The 9 Digital Marketing Skills in High Demand Right Now

Digital marketing is one of the most lucrative industries in the modern world.

I’m not saying that just because I happen to be in that industry.

I’m saying that because it’s true.

With just a laptop and Internet connection, there is really no limit to what you can accomplish and how much money you can make through digital marketing.

Personally, I’ve worked on nearly every continent. (We’re not counting Antarctica, okay?) I’ve worked at cruising altitudes of 36,000 feet. I’ve worked on holidays. I’ve worked on the beach.

And the results? They speak for themselves.

You can reach millions of people around the world with your message or product in a matter of hours.

To get an idea of how quickly digital marketing is growing, check out the graphic below:

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This puts digital marketing skills in high demand for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

It’s not just entrepreneurs who need digital marketing chops. With the right digital marketing skill set, you can become one of the most valuable members of a company within a very short period of time.

Whether you work in an established business, a startup, or as a solopreneur, digital marketing skills are absolutely essential.

Sure, it’s tough to master every aspect of digital marketing–it’s a big pond.

Thankfully, there are dozens of sub-skills in the digital marketing world. You can choose where you want to go deep.

Whether you are more creative or analytical, a team player or a lone wolf, there are jobs within digital marketing for you.

But what are the most important skills you need to be cultivating if you want to make a living (or a fortune) in digital marketing?

Download this cheat sheet of 9 digital marketing skills in high demand right now.

Here is a list of the nine most in demand digital marketing skills in 2016.

1. SEO specialist

It should come as little surprise that SEO is the skill at the top of this list.

You’re thinking, “C’mon, Neil. It’s 2016. SEO is kind of defunct, right?”

Some people like to believe that SEO is dead, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

SEO is just as important now as it’s ever been, if not more so.

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But there is far more to SEO than just getting your website to show up for certain search queries.

Due to the changes in Google’s search algorithm, SEO practices are changing.

Businesses are beginning to understand the importance of white-hat marketing techniques, such as content marketing and guest blogging, which are becoming a critical part of SEO success.

Because of all of the changes within the world of SEO, hiring a dedicated team of SEO experts has become darn near a necessity.

Companies need a person or a group who can keep up with the rapidly evolving world of SEO.

They need people who understand the importance of providing value to the customer in addition to the technical side of things.

If you want to land a high-paying job within the digital marketing world, learn SEO and watch the offers roll in.

However, I should warn you.

SEO is not easy.

It’s something that evolves on a regular basis and requires a genuine interest to stay on top of the almost constant changes to the search algorithms and best practices.

2. PPC executive/specialist

Another skill that’s currently in high demand is PPC marketing.

There are a number of businesses generating high amounts of revenue who want to expand their reach through paid advertising.

The problem is, they don’t know how to properly allocate that money to ensure that it generates a high ROI.

That’s where PPC marketing comes in.

The ultimate goal of PPC is to help a company’s website reach rank #1 within Google by bringing in high quality, targeted traffic.

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In theory, this sounds incredibly simple.

But in practice, this is one of the most difficult marketing jobs in the world.

You have to have a strong grasp of math, marketing strategy, and analytics.

You also need to know Google Analytics and AdWords like the back of your hand.

And then, you need to be able to develop campaigns that are providing measurable results to your clients, analyze those campaigns, and report on them.

PPC is incredibly complicated, important, and high investment/risk.

Which is why it’s also one of the best paying marketing jobs on the modern market.

If you can effectively show companies that you know how to bring in targeted traffic through PPC for the lowest cost possible, you’ll be able to generate massive amounts of revenue for years to come.

3. Social media expert

Social media is one of the single most powerful tools in the modern marketing world.

Over the past decade, social media has been growing faster than the Internet!

And it isn’t slowing down.

Nearly one-third of the population is currently using some type of social media platform.

It shouldn’t surprise you that companies are looking to capitalize on this unique marketing opportunity.

However, most companies, even many tech companies, simply have no understanding of how to leverage the different social platforms to achieve their goals.

This makes social media marketing an invaluable skill set to learn and cultivate.

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And the thing is, there is a lot more to social media marketing than just promoting content on Facebook.

