The Most Powerful Digital Marketing Skills

The Most Powerful Digital Marketing Skills

The Most Powerful Digital Marketing Skills

Digital marketing is a rapidly changing field. It is a powerful combination of marketing and information technology that comes together seamlessly to deliver for businesses and brands everywhere.

There are a lot of skills digital marketing professionals are required to have these days. Any digital marketing agency will have lots of different experts in their team to deliver projects for their clients. At Web Worx Labs – we know how different experts need to come together to deliver beautiful products – be it social media posts, google ad copy, reporting/analytics, web design, development project or video editing.

Digital Marketing Skills Needed Today

Here is a breakdown of some of the different types of digital marketing skills that are a necessity in the field:

  1. Branding
  2. Web development
  3. Web Design
  4. Marketing Manager
  5. UX/UI Design
  6. Graphic Designer
  7. Copywriter
  8. Social Media Management
  9. Social Media Design
  10. Search Engine Optimization
  11. Pay Per Click Expert
  12. Content writer
  13. Copywriter
  14. Video Editing
  15. Video Shooting

HubSpot has a great blog that gets into the nitty-gritty of what, who and how is digital marketing practiced. Here is a link to their blog.

In our agency, we know that these diverse skills are required to deliver full-stack solutions. We have in-house expertise for most of these solutions and our team members come together to deliver for our clients.

And trust us – to deliver outstanding projects, you need specialists in the areas mentioned above.

That is why there are so many niches out there. Many companies either focus on back-end IT development, while others focus on Social Media Management and while others are solely SEO practitioners since these are distinct expertise on their own that provides a solution to one aspect of digital marketing.

Digital Marketing Skills Needed Today Graphic

Among all of this expertise, there is one skill and one skill from our point of view that trumps it all. Can you guess what that skill is?

The skill is writing.

Yes, you can say it is content writing or copywriting – but it’s essentially writing. This simple and fundamental skill that was powerful in the 17th century when running print ads (an example will be shown later) is still the most relevant one today.

Why is writing the most sought-after and needed skill in digital marketing?

It is simple – because it’s the one skill that connects every other digital marketing solution.

Why Content Writing Is The Number One Skill In Digital Marketing?

By content writing, we do not only mean writing blogs – we mean writing for ads, copy, email, web copy and anything in between (and yes it also covers blogs).

To us, a content writer and copywriting are almost interwoven disciplines. A good copywriter is a writer that can write blogs, ads or web copy.

One can argue that even in copywriting, there are areas of specialty. A copywriter can specialize in ads vs. another who is better at writing blogs while another can have their primary focus on writing social media copy.

A copy or content writer can have a preference – but intrinsically they are writers. Rules of engagement are slightly different, but the skills are very transferable.

Content is King

Ever heard of the saying – “Content is king”?

That phrase was written way back in 1996 by a famous entrepreneur named Bill Gates – the founder of Microsoft. He may not have coined the term as there is a debate that it pre-dates him, but he made it famous with his essay.

He wrote an essay on the subject and in it he emphasized that content will dominate the internet the same way it did in broadcasting.

His prediction has turned out to be right and will continue to be right in the foreseeable future.

Even Google – one of the biggest companies in the digital marketing industry and the biggest referral network relies on content to do its job. It ranks and answers millions of queries a day by scanning billions of sites with its sophisticated algorithm that scans the content on the sites to provide users the answers they need. All in milliseconds.

So yes, content drives the internet and digital marketing is marketing using the internet. Hence, content marketing is essentially digital marketing.

Related: Up for a technical read? Get to know a lot of the Technical Google Updates and why they happen.

Content is the Glue That Binds Every Other Skill

The great thing about content writing is that it is needed for every other digital marketing skill.

Does a web developer need content for his or her website? You bet! No matter how fast the website loads – she or he will not be able to do anything with it unless the content on the pages connects with the audience.

It is the fundamental marketing skill that is needed in every solution, skill or service to complete its delivery.

