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Why digital marketing skills are essential today

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As a small business owner and freelance blogger, digital marketing skills are crucial for me to be successful.  They are also more important than ever for most industries to be able to survive in an online world and ever increasing technology era.  Luckily basic skills can be self-taught in many instances thanks to the internet, but for a speedier and more comprehensive understanding then digital marketing courses are easy to access.  Such skills can be applied to a wide range of industries so are somewhat universal.  Perhaps taking a course and gaining a recognisable qualification could be the first step to a brand new exciting career!

Everything that happens nowadays pretty much happens online.  From clothes to groceries shopping, booking holidays and travel arrangement such as flights and car hire, watching TV, buying movies and music, we’re moving online for everything.  We can even arrange quotes for services online, hire builders, have a counselling session or visit a doctor.  The possibilities online, it would seem, are endless.  It’s no wonder we’re referred to as the digital age.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small business owner, freelance blogger, want to run a B&B, work for someone else or are the CEO of a ginormous company; all these positions require some digital marketing knowledge in order to run a thriving business or be a successful employee.  Digital marketing­ is taking over traditional advertising so everyone needs to be on-board and learn some skills.

Here are some of the reasons digital marketing skills are essential today:

To build relationships

Even email is digital and there’s a way to go about it.  Using first names, unless a conversation is free flowing, properly signing off the email, being professional and polite is a must.  Many relationships with clients and business to business are now built digitally without ever meeting face to face or even knowing what the other person may look like.  It’s still as important as ever to communicate well, show your professionalism and personality if appropriate to build long lasting business beneficial relationships.  The most basic skill anyone should master is how to send an email effectively.

To satisfy customer needs

Customers are online and they expect you to be.  In this instant digital age people are more impatient than ever and expect fast responses.  Gone are the days of customer’s handwriting a letter of complaint and waiting for a response.  Nowadays they will be voicing their concerns instantly and publically on social media and they’ll expect you to respond sharpish.  You’ll need skills in setting up and maintaining social profiles to satisfy modern customer requirements with a digital customer service team or yourself if it’s a sole business.

To build a good reputation

Online reviews are everywhere and for a good reason.  We want to spend our money well and this means getting a quality product as well as the most affordable.  Online reviews and testimonials provide a reassurance to customers as well as an opportunity to promote your brand.  Let the reviews speak for themselves.  Integrate some review software into your website or use Trustpilot or similar to prove your standing.

To exist

If you’re not online then you probably don’t exist to most people.  Gone are the days of Yellow Pages (even though they are still posted through the door) for the vast majority of folk.  Online searches it is.  If you’re not online and marketing to the general public or your target audience, then you may as well not exist.  Town centres have slowly been dying out and online shopping is booming.  People prefer the convenience of ecommerce and you should be taking advantage of that.  Getting online and learning to market digitally is a must.

To be found

Learning digital SEO skills, even basic ones, will set you on the right path to be found on Google.  There are 1.3 billion websites on the internet today so you need to stand out from the crowd.  And that crowd is pretty big!  Your website is like a tiny needle in a ginormous haystack and it needs to be set up so it’s found.  A digital content marketing strategy will ensure you have fresh relevant content that your readers love and are optimised for online searches.  Working with a web design agency is a great way to get the most out of your online presence and digital marketing activities.

To stay in the loop

You’ll also want to be a bit digitally savvy to stay in the know and to understand what’s trending in your niche.  Continuous learning is required as new tools and platforms are released and digital marketing evolves.  This era certainly isn’t staying still and what worked last year may not work next year.  To keep up to date you’ll want to be researching your niche online, networking with other likeminded businesses and following consumer trends.