Apr 11, 2017 | Amaresh Choudhary
The Internet has made life infinitely easier for us. Well, maybe not all of us. For, there are the marketing guys. Gone are the days when a good marketing and advertising plan was enough. Businesses, for sure, must serve up new, unique content to clients and consumers to remain relevant in stiff competitive market scenarios across verticals.
And these days, the commonest and the most popular way to make your product or service known is to have a resounding online presence and make sure that your target audience finds you there easily. And for that to happen, you need a specialist – who, along with your advertising and marketing strategies, will pull your business’ socks up, digitally.
So, what does a digital marketing specialist need to do?
In short, he or she must work alongside your marketing team to zero in on the market targeted by your business, develop an image that will go side by side with the brand you have created, and then craft and sustain a campaign that will market and advertise your business online – be it for the Internet or for any other digital platform that the marketing of your business will be deemed fit for.
Now, there are many areas in which digital marketing professionals specialize in. While some of them can have a general area of expertise regarding everything to do with marketing products or services online, there are others who specialize in one particular aspect within the digital marketing field. This could be anything from the commonest of them all - search engine optimization (SEO), to something a little more technical like Pay Per Click (PPC), or from social media marketing to working the shopping feeds and on to anything that can work as display media.
Before we embark upon a few core specialization areas for a digital marketing professional, let us talk in brief about the role’s general responsibilities.
The aim of a digital marketing specialist is to improve awareness of the company’s brand through encouragement and promotion of the services or products the company sell and to convert interested audiences into paying customers. In these ways, the role is very much akin to that of a marketing professional in the traditional sense. However, the only difference between a conventional marketing specialist and a digital one, lies in the channels the latter uses – technology or digital platforms, as opposed to the more conventional ones that a non-digital marketer uses.
Online Marketing and Promotions
One of the most important jobs of specialists working the digital marketing field is to strive to kick-start campaigns on the Internet – the space where they have to work their magic to drive interest, poke curiosity, and finally trigger a sale. A careful weighing in of the requirements of the market of the consumer gives a digital marketing specialist a good idea about the ways in which to and the places where they need to garner more information about demands and trends in the consumer market.
So, how does a digital marketing specialist use that knowledge of consumer trends and requirements to drive sales? These professionals create marketing strategies or plans that would be fine-tuned to address the company’s needs and align it with the consumers’ needs online. To get the word out online, these professionals need to conduct research on the best ways to reach out to their potential customers on the Internet and then collate promotional content and emails campaigns and such and place them in the most appropriate of channels.
Basic Skills Needed for the Job
So, in a gist, what are the basic skills that a digital marketing specialist might need to perform his or her job well?
Marketing at the Core
First, the specialist needs to know the long and short of traditional marketing basics. Only by understanding core marketing issues will the digital marketing specialist be able to use the same tenets and tweak them to get the job done online.
Creating a Buzz
They need to be able to innovate ways in which to create a social buzz about the product or service they are marketing and use effective tools to promote them in a result-driven manner.
Developing, managing, and executing a strategy online lie at the very heart of their roles. Additionally, a digital marketing specialist needs to have a good grasp on the working of the tools needed to measure performance with, as well.
While in-depth knowledge in the fields of SEO, content and email marketing, social media, SEM, and pay per click is considered must-haves, digital marketing specialists have another key function, which they need to lay a lot of stress on. And that is, staying abreast of the recent trends in marketing and digital technology usages in the field. These may be in the form of updates from Google or some important alteration that comes about in the way the search engine algorithms work.
So, now let us delve deeper into the skills you need to perform some specific digital marketing functions.
Skills for Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, commonly known by the acronym SEO, might have started back in the day with the aim of getting your website being found quickly online. But with advances in technology and the usage of associated platforms, SEO today extends its influence much farther than helping websites to be found fast on search engines.
Adapting with Google
Today, merely stuffing your page with keywords is not enough these days. Google is known for altering its search algorithm occasionally, making it more mature as times go by. This means companies have to evolve themselves to keep up with Google.
Creating a Niche
Currently, SEO is entirely about creating websites that have niche content. Websites have to stand out at two levels – the page and the server. This needs to be done in a planned, strategic manner, such that search engines will zero in on them, direct traffic, and lead to the conversion of interest into sales.
For all this to happen, knowing the technical side of SEO is crucial. So, knowledge of H1, alt tags, code, server-side settings, response codes, title tags, copy optimization, Sitemap will always help a digital marketer, specializing in SEO.
Skills for Pay Per Click Marketing
The scene of online marketing is rather complicated. With content so easily accessible these days, it is a real challenge to find out the most effective way to optimize it or settle on strategies for the long run. So, what do you need to become an expert in Pay Per Click, which is another crucial digital marketing strategy in popular use today?
Pay Per Click specialists need to have in-depth knowledge of advertising, to start with. They have to understand the best and appropriate ways in which to place the product or service they are marketing, make it appear appealing, such that potential consumers’ curiosity would be piqued and then finally provide them with the impetus to buy said product or service.
