Open Colleges

What are the most sought-after skills in digital marketing?

by Chloe Baird
Posted: June 23, 2020

  Return to blog home


What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing involves any kind of marketing that is done in an online space. 

Digital marketing covers such channels as social media, blogs, emails, online ads, video content and websites. Search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) also fall under this heading. 

Traditional marketing and print media still have a place in the marketing mix. But the global population of internet uses is growing steadily every single day, and, as of April 2020, that number stood at over 4 billion people.¹

With more and more people spending time online, those working in marketing and advertising need to have a strong understanding of the digital marketing landscape and the skills needed to succeed.

What does a Digital Marketer do?

The role of a Digital Marketer involves managing the marketing channels we mentioned above (social media, websites, emails, etc) to engage audiences, build awareness and generate sales.

But doing all this is much easier said than done. To become an online marketing expert you need an understanding of marketing strategy and how to engage effectively with your target audience to get results.  

Every company, big or small, needs a digital marketing strategy. As you can imagine, a large company will have a complex, multi-faceted digital marketing strategy, and various responsibilities can be spread across multiple marketing specialists. But a smaller company might only need one marketing specialist who can oversee the entire digital marketing strategy. 

If you find yourself working as part of a team for a large organisation, you could focus your skills on a particular aspect of digital marketing – say, as a Social Media Manager or SEO Specialist. If you’re working as a marketing specialist for a smaller company, your skillset will be more generalised.  

What skills do you need for digital marketing?

Check out our list of the top 5 most in-demand skills for Digital Marketers in 2020.

1. Data and analytics

Understanding not just how to read data, but how you can use it to improve your marketing strategy, is a highly important skill to have. Services like Google Analytics allow you to track user information so that you can better understand your audience and their habits. How long do people spend on your website? How many people are clicking through to your site from your ads? Being able to read these statistics and learn from them can be the difference between success and failure for future campaigns. 

2. Content creation and marketing

Content creation covers a wide range of different assets, from videos to blogs. It’s worthwhile understanding the different aspects of content, how it’s created, why it’s effective, and how you can use it as part of your digital strategy. 

Content marketing is how you use this content to engage with your audience. You need to plan what kind of content you need, then produce it, and then distribute it across the appropriate channels. Then, you analyse your data to see what worked, and what didn’t. 

3. SEO and SEM

When you type something into Google, how far down do you usually scroll before you click on a link? According to Junto, 75% of people don’t get past the first page of Google results.² 

That’s why you need to make sure that your digital content is optimised for search engines, so that your webpage is at the top of the list of search engine results. 

Having a solid understanding of SEO and SEM in today’s digital world is an absolute must-have skill for digital marketers. 

4. Customer engagement

Understanding how to effectively connect with your target audience is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. In order to raise your brand’s awareness and turn leads into sales, you need to be able to come up with campaign ideas and strategies that will target your audience in a way that really resonates with them, converting their interest into a sale. 

5. Paid ads on social media

It’s no longer enough just to rely on organic content and get people to hit the ‘like’ button. To be a successful Digital Marketer it pays to have an understanding of the different social platforms and how you can better target your audience through paid ads. You will also need to be able to effectively use these different platforms’ analytics tools to really maximise your return on investment (ROI). 

For example, Facebook Insights is a tool that can provide you in-depth data.

How can I improve my digital marketing skills? 

Given that digital marketing covers such a large area, it can seem a little overwhelming at first if you’re trying to work out just where to start.  

Open Colleges offers the BSB42415 Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication, which has been developed by industry experts to give you the skills and knowledge you need to master digital marketing whether you’re looking to enter the workforce for the first time, switch careers, or upskill.  

The nationally recognised qualification will teach you how to develop a fully integrated digital marketing plan, how to analyse customer data and how to keep ahead of the curve in an ever-changing industry. 

Check out the course page and find out if the Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication is what you need to kickstart your marketing career. 

Source: Statista. ‘Global digital population as of April 2020’.

Source: Junto. ’25 mind-bottling SEO stats for 2020 (+Beyond)’.


Chloe Baird

Chloe is an Open Colleges alumnus who now works full time for OC as a Content and Copywriting Specialist. She is passionate about encouraging others to pursue their goals through education.

Interested in online study?

See what it’s like with our 7 day free course trial.

Find out first-hand what it’s like to study with Open Colleges. Experience our world-class learning platform for yourself and discover how online learning can work for you. There are no obligations and no payment details required.

Start Today

Course areas