If you want to set yourself apart from the crowd, you need to master each platform.

This means understanding the best times of day to post, the types of posts that generate the most user engagement, and the ways to use each platform to achieve specific goals.

And once you understand the basics of social media marketing, you need to understand how to leverage paid social media marketing.

You need to develop an understanding of copywriting, color psychology, analytics, and visual marketing.

This is no easy task.

Because of how difficult it is to master social media marketing, it’s become on of the most sought after and highly paid digital marketing positions in the world.

Prove to clients you can generate measurable results that will grow their businesses through social media, and you will be richly rewarded.

4. Email marketing

There are few things that are more important to online success than email marketing.

If you have a large email list and you know how to leverage it, you can make large amounts of income every month with almost no work.

If you want to be someone who has employers knocking down your door, instead of spending hours and hours every day searching for new clients, learn email marketing.

And I don’t just mean writing emails that convert.

I mean the whole process.

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You see, most businesses have no problem hiring someone who can write high quality emails that will generate a few conversions.

But there is more to email marketing than simply writing some fancy emails.

Companies need people who can help them build huge lists from scratch and then use those lists to achieve a variety of goals.

Building an email list of tens of thousands without an existing client base is an extremely challenging task.

And if you know how to do it, you possess an extremely valuable skill.

Beyond that, companies also need people who can use those lists to grow their social media following, promote new products, and drive new sales.

If you can learn how to master the email marketing process from start to finish, you will have clients begging to work with you.

5. Mobile marketing

One of the most sought after, and yet most overlooked, skills is the art of mobile marketing.

While there are plenty of similarities between desktop and mobile marketing, there are also enough differences to make this an essential standalone skill.

To add real value to the company, you need to understand these differences and why they are important to the rest of the business.

You also need to be able to talk intelligently about the more complicated aspects of mobile marketing such as SMS and responsive design.

One of the great things about mobile marketing jobs is that they are significantly less competitive than SEO or social media marketing jobs but are still a huge need for most businesses.

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It seems like everyone and their brother is a self-proclaimed “Facebook Guru” or SEO consultant.

But how often do you hear about mobile marketing managers?

Mobile marketing is a challenging field to master.

But if you can do it, you’ll set yourself apart from the herd of other digital marketers.

This will all but guarantee high paying jobs for years to come.

6. Analytics

One of the single most important parts of digital marketing is analytics.

You can learn all the previously mentioned skills, but without the power of analytics, you’ll always be fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

In any marketing campaign, it is essential to run tests, track data, and then analyze that data to determine how you can improve and overcome marketing plateaus.

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To become the best digital marketer you can be, you need to be able to analyze your other marketing efforts and make improvements based on what you learn.

This is the only way to truly put your marketing skills in the fast lane and achieve real success.

7. Content management/marketing

Content marketing is king.

We live in the age of information.

If you don’t have some sort of content that’s bringing viewers and keeping them hooked, you’ll fall behind.

This makes content management and marketing a highly valuable skill, especially for startups.

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If you can learn how to curate and create incredible content for companies and then market that content to the point of it going viral, you’ll become one of the most valuable assets for those companies.

The cool thing about content marketing is that it goes hand in hand with many other skills listed in this article.

If you can learn how to improve your social media skills, you’ll improve your content marketing skills.

If you improve your abilities as an SEO, you’ll improve your ability to create viral content.

Basically, any digital marketing skill you develop will improve your skills with content marketing.

Because of the crossover between skills, mastering content marketing will give you invaluable leverage whether you are looking for clients or growing your own business.

If you can get a couple of viral articles or videos under your belt, the sky’s the limit, and you will be able to take yourself as high as you want.

8. Marketing automation

Companies need marketing automation solutions now more than ever.

Marketing is not an inexpensive endeavor.

Figuring out how to set up technology and software that streamlines the process as much as possible is an invaluable skill set.

However, mastering the art of marketing automation requires a wide knowledge base and an understanding of several different software platforms.

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You need to learn the most efficient ways to automate email, social media, and content marketing, all without breaking your client’s budget.

If you can do this, you’ll be able to ask for just about any figure you want.

