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6 Digital Marketing Skills to Master in 2020

In 2015 I wrote about some necessary skills for marketing. Three of those skills appear on this list as well. Some things in digital marketing don’t change over time, they just evolve. To keep up with the industry, here are 6 skills that I think you should master.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management

It is essential as a marketer that you know how to reach your target audience. In that sense, 2020 is an exciting time to be alive. There are endless tools that can help you reach your customers and prospects. Be sure that you have experience in at least one of these tools. Key in on email marketing, building customer journeys, lead routing and contact management. Hubspot gives a great primer on CRMs here.

Google

Knowing how to use Google isn’t going to cut it when it comes to being a digital marketer.

The internet is Google’s world, we are all just using it. 90% of all web searches happen on Google (Collins 2020). I’ll let that number sink in……..

As a Digital Marketer you need to know how to play nice with Google. These are the key areas you should focus on:

  • Google Ads – pay to be on the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages)
  • Google Analytics – the metrics and dimensions under the hood of your website
  • Google My Business – local seo
  • Google Tag Manager – enhanced event/click tracking

Coding

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be the next Bill Gates, but HTML and CSS are table stakes. Websites are built on them, emails are built on them. Your digital marketing career could solely focus on one of those two areas if you become an amazing coder.

Suppose you are building an email with your Email Service Provider (ESP). The deadline is approaching and you cannot get an image to appear correctly. You have two options here: call your provider, and be charged for help or figure it out yourself. If you know HTML and CSS figuring it out yourself won’t be so daunting.

If you want to get started, W3Schools is a fantastic resource, as is the Odin Project. There are plenty of other programming languages that you could learn like JavaScript, Python, Ruby on Rails….the list goes on and on. Feel free to explore those once you are done with HTML and CSS.

CMS – Content Management

You have a website, right? If you don’t stop reading and go set one up.

A content management system allows you to, well, manage content on a website. WordPress is a CMS. You could build your website from scratch and manage it yourself with your newly acquired HTML and CSS knowledge, but that isn’t really practical in terms of being a digital marketer. You need a tool that will make it easier for you and your coworkers to manage content on the site at the same time, without fussing too much with code. That is what a CMS does.

“When a company uses a CMS to publish its pages, it reduces its reliance on front-end engineers to make changes to the website, making it quicker and easier to publish new content.” (Optimizely Glossary). Read more about CMS in this Optimizely post.

SEO

Ever wonder how something ends up on the first page of Google? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how. This post from Search Ending Land defines SEO as “the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.” In short, it’s getting your site/page on Google or Bing without paying for a spot.

What is SEO in digital marketing?

  • Effectively optimize website content for keywords
  • Generate new topics for blog or thought leadership
  • Ensure websites are complying with Google recommendations
  • Enhance the local impact of your business through local SEO (Hardwick 2019)

Social Media

You probably have 3 or four social media accounts. Aren’t they great for connecting with your friends?! Similar logic applies for connecting your business with customers. One of the big advantages of social media is that potential customers are pretty open about sharing information about themselves on such a public forum. This makes it a little bit easier to target and connect with them. Obviously you want to have a moral compass and not invade people’s privacy, but social media can be a great tool to help further your business.

Here is a great example of how to use social media. As a huge Philadelphia Flyers fan, I am always looking for new gear to sport my orange and black. The team happened to wear custom Nike Air Jordans on a preseason special (seen below) and I really wanted a pair.

Unfortunately, the Nike site doesn’t list sizes smaller than 11 (I’m a 10). So I tweeted at Nike.

Within an hour, the brand had responded to my tweet.

Shout out to Nike and Shiekh.

I felt amazing after that interaction. Nike actually cared about what I wanted and gave me an option to get it. While this is a really small example, I think it perfectly illustrates how to reach out to customers and not only make them feel good, but give them what they want. Here is a great primer on social media marketing from Wordstream.

Mastering these six skills will make you a better digital marketer. Will you have to do all of them every day? Probably not. You may even find that your company outsources some of these things, which is fine. Knowing these things can help you manage those relationships better and make more informed decisions about your business.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash


References

Content Management System. https://www.optimizely.com/optimization-glossary/content-management-system/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2020.

“Google + Amazon: Data on Market Share, Trends, Searches from Jumpshot.” Search Engine Watch, 1 Aug. 2019, https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2019/08/01/amazon-google-market-share/.

Hardwick, Joshua. “Local SEO: A Simple (But Complete) Guide.” SEO Blog by Ahrefs, 13 July 2018, https://ahrefs.com/blog/local-seo/.

HubSpot. What Is a CRM? https://www.hubspot.com/growth-stack/what-is-crm. Accessed 22 Mar. 2020.

“Nike. Just Do It.” Nike.Com, https://www.nike.com/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2020.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide – Search Console Help. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en. Accessed 22 Mar. 2020.

Social Media Marketing for Businesses | WordStream. https://www.wordstream.com/social-media-marketing. Accessed 22 Mar. 2020.

W3Schools Online Web Tutorials. https://www.w3schools.com/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2020.

“What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?” Search Engine Land, https://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo. Accessed 22 Mar. 2020.

Your Career in Web Development Starts Here | The Odin Project. https://www.theodinproject.com/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2020.

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