Career Advice

Essential Digital Marketing Skills: Capabilities to Focus on as a Digital Marketing Professional

Digital marketing is a wide-scope industry; even the best marketers find it tough to differentiate themselves from other applicants or augment their resumes with the skills and capabilities recruiters are looking for now. Let's look at the skills to prioritize to ensure you excel.

By DMJ Team

Digital marketers learn new skills primarily to enhance their resumes or supplement the know-how they already have to appeal to high-caliber recruiters, agencies, and companies, who often have specific requirements.

A lot may depend on the types of businesses you want to work for since companies looking for strong content marketing skills may be less interested in technical SEO expertise and vice versa. However, if you can capture interest with a niche resume, perhaps focusing on data analytics or UX design, you’ll open up a world of opportunity.

In this guide, we’ve collated skills and nice-to-haves from hundreds of digital marketing vacancies and top-level recruiters and agencies to give you a snapshot of the types of skills that most are looking for – helping you pick and choose the areas well worth concentrating your time on to advance your career to the next level.

Modern Digital Marketing Niches and Specialty Areas

We’ll get started by looking at types of digital marketing that often place close to the top of businesses’ requirements since they want digital marketers who are ready to get started with campaigns, promotions, and content management from day one.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is an important part of the digital marketing mix, and businesses appreciate that simply curating content or scheduling a regular stream of posts isn’t enough to attract attention or develop the audience numbers and engagement they need to improve market share.

Digital marketers with creative social media marketing skills and abilities often stand out, whether you have a proven track record in this particular space or can reconfigure existing campaigns to suit a specific social media platform and audience.

The trick is to ensure you have either quantifiable skills, such as a certification or qualification, or add campaigns to your portfolio demonstrating your social media knowledge and how you can target, design, and implement campaigns that generate excitement and interest from precise audience demographics.

Video-Based Marketing

Video marketing has become the highest-traction form of content used in digital marketing campaigns – and the prevalence of social media usage isn’t a small factor. Marketers who know how to create, edit, and format videos for each high-footfall platform are in demand, with 93% of businesses using video as a core part of their marketing strategies.

Studying video creation, editing software and applications, and showing how you can use those skills in a real-world marketing campaign is an advantage, especially if you can create case studies or examples of previous campaigns with statistics about performance across the major channels.

Spending some time working through free or paid-for courses to learn apps like CapCut, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Camtasia is well worth it if you’d like to demonstrate your capabilities within video editing for social media, with illustrations of how you’d adapt a campaign video for platforms like TikTok and YouTube.

General Content Marketing

Our next areas to consider are ways to enhance your content marketing skills – something many hirers look for in digital marketing candidates at all levels.

Content marketing is a long-standing part of digital marketing, with businesses and agencies looking for ways to adapt content to varied mediums and channels, combine sharp copywriting with immersive graphics or videos, and develop content that resonates with their target viewer.

Learning how to create multi-channel content, such as written, visual, video, and interactive content, will give you the agility to apply those skills to any digital marketing job, combining SEO optimization and great content editing to ensure the campaigns you produce, or monitor have maximum impact.

Email Marketing

While many digital marketers assume that email marketing is less relevant in an environment dominated by social media and online search, it remains a useful tool, particularly for businesses who communicate directly with subscribed viewers, promote services via email, or deal with B2B buyers and procurement teams.

Advanced email marketing strategies using software like Marketo or MailChimp can generate quantifiable results, working alongside digital and social media campaigns to double down on messages or ensure every potential buyer receives information about a new promotion or product launch.

Learning how to nurture sign-up lists, customize content to the reader, and feature campaigns within a non-sales-focused email circulation is a great skill to add to your resume.

Digital marketing team analyzing data on a laptop, focusing on essential skills such as SEO, content creation, and social media strategy in a modern office environment

Search Engine Focused Digital Marketing Skills

There’s little doubt that search engine rankings and visibility have never been so crucial to brand awareness and fostering trust and loyalty from audiences with a vast amount of choice—who often see millions of results for every search inquiry they run.

