There’s a lot of exciting work being done in digital marketing. Now and then, there’s something to learn about a new tool, a new skill, and/or new ways to do things in a better way.
Digital marketing is one of those industries where learning never stops and you can keep improving in one way or another.
There are also those people who are relatively new to the digital marketing arena and want to improve their skills, so let’s look at 10 ways you can improve your digital marketing skills:
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- Clear the Basics
- Digital Marketing Courses
- Practice What You Learn
- Find a Mentor
- Stay Updated with the Industry
- Don’t Forget the Data
- Keep Experimenting
- Market Yourself
- Improve Communication
- Learn Project Management
Now, let’s learn about these methods and see how they can help us in improving our skills.
Clear the Basics
On its own, digital marketing is quite wide and includes a lot of different specializations and career paths ranging from social media marketing, paid/PPC marketing, and SEO to conversion rate optimization, digital analytics, and content marketing, to name a few.
So, it’s very important to at least have a basic idea about these different areas, i.e., how they generally work and how one can impact the other.
This will clear the basics for you and give you a wholesome picture when you’re looking at something or forming a digital marketing plan.
For instance, if you’re too focused on just running the ads on social media and search engines, but the ads are not relevant to the landing pages or don’t go with the content strategy, it will burn your marketing budget and hurt your conversion rates.
So, being not in sync with other areas of digital marketing means you might not be able to deliver effective results in the long term since you would be more focused on your own department/specialization.
Digital Marketing Courses
One of the best ways to start in this industry and to keep improving is to upskill through courses. However, it’s important to do what’s relevant vs just doing every other course. This also means not focusing on quantity as much as quality.
If you have a clear idea of the basics, then you would know how to cut the noise and choose the courses that are more relevant to your area of specialization.
We all suffer from some form of procrastination so it’s important not to overwhelm ourselves and enroll in several courses at once. It’s better to take it slow, and one at a time to learn better.
Moreover, it’s not just about enrolling because that’s the easy part but you would be spending your money, time, and energy if you want to get the most out of these courses.
So, make sure you go for courses that match the type of content you want to learn, read any reviews, and plan to complete that course as well. If possible and if you can, then take a trial to see how you like it before you jump in.
Here’s a list of websites where you can do some specialized courses:
- CXL – From general digital marketing to conversion rate optimization and digital analytics, they are known for their in-depth courses by industry practitioners.
- Udemy – Often not very expensive, these courses from experts can be a great way to boost your skills and resume.
- Coursera – Another platform with a ton of courses. Google’s Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate is a great place to start.
- MeasureSchool – If you’re looking to learn about Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and other tools in Google Marketing Platform then our blogs, YouTube videos, and the MeasureMasters membership is the place to be.
Practice What You Learn
So, you know the digital marketing basics and know how to navigate through different day-to-day situations. That’s great! But if you want to move up a level, you have to put your learning to practice as well.
Hands-on practice on the job is one of the best and quickest ways to learn because you’re dealing with real-world problems and scenarios. It gets even better if you have experienced people around you to help and correct you when you make any mistakes.
However, that luxury is not available to everyone.
Start a project, replicate what you’ve learned on a dummy website, or offer to work for free at some small business or a non-profit that can’t afford to hire someone.
If you do not have a website, you could use tools like TasteWP to play around with tracking and to test your technical implementation.
To learn GTM, you can use GTM injector-like extensions for Chrome and other browsers, and then track work on different types of conversion tracking. You can also create a dummy Google Analytics account to verify you’re receiving the data you tracked.
If you’re running out of ideas, then take inspiration from other projects and questions people ask on forums, or watch YouTube tutorials like those we have at MeasureSchool and then practice the skills you’ve learned.
As long as you can practice what you learn in real-world situations, you will improve with time. It’s an old-tested method that almost always works and opens up more opportunities!
Find a Mentor
It’s very helpful if you can turn to someone for any questions that you can’t easily or quickly find answers to or someone who simply gives you feedback on your work.
Having a mentor will do exactly that for you. Whether they are industry experts online or someone locally, this will do you wonders. It also depends on the kind of mentor you have, so make sure you find one that you know you can learn from.
Experts have already learned and mastered what you want to do, so it will save you a lot of time and effort to adopt some of the best practices and avoid some grave mistakes they’ve already made.
You can contact an expert on LinkedIn and see if they are willing to mentor you or you can try the following platforms (free and paid):
The last two are usually known as freelancing websites, but you can find subject matter experts to mentor you. This also means that quite often you might have to pay for their time to mentor you. If you can afford it, it is an investment that will eventually pay back.
If you already have a mentor, then you’re already ahead of the curve. But, it’s also important to not limit yourself completely to what the mentor says.
Be open-minded to their feedback and explore more in your own time, otherwise, you might end up just limited to what they say and not form your own opinions.
However, if you can’t afford or find a mentor, then at the very least follow the blogs and social media accounts of the industry experts, so you can keep feeding yourself with the best practices and stay on top of your game.
Stay Updated with the Industry
As we said above, it’s an ever-changing industry and it moves at a very fast pace, which also means that we need to be aware of any major changes (at least) happening in this space.
While it’s good to be updated with your area of expertise, being updated in general about what’s happening in SEO or how Facebook Ads work for people nowadays compared to Snapchat or even TikTok, can be helpful to your overall strategy.
It also makes us more confident in our day-to-day jobs and builds a good rapport with the clients during any meetings, as they’ll trust you more because you are aware of what’s going on in the industry.
Sign up for 3 newsletters from different sources, which should be sufficient without cluttering your inbox.
Also, keep tabs on the famous industry experts as