In this post, we will share 11 in-demand digital marketing skills that will help you become a better marketer and make more money online.

being a good digital marketer requires two different sets of skills, hard skills, and soft skills.

Hard skills are learned abilities that are sharpened through experience and education.

Soft skills on the other hand are more about character traits and interpersonal skills.

in other words, hard skills show employers how good you'll be at your job from a technical standpoint, while soft skills show whether you'll be a good employee, teammate, or manager.

Many people focus only on improving hard skills like coding, SEO, or content writing, but soft skills are equally important.

in fact, a 2018 study on LinkedIn shows that 57% of employers value soft skills more than hard skills.

now, in terms of what employers look for in a digital marketer will vary based on the position and responsibilities.

For example, when we hired a video editor, hard skills weighed heavier than soft. and when we hired a sales manager, soft skills weighed heavier than hard because interpersonal skills are more important than knowing how the software works.

Now, I can't cover every single skill that will be helpful in your digital marketing career, I'll share 5 hard skills and 6 soft skills that I personally look for when hiring digital marketers.

And I'll explain why these skills are valuable for almost any digital marketing role. and now let's start with the hard skills

Hard Skills

1. Copywriting

copy is often the bridge between the company and customers. its main presence is in blog posts, landing pages, emails, and videos (as most of them are scripted), this makes copywriting in my opinion the most important and transferable skill in online marketing.

it applies to SEO, content marketing, email marketing, outreach, social media, Paid Advertising, and the list goes on.

and because a big part of your job as a digital marketer will be to educate and influence your target audience with copy, this in my opinion is a skill worth improving.

2. SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it's the process of optimizing web pages to rank higher in search engines. The reason it's an important skill to have is that you can use it to get free, passive, and consistent traffic that doesn't fade over time. and that's essentially what businesses want.

in addition, the principles in SEO will help you understand how the web works, particularly with google SEO.

If you want to learn more about SEO, we have a free course that will give you all of this technical knowledge and also help you get more traffic to your site. check the link below:

3. Data analysis and interpretation

Data gives you some things to analyze and your analysis will help you draw insights. and those insights are what marketers use to create marketing campaigns.

This cycle is pretty important because if the data is bad, everything else will be flawed. And if your analysis is incorrect, then the insights from them will be invalidated. and if your insights are wrong, then you might be leading your campaign in the wrong direction.

so, it's critical that you:

  • understand where your data comes from.
  • know how to analyze and interpret it.

Sometimes you will have great insights that come from your analysis and other times, you will learn that there's no conclusive evidence to work with. Both outcomes are equally important because they will guide you in the right direction to save your company time, money, and effort.

4. User Experience

While this is a common skill to have among designers, it's important for digital marketers to at least have a high level of understanding of UX best practices. After all, marketers need to create interactions with customers and prospects so they have a more meaningful and relevant experience with the brand and content. On top of that, many marketing channels depend on user experience signals. 

For example, YouTube, and pretty much every single social media network algorithm is driven by user experience signals. and even in google SEO, user experience signals can affect ranking positions.

Conclusion: the better the experience you create for people, the better your marketing campaigns will be. And assuming your marketing campaigns are aligned with the business's bottom line, the better the company will perform.

5. Google Sheets Expertise

We wouldn't typically list software as a must-have hard skill, but knowing how to use google sheets beyond data entry and basic formulas is going to make you a more efficient marketer. and depending on your proficiency, it can be telling of your knowledge in logic programming.

Google sheets is arguably the most versatile tool. You can use it to:

  • Create reports
  • analyze
  • interpret data
  • manipulate data
  • and create automation for autonomous tasks.

The use cases are truly endless and it's a big plus that I will love seeing for mid to high-level roles.

Soft Skills

1. Communication

Marketing is the brand's way to communicate with customers and prospects so you can drive interest and desire for products and services. So, if you are not able to communicate effectively, your marketing will be ineffective.

the fallout of poor communication can be severe.

  • it can impact people's first impressions of your company
  • damage your brand reputation
  • and lead to wasted time for marketers and anyone else involved in a campaign

beyond that, marketing also involves developing relationships with customers, affiliates, influencers, and brand evangelists.

fail to communicate effectively and you will have a very bumpy road ahead.

2. Problem Solving

Marketing campaigns rarely go smoothly and you will run into problems and unexpected bumps along the way. The thing is, nobody wants to hold your hand through every single problem.

Employers hire employees to solve problems. So, naturally, a big part of your job will be to solve problems with creative solutions even if company policies or budget is playing against you.

A common example in the SEO world is buying backlinks, a lot of companies have no problem doing this, but if your company is like ours and has policies against these practices, you have to come up with creative ways to compete.

Another common disadvantage I see in competitive industries is Ad budgets. leaders in an industry will often have what seems to be an infinite budget. and if you are working in a bootstrapped startup with 1/100 of the competitor's budget, you'll have to get extremely creative to have a fighting chance to get a chance at winning, let alone surviving.

the best marketing is when your marketing and product align to solve people's problems, but that in and of itself is a problem that marketers are often tasked with solving.

3. Creativity

Creativity is something that's incredibly difficult to teach. In fact, according to George land, a famous researcher and scientist, "None-creative behavior is learned".

Meaning, that we learn to become less creative as we get older. in his 1968 study, he gave 1600 five-year-olds a creativity test. and this was the same test that was used by NASA to select innovative engineers and scientists. and to his surprise, 98% of five-year-olds scored in the "highly creative range", but when he tested them at 10 and 15 years old, there was a dramatic drop in the percentage of people who scored in the "highly creative range". 

Now, Land also tested 280,000 adults with the same test. and only 2% of this group scored in the "highly creative range".

This means, for those who are actually creative, it's going to be one of your greatest assets. and when you paid creativity with the hard skills of data analysis, you end up having a very powerful combination of skills that will play in your favor as a digital marketer.

4. Ability to learn

The reason that I think this is a critical soft skill to have is that marketing is collaborative. and if you are the stubborn type who refuses to hear feedback from your managers and teammates, you will naturally be an awful team player.

in my opinion, the ability to learn shows humility, adaptability, and one's desire for growth. this is why after doing hundreds of interviews if the candidate doesn't seem teachable, it's a "break it" kind of attribute for me. That doesn't mean you need to be a yes man and make other people feel better about themselves. it's about being open to others' opinions and collaboratively coming to the best ideas for your marketing campaigns.

5. Self Motivation

this is a skill that I think separates the wheat from the chaff. Naturally, there will be people that show up to work and do the bare minimum. After all, we all got to make money to pay for the pills.

but there will be a few individuals who put in the extra time, effort, thought, and focus simply because they want to produce good work. these are self-motivated people. they are willing to go the extra mile to make their work great. they don't define themselves by their salary, mentions, or accolades.

but ironically, self-motivated people with raw talent tend to get paid more and praised publicly.

they are a rare breed and in my opinion, it's a skill that's nearly impossible to fake over the long haul.

6. Ability to depend on

because marketing usually happens in a team setting you need to be able to depend on your teammates to do their part. it makes marketing operations much smoother and the result is a highly effective team.

A standout example that immediately comes to mind is our content writing team. from the day I started hiring content writers, they have not once missed a deadline. but deadlines aren't a be-all and end-all of dependable people. it says a lot about character and plays directly into team dynamics.

Now, as I'm sure you caught on, hard and soft skills tend to complement each other. For example, creativity is intertwined with copywriting. problem-solving helps in SEO, and SEO helps you become a better problem solver. so whether you want to become a better marketing leader, get a performance-based raise, or get started with your first job in internet marketing, honing these skills is going to help you achieve that.