Digital marketing consists of a large variety of tools, platforms, and tactics that all require some time to master.

As a digital marketer, you need to possess a diverse skill set, including an advanced grasp of current online media channels as well as possess the ability to predict future trends, in addition to understanding certain fundamentals of an analytical marketer. It’s also necessary to have the balance of a creative and critical mindset in order to achieve success in digital marketing.

Therefore, let’s look at the 10 vital skills needed for a digital marketer to be successful in 2019:

1. Strategic and Analytical Thinking Skills

Strategic skills, planning, and organization are the foundation and framework of any digital marketer as these traits assist you to effectively prioritize your projects as well as measure their progress.

A lot of people ignore the value of acquiring these strategy skills and jump right into marketing tactics, which is a huge mistake because it’s necessary to have a deep understanding of the strategic framework behind digital marketing before you can succeed with any tactic or plan.

Marketers are quite passionate about their craft; however, that passion can easily cloud correct analysis and judgment in launching marketing initiatives or theories.

The ability to objectively focus in on methods that work and let go of the ones that don’t is key to success, and it all comes from possessing quality strategic skills.

Here are some important aspects of strategic digital marketing skills to have to generate success and profits:

i). Analyzing and Executing Marketing Campaigns

While a lot of marketers can create a PPC campaign or an innovative engagement strategy, analyzing incoming data and developing a robust drip campaign is a rare skill that’s in high demand.

Setting up a great automation system in such campaigns isn’t simply throwing the same email to a sizable number of leads. It’s personal well-thought-out communication that varies based on the actions carried out by the consumer.

Putting together a creative, actionable, flowing automation campaign requires strategic thinking and an analytical mind and top-notch marketing occurs when communication efforts expand on the fundamental aspects of conversions.

ii). Analytical Capacity and Creativity

Digital marketing requires the marketer to possess an analytical mindset and creativity.

This skill allows you to make accurate and unbiased decisions through analytics without affecting the beauty of creative campaigns.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Skills

This digital marketing strategy revolves around increasing visibility in search engine results, using organic and paid content to boost rankings. For a more in-depth look into this, check out our SEO strategy and service.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) entails having the appropriate knowledge of how to increase awareness in search engines as well as driving traffic and increasing organic ranking with the goal of generating leads and sales.

Search Engine Optimization

A huge percentage of traffic comes from top ranking search engines such as Yahoo, Google and Bing…the number of daily searches on Google alone is 3.5 billion.

Worldwide internet user penetration

Since search engines play a key role in digital marketing, knowing how to optimize search engines is a very crucial skill you’d need in 2019.

This is because no matter the type of service, information, product or even the entertaining content your site provides, most of your visitors will find it via search engines.

Therefore, the higher the ranking of your page on the search result on any of the top search engines, the higher number of visitors you will get on your site.

And now with the rise of the Google search engine, it is now more important than ever to rank as high as you can on the first page, due to the sheer volume of users going to Google first to find questions to their problems.

Digital marketers are aware of the key role that search engines play in digital marketing. A study by SEJ shows that on a daily basis the top search engines handle more than 6 billion queries.

This mind-blowing statistic is the reason why there is a scramble to rank high in search engine results.

Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, therefore as a digital marketer, it is important to be equipped with the skills needed for producing content that complies with these algorithms to help keep your brand ranked high.

And what’s great is that your content is visible to only customers that have an interest in your content.

Keyword implementation is no longer enough for search engine optimization. So along with that, here are a few other things you need to learn:

  • Equip yourself with adequate knowledge of mobile search optimization, voice search, and other structured data.
  • Run a few searches yourself on your own brand and get acquainted with analyzing your ranking and identifying possible threats that could push down your ranking.
  • Learn how to properly optimize your website.

In order to truly understand search engine optimization, you need to get familiar with SEO company tools such as SEMRush to help keep you on top of your SEO game.

3. Website Design and Programming

These days it doesn’t take much to learn web coding. In digital marketing, basic knowledge of coding may be all you need to make amazing progress.

Therefore, to thrive in the world of digital marketing, you need to have some knowledge of programming languages and know how to troubleshoot website problems. [source]

Website Design and Programming

In the past, it was possible to be a good digital marketer without knowing anything about coding, but in 2019 your skills will not be up to par if you don’t have basic coding knowledge.

Most businesses prefer a digital marketer that can handle basic coding issues which is why there is an increase in the demand for marketers who can improve landing pages, modify software programs, understand how to change basic website structure, and take on other code-related needs.

If you need to learn more about coding, then fortunately there are many coding tutorials on websites that offer free or paid coding lessons online.

Do you need a professional website specialist for your business? Check out our Web Design Solutions.

4. Data Science and Analytics

Data science and analysis is a lucrative skill needed in digital marketing, keeping in mind that a digital marketer that can understand and interpret data will have more clients than one who doesn’t.

More recent studies state that on a daily basis it’s estimated that there will be 1.7 megabytes of new data by 2020.

