Today I want to talk about three exciting and highly specialist digital marketing skills to put on a resume. High end stuff that you may or may not have heard of. Indeed no one is safe from hard times and changes in the workspace except maybe digital marketers but why are digital marketers more resilient than others? Do they work harder, go the extra mile perhaps to retain their value over their colleagues?
Digital marketers are industrious men and women forged in a world of constant flux and never ending innovation. However Iâ€™ll tell youÂ the secret when it comes to future-proofing your career: itâ€™s about your skill set, not your job title.
If you have right skills,Â or the â€œgive a damnâ€ approach to self learn them or go on training courses as needed then you have the right aptitude for this digital life. Self learning in particular is that energy sapping process of burning the midnight oil.
Experimenting with new traffic techniques; learning what works and what fails. Making money and yes losing some more of your hard earned money on trial and error also. Facebook for instance makes plenty of money from people that don’t know what they are doing. It makes plenty of cash from those who are learning the ropes also.
To get you started, Iâ€™ve narrowed down threeÂ indispensable digital marketing skills. Some are pretty unique and go back a while in time but you can still start now if you have the hunger. Chances are that if you run, say even a moderately successful blog that generates a good income then you will be good at some, if not all of these digital marketing skills already.
Evolving Platforms and Unique Digital Marketing Skills
Digital marketers have to contend with evolving platforms, and cutting edge new traffic strategies. They ride a wave that takes them to the pinnacle of the highest echelons of the digital workforce. The work that they do is all too frequently sitting on the bleeding razors edge of what is hot and currently trending. Just like a rolling wave it can crash but a robust, dedicated digital marketer will get up, dust down and dry off; ready to ride the next big wave of success.
You see there have been lots of waves in the digital marketing space and at some time or another most of these waves will crash out, burn and exhaust their energy. Lets think of a few digital marketing fires that have burned brightly only to be drowned out and extinguished and then evolve to rise again like a phoenix from the ashes.
Remaining Relevant and Avoid Becoming Obsolete
Maybe youâ€™re looking for a new career path thatâ€™s not in danger of becoming done, dusted and obsolete. Maybe youâ€™re already working in digital marketing and wondering how your current job will stand up to the test of time. Will it have legs and any serious longevity I hear you ask. Or what will your growth opportunity look like over your developing career.
You may also be wondering whether you have the skills to go it alone. Either as an affiliate marketer or as a business owner. Nevertheless while you are working for others; here are threeÂ indispensable and very exciting digital marketing skills to place on your CV or resume.
Trending Digital Marketing Skills : TrafficÂ Arbitrage
Anyone remember Goto.com way back in the mist of 1999? It was one of the first successful pay per click search engines. Before Google and Adsense and all of that. It heralded an era of pay per click marketing and arbitrage that would burn fiercely for over a decade. Goto.com which became Overture and subsequently Yahoo Search Marketing operated a simple : He who bids the most, ranks the highest pricing model.
Goto.com like Espotting (Miva) in Europe made a lot of people quite wealthy including yours truly. However it didn’t last forever and the coveted Overture/Yahoo XML feed with its one time $15 USD per click and upward bid range is but a distant memory. Actually in 2016 a few people still have access to it but thats a secret… hush!
However traffic arbitrage is a very refined and specialist marketing skill. In the last few years as Yahoo! feeds and syndication faded away ( compared to its heyday ) other platforms took over. Such as driving traffic from Native Ad providers like Outbrain, Taboola, ContentAd and Revcontent. Even shopping feeds such as Connexity have become more popular.
Largely thanks to Yahoo! arbitrage is a dirty word (basically the story for another day is that they loved it for a while but then they loathed it as their advertisers deserted and their bids plummeted.) However do not be misled or disengaged by the misgivings and whining of a Dotcom dinosaur.
SinceÂ a traffic arbitrage specialist is adept at configuring tightly optimized campaigns to drive traffic to ecommerce and affiliate funnels. Or is adept at building content marketing pages that provide a greater revenue yield from paid CPC and CPM advertisements. Arbitrage exists in all walks of high end digital marketing.
