The line between marketing and digital marketing has blurred. Offline marketing carried out through magazines, newspapers and radio has given way to online marketing through social media, websites and emails.
As a result, marketers who are skilled in traditional marketing methods but keen to carry out their campaigns online will find that their skills are in demand.
But what exactly is an online marketing strategist, and how does one become one?
Here, we answer those questions and more as we explore the essential skills needed for those looking to enter the field.
The Essential Skillset For Online Marketers
To succeed as an online marketer, you need to demonstrate the following skills:
- An ability to think strategically
- Excellent communication
- A creative mind
- An understanding of digital marketing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
Let’s explore each of these essential skills in more detail.
1. An Ability To Think Strategically
If you’re entering the field, you’ll no doubt have heard of Pareto, the Italian company that owns 20% of the grocery market. In 1916, Italian economist and political theorist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 20% of the people in a given society will consume 80% of the products. So if you’re strategizing about a marketing campaign, you might want to consider focusing your efforts on these 20% of consumers, known as ‘power users’ or ‘influencers’.
This isn’t a new concept. In fact, one of the first academic articles about influence marketing was published in 1969.
Pareto’s law still holds true today. But today, the influencers are not restricted to owning a grocery store. YouTube creators, Instagrammers and Snapchat users all have huge audiences and can dictate the terms of a marketing campaign.
While it’s tempting to go after the famous audience of a star, brand or entrepreneur, you might also want to consider the more than 200 million consumers on TikTok. The users of TikTok determine the trends and are a major influence in their own right. This makes them extremely powerful and strategic consumers.
The ability to think strategically and to consider all the angles is one of the most important skills of an online marketer. A flexible mind is useful here, as you’ll no doubt be dealing with changing trends, new technologies and different platforms all while trying to understand what consumers want.
2. Excellent Communication
If you’re looking to work in digital marketing, you’ll need to possess excellent communication skills. Even those in less senior roles will still need to be able to communicate effectively with consumers, business partners and other team members.
Marketing, whether digital or traditional, is not something that can be done in isolation. Everyone involved in the marketing process will need to be able to collaborate and work together effectively. However, because marketing is a largely digital sphere, excellent written and verbal communications are essential.
The ability to communicate both online and offline is also important. While email is the norm in digital marketing, you can also use online platforms like blogs, forums, and social media to engage with existing and potential customers. The more you can do to connect with your audience, the more effective your marketing will be.
3. Creative Mind
If you want to become an online marketer, you’ll need to demonstrate a creative mind that can come up with innovative ideas. These could be anything from a new approach to marketing (such as an awareness campaign or an SEO campaign) to a completely new product or service.
The key thing is that the idea must be of good quality and appropriate for the target audience. If you’re not sure where to start, simply come up with a list of ideas that you believe would be effective and then narrow it down to the best 10 or 20.
You might want to think about what makes your product special or unique? Could you create a brand identity, slogan or tagline to represent your product? If you can come up with an idea that can be used for a wide audience, the chances of it being implemented successfully are much greater.
Marketing is always about finding a balance. You need to consider what the audience wants while also keeping in mind the needs of your business. This is especially important if you’re targeting smaller audiences with specific and niche products. Think of the niche products you’ve tried that were excellent, yet also unique to the brand or company that produced them. These are the products that were most successful because they found a balance between what the audience wanted and what the business needed.
4. An Understanding Of Digital Marketing Platforms
If you’re going to be working in digital marketing, it’s essential that you have a good understanding of the various platforms on which your target audience interacts.
You’ll need to be able to use online platforms like Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, and Twitter Analytics to name just a few. These platforms allow you to track the interactions of visitors as they move around your site or app.
If you’re looking for inspiration, have a look at the top digital marketers in Australia according to DMI. Their jobs are fairly simple, yet very effective. This group of digital marketers primarily uses Google Analytics to track visitor behavior and performance on websites. They also use HubSpot and MailChimp to manage their email marketing campaigns. Using these four tools for online marketing gives you a good idea of what you’ll be doing daily as a digital marketer.
5. An Ability To Execute
To be able to execute your ideas successfully, you’ll need to have the skills to translate your creative mind into a well-designed marketing campaign that will engage with your audience. This includes the use of digital marketing software such as HubSpot and MailChimp to create email campaigns and automated social media posts, as well as Analytics tools to track the results of your campaign.
There are several steps you can take to increase the chances of your campaign being successful. First, consider your target audience and build a persona. With a more targeted approach, you’ll be able to design a more effective campaign. Second, consider the structure of your campaign. Do you want to launch a new product or introduce a new service? What platforms should you use to spread the word about your campaign? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start to work on the strategy behind your campaign.
If you’re looking for inspiration, have a look at the top digital marketers in Australia according to DMI. Despite the complexity of their jobs, these digital marketers use straightforward tools to get the job done. They use HubSpot to manage their marketing efforts and track their performance, and Google Analytics to track visitor behavior and performance on websites. They also use MailChimp to send out regular emails with special offers and news about their products. You don’t need to be limited by what they use, as there are several other tools suited to the role.
To start your digital marketing career, you’ll need to gain experience. Simply get a job as a digital marketer or content strategist for a small business, startup or emerging brand. You’ll gain invaluable experience and connections that will help you to move up the career ladder.