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Top Digital Marketing Skills for 2021
Tuesday / April 06, 2021
With 2020 being a year all about agility, adaptability and remote engagement for business, digital has played a critical role in keeping the businesses floating and active through a challenging period.
The new normal forced upon the whole wide world has compelled the organisations to take stock of their digital capabilities, enablement and strategy, and have made digital marketers review and reconsider their digital marketing skills to suit the new normal.
According to Australian Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA), digital marketers require a much broader range of digital skills to meet the present pace of technology evolution.
According to ADMA research conducted below are the top seven digital marketing skills to upskill your career in 2021;
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing
- Data Analytics
- Product and UX design
- Machine learning
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. There were 1, 295, 973, 827 websites by January 2020 and billions of web pages. But, the same source claims that only 189,000, 000 of them are active websites. This number still points to an enormous quantity of content available online which includes text, images, video, audio, infographic, etc. To cite another popular example, YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google and YouTube viewers watch over 1 billion hours of video on the platform every day generating billions of views.
Now with such a deluge of information online with just a click or swipe away, producing and delivering valuable and relevant content to a target audience is a major challenge and takes a set of fine skills and a very nuanced understanding of what prospective customers want to be shown to or presented with, on digital media to win their trust and sway their buying decisions in favour of your brand or products. Since digital marketers are required to plan, create, and distribute a wide variety of content through a host of channels to several market segments or guide and assist content producers, they must acquire content marketing skills in 2021. Also, they must learn how to outperform their equally competent rivals with even better content marketing.
Search Engine Optimization and Marketing
A brand may have the best products on the market - but without an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to attract consumer attention, it may never harness its full selling potential. In early 2020, researchers for Ahrefs found that 91% of content receives little organic traffic from Google. These statistics indicate that if a business has good content but subpar SEO, its marketing efforts may not be seen by anyone who isn’t already cognizant of its brand.
SEO marketing includes the technologies and techniques that skilled marketers can use to direct customer eyes to a brand via search engine traffic. Search engine optimization gives a business’ website and content a boost in search engine results, thereby drawing customer searches to your social, web, and video content.
More and more businesses today are beginning to view SEO as imperative - and it is. A 2019 study from Clutch further found that more than one-third (36%) of small businesses already had an SEO strategy at the time of the survey, and an additional 23% planned to develop one within a year. For digital marketers, understanding SEO is critical to success in today’s search-engine-driven buying environment.
Social Media Marketing
The demand for social media skills and social media marketing professionals is growing exponentially, and if a brand doesn’t exist on social media today, it is likely going to fall behind and lose out to competitors.
More than 2.45 billion people are using Facebook, with millions also using social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, and 1 billion users on YouTube, it’s clear that ignoring social media skills will lead to lost opportunities for revenue and brand building. This makes social media marketing skills critically important. If you want to specialise in social media marketing or build a career as a digital marketer, mastering social media marketing skills is essential.
Critical among these skills are excellent communication, creativity, the ability to write, content curation, project management, marketing, strategic thinking and relationship building skills. Of course, on top of these, you must have a strong understanding of the way social media work, the functional dynamics of each social media platform and which platform works best for which industries.
Data analytics empower digital marketing professionals to secure data-driven insights into customer preferences, brand development, and more. A wealth of readily available analytical tools has given businesses across all industries the means to reveal and foretell momentous trends about customer interests, choices, and preferences.
At first glance, data analytics may not seem all that necessary but in today’s digital world, it is a must-have digital marketing skill. Big Data and advanced data analysis enable marketers to better understand and tailor their services to current and prospective customers. This capability renders data analytics an important instrument in the modern digital marketing landscape.
Investment numbers show the analytics’ importance to today’s businesses. According to Mordor Intelligence, the marketing analytics market was valued at $2.3 billion in 2019. It’s projected to reach $4.23 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% across the forecast period.
You don’t have to be a fully-fledged data analyst to thrive as a marketer. But, you should have a basic grasp of a few foundational concepts, applications, and tools available in the marketing sector to succeed as a digital marketer.
Product & UX Design
UX, the popular abbreviation for User Experience, is a set of strategies, tools, and methodologies that make a product, service, or brand focused on the user, rather than just on the company. It’s specifically about the experience when the user interacts with your product and it is a part of Customer Experience (CX). According to McKinsey, simply improving customer journeys has the potential to increase customer satisfaction by 20% but also to lift revenue by up to 15% while lowering the cost of serving customers by as much as 20%. A positive user experience boosts customer satisfaction and results in repeat business.
Also, a good UX can contribute to visibility in searches to potential customers. Having a good UX encourages users to explore through your content to find out more, therefore reducing your bounce rate. Further, UX is a major driver of conversions. Likewise, UX design plays a crucial role in digital marketing; therefore, aspiring digital marketers should take a serious interest in UX design.
Customer Data Security and Privacy
As our transactions occur increasingly online, the risk to consumers’ personal information grows. Digital marketers must understand their customers’ privacy concerns and protect their data as best they can.
After all, a major data breach or violation can severely hurt a company’s reputation - and often, it can do much more harm than a single effective marketing campaign could offset. According to a recent survey from PwC, only 25% of consumers believe that most companies handle their sensitive personal data responsibly. Interestingly, 72% of consumers also believe that businesses, not the government, are best equipped to protect them.
As one writer for Treasure Data puts the matter: “Privacy and security have become major marketing challenges — and digital marketing teams are finding themselves on the front lines, given their growing reliance on user data and all the vulnerabilities that come with it.”
Strong cybersecurity practices are essential to successful digital marketing campaigns. Learning how to treat customer data responsibly and protect it against cyber-attacks is a critical component of an aspiring digital marketer’s repertoire of skills.
AI and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning may be relatively new arrivals in the marketing sector, but they stand to disrupt the industry as we know it. Already, digital marketers are using AI technologies to discern trends on social media, carry out advanced customer research, and crunch enormous quantities of data.
By using AI and machine learning to understand customers better, marketing professionals can readily connect with their target audience and tap into ideas and topics that are important to them. Indeed, one 2018 PointSource study found that “when AI is present, 49 per cent of consumers are willing to shop more frequently and 34 per cent will spend more money.”
Having a basic understanding of AI and machine learning is a prerequisite for digital marketers today. Those looking to foray into the field should spend at least a little time educating themselves about both.