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5 Must Learn Marketing Skills that Will Pay Off Forever

Digital marketing has grown over the decade to become one of the fastest-growing and most powerful tools a marketer can use to promote a business and drive sales plus revenue. According to statistics, digital marketing is projected to grow at an annual rate of 9% between 2020 and 2026.

Other statistics show that 63% of businesses have committed to increasing their digital marketing budgets for 2022.

However, the massive growth rate and budget increases do not indicate that digital marketing is an easy nut to crack. Yes, it is nowhere near rocket science. However, skillful marketers have learned five powerful skills that, despite taking some years and finessing to get right, have transformed their marketing initiatives immensely.

Let’s look at these game-changing yet hard-to-learn marketing skills that will pay off forever.

1. Copywriting

Copywriting is a marketing skill where you curate a piece of content for advertising and other forms of marketing. Copywriting doesn’t cover texts only. Even spoken words used by marketers to persuade a lead to take action or convert come from the skillful hands of a copywriter.

Therefore, you can view copywriting as a call to action, albeit on a bigger scope. The content produced by a copywriter gets people to think, feel, react, or search for a slogan your brand is using and learn more about your brand and the campaign. 

So, how is it different from blogging?

A blog can pack hundreds or thousands of words to send a message that, in some cases, may not necessarily be for marketing purposes. On the other hand, copywriters work with very few words. And that’s for a very good reason.

According to research informed by over two decades of eye tracking, most internet users never read the full content on a webpage. They only skim and skip to the relevant information. A different research showed similar results for blog posts.

Therefore, copywriting involves more than art. It’s science too, which takes some time to perfect.

A copywriter knows how to deliver the information your customers want so they find relevance in your content. This significantly reduces the bounce rate and improves conversion.

Great copywriting typically has six key traits. These are:

1. It tilts the audience’s perspective – Customers tend to block marketing messages immediately after they encounter one. A powerful copy breaks the customer’s guard by offering them a new angle that resonates with their problem or beliefs.

2. It connects with the audience – Great copy connects with real-life issues its audience faces. Such copies are written for a relevant cause, such as mental health or social rights, with an angle that shows the audience that the brand cares about them and their issues.

3. It has a compelling lead sentence – Great copy starts with a headline that compels its audience to read more. And that should be the story down to the entire copy. The current line should be the segue to the next.

4. It has the least words possible – Research shows that the fewer the words a copywriting copy has, the better it will convert. Potential leads get discouraged when they see a big block of text, potentially containing the information they’re looking for. They’ll go for the shorter text first.

5. It is informed by market research – How can you write for an audience you know little about? Established copywriters do extensive research on a business’ clientele and then deliver the kind of content they’ll be compelled to read or hear.

6. It packs less hyperbole and jargon – Potential consumers have very little tolerance for too much jargon and hyperbole. It shows that the business has trouble expressing itself. 

So, how well does copywriting pay off?

There are different ways you can write memorable copy. Depending on the approach you take and the context, there are several massive returns you can enjoy.

For instance, copies with a personalised call to action can have up to 202% better chances of conversion. Adding social proof to your landing page, such as testimonials, can increase the conversion rate by 1% on average. 

2. Analytical Skills

Analytical skills have long been the bread and butter of established marketers long before Google Analytics became one of the best tools you can use to learn about your market and audience. Marketers have for decades used analytical skills to read and interpret data correctly and then provide accurate, actionable steps.

Research shows that analytical skills have become more important in the modern age. Nearly one in four workers have a job that requires proficient analytical skills. But getting good at analysing data takes time to perfect, apart from solving a few Rubik’s Cubes. 

Why do analytical skills in digital marketing matter that much when you have Google Analytics to get all the insight you want?

That boils down to logical thinking, problem-solving, and pattern recognition. Understanding and accurately interpreting insights you get from advanced tools such as Google Analytics still needs matured logical thinking and data analysis.

Analytical skills are typically divided into data analysis, critical thinking, and research.

Critical thinking allows you to question whether the information provided is fact or opinion, break down problems to better understand them, draw conclusions from data instead of using gut feelings, and make intentional, goal-oriented, rational decisions. 

Therefore, marketers with strong analytical skills provide logical arguments and facts to back their choices, which yields smarter decisions that improve the business’ marketing ROI and conversions.

Tools such as Google Analytics are therefore more productive when placed in the hands of a marketer with proficient analytical skills. 

These hard, role-specific, technical skills, such as using statistical software, allows marketers to collect data, analyse it, and present their finding to the business’ senior leadership to empower business decision-making.

Communication is another key skill a marketer must have, coupled with analytical skills. No matter how good you can gather data and draw insights from it, your idea or feedback can be swept under the rug if you cannot articulate yourself well to the team or senior leadership.

Communication skills include verbal, written, body language, active listening, reporting, interpersonal skills, sharing feedback, confidence and clarity of expression, delegating responsibilities, and responsiveness.

3. Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the most powerful marketing tools at a marketer’s disposal. It has been used since time immemorial to pass knowledge down generations. Our brains have evolved to love them and easily extract information from them.

Studies even show that telling a story is the best way to make a piece of information more memorable. Jerome Bruner, a psychologist, discovered that people are 22 times more likely to remember a fact when it’s wrapped in a story.

That is news great enough to make you start turning your marketing campaigns into the great tales of John the Plumber. But are you a great storyteller?

Storytelling is an art and science that can take up to years to perfect, with great rewards. In marketing, experienced marketers use storytelling marketing to wrap their marketing messages in sweet narratives that the potential customer will remember more.

The goal of storytelling marketing is to make the audience feel inspired to act. Consumers understand why they should care about something which humanises your brand and makes it more relatable. 

Storytelling marketing is not limited to film. Stories can be told verbally through podcasts, in pictures, or in written form. Seasoned marketers also explore various channels to tell their marketing and brand stories, such as social media and billboards. 

Storytelling is powerful when dealing with a market that’s easily distracted and cut-throat competitive since it resonates with the audience and sticks.

Disney is an excellent example of a company that built its marketing around storytelling. This 2018 Disneyland Paris ad featuring a duckling is one of their finest storytelling marketing campaigns to date. 

One media outlet remarked that the ad captured the wonder and excitement of the kids waiting eagerly to visit Disneyland Paris.

Guinness has also been applauded for running compelling storytelling marketing campaigns, one of its most memorable being the “Made of more” campaign that promoted inclusivity within rugby. 

4. Funnel Management

Funnel management is a complex marketing subject. It all boils down to the varied definition of a marketing funnel. Every marketer has their definition, which the business’ buyers influence.

The marketing funnel is strongly tied to the behaviour of the target audience. Thus, you get more value from it when you understand your customers and can make informed decisions to better the customer experience as they move through the funnel.

A marketing funnel fundamentally lets you guide your prospect through the customer journey. Using the funnel, the marketing team can plan and measure the efforts put towards attracting the customer, engaging them, and converting them through content and other marketing materials such as ads and landing pages.

Despite the varying structures of marketing funnels, they’re all typically based on the AIDA model, which refers to:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action.

Most marketers simplify this model into three stages. These are:

1. Top of the Funnel (TOFU) – awareness

2. Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) – consideration

3. Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) – conversion.

Given how diverse marketing funnels can be, depending on your target audience, you can rename or add stages like “loyalty” and “advocacy” as long as the funnel functions to attract, engage, and convert leads.

Therefore, marketing funnels serve their purpose when they generate leads. The top of the funnel attracts prospects, and the middle and bottom of the funnel help the marketers measure and track efforts to engage and convert these prospects.

This is different from a conversion funnel which generates sales by capturing the customer journey from awareness to conversion. Depending on the context and business need, a lead may be deemed to have converted if they buy a product, sign up for a newsletter, complete a form, or perform any other micro-conversion.

Learning how to create and optimise marketing funnels takes time. However, the rewards are excellent since you’ll be able to tap into the 96% of visitors to your website who’re not ready to buy anything yet.

5. User Experience

Consumers today are time-starved, savvy, and smart. They want to get what they’re looking for instantly. That makes the user experience the differentiator between a successful digital marketing drive and one that rakes bounce rates as fast as traffic.

User experience dictates how easy it is for a prospect to shop and buy from a business, get information about the product or brand, or get in touch with support. 

Modern marketers cannot afford to overlook the importance of user experience, with studies showing that 55% of brands are employing user experience testing to better their customer’s online experience. Another study shows that 74% of customers will return to a website if its mobile experience is great.

User experience cuts beyond having a mobile-friendly website. Providing a meaningful user experience also stretches to creating and delivering products and services. Customers must find the experience meaningful, simple, and rewarding.

UX combines different principles that take a while to master. These include information architecture, visual design, usability, interaction design, content strategy, and user research.

Most organisations have separate user experience and marketing teams. However, the marketing team’s success heavily relies on the quality of collaboration between the digital marketing team and user experience designers. The user experience designers optimise the campaigns designed by the digital marketing team.

Learning user experience takes time because it’s a research-focused discipline. However, becoming a guru is completely feasible. 

Through research and user experience testing, you can discover and understand your customer’s needs and solve them through a well-designed product and marketing campaign.

A proper user experience will also reduce clutter and confusion in your marketing campaign. Since you know what the consumer wants, you can hit the nail on the head and grab their attention quicker than the competition.

So, how rewarding can a proper user experience be?

Research shows that for every dollar invested in improving user experience, a brand can get $10 to $100 in return.

Get the Help of an Expert to Kickstart Your Marketing

The five mentioned marketing skills take time and experience to master. Start learning them now. However, don’t let your business suffer as you work on your techniques. Contact an expert today and let them use their years of experience to kickstart your marketing and thrive your business.

Over to You…

Do you agree with 5 Must Learn Marketing Skills that Will Pay Off Forever? Or is there something missing, or you would like to add?? Would love to hear from you in the comments – any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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