9 Essential Digital Marketing Skills To Develop in 2023

Dr. Anneke Schmidt, Contributor to the CareerFoundry blog

With 2022 coming to a close, you may be looking to up your marketing game and wondering what digital marketing skills to develop to stay ahead of the curve next year.

Whether you’re new to digital marketing, hoping to break into this exciting field, or simply planning to brush up on existing skills, it’s essential to consider which digital marketing skills and strategies will be most in demand when setting your goals for the year. For example, as more businesses move online and emphasize ecommerce and customer experience, focusing on search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and email marketing will be essential.

So, to help you get an overview of the skills you should focus on in 2023, we’ll cover the following topics:

  1. What is digital marketing?
  2. The current state of the digital marketing industry
  3. The top 9 digital marketing skills you need in 2023
  4. How to get into digital marketing
  5. Summary and next steps

Feel free to use the clickable menu to skip ahead to any section. With that, let’s get started!

1. What is digital marketing?

The marketing world is constantly changing, and digital marketing, in particular, is a rapidly growing field. Today, it includes any form of marketing that uses digital channels to reach consumers, including:

  • email
  • social media
  • search engines
  • websites
  • banner ads
  • mobile apps, and
  • online video.

In a nutshell, digital marketers are responsible for producing and publishing digital marketing content and implementing digital marketing strategies aimed at promoting a company’s products or services online.

2. The current state of the digital marketing industry

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the digital marketing industry has seen accelerated growth, with more brands investing in their digital presence every year. According to a 2020 survey on reliance on content marketing during Covid-19 in the U.S., carried out by Statista, 86% of marketers increased their social media activity, and 66% increased video content in the first year of the pandemic.

That’s one of the reasons why digital marketingnow more than everis one of the most recession-proof industries to get into. Even during tough economic times, businesses still need to market their products and services to stay afloat.

So, if you’re looking for a relatively stable and growing industry to enter, developing some must-have digital marketing skills could be a great career move.

3. The top 9 digital marketing skills you need in 2023

It can be tough to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the digital marketing world as a newcomer or seasoned pro looking to explore new horizons. But the ability to adapt quickly and learn new skills as needed is one of the most important qualities of a successful digital marketer.

Apart from general soft skills—such as communication, strategic thinking, and time management—you will need to focus on developing the following nine essential digital marketing skills in 2023:

1. Content marketing

Inbound marketing is becoming increasingly important today. For this, businesses rely heavily on content, such as blog posts, ebooks, or white papers, to attract and engage customers.

Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined target audienceand, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. As a content marketer, you, therefore, need to be able to produce engaging and valuable content across a variety of platforms and have an understanding of how to measure the success of your content marketing campaigns.

2. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Another important digital marketing skill to concentrate on in 2023 is search engine optimization (SEO). It’s the process of optimizing websites and their content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), thereby increasing their chances of being found by potential customers. 

Google algorithm updates are constantly changing, so staying up-to-date on the latest SEO trends and best practices is crucial. This includes knowing how to do keyword research, interpret search intent, and improve a website’s search engine ranking through on-page optimization and link building.

3. Email marketing

Email marketing is a direct marketing approach that uses email to communicate commercial or fundraising messages to a defined audience. Although it may not be the newest marketing channel on the block, it’s still a great way to stay in touch with customers, promote new products or services, and build loyalty and brand awareness.

Skills to master in email marketing include:

  • segmenting lists
  • personalizing messages
  • designing attractive email templates, and
  • using marketing automation to trigger and track email campaigns.

Interested in learning more about email marketing? Find out more about it in our extensive guide.

4. Social media marketing

Next on the list of digital marketing skills to develop in 2023 is social media marketing. It’s the process of using social media platforms to build relationships, interact with potential and current customers, and encourage social engagement.

Social content strategies vary depending on the platform, so it’s essential to be familiar with each. That said, here are a few social media marketing skills every marketer should have:

  • an understanding of how social media algorithms work
  • the ability to create engaging and visually appealing posts
  • familiarity with paid social media marketing, and
  • experience with social media analytics tools.

5. Performance marketing

Performance marketing is a data-driven marketing approach focusing on achieving specific marketing objectives, such as increasing brand awareness or generating leads.

Paid advertising is a common performance-marketing tactic requiring a keen understanding of targeting the right audience, tracking campaign results, and optimizing ad spend. As a digital marketer, you will also need to be well-versed in marketing attributionthe process of assigning credit to marketing touchpoints that led to a conversion.

6. Multichannel marketing

Another marketing strategy to refine in 2023 is multichannel marketing. This means using a combination of marketing channels to reach and engage customers.

While it is theoretically possible to combine any type and number of marketing channels, the most common combinations include the following channels:

  • website and email marketing
  • social media and content marketing, and
  • paid advertising and search engine optimization.

The key to successful multichannel marketing is creating a cohesive customer experience across all channels. This means ensuring that your branding is consistent, your messages are aligned, and your marketing efforts are coordinated.

7. An eye for design and visual marketing

In the digital marketing world, an eye for design is essential. This includes basic design skills, such as understanding color theory, typography, and composition. But it also extends to more advanced skills like visual marketing and UX design.

UX design stands for user experience design, which is the process of designing productsincluding websites, apps, and softwareto be both valuable and easy to use. As a digital marketer, you will need to understand basic UX principles to create marketing collateral that is both effective and user-friendly.

Want to learn more about user design? Check out this guide to teach yourself UX design skills.

8. Video marketing

Another related visual marketing skill is video marketingthe process of creating and distributing engaging videos to promote a product, service, or brand.

As the popularity of video continues to grow, so does the demand for marketers who can create high-quality videos that tell a story and capture attention. To be successful in video marketing, you will need to know how to conceptualize and produce engaging video content. You will also need basic video editing skills and an understanding of how to promote videos for maximum reach and engagement.

Recommended viewing: 8 Essential Tactics To Grow A YouTube Channel 

 

9. Data literacy and analysis

And finally, no list of digital marketing skills would be complete without data literacy. In today’s data-driven world, businesses rely on data to make informed decisions, from product development to marketing strategy. Therefore, digital marketers need to be able to understand and analyze data correctly.

Data literacy involves being able to read, interpret, and make decisions based on data. To be a successful digital marketer, you, therefore, need to develop strong analytical skills and learn how to use data to inform your marketing decisions. Additionally, you should be familiar with basic statistical concepts and methods and basic data visualization techniques.

If you’re not already comfortable with data, now is the time to start developing your data analysis skills with free resources such as this beginner’s guide to data transformation or by enrolling in a comprehensive data analytics course.

4. How to get into digital marketing

If you want to become a digital marketer or transition into this field, there are three things you can do to get started:

Educate yourself

The first step is to educate yourself about all aspects of digital marketing. This includes understanding the different marketing channels, strategies, and available digital marketing tools. It also means staying up-to-date with the latest industry news and trends.

Gain relevant skills

There are many online courses and programs that cover everything from social media marketing to data analysis. If you want to develop your skills in a particular area like SEO, excellent free training courses are available to help you learn.

Get work experience

Once you have a strong understanding of the basics, you can get experience in the field. There are several ways to do this, including internships, working with a small business, or taking on freelance projects.

5. Summary and next steps

Digital marketing is a complex and ever-evolving field, which means there is always a lot to learn. However, by acquainting yourself with the basics and gaining experience in the field, you can develop the skill set you need to be a successful digital marketer in 2023.

Has this article piqued your interest in digital marketing? Why not try out our free, 5-day short course?

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