5 Essential Hybrid Digital Marketing Skills to Develop Now

Digital Marketing is a growing industry that is constantly in a flux of change.

Whether it is the launch of a new social media channel or a tool designed to help us better measure our progress, there is always something emerging that demands our attention.

It is because of this shifting landscape that digital marketers need to be constantly honing their skills to stay relevant. From being able to write compelling copy to understanding the ins and outs of SEO, the list of core competencies grows year on year.

If you want to stay competitive in 2017, here are five essential hybrid digital marketing skills you need to develop now.

    1. Analyzing Data

Digital marketing gives marketers an abundance of data about their customers. It tells us where they live, what language they speak, their income and even the causes and interests close to their hearts.

However, all this data means nothing if you do not have the skills to turn this information into action. A marketer with strong analytical skills will be able to mine through all this data and put together a comprehensive strategy to target customers more effectively.

Businesses want their marketers to be able to use all this information available at their fingertips to reduce negative statistics like bounce rates and instead generate hyper-engaged leads and improved customer retention.

    2. Basic HTML and CSS Knowledge

In 2016, 20% of entry level and mid-level job postings required HTML and CSS knowledge. Yet, only 3% of digital marketers have this skill set on their CVs.

The reason demand has been steadily increasing for this skill set is because businesses now expect marketers to handle certain tasks on the backend of their websites and be able to create visual email campaigns from scratch.

While you do not need to know how to code an entire site from scratch, if you want to attain hot commodity status in 2017, it's in your best interest to sign up for an HTML class or teach yourself online.

    3. Search Engine Optimization

Google is our master, and we are all its slaves. This is a truth that all digital marketers must face and why it is so imperative to understand how SEO works.

By helping our clients or company rank higher in search engine search results, we can help to generate more leads, increase traffic to our website and grow our audience reach.

Jane Anderson, from an SEO company in Vancouver, says that while digital marketers do not need to specialize in SEO, they do need to understand buzzwords like title tags, keyword density, meta descriptions and anchor text to stay relevant in the job market.

If you are still unsure about what those words mean, dedicate your 2017 to brushing up on your SEO skills and staying up to date with the latest search algorithm updates.

    4. Content Marketing

Over the years, audiences have stopped buying print media, prefer to record their television shows so they can skip the adverts and have become banner blind online. In short, all the old tactics of making a consumer aware of your business have died out or are met with a stronger resistance compared to ten or twenty years ago.

Enter content marketing. Companies have started to realize that if they provide useful information to their clients, they can attract highly engaged leads and see higher conversion rates. It is why 78% of CMO's think content marketing is the future and are expanding their budgets for 2017 to generate more content for the new year.

Content marketing also plays a close role with SEO. In fact, it is the preferred SEO tactic for 72% of digital marketers because it increases traffic and improves search engine rankings. Also, with our reliance on Google not going anywhere soon, a solid understanding of content marketing is only going to increase as a digital marketing skill staple.

    5. Graphic Design

Once you have a content marketing plan in place, the next step is to design content that converts. From an attractive landing page to useful information, all these elements work together to increase ROI.

However, small businesses cannot afford to keep a graphic designer on payroll every time they need an infographics or a new landing page.

It is because of this demand for visual content that it has fallen onto digital marketers to develop basic graphic design skills. By investing some time to learn basic design elements, it will make using tools like Canva that much easier and help you remain a sought after candidate on the job market.

Today's digital marketers are expected to wear many hats, and as a result, our education is never complete. So do your career a favor and set aside time to learn or brush up on these five essential skills. It will help you stay relevant and position yourself as an indispensable team member in 2017 and beyond.