essential skills all digital marketing hires must have

Today’s digital marketing experts must have a diverse skill set, including a sophisticated grasp of available media channels, the ability to identify up-and-coming opportunities, on top of having the basic skills of a brilliant marketer. What’s more, they have to possess a balance of critical and creative thinking skills in order to drive measurable success for their company.

1. Paid social media advertising expertise

A new digital marketing hire should be well-versed in paid social media advertising, especially through Facebook or a similar social platform that our company uses regularly. They need to be able to understand and implement Facebook analytics and insights, create “lookalike” and custom audiences, experiment and test creative campaign and images, and be secure in their knowledge of the overall social media landscape. There are many budget-saving opportunities within the social media advertising space, so we want to make sure that our digital marketing talent knows the ins and outs of this popular and easy-to-implement marketing space.

2. Sales skills

We’ve hired many digital marketers over the years, both outsourced and in-house. What we’ve found is that people who have sold successfully are much better marketers. They know how to engage with people and turn them into sales opportunities. While your digital marketers may not be closing deals directly, they need to know how to sell or they’ll be wasting your valuable marketing dollars without generating qualified lead opportunities for your sales team.

3. Specific marketing channel expertise

I see so many marketers who extol the virtues of every conceivable marketing channel: email, SEO, SEM, social, etc. And many channels might work for you, but the key to a successful marketing strategy is focusing on a few channels and using them really well. Often that means understanding the dynamics of that marketing channel deeply and leveraging those dynamics for your specific company. For example, in helping local businesses, Pinterest is less interesting (although it’s one of the best drivers of ecommerce traffic). I’d much rather focus on the intricate tactics of local SEO to get a client to No. 1 on Google, Maps and Yelp.

4. The ability to think objectively

Marketers are usually one of the most passionate workers in the office. However, that passion can often cloud the judgment and measurement of marketing theories and initiatives. A marketer who can separate themselves from their work will navigate with an objective eye that can focus on what actually works — not just what they hoped would work.