9 Digital marketing hard skills you need in 2023

By April 26, 2023 No Comments

1. Superior search engine optimization (SEO) strategy

A superior SEO strategy is key to achieving your company’s selling potential.

What is SEO? It’s the process of optimizing a website to get a high ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Why? Because you could have the best product out there, but no one will know if consumers can’t find your product online.

How does it work? Think about when you use Google or any other search engine. You enter a keyword or question into the search bar. Google will return pages with content relevant to what you’re looking for and other suggestions based on similar keywords. Pages with more relevant information rank higher and increase engagement rates for businesses high on result pages than those that don’t. Learning SEO will drive more leads to your website, and most web traffic comes from Google’s organic results.

Protip: There are tons of free courses online. Take a free SEO course to learn the fundamentals of theory, best practices, and most effective strategies.

2. Video

According to Hubspot, 80% of marketers claim video has directly increased sales. Video is the top investment for brands in 2023.

Why? Video content is engaging, personal, and current. People who see a face promoting a brand are more likely to trust that business. Video content can also be used across different channels, making it a versatile digital marketing tool.

Protip: You don’t need a trained video producer to create engaging video content. Most user-generated content (UGC) is successful because it’s authentic and less refined than a highly edited video. So, we recommend you learn the basics of creating video content and use free tools like Canva or iMovie to practice.

3. Content marketing

In 2019, over $400 billion was spent on content marketing alone. You can’t have an effective SEO strategy without content.

What is it? Content marketing is creating high-quality, SEO-friendly content for many channels. Examples of different types of content are social media, podcasts, videos, blog posts, white papers, emails, etc.

Why? Content, when done well, tells an excellent story that promotes your product, generates leads, builds customer loyalty, and indirectly boosts interest in your product or brand.

Protip: Learn how to create an effective content strategy to engage, convert, and retain audiences. To hone these skills, we recommend taking a digital marketing certificate program that spends a few weeks reviewing how to create a strategy and teaching you about content marketing. Read through the digital marketing program syllabi before you enroll to decide which certificate program is best for you.

4. Social media marketing

Social media goes hand in hand with content marketing and SEO. Digital marketers use social media channels to promote a product, service, or brand. But, great marketing professionals don’t just post and share content. They build a strategy that examines each channel’s different algorithms and audiences. By doing this, they convey relevant messages to relevant audiences, drive more traffic to landing pages and indirectly improve search rankings.

Protip: Become a social media superstar by taking a digital marketing certificate program. You want to find a project-based program that tests your new skills. Pathstream’s program includes hands-on labs where you learn how to work with social media influencers or create social media campaigns.

5. Marketing analytics 

Marketing analytics is essential for digital marketers to tailor their services or product to fit the needs of current and prospective customers.

How does it work? Organizations have loads of data. If you’re passionate about robust marketing strategies and making better business decisions, you need to learn to extract customer insights using data analytics skills. Many analytical tools are available to help you learn about customer interests, choices, and preferences. You don’t need to become a data analyst, but you can learn the basics and how to use marketing analytic tools.

Protip: Suppose you want to learn how to use Google Analytics; take a free course online. But, if you’re going to learn a variety of marketing analytic tools, we recommend a project-based digital marketing program that covers: Google Analytics, Marketing Analytics, Google Sheets formulas, performance testing, and KPIs. Equipping yourself with in-demand digital marketing skills will make you a valuable asset to any organization. If data analysis interests you most, consider a data analytics certificate program.

6. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

What is PPC? It’s when advertisers pay a fee each time their ads are clicked. This means you buy visits rather than earning them organically. Many organizations use PPC to expand their reach, build brand awareness and generate high revenue. In fact, this type of internet marketing is so popular that specializing in PPC can help you snag one of the highest-paying digital marketing jobs.

How does it work? The role requires that you effectively create, optimize and report on campaigns using Google Ads, Google Analytics, or other tools. Digital marketers with strong analytical and problem-solving skills are successful in this role.

Protip: To excel at PPC, build up your experience by learning Google Ads, and Microsoft Advertising, and taking a PPC course covering the fundamentals. You can start your journey with free tutorials and courses online:

  • Google Ads tutorials
  • Microsoft Advertising Certificates
  • PPC courses

7. Basic design skills 

Content performs better when accompanied by visuals. It’s essential to have basic design skills to create and edit visuals.

Why? A lot of marketing doesn’t require a graphic designer. For example, many companies will have digital marketing specialists and social media planners whip up images or short video clips for social media channels. It saves time and money.

Protip: You don’t need to be a Figma, Photoshop, or Adobe InDesign pro to create visual content. Tools like Canva are easy to use, and many free online tutorials are available to teach you the program.

8. Competitive research and analysis 

You should know how to conduct competitive research and analysis to be hired as an entry-level digital marketer.

What is it? This research requires you to identify a brand’s major competitors and learn more about their sales, products, and marketing strategies. Knowing how you stack up against the competition helps you stay ahead of them.

How does it work? A digital marketer sets up online alerts to follow media coverage of their competitors, review advertisements, examine content published, and create reports for their team. These insights help your team develop better brand strategies.


9. Brand positioning 

Once you’ve learned about your competitors, it’s time to describe how your brand is different from them. A successful brand has a defined identity and value proposition.

How to do it? A brand positioning strategy involves creating brand associations in customers’ minds. You do this by understanding your customer’s wants, your competitor’s positioning, and your company’s brand capabilities. Then you identify what will resonate with your customers and how it’s different from competitors.

Protip: Competitive research and brand positioning go hand in hand. The best way to learn these digital marketing hard skills is through education. Position yourself as an expert by taking an online certificate program.

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