5 of the Most Valued Marketing Skills
It’s a big world out there, and there is a lot of competition – but that doesn’t mean you have to dread the job hunt or feel discouraged! Yes, being a successful marketer does require a well-rounded set of skills, but do not fear: being a perpetual student and learning new things comes with the territory as well. See below for the 5 most valued marketing skills and how to refine them!
Creativity & Critical Thinking
There are two traits that set someone apart from the masses: creativity and critical thinking. With so much competition for people’s hearts and minds out there, it is absolutely essential to be able to come up with new and innovative ideas that will make your company, brand, business or message stand out from the rest. Tap into your creative side and access outside-the-box critical thinking, the kind that freely comes when your guard is down and you’re in a flowing state of creation.
Creativity and critical thinking often go hand-in-hand with taking risks, and oftentimes those risks pay off with a business’s target audience (take a look at 4 Risky Marketing Ideas That Paid Off.) Don’t be afraid to come up with fresh and original concepts that stand out, or new ideas or approaches to work – it shows you’re willing to try new things and provide a different perspective.
Note: there is an effective method of increasing creativity called Morning Pages, developed by Julia Cameron. It is a stream of consciousness written first thing in the morning, and it is used by successful people all over the world to release anxiety and organize their mind for the day.
Reading Comprehension & Writing Skills
Effective communication and a strong grasp of language are essential skills for most jobs, and that’s especially true for marketing. Marketing requires storytelling and persuasion, or getting an audience to understand why a business, product or idea is worth their time and money. For those who are seeking to improve this skillset, writing in a journal every morning or evening is an excellent way to train your brain without the fear of being judged by someone else for your flow or style (your journal is only for you, of course!) Instead of turning your attention to Netflix before bed, commit to reading 20 pages of a book. Not only will this naturally increase your vocabulary and your comfort with language, you’ll also get a better sleep!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Not familiar with SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimization, a process where you align all of your content and keywords in order to drive organic traffic to your website. By optimizing your content, your site will appear higher in the rankings of search engines like Google – so when a customer searches for products or services like yours, they’ll see your site first.
In order to use SEO as intended, you must write and create content that matches the keywords your customers or target audience will be searching for. Once you’ve identified these keywords or phrases, create content that focuses on these or distribute them evenly throughout your website. Alternatively, you can use tools like Moz to do the work of identifying keywords and search terms associated with your business for you.
If you’re looking to actively enter the marketing or web development field, SEO is something you will want to learn more about – it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Social Media Knowledge
There are now three certainties in life: death, taxes, and social media. Just about everyone and their grandmother is on social media nowadays, and it’s essential to the health and success of many businesses. With more and more consumers using their phones for every aspect of life, it’s important to include social media management as part of your marketing strategy or skillset.
Since social media is a powerful tool for brand reputability and customer feedback, it’s vital to learn how to use it effectively for different client needs and to keep up with the many changes the platforms make to their layouts, algorithms and tools. It doesn’t hurt to become familiar with scheduling tools like Sprout or Hootsuite, or to befriend influencers in your area so you can establish a connection with them for future collaborations!
Time Management & Self-Direction
Finding someone who can effectively manage their own time and direct themselves is a huge relief for any employer. Considering that most marketers are juggle multiple projects and clients at the same time, these are valuable skills that set someone apart from other applicants. Staying on top your schedule and to-do list ensures that deadlines are met, clients are happy, and that nothing gets forgotten or overlooked during the week.
Some skills can be learned through an online class or by shadowing another employee, while others are gained through experience, socializing, and a healthy intuition. Time management and self-direction tend to be the kind of thing one learns through trial and error, although there are certainly marketing tools can help, like Asana. These are tools that help you keep track of projects for more effective management and team collaboration, and can definitely make life a little easier!
Every employer values different things, but these five skills are a good start for someone who is interested in marketing and looking for an idea of what businesses are looking for. Now go forth and prosper!
Until next time,
Petra Nyhuis, Account Manager