Hey! I'm Lucie and I'm the co-founder of Implement. I've been working in digital marketing for a while now and I'm convinced that a few hard skills make all the difference.
Whether you'd like to start a career in marketing or take on higher responsibilities, here are the 7 top hard skills I believe you should definitely develop to succeed in a marketing career:
Writing is at the core of content creation. There is almost no content project that doesn't start by writing something. And it's not just writing, it's about writing to be read, shared, liked.
It's writing to sell.
Copywriting is the art of grabbing attention and creating engagement by the audience with words. You will need it every day:
- to craft impactful messages for ads, landing pages, emails...;
- to create and outline great content;
- And even to get approval from your boss and your team, as a lot of internal communication is written.
You might be wondering how you can improve your copywriting skills.
And my only advice is that nothing beats practice.
Just write and show your writing every day. You will see what people engage with and get better over time. You can also follow masters in copywriting by looking at larger brands or people with massive audiences. To reach that level they should have exceptional copywriting skills so you can learn from them by observing what they do.
Also, taking a copywriting course can make a real difference. Knowing how to craft the right message with the right tone for the right audience is anything but easy. So be patient, you'll get there!
2. Design Thinking and Problem Solving
Knowing how to put yourself in the user's shoes is absolutely crucial when you are a marketer. Most beginners adopt a product-centric approach instead of a user-centric approach.
Learning the basics of design thinking will enable you to put the end-user at the heart of the thinking process to find the best solution to complex problems.
The different steps inherent to design thinking (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test) are an excellent canvas that you'll be able to use for the launch of all your marketing projects.
3. Content Marketing
Content production truly is at the heart of digital marketing. You need to be able to create content that engages your audience, whatever the channel (video, newsletter, blog post, e-book, podcast, etc.).
It requires creativity and an excellent understanding of your audience.
Just as important, if not more important, than creating content is the promotion of that content (through social media, email marketing, SEO, etc.).
Producing videos has never been easier or more economical than it is today. And yet it still scares too many marketing professionals...
You have two choices: produce in-house or outsource.
If you choose to produce in-house, you'll need many technical skills, including scripting, preparing the set, filming, editing, and finally broadcasting and promoting.
If you choose to outsource video production to a dedicated agency, you will also need a variety of skills to complete a video project: project management, storytelling, copywriting, and understanding your audience and distribution channels.
I may be biased in including SEO in this top skill set since I started my career doing a lot of SEO and that I'm teaching a course about SEO: "Optimize your Blog Content for SEO". But I'm still convinced that this skill can really help you stand out from the crowd.
Having at least a grasp of SEO basics will allow you to understand how your website should be built and structured, what kind of partnerships you should look for to get great backlinks, and what kind of content you should produce to improve your visibility.
6. Data / Analytics
Most companies, even the smallest, store huge amounts of data. Accessing it is usually easy. But what's more complicated is to compile, analyze, and present it to better understand consumer behavior.
Training in data/analysis can be a real game-changer. It can really help you make a difference with your boss since she or he is certainly looking for reliable data to make informed decisions.
7. Basics of coding
And finally, the icing on the cake: understand the basics of coding. This can be useful to:
- quickly edit a newsletter;
- check the source code of a web page;
- making minor changes to your website;
But more importantly, it will give you a much better understanding of the developers' work and will facilitate your relationship with them. You will be able to estimate the complexity of certain tasks and the feasibility of your requests.
What do you think? Tell me in the comments below which skills have been instrumental to your career success! I'd love to know :)
Thanks for having a read!
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