Online marketing has undeniably taken the marketing world by storm and transformed how companies do business. The past few years have seen a shift in how marketing dollars are spent. Gone are the days of pumping your entire marketing budget into direct mailers, print ads, billboards, or television commercials. To be successful today, you need to have a strong web presence to help drive sales. A solid online marketing plan that incorporates social media with blogs and emails will get you on your way. Of course, these strategies won’t implement themselves; you need innovative thinkers on your team. Not just anyone can cut it as a successful online marketer. They need to possess certain traits to thrive in this competitive, challenging, and ever-changing environment. To do well, an online marketer must be possess these traits.
1. They’re adaptable.
It’s imperative that online marketers keep up with emerging trends and are willing to try new things. You never know what the next great thing will be. Just look at social media! Ten years ago, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest didn’t exist, and few people had heard of Facebook. Fast-forward to today, and a company without a social media presence looks like it’s stuck in the dark ages. Companies now devote huge chunks of their budgets toward developing social media presences. Obviously, not all trends are lasting, but they should, at least, be on a marketer’s radar, and an effective marketer will recognize those developments that have staying power. A marketer can never rest on their laurels. Technology is continually evolving, and marketing strategies need constant tweaking. Just look at the continual evolution of SEO techniques and the increased importance of having a mobile-friendly site.
2. They’re creative.
The aim of online marketing is no different than that of traditional methods, such as print ads, billboards, and television commercials: Stand out. An online marketing campaign should be unforgettable. This takes a lot of innovative, fresh content, which requires creativity. A successful online marketer understands what motivates people to want to buy something. They can play on these emotions and come up with a fun, eye-catching, and memorable campaign.
3. They’re technologically savvy.
In a fast-paced online marketing environment, it’s important to keep up-to-date with the latest technological developments. There are lots of tools out there to make an online marketer’s job easier and their campaigns more efficient. There are all kinds of software programs and websites of which an online marketer should be aware. Marketing automation platforms can help marketers prioritize their tasks so that they can save time. These platforms can take care of repetitive tasks, so marketers can devote their time to other needs, like content creation. Analytics software, such as Google Analytics, is another essential tool for online marketers to understand and use. Marketers need to know what is and isn’t working with their strategy and adapt their efforts accordingly. With analytics software, marketers can improve the performance of their campaigns. Additionally, it’s helpful for a marketer to understand the basics of setting up a website or a blog. This doesn’t mean they have to be experts in Bluehost or HTML, but even some basic knowledge will help them communication with site developers and designers so that everyone is on the same page.
4. They’re a social media guru.
The potential customer an online marketer is trying to woo likely uses social media. According to Pew Research Center, 74% of online adults use social networking sites. Another study found that 71% of consumers are more likely to make purchases based on social media referrals. Those numbers can’t be ignored. It is imperative that a successful online marketer knows the ins and outs of social media. This means knowing when to post, how often, and what kind of content to use for the different social media channels. An effective online marketer knows that more men than women use Twitter, that more than 6 out of 10 Snapchat users are in the 18-to-24 age group, and that YouTube is able to reach more adults aged 18 to 34 than any single cable TV network. They must also be able to decipher the analytics to know what’s working and where.
5. They’re able to provide excellent content (and a lot of it).
An effective online marketer needs to know what appeals to people on an emotional level. Certain words and visuals speak to people, while others go ignored. The trick for an online marketer is to offer valuable content by answering questions and tapping into a potential customer’s emotions. People have an insatiable thirst for content. It’s staggering how much content there is on the Internet these days. Domo compiled this informative infographic, showing that, every minute of every day, email users send 204 million messages, Twitter users tweet 277,000 times, Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content, and there are over 4 million search queries in Google. That’s a lot of competition for content. A good marketer wants to be part of the conversation. Their challenge is to have their content heard above all the other noise. A lot of online marketing content involves some text, whether it’s a blog post, webpage copy, or a well-crafted email. It’s important that an online marketer knows something about writing. They don’t want to embarrass themselves with error-ridden copy—that does not look professional and can be a real turn-off for potential customers. Marketers should know the nitty-gritty of grammar and usage but also be able to tell a compelling story. If used correctly, words can be powerful, drawing people in. Of course, marketing isn’t just words. It also involves a lot of design and other visual cues. An effective online marketer should have a sense of what looks good and will appeal to potential customers, whether it’s finding the right image to augment content or producing a video to help close a sale.
6. They understand the big picture.
Most importantly, all marketers must understand that it’s ultimately all about the customer. They should be results-oriented, which means achieving the marketing goal, whether that’s making the sale, increasing brand awareness, or generating leads. A single person may not be an expert at all of the traits mentioned above. Some online marketers may excel in writing, while others may stand out on the technology side. Depending on the size of the company and marketing campaign, it’s important that a marketer knows their limitations and is willing to delegate or outsource certain aspects of a project when needed.