Top 5 Essential Character Traits You Need to Thrive as a Digital Marketer (No, it’s not communication)
When it comes to digital marketing, learning all the technical skills has become extremely easy and cost effective. Some of them are even free!
Google gives you free access to Academy for Ads to learn everything you need to learn about ads. You also get the certification for free.
For SEO, Moz has a free guide. Facebook Blueprint gives you all the information to set up your Facebook campaigns effectively, with case studies.
You can learn it all without giving a penny. And everybody is doing it right now!
What is not most often taught is, what personality traits you need to become the best digital marketer for any company…
Yes, as for like all other occupations out there, digital marketing also requires soft skills.
And no, I’m not going to say that “Effective Communication” is what is required.
For being successful in digital marketing career and to climb the corporate ladder faster, there are much more advanced soft skills you need to develop.
Let’s have a look at those one by one…
Ability to Learn and Adapt Quickly
When Instagram came out, it disrupted kodak camera industry!
With the rise of Uber and Ola car pooling services, they are now threatening the local taxi drivers!
What can you learn from these examples..?
Internet is constantly changing. And digital marketing as a discipline evolves very fast and very quickly!
Only a decade ago, stuffing keywords in your title of a 500 words post was enough to rank on the first page of Google. Now that is not the case.
Facebook was king of organic post reach in 2012. What is happening now?
Similarly, there are always new technologies coming out and new apps replacing the old ones who refused to adapt to the market.
To become a fantastic digital marketer, you need to always keep yourself relevant in the industry. And for that, you need to learn and become aware of all the changes happening around the internet.
You need to have the interest, passion and hunger to know more of what is happening and what are the new trends in marketing techniques, tools and methods.
Joining industry leading newsletters, watching Gary Vee and Neil Patel talk about digital marketing 2020 trends, will help you for that.
But you need to go a little further and make sure that you test those new techniques and methods. And if they work, you change your strategy based on them and if they don’t work, you pivot immediately and start looking for a better technique.
Listen… Many businesses have died when the Internet came out, don’t you surrender your career to the same fate.
Develop the ability to learn and adapt quickly!
How many of us optimize our website once… And then just forget about everything.
Or tell me, how many of you know your CAC and LTV..?
“Big Data” didn’t just become the ultimate vertical of Internet. Actually, that’s what Internet is all about.
And if you go to your customer and convince him that “Online marketing is very measurable” and you come to the office and don’t login to your Google Analytics, you’re doing a disservice to your career!
Now, you may say, Big Data and Analytics is a tech skill, and not a soft skill!
And that is true..!
But then you should also be able to interpret these analytics.
And then take decisions about going forward or making some tweaks to the campaign, based on the data you have.
Data you collect is only cold, emotionless figures and numbers. Putting the logic behind all of that data, and interpreting it from a human emotional stand point, is where your analytical skill comes to use.
Go back to your last campaign and look at the spend. Did you decide what daily budget you’re going to set based on your LTV and CAC..?
If not, you need to work on your analytical skills.
Many of the industry experts today, talk about specialization.
But when you go to work for a company, you understand that it’s unlikely that you’ll work on a single channel and ignore the rest!
To truly excel in digital marketing career, you must have the understanding of all the channels and ability to work across them all at the same time.
And that’s not enough, you also need to have an understanding of design and have some basic photoshop skills too.
Especially, when you are working for small enterprises, you need to wear many hats as a marketer.
You need to design the artwork for that Facebook campaign, and set up the audience, and make a dedicated landing page for the campaign, and set up the tracking code in the button, and also need to take into account the Instagram’s image sizes…
You got my point on Multitasking!
And this point further develops into prioritization also.
You need to prioritize the tasks which will positively affect your KPIs and then do them first.
Because you’ll be judged on the value you bring to the client, not only how beautifully you design the artwork.
So be ready to multitask in digital marketing and learn to prioritize the most important duties first.
I see many of the digital marketers putting out motivational quotes on social accounts and stuffing many hashtags related to their industry.
Do you think this content strategy is going to build you mass followers..?
Online competition is fierce today. Just sending any message or sharing a stock image isn’t enough to differentiate your brand from its competitors.
It’s important to engage your potential customers via creative copy and images that are already a part of their lives and which you can also connect to your brand or company.
Because creativity doesn’t mean re-inventing the wheel every time. You can position your marketing campaign in a different angle.
Partnering with Indian Premier League in India can result in a huge boost. And when you mix cricket lingo – which is very near and dear to Indian population – with your brand’s work, you can expect to stack up your sales figures pretty fast!
Here Swiggy uses “Delivery” word, which is quite famous in cricket commentary, and gives it a different spin to emphasize on their unique food delivery system.
Now that is creativity without re-inventing the wheel!
Ability to fail and experiment
This should have been the 2nd point right after the adapt quickly point. But I needed more space to rant so I took it last.
Don’t give up if you fail!
Your first campaign is not going to be successful right out the gate!
Remember that any form of marketing is about experimentation and not everything you try will work for the first time.
But you cannot also post inspirational quotes everyday and hope to build a following.
You need to try different campaigns, post styles, colors and CTAs, over a host of different channels to know what is working and what is not.
You need to dare to tap into many emotions of your potential consumers and see which one gets you more engagement and click-through rates!
You need constant A/B testing, split testing to find the right mix of marketing techniques for your particular brand. And it will take time, but until then you have to be willing to experiment and fail.
Like everything in life, you’ll only succeed as a digital marketer when you’ll not be afraid of failing.
Everyone likes to give the example of a baby learning to walk. You are an adult now, and you can walk and run too.
So do not stop if Facebook puts your post against Community Guidelines. Go in notification, request it for a review again or create a better post and upload it again.
This also means, don’t just do exactly what your boss says.
If you want to be in his position one day, go beyond your instructions and don’t be afraid to tweak a little things in your campaign. Either you’ll fail and learn what not do or you’ll over-deliver!
And about not being afraid of failure, do you know that while running contest on Facebook, it’s against the rules to ask the participants to “tag other people and share the post with as many people as they can”..?
Yes, no kidding, it is against the Facebook rules.
But still a lot of people do it, because it helps them reach more audience.
What crazy idea about a marketing campaign you have which you are afraid of experimenting?
This article is part of my upcoming series “Become a Digital Marketer – Career Path for Promising Digital Marketing Career”. Stay tuned for new articles in the series. Read the previous article on “What Trait Companies Want in Digital Marketing Manager? Become a T-Shaped Digital Marketer – The Learning Path”.