11 Digital Marketing Skills and Tools You Need in 2023

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Find out the skills and tools needed to become a successful digital marketer. Gain insights from personal experiences.

Digital Marketing Infographic
Digital Marketing is an ever-changing and increasingly important field. Photo: Simplilearn

As our world continues to evolve with technology, digital marketing has become an increasingly important field. In fact, almost every industry now requires digital marketers to stay relevant and successful in today’s society. If you’re interested in a career in digital marketing, you may be wondering what qualifications and skills are required to get hired, and how to become a great digital marketer. We guarantee that you won’t be fired for using social media on the job!

Digital Marketing Job Qualifications

To begin with, digital marketing is a broad term that includes many different responsibilities, ranging from social media management to website development. As a digital marketer, you will be responsible for a large portion of the business’s online presence. Therefore, a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business is usually required, especially in countries such as Singapore where the main barrier is your academic qualification.

However, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have this degree. You can still become a digital marketer if you have the necessary skills and experience. Consider taking up an internship to build up experience, and work your way up from there!

In addition to a degree, the ability to manage a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress or Shopify, and coordinate with the sales team to create marketing campaigns are important skills for digital marketers. These are just some of the technical skills that are required. But to be a successful digital marketer, you need to have a range of soft skills, such as creativity, flexibility, and the ability to work well in a team.

Now, let’s dive into the digital marketing skills that can set you apart from your competitors and make you a great digital marketer. I’ll also be sharing with you some of my personal experiences during my time as a digital marketer myself.

1. Data Management & Analysis

Photo of a laptop with Data Analytics
Data Management & Analysis has become an in-demand. PHOTO: kmuza

Effective data management is critical for digital marketers because it allows them to collect, analyze, and interpret data to make informed decisions and optimize their marketing strategies. Data management ensures that data is accurate, accessible, and secure, enabling marketers to identify trends, track campaign performance, and target their audience more effectively.

Learning Excel is particularly important for digital marketers because it provides them with a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing large amounts of data. It can quickly sort and filter data, perform calculations, and create visualizations to help better understand data and make data-driven decisions. Every digital marketer should know how to utilize Microsoft Office Suite to its fullest potential.

Data analysis is an important skill for digital marketers. With numerous online tools available to measure data across different platforms such as HubSpot’s Marketing Analytics & Dashboard Software, Tableau and/or Google Analytics, it is relatively easier for marketers to analyze and make relevant marketing decisions than ever before.

2. Content Creation

Creating high-quality, SEO-friendly content is at the heart of digital marketing. As a digital marketer, you need to be able to create content that is engaging, relevant, and valuable to your target audience. It is recommended to make “creating evergreen content” a part of the goal. This means that if a customer finds the content a day later or years later, the information will still be relevant to their needs.

Content creation not only refers to creating content on social media. Copywriting and blog posts are also a critical part of content writing for both Social Media Management as well as Search Engine Optimizing. Both of which we’ll touch on further in the blog. Thus, you need to have a creative mindset and critical thinking ability to come up with the perfect content for your audience.

3. Seach Engine Optimization & Seach Engine Marketing (SEO/SEM)

SEO and its various components
SEO is a very potent field within marketing. PHOTO: Reliablesoft

The fact of the matter is that the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) scene in Singapore is underdeveloped in many ways. There are currently very few experts in this field and many local businesses underestimate the power of SEO. Most digital marketers in Singapore know what it is, but do not really understand how to best optimize it.

However, SEO is an extremely powerful tool to generate organic results. I myself am a firm believer in the power of SEO and its huge potential. First off, recall the last time you made a search on Google. Did you navigate to the second page of Google, or did you rather instead only focus on the first 3 links that you saw?

Secondly, when customers search for a question on google, they are more than likely actively trying to solve a problem that they have. For example, when a business owner searches “How to set up a website?” and your blog ranks top 3, you’re more than likely to receive a click from him. If he realizes that you offer such services, then you’ve got yourself a warm lead. Should you need more tips on SEO, feel free to drop me a DM on LinkedIn.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is also important in the same regard as well. However, it cannot be considered to be organic marketing since you have to actively pay for each click your receive, or Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Some users also use advanced Adblock plugins nowadays to filter out these promoted links. Nevertheless, if you have the ability to create a good landing page on your website, and if you use the right keywords for your brand, you will definitely see positive ROI on your SEM strategy.

