The digital marketing arena is always changing. The evolution of technologies and adoption of new social media platforms and apps leads to significant shifts in consumer behavior, and those shifts then influence the skills required to meet demand and capitalize on audience attention. Amidst this changing landscape, it can be hard for marketers to know what skills they should be developing and highlighting to potential employers or clients to make themselves more appealing and aligned to business needs. This is particularly relevant for marketers looking for work - what skills should they be listing on their LinkedIn profile to match demand from businesses and ensure they're maximizing their discoverability via search?
No one knows this kind of data better than LinkedIn, and together with Hubspot, they've created a new eBook that looks at trends in digital marketing skills, matching up what key terms and talents marketers are highlighting on their LinkedIn profiles against what recruiters and companies are actually searching for to fill needs within their businesses. And they've got a lot of data to work with - as of their most recent earnings announcement, LinkedIn has 380 million members worldwide, the largest professional database ever created. If anyone can show you the way on this front, it's LinkedIn.
Called 'The Marketing Skills Handbook', LinkedIn's new guide outlines the key trends and changes in digital marketing listings on the platform from 2013 through to today. Some of the findings offer great insight into how the digital industry is evolving, for instance:
The emphasis on SEO/SEM is somewhat surprising, given the current trends leaning more towards social media marketing, but it highlights the differences that can exist between industry chatter and business need. This variance is also evident in the third point - marketers are putting emphasis on their social media skills, while businesses are looking for SEO/SEM capabilities, an important note to consider.
The rise of 'CMO' and 'Digital Marketing Manager' roles makes sense, and underlines the rising importance of social media and digital marketing within the modern business process, while the increased emphasis on skill certifications shows that social business is evolving into a more mainstream discipline - companies are moving beyond the approach of getting the youngest person in the business to take care of social and are looking to training and documentation to quantify required skills, which is great to see.
The guide underlines the variance between skills being listed by marketers and skills being sought by businesses later in the book, with specific listings on the differences between what marketers want to emphasize and what brands need.
This is important as it brings forth the reality of the market, highlighting the need to keep the bottom line in mind amidst the trends in social media that might be more personally appealing. That's not to say you can't excel and succeed by focusing on these lesser emphasized abilities, but you may be making it harder and reducing your employability by not expanding your skill set into more sought after areas. It also might make some marketers re-think the focus of their personal branding pitch - you may have skills in all the required areas but maybe you're emphasizing the wrong ones. By using this guide, you can re-structure your profiles to ensure you're maximizing attention.
And worth noting too, those skills can vary by market sector:
The guide also highlights how marketers can use the data to improve their profiles, particularly their LinkedIn profiles, to better meet business demand:
"In their LinkedIn profiles, marketers have a huge opportunity to emphasize the skills that they have and that marketers want. They can also go obtain those skills via hands-on experience, certification courses, or a combination of both. As an example, marketers can emphasize or obtain SEO skills, which are currently at the top of the wish list of many companies"
The guide also offers some quick-fix solutions to help marketers stand out and move in-line with trends to generate more opportunities - for example:
"If you are a digital or online marketer (or an inbound marketer, perhaps) and you don't currently list the term "Digital and Online Marketing" on your LinkedIn profile, that's a quick fix that will help you become a more sought after candidate in the marketing world."
These are hugely beneficial insights that could make the world of difference, or, at the least, get marketers thinking in a more targeted way about how they frame their value proposition, as opposed to how they'd like to present themselves. In our new world of social data, there's no need to go on gut instincts or assumptions, you can research and investigate the best ways to present yourself to match the requirements of the evolving business world - based on the data actually being posted and presented by the businesses themselves. If nothing else, LinkedIn's new guide should get you thinking about this and how to use such insights to better position yourself in the field.
The full "Marketing Skills Handbook", with a range of additional insights, is available via sign-up here.