The most basic definition of digital marketing is that it’s the process of promoting brands and businesses on the Internet through the use of various digital online channels, tools, and techniques.
Thus, if you’re posting blogs on your website and sharing them with followers of your social media platforms, you’re practicing digital marketing.
Does that mean then that everyone who can blog and has social media platforms is a digital marketer?
In the literal sense – yes. But if you want to get hired by companies as a professional digital marketer or become one who can deliver the desired results, you must have the right skills for the job.
To be good at a skill requires the proper education, training, patience, and of course, constant repetition through practical application.
This is most especially true in 2022.
How The 2020 Lockdown Changed Digital Marketing For 2022 – And Beyond
More and more economies have started to open up since the initial lockdown in 2020.
Governments are encouraging businesses to require their employees to report back to the office and follow regular working hours. Schools are slowly opening their classrooms to students and resuming face-to-face instruction.
These developments appear to be strong signs that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and we’re back to the old normal.
However, the pandemic did more than just shut down economies. It created a seismic shift in our behavior.
The lockdown gave people time to reflect on what their priorities are in life. It also initiated a purposeful move to explore opportunities on the Internet.
Businesses began the process of migrating operations online. People who found themselves unemployed temporarily or whatnot crossed over to the Internet and joined the millions of self-employed freelancers, virtual assistants, and work-from-home professionals from around the world.
For the past year, the news has been inundated with reports on “The Great Resignation” – employees resigning in record numbers for 2 reasons.
One, the fear of getting COVID-19 continues to linger. And two, the realization that they can earn and save more as remote workers. Likewise, they get to spend more time with family.
The shift in business modeling and career planning resulted in a greater demand for digital marketing because market opportunities are now on the Internet.
Top 10 Digital Marketing Skills You Need In Your Toolbox In 2022
Writing blogs and posting them on your social media platforms won’t be enough because you’re competing with more online content now than ever before. To capitalize on these opportunities, you must have the right skills in your Digital Marketing toolbox.
1. Search Engine Optimization
Every day, 7 billion people – or 89% of the world’s population – are searching for information on the Internet. And there are billions of content to choose from. How can you increase the chances of your content being found?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique used to make your content more searchable on the Internet. You can compare learning optimization to learning a skill in Martial Arts.
For example, a front kick would be applied differently in Karate compared to Tae Kwon Do. The technique and delivery are different because the intent is different.
The use of keywords is one of the cornerstones of SEO but its application isn’t as cut and dry as using only the high-ranking keywords. Depending on your intent, you might have to consider other factors as well such as the level of competition and frequency of use.
And the use of keywords is just one strategy in SEO. There are other strategies that can be used to enhance your visibility on the Internet – link building, technical SEO, internal linking – to name a few.
The bottom line is that people are searching on the Internet today more than ever. Acquiring mad skills in SEO will help propel your digital marketing efforts past 2022 and beyond.
2. Video Marketing
Facebook launched “FB Live” and “FB Stories”, the same as Instagram which recently introduced “Reels”. Short-form video platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok have continued to grow in popularity.
Then, of course, there’s YouTube where more than 4 million videos are streamed every day.
Video marketing is a great way to build your business brand because the content is absorbed much faster than text. You process content with your eyes and ears. Collectively, the entire experience can trigger an emotional response that can result in the desired outcome.
If your smartphone camera produces great quality video, you don’t have to invest in expensive equipment. All you need is a good storyboard to plan a video that shares your story with the audience.
3. Content Writing
Have you ever come across an article that came out on top of Google’s search ranking that featured writing so atrocious that it felt like chewing on a piece of ice when you have a toothache?
Learning SEO is one thing, writing amazing content is another.
You still have to continually hone your writing skills by consistently producing content that’s:
- Fresh or Unique
Content has to be well-researched. A blog needs at least one link to a reputable resource. It would be better to have your content link to multiple sources as long as these links are credible.
What else do you need to keep in mind when writing great content?
- Write for mobile devices. Look at how we created this blog post – short paragraphs, short sentences, and a lot of white spaces. Why? Structuring the blog this way makes it easier to read while scrolling on a smaller screen.
- No errors in spelling and grammar. The ultimate deal-killer. Nothing kills your brand more than misspelled words and poor grammar. Review your content before publishing them. Don’t take chances. Run them under spelling/grammar checker software.
- Add high-resolution images. Good-looking images will make the viewer stop and pay attention to your content – as long as they are relevant.
So how do you become a better writer? Practice, practice, practice. Even when you don’t have anything to write – WRITE.
4. Email Marketing
Email Marketing remains a Digital Marketing strategy that generates one of the highest ROI – US$42 per every US$1 spent.
With email marketing, you need to use a reliable automated service such as Mailchimp or Hubspot to run your campaigns. However, you still need to develop the proper skills to ensure its success.
What skills are these?
- Knowing how to segment your audience.
- Creating an accurate buyer’s persona.
- Writing personalized emails and newsletters that specifically target the interests of your audience.
We go back to the previous skill – Content Writing. It goes hand-in-hand with Email Marketing.
5. Social Media Marketing
Of the 7 billion people on the Internet on a daily basis, 4.62 billion of them, or 58.4% are on social media.
Because of its sheer size and vast reach, social media marketing should be part of your digital marketing strategy.