4. CRM

Connecting with your customers on a more emotional and personal level is always an added advantage for the brand as it increases the chances of customer loyalty. Skills such as empathy and communication should be installed in a marketer to improve Customer Service Management. Monitoring customer experience helps companies understand the growing needs of their target audience and find out areas of improvement in their services and products.

Furthermore, it is absolutely critical to ensure that your customer’s opinions and feedback, no matter how rude or arrogant they might seem, is acknowledged. When we listen to their feedback, we not only gain valuable insights into their needs and preferences, but we also demonstrate that we are committed to providing the best possible experience for them. This is doubly important if the customer is communicating a business failure, and you would like to recover from the incident.

There are plenty of CRM tools out there that you can employ such as HubSpot CRM and Salesforce. These tools will help you to prioritize sales leads, increasing sales efficiency and also help you improve overall customer satisfaction through an extremely easy-to-use software.

5. Communication Skills

Now, this is a skill that is essential in most careers, but more so in the field of marketing. Good communication skills in a digital marketer include spreading impactful messages, establishing trust, and building relationships with both consumers and partners.

As a digital marketer, you should have the ability to look at things from a different perspective and to communicate ideas in a way that the audience will understand. Understanding what the audience will find entertaining and worthwhile, then delivering it to them in a way that brings out its full potential is also key to being an effective communicator.

However, communication with your customers isn’t the only important thing. The way you communicate with your team is equally as important to facilitate the flow of ideas, handle disagreements and conflicts, and ultimately come up with the best possible solution for the company.

6. Social Media Management

Social media management is arguably the most important component of digital marketing. It’s where businesses can interact directly with their target audience and build relationships with them. It is essential for a digital marketer to have a deep understanding of social media and how to use it to reach and engage with their audience.

6 Most Used Social Media Platforms in Singapore 2023, statistics.
Social Media Platform Statistics, 2023. PHOTO: Oom Singapore

To be successful in social media, a digital marketer must understand each platform’s unique features, algorithm, and user behaviour. As a digital marketer in Singapore, I have noticed that different countries have different preferences and behaviours.

For instance, Facebook is the most popular social media platform in Singapore, followed by LinkedIn and Instagram, whereas in other countries such as the UK, Twitter and Snapchat are amongst the most popular social media platforms.

However, the usage and demographics of these platforms differ drastically. For example, Facebook users generally have an older demographic as compared to those on Tiktok or Instagram. If you’re a B2C business, the way you communicate with your customers (AKA your brand voice) on each of these different social media platforms will differ. You need to understand the demographics and behavioural patterns of the users of each social media for the country that you’re marketing in.

You can also use various Social Media planning tools such as Later, Hootsuite, or Buffer to help you schedule and create your posts before-hand so you don’t have to set alarms at odd hours reminding you to post that picture on Instagram.

7. Basic Design Skills

Visual content is essential in digital marketing. It’s more engaging and more likely to catch people’s attention than plain text. Most larger companies usually have their own design team but for SMEs, this responsibility falls on either the in-house marketer, agency, or freelancer. Nevertheless, some basic graphics design skill is still necessary.

I have found that most graphics design platforms are still rather unintuitive and not particularly beginner friendly. However, I have found Canva, a freemium graphics design tool, to be extremely easy to use compared to the more advanced designing tools like Adobe Creative Cloud.

You can also make use of stock images such as those from Pexels or Unsplash, but if possible, its best to follow your brand’s colour codes.

Danny DeVito Superman AI Art
PHOTO: Danny DeVito as Superman. AI Art generated by MidJourney

Nowadays, we also have access to AI art tools such as Midjourney, which can generate wonderful images and art based on text descriptions and prompt within seconds. This will likely be the future of graphics design but for now, its best to pick up some basic designing skills for your company’s marketing collaterals.

