Data analytics. Copywriting. Content creation. SEO. These quantifiable analytical skills are all necessary for a strong digital marketing team. But what about the soft skills you cannot easily quantify—just how important are those digital marketing skills
6 Soft Skills Every Digital Marketer Needs
All digital marketing professionals know how crucial technical skills are to success. But these fundamental skills aren’t the only ones you need. The successful marketer knows that they need other tools in their skill sets in order to have a successful digital marketing career.
Just because you can’t easily track soft skills with data and technical metrics doesn’t mean they are unimportant; quite the opposite! Without a host of soft skills in addition to hard skills, you lack a well-rounded team that will have a hard time achieving the results you want. And do you really want all of your marketing efforts to be in vain because you didn’t take the time to hire employees with the right soft skills for the job?
We believe that some of the best soft skills necessary for success in digital marketing are curiosity, communication, adaptability, multitasking, problem-solving, and teamwork. When you have all of these skills in abundance, you have team members that are ready to tackle every challenge in their way and go above and beyond what is expected of them
Curiosity is one of our core values here at Digital Strike – Targeted Marketing, and for good reason: digital marketers need to be curious to be successful. An uninspired person will ask how to get the bare minimum results. A curious person will look for new, exciting ways to take the project to the next level.
We know curiosity is a valuable skill to have because it has pushed our own team members to go above and beyond for our clients. In fact, not too long ago, we had a client that we were running PPC campaigns for, and our team realized that they would need to think outside the box in order to get the client desired conversion rates.
According to one of our account managers:
We had a client that really needed conversions and some 3rd party landing pages that we were using just weren’t cutting it. So we decided to build out landing pages internally to use in our PPC campaigns and saw a dramatic increase in conversions. I’d say that the curious and competitive nature of all the team members involved in this project allowed us to work together to find a solution that ultimately benefited the client.
Always asking new questions and demonstrating a willingness to learn are qualities that you want on your team. Without them, team members will never grow or help your projects reach new heights you didn’t even know you could reach. Always encourage your colleagues and employees to be curious, and you’ll see results that exceed expectations.
Healthy, clear communication can make or break a team. Poor communication means frustration, confusion, and poor performance, such as missed deadlines or shoddily executed campaigns. After all, if no one is on the same page or knows what the heck is going on, how can they perform their jobs well?
“Communication” is an incredibly broad term; that is why it’s important that all team members know exactly what you mean when you say you want “good communication.” Important aspects of good communication include:
- Consistency – How often do team members talk to each other about a client or project? How are they communicating with each other (email, Slack, etc.)?
- Clearness and directness – How easy is it to understand what the other person on the team is saying? How could information be delivered better? What information is relevant?
- Helpfulness and constructiveness – Is the communication helpful? Does it move the project forward and encourage team members to do their best? Or does it take an unnecessarily critical tone and offer no solutions for improvement?
Consistently good communication means everyone knows what they need to do and how they need to do it. And it’s delivered in a constructive manner. That, in turns, means a team that’s set up for success.
The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving. Those who are unable to adapt won’t survive in this industry for long.
Take, for example, the new update to Google’s Core Web Vitals. Flexible teams aware of these changes got straight to work updating their sites so that their web pages would continue to perform well, even if Google’s algorithm has changed. Unprepared, inflexible teams will soon see (if they haven’t already!) that not optimizing their site per these new guidelines results in poorer and poorer SERP rankings.
Keeping marketing strategies and digital campaigns flexible means implementing new strategies when needed—no matter how quickly. To paraphrase Bear Grylls, when you improvise and adapt, you can overcome nearly any challenge thrown your way in this industry.
Today’s ever-evolving, nuanced online world means digital marketers need to be able to wear many different hats and switch between them flawlessly. Knowledge of and familiarity with email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, content management systems, search engine optimization, Google Ads, Google Analytics, and more are all important for success in the online marketing industry. Switching between running an email campaign to uploading content on WordPress to checking the success of various marketing campaigns are all in a day’s work for today’s digital marketers, making people with strong multitasking skills a good fit for digital marketing jobs.
Every project has variables that can present unique challenges and obstacles. Your team needs to be able to tackle these challenges head on, or else the project will never be successful.
Take the example mentioned above with our PPC client campaign. Our team identified the problem (not getting desired conversions) and what was causing the problem (poor third-party landing pages). We fixed the underlying root cause by creating our own high-quality landing pages, which generated the results everyone wanted.
Having strong problem-solving skills means your team members can handle unexpected obstacles on their own or with their team. They will not only fix the current problem, but can find the source of the problem and fix that, too. This way, there are fewer unexpected challenges down the road, leading to a more efficient work process.
Open collaboration with others is perhaps the most important soft skill any digital marketer can have.
Ask yourself: what does it actually take for a project to be successful?
Let’s take a paid social campaign, for example. A strong campaign requires keyword research, identifying a target audience, data analysis, writing and research, graphic design, and much, much more. Performing all these tasks well and within a reasonable timeframe will require a cohesive team that is willing to work together, communicates often, and is willing to share successes—and failures.
Every digital marketer needs hard skills to succeed, but they don’t just need hard skills to succeed; they need soft skills, too. Curiosity, communication, adaptability, problem-solving, and teamwork are all vital skills that can mean the difference between a project exceeding expectations or never taking off in the first place.