However, just because you post on Facebook every day, that doesn’t make you a skilled social media marketer.
What are some of the things you need to know about social media marketing?
- Each social media platform attracts a different audience and therefore, has a culture that caters to the needs and interests of the community.
- Matters such as post length, time of posting, frequency of posting, and type of content must be considered.
- You have to know which focus or interest groups you should join and how to behave once your application is accepted.
- Learn how to engage properly with your audience. This skill has to do with mindset. Not all comments or views expressed about your business will be positive. How you handle negative or unfavorable comments will determine the growth of your social media presence.
You don’t have to sign up on every social media platform. Choose 2 platforms – maybe 3 at the most, to build your brand. The fewer the platforms, the easier it is to manage your social media strategy.
6. Knowledge and Interpretation of Analytics
The old saying in business is that “strategy follows numbers, not the other way around.”
The biggest advantage of digital marketing is that it gives you access to data about your campaigns. You’ll see how your posts are performing; if they’re driving traffic to your website and which ones are generating the highest levels of engagement.
You’ll learn all about your audience – who are they? Where are they from? How did they get to my page? You’ll have enough data to build a reliable Buyer’s Persona.
All of this data comprise analytics and they give you an empirical basis for devising strategies or improving the performance of current campaigns. But to get the most out of analytics, you must know how to analyze and interpret them.
The good news is that it’s not hard to be proficient in reviewing analytics. You just need practice.
What we do at Mountaintop is to guide our clients through their analytics. We prepare a report, take them through it point-per-point, and encourage feedback. Over time, our client becomes more comfortable in interpreting his data – analyzing the information is almost second nature.
7. Automation Technology
Automation technology is getting more popular as businesses look for ways to streamline costs and maintain consistency in certain functions.
Robots, A.I, and Machine Learning technologies don’t have to take days off or get sick. They just have to be regularly monitored and maintained. You can have processes such as chat support run 24/7 without blowing up your payroll.
Complex industries such as Oil and Gas have slowly opened their processes to automation and capitalize on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT).
You can have data transmitted from the source via smartphones, laptops, and tablets to secured, cloud-based databases in seconds and have the information available to key officers who can use these to make important decisions.
Drones have made it possible to collect data from places where conditions could be hazardous and present threats to humans.
Learning all about Automation Technologies will give you a better understanding of what innovations you need to fine-tune costs and improve business efficiency.
The next three items on our list are soft skills or the ideal behavioral attributes a digital marketer must possess to be successful in 2022.
8. Project Management
A digital marketer doesn’t work alone. He needs a team of specialists behind him to handle the different aspects of the campaign. Typically, a digital marketing team is composed of the following professionals:
- Web Designer/Developer
- Content Writer
- SEO Practitioner
- Graphic Artist
The Digital Marketer is the Project Manager and is responsible for having the campaign meet its goals and deliver the desired outcomes. Project management is a skill that requires:
- Business Acumen
- Knowledge of Finance/Budget Management
- Having an organized approach to work
- Personnel Management
- Willingness to advance/update learning
As competition for views on the Internet becomes tighter in 2022, digital marketers must sharpen the skills needed for managing projects.
9. Creative Thinking
With so much information available on the Internet, consumer tastes and preferences can change right away. Yesterday’s trends could become passe today. Analytics could get influenced by these changes and affect your current strategy.
In addition, the uncertainties created by the post-lockdown shift have made the business landscape more volatile and unpredictable. Problems can arise that can throw a curveball to your business objectives.
For digital marketers, critical thinking becomes an important skill to learn in 2022 given the abrupt changes in behavior. If data becomes ambiguous, you might have to resort to creative, out-of-the-box thinking to get you out of the bind.
It’s possible that you have to test unique ideas for content that aren’t supported by data but by intuition. When innovation becomes limited, creative thinking allows you to draw from another source – inspiration.
Communication in digital marketing isn’t just about effectively collaborating with your team members. It’s essential to get the right message across to your target audience.
Successful messaging is a key component of digital marketing. You identified your target audience. The focus now shifts to delivering the message they need – the content that provides the solutions and answers they have been searching for.
To communicate effectively, you must be both an intent listener and an articulate speaker. Listen to your audience and objectively view their comments, opinions, and suggestions.
Articulate your message carefully to make sure that it’s impactful and helpful. With consistency, you’ll be able to build trust and loyalty with your audience.
It would be great if you had all of these top 10 skills available at your disposal. But it’s not realistic to become truly proficient in a skill until you’ve spent time learning the fundamentals and applying theories into practice.
For example, it’s not realistic to expect to become an effective content writer whose blogs consistently drive inbound traffic to websites and whose web copy converts leads into sales.
Sometimes it takes years to become a proficient content writer.
Sure, you can put in the hours honing your craft but this could be time best spent in managing the day-to-day aspects of your business – the ones that add dollars and cents to your bank account.
Your best option is to outsource digital marketing to an experienced agency such as Mountaintop Web Design.
Our proof can be found in the high-performing websites we’ve designed, developed, and managed for clients and on the content we’ve published on our website such as this one.
UpCity has cited our blogs as the best in digital marketing.
Allow us to take the digital marketing workload out of your hands. Give us a call and we’ll schedule you for a quick 30-minute free consultation to find out what’s best for your business.
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