The Most In-Demand Digital Marketing Skills for 2015

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You’ve heard the impressive statistics: 150,000 digital jobs are predicted by 2020, digital marketing salaries are rising and Ireland’s digital economy will soon be worth £21.1bn. ‘Great,’ you think as you get fired up and ready to embark upon a lucrative digital marketing career. But there’s just one teeny tiny potentially life changing thing – you don’t know what skills you need or how to hone them.

We spoke to a number of leading digital marketing recruiters and asked them this one kind-of crucial-question: what are the digital marketing skills we need this year and beyond? They reveal the most in-demand skills for 2015 and we even unveil some useful tips on how to break into a brand new digital career.

After years of recession, lots of heartbreak and rejection it’s time you take back control of your career and get a little strategic about its direction. A clearer career path and a more secure bank balance awaits…

Your Digital Marketing Career Landscape Defined:

The overall sentiment? There has been a significant increase in demand for both specialist skills and more general digital marketing roles across the board. When asked about the digital marketing jobs landscape, Jane Creaner Glen, Head of Recruitment and HR at the Digital Marketing Institute said, “I would say it is evolving all the time. A lot of companies are still looking for broad digital marketing skills at Manager and Executive level. Although, as the industry matures it is separating out more into specific skills areas, such as Content, SEO/SEM, Analytics and Social Media.”

Today, there appears to be a huge demand for brand management and advertising skills as well as the more technical skills. Below we prepare you for when the digital marketing market matures (and it’s already happening) and reveal the most sensible specialist roles to invest in.

1. SEO Specialist/Inbound Marketer

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) isn’t just about getting your website found anymore. As Google’s search algorithm matures businesses are becoming more aware of the importance of implementing whitehat solutions like content marketing and guest blogging. SEO is certainly not dead – in fact it is growing, changing and evolving at a rapid rate. What’s more? It has been cited as one of the most in-demand skills of the year both amongst our recruiters and by Smart Insights.

Digital marketing managers need to find people who have built up a deep understanding of two core things: 1. The importance of providing value for the customer and building important relationships through inbound marketing practices. 2. The technical elements involved like canonicalisation and XML sitemaps. Oh and I’d add one final (but very important) thing. You’ll need to be genuinely interested in SEO and keeping a close eye on the constantly changing landscape to succeed in this industry.

What the Experts Say:

Anna Wymes, Senior Recruitment Specialist for RightFit.ie said,

“SEO is still as popular as ever and there is a big demand for those with both sets of skills (SEO and PPC).”

Cecilia Desmond, Recruitment Consultant from Morgan McKinley said,

“Inbound marketing specialists require lead generation and content strategy experience, along with a good knowledge of HubSpot and excellent analytical skills”.​

Top Tips to Get Started With An SEO Career:

2. PPC Executive

The demand for Pay Per Click (PPC) specialists is heating up as businesses begin to see the important role PPC plays in bringing targeted traffic to their website. The role of the PPC executive is simple in theory: try and get the company’s website to the highest Google ranking possible. However, with high budgets at stake and more businesses than ever fighting for that coveted number one position, finding the right candidate can prove tricky.

If you’re thinking of getting into PPC you’ll need excellent maths and strategy skills. A firm grasp of both Google Adwords and Google Analytics is absolutely essential to ensure that you can effectively create, optimise and report on results-driven campaigns for your business.Your goal will be to get the most targeted traffic to your company’s website at the lowest cost possible.

What the Experts Say:

Anna Wymes, Senior Recruitment Specialist for RightFit.ie said, 

“PPC experience is still in hot demand by client side and agencies. Many clients on the client side want to bring this in house and have a specialist in house. SEO is still as popular as ever and is in big demand for those with both sets of skills.”

How to Become a PPC Executive:

  • Study for and complete the Google Adwords Exam
  • Study for and complete the Google Analytics Individual Qualification
  • Look out for and watch PPC webinars and live chats.
  • Reach out to PPC influencers online and ask for advice on they made it in their career.
  • Sharpen your Microsoft Excel and additional maths skills that will help set you apart in the interview.
  • Create your own sample PPC strategy for a potential client – you can showcase this at your interview.
  • Read these blogs: PPC Hero, Inside Adwords, Search Engine Watch (PPC section) and PPC Chat.