Data Science and Analytics

source: Towards Data Science

Data is very instrumental in digital marketing. A digital marketer can get adequate knowledge on the behavior of the customers, their needs and wants, and know the appropriate information to put out there that will make the customer interested in the product you have to offer- all through the data available to you.

Therefore, appropriate analytical skills allow you to get out of your own way and find analytical tools like Hotjar and Google Analytics that help you dissect the data. These tools show you page impressions, bounce rates, leads and click through rates to help you make better decisions moving forward based on what works and doesn’t.

As a digital marketer, knowing how to analyze e-commerce data will give you an edge over others and increase the demand for your services in 2019.

Here’s an example of a tool used to analyze data and why it’s vital to possess this analytical skill as a digital marketer:

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great tool to effectively track the performance of a digital marketing campaign. It keeps an eye on the consumer’s behavior on landing pages and on an advertising campaign.

This free tool gives you quality information about your organic keywords, keyword ranks, type of audience, conversion rate, traffic sources, audience location, top landing pages, and bounce rates, just to name a few.

A lot of publishers, digital marketers, and website owners use of this tool regularly to analyze marketing campaign results and opportunities. A study by Builtwith shows that over 8.4% (29.3 million) website owners have implemented Google Analytics into their marketing strategies.

google-analytics-built-with-stats

To be a skilled digital marketer you must have great expertise in using Google Analytics by understanding how to implement proper conversion tracking, A/B testing, and be able to locate major performance indicators in the available data.

For example, say a website has you ranked 9 on Google for “affiliate marketing success stories” keyword, but that isn’t the keyword you intended to rank for. However, your intended keyword “affiliate marketing gurus” has you ranked at 24.

Only a digital marketer who knows how to dive deeply in Google Analytics skills would be able to find this out and then know how to turn such data to more sales.

Effective analytical skills give you what you need to share, manage, create, and analyze your audience.

To give yourself some hands-on experience, you can always build your analytical skills by creating a test website.

5. Communication Skills

Communication skills are among the most in demand in digital marketing.

Effectively executing digital marketing strategies largely depends on how successful you are in listening and responding to emails, text, social media, content, designs, description, and images.

Communication Skills

In digital marketing, at some point you may have to hand over certain tasks to assistants, and at that point you’ll have to possess quality communication skills to train your staff so that they can help you complete the work.

It’s also important to listen and communicate your digital marketing strategies to your employees and clients.

How else do you convince a client you know what you’re doing if you can’t successfully explain your marketing plan to them?

6. Facebook Marketing

Facebook rules the roost when it comes to social media marketing. It’s the leader of the pack as it is utilized by 2 billion users every day as of 2017.

These users purchase services and products thousands of times daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, both on the Internet and in person.

facebook monthly active users

When Facebook users come across promotion, content, and advertisements associated with their interests, they like, comment, buy, follow, and share the brand. Therefore, Facebook maintains a leadership role in social media advertising.

User data is essential for Facebook advertisers. Facebook offers extremely targeted customer data like age, interests, location, gender, and other demographics which enables advertisers to reach consumers both internationally and locally.

That’s why in order to be successful in online marketing you need to know all about Facebook.

Understanding the fundamentals of Facebook advertising and methods can help you link up with new consumers to achieve greater sales or conversions.

In 2019, it’s important to be skilled in targeting the right audience, generating leads, building awareness, creating quality content, picking the best advert formats, and monitoring the performance of ads on Facebook as a digital marketer.

7.  Foundational Graphic Design Skills

Graphic design skills are not a must in order to succeed as a digital marketer, but it’s a plus if you know how to create captivating display banners, landing pages etc.

As a digital marketer, you need to generate leads through PPC management or paid advertising. But when you’re paying to produce your content, these avenues need creative, appealing and highly enticing landing pages.

That’s why having a basic understanding and some minor graphics designing skills is more than beneficial in achieving success in online marketing. Knowing the Hierarchy principle of graphics design can give you an edge over the competition.

Graphic Design Principles

Aside from this, when you delegate your client’s homepage to a graphic designer, you need to be able to effectively understand and communicate with the designer on what you need them to do.

At other times, you may not have access to a graphics designer and will need to be able to design your landing pages and banners perfectly on your own. If you can do this yourself and not outsource it, it will save you some cash and set you apart in the digital marketing niche.

Fundamental knowledge in Corel Draw, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator are a few programs that provide immense benefit to digital marketers.

8.  Content Creation Skills

Creating content is a major aspect of digital marketing. Blog posts, advertisements, images, text, animations, emails, videos, presentations, and eBooks are all types of content.

Content is used to educate, attract, engage, and influence people to help align them with your business goals, and it’s a part of every medium that consumers use on the web.

Therefore, if you want to raise your skill set as a digital marketer you must be excellent at creating written content and marketing it. As a matter of fact, over 72% of marketers have a content strategy and say they experience better results by following it.

