5 Digital Marketing Skills You Might Not Have (But Definitely Need if You’re Running Ads)

5 Digital Marketing Skills You Might Not Have (But Definitely Need if You’re Running Ads)

There’s good news, and there’s bad news. 

The bad news is that in order to be a master of modern marketing, specifically paid advertising, you need a specific set of marketing skills. These skills will be like a toolkit to help you survive in today’s business environment

The good news is that they’re not hard to master, and all of us marketers are trying to figure it out as well, so you’re not alone! And we’ve got some great tips for just how to get these skills nailed down.

Modern marketing is the wild west and you can become the advertising gunslinger you need to be to succeed if you embrace these 5 skills.

The 5 Skills You Need to Master

1. Copywriting

Good writing skills aren’t just for the communication majors locked up in the writers room anymore. Every single marketer needs to be able to write a good line of copy, whether they are actually writing copy every day or not. 

Why copywriting? Because marketing is inherently based around selling something. And copywriting is all about getting that click, or making that sale. While other styles of writing (like creative writing or prose writing) may be helpful, copywriting is going to push your marketing skills to the next level across the board.

But this should be general, back-to-basics, copywriting fundamentals. You don’t need to know the perfect paragraph structure for an ecommerce landing page (though if you do, good for you). All you need are the basics. 

You should be able to craft:

  • A compelling hook
  • A string of benefits bullets
  • A persuasive paragraph description
  • A killer CTA

Once you have these nailed down, you can use them everywhere. And yes, I mean everywhere. Writing an ad? Break out your hook. Trying to increase your ad conversions? Try crafting a better CTA.

Pro Tip: Keep a copy swipe file full of great copy examples from brands you love. Did an ad you saw make you convert? Take a screenshot to remember their great writing.

Copywriting is a skill that will take you way farther than you might expect, so break out your typing fingers and get to practicing.

2. Funnel Building

The marketing funnel is the base of all marketing. No matter what you sell, you need to understand what makes an effective funnel, and how to craft one. 

Your customers are all floating around online (and offline) in a vibrant sea of content and other people’s products. So in order for you to succeed, you need to have a way to get your potential customers buying your stuff.

Not only do you need to know how to build a funnel, but you need to know how to optimize one. After all, a bad funnel is just as bad—and sometimes even worse—than no funnel at all. You should know how to diagnose a faulty funnel and then keep testing until you find the right fix.

Pro Tip: You can always A/B test different elements of your funnel if you aren’t sure what the best choice is. And make sure you are tracking performance—more on that later in the post.

But if you know the basics of Customer Value Optimization, you’re already most of the way there! 

3. Budget Management

Budget management is going to be your actual life raft if you are working in paid advertising. If you run out of money too quickly, you’ll never survive.

You’ve worked hours and hours to come up with the right offer and the right copy, and the right design. The last thing  you want to do is set the ad up to run out of money wayyy too fast. But you also don’t want to overcorrect and pull your entire budget out at once, only to have your ad be suppressed.

Learning how to properly set up an ad budget in Facebook and Google (or your ad platforms of choice) will mean that your money is going way further, and it means that every dollar spent is being used to its full potential. 

But on a larger scale, you need to know how much of your marketing budget should be spent on advertising (hint, it changes over time), so that you are actually getting new leads at the right time. 

Pro Tip: Remember that funnel building we just mentioned? That will come into play here too. You want to optimize your budget for every level of your marketing budget. It won’t just be an even split between the levels.

4. Metric Tracking and Analytics

No matter how good your marketing is, you’ll never know if you’re successful unless you are measuring your progress through tracking and metrics. This goes for running promotions, ads, new offers, and really every facet of marketing. You need to know when to hold them, and when to fold them.  

If you don’t know how your ads are performing, how are you going to know when you should increase your budget if you have no clue how the ad is performing? How will you know when to extend a sale if you have no record of it’s amazing conversions?

And the only way to do that is through knowing what your metrics are and tracking them regularly. You can do this through Google Analytics or another similar platform. The trick is to know which metrics actually move the needle for your business. Is it new leads? Maybe it’s ad click through. Whatever it is, make sure you are regularly tracking it so you are first on the scene when you see things going wrong.

Pro Tip: Make sure to set and track SMART goals, ones that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

5. Customer Research

None of the things I just listed will matter at all if you don’t have your customer research down to a T.

Whether you are filling out your Customer Avatar Worksheet or building lookalike audiences, you need to know who your audience is so you can target them. This means you need to be really good at doing research.

You should be regularly checking out the online spaces where your customers hang out (and even offline spaces like events or conventions) so that you can keep up with what your customers want and need.

Pro Tip: Not sure what your customers like or where they spend their time online? Ask them! Send out a survey or email your best customers personally. You can offer a discount or gift in exchange for their time.

With the right information on your customers, you will be able to perfectly time your offers and create ads that they’ll have to click on. But only if it’s the right fit. So make sure you know who your customers are.

Once you have all of these skills mastered, you’ll be well on your way to some of the best marketing you’ve ever done. And, you’ll be able to navigate the flurry of changes that always seems to be going on in the marketing world.



The lovely content team here at DigitalMarketer works hard to make sure you have the best blog posts to read. But some posts require a group effort, and we decided to stop the rock-paper-scissors tournaments that decided the byline so that we had more time to write. Besides, we all graduated from kindergarten: we can share.

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