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It doesn’t matter what online marketing role you end up in, whether it be brand building, lead-gen, product/service sales, affiliate marketing, consulting,… you need to have the skills to do those exceptionally well.
In order to do business online as a marketer, you simply must know or have access to the following 10 skills in order to be successful:
Understanding the basics of Search Engine Optimization is a critical component of working in online marketing. All teams need an SEO wizard or two. A webmaster looking to rank and monetize their own websites needs to understand all aspects of this game – somewhere between what your 90 year old grandma who still uses a rotary phone knows, and SEO master Rand Fishkin.
If you know what your doing or hire someone to do it for you, your sites will rank better for juicy keywords, Adwords quality scores go up (and ad prices go down), and revenues will always increase.
If you’re the only member of the team, you’ll need to have efficient time management skills to be able to manage all the aspects of your online empire, including hiring freelancers.
Even when it comes to being a project manager for a small to large team, you don’t want to be stuck micromanaging everybody. That means everyone on the team must have this skill to effectively pull their weight, and keep campaigns and other projects moving along.
You don’t have to be an “expert” in all aspects of content marketing, but you do have to understand them to work in online marketing, in any capacity. Content is King, as the now old saying goes. Each invidual on a team needs to understand how all content types work, at least at an intermediate level.
Written content, video, graphics, podcasts, email – all are essential to online marketing. If you, or the individual members of your team don’t understand what separates good from bad, and the various distribution channels available to get it out there, your brand will suffer.
Whether an individual or team, online marketers should all have a firm understanding of how the content management systems you use for the business works. If you’re working on your own, this is an obvious one. But no marketing team should ever just rely on one or a few members to be able to make changes on the fly either.
Online marketers need to be able to read and analyze data in order to create campaigns and track what’s going on for maximum results. This whether you’re reading through Google Analytics and Adwords data, or third party apps and tools that track social, website, and link traffic.
There’s simply no excuse to operate as an online marketer in any capacity and not understand the basics of scheduling posts, monitoring comments, and being able to spot mentions of your brand online quickly. This is true for all members of an online marketing team, and goes double for all online entrepreneurs!
If you’re not using Google Adwords to build your company’s online brand, you’re probably getting stomped by your competitors. Being able to perform effective keyword research (without relying 100% on services and apps), source relevant graphics, formulate ad titles and descriptions, and more, are all vitally important skills to have on your team. All are a must if you manage your own websites and affiliate campaigns.
Programming is a skill that is usually outsourced by individual marketers, and a duty which is dedicated to a proportional few on a marketing team of any size. However, knowing basics like HTML and CSS can save a lot of headaches when key features and plugins on your website stop working.
Just as everyone on the team should know how to use and make basic changes in the CMS, they also need to understand how to make easy changes within the various text, plugin and script editors.
This should go without saying. All individual members of a team should be able to demonstrate above average problem solving skills. Online marketing is a lot like politics; things are always changing and if the team or individual can’t keep up you’ll fall behind the curve.
Not everyone on an online marketing team needs to be a visionary, but it would be nice if they could be. Multiple visionaries are needed though, if you plan to grow a business quickly. Being able to see where the company needs to go moving forward is essential to any successful marketing plan.
Without a vision, you can’t have a plan – fail to plan, plan to fail!
Share your own experiences working in online marketing, and what you feel are the most essential skills needed to succeed.
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