Most companies have no problem paying a top dollar to individuals who can save them money, make them money, and cut back on their workload at the same time.

9. UX design

One of the determining factors in online marketing success is the experience a user has once they’ve found your company.

Potential customers want to be able to navigate through your content as easily as possible, enjoying an aesthetically pleasing and streamlined experience.

In fact, customers will often base the credibility of an entire business on the design of its website alone:

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UX designers are responsible for ensuring that products, websites, and other online platforms are easy to use and provide the customer with a pleasant experience.

Unlike most of the skills listed in this article, design is not directly responsible for bringing in new customers or generating leads.

However, it is responsible for ensuring that all of the effort companies put into other online marketing avenues is maximized.

It doesn’t matter if you are incredible at SEO, a social media marketing ninja, and an email marketing master.

If customers can’t easily access, navigate, and use your website and products, all of that effort will be in vain.

And with the growing expectations of the modern consumer, this skillset is more crucial now than it’s ever been.

Conclusion

Digital marketing is one of the best industries for the modern freelancer or entrepreneur to be involved in.

There are no commission caps, no ceilings, and no limits.

If you can learn to cultivate marketable skills (no pun intended), there is no limit to how much you can earn and grow.

It doesn’t matter whether you are running your own business, freelancing for a variety of clients, or just looking for a stable job with one company.

Digital marketing is one of the most lucrative and important skills you can acquire.

So, go out there and learn as much as you can.

It’s paid off for me. I know it will for you too.

Develop one (or all) of these skills, and your business and life will never be the same.

Which digital marketing skills do you use the most? Which ones do you think are most essential today?

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56 thoughts on “The 9 Digital Marketing Skills in High Demand Right Now”

  1. Mehnaz says:



    I use only seo. Its great. I got my achievement.

  2. Neil Patel says:



    Nice Mehnaz

  3. Taylor Minaj says:



    I believe these fields are so broad and dynamic and require so much continuous re-certification that it is impossible to have operating level knowledge of all of them. Perhaps you could have currency in 2-3 of them, and 5000 foot level knowledge of others. That is if you also plan on having some semblance of life outside of your profession.

  4. Neil Patel says:



    Just developing one of these skills will propel you forward

  5. Gudtalent says:



    To me, SEO is the hottest thing.
    I have used SEO to increase my revenue by 168% in the past two months.

  6. Aroosi says:



    Then how come most say: SEO is dead?
    I dont get it

  7. Salman says:



    Seo is working for me slowly n steadily. Great info though. Thanks Neil

  8. Neil Patel says:



    You’re welcome salman

  9. Elena says:



    Excellent roundup! What course would you recommend for analytics?

  10. Neil Patel says:



    There’s a lot out there. Digital marketer has a good one

  11. Mark Miller says:



    Excellent post Neil, and on that marketers should pay a lot of attention to. It’s interesting that, despite all the fancy and flashy new marketing tech and channels coming out, classic ROI factories like SEO/SEM/email still top the list!

  12. Neil Patel says:



    It’s surprising to a lot of people but it’s obvious why!

  13. Adam says:



    “Businesses are beginning to understand the importance of white-hat marketing techniques, such as content marketing and guest blogging, which are becoming a critical part of SEO success.”
    guest blogging really? Matt Cutts does not agree.

  14. Himmat Chahal says:



    Here’s a fascinating article on the topic on gauging trustworthiness from Google statements: https://moz.com/blog/when-and-how-to-listen-to-googles-public-statements-about-seo-whiteboard-friday
    TLDR: Some individuals have made strong arguments that–
    (a) Not ~everything~ Google says, agrees with observable data and results.
    (b) Google may ~sometimes~ follow an “ends justify the means” policy of exaggerating the truth, to encourage desired “user” behavior. (Users in this case are website owners)
    That said, I find it sensible to trust Google more than an SEO firm (in general), but I find it most sensible to check the data on a case-by-case basis (in general).