3. Content Manager

Most in Demand Digital Marketing Skills 2015 - Content Manager | Digital Marketing Institute

With every new Google update announced and every new social media algorithm implemented the importance of content marketing becomes increasingly clearer. The demand for qualified content marketers has surged in the past year as digital marketing managers realize the value of providing valuable content to their customers. Quality content creation feeds into many essential elements of the digital marketing mix, including email marketing, social media and SEO strategy.

Businesses are finding it difficult to find good writers with a firm knowledge of digital marketing. If you are a writer and are interested in becoming a content marketer you will need to spend some time learning and practicing the digital marketing fundamentals. Even more important? You will need to showcase your ability to create and implement an effective content marketing strategy that can help lead generation and increase engagement and brand loyalty.

What the Experts Say:

Cecilia Desmond, Recruitment Consultant from Morgan McKinley has noticed a significant increase in the demand for content marketing specialist roles. She said,

This year we’ve noticed a surge in demand in digital marketing roles that specialize in three distinct areas – content, inbound and direct marketing. While all of these areas compliment each other, we’ve seen an increase in demand for specialists in each area.Key skills for content marketing specialist roles are; SEO, copywriting, CMS knowledge (not just WordPress!) and some basic design skills are essential. Inbound marketing specialists require lead generation and content strategy experience.

Kickstart Your Content Career:

  • Create your own blog to help you showcase your writing and content marketing skills.
  • You can set up your own blog for free on WordPress.
  • Build up an active presence on Twitter and social media, highlighting your interest in and knowledge of content marketing.
  • Identify what you are interested in writing about and guest blog for relevant blogs in your niche area.
  • Read these blogs: Copyblogger, Boost Blog Traffic, Content Marketing Institute and HubSpot.
  • Learn basic PhotoShop skills to increase your hireability.
  • Publish your content on LinkedIn using its publishing platform.
  • Post your content on targeted LinkedIn groups in the hope that decision makers notice your efforts.
  • Build up a clear understanding of SEO and social media marketing and how content marketing fits in.

4. UX Designers & Developers

Demand for technical skills are also at an all time high – for example, today User Experience (UX) designers are highly sought after. User Experience Designers plan and create the look and feel of a website (or mobile application) to meet the demands, needs and desires of a brand’s target audience. Businesses are recognizing the growing importance of this role as consumers continue to demand better products and experiences.

Daily tasks are varied but can involve creating wireframes, conducting user testing, creating surveys, analyzing data and sketching out story-boards. A UX designer is responsible for enhancing customer satisfaction by improving the usability, navigation and ease of a product. They have one goal in mind: improving the user’s path.

What the Experts Say:

Simon Lewis, Co-founder from Only Marketing Jobs said,

The prevalence of mobile applications and responsive websites is unprecedented and, as such, sensitivity around the user experience is through the roof. As a result UX designers and developers are highly sought-after, with freelancers, particularly, commanding significant fees. Expert proficiency within HTML5, CSS and JavaScript is often a prerequisite and many traditional marketers and techy-types are retraining to help derail this digital deficiency. On the flipside, socially-savvy marketers are working to build and protect companies and networks with a prevalence to match the tech guys that built them.

Anna Wymes, Senior Recruitment Specialist for RightFit.ieacknowledged the big demand for web development skills too. She said,

There’s a big demand for .Net Developers and PHP Developers – I cannot find enough of them. Irish companies cannot match the US and global players’ salaries and sometimes lose out on the talent which is a bit of a shame. Workers in tech coming from outside of the EU are making up for this shortfall but often a client doesn’t want to go down the visa/sponsorship route and will say no based on this.

This Video Show You How to Get Started with UX Design:

Want to learn more about how to advance your digital marketing career? Pop along to our Digital Careers Postgraduate Open Eveningon November 26th from 5.30pm. Digital careers coach, Gry Fry will be on hand to discuss the digital skills you need to advance your marketing career in today’s digital landscape. We hope to see you there.

You may also be interested in
5 Awesome Qualities of the Unshakeable Digital Marketer
3 Tips Every Content Writer Should Know – from Content Marketing World 2014
About The Author
Zara Burke

Zara is the Digital Marketing Institute's Digital Marketing Executive. She writes about all things digital marketing, including search, social media, email, mobile and Analytics. Her core passions are content creation and small business strategy.

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