Digital Marketing

Top 10 Skills a Digital Marketing Manager Needs to Survive

What is a digital marketing manager? And what digital marketing skills do they need to survive? A digital marketing manager is responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing marketing campaigns including email marketing, social media, and digital advertising. All of a business’s online marketing efforts are managed by this individual and it’s extremely important to understand a few necessary core skills when building a company’s brand reach, customer engagement, and success. A digital marketer needs to know how each online and social platform works, how they complement each other, and how to think strategically and constantly adapt to the industry’s continuous changes. Do you want to learn how to be a digital marketer and what tools you need to beat out the competition?

Here are the top 10 essential skills along with examples of helpful tools that digital marketing managers need to excel in the increasingly growing marketing industry.

1.     Project Management

With an abundance of constant moving parts that digital marketing managers need to keep track of, great project management skills are a top priority to stay organized and efficient. Ensuring that timelines are properly scoped out, cross-functional teams are communicating and united, and project deadlines are met, all while aligning with main marketing initiatives is what contributes a huge positive impact to any company. Using a project management tool for easy team collaboration is useful as well; many companies use Trello, Asana, or Wrike!

2.    Strategic Thinking

People in digital marketing need to be able to see one step ahead of everything and think about the bigger picture. Strategic thinking is all about understanding how other people think. Without knowing how people think, you could never hope to understand why they do or don’t buy your product or service. And without knowing your customers on an emotional and deeper level, you’ll never be able to scale and sell your product to its fullest potential.  The reality is, without strategic thinking, you’ll possibly miss out on key business opportunities. What's the best start to thinking out of the box?  Start challenging conventional thinking and never be afraid to ask others for their opinions or feedback!

3.    Data Analysis

By analyzing data about consumers, marketers can gain valuable insights to better understand and tailor their services to current and prospective customers. You have to become well-versed in how data shapes and drives the customer experience across platforms and channels. Luckily there are a ton of available online tools that help you collect data to analyze and optimize your campaigns and that assist in strategically planning your marketing strategies such as Marketo, HubSpot, Hootsuite, Optimizely, and MixPanel. Having fluency in a few of these tools will surely put you on the path to success when optimizing data for marketing campaigns and mapping out digital marketing strategies.

4.     Paid Social Advertising

Social media advertising is more effective than ever now that our world is a mobile-first reality. Paid social is a productive way to promote your products or services to a targeted audience, on specific platforms, ultimately ensuring greater content visibility and a strengthened online presence. To better reach, engage, and sell on social media, paid social advertising is the ultimate tool to familiarize yourself with on all platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Every brand is unique, so ensure that you’re focusing your efforts on the right social platforms for your specific audience.

5.    Email Marketing

Email has a larger reach and is the most effective marketing channel to drive ROI for a company, according to Campaign Monitor. This form of communication is all about niche targeting, bounce rates, open rates, and conversion. It is a powerful marketing tool that is often underestimated yet has immense power to elevate the customer buying journey. Email subscribers are already either interested in your products or previous customers; both of which are the easiest two groups to sell your product or service to. Email marketing allows you to build your subscriber list, get personal with your consumers, and is a great way to communicate to your audience on a regular basis. To better scale and streamline your email marketing efforts, MailChimp and HubSpot are highly rated time-saving email automation tools.

6.     Copywriting

Understanding the role of strong content and how it plays into your digital marketing strategy is vital in thoroughly aligning a brand and its narrative or messaging. Content writing ties everything together in marketing, tells and sells the story of your company, and crafts how your brand should be portrayed by its audience. Writing and strategizing for high-quality content will attract your targeted consumers on a relatable level, resulting in increased customer engagement, brand loyalty, expanded reach, and more.

7.    SEO

SEO is the most effective way to drive highly converting traffic to your website. By optimizing a website’s content for organic search, you’re increasing the likelihood of your target audience seeing your content and keeping it top of mind. Implementing SEO at all times when creating content or marketing campaigns will build visibility, relevance, credibility, and brand awareness for a brand while earning visibility in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). To compete in the massive sea of content, utilizing SEO tools is always an imperative component in ranking well and showing up in Google searches! Some of the best online SEO tools to have in your back pocket are SEMrush, Ahrefs, Google Search Console, and Ubersuggest.

8.    Knowledge of the free tools available

There are numerous tools available that can greatly benefit digital marketing managers. Some of them include:

  • Hootsuite (social media management platform)

  • Google Analytics (web analytics service)

  • HubSpot (Customer relationship management platform)

  • Facebook Insights

  • Sprout Social (social media management platform)

  • MailChimp (marketing platform)

  • Ahrefs (SEO tool)

Getting to know these tools, and more will add immense value to any digital marketing manager’s arsenal of tricks.

9.    Social media marketing

Every digital marketing manager needs to understand the various social networks and how they work. They need to understand where customers are spending most of their time in order to build a solid strategy with maximum effect. With 4.48 billion people owning social media accounts, it’s exceptionally beneficial for any company to concentrate at least some marketing efforts on a social media strategy. This way of broadcasting content increases brand awareness, customer engagement, customer experience, brand development, and conversions! The possibilities are endless with social media.

10.  Understanding Customer Experience

A great business does more than just get a customer from awareness to purchase. Understanding how to curate a marketing strategy around being customer-centric is always a good idea. Making the customers a top priority will help with brand loyalty, and will let your consumers know that you’re listening to their feedback. CX comes into play on all parts of the customer journey, from discovery to checkout to post-purchase and when this is kept top of mind, it makes for a successful business model. To do this, you have to truly connect with your customers and identify what’s most valuable for them within your business.

Prioritize these digital marketing skills this year

Being or becoming a digital marketer means that you’re not afraid of continuously learning, growing, and adapting to new online trends or environments. There’s so much to be learned online and at your own leisure, that with the right amount of motivation, anybody could do it. These 10 essential skills are vital for any digital marketer to become well-versed in to effectively drive, control, and analyze marketing strategies of the company. If you are thinking about becoming a successful digital marketing manager, you’ll need to master this blend of soft and hard skills, and how to be a strategic marketer who knows how to dig into the data to further scale a brand’s success.

There are, of course, many more avenues digital marketing managers need to be familiar with but these are the dominant must-have skills for the role. If you’re interested in learning more about which marketing tactic is most effective, read Clickatell’s blog post detailing whether you should be using email marketing, messaging, or bulk SMS is most effective.


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