  15. Neil Patel says:



    Thanks for sharing that Himmat

  16. Neil Patel says:



    It depends on the sites you’re posting on Adam, but guest blogging works well

  17. Sarah McKee says:



    Great insight Neil ?
    I believe email, SEO and social with a special mention to the rising star, mobile marketing are the key aspects of Digital Marketing. In that light, these are the areas of expertise I consistently upskill. I assume content marketing expertise is a core requirement every digital marketer has, without it there is a limit to how successful the ‘expert’ will be. A degree of knowledge in content marketing is the foundation of any expertise in digital marketing.
    I’m wondering Neil, would you kindly recommend PPC online courses? Strong in both AdWords and Google Analytics as I’m seeking to refresh my knowledge ? consistent upskilling is imperative.
    Also, how do we measure the level of expertise required for the ‘expert’ knighthood? My thoughts are this is role specific and any digital marketer seeking employment needs the above 10 and more, skills to be knighted. Expertise for employment then lies in being skilled in 1, preferably 2 or more aspects to achieve high employability.
    There’s a ? content idea for you?Would love a digital marketing expert’s opinion on how to measure expertise in an ever changing digital world. Continuous upskilling is vital, but what are the 10 requirements for knighthood?
    Happy upskilling digital marketers as yesterday’s expert is unemployed ?

  18. Neil Patel says:



    Have you seen the webinar on neilpatel.com?
    It’s all about the hustle Sarah. Once you can get tapped into that you can take your business and career to the next level

  19. Blossom Stein says:



    Thank you for the post. Can you provide citations for the data you present? I am first and foremost a professional researcher and need to be able to substantiate or cite sources if I am to share this information with my clients and/or prospects.
    Thanks again.
    (p.s.: if you would get rid of some of these popups, I would appreciate it)

  20. Neil Patel says:



    It would be a good idea to narrow down your focus. What are the projects you are working on?

  21. Hansie says:



    Great post as always Neil. I think the best news that I found in your post is that SEO is not dead and that it will become even more important as time passes.
    I just spoke with a friend and said that you can start a business in today’s age with less than $15, there is no barriers anymore to what can be done and having an internet connection is all you need to see the opportunities out there.
    You are a marketing genius and always look forward to the next post coming from Quicksprout.
    Keep it up as you have a huge following that looks forward to your educational posts.

  22. Neil Patel says:



    SEO is here to stay. You can start a business with very little these days. Thanks Hansie

  23. Navneet Singh says:



    Thanks for sharing the current stats of the digital marketing industry. Yes, I also agree with the SEO stats and I personally experienced. Currently, I’m working for a client who wanted to generate b2b leads related to the development services they are providing. I have tried all paid media channels to generate leads, however, in the end, the good leads came from the organic searches.

  24. Anil Agarwal says:



    Digital marketing is growing rapidly.
    I guess it’s now almost 50 billion dollar industry considering the fact that Google is going aggressively towards it. And more and more people are now jumping into digital marketing to help others increase their sales and brand awareness online.
    I think both SEO and content marketing go hand in hand. If you are master at both of them (hard though), your chances of making income online will be really huge.
    Thanks so much for the facts and case study Neil. It helps me a lot for choosing the better goal for my future.

  25. Neil Patel says:



    That can happen, and it should tell you something that quality leads are coming in organically

  26. Debut Infotech says:



    Thanks for sharing the information, Neil. Among all the digital marketing skills the best is the SEO when it comes to b2b lead generation. However, the strange thing is that the SEO is at the top of the list.

  27. Neil Patel says:



    SEO has been crucial for quite some time and many people are surprised to see it up there on the list. It’s still as important as ever and rapidly changing

  28. Souvik Mallick says:



    That’s a great post neil. SEO is the greatest tool of all. I am implementing all of them, except paid traffic for now but do have plans for targeted paid traffic, to increase blog readership and followers.

  29. Neil Patel says:



    And that can be tough one if you don’t know what you’re doing

  30. Peace says:



    The world is a global village where everything is going digital. Thanks for the post. What aspect of analytics should a newbie in email marketing focus on? Seem analytics is broad.

