Soft Skills vs Hard Skills Iceberg

Soft Skills for Digital Marketers: Going Beyond the Resume

It is difficult to differentiate between a “good” digital marketer and a “great” one. Yes, certifications, higher education, and training all look great on a resume. However, there are a handful of digital marketing soft skills that help to separate the “great” digital marketers from the rest of the pack. It’s difficult to learn certain digital marketing skills and traits in a set amount of time. Instead, they’re innate or developed through years of hard work and experience. In this article, we’ll explore nine soft skills that work together to define what a “great” digital marketer looks like. If you don’t currently possess these skills, don’t worry – we’ll provide advice on how to cultivate them over time.

9 Soft Skills that Great Digital Marketers Possess

1.) Intuition Can Work Wonders in the Field of Digital Marketing

Intuition Matters

You’re likely thinking that you either have intuition or you don’t…right? This isn’t always the case. Believe it, or not but you can develop your sense of intuition through meaningful experiences. Yes, you read that correctly, intuition is a soft skill for digital marketers that you can develop and refine.

As a digital marketer, you don’t always have all the data that you require in order to make an informed decision. When you don’t have the necessary data to support your decisions, you often need to make quick decisions based solely on your gut. In these situations, it doesn’t benefit you to shy away from the unknown – you must trust your intuition. If you have a strong understanding of your industry and your customers, then your intuition is more than just a guess, it’s an extension of your knowledge base. If your ideas fail to take off right away, don’t sweat it – it happens to the best of us. Instead, learn from your mistakes and trust that your intuition will grow with time.

2.) Curiosity is a Must-Have Soft Skill for Digital Marketers

Curiosity Leads to Success

Curiosity is arguably the most important soft skill for digital marketers. It’s not a trait that’s “nice to have,” it’s a necessity. Marketing as a craft is constantly evolving, and all digital marketers need to possess an interest, passion, and hunger to ask questions and learn about new fresh marketing techniques, tools, and methods. For instance, if you were an SEO expert in 2007 and you haven’t developed your craft since then, you are essentially useless in the field today since your knowledge would be extremely outdated. The same is true whether we’re talking about social media or content marketing.

In order to stay up-to-date on the latest digital marketing news and trends, you should use a news aggregator app such as Feedly to track your favorite online digital marketing publications. Once you subscribe to your favorite digital marketing publications, all that’s left is to set aside 15-20 minutes each day to read an article or two that piques your interest.

3.) Genuine Social Skills are a Must for All Digital Marketers

Colleagues Socializing

You’re destined to meet the same fate as the unsinkable Titanic f you lack adequate social skills, especially since you’ll likely be working on a team. It’s important that every team member, from content marketing to social media, lead generation, product marketing, and design, works together to meet their high-level goals. Working alone without effectively communicating with your teammates won’t lead to the best possible results for you or your organization. Furthermore, if you work with social media in any way, you need exceptional social skills. You need to genuinely understand how individuals communicate with one another in order to generate the most engaging content.

4.) Persuasion is an Essential Soft Skill for Digital Marketers

Obi Wan Kenobi Not the Droids You're Looking For

Take a moment and think about the essence of marketing. In a nutshell, marketing is simply the art of persuading people to purchase a product. That being said, it makes total sense that great digital marketers have a ridiculous supply of this skill. Persuasion is the ability to align yourself with executive goals without compromising on what you believe is right for the overall brand. You need to successfully persuade your boss to run experiments and invest in technology to help you hit your personal goals. If you fail, don’t give up. Remember, marketing is all about experimentation. Furthermore, not everything you try will work the first time around. When you persuade others, make sure to base your arguments on logic and date – not just on your feelings and beliefs.

5.) Analytical Skills are a Hallmark of Great Digital Marketers

Problem Analysis Solution Progression

Intuition and persuasion skills are critical, but backing up your arguments is also vital. When possible, leveraging analytics can really help you sell your case. Analytical skills can range from setting up and understanding the data generated by social media campaigns, lead management systems, Google Analytics, and many more programs. However, from a “soft skill” perspective, you also need to interpret these analytics. This skill doesn’t come naturally to most people. If you currently lack these skills, you can develop them over time if you focus your efforts. Training programs are also available if you wish to go beyond the “soft skills” level.

6.) Great Digital Marketers are Comfortable with Technology

Dark Themed Technology

Digital marketers need to be comfortable with technology since it’s a critical part of the job. Think about it – how could you run any sort of digital campaign without a strong understanding of the necessary technologies?  From analytics tools to social media, Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, project management tools, and more. Technology is a mandatory element of digital marketing. It is critical that you hone your skills with practice and helpful tutorials whenever possible.

7.) The Ability to Pivot and Adapt on the Fly

Plan Adjust Pivot

Great digital marketers are always up to speed with what’s happening in their industry. This means they’re able to adapt and change, even if that means revising beliefs they hold close to their hearts. The end result of any change should be to better meet the requirements of your customers and prospects, which may change year-over-year. Holding onto the same strategies, methods and tactics don’t serve any marketer or business well. You need to be willing to unlearn what you “know” and make new mistakes. Furthermore, you need to learn from these new mistakes. When all is said and done, don’t be afraid of change and always keep moving forward.

8.) Above Average Marketers are Multitasking Ninjas

Multitasking at Work

Digital marketers rarely focus on a single project at a time. This role is all about multitasking, so it is vital that you build your skills in this area. Most marketers wear numerous hats, especially on small teams. In addition to multitasking, you’ll need to prioritize the most important duties. You can do this by asking yourself what will make the greatest impact on the business, and do that first. Your managers and executives will likely judge you by the value you bring to the table, so make that your priority.

9.) Digital Marketers Have to Be Creative

Creativity Light Bulb

What’s a digital marketer without creativity? Just because the old school days of advertising (think along the lines of Mad Men) are over doesn’t mean it’s not important to genuinely connect with potential customers via creative copy and images that bring the razzle-dazzle. Simply sending any old message or sharing any stock image isn’t enough to differentiate your brand from the rest of the crowd. Online competition is fierce, and above-average creativity is what determines if prospects will ignore your content or engage with it. Practice your creativity by brainstorming ideas and images and then setting them into motion.

If you’re not part of your team’s copywriting or design crew, partner with these individuals to learn how they get their creative juices flowing. Once you’ve had a chance to pick their brains, try a few of their ideas and a few of your own.

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