Whether you are CMO, a social media marketer or even the owner of a company, having a solid understanding of marketing is not just helpful, it is also essential.
Of course, if you are a CMO there are no excuses to not having a very firm foundation in marketing, but if you are looking to hone in on the skills that are most valuable when it comes to time and cost efficiency, then here is what you need to know:
1. Coding: HTML and CSS
It is crucial to have an understanding of HTML or CSS. You don’t necessarily need to be a programming wizard, but understanding the basics of site design, style and settings is paramount, especially if you want to be able to build up and edit web pages.
There are many marketers out there that get by without coding knowledge, however this is not always as time or as cost effective, particularly for a small business. For any marketer, learning the ins and outs of coding can drastically reduce time, cost and can be much more effective when running a campaign.
Learning CSS and HTML for marketing purposes is also not as tedious as it sounds. There is a great online service called CodeAcademy which has introduction courses that can be completed in just 7 hours.
2. Graphic Software
Learning how to use graphic software like Photoshop, is paramount for any marketer when it comes to creating brochures, infographics, ebooks, logos and more.
As a marketer, having this type of knowledge helps streamline your workflow and allows you to get ahead in your field as well. Understanding graphic software also allows you to better tweak promotional material and is far more cost effective than outsourcing.
The top three graphic software programs used by markers include Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. All these three services have their own unique benefits but learning how to use all of them need not be tedious. There are plenty of free tutorials on YouTube or you can sign up to a premium service like Lynda.com which offers 3-4 hour courses on all of these programs.
3. Video Production
Does your marketing team know how to edit and put together a great video? Having an understanding of the basics of video production, music, editing and programs like FinalCut Pro can definitely help a marketer to stand out from the crowd.
Video content is super effective when it comes to promoting your brand, so having someone in-house that can cut together a clip in a matter of hours is definitely an advantage.
While programs like FinalCut Pro may be rather advanced, most marketers should at least familiarise themselves with the software and learn basic editing tools.
Another popular form of video marketing is creating educational videos with programs like Screencast. This program allows you to take a recording of your screen and your voice in order to create a tutorial. This platform is great for teaching people things online or on the computer.
There are many ways that marketers can use video production to get a message across and the format you choose will of course depend on your business. To start, try learning about these programs through tutorials online or join a course on a platform like Udemy.
4. Data Collection
Aside from having the knowledge to code and use software, another skill that marketers must have is the ability to collect data and analyse it.
The only way to know if a campaign is effective or not is to measure it, and without the ability to track analytics and statistics, there is no way you can ever truly understand if your campaigns are working.
A good marketer should also have a solid understanding of how to present, compare and store data in order to convey to investors and executives on how campaigns are working.
Lynda.com also runs an excellent tutorial on Analytics and how to store and present data. This course is just a few hours and will definitely help any marketer struggling with the quantitive side of things.
A good marketer also needs to be a good writer. It seems obvious, but having a marketer that can produce excellent copy and tell a good story is critical in getting a brand or campaign noticed.
Especially because most marketers are responsible for social media, press releases and more, it is essential that they have an excellent grasp of language.
There are plenty of solid writing courses that are designed exclusively for marketers, these include the Marketing Writing Course on Lynda.Com and the resources on TheCopyBot.
Another good tip in being a good writer is to be a good reader, as the more you read the stronger your own written expression becomes.
6. Time Management
This may seem like an odd one to include, however for a marketer managing time is probably one of the most valuable skills of them all. Often there are multiple campaigns and projects running at the same time and to stay on track of it all and meet deadlines is crucial.
On top of that, most marketers have to ensure that social media posts are scheduled, that emails are sent out at the right time and that SEO is upto date and current with recent trends.
The best way for a marketer to manage all of this, especially if they are working solo is to adopt scheduling tools like Hootsuite and to keep things organised using programs like Evernote.
Of course, the educational road for a marketer is never ending. There are always things to learn, new technologies to master and more brownie points to be scored, but if you are really serious about your marketing career, these 6 skills are a great place to start.
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