Let’s break down other digital marketing skills that need content writing to deliver their products:

  • Search Engine Optimization – It’s a fundamental requirement. White hat SEO is about content creation, website optimization, on-page, meta tags, descriptions, and outreach.
    • For all of those activities, we need great writing
    • Reporting & Analytics also requires a writer who can articulate the work performed
  • UX/UI Designer.
  • For any web design, the content drives the design.
    • Words are used as a direction to help guide the designer to create the WOW factor web experience begins with great writing initially

Web Developer – we already mentioned it earlier 😊

  • Pay Per Click Specialist. Copywriting for PPC has been an age-old industry and professional since the direct mail days.
  • Social Media Management. Whether it’s designing the posts or writing the caption, it starts with writing the content out for the design and then having to design them.
    • Then you create the caption and call to action.
  • Email marketing. This is more obvious. Writing great emails comes from well – great writing.
  • Videography.

Everything from writing a great screenplay or script to editing and video call outs requires content to makes it all come together

Related: Read our blog on what is email marketing & how does it work.

Now it could be argued that many of the web designs, for example, can be mediocre at copywriting to get by and make up for it with their other skills. However, to go after the market and stand out, your copy and content writing is what will need to be consistent to beat out the competition.

Whether it’s through writing blogs, or running podcasts, hosting seminars or writing amazing copy – to market your business, you will need great writing. Period.

And that is the main point here. Once the website is developed and hosted – people will not show up to it. It will need to speak to people, it will need to be marketed. Content and great writing will be needed to drive traffic.

To showcase thought leadership in digital marketing – it begins with great words first getting organized to get the right message across to the right audience.

Great Writers Are Strategist & Marketers

To be a great writer, you have to understand your subject and your audience well. To entertain, engage and keep the reader turning the page or read the whole blog or finish the website copy, you need to understand your customer or reader at a deeper more psychological level.

This means that you are already getting into the mind of the audience and thinking like a marketer.

Does a web copy or ad copywriter know who they need to speak to? How about a great blogger?

To execute and come up with a plan to get great ideas, thought leadership or the target customer engagement is required to achieve the goals (whether it’s clicking on an ad or signing up for conversion) and this also requires a solid plan.

The development of the plan at this point means you think critically, look at the numbers and come up with a plan to achieve. This is, in a nutshell, is in fact strategy development. You need to think critically and write content that attracts, engages and converts.

The simple fact is that writing is the oldest marketing skill out there. It was true in the days of marketing in classifieds or newspaper ads published in the 17th century and it is true in today’s digital marketing age.

The copy used in the advertisement in the ca the 1740s

Source: V&A Collections UK

Related: Our Blog – Marketing Fundamentals 101

Closing Thoughts

If you are in the market for an ad agency or a digital marketing firm, ask them if they have copywriters or content writers? Who writes blogs for their SEO campaigns? Who writes the copy for the ads?

Or if you are a digital marketing professional that is not a natural writer, then we recommend take the time and brush up on your writing skills or partner with a professional writer to help create complete digital marketing solutions.

Writing captivating copy, engaging blogs, and awesome emails will only help in marketing digitally.

Now, we turn it over to you.

Do you agree with this assessment?

Do you feel that there is any other skill that is more important in digital marketing that is as important as writing?

Reach out or drop a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

7 Steps to Developing a Powerful Brand Positioning Statement

7 Steps to Developing a Powerful Brand Positioning Statement

7 Steps to Developing a Powerful Brand Positioning Statement

 

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Image Source: Marketing91

‘Nobody buys a product or service because it can do everything, but rather because it can do something’ – Tim Williams’ Positioning for Professionals’

Why no one will ever say ‘Yahoo it’ or ‘Bing it,’ but always ‘Google it’?

Why don’t kids want to go to a ‘fast food restaurant,’ but to a McDonald’s?

Does no one care about Pepsi despite hundreds of taste-tests proving that it tastes better than Cola?

You can read more about these taste tests from Pepsi here.

How did these brands, often not delivering the best quality in their segment, become a synonym of the product or service they provide?

In this post, we talk about how businesses use brand positioning to define their place in the marketplace.

This goes back to a core marketing concept of brand positioning.

Image Source: Outside-The-Box

Brand Positioning

Initially, and at first glance, people consider brand positioning as a form of product differentiation.

However, there are two key positioning concepts that businesses must consider; company positioning (image) and positioning within a consumers’ mind.

