Digital marketing is moving at the speed of technology. That is to say it is constantly adapting to new ways of accessing and consuming information, and of course, products. The digital marketing skill set required to rise to the challenge of delivering omnichannel marketing campaigns that drive growth — to ever-increasingly plugged in and switched on customers and clients — is broad.
In demand are marketers with skills and experience of the full marketing mix, and a solid understanding of how marketing channels interact to impact the bottom line. For example, it used to be that SEO was a separate skill. Often outsourced or bought in, if it was in-house it was the responsibility of one person on the team. Now this technical skills silo, like many others, has broken down and the whole marketing team is expected to understand how what they do impacts SEO and the company’s visibility online.
Despite the generalisation of marketing skills, there are certain distinct abilities that are in demand. Here are the top 10 digital marketing skills that employers are seeking in 2015:
1. Data is big right now. Sorry, couldn’t resist that one. But it is, in fact it’s at number 1 in the LinkedIn ‘25 hottest skills that got people hired in 2015’ report. Data analysis and the ability to present and visualise data effectively are key to digital marketing.
2. Growth-hacking is all the rage. Even if you haven’t heard it called that, using replicable and scalable data methodologies to drive growth is the technique underpinning modern digital marketing.
3. SEO lives. As I wrote in last week’s blog, SEO is alive and kicking and evolving into a holistic digital marketing discipline that is much in demand client side.
4. SEM is just the thing. With paid search growing year-on-year, search engine marketing and PPC have become basic digital marketing skills.
5. Content marketing is king. Using content to inform customers in order to nurture leads and convert traffic to profitable action continues to gain popularity outside of the B2B industries, such as financial services, in which it first developed.
6. Inbound marketing is also very important. Distinct from content marketing in that its focus is on “getting found online”, as opposed to gently shifting customers along the buying conveyer belt. For some companies where the buying cycle does not require as much information, inbound marketing can replace content marketing as the content SEO strategy.
7. Paid social is everywhere. Knowing how to effectively use social media to connect with clients is great and very desirable, but knowing how to set up, run, measure and analyse paid social campaigns is even better.
8. Video is rolling. A 2014 survey of 600 marketers found that 70% considered video marketing to be their most effective tool, and this figure went up to 74% for specifically B2C marketers. Video is difficult to do right, so having the skills to produce good quality video is highly in demand.
9. Technology and automation are essential. The everywhere and all the time nature of digital marketing means having a good grasp of the key marketing technology and automation systems to effectively manage campaigns and create quality content is essential. There is a huge range of marketing tools out there to explore. (Rosetta stone not provided.)
10. Mobile is on the move. Right now, it’s the number one digital challenge for digital marketers as we are past the tipping point where more internet usage occurs on mobile devices than desktop. Optimising search, content and UX for mobile is critical for businesses, and having the knowledge and skills to do this are much in demand.