What are the most essential marketing skills that business owners of today should be learning? Should you implement an affiliate marketing program to increase your revenue? Or perhaps you’re looking to study a digital marketing course to increase your company’s web visibility and improve brand recognition. Savvy business owners are constantly updating their skills to stay ahead of the competition, which is why there are countless courses available both online and in-person that you and your employees can take to upskill and take your enterprise to the next level.
Let’s take a look at our top 5 most important marketing skills that you should work on developing to prepare for success over this coming financial year.
1. Affiliate Marketing
With more and more consumers shopping online nowadays for the products and services they need, a strong affiliate marketing strategy can be a very valuable asset to your enterprise. If you are new to affiliate marketing, the basic premise is selling or promoting someone’s product for either a one-time or recurring commission fee. There are many different ways that this can work depending on your niche, audience and the products or services you sell. As a business owner, you will typically set up an affiliate program to allow influencers, digital marketers and other entities in your niche to promote or sell your offerings in return for a commission.
For example, there may be an influencer in your product niche with a large following. In this instance, you can reach out to them to set up a collaboration where they post some photos of your products. Then, you set up a unique discount code for the influencer to pass along to their followers. The followers receive an introductory discount from you, and the influencer receives a commission for each sale made using their discount code.
The key to making these programs work is authenticity and trust. Followers of social media influencers are more likely to trust their judgement when it comes to recommending different products. But they can also smell a blatant sponsorship deal from a mile away, so it’s imperative that your product is something that can feasibly be used by your influencer, ideally in their daily life. For instance, you wouldn’t expect a travel blogger to use a desk chair, but a portable laptop stand or monitor is likely to be a better fit.
Be sure to read up on affiliate marketing methodologies before reaching out to any influencers or other enterprises in and around your industry for potential partnerships.
2. Video Marketing
Many consumers nowadays are stretched for time and may not enjoy scrolling through multiple web pages to find what they’re shopping for. Platforms like YouTube and Rumble allow you to strategically host and promote engaging content where you can easily position your company as a reputable authority in your industry.
Providing inexpensive, on-demand product announcements, descriptions, and demonstrations through a video produced 100% in-house is a luxury many business owners could only dream of in years gone by. But gone are the days of spending huge amounts of money on local and/or national television spots and newspaper ads for getting your business out there. Many small businesses don’t have the capital for these types of expenses, but the internet and countless social media platforms out there have become great equalisers.
As a business owner, you will need to familiarise yourself with all the video editing software suites available nowadays and also learn best practices to optimise video for streaming and reposting on different social media platforms, like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. Some social media platforms may even offer free how-to academies and certification programs to teach these vital skills. It’s wise to use these resources to your advantage as they will focus on the specifics of the platform or tools they are providing.
3. Content Marketing
Although it can be argued that video marketing falls under the umbrella of content marketing, it’s still worth considering the power of the written word in its own right. It can be all too easy to disregard the value of written content on your website, but the fact of the matter is that page content and even product descriptions, and frequently asked questions can all drastically improve the chances of your website ranking well on search engine results pages.
In other words, content marketing is crucial for ensuring that your website and even your company’s social media profiles, are search-engine optimised. As you may expect, this practice is called ‘SEO’ or ‘search engine optimisation’ and in truth, is the backbone of the internet. SEO as a practice has been developed using incremental user research, with website crawlers analysing content and the type of user traffic that that content inspires in order to determine the best type of content for reaching your target marketing goals. For example, content with a ‘commercial’ intent has been written specifically to inspire readers to make a purchase from your website, by utilising catchy dot points for highlighting user products before solidifying the sale with a call to action. Contrastingly, a long-form informative article is likely to have an informational intent, designed to educate readers that aren’t as further along the customer journey than those reading commercial content.
Understanding best practices for SEO content writing alongside the power of user search intent, can help your business better utilise its written material. And you’d be surprised just how big of an impact that thoughtful and strategically produced content can hold!
4. Social Media Marketing
Although we have mentioned affiliate marketing that includes influencer marketing earlier on in this article, it’s important to keep in mind that there is more to social media marketing than just searching for potential partnerships. For starters, social media is a powerful tool for communicating directly with your target consumer market. Engaging with your consumer base on social media can provide your enterprise with an air of approachability and presence. You’re involved in the conversation rather than looking over it as a no-faced entity.
Knowing how to manage your company’s social media profiles can take a little bit of trial and error, however, alongside plenty of independent study. It can take time to perfect your brand’s tone of voice, as well as the kind of content (i.e. social media posts) that you’d like to make. Just be sure to consider the unique affordances or features of each social media platform when creating content. As Instagram is more of a visual medium, your posts should ideally highlight the aesthetics of your products or services, or even use imagery to tell a story to engage prospective customers. For Facebook, however, strong written content is key for accompanying photos or other imagery.
5. Marketing Analytics
Last but certainly not least, it must be noted that the best marketing strategies are undoubtedly those that are data-driven. This is what makes marketing analytics one of the most crucial skills to develop for all modern business owners. And this particular marketing skill isn’t as inaccessible as you may believe!
Nowadays, business owners can take advantage of a wide range of marketing software that allows you to gain insights into the performance data of your website and even social media profiles. You can even utilise free software like Google Search Console to learn about how best to improve your performance metrics while actively managing a digital marketing campaign.
Although you can learn how to analyse your data while on the job, any business owners who want to gain a deeper understanding of marketing analytics can easily enrol in a dedicated digital marketing course to build strong foundational knowledge of just how you can make your data work for you.
Stay Up To Date With The Latest Trends To Move Your Business Forward
The current business landscape is an ever-changing frontier. Thankfully, enrolling in a new digital marketing course taught by experienced and trusted industry providers is a surefire way of equipping yourself with the skills you’ll need to keep rolling with the punches. Choosing the right disciplines to upskill is important but with the right approach, there’s no reason that you can’t improve your skills and take full control of your business’ growth and development.