11 Essential Marketing Skills That You Need to Be Successful

In layman’s terms, marketing is about matching your products and services to buyers who want to acquire them — which ultimately leads to earning profit for your business. 

While this seems simple enough, digital marketing is broad and continuously evolving, so you need to implement the right strategies to draw in your customers, build relationships with them, and sell your products effectively.

Achieving this requires an investment of your time, effort, and expertise (to some extent), and even the application of tried and tested tips for digital marketing.  

The good news is, we’ve laid out ten crucial marketing skills you need to run your campaigns and help you get excellent returns for your efforts.

1. Content marketing

By developing content marketing skills, you can produce content that reaches your target audience through your marketing channels, create awareness, and help them identify with your offer and your business

When you have the skills to create killer content, you can drive traffic to your website, boost revenue, and increase your conversions while engaging with your potential and current customers.

Bonus tips:

  • Analyze and study viral content: Check out popular blogs and focus on the traffic-generating trends these posts use that you may not be aware of. Keep in mind that you only need to know the strategies they use, don’t copy their content for your own.
  • Upcycle the content you’ve used: Instead of recycling, transform your existing content into uniquely original materials by segmenting long-form content into multiple smaller content pieces. 

2. Search Engine Optimization

SEO as an inbound marketing strategy aims to optimize your content to increase the quantity and quality of your website’s traffic — including your site’s ranking in organic (non-paid) search engine results. 

Although mastering SEO skills will take time and effort, you can start with the basics such as understanding your target audience’s search patterns, the keywords they use, etc. 

With your SEO strategy, you can optimize your content and web pages for your targeted keywords — making it easy for your audiences to find your content, draw traffic to your website and increase your conversions and sales. 

Bonus tips:

  • Invest in keyword research. Knowing and analyzing the actual search terms that users type in search engines is the first step in developing your SEO and content marketing strategies. Don’t skimp out on this part as this is the foundation of your SEO efforts. 
  • Voice Search Optimization: Develop high-quality, voice search optimized keywords for your site to accommodate the rise of voice search technology and voice command devices such as Siri. 

3. Marketing funnel creation

A marketing funnel will map out your customers’ journey with your brand — from the “awareness” stage, the “purchase” stage, and down to the post-purchase follow-ups that increase retention (among others).

However, this requires careful analysis to see what you should do to convert users — including the marketing strategies you need to improve to influence your customers in each stage. 

To nail your marketing funnel, you’ll need to understand the entire process, each of the stages, all their components, and come up with the right approach for successful conversions. 

Bonus tips:

  • Recover customers with retargeting: Including retargeting in your marketing funnel can help increase your conversions by letting you monitor customer behavior and use that data to draw them back to your website.

Work with popular email marketing software to automate and streamline your efforts.  

  • Present an upsell offer and a downsell option: Convert more people along your funnel by offering alternative upsells and downsell options for customers who need them and improve customer loyalty. 

4. Conversion rate optimization (CRO)

When applied to your website, CRO is about optimizing web elements to compel your visitors to act on your offer, such as buying your product or subscribing to your newsletter, and increase your conversions. 

To implement a successful CRO, you’ll need to learn how users go through your website, what actions they take, and what stops them from completing the goals you set.  

You can optimize the design elements in your website pages, such as a free landing page for conversions and increase the chances of converting visitors before they leave. 

Bonus tips:

  • Have an exit popup: Email automation and building your email list are not the only ways to reduce your cart abandonment rate. You can also recapture visitors by offering discounts and more just before users leave your website. 
  • Enhance your site’s Call-to-Action buttons: Place your CTA buttons strategically to make them stand out and easy to find on your website. Split test several placements, font size, color, and phrasing to know which ones do wonders for your conversion rate.

5. Data and analytics

Performing marketing analytics will help you measure, manage, and analyze data to get vital insights to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns and optimize/measure your return on investment (ROI). 

Data and analytics are also crucial to improving your marketing knowledge and skills since they can tell you which of your efforts are performing well or not — and prompt you to improve your strategies and avoid wasting your marketing investment.

To develop your marketing data and analytics skills, you can read books, subscribe to published content from experts, learn to use data analytics tools, and even enrol in online training courses. 