How Traffic Arbitrage Used to Be Done from circa 1999-2014
- Drive email and cheap banner traffic to high cost Goto.com listings
- Purchase cheap Adwords traffic and even cheaper tier 2 traffic and direct to Overture/YSM listings
- Acquire multiple feeds and blend traffic and content to mitigate quality score woes
- Syndicate your business and scale
- Variations of the same
How Traffic Arbitrage is Done in 2016
- Still flog the dead Yahoo! horse : Drive cheap TQ scored traffic to Yahoo/Bing feed through private relationships ( hint its hard ) Hit shopping feeds in much the same way.
- Native Ad content style marketing : Drive social and article traffic to similar viral style content pages
- Arbitrage to ecommerce, eg Shopify and to your direct ads : The highest ROI but the hardest to setup and crack.
A digital arbitrageur is a highly flexible and engaged kind of marketeer capable of adapting and switching traffic sources at short notice. Lots of other skills such as source tracking and landing page design are highly desirable.
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In 2016 native ads are definitely the big arbitrage opportunity with the right combination of traffic and sources. I wouldn’t recommend trying to beat the old Yahoo! bush unless you have experience and connections. Facebook Ads to Ecommerce products is another profitable, scalable but tricky arbitrage style revenue stream. Here though you are shifting into the realms of proper stores using platforms like Shopify.
Bluntly if you know how to flip traffic you can make money. If you can do it at scale then you can make even more money. Arbitrage is a digital marketing skill that has the unique luxury of endurance in a fast paced and demanding digital job market.
Trending Digital Marketing Skills : SEO
The SEO sector is far bigger than the arbitrage sector. At least in terms of number of jobs and agency positions. SEO is a subject that surrounds and encompasses an entire digital industry.
There are courses, strategies, so called gurus and all kinds of methods and techniques for ranking pages in Google. SEO actually predates Google, in fact it is a old skill much like traffic arbitrage yet it still trends just as highly. Remember AltaVista, the original Yahoo!, UKPlus, Excite and so forth?
Nostalgia aside, SEO harks back to the art of ranking on these mostly extinct or long evolved web titans. Of course SEO is more about Google and Bing and smaller engines nowadays although the traffic from Bing is woefullyÂ pitiful.
The Current State of Search EngineÂ Optimization
SEO in 2016 is a lot harder than back in the days of AltaVista I can tell you. However it had to be in order to combat the database driven content spammers and assorted game players. SEO at its core is the process of optimizing pages or an entire web site for high rankings, placement and organic traffic. It is not an absolute science; much weight is placed on backlinks and the quality of those backlinks and the pattern by which they were gained.
More generally, ethical SEO is referred to as ‘White Hat SEO’ whereas those techniques that might be considered unethical are tagged as ‘Black Hat SEO’ In fact SEO is such a specialist subject that there are entire sites devoted to it, along with tools and datasets to make succeeding at the process more viable and motivating. Below are some of the characteristics of good and bad SEO, far from exhaustive.
Good SEO Practices
- On page optimization : The process of making pages indexable and friendly
- Natural linking : The process of building backlinks by virtue of having great content ( Pillar and authority posts. )
- Organizing site structure : The process of managing indexing and navigation, robots.txt, site maps, Yoast etc.
Frowned Upon SEO Practices
- Forum Spamming : The process of building low quality backlinks by repetitive link dropping
- PBN link building : Link buying from closed private networks and expired domains
- Duplicate content : Processes such as article spinning and excessive duplication
Further Reading and SEO Tools
The following are a fairly standard source of data intelligence and tools to help plan and execute a SEO strategy for your web site. There are many more to chose from by performing a simple web search for SEO resources.
Moz.com : Moz started as an SEO consulting company ( SEOMOZ ) and provides data insights into the health of your pages from a SEO perspective and many tools to help data mine competitors and find backlink opportunities.
