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7 Must-Have Marketing Skills You Need to Master in 2017
Working in the digital marketing landscape is much like keeping up with the Joneses.
There is always some new tool, trend or platform emerging that disrupts the industry. As a result of this constant flux of change, digital marketers need a skill set that is not only adaptable but also relevant.
As we welcome in the New Year, it’s the perfect time to take a step back, assess ourselves and determine how relevant our digital marketing skill set is in order to remain competitive.
Without the seven essential skills below, digital marketers risk losing their competitive edge, falling behind on industry trends and not meeting their client's expectations.
1. SEO Skills
Search engines rule a digital marketer's life. Since the rise of Google and the death of outbound marketing, ranking on the first page of search results has become more important than ever.
According to a survey conducted by Gravitaonline, out of 8 million people, only 6% clicked on the second page of search results.
It comes to no surprise that a digital marketer without a working knowledge of SEO will not be able to compete. All you need is a quick visit to SEO Services USA to understand just how much this industry has grown and how important a thorough SEO knowledge has become in any business's marketing strategy.
As we enter the New Year and search engine algorithms are once again updated and become smarter, digital marketers will need to have the skills to produce high ranking content, while staying on top of all these updates to keep their clients content on that first page of results.
2. The Ability to Create Content that Converts
According to a must-have marketing skills survey by Venngage, with the rise in content marketing, businesses are expected to expand their budgets to increase content production for 2017.
For digital marketers, this speaks volumes for how important this skill will be in the New Year.
This is not surprising. Content marketing helps companies rank higher in search results. Whether it's a helpful and insightful blog post or a gated piece of content like an eBook, it all helps to generate those valuable leads, increase website traffic and move businesses one step closer to that first-page result.
With the demand for SEO not going away anytime soon, digital marketers who know how to produce high-quality content will be hot commodities in 2017 and beyond.
3. The Ability to Analyse Data
In the current digital marketing landscape, marketers are spoilt with an abundance of data.
We can drill down into our customer's personalities, discover their wants and needs, pinpoint exactly where on the buyer's journey they are and determine which messages to send to them to move them one step closer to purchasing our products.
It is because of this volume of data that analytical skills are more important than ever. There's no point in being good at creating a stellar digital campaign if you cannot analyse the results, reduce bounce rates, attract hyper-engaged leads and reproduce the campaign's success.
Turning all this mined data into something tangible and valuable is a highly sought after skill, and a need for this skill will continue into the New Year.
4. Marketing Automation
With over 4000 marketing automation solutions available, staying on top of them all can be an impossible job for digital marketers.
However, it is a necessary evil to monitor them and determine which ones are the most valuable in order to become an indispensable asset.
Digital marketers who are well versed in their niches marketing automation tools, and keep their finger on the pulse for new ones emerging, will be far more valuable to companies in 2017.
To make sure you are one of them, take advantage of the free certification courses many of these platforms like Hubspot, Hootsuite and Marketo offer.
5. Basic Coding Skills
Gone are the days where digital marketers can get away with not knowing basic code.
In 2016, 20% of entry and mid-level jobs required HTML and CSS skills from digital marketers. In 2017, this trend will more than likely continue to increase as demand increases for this time-saving skill. Instead of businesses outsourcing another person to make basic HTML and CSS changes on content - this job is now given to in-house digital marketers.
Marketers who can make small visual design modifications in the backend of websites, design engaging email campaigns with HTML and improve landing pages will be more in demand than those who cannot.
Do your career a favour in 2017 and sign up for free online HTML and CSS tutorials on sites like W3Schools.
6. Graphic Design Skills
Unless you work in a medium to large corporation, most businesses are not able to afford an in-house graphic designer for their content.
As a result, it falls to digital marketers to help produce attractive visual aids like Pinterest and Instagram graphics that help their client's content to convert and bring in quality leads.
In the New Year, digital marketers will continue to borrow skills from graphic designers to meet clients’ visual aid demands and stay relevant in a highly competitive industry. Design sites like Canva make it easy for digital marketers to create attractive content for a variety of platforms with their ready to go templates and offer tons of resources to help you improve your eye for design.
7. A Working Knowledge of WordPress
With the large number of websites that use WordPress, digital marketers need to know what is going on in the backend of these sites.
While you don't need to know how to code one from scratch, you do need to know a few basic things like:
- uploading content
- scheduling blog posts
- understanding and using plugins like SEO Yoast
- basic troubleshooting skills
Without this working knowledge of WordPress in 2017, your digital marketing skill set will be outdated.
Digital marketers need to be able to wear many hats and have access to a wide variety of skills to stay competitive and relevant in 2017. With this year on its way out, mastering, these seven skills should be at the top of your New Year resolutions list.
About the Author
Caroline has been a content marketer for the last six years. Over the years, she’s worked for start-ups and established bigwigs. When she isn’t thinking up headlines and how to tell a story in a new way, you can find her knocking back espressos and Googling things obsessively.