Bonus tips:

  • Use marketing analytics tools to improve your campaigns: Learning how to use analytics tools is a great addition to your hard skills list so you can work with algorithms that study customer behavior, predictive lead scoring, and more.
  • Measure Marketing Sourced/Influenced customer ratio: The feedback from this data will give you ideas on the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and the factors that affect conversion.

6. Social media marketing

Build a social media strategy to engage with your audience through comments and messages, run paid advertisements, and analyze the results from platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

With the right approach you can improve your engagement, grow your following, create a positive brand identity, increase website traffic, and increase conversions and sales.

Bonus tips:

  • Create social media calendar: Improve your social media marketing skills by streamlining your content creation and posting process with a social media calendar.
  • Use social media management platforms. Stay on top of all your campaigns on multiple social media channels with social media management tools that can also automate some of your marketing workflows.

7. Paid ads

Although paid advertising can cost more than owned ads, you can create targeted ads and expose your brand to wider viewers quickly. 

Hone your skills in running paid ads by finding the best marketing channels to run your campaigns on, assess the cost-efficiency of your approach, and learn from competitors — including the most popular strategies that marketers are using. 

Bonus tips:

  • Go for the best keywords: Get the bang for your buck by investing in the right keywords for your ads. Take factors like the keyword’s search volume, paid difficulty, cost per click, and more.
  • Start with Google Ads: As Google is the most used search engine, it’s one of the best platforms you can use for your paid search marketing effort. 

8. Video marketing

Creating videos is a great digital marketing skill to have because it helps you publish interactive content such as sharing stories, entertainment, and tutorial videos that engage your viewers.

Not only that but videos are quickly shareable through social channels, plus they’re easy for your audiences to digest — giving them huge ROI potential. 

Improve your video marketing skills by sta 

Bonus tips:

  • Vary your videos per platform: Users have different expectations and reactions toward posted videos in different media platforms, so make your content more engaging by varying the length, tone, and more.

    You can also implement market segmentation to target the right audience for your videos. 
  • Go for eye-catching thumbnails: Improve your view count by using thumbnail images that stand out and are as relevant as possible to your title.

9. Email marketing

Effective email marketing is one of the most direct ways to reach out to your leads and nurture a relationship with them to help increase sales and establish brand loyalty.

This approach involves good marketing skills to make the most out of your email marketing campaigns — including lead generation, understanding the different life-cycle stages of your subscribers, and how you can engage them. 

Bonus tips:

  • Put effort in customer segmentation: Creating segments will let you group audiences with similar characteristics and interests to make your content relevant and personalized to your subscribers.
  • Prune your list: More email subscribers does not actually translate to more paying customers, which is why you need to ensure that specific subscribers are still worth your email marketing efforts.

10. AI and Machine Learning application in marketing

Artificial intelligence in marketing uses customer data and utilizes machine learning and social intelligence to predict your audiences’ possible actions — allowing you to send appropriate messages at the right time for effective marketing strategies. 

AI and ML tools for marketing require intensive learning, however, so build your skill in this area by brushing up on your statistics and learning the basics of data science. 

Bonus tips:

  • Sign up for free data science courses. Most of AI and ML application in marketing is through data science so learn more and learn the right way by enrolling in free data science courses online.
  • Integrate Machine Learning in User Experience: Through ML, you can use customer information to design hyper-contextual and hyper-personalized experiences that are unique for each user.

11. Copywriting

Copywriting is one of the most critical skills needed for marketing since even grammatical errors can spell the difference between making a sale, and customers abandoning your website. 

Even if you’re using the top blogging platforms available, poorly-written copy can make readers question the credibility of your brand.  

With excellent copywriting skills, you can create content that not only compels audiences to act on your conversion goals but also lay the foundation for your content marketing, SEO, and brand growth.

Bonus tips:

  • Avoid hyperboles and jargons: Telling your readers the value of your products and brand in direct and simple terms works better than using complicated words that can ruin the customer experience. 
  • Know what your audiences want: To ensure the effectiveness of your content, know what topics, tone, style, and more that appeal to your audiences and apply them to your copy. 

Bolster your arsenal of marketing skills

Developing your marketing skills — whether you’re mastering how to make the most out of your strategies, such as segmenting your customers, or if you’re a small business startup — is vital to the success of your campaigns. 

Developing your skills isn’t a walk in the park, but if you know your marketing goals and you’re willing to put in the effort and resources, you can achieve the conversions, sales, and business growth you want.