TOP SKILLS SOUGHT IN DIGITAL MARKETING COURSES: INBOUND & ANALYTICS
Feb 08, 2017
Experts predict a shortage of 1.5 million marketing managers with analytics skills by 2018
Over the last few years, digital marketers have learned two very important lessons:
1) Conventional, interruptive advertising (like pop-ups or impersonal emails) doesn’t work anymore. Audiences want to engage with brands through meaningful, story-telling content instead; and
2) Collecting and analyzing data on the effectiveness of marketing activities is absolutely crucial. Without measurement tools (and the ability to interpret results) we’re operating in the dark—and can’t report on ROI or set realistic goals for growth.
And so we’ve seen obtrusive advertising give way to the immensely popular inbound/content marketing. Likewise, analytics has moved centre stage as marketers pursue more scientific means of tracking their efforts online.
Recent research from Smart Insights confirms this shift in priorities. They asked business owners and marketing professionals to “select one marketing activity that you think will give your business the biggest incremental uplift in leads and sales in 2017.” Content marketing and data analysis came in very firmly at the top of the list.
So it’s no coincidence that skills related to these techniques are highly sought-after by marketers. Analytics and inbound strategy are often the focus of digital marketing training for people hoping to break into—and advance within—this competitive field.
HOW DIGITAL MARKETING COURSES TEACH THE ELEMENTS OF INBOUND
Marketo offers a helpful definition of inbound marketing, which highlights the many elements marketers must subtly weave together when leveraging this approach:
“Inbound marketing is a strategy that utilizes many forms of pull marketing – content marketing, blogs, events, SEO, social media and more – to create brand awareness and attract new business.”
The emphasis is on producing and promoting high quality, personalized, search-engine optimized content. This is what ultimately “pulls” audiences toward your brand, rather than attempting to “push” them there with generic (and annoying) adverts.
While digital marketing courses may not explicitly say they teach “inbound”, they usually include its essential elements, such as:
- planning and implementing targeted social media campaigns
- developing creative content to engage audiences across various social channels (and understanding the distinct characteristics of those channels)
- how to naturally attract and grow audiences online with blogging, polls, contests, and other interactive content
- the fundamentals of keyword analysis and integration (SEO)
- understanding a wide range of metrics to measure audience engagement, reach, impressions, organic website traffic, etc. (such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics)
Inbound marketing requires a diverse collection of skills that include creative writing, audience research, data analysis, knowledge of social media legal regulations, on -and off-page SEO, and more. Because of their proven effectiveness and growing relevance, marketing professionals from all sectors will seek out training in these competencies during and beyond 2017.
COLLECTING AND INTERPRETING DATA IN DIGITAL MARKETING
Now that marketers have the means of collecting massive amounts of data on audience behaviors and preferences, we’ve turned our attention to the mammoth task of understanding it all—and transforming our insights into better performing strategies.
Many a marketer has launched an exciting and creative new campaign, only to find themselves stumped when higher-ups ask detailed questions, like: “Exactly how many new leads or sales resulted from this campaign?” and “What was our return on investment (ROI) for this campaign, and how does it compare to the last initiative we deployed?”
Unfortunately, marketers have a well known antipathy toward numbers, graphs, and data points. The creative strategist who also loves analytics is indeed a rare gem! And that’s precisely why the ability to configure metrics and interpret data are such highly-prized skills—and identified as the biggest “talent gap” among digital marketing professionals today.
This graphic from Intelligent HQ shows what marketing executives want most in new employees, but can’t seem to get, with analytics at the top of the wish list.
Inbound marketing powerhouse, Hubspot, also ranks analytics as the number one marketing skill for 2017. They cite research that predicts a shortage of 1.5 million managers with analytics skills by 2018. This industry is desperately short of professionals who know how to wrangle data and turn it into business gains.
Which digital marketing skills are at the top of your wish list this year? Looking for reliable digital marketing certification to improve your career prospects, or break into the field?
Take a look at the Social Media and Digital Marketing Certificate offered by Kompass Professional Development. This 12-week program is delivered entirely online, with full instructor support, and plenty of collaboration with classmates.
Visit the program page to view a complete list of included courses, entry requirements, and to chat live with a knowledgeable advisor. For a limited time, the first course of the certificate (Social Media Fundamentals) is FREE for enrolled students! That’s a $499 savings off the total cost of tuition. Reserve your place in class now before this special promotion expires.
Tags: digital marketing certification
, digital marketing courses
, Digital Marketing Training