Percentage of marketers with a documented content strategy

Therefore, you need to be able to carry out keyword research, write efficiently, and be able to test and track what your audience is responding to. These skills will assist you in distributing and producing quality content around services and products as well as increase brand awareness.

Quality, creativity and top-notch content boost brand awareness and improve click-through-rates on display adverts, landing pages, links, social media content, blog posts, search engine queries, and more.

In the very least you must know how to create content around a product or service that educates consumers about your business and why they need it.

Content writing, marketing and copywriting aren’t that different, but they all have the unified goal to increase web traffic, grow business and multiply sales of a service or product.

Now, this can be achieved using various entertainment, celebrities, emails, boosting comments, utilizing backlinks, referral links, SEO, videos, blogs, and more. There are various free and paid methods of digital marketing accessible to everyone.

However, even paid media and hired marketers fail at times due to regularly churning out of low-quality content. In trying to get people to engage, remember that everything is hinged on your content creation skills.

9. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence generally refers to technologies that imitate humans. Used to improve efficiency, in the digital world Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the newly discovered goldmine.

Artificial Intelligence

With the introduction of AI, computers are now able to parse data accurately by processing certain information and making an educated response to move a process forward based on the data gathered.

As of the end of 2018, more than half of digital marketers had started embracing the use of artificial intelligence so you can expect to see this increase in 2019. Therefore, you should get yourself acquainted with AI in order to stay relevant.

Currently, in the world of digital marketing, AI is used to analyze social media sentiment, ROI and costs as well as helping customers through online chat boxes and helping with PPC advertising.

With the aid of artificial intelligence, the workload of digital marketers can now be greatly reduced.

Digital marketers can improve workflow, program the computer to automate tasks and receive/analyze the necessary data concerning customers.

According to Salesforce, 51% of marketers are currently making use of AI in 2019 and an additional 27% of marketers are expected to embrace the use of AI and start using it in the coming months.

fastest growing tech AI

This beats the year-over-year growth of any other digital marketing technology that currently exists.

With the increase in the volume of data generated online daily, tasks that are specific to AI such as deep learning and machine learning for appropriate decision making in data related issues will become more sought after by digital marketers.

This means that as a digital marketer, if you delve into Artificial Intelligence in 2019, you will be able to effectively plan and execute segmentation, keyword tagging and tracking campaigns.

Don’t bury yourself in too much work, it’s time to allow your computer to do some of it for you. It only gets faster, efficient and more reliable once you understand how it works.

10. UX Design Skills

User Experience or UX is used to optimize the experience of customers. It revolves around the behavioral study of the decisions customers make and how it can improve the user experience by recognizing the behavior of customers and relating back to them in hopes that they will make a purchase.

As a digital business, your revenue will be capped- even if you’re good at SEO and analytics- if you’re oblivious of customer’s behaviors and actions they are taking while browsing through your website. User Experience (UX) helps deliver memorable moments and invoke emotional support from users.

User Experience Design Skills

UX experts can now pinpoint the factors on your platform via an app or website that can positively influence the reaction of customers and then use it to increase their retention rate, improve lead generation and increase sales.

UX is the extra step that crowns your other digital marketing efforts to lead to success. With the other skills, it may be hard to identify why customers are not buying your product, but with the appropriate knowledge in User Experience, you can identify the cause of the problem and fix it.

Oftentimes, the problem is that there is no existing User Experience design on your platform and without it, prospective customers may be turned off and not likely return.

However, your digital marketing power is fully harnessed with UX design, creating a relaxing and enjoyable experience with the user and perhaps urging them to buy your product.

Aside from fetching you a lot of leads and sales, digital marketers with UX design skills are being sought after by companies because there are only a few digital marketers out there with this specialized skill.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, you know that you require a variety of business, analytical and technical skills to succeed as a digital marketer. However, it’s impossible to learn all of them in a single day.

As time passes these skills come more naturally by experiments, testing, and expanding your knowledge.

Currently in 2019, the skill sets we have just shared are in high demand for digital marketers and acquiring just one of these specific techniques can shift your marketing game to a whole new level.

Keep in mind, though, that the foundation of every skill set is strategic planning. Only take the time to learn these in-demand skills for a profitable outcome.

If you don’t have any of these in-demand digital marketing skills and you’re too busy or interested in learning them, you can use our brain. Let’s drive traffic, leads, and revenue to your business together. Contact our digital marketing agency today.

Alex Membrillo Cardinal CEO

Alex Membrillo

Founder and CEO

Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal, a digital marketing agency focused on growing multi location companies. His work as CEO of Cardinal has recently earned him the honor of being selected as a member of the 2018 Top 40 Under 40 list by Georgia State University as well as 2015 and 2016 Top 20 Entrepreneur of metro Atlanta by TiE Atlanta, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2016 Small Business Person of the Year,and the Digital Marketer of the Year by Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).