By David Tomas, on 17 August 2021
Whether you’re just starting a new business, or you have been in the game for some time now, there is one very important element that can make or break a business, and that’s marketing. The way you market your products or services can affect everything from your reputation, to your reach, to the level of engagement. And this all has a direct impact on the bottom line of your business.
In order to achieve success and a high level of positive brand awareness, your workforce should include marketers specialized in a range of marketing skills. These include web and social media skills, data analytical expertise, knowledge of SEO, and creativity, amongst others.
In this post, we are going to focus on the 7 most essential marketing skills for any business. If you are a business owner, consider your marketing department or marketing agency when you read through each section. Does it focus on all key marketing areas? Do your marketing employees have what it takes to inspire potential customers to believe in your brand? Are they using the right tools?
7 Essential Marketing Skills
Here are the top 7 essential marketing skills to help you boost sales and drive traffic to your business. These skills take into account the various elements of a successful marketing campaign.
1. Web and Marketing Data Analytics
Of all the marketing skills, this is arguably one of the most important.
Web and marketing data analytics are must-have skills in this digital age, and every company should count on at least one marketing expert who can effectively analyze all the data from your website(s) and marketing campaigns. This is crucial because it will provide you with valuable knowledge that helps you understand the needs and desires of your audience so that your efforts have the biggest impact.
Having analytical skills isn’t just about analyzing the numbers. You also need to make sure that your marketers are using the right tools to predict significant trends about customer interests, choices, and preferences.
2. Critical Thinking
Another important marketing skill is critical thinking. You need to make sure your marketing department is able to think on the spot and quickly come up with a solution to any marketing issues that might crop up. This could include coming up with last-minute solutions to drive inbound marketing leads or making the necessary adjustments to a campaign that isn't resonating with your audience.
Ultimately, having good critical thinking skills means being able to understand what works, what doesn’t, and how that gap can be bridged. It’s about being able to implement problem-solving skills to address any unexpected issues and try new marketing approaches to see what works best.
3. Social Media Marketing Skills
We couldn’t possibly talk about marketing skills without mentioning the importance of having solid social media marketing skills.
Social media platforms have evolved into one of the most popular platforms for interactions between businesses and their customers. This makes them a core element of virtually any good marketing strategy. Your marketers should understand which opportunities each platform offers, and how you can get the most from them. They should also understand which platforms your target audience interacts with most and what kind of content attracts the most attention.
For example, if you are in retail, Instagram might hold more value than, say, Twitter, as your industry is all about visuals. Having good social media marketing skills means understanding where your potential customers are and how you can productively engage with them through social media.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is all about optimizing your content so that it drives the most traffic to your website. This includes using relevant keywords so that your posts and campaigns can be easily found on search engines, as well as implementing strategies for on-page SEO and backlinks. You can use tools like Moz to identify keywords associated with your business, then use these keywords to create content that your audience finds relevant and engaging.
However, to truly stand out from the crowd, you need to take it one step further. You need to create original and engaging organic content that does more than just raise your search engine ranking. It needs to provide value. You also need to attract positive reviews that help you build a solid reputation and increase trust and loyalty amongst your audience.
5. Storytelling & Creativity
Following the previous point about creating organic content that provides value, storytelling and creativity are also essential marketing skills. Storytelling helps your audience decide whether or not your brand is worth their attention, so your marketers need to understand the importance of creating a narrative that your audience can identify with.
You can use storytelling to explain who you are as a business and what your values are. For your marketing strategy to work, your posts need to be relatable and enticing. Your marketers also need to understand the importance of using the right visuals to help your stories stand out. The content they design should be clear, easy to understand, and accessible. Avoid jargon and try to humanize your posts to elicit an emotional response from your audience.
6. Brand Development
Your brand is your identity as a company. It tells potential customers who you are, what you do, how you communicate, and what you stand for. Your brand should have a recognizable identity that consumers can relate to. This will help build trust and develop a sense of loyalty.
A brand isn’t built overnight though. It takes time, effort, and a lot of trial and error. The more you get to know your audience, the more you will understand what they expect from you as a business. Your brand should evolve as you build relationships with your customers and learn what works best. It is essential that your marketing efforts follow a clear strategy to development your brand so that you build a reputation that gives you a solid return on your marketing investment.
7. Soft Skills: Empathy, Curiosity, Persuasiveness, and Communication
Up to this point, we have been focusing on hard skills, but soft skills are equally important when it comes to marketing. In fact, some of the most important marketing skills to possess include empathy, curiosity, persuasiveness, and communication, as these personal skills help humanize your brand and build empathy among your audience. Having these skills also gives you an understanding of what motivates your target consumer to make a purchase.
To be a successful marketer, you need to be passionate and curious about the products you promote, as well as the audience you promote them to. You need to connect with your audience on an emotional level, communicate clearly and effectively, and be persuasive (whether it’s persuading your audience to make a purchase or to trust your brand). Without these soft skills, it will be very difficult to build authentic relationships with your customer base that will lead to conversions and drive traffic to your site.