Essential Digital Marketing Skills for 2021

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Image by Photo by Sopan Shewale on Unsplash

This episode is for:

  • Digital marketers who want to explain what they do to people outside of tech.
  • Anyone interested in understanding what digital marketing is.
  • Clients curious what a digital marketer can do for them.

I go through the 10 digital marketing skills that will be most in-demand in 2021 and teach you how to explain them to anyone, regardless of tech-savvy they are.

If you want to become a digital marketing specialist, you need baseline fluency in the first 4 skills. After that, you can choose any of the others and drill, down more on them.

1.       Analytics. You really can’t improve what you don’t measure. At a bare minimum, you should know how to do website usage analysis using Google Analytics, because it’ll tell you where the money comes from. Also, do a search engine visibility assessment with Google Search Console, and a user-experience evaluation. Check the video for practical examples of this skill.

2.       Marketing Automation tools give you a way to the flow of information cross-functionally throughout an organization. This process map, which I designed for the US Department of State, shows how information created by a central digital communications team can be attributed to independent third-party sources.

3.       Web Performance. Making your website load quickly and having it correctly indexed by Google is extremely important. Also, you must avoid page downtime at all costs.

4.  Search Engine Optimization is the first part of the B2B lead generation process. You absolutely need to know the basics of keyword research, because it applies to every aspect of Digital Marketing.

5.       Email Marketing. You’ll deliver relevant communications and get quality leads through personalization. There are three levels of personalization, which I explain in some detail in the video.

6.       Content Marketing is authoring compelling and useful web content that will be found and shared by people looking for answers to questions that your product or service solves

7.       Blogging. For B2Bs, maintaining a blog that helps customers solve problems is a very effective strategy, even if the page itself doesn’t seem that popular from a traffic standpoint.

8.       Copywriting is the use of persuasive language to get prospects to notice, remember, and respond to your message. Always factor in that people is more seduced by emotional stories than by cold, hard facts.

9.       Podcasting. The Theory of Multiple Intelligence shows that some people absorb information better by listening than reading. Rather than go with a news format, try to produce a more durable, feature-oriented interview format program. It works quite well, if I say so myself!

10.   Social Media Marketing. Before you invest any time in this, get your website in order, search optimize it, and have your email marketing ready. Many people will consider your following as a measure of your capabilities, so if you choose this route build a following first.

11.   Digital PR is about getting relevant, high-profile websites and blogs to write about and publish links back to your site. This is a really important skill set, because it’s where your credibility comes in, so work towards making yourself a name and build a solid community.

12.   Online Advertising. If you have lots of money and want quick results, you can use paid media, but this doesn’t always do the trick. In order to test out different approaches, you’ll need traffic, because more visitors mean more data.

If you’re just starting out, think about which of these skills you’re strongest at. Once you become a generalist, you’ll be ready to lead the digital marketing effort.

And download my 12 Essential Digital Marketing Skills white paper.

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