This blog is more specifically about the latter strategy for brands to employ when developing their marketing strategy.

A marketing strategy that suggests finding something that differentiates your product/service.

It especially differentiates from your competitors and uses that something to embed your brand in a particular place of your costumer’s mind.

So, where your product sits in terms of value offered vs. the competitors in the market.

As easy as that sounds, unfortunately, mind control has not yet been invented.

Even if it was, it would probably be illegal (we certainly hope so).

You can control your brand’s place in the market, but not in your customer’s mind.

Thus, brand positioning can only aim to fill in a certain spot, to occupy a unique, clear, and beneficial position in the costumer’s minds.

In our digital age, where the internet is in everyone’s pocket, brand positions are established very early on.

We talk about first impressions and why a need to take advantage of having a robust web presence in our earlier blog Reasons for a Website in Today’s World.

One of the most influential marketing thinkers, David Ogilvy, said that:

While many people argue on the definition of brand positioning, it can be summarized as to what a product does and who it is for.

Brand Positioning is not only different from your brand’s tagline or mission statement; this determines them.

It begins the moment someone is introduced to your brand.

This is an ongoing relationship that develops with every touchpoint, such as advertising, customer interactions, and product/service usage.

That is why it is critical that your business spends a sufficient amount of time in creating a positioning strategy and the most important part of it – a brand positioning statement.

In Crossing the Chasm (a must-read book for small business or early start-ups), Geoffrey outlined the essential elements of creating a brand positioning statement.

He proposes to outline the target customer and their need.

How and why your product/service will benefit the said customer and need, then to put your advantage against a competitive alternative.

To better understand how to define your target customer – go to our earlier blog post on the fundamentals of marketing.

It is questionable, whether opposing a competitor is necessary for creating your positioning statement as it is better to grow the market, rather than concentrate on competition.

Winners win, and competitors battle for the second place.

Image Source: Ts-Advertising

7 Step to Developing a Brand Position Statement

Source: Feedough

The below steps are after that your brand has been or out in the marketplace.

If you are an existing brand, you understand that marketing strategy is the way to serve your customer’s needs effectively.

Thus, researching and reassessing your brand positioning is essential for commercial success.

This is how we recommend you go about doing it:

Identify your current category.

For example, to separate your energy drink from other soft drinks, start with the customer.

Who are they, why they like your product, what do they do with it, and why do they buy it?

Determine your current positioning in the market

Even if positioning has not been purposefully established, or done incorrectly, customers will still have perceptions of your brand.

To understand current positioning, talk to the customers, read the reviews, or monitor social media.

Select and narrow down your key competitors to compare your brand against

Think about not only your direct competition but indirect competition.

If customers are not going to buy your product or service, what else could they buy, which will fulfill their needs?

Going back to the soft-drink example, If they do not buy your soft-drink, could they get the same utility out of bottled water?

Try your best to assess your key competitor’s positioning in the market.

What is special about your competition’s brand, and how can they win your clients over?

What are they offering that you are not?

Note here that you shouldn’t aim to replicate them, just be aware of what they are doing.

Now do the analysis and review (your brand vs. your competitors)

Compare your and your competitor’s positioning.

To do this, think about Points of parity (POPs) and points of differentiation (PODs).

POPs are how what you are offering is similar to the competitor’s offerings, with PODs being the opposite, how your product is different.

You can read more about a great summary put together by the Segmentation Study Guide.

In your review, take time also to identify your uniqueness and strengths.

Coming from the previous point.

Your PODs will be the ones written below;

  • Identifying your strengths.
  • Taking advantage of strength in your messaging.
  • Copywriting.
  • Brand communication.
  • Develop a new positioning statement and strategy.

Building on everything you learned from your research, develop a positioning statement that will reflect your desired brand positioning.

Reflecting on your marketing plan, create a new brand strategy that will bring you to your goal market positioning.

Does Not Matter When the Brand Enters the Market

Although the previous points are relevant to you, if you are just entering the market with a new brand/product, you have the opportunity to create a new category in the customers’ minds.

You can enter an existing market and take it by storm, avoiding the mistakes of your predecessors.