AHrefs :Ahrefs.com is a well known toolset for backlinks and SEO analysis. They offer more data and tools to help in your SEO endeavours with emphasis on backlinking, brand mentions and keyword performance.Â TheyÂ stand out from the herd of other similar SEO services by offering the largest base of live links, a huge Index and the best speed of index updates.
SEO is a long term and constantly evolving endeavour. Hence if you have a proven track record in ranking sites and keeping them safe from accidental penalties while fostering traffic growth you will always possess skills that are in high demand. Indeed really proficient SEO’s can elevate themselves to a pedestal where they truly become indispensable to their clients.
Trending Digital Marketing Skills : Content Marketing
Hey wait content marketing isn’t digital, or is it? In fact the origins of content marketing can be traced all the way back to the year 1895 with a magazine published by John Deere. This magazine sought to teach localÂ farmers how to increase profits complete with illustrations and tutorials. Itâ€™s still in publication today.
What are todays web sites if not digital representations and evolutions of those magazines from a long time ago? You see content marketing is future proof, you just have to imagine how they might educate people in the year 2116!
Content as a digital marketing strategy is a deep well of career opportunity, learning and expansion. Not only are skills needed to create and distribute engaging content across a variety of platforms. Think blogs, social media ( numerous platforms ) podcasts, live streams, video blogging and email. You have to bring all these skills together with finesse.
The Many Faces of Content Marketing
That said content must be designed to attract a specific niche target audience and drive them to take a measurable action and achieve set goals such as filling in a form, clicking ads, making purchases, downloading files and so forth. Some of the typical activities of a content marketer include being able to :
- IdentifyÂ and create blog posts that segment potential audiences.
- Research and create podcasts that educate and create brand awareness.
- Research and create viral social media updates, infographics, and even books that introduce people to your company and offers that deliver high engagement on social media.
- Understanding platforms, CMS such as WordPress and their management.
- Co-ordinating multiple related and entwined activities and their dependencies.
- Managing outsourcing and editorial processes.
Content marketing is a set of digital marketing skills that are used to drive revenues, brand awareness and fosterÂ innovation. It has many moving parts that have to work together in tandem. You must master the traffic acquisition methods, master the copy and content and master the visitor funnel and end outcome. There are so many different facets and the workload can be immense if you try and do it all as one.
This feature article for instance, while hopefully interesting to most of you is some 2.5k words of thought and energy. How do I circulate it, drive engaged readers to it, generate actions from it and so on. How do I repeat the process and scale my efforts for the next 500 plus articles and content sets?
You see content marketing is a much about managing time, energy and resources as it is about delving into specific niche skills such as gaining maximum organic reach on Facebook or setting up rich article pins on Facebook. In truth there is little end to the number of core specialisations that a content marketer must employ ( or at least be aware of )
Digital marketing skills are about as diverse as they can be in 2016. There are many sub niches and highly specialist levels of expertise that cannot be covered here. Further examples might include optimizing Facebook pixels or targeting on Pinterest. Or configuring sales funnels and autoresponder automations. Have your eyes glazed over yet?
The three uniqueÂ digital marketing skills covered in this feature article should open your eyes to the diversity of digital marketing and why focussing on indispensable sub niches is always a good idea. There is nothing wrong with being a Jack of all trades, in online marketing having an ‘across the board’ competency in all skills and niches is a skill in itself.
However becoming a master of a select few sub niches of digital marketing is a very strong position to foster and nurture. It could be email marketing, link building, Clickfunnels, traffic arbitrage, anything that interests you and that you can persevere with. Just be certain to follow through with and become really good at.
There will nearly always be niche digital marketing skillsÂ that are high in demand on the careerÂ ladder. This is because not enough people can do the taskÂ well enough or not enough people have invested in the necessary self learning and training.
Self learning and investing private time is what separates the Internet marketing rockstars from the crowd. What side of the stage do you want to sit upon. Be sure to develop a digital portfolio of your marketing accomplishments so that your reputation precedes you when looking for new work in this most exciting and energetic of sectors.