8 Must-Have Skills to Thrive
as a Digital Marketer

See also: Marketing Skills

If you want to excel in the digital marketing industry, there are a few skills you need to foster to bolster your professional prospects.

To help you focus on the most suitable assets to develop, here is a look at the abilities of a successful digital marketer that are most impactful and sought-after.

Laptop, smartphone and cup of tea.

Software proficiency

Effective digital marketing is all about making best use of the software resources that are at your disposal.

From being able to collate campaign data in Excel spreadsheets to being able to convert press release files from PDF to Word and vice versa when clients and press partners make requests, there are lots of areas to work on if you want to gain momentum in this business.

Project management

Every digital marketer will be expected to participate in and ultimately manage projects, often encompassing a range of people and platforms within each distinct campaign.

There are lots of skills contained within the project management process, including the ability to coordinate communication and workloads between different teams and organize potentially complex schemes by deconstructing them into more manageable units.

Most importantly, organizational and time management skills should be emphasized in this context, and there are plenty of software solutions to help here as well.


It is a well established discipline at this point, yet search engine optimization is still an evolving and intriguing aspect of digital marketing that it pays for any professional in this field to master.

Once again this is a multifaceted area of the industry, involving everything from writing effective copy to considering behind-the-scenes technical aspects like page load speed. Liberal use of marketing tools to assess customer behavior and expectations will also let you adjust your SEO efforts accordingly, rather than relying on guesswork alone.

As this job search study from The CE Shop reveals, you can even apply your understanding of search trends to extrapolate insights for a range of purposes, so this is a skill that has applications elsewhere as well.

Problem solving

Being fed fountains of data about how a digital marketing campaign is good in theory, but unless you can work out how to solve any of the problems that are identified from trawling through the figures, this will all be irrelevant.

As such you need to nurture your problem solving skills and be ready to react to emerging complications in real time, whether that be a sudden spike in bounce rate or a dramatic fall in user engagement with social media campaigns, for example.

Social media expertise

Speaking of social media, this is the fastest growing aspect of digital marketing and one which monopolizes much of the conversation surrounding the industry as a whole at the moment.

If you are already an avid social media user, you will obviously have a better understanding of how platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram work from a consumer perspective. However, you need to go further than this and enrich your skills so that you can harness these services and many more as a digital marketer. For example, it is important to understand how media relations work and how to use them efficiently in your social media game.

It is also worth fostering an awareness of how your personal brand can impact upon your employability in this industry. Employers will be more likely to trust that you can handle their social media marketing workload successfully if you can demonstrate that you have experience in this area thanks to the scale and scope of your own social presence. Conversely if you do not nurture your brand by establishing an audience in the social space, it might seem like you are not as clued in as you claim.

Communication & collaboration capabilities

Most digital marketers work as part of a wider team, and even if you are a freelancer in this industry, you will still need to be an effective communicator and collaborator in order to deliver the best results for your clients.

Communicating in particular should be a skill that you aim to work on, especially as it comes in many forms. You not only need to be able to express yourself concisely and empathetically in emails and other written correspondence, but also have a good command of public speaking so that you can shine in virtual meetings, master pitches and ace your presentations.

Meanwhile a skilled collaborator should be capable of listening to the input of others, accepting the impact of ideas that are not your own, and recognizing the achievements of every member of a team, especially if you are at the helm.


While being adaptable is a skill in its own right, it is also an overarching approach which can inform the way you accrue more skills as you progress your career in digital marketing.

For example, if it seems like the industry is pivoting in a particular direction and you do not currently have the capabilities needed to flourish in this brave new world, then an adaptive individual will understand that this means they need to learn new skills and make sure they do fit in, rather than trying to resist these changes, or ignore them.

You will never regret adding new strings to your bow, and even if you do not end up using the skills you accumulate day to day, it will shape your mind to be flexible and agile all the same.


Confidence can feel like a nebulous concept rather than a skill, but it is certainly something you can learn to build up over time, and can be a real asset if you are a digital marketer.

Confidence will let you share your ideas and visions for a campaign without feeling like you are being presumptuous. It will also let you absorb feedback and criticism in a constructive way, so that you can learn and grow, rather than being knocked off kilter by even the smallest negative comment. Confidence will come with experience, but it is also something you can reinforce proactively by having a sense of perspective and by following in the footsteps of mentors in the industry who can set the right examples.

You can adjust your search for new marketing skills according to your own career ambitions and interests, but these should give you a solid foundation to work from.

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.

The second edition of or bestselling eBook is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and learning potential, and it is full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

About the Author

Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.