Bring on the Creative Juices
PPC specialists need to be creative specialists too, as they are required to reign in all their creative juices and advertising know-how and use these together to lead to the most result-driven marketing and display plans on search engines. So, you need to know your data very well – take your data points and know the reason behind and effect of each, define your metrics well, and brush up on all you learnt in your economics minor (it is bound to come in handy!).
Managing the Client
If you are specialising in PPC, then you will have a responsibility towards your in-house clients – understanding their requirements and objectives, talking to them about your plan, holding their hands as your strategy is implemented, and then evaluating the results together. You need to manage them and their needs, much like an agency client service manager does.
These are the two crucial aspects of digital marketing specialization. Let us talk about two more areas which are almost as important to drive any digital marketing effort.
Skills for Content Marketing Specialist
Another aspect of digital marketing is marketing of the actual content.
Learn to Evolve
With Google’s constant algorithm changes, a content marketing specialist has also to keep evolving his or her skills such that relevant content keeps reaching the target audience, within which lies the potential buyer or consumer. If you do not have good quality of content, most of your digital marketing plans which rely heavily on content, like social media, SEO, and email campaigns, will fall flat.
Generate Leads through Content Marketing
Digital content marketing specialists have to develop and execute effectual strategies for marketing of content, which should directly result in generating leads and enhance the consumers’ commitment to the brand and loyalty to the same. Specialists in this field need to be adept at SEO writing, CMS handling, copywriting, and at the least, some rudimentary design ideation.
Skills for UX Design and Development Specialist
With everybody taking the Internet highway (be it through a website or an application on your hand-held device) to do everything, from buying tickets to movies, ordering clothes or groceries to buying real estate and properties, it is very important that what the consumer sees on the screen grabs the most attention.
Plan and Create Look and Feel
Designers of user experience or UX have a very tough job cut out for them – planning and developing a website or app’s look and feel, such that the target audience gets attracted to it, its requirements are met and desires satisfied. All businesses realise that there can be nothing more important for a business’ success than a satisfied consumer. And to keep that consumer happy, an expert UX designer needs to do a variety of jobs.
From developing wireframes to performing testing on the users, to formatting surveys, going through generated data, and scripting story boards – all for providing the consumer with a pleasant experience- everything is in a day’s work for the conscientious UX designer.
Skills for Social Media Marketing
Last, but not the least, how can we forget social media and marketing on its platforms? From Facebook to Twitter, from Instagram to Snapchat, from Google+ to LinkedIn, the web is the digital marketer’s stage.
Post Well, Post Often
The digital marketing specialist needs to reign in the power of social media for his or her own advantage. For that, the most important bit is to know how and when to post, on the myriad platforms. For example, to get more retweets, spell out ‘retweet’, instead of using @RT, place your hashtags in the middle of your Tweet, and keep your Tweet within the sweet spot of the range of 70-100 characters for maximum effect. The right time to post and the right way to post goes a long way in upping your social media game and influencing your clients’ decisions.
Use images and Links
A picture says a thousand words, more so in today’s world of Instagram and Pinterest posts. The digital marketing specialist should have a clear idea about the images that will most attract his or her clients and use them intelligently in order to drive social media buzz, and thereby business.
Create Solid Content
The digital marketing specialist needs to have a good grip on content too – the anchoring of story on a clever peg and then fleshing it out carefully, in order to express the most appropriate of content, in the most appropriate of ways. The length of content, the voice, and tone – are all important when it comes to character-defined platforms of social media.
Well, now we have talked about some of the most important technical areas that digital marketing specialists need to be conversant with as they go about their jobs. This brings us to the topic of the importance of two crucial non-technical, soft skills crucial for the job of a digital marketing specialist as well.
As a digital marketing specialist, one of your most important soft skills, which will help you keep your head up in even the toughest of job scenarios, is your curiosity. You need to be curious about things – everything that is happening around you. Be curious about your new creative ideas and then be your biggest critic after you implement them. Be curious about opportunities, about solutions to problems that you come across, and be curious about risk-taking as well. But because you are in digital marketing, be the most curious about new trends in the field, for it is always changing. This brings us to the next skill – flexibility.
The world of digital marketing is an ever-transforming one. So, you cannot afford to stagnate. You have to keep up with the times or be left behind. Read constantly and keep yourself acquainted with whatever is happening on the digital scene. Motivate yourself and keep yourself educated at all costs. Arming yourself with knowledge about various aspects of the field will make you an indispensable member of any team in the digital marketing group. If you are able to bend your skills to fit into any role you need to play in the team, not only will you be able to serve your clients better, you will also be able to gather more knowledge for your personal arsenal. All such nuggets of information always come in handy, in some way or another, at some time or other.
This brings us to the end of this blog post. Hope you found it useful. If you have any information to share regarding the same topic, please let us know in the comment.
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