of the curve for digital marketing success. Each marketer has a different menu of skills, so let your own interests as well as the market climate guide you to the perfect mix for you!