Although finding a market gap and creating a new category is not easy, first-mover advantage gives you a lot of benefits.

Some of them are having few opponents, low cost for customer acquisition, you are hard to catch up with, and whatever comes next is compared with you.

And even competitors that enter the market broaden and maturing it, bringing more customers and higher revenue.

Remember that a new market category is not the same as creating a solely new product.

Let’s take an example of Red Bull – many soft drink companies (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Lucozade (UK)) marketed themselves as awakening or energy-boosting.

Still, none of them created ‘energy drinks’ for American and European markets.

Creating a new category, Red Bull had the first movers advantage, used it well, and now owns more than 40% of the world’s energy drink market as published on Time.com.

Although a sufficient amount of marketing research insists that the first movers’ advantage is the only way to securing a place in the customer’s mind, this statement is far from being true.

Think of giants like Target, Google, and South-West Airlines, none of them came first.

As John Birger’s former Fortunes senior writer effectively shows in the article Second-Mover Advantage by observing first movers in the market.

The brands that follow and enter the market as second or even third movers can still capitalize on the market by learning from the mistakes of the first movers.

There are too many success cases of brands entering the market later, but still achieving tremendous success.

Some notable examples that come to mind are Google, Nike & even Apple.

The challenge here is to, although diving into a new category, to become a Facebook to someone’s Myspace, rather than a red fidget spinner to a blue one.

Choose a thriving category, find the big demand that is not yet fulfilled, and show your customer that you are outstanding, rather than a duplicate.

By being a market follower, you learn from other’s mistakes, enter a mature market (points of parity are accepted and established within the market).

The incumbent becomes complacent and seeing where innovation is needed.

You can go in the right direction and be more flexible.

Some companies are both FMA or MF.

Head to our comment section and discuss whether you think Netflix is more FMA of MF and which benefits they gained entering the market.

Brand Positioning Statement is for Internal Use Only

Positioning exists to guide marketing strategy and to mediate decision-making.

It is important to remember that brand positioning arises regardless of whether your brand is consciously working on a positioning strategy or not.

Effective brand positioning and branding, in general, takes a long time to establish in the marketplace.

Taglines may change from time to time, but your key message will remain the same after you develop this statement.

A key thing here is that this positioning statement is a very internal guidefor your business to leverage.

This statement and analysis will help you when you are lost in your brand placement and need to make decisions.

The points below will act as a guide for your team when developing any campaign for your brands:

  • Doing the analysis.
  • Understanding your place in the market.
  • Coming up with a statement.

In doing this research, you are deriving and coming up with competitive intelligence that is unique to your brand and company.

It should be confidential and closely guarded to ensure you maintain your competitive edge.

You should develop your brand strategy with respect to the following considerations.

The considerations are points of differentiation, points of parity, strengths, and uniqueness.

This way, you will use this statement as an internal guide to map out your other marketing efforts.

Over To You…

With brand positioning, it is a happy medium between internal capaiblity and the customer needs and wants.  Focus on the customer. Define those pain points in detail!

By points, we mean the points of differentiation in your brand positioning, and then over-deliver at every touchpoint.

With this approach, becoming the market leader in your target category becomes a lot easier.

Becoming a market leader does not happen over time.  You have to deliver and over deliver on those pain points that your customers are frustrated from.  There are rarely any overnight sensations.  Do you think Netflix was an overnight sensation?  How about Amazon?  They all struggled initially but were committed to sticking it out and delivering on their brand promise.

To recap, brand positioning is not vital to selling your stuff to a random customer.

If you come to the market intending to be the best in your client’s mind and to maximize your profitability – your chances of success increase.

You would need to invest in creating a solid, professionally thought through brand positioning strategy.

A great positioning strategy requires sufficient research and analysis performed by qualified marketing professionals.

Spending time in assessing your brand, leveraging analytics, we will work with you to derive a custom brand positioning statement.

Head over to the Digital Branding section of our website to learn more about how and where can help.

Here at Web Worx Labs, we will put together a new, evidence-based, rock-hard brand positioning strategy that will work for you.

Wherever you are in the process of establishing your positioning strategy, turn to Web Worx Labs to have a professional dialogue on the ways you can improve your brand and grow your competitive edge.