6 Essential Skills You Should Master
If you are thinking about a tech adjacent career such as digital marketing, consider this: web development coding bootcamp can deepen your understanding of the underlying systems and code that make digital marketing work. It’s one way you can skill up and build your resume.
How? Students at Devmountain who are learning to code and considering a career change will work with the outcomes team to translate their emerging skill set into a winning resume. Along the way, you may wish to review job boards and advice sites aggregating some of the best skills for your resume to broaden your understanding of prospective employer interests, and then work with career support teams to highlight the right skills for your field.
A digital marketer wears many hats and needs to be proficient in search engine optimization (SEO), data analytics, social media marketing, branding, and front-end web development, to name just a few. Digital marketers need to build the right skills to understand the needs of their audience, create messages that resonate best with them, and add value to their lives. So how are digital marketers “tech adjacent” careers? You will need to be able to communicate with individuals or teams responsible for business intelligence, data analytics, website development, and software engineering. In some roles, you may utilize their tools. Think of it as the range of understanding between simply using a website and knowing how a website is built in making your marketing decisions and choosing where to spend time and budget.
It boils down to a combination of soft skills like curiosity and empathy to be able to do all that and several practical digital marketing hard skills.
Here’s what you should focus on.
1. Content Marketing Strategy
As we will see later, digital marketers are more than just writers. Yes, they can create amazing blog posts and engaging ads, but their work doesn’t stop there. In fact, a good digital marketer always starts by designing the content marketing strategy first. For that, they need to be able to:
- Clearly establish their goal
- Define and research their target audience
- Research their competitors
- Review the existing content
- Determine and allocate the proper resources
- Create a content production schedule
- Start creating and publishing content
- Monitor and refine their strategy
Because a content strategy involves several decisions regarding the audience and their experience how your content is presented to them, a good place to start might well be a UX Design bootcamp.
Depending on the company’s objectives, digital marketers may need to focus on promoting a product or service or even higher-funnel work of building brand awareness. Branding is about highlighting the company’s mission and uniqueness first, then determining how to communicate the brand to their customer base at various stages of what is often called the “customer journey.” It’s about figuring out what their customers need from the brand, whether they’re encountering it for the first time or entrenched brand advocates, and everywhere in-between.
Take Red Bull’s supersonic freefall video as an example of excellent content branding marketing. The entire stunt wasn’t meant to boost sales directly, but to highlight the brand’s love for sports, adrenaline, and adventure (its mission) and showcase its personality.
2. Content Creation
Content marketing is no simple task. Before the marketing work begins, you need to be able to create quality content for numerous channels and different audience types. Moreover, content can take many forms and you need to be able to deliver quality pieces in the form of a blog post, ad copy, video content, or email marketing. It sounds like a lot, but taking on content creation can be easier and more productive after you’ve established your content marketing strategy because you’ll better know where to focus your time and budget. And for students entering bootcamps from creative fields, content creation is one way that graduates can continue to flex their creative muscle alongside newly developed technical skills.
Skills to focus on to help develop and to create successful content include:
Writing and Editing
Perhaps the most valuable skill you need to build if you want to make it in this niche is the ability to create (and edit) great content. As mentioned before, content sits at the heart of digital marketing and a good marketer will know how to create an amazing blog post, how to put a new spin on an old idea, and how to add value to the pieces they are publishing. Larger content marketing strategies may require more hands, either in-house or commissioned from external contractors who can represent your brand voice and speak to your audience.
Copywriting is another crucial digital marketing skill you need to develop and perfect. Unlike blog posts, where the focus is usually on educating your audience, with copywriting you need to capture the attention of your prospects, communicate your value, and inspire action (click, buy, subscribe, etc.)
Video Production and Marketing
If you’ve noticed more videos in your Instagram feed lately, you’re not alone. Video is taking the digital world by storm, inspired in no small part by the rise of the video-only platform TikTok.
Now, we’re not saying that digital marketers need to know how to create and produce videos, but they should understand what makes a good video, how to write a script that hooks the audience, and how to optimize the video to boost its performance on various platforms.
Social Media Marketing
As a digital marketing expert, you will likely need a good understanding of the social media channels you are using to engage your audience. You will want to know what content works for each channel, how to adapt your voice and style to resonate more with your audience, what the best hours for posting are, and so on.
The competition in the digital realm is fierce and companies often use paid advertising to gain an advantage over their competitors. As a digital marketing specialist, you need to identify the best channels for ad spending, master ad bidding, and know how to create and optimize your ads to get the best return on investment (ROI).
It doesn’t matter how great you are at creating content if no one can find it. You also need to know how to optimize your content so that it will be found by the right audience, at the right time.
That’s where good SEO (search engine optimization) skills will come into play.
Perhaps one of the most important things you will need to remember about SEO is that change is the only constant in this industry. Search engines constantly update their algorithm and you will need to keep up with the newest requirements and what it takes to create good content, properly optimize your website and landing pages, how to keep up with local SEO, acquire quality backlinks and so on.
And remember: while it’s important to optimize your content for SEO, at the end of the day your audience is made of human beings, so content should first and foremost be appealing to them to capture their attention and move them into or through your audience funnel.
4. Data Analytics
Data analytics is one of the technical skills you’ll need to master digital marketing. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about SEO, paid advertising, or content creation—analytics will lay at the heart of your digital marketing strategy.
This part of the job isn’t only about monitoring and tracking numbers. You also need to make sense of the data, know how to decipher it, and use it to improve your digital marketing efforts and yield better results.
Luckily, there are numerous data analytics tools out there that can help you gather and interpret data and use the insights to the company’s advantage. If you need an edge, you can always try a data analytics course.
Design is not really about what colors look best on your website. It’s about how to use different design elements, colors, fonts, and images to better communicate your message and align your online presence with your brand’s value. That will be difficult to do without an appreciation of the user experience, aka UX. Even that previously mentioned UX design knowledge can go a long way because it can demonstrate empathy and awareness of your audience’s unique needs.
Of course, you don’t need to be as proficient as a web designer, but you should have a basic understanding of web design principles, know what it takes to improve user experience and keep up with the latest web design trends.
Things constantly change and evolve in the digital marketing space. One day you may be focusing on writing blog posts while the other you may be busy optimizing ads for a pay-per-click campaign. This week all your social media posts might get awesome engagement, while the next nothing will seem to work anymore.
It’s important to develop an agile mindset and be ready to adjust and adapt your strategy as needed.
Digital marketers nowadays work with numerous different channels, platforms, tools, and audiences and you need to develop the right digital marketing skills to master these channels and tactics and create a seamless user experience. More than that, digital marketers with tech background or training may be able to communicate ideas better, knowing the underlying code or systems required to make everything work. While you will need lots of practice and experience to become an expert, by understanding the fundamental skills listed in this article, you can hit the ground running and set the proper foundation for a career in digital marketing.