Do you secretly love critiquing SuperBowl commercials every year because you think you could come up with better ideas? You might be a budding digital marketer. 

Because of smartphones and social media, we’re all natural marketers we write captions, choose photos, and promote our posts with our friend groups. But to be a successful strategist, you need to build up a true digital marketing skillset.

The excitement of being a DIY marketer is that you have the freedom to experiment. After you build up your knowledge base, you’ll know what tools and strategies can help your small business reach its target audience faster. 

1. Strategy

You know how people say you need to know the rules before you break them? It’s true for digital marketers too. Experimentation is an essential part of marketing, but you want to make sure you’re working within a standard strategic framework. You wouldn’t want to have a video go viral without knowing how to make the most out of the experience, would you? 

At the foundation of every marketing campaign should be a solid strategy with actionable goals and ways to measure success. Use project management tools and organizational skills on each campaign to maintain consistency and maximize the growth of each project. 

Every small business is different; some might need email marketing, some might need a more robust website or social media presence. The more you know about your needs and the needs of your audience, the better prepared you’ll be to develop a successful strategy.

2. Content Marketing

Are you the person your friends come to when they need a proofreader or someone to bounce ideas off? Writing and editing skills are crucial for a digital marketer because they’re at the core of all communications. 

Brands and businesses need quality blog content for their sites in order to increase brand awareness and SEO. It’s crucial to create content with SEO in mind; that way, search engines will rank your content higher, making it more visible to your audience when they’re searching online. 

To create monthly content, you’re going to need to maintain an editorial calendar. Include a call to action on each post to encourage a high conversion rate, optimize before publishing, and remember to create content that compels the reader to take action. 

3. The Ability to Automate

Having a marketing automation tool that enables you to automate your processes whenever you can is a total game-changer. You can set up your email drip campaigns and newsletters to deploy while you’re busy taking care of other things. Take advantage of the extra time automation frees up in your schedule to generate more leads or to create additional content. 

Did you know that 95% of consumers check their email every day? Why not reach them where they are by sending them content they need? Using automation, you can set up emails to go out to segments of your list based on various qualifiers, so your emails are more personalized to their individual needs. Try doing that manually and tackling your to-do list. 

4. Social Media 

4.2 billion people around the world use social media. As a digital marketer, you need to know how to engage users on different platforms, create written and visual content, and study the analytics behind each post to understand what did well and what can be improved. 

Social media marketing can help you target your intended audience by demographics, interest, and geographic location. Try implementing an influencer marketing strategy to tap into a more engaged audience and increase your visibility. 

Building up your business’s social following online can lead to tons of opportunities. You can be asked to speak at marketing or small business conferences. Or, you could be approached by noted publications about webinar or guest-posting opportunities.  

5. Video Creation

Instagram is prioritizing creators, videos, shopping, and messaging. Photo-sharing is no longer a focus of growth for the app. The algorithm on Instagram prioritizes videos (IGTV, reels, and stories), and it’s probably what pops up first on your feed. 

This change was driven by the popularity of video-sharing apps like TikTok. Before smartphones, businesses needed to invest a lot of money into fancy video equipment, but now you can create high-quality videos from your phone. And you don’t need tons of tech experience to do it. 

Don’t be afraid to try something new. During the pandemic, video and audio apps like TikTok and Clubhouse took off. No one expected either to grow so rapidly, but because everyone was stuck at home and bored, they became outlets to reach the outside world. This is the power of social media. Learn to leverage it for your small business, and you’ll feel like a digital marketing pro in no time. 

Work on perfecting these five skills to up your digital marketing game and increase your small business’s marketing strategy. It’s important to have the basics down, but don’t forget to have fun. Experimentation can take you far, and who knows; you could even create the next big marketing trend!