SEO and Search Marketing

Almost every digital marketer will have a baseline knowledge of SEO and why this is fundamental to any content they publish, on any channel, and for any length of time. Demonstrating your SEO skills can make a huge difference to your career prospects, whether you study the more technical sides of back-end SEO management or have learned the ins and outs of SEO performance metrics and campaign tracking.

It’s also a great idea to emphasize your current knowledge. Recruiters often look for digital marketers who can reconfigure or restructure older online content or campaigns to meet evolving algorithm ranking indicators or standards.

Digital Marketing Data Analytics

Data is incredibly valuable, and if you have a certified or proven ability to monitor campaigns, extract meaningful data, and transform that data into clear information that managers and business owners can use within their decision-making, you’ll be a step ahead.

Most businesses lack the capacity to extract value from data or don’t know how to analyze and compare data points to determine the messaging they show—something you, as a digital marketer, can bring to the table to offer a real competitive advantage.

Learning every element of Google Analytics is a good starting point, as is enrolling in courses or educational programs with alternative data management platforms.

Creative and Technological Digital Marketing Skills

Modern businesses appreciate the key role digital marketing plays and often prioritize candidates for digital marketing roles who can add something special to their marketing team or expand the quality and creativity they currently use in their campaigns.

UX Design Abilities

Positive user experiences are vital to businesses competing on the digital stage. Companies are making ever more concerted attempts to personalize and customize content to ensure users and visitors perceive them as a trustworthy, credible, and desirable brand they enjoy buying from.

Digital marketers usually focus either on technical or creative skills, both carrying equal weight. If you have a qualification in digital design or can show how you’ve used knowledge of UX to create content that delivers results, you’ll be a great candidate for any role you’re considering.

Likewise, many digital marketing agencies will pay a premium for marketing specialists with a great track record who can provide input and guidance when ensuring content, landing pages, or campaigns have the digital entertainment factor to keep an audience engaged and responsive.

Up-to-date Technological Know-How

Knowing how algorithms, indexing, and web crawlers work is one thing; having complete knowledge of the latest algorithm updates and policies is another. Marketing technology, often abbreviated to MarTech, encompasses a wide range of software, tech, and platforms digital marketers use to implement automation, faster data extraction, and better returns.

Digital marketers transitioning from more conventional marketing specialisms, such as PR or print marketing, are well advised to spend a little time educating themselves about the latest and most used MarTech tools since this can play a big part in improving their appeal to prospective employers.

It’s also a great idea to learn about the controversies and opportunities AI-enabled tools offer and how data privacy protection legislation affects digital content and communications.

Soft Skills and Personal Qualities Digital Marketing Recruiters Look For

Finally, although most digital marketers are more than willing to invest time and money in training courses, online programs, and learning about digital platforms and technological skills, it’s also essential that you pay similar attention to your personal skills and the characteristics that will make you stand out as a great marketing professional.

Showcasing Influence and Credibility

Brilliant marketers aren’t only great at interpreting data, putting campaigns together, or trialing new formats and content types – they’re also good leaders. They can work in partnership with customer service and sales teams to solve problems and develop innovative campaign ideas that differ from the norm.

Recruiters regularly look for digital marketers with proven managerial or leadership abilities who have the personal character to listen to suggestions, create an atmosphere of inclusion and idea-sharing, and concisely present a proposal that others are likely to agree with.

Offering Sector-Specific Skills

Whether you’re considering applying for a general digital marketing role, want to work for a specific employer, or prefer to offer freelance digital marketing services with a particular business area, finding a niche you love and are an expert within is a solid strategy.

Digital marketers tend to be naturally versatile and strategic in their approach. Still, if you can go the extra mile to learn all there is to know about a targeted sector or business space and grasp the challenges, opportunities, trends, and changes impacting that sector, you’ll be in a superb position to put your resume forward as a strong candidate.

Fine-Tuning Your Digital Marketing Resume to Meet Demand

The skills and capabilities we’ve highlighted here are some of those that are most sought after by digital marketing recruiters, but ultimately, it’s up to you whether you have a particularly good skill set in one area or another or want to focus your time on a specialism such as data analytics or social media campaign management.

Reviewing the hundreds of vacancies published through the Digital Marketing Jobs is a great place to start, or you can upload your resume today and showcase your abilities as a digital marketing professional to countless recruiters and agencies.

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