4 valuable skills all digital marketers should focus on

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Technology’s lightening-speed development has given rise to a whole new way of doing business online. The rise of social media and advancements in mobile technology opens up countless new avenues for marketers to connect with consumers and new audiences.

As technology evolves, so too do customers. Multiple touchpoints mean that consumers, their behaviours and their interactions with businesses are more complex than ever, and it’s up to you to ensure the customer experience is as smooth and positive as possible.  Given that 52% of Generation Z customers will transfer loyalty from one brand to another if that brand doesn’t give them the level of service they expect, it’s clear that the customer journey is only becoming more important in the midst of the ever-changing digital marketing landscape. And with internet users having grown by 82%, or 1.7bn people, since January 2012, and online ad spending growing at its fastest rate for nine years, it’s becoming a growing challenge for the modern marketer to keep up.

Trends are always changing. Make the most of them by developing the following skills.

Analytics

Measuring marketing ROI has always been a challenge, because there’s so much to think about: setting and meeting goals, which statistics to focus on, and whether you want to measure success by individual campaigns, or as part of an entire marketing strategy. However, with 40% of digital marketers saying that proving the ROI of marketing activities is a challenge, it’s something you need to be focussing on if you want to measure how effective your initiatives are.

Being able to see data is one thing, but interpretation is key: with 76% of digital marketers using website traffic to measure ROI, you need to dig a little deeper if you want to create any actionable insights to build upon. Using a funnel conversion to measure traffic drop-off throughout your customer journey, measuring your spend against conversions- otherwise called the response curve level- and measuring the source of your site traffic can all go a long way to providing an insight to your marketing strategy, giving you results to improve upon and letting you set realistic and actionable goals.

Content Creation

Telling stories isn’t just the domain of writers: marketers need to be able to engage and inspire their readers if they want to convince them to buy into their brand and product. Research has revealed that 47% of buyers read or engage with up to five pieces of content before contacting a business, and taking the time to invest in writing quality content isn’t just about increasing the number of buyers and active consumers on your website: it can also help improve brand perception.

To engage the casual browser, you need to produce well-researched, relevant content that is tailored to your audience and to the sector you work within, to better inform your customers, nurture and generate leads- especially as two-thirds of customers feel more positively towards a brand after engaging with them. For those wanting to maximise their online reach, any content should then be shared across and tailored to multiple channels, whether Facebook or your website, the better to catch browsers and encourage them to the next stage of their user journey.

SEO

Over 85% of all online searches start on Google, so it’s safe to say that SEO is not dead: in fact, it’s more necessary than ever before if you want to take advantage of the huge volumes of traffic that pass through Google every second.

SEO is an essential skill to master, and it’s constantly evolving. If you want your website to rank more highly on Google then your digital marketing team needs at least one person with a general knowledge of the basics of SEO, and how to drive traffic and conversions online. After all, the key to gaining business is improving your visibility, so taking the time to add tags to your content, create a sitemap so Google can crawl your site more easily, and even producing consistent, varied and interesting content all go a long way to giving you that boost you need to attract more browsers.

Social Media

It comes as no surprise to hear that our use of social media has exploded over the past decade: in 2007 only 22% of us used social networks; today, the figure stands at more than 75%. With more of us spending time online than ever before- around 20.5 hours a week- social media is an unparalleled marketing space, and one you need to learn how to harness.

Marketers must develop a strong social media presence if they want their brand to be noticed and used by the millions of potential customers on these platforms: whether it’s through cultivating your personal profile or using your company’s profile to engage with other people in your sector, answer queries and post relevant content. Find out which approaches work best on each platform, whether it’s Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Facebook- after all, you need to be able to engage and interact with people through these posts, with the aim of attracting them back to your company website.

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