Marketing is not about pitching to customers; it’s about communicating with individuals. It’s understanding what resonates best with them and why, and delivering value on those terms. It’s not asking them to buy, it’s building trust so that when the time comes for them to make a decision, they willingly choose you.
Digital marketing is no different; it’s just that the dialogue occurs over electronic platforms.
While the soft skills required for marketing have not changed—communication, curiosity, empathy, for example—the hard skills for digital marketing are slightly different.
Copy is written material aimed at promoting and prompting action. Given the number of online channels that exist today, copywriting is a must-have digital marketing skill. Emails, landing pages, event invitations, paid ads, social media posts, chat bots, product descriptions—these all require copy.
Copywriting is a different skill from other writing (blog writing or technical writing, for example) because you need to be able to capture attention, communicate value, and inspire action with a limited number of words and space. You also need to be able to shift gears easily, as the expectations and mindset of an audience varies depending on platform.
Search engines, as you know, are a regular part of the customer journey for just about any business. Whether they’re seeking the closest hair salon, looking at catering options for an upcoming event, or comparing features for a car, consumers look to search engines to help them make confident purchasing decisions.
As such, knowing how to get a business to appear for relevant searches is a crucial digital marketing skill. SEO is a complex subject with both technical and creative aspects, so it encompasses a wide range of sub-skills. You need to know how to produce and promote useful content, how to build effective directory listings, as well as how to structure and secure your website.
SEO is an ongoing investment, but the ongoing benefits of showing up on the first page of Google are hard to beat, so whether you’re brushing up on your skills or just getting started, it’s worth your time.
While showing up first in organic search results brings benefits that compound over time, it can take a while to establish this presence. An option for gaining relevant visibility more immediately is through pay-per-click advertising. With PPC, your business is guaranteed to show in top spots, but you pay for each click your ad gets. BUT paying more doesn’t necessitate mean showing up more, because ad relevance and quality are factored in.
This relevance and quality aspect is what makes PPC a skill. You don’t just need to know how to balance or allocate your budget; you need to know which keywords to target, the best channel and ad format(s) to use, as well as how to create a cohesive experience for your audience. The better your ads are, the lower your cost per click and the higher your profits.
And PPC advertising isn’t just on search engines, either. It’s on social media, websites, apps, directories, and more, making this digital marketing skill an absolute must-have.
Email has been around for ages, and yet it still prevails as one of the most effective marketing strategies out there. In fact, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $42. Rock on, email.
Email marketing is a popular digital marketing skill because it is so versatile. It can be used to convert leads, engage dormant customers, build loyalty, and more. You can send useful content, important updates, exclusive deals, event invites—the list goes on.
With finely-tuned email marketing skills, you can build out your lists and perform experiments, gaining valuable insights about your audience to help drive your goals.
5. Conversion rate optimization
So you’ve got your copywriting, SEO, PPC, and email marketing skills all in order, and you’re using them to generate lots of traffic to your website. Good work! But you’re not a digital marketing master yet. What good does it do anyone if none of these visitors takes action on your site? This is where the skill of conversion rate optimization, or CRO, comes in to complete the picture.
A conversion refers to the specific action you want a visitor to take on any given page of your website—request a quote, download a free guide, sign up for your mailing list. There are a number of factors that influence whether visitors perform these desired actions, and CRO seeks to identify the conditions that drive the most engagement. Your CRO skills involve A/B testing, conversion funnels, and engagement metrics like bounce rate. You also need to be familiar with page elements that influence conversion: copy, layout, button colors, speed, and even site structure and navigation.
Source: Kristen McCormick | Wordstream