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7 Skills You’ll Need to Succeed in a Digital Marketing Career

Digital marketing is becoming an increasingly popular career choice. With so many businesses now trading online, and a focus on SEO and social media, it’s likely that the number of job openings will increase. While many digital marketing jobs don’t require formal qualifications, there are certain skills that employees will look out for, so if you are thinking about a career in this industry you may want to work on the following.

  1. Sales skills

No matter what area of digital marketing you wish to get into, the ability to sell is important, as it means you’re likely to be the sort of person who can spot opportunities and close a deal. Whether you’ve worked in a store, realtor or car dealership, you’re likely to have transferable skills that’ll serve you well when you are trying to upsell services to clients or write in a persuasive manner.

  1. Social media

Social media is a big part of most digital marketing strategies, so it’s important to get some experience in this area. If you’re someone who tends to avoid social media, consider signing up to the major sites to see how they work, so you can at least get familiar with them on a professional level. It’s worth remembering that many people in the digital marketing industry network through social media, so it’s worth keeping up a presence.

  1. Negotiation

Digital marketing involves a lot of negotiation, whether it’s forming strategic partnerships or hammering out the terms of a contract with a new client. If you’re not used to working on these kinds of deals, it’s worth going to training and going through some negotiation training exercises, where experts can teach you to become a better negotiator. While it’s a skill that comes naturally to some, others need help to gain confidence in negotiations.

  1. Video creation and editing

Content creation is important within digital marketing, and many companies are now moving away from written content to video. Relevant videos have high engagement rates, but the main challenge with videos is that they can be expensive to produce.  Many digital marketing companies now do a lot of video creation in-house to cut these costs, so often expect their employees to have skills and experience in video, from shooting to editing. Luckily, modern editing software is easier to learn than ever before.

  1. SEO and SEM

Most digital marketing roles don’t require you to know a lot about SEO – search engine optimization, or SEM – search engine marketing, but it is a good idea to do learn as much as you can if you want to get into the industry, so you can talk about it confidently with clients and coworkers. Some things you might want to learn include:

  • How to optimize content for SEO – i.e. using keywords and creating relevant content
  • How backlinks work – unless you’re going for a technical role, you won’t need much knowledge in this area, but it helps to know how backlinks work and what kind of links are most effective
  • What web analytics are and how they are used
  • What’s going on in the industry – i.e. have there been recent Google updates or changes

If you’re a complete beginner to SEO, you may want to consider taking a short course to help you understand the basics, as this will put you in a good position when job hunting.

  1. Tech skills

While you may be highly creative and good at the marketing side of things, it’s worth remembering that you’ll need strong IT skills to get into digital marketing. After all, most of what you do will revolve around websites and businesses’ online presence, so if you don’t get on with new technology, you need to work on your skills. Research the most important tech skills that employers will be looking for and think of where your weaknesses lie so you know what to study.

  1. Good communication skills

When you work in digital marketing, you’ll communicate in several ways:

  • Face to face – there are often meetings with clients and co-workers to collaborate on projects
  • Over the phone
  • Online – many people in digital marketing work remotely, so you may need to talk to co-workers via e-mail, live chat and video conferencing

This means that you need to be able to communicate effectively over many different channels, dealing with people in a diplomatic, tactful way. Some people struggle with this, as they either hate face to face meetings or they can’t get the tone of e-mails right. Although communication skills are often seen as a ‘soft’ skill, they are vital in an industry like digital marketing, where you’re working with people from all walks of life.

Digital marketing is an interesting industry to get into, and one that is likely to grow in the next decade. Whether you’re just starting out in your career, or looking for a change, it offers opportunities to people with all sorts of skills. However, if you put some work in and learn some new skills, you’ll find it easier to take that first step on the career ladder.