  31. Prakash says:



    Hello, Neil
    Thanks for this informative blog…the people struggling in this industry really needed that.
    No, SEO is not dead and never will be dead.
    In Short, SEO Strategies 2016:
    1. Create an influencer who is a subject-matter expert.
    2. Develop a content marketing strategy.
    3. Generate powerful backlinks to your site and pages.
    4. Get your website mobile-ready.
    5. Move your website to HTTPS, a secure site.
    6. Add http://schema.org markup to your website.
    I think SEO is one of the best and demanding way to build a personal brand. I have also summarized the topic and curated a blog discussing http://candentseo.com/85-internet-marketing-tasks-build-personal-brand/. Make a small move that starts the cascade of great benefits. Your personal brand is how you appear to the world.

  32. Neil Patel says:



    Yep SEO is here to stay. Thanks for your input Prakash

  33. Shamaila Zahid says:



    Great list of skills! I am knowlegeable in a couple, just need to learn the rest to become a full stack marketer. It’s not easy but well worth the effort.

  34. Alex Maina says:



    Neil I totally agree with you on two particular skills.
    1. Email marketing – simply because everyone seems to have forgotten how to do it the right way. Users have also become immune to all those emails we send them about the latest offer.
    2. PPC – With google changing their keyword planner, again, things will not be so easy for us in the future. Having to figure out which keywords to spend ad money on shall become more and more difficult.
    As for SEO, it may end up being all about reputation management and correcting the mistakes previous SEO’s did on a website.

  35. Neil Patel says:



    Thanks for your insight Alex

  36. sap abap tutorial says:



    Great article…
    How can I master those skills? can you pls share some great resources ir reference where I can do practical training etc.

  37. Neil Patel says:



    Perfect practice makes perfect
    Check out the webinar on neilpatel.com

  38. Amit Varma says:



    Hi Neil Sir, your given tips are very helpful for me. But, could you please tell me ? which one is more effective and important skill for us?? Paid or SEO?

  39. Neil Patel says:



    That depends on what you’re going after and what you like. Try and master just 1 or 2 of these.

  40. uthman Saheed says:



    Social media is really working for me when it comes to bringing products to the table of my customers. Though orgainic search has the greatest conversion in my marketing strategies. I have never for once tried email marketing. I just need to learn that through the links you provided above. Thansk

  41. Neil Patel says:



    Organic traffic is nothing to be sad about. Email marketing is solid, let me know if you need any help

  42. uthman Saheed says:



    You’ve already responded to my question via email few days ago about email marketing and how to collect emails. Thanks.

  43. manju rai says:



    Great post Neil ! I’m working as a SEO specialist and i know its value in market, but i’m shock to see SEO skill top at the list.

  44. Neil Patel says:



    Thanks manju. SEO still is as important as it was!

  45. nha cai ca cuoc says:



    With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either created myself or
    outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any methods to
    help prevent content from being ripped off? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  46. Neil Patel says:



    No because I always write the content through my personal experience.
    You’ll just need to email the site owner and request for them to take it down

  47. Scott Gabdullin says:



    Totally true! Working in the SEO industry myself, I know first hand how hard it is to find quality people for the job. But the lack of experts, of course, is also an opportunity for those who are willing to work hard! Thanks Neil for the great stats!

  48. Rizwan says:



    Nice post Neil, your given tips are always very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing the information

  49. Mondal Sujata says:



    SEO alone is a vast subject to cover and use it effectively in Digital marketing strategy. If all these listed skills can be applied together, then it can surely give good results. this post gave me some new Ideas.Thanks for this Neil.

  50. WorldTrendings says:



    Very useful information. Loved this website.
    Thanks a lot Quicksprout for sharing such amazing information.

  51. DNN New York says:



    As long as you have social media and unique content marketing downpat, you pretty much have silently secured online job security. It’s all about quality content , consistency, and positive relationships.

  52. Steven Clark says:



    I think it’s hilarious how many “SEO is dead” articles I read each and every year. SEO is going stronger than ever.

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  54. Brian Lollie says:



    Great Article Awesome! reading. I’ve applied most of them through the years however, still have learning to do Neil thanks I’m a startup but has been in the field of study for quite some time for other companies.

  55. NulledBoy says:



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  56. Abdullah says:



    This is one of bookmarked blog in my chrome browser. There are so much to learn from your blog and when it comes to digital marketing you are the Guru :). Thanks for this awesome post.

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