8. Adaptability

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, it’s crucial to be adaptable and able to pivot quickly when necessary. Being able to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, algorithms, and technologies is a key skill for any digital marketer. One way in which I stay up-to-date with the latest developments is by following several marketing newsletters such as The Social Juice for the latest Social Media platform updates, or The Digital Marketing Podcast to discover some new tools and insights from experts.

Nowadays with AI chatbots such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Baidu’s ERNIE, the marketing world is in the midst of a huge shift in paradigm with the demand for professional copywriting dipping slightly, and instead, the ability to structure prompts to these AI has become a hot demand. Marketers nevertheless still need to understand what works and what doesn’t, or else they will still fail to appeal to their target market despite having such powerful tools at their disposal.

9. Emotional Intelligence and EQ

While data analysis and market research are essential to make informed decisions, the role of a digital marketer goes beyond crunching numbers and optimizing campaigns. Sometimes, it’s about trusting your gut feeling and making decisions based on your emotional intelligence.

Marketers who are able to empathize with their audience and understand their needs on a deeper level are more likely to create content that resonates with them. It’s like having a sixth sense that helps them anticipate the needs and desires of their customers. While it may not be a data-driven approach, the power of intuition can sometimes be just as important in marketing.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that marketers should rely solely on their gut feeling. I myself have been guilty of making assumptions about what I think would best appeal to my clients only to be proven wrong by our data and research. Nevertheless, emotional intelligence and data analysis go hand in hand, and the best digital marketers use both to make well-rounded decisions. It’s about finding the right balance between logic and intuition, and knowing when to trust each one.

10. Email Marketing

Email Marketing Software compilation image
There are a variety of Email Marketing tools you can use! PHOTO: Zapier

Email Marketing has year after year proven to be the most effective tool to generate leads and maintain your relationship with existing clients. It is a powerful tool that enables businesses to communicate with their customers effectively. I have been utilizing email marketing tools for quite some time, and I can guarantee that it is an excellent method of reaching out to your customers and clients. Mastering it would definitely be one of the biggest flexes of your digital marketing skills for sure.

One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is the ability to communicate with multiple people at once. With tools like Mailchimp, HubSpot or Shopify Email, we can easily segment our contact list, and send personalized emails to each segment. This makes it easier to reach the right audience with the right message, improving the chances of conversions.

The days of manually sending emails to each customer or client are long gone. With email marketing, we can automate the process, saving time and effort. This also allows us to focus on other areas of digital marketing, such as content creation or social media management.

11. Content Management Systems (CMS)

Content Management Systems Logos, compiled into one image.
Here are some of the most popular CMS Software

Whether its Shopify, Wix, WordPress or Magento, almost every website that you visit nowadays uses a CMS. A CMS is a software application that enables users to create, edit, and manage digital content without requiring specialized technical knowledge. Knowing how to use a CMS is one of the best Digital Marketing Skills to have as it allows you to control the digital ‘front’ of the brand.

As a digital marketer myself, I have had the opportunity to work with various content management systems (CMS) over the years, and I have to say that WordPress is easily my favorite. It’s user-friendly, flexible, and offers a ton of features and plugins that can help businesses effectively manage their online presence. Since it’s open source, for any problems that you might encounter, chances are there’s probably already a plugin for that. Not only that, it’s also by far the most used CMS in the world.

You can use the CMS to upload content extremely easily onto your website, without the need for any programming or web developing skills. Having control over what appears on your website and what happens on the backend is essential, especially when SEO is one of your main objectives.

Conclusion

Digital marketing is an exciting and constantly evolving field that requires a mix of technical and creative skills. It’s a career path that I have personally enjoyed and continue to learn from. Throughout this blog, I have shared my own experiences and the valuable insights that I have gathered from my work in digital marketing and I hope you appreciate them.

I hope that you have found this blog helpful and informative, and that it has given you some insights into the skills and qualifications you need to get a job in digital marketing, as well as how to excel in the field. Whether you are just starting out or looking to take your skills to the next level, I encourage you to continue learning, experimenting and exploring the exciting world of digital marketing.

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