Five Essential Skills for a Career in Digital Marketing

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Ah, digital marketing. It’s all the rage right now, especially for millennials. But I don’t mean that unkindly—we have the knowledge base. We grew up with technology and watched its evolution. We saw the infancy of banner ads and witnessed our news feeds evolve into “suggested pages” based on previously visited websites. However, our inherent instincts and experience are not enough to bring us to the next level in the work force. Here are five skills for a career in digital marketing.

Social Media
Know your platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn—and your content management apps—HootSuite, Hearsay Social and Tweet Deck. Understand how to use all of these platforms and their distinct features as well as the best content to publish on each platform. Hashtags have been adapted by Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest—but were brought to fruition by Twitter. LinkedIn is primarily for business use—but Facebook asks for your work information. Be sure that any and all photos make their respective ways to Instagram. Upload all instructional content to Pinterest. And events of any kind belong on Facebook. Cross-platform functionality is important and timesaving—but certain content has to tailored to each individual platform.

SEO Literacy
Understand keywords for your employer or for your own business. Utilize Google Analytics to advance your listing to the top of search results. Make certain that you read up on the metrics of Google Reviews and how they help the positioning of business listings. Understand the ins and outs of each search engine—believe it or not, there are more than just Google. Yahoo! is still out there—and so are Bing and even Ask.com.

Versatile Writing
Writing is included as part of our guide to learning digital marketing. No matter the platform—social media, e-mail blasts and ads, to name a few—you’re going to need to write. You’ll have to write concisely in advertisements, follow a format within press releases, keep it to 140 characters in a Tweet and write lengthy case studies.

Software Functionality
Gain fluency in Adobe Suite, Microsoft Office, Google Docs/Sheets, Mac software including iPhoto and iMovie and, if you want to take your knowledge base a step further, learn computer programming. We’ve covered how to teach yourself Java and interview for jobs based around SQL and CSS.

Networking
While social media lends itself—depending on the platform—to its own form of networking, face-to-face is still accepted and encouraged. Any field requires extensive networking prowess, but digital marketing is in demand today, and it’s important that you let your contacts know that you have expertise in the field.

Digital marketing is not just up and coming—we’ve arrived. Try to think of one company that doesn’t have a website—or, at the very least, pages and accounts on social media. Take a look at some advertisements for your favorite products and services and make note of the media of these advertisements—chances are that if they’re not all digitally based, they required digital software to bring to fruition. Companies are only going to progress into a more digitally-based marketing model—and with greater use will come greater demand for experts in the field.

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About Author

Mary Grace holds a Master of Arts in Public Communications and Media Studies from Fordham University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Salve Regina University. She spends her time in the editorial department at the National Association of Professional Women by day, and is a community thespian and wannabe politician and activist by night. Her favorite things include trips to Walt Disney World, drinking too much coffee, browsing Sephora, her Apple Watch and her “nephew,” Luis.

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