soft digital marketing skills

7 Essential Soft Digital Marketing Skills to Develop in 2021

As the whole world is moving to online platforms following the global pandemic, pursuing a career in Digital Marketing now makes more sense than ever before. However, what soft Digital Marketing skills do you need in order to succeed as a Marketer, and how can you develop them?

Today, I really wanted to share some of the soft skills that I believe to be essential in Marketing in 2021 – of course, from my own experience and perspective. In our next article, we will talk about the hard skills as well, so you can become a real a 360° Marketer.

soft digital marketing skills

What soft skills do you need for Digital Marketing?

Soft skills are really imporant when it comes to becoming successful in a field as dynamic as Digital Marketing. But for those of you who want the quick answer, and don’t want to read through the whole article, here it is:

To become a successful Marketer, the soft Digital Marketing skills that you will need to develop are adaptability, curiosity, team work, honesty, and being a good listener.

These skills are a must if you truly want to excel in any team.

Soft Digital Marketing Skills
1. Adaptability
2. Curiosity
3. Team Work
4. Honesty
5. Listening
6. Problem-solving
7. Creativity

 

And now, on to the more detailed response and The Why!

Having said this, let’s take a look at the first skill:

1. Adaptability

digital marketing skills

Number 1 on our list of soft Digital Marketing skills is adaptability.

You see, Digital Marketing changes by the day. Companies launch new tools and might even completely demolish their previous versions. There are constant updates that might change the direction of things from one day to another while you are sleeping.

Think of all the Google Algorithm updates that deeply impact SEO. Just in 2018, Google reported the mind-blowing 3,000 improvements to search in a single year.

Of course, many of these are small changes, but they also launch big updates such as RankBrain, Panda, and Hummingbird. They just did a big update last month called the Core Update, which impacted bloggers and content publishers all around the world in terms of traffic.

Some of them negatively, some of them positively:

google december core update - digital marketing skills

Websites that increased their traffic after Google’s December core update. Source by moz.com.

Anyways, I think I am getting a little carried away, but you get the point. You should be able to adapt to these changes if you don’t want to stay behind.

And there is another thing. When I speak of adaptability as one of the most important soft Digital Marketing skills, I also mean something else – and that is, being able to adapt in your job positions.

Digital Marketing is a really big field, ranging from social media to Email Marketing and Content Marketing.

soft digital marketing skills

When you are working for a big company, you will most probably have a more defined role. However, if you are just starting, you will probably work in smaller companies or even startups. This means that you will have to be able to adapt to the different tasks they might ask from you.

One day, they might ask you to post on social media, and on the next day you will be analyzing data reports. So, you have to be flexible and adapt quickly to the different branches of Marketing.

How can you develop this skill?

Of course, there isn’t an easy way to develop this skill. The key to mastering most skills in life is practice, but in this case specifically, it is also about attitude. You should have the attitude to learn from every source that’s available to you, even if it’s not what you like the most.

My biggest tip is to be proactive at every step of the process. If you are an intern, volunteer for take on tasks across different areas of your department. If you are not working yet, do as many free Marketing courses as possible so you can learn about these areas.

Also, I highly suggest that you do some research and sign up for Marketing blogs, YouTube channels, and other sources of updates on the latest tools and tendencies. This will help you stay in touch with what’s new, so you can quickly adapt to it.

Thes are some of the blogs and YouTube channels that I absolutely love and watch weekly for Marketing news:

There are many of them! All of this leads me to the next of the most important soft Digital Marketing skills:

2. Curiosity

soft digital marketing skills

A skill that is highly related to the previous one we talked about, and definitely one of the key soft Digital Marketing skills that you will need to develop, is curiosity. It can get you really far in this career, as well as in many others.

Having the curiosity and willingness to learn more not only helps you advance faster, but will also help you gain more visibility in a company. It will also help you find out what are the specific Marketing niches that you would like to specialize with.

For example, I personally found out that I prefer SEO much more than Social Media Marketing. However, I had to be curious about Social Media Marketing, and try it out in order to discover that I don’t like it as much as other areas.

How can you develop this skill?

Although some people are naturally more curious than others, it doesn’t mean that you can’t discipline yourself into becoming more curious. The “solution” is similar to the one for our previously mentioned skill – adaptability.

In other words, you should create a habit of always learning about new areas, and volunteering for different tasks at your company. Even if they don’t seem the most interesting thing to you.

One of my biggest tips is that you spend at least 15 minutes every day to immerse and learn something new in the Marketing field. Don’t restrict yourself at the start of your career, and 15 minutes can go a long way!

3. Teamwork

Next on our list of essential soft Digital Marketing skills that you will need to develop in 2021 is teamwork. And I will say it straight away: if you are not able to get along with others, or not willing to work in a team, Digital Marketing is not for you.

No, it’s absolutely not. Developing and implementing a successful Marketing strategy usually requires a team, even if you are a really small company. You might think “Maybe I can become a freelancer! Freelancers are independent, right?”.

Well, you will be wrong. Apart from my regular job, I also work as a Digital Marketing freelancer, and let me tell you that it requires as much teamwork as working for a company. At the end, you will still have to coordinate your actions with the company that you are working with.

How can you develop this skill?

The key to working in a team is being able to listen and communicate with different kinds of people. People are different; some are more easy to communicate with, others are particularly difficult.

Practice working with each member of your team separately, and adapt to their style of work. If somebody is more difficult, pay attention to how she/he interacts with others, and how they handle this person so you can get some ideas.

To be able to work in a team, you should be a good listener. Don’t interrupt and talk over others. Listen and join whenever you feel that you can contribute to the discussion, but let people finish their ideas first.

4. Honesty

digital marketing skills - honesty

Undoubtedly, one of the most important soft Digital Marketing skills that you must develop is honesty. Honesty is also key to great teamwork, so you will be mastering two different abilties at once.

Digital Marketing is so dynamic that mistakes happen all the time. No matter if you are working on a big or a small company, you will typically have so many different tasks that mistakes are simply bound to happen.

In many cases, Marketing and Advertising platforms will also have bugs and technical issues as well, for which you might get blamed for. That’s absolutely fine – when this happens, it is extremely important to not take this personally (I am guilty of that).

How can you develop this skill?

When a mistake or an issue happens, there is a very simple formula that you can follow. Let’s say that you were building a target audience for your campaign, and you messed up something along the way, so you got a couple of leads that were not the right target.

In this case, the best you can do is:

  • Thank your Manager / Supervisor for the feedback.
  • Accept your mistake honestly;
  • Let them know that you will find a solution for it.

The truth is, start coming up with excuses on why that happened will not bring any value to the table. In most cases, Managers or team leaders just want to know that an issue has been identified, and it is going to be fixed – as simple as that.

5. Listening

Next on our list of essential soft Digital Marketing skills is being a good listener. As we already mentioned, the Marketing world is extremely dynamic, and you will probably have to work on a lot of projects, with a lot of different teams.

In a similar manner to honesty, this skill is strongly related to another one of our soft Digital Marketing skills – team work. If you are not a good listener, you won’t be able to align with your team properly, and projects may not end up in the best way possible.

And of course, it’s not only about your team either. In the world of Marketing, many projects and campaigns require a great coordination with other teams, agencies, freelancers, and professionals. And the key to achieving that is being a good listener.

How can you develop this skill?

As many other soft Digital Marketing skills (and not only), being a good listener requires practice. When someone is speaking, you need to stop thinking about what you are going to say once the person finishes speaking. Otherwise, you are not listening to them at all.

Of couse, we often tend to get distracted – especially now that remote working is dominating the world following the COVID pandemic, and we have to listen to people on Zoom. You can click here for more information on how to master active listening.

My personal tip is to force yourself to take notes. During a meeting (whether online or face-to-face), take out a notebook and a pen, and just set yourself the mission to take notes on the important things.

This way, you will feel obligated to fully listen to the other person, otherwise you won’t be able to write anything on your notebook.

6. Problem-solving

soft digital marketing skills

Next on our list of must-have soft Digital Marketing skills is problem-solving.

As we mentioned previously, many things will go wrong in Marketing. For example, LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager will stop working right before you want to launch an urgent campaign. Or maybe, Google Ads will pause your ads because they identified a virus or a malicious software on your web.

The point is, things will go wrong – in some cases, they will be things that depend on you, but in others, they will be out of your scope. Such as a technical issue on an advertising platform. However, you need to be able to find solutions as quickly as possible.

How can you develop this skill?

This one from our soft Digital Marketing skills might be more challenging to develop because problems can come in different shapes and forms, and they often require different solutions.

However, the first step towards becoming a problem-solver is to discard any emotional attachments (don’t panic!) and take on a practical and creative approach. Instead of running in circles, try to think with a clear and focused mind.

You also need to be well-prepared – for example, if you often experience technical issues on certain platforms, open a Word doc in Drive and write down all support contacts so you can have them at your fingertips the moment you need them.

7. Creativity

And of course, one of the most valued soft Digital Marketing skills for aspiring Marketers is creativity. A lot of times, you will need to tap into your creative juices to make your campaigns stand out from the crowd. 

Being creative is important across all Marketing fields – from Search Engine Optimization to Content Marketing and even Analytics. After all, doing exactly what others do isn’t precisely going to make you stand out.

How can you develop this skill?

The key to developing this one of our soft Digital Marketing skills is to learn as much as you can on a certain topic. The more you know and understand something, the easier it becomes to find some untapped advantages that others aren’t seeing.

The other way to get more creative is to keep a close eye on the competition, and see what they are doing. Of course, the idea is not to copy your competitors, but to get inspirations and add your unique touch to them.

For example, let’s say that you want to make more creative banners for Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn. You could go ahead and research examples from competitors. For example, you can consult some of these lists that I’ve compiled:

And that was all from me when it comes to soft Digital Marketing skills! As always, I hope you enjoyed the article, and I hope to see you in the next one! 


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animitevabg
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animitevabg

Hello, and welcome to my blog! Let me present myself.

My name is Ani and I am a trilingual Digital Marketing & Analytics Specialist with 5 years of experience across multiple sectors including Cloud-based services, SaaS, Digital payments, Mobile apps, and Executive Education, among others.

My expertise covers areas such as Google Ads, Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing, and Social Media.