Constant changes in the world of digital marketing make it difficult for small businesses and entrepreneurs to keep up with the latest industry trends.
Just look at the increasing popularity of voice search within the last year. Only three years ago less than 12% of people used voice command search, but now about 60% of consumers used voice search in the last twelve months.
Business owners who understand the basic skills needed for digital marketing will adapt to new trends much faster than those who do not.
Read on to learn the top 12 marketing skills that every entrepreneur should know so you can get the most out of your next digital marketing campaign.
The Ultimate Digital Marketing Skills List for Growing Businesses
Keep in mind the following list of skills for digital marketing success to create an effective online campaign.
1. Understand Your Niche and Your Audience
Smart entrepreneurs understand that you cannot sell everything to everybody. Forming an engaged audience requires a business to focus on one specific niche. A niche makes it more likely that people will find your website when searching online since you can narrow down the criteria necessary to find you.
Once you choose a niche and identify your target audience, take a look at your competition. See what works for them and what doesn’t. Think about what you would want as a customer seeking out your product or service.
Offer better customer service than the competition. Create content based on what topics or issues your competition fails to address. Step into your customer’s shoes and consider their needs to create a more effective digital marketing campaign.
2. Search Engine Optimisation
Digital marketing strategies that do not take search engine optimisation (SEO) into account will always fail. SEO strategy means increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your business’s website through organic, not paid, search engine results.
Everything from the structure of your website to the content you share to your URL affect SEO. Even the web pages that link back to your website determine whether you appear higher up on a search engine results page.
Most digital marketers focus on Google algorithms and results pages, but Bing and Yahoo also have their own rules for SEO. Be sure to research the current requirements for Google, Bing, and Yahoo when designing your SEO strategy. They update these on a regular basis and not following the new results can result in penalties that affect your ranking.
3. Keyword Research
One of the most important digital marketing skills to understand for powerful SEO is keyword research. People use certain words or phrases when searching for products and services through an online platform like Google.
Conducting keyword research means identifying what keywords or phrases your potential audience uses when searching for products and services like the ones provided by your business.
First, you need to make a list of relevant or important topics for your industry and business. Second, you should identify what keywords or keyword phrases people enter into a search engine to find web pages discussing those topics.
Third, you need research these keywords and phrases on Google to see what they bring up. Take a look at the related searches suggested based on the keywords you used. Type these into Google and see what other related search terms they bring up.
Fourth, see how your competition rates for these various keywords or phrases. Make note of how they use them throughout their website. Fifth, narrow down your list by entering your main target keyword into a keyword planner to discover the volume of searches associated with it.
Now, you know the best keywords to use for your niche and how often people search for the particular keyword. Include the most popular keywords in a natural way.
4. Blog Writing That Attracts Readers
Getting potential customers to your website takes certain skills. Knowing how to keep them on the page and coming back for more are other necessary skills for digital marketing strategies to succeed.
Sticking to tried-and-true blog formats can make a big difference. How-to and list posts tell the reader exactly what they will learn and how long it will take them to learn it. Posts that share personal stories help connect readers to your business and make you seem more human.
Whichever way you choose, always make sure the post offers them value and contains lots of well-sourced knowledge.
5. Consistent, Visual Branding
Graphic design is not one of the skills needed for digital marketing success. Still, understanding the importance of visual branding definitely helps.
Visual branding, like a set color scheme or logo, makes your business memorable. Something unique will stick with people so when they look for a business offering a particular type of product or service, your brand will more likely come to mind.
Consistent, visual branding guides a visitor’s attention and keeps them focused on you and your products. The particular shapes or colors you choose can also elicit certain feelings that influence whether a consumer will buy.
6. How to Go Live on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube
Going live on social media is a newer marketing skill that entrepreneurs need to learn sooner rather than later. Creating a YouTube channel is no longer the extent of technical video skills you need to know for a successful digital marketing campaign.
Now Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube offer “Live” video options where you can speak directly to your online audience in real time. Viewers feel a genuine connection with your business and can even react or ask questions during the presentation.
Going live allows you to reach a much wider audience. It also leaves you with rich content to share on your website and across social media. People can come back to the video to learn more or refresh their memories. Thus giving you more authority and more hits.
7. Google Analytics Basics
No matter the industry or niche, a smart digital marketing strategy always includes Google Analytics. The analytics reveal what parts of your strategy work and what parts do not. You can see exactly what visitors arrive on your website and what channels they went through to get there.
Google Analytics also show you what parts of your website attract the most clicks, how much time visitors spend on each page, and whether they’re using the mobile or desktop version.
Consider these statistics and the information you learn from them when revamping your online marketing strategy.
8. Understanding Social Media Insights
Social media insights uncover important information regarding how customers interact with your social media accounts. (Much like how Google analytics reveals important data about your website.)
Insights allow you to monitor the effectiveness of your social media strategy. You can also track your competitors to better understand the social media landscape in your niche or industry as a whole.
Reviewing your social media insights reveals what social networks your target audience prefers, how often your competition posts, how much engagement various posts elicit, and the connecting patterns or behaviours of your target audience.
A lead magnet refers to anything of value that you can offer to a prospect in exchange for their information, most often an email address. Most entrepreneurs offer a free guide or report in a PDF format that the visitor can download after signing up.
Lead magnets are an important digital marketing skill that makes your job easier and more effective. People nowadays have enough junk arriving in their inbox and they don’t want more. A lead magnet provides readers an immediate reason to sign up to your email list and begin forming a relationship.
10. Creating a Landing Page
A digital marketing skills list would not be complete without mentioning the importance of landing pages. A potential customer arrives on a landing page after clicking on a link in an email or a paid advertisement.
The landing page acts as a call-to-action in a sales funnel. It encourages the visitor to follow through and learn more about your products or services.
Examples of landing pages include a registration page for a webinar promoted through social media or a pre-launch page where readers can sign up for future event updates. A landing page must have a clear call-to-action to work effectively.
11. Using PowerPoint for Webinars and Digital Presentations
Learning how to use PowerPoint may not intuitively seem like a necessary digital marketing skill. However, if you want to offer something truly valuable that will increase audience engagement, a webinar or digital presentation made on PowerPoint can do just that.
A downloadable digital presentation makes for a great lead magnet when expanding your email list. Scheduling periodic webinars that cover important topics in your niche or industry will keep people coming back to learn more.
In both cases, a PowerPoint presentation allows you to clearly present the information you want to share. It also lets you transform the presentation into something that can be easily downloaded or shared by your readers.
12. Email Marketing
Email marketing may seem old school, but it remains one of the best ways to engage with your audience. For every 1 pound spent on email marketing in the United Kingdom, you get 38 pounds returned, similar figures are realised around the globe. Obviously, email marketing still provides entrepreneurs with a reliable avenue of connecting with potential customers.
Since email marketing can be mostly automated, you do not have to spend tons of time writing individual emails to your thousands of subscribers.
TIP: Be sure to optimise your emails for mobile since most people use their smartphones to check their email now.
Are You Ready to Upgrade Your Current Digital Marketing Campaign?
Learning these 12 skills should not be difficult if you have available time and energy to do so.
Already spread too thin? Not enough money to form an in-house marketing department?
Book in for a digital marketing consultation to optimise and customise a digital marketing strategy that works best for your business!