No one is safe…
…except maybe digital marketers.
Forged in a world of constant innovation, evolving platforms, and cutting-edge strategies, digital marketing has the unique luxury of endurance in the job market.
(RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing)
Maybe you’re looking for a new career path that’s not in danger of becoming obsolete. Maybe you’re already working in digital marketing and wondering how your job will stand up to the test of time, or what your growth opportunity will look like over your career.
But I’ll tell you the secret when it comes to future-proofing your career: It’s about your skill set, not your job title.
If you have skills, or the “give a damn” to learn them (which happens to be one of DigitalMarketer’s core beliefs), you’ll never run short of assets to put on a resume.
To get you started, I’ve narrowed down six indispensable digital marketing skills – and the latest trending jobs that go with them.
We’ve got an infographic version of this post as well as a text version. You can download a PDF version of the infographic here.
View the text sections of this article by clicking on one of the links below to view the digital marketing skill description and attributes from that section:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Media Buying/Traffic Acquisition
- Testing & Optimization
- Email Marketing
Let’s start with the infographic… (Download the PDF version here.)
And here is the text version…
The origins of content marketing can be traced back to 1895 with a magazine published by John Deere. It served to educate farmers on how to increase profits (and maybe threw in some nice pictures of the latest in farming machinery). It’s still in publication today.
Content as a digital marketing strategy is a deep well of career development. Not only are skills needed to create and distribute engaging content across a variety of platforms, but that content must be designed to attract a specific target audience and drive them to take a measurable action (like buying a tractor, for example).
- Think blog posts that segment potential audiences.
- Think podcasts that educate and create brand awareness.
- Think social media updates, infographics, and even books that introduce people to your company and offers.
- Think educational resources, surveys, and webinars that help a lead evaluate their choices.
- Think customer stories and spec sheets that help push prospects over the edge and decide to purchase.
Now, imagine all those different pieces of content working together to guide someone from the introduction to the sale. This is all in the realm of content marketing – strategically creating stellar resources that turn someone who has never heard of your company or products to a buyer and brand evangelist.
(RELATED: Developing a Content Marketing Strategy)
If you can grab a hold of content marketing as a skill, there’s a growing opportunity to apply yourself in a number of digital marketing opportunities.
Possible Content Marketing Job Titles
Sometimes referred to as a corporate reporter, a brand journalist produces a variety of multimedia that communicates brand value to a company’s customers.
Think of it as an in-house news operation – but that news is used as another way to generate leads and sales. For example, brand journalists often look for stories on how customers are using a company’s products and tell that story in engaging ways to help convert leads into buyers.
Salary Range: $50,000 – $76,000
- Strategic – The ability to align content with the overall content strategy of the company.
- Creative – A brand journalist must be able to tell a variety of stories in new and engaging ways across a variety of platforms.
- Organized – Assignments are often deadline-driven, so organization is important for success.
Like brand journalists, managing editors handle the day-to-day storytelling of a company. While managing editors aren’t always the #1 source of the content, they handle the scheduling, publication, and overall consistency of a company’s content marketing assets.
Salary Range: $55,000 – $102,000
- Organized – Projects, people, deadlines. A managing editor has to juggle all three.
- Adaptability – Sometimes writers miss their deadlines or articles get nixed; a great managing editor has to be able to handle last-minute changes.
- Communication – Managing editors often deal with other writers, so clearly communicating a company’s content goals is necessary.
Content Marketing Manager
Content marketing managers serve as leaders of a company’s content team and make sure all of the content assets are in line with the overall marketing strategy. They are responsible for content management, design approval, developing resources, and audience development.
Salary Range: $72,000 – $113,000
- Creative – Content marketing is partly science but, make no mistake, it takes a creative mind to fill this role.
- Leader – The ability to lead a team is a must.
- Project Management – Tasks often have a start and end date, so project management skills are needed to succeed.
RELATED TRAINING: Content Marketing Mastery: How to Become a Content Marketing Specialist
Social media marketing is one of the most in-demand skill sets for organizations seeking to implement digital marketing strategies. Since skyrocketing to popularity in the early 2000s, social media has evolved into an unstoppable force that companies have harnessed to drive brand awareness and website traffic, generate leads and sales and connect directly with audiences.
Although social media powerhouses can rise and fall (sorry, MySpace), you’d be hard pressed to find any reasonable person who doesn’t think that social media is here to stay. Which means social media marketing strategies are here to stay, too.
- Knowing the best way to position content, no matter the platform.
- Knowing the right piece to put in front of the right audience.
- Curating short lists and networking with other industry leaders whose influence can move the needle for your company.
- Listening to your audience and translating needs and pain points into relevant content and products.
- Creating offer awareness that doesn’t feel intrusive or overly sales-y.
- Dynamically connecting with your audience and building a tribe around your brand.
Social media marketing is all about listening, networking, influencing, and yes – selling. It’s about taking a company’s content assets and making sure that the message is accessible, engaging, and translates across different channels.
Possible Social Media Marketing Job Titles
Social Media Marketer
Social media marketers are data-driven content curators who serve as the voice of the company on places like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or wherever else the business has an online presence. They keep channels running smoothly by creating and scheduling content like photos, videos, and graphics.
They measure ROI by likes/followers, reach, engagement, leads gathered, and sales made.
Median Salary: $30,000 – $76,312
- Imaginative – A social media marketer creates a lot of the content for multiple platforms, so a creative mind is a must.
- Conversational – The ability to write conversationally is important… you don’t want all of your messages to sound like advertising.
- Analytical – Successful social media marketers can look at raw data and calculate their next move.
Community managers bridge the gap between company and customer.
Where social media marketers work to make the brand attractive and engagement-worthy on various platforms, community managers build and nurture the human relationships hidden in social media communication. Social listening and moderating online “tribes” centered on the company and products are common responsibilities.
Community managers excel at advocating on behalf of the customer while advocating for the brand.
Salary Range: $38,000 – $75,000
- Empathy – Being able to communicate empathy to the brand’s community can’t be emphasized enough.
- Time Management – Social media can be a time-suck. The ability to prioritize tasks is a must.
- Friendliness – It’s not just for clients! Community managers have to establish meaningful connections with team members to effectively advocate for customers.
You’ve heard it before: “Facts tell, stories sell.”
Video marketing is a niche of the content marketing strategy, but make no mistake – nothing tells a story quite like video. And companies know it. That’s why video marketing is a specialized skill that will never go out of style because nothing tells a story quite like showing a story.
Video marketers know how to:
- Leverage interviews, testimonials, demos, and other storytelling styles to meet the needs of the target audience.
- Strategically examine available platforms and apps to ensure the content is on the right channel.
- Optimize videos for search engines using keyword-enriched descriptions and tags.
- Knowledge of video editing, production, and animation to tell stories in the most engaging way.
Video marketing is one of the most powerful digital marketing strategies out there, and technical, analytical, and creative know-how is in demand. Knowing how to leverage visual storytelling to strengthen emotional connections, engagement levels, and how it all fits in a content marketing funnel is a valuable skill set with some serious staying power.
Possible Video Marketing Job Titles
Video Production Specialist
Positioned on the technical side of video marketing, production specialists direct, organize, and facilitate a company’s video initiatives. This includes planning the content, filming, editing, mixing, compressing… all the bells and whistles of physically preparing the content and getting it out to the masses.
Salary Range: $49,000 – $73,000
- Imaginative – Video production specialists have to be able to take an abstract idea and turn it into an engaging visual story.
- Friendly – A disarming personality does wonders for calming nervous video subjects.
- Task Management – Video production specialists often work with deadlines, so effectively managing projects is a must.
Video Marketing Manager
Similar to production specialists, video marketing managers often handle the technical side of content creation, with the added responsibility of positioning and communicating the content’s unique value to a target audience. They concern themselves with things like publishing frequency, analytics, and exactly where video content falls in the content marketing funnel.
Salary Range: $42,000 – $80,000
- Tactical – Video marketers approach video content creation strategically; they understand where in the funnel their content will land.
- Research – Video marketing relies heavily on thorough research to ensure the right message lands in front of the right audience.
- Cutting-Edge – Great video marketers are on a constant lookout for the latest in tools, techniques, features, and platforms.
RELATED TRAINING: Content Marketing Mastery: How to Become a Content Marketing Specialist
It’s probably the most common topic discussed here at DigitalMarketer. That’s because it’s how companies make their money. Pretty important stuff.
Also, boom! Career security.
The closer you are to how your company makes money, the more indispensable your skill set. If you know how to make a business profitable, you’re not being replaced anytime soon.
So, what does a skill set in media buying include?
Media buyers, in short, negotiate, purchase, and monitor advertisements – in the digital marketing space, that means knowing how to generate the most leads and sales at the best possible price.
- Understanding that paid traffic is a system that builds relationships before it sells.
- Familiarity with in-depth market research techniques, so you can place your ads on the right platform for your audience.
- Well-versed with a variety of adjectives that are often placed in front of the word advertising, including “search,” “display,” “native,” “mobile,” “video,” and “third-party.”
- Knowing how and when to use pixels in advertising.
- Taking a variety of raw data and turn it into valuable metrics like Average Customer Value, Cost per Transaction, and more.
- Designing campaigns that work in conjunction with content marketing efforts.
Media buying is the bread and butter of making money online, so companies invest a lot in this area of their business. A successful paid advertising strategy is key to making the wheels of ecommerce turn.
Possible Media Buying/Traffic Acquisition Job Titles
Digital Media Planner / Media Buyer / Traffic Acquisition Specialist
This position can go by many names, but the job description is the same: Develop a paid advertising strategy and successfully implement it across a variety of digital channels.
Media buyers plan campaigns from start to finish and handle fun things like budgets and clients. They constantly look for new and better ways to get the most out of their campaign efforts.
Salary Range: $49,000 – $75,000
- Cutting Edge – Digital media buyers understand the nuances of changing platforms and constantly keep themselves up-to-date on the latest advertising channels and terms of service.
- Data Driven – Budget, ROI, CPC, PPC, CPP… a media buyer keeps a close eye on them all.
- Strategic – There is a definite strategy behind media buying, and it pays to get familiar.
RELATED TRAINING: Paid Traffic Mastery: How to Become a Customer Acquisition Specialist
Marketers are social scientists. They are masters at trying something, looking at the results, deciding what those results mean, and then making changes as necessary.
Where old-school digital marketing focused on SEO (search engine optimization), most companies now implement a strategy that is much more cost-effective: CRO (conversion rate optimization). Which is why specializing in testing and optimization is an upward-trending career path for the industry.
As CRO grows in popularity, the need is high for marketers who understand what to test, how to test, and the best way to analyze the results. Optimization is the methodology of making websites and landing pages as fully functional and effective as possible – which means testing. And re-testing…
You can see why this is an important skill that companies crave.
A skill set in testing and optimization means…
- Researching the best and latest in website optimization.
- Multivariate and A/B testing of features on landing pages, websites, and other web assets.
- A deep understanding of the cause-and-effect relationship of website conversions.
- Knowing how much traffic is enough traffic to test.
- Understanding what metrics to look at in each stage of a marketing funnel.
Testing and optimization specialists make sure that web pages convert and the call-to-action is taken. Businesses love it when conversions happen in high numbers!
Possible Testing & Optimization Job Titles
Website Optimization Specialist / Conversion Specialist
Competition is high in the realm of ecommerce, so making sure a website is top-notch is a high priority.
Website optimization specialists are responsible for making sure load times are speedy, implement campaign optimization, and ensure ease of usability across all of a company’s web-based collateral.
Salary Range: $71,000 – $95,000
- Curious – Always be curious about why things happen the way they do!
- Detail Oriented – Creative solutions require a sharp eye to locate the root cause behind any number of occurrences.
- Innovative – Optimization/conversion specialists look for new and creative ways to test conversion rates and increase website usability.
Email marketing isn’t anything new, which speaks to its staying power.
(RELATED: Following Email Marketing Best Practices)
This is another skill set that gets you very close to how a business is profitable, which means the more skilled the marketer, the more future-proof the career.
This skill set means…
- Understanding the strategy behind email automation at each stage of the funnel.
- Knowing the importance of things like headlines and hooks.
- Measuring and analyzing click-through rates, open rates, conversions, deliverability, engagement, trends, and anomalies.
- Coordinating email schedules and campaign assets such as graphics and copy.
Possible Email Marketing Job Titles
Can you write engaging, persuasive content that gets a reader to take immediate action?
Direct-response copywriters understand the methodology in getting an audience to take an immediate action when they read through a marketing email – and create the irresistible headline that gets the email opened in the first place.
Salary Range: $40,000 – $85,000
- Persuasive – The powers of persuasion must be strong since email marketing copy is crafted to influence action.
- Insightful – Successful copywriters are extremely familiar with their target audience; they know just what to say to make them tick (and make them click).
- Storyteller – Copywriters excel at using factual pieces to weave a compelling story.
Email Marketing Analyst/Specialist
Responsible for email marketing campaigns from start to finish, analysts (also referred to as specialists in many job titles) do much of the day-to-day coordinating including promotion schedules, campaign planning and implementation, and troubleshooting any roadblocks along the way.
Salary Range: $61,000 – $85,000
- Organized – Email marketers have to be organized because they have to be good at managing multiple campaigns.
- Attention to Detail – A sharp eye when reviewing email content is always appreciated.
- Methodical – Email marketers look at lots of numbers and need to be able to make informed decisions.
No matter what skill set you choose to nurture, there will always be companies looking to fill the gaps in their digital marketing strategies.
RELATED TRAINING: Email Marketing Mastery: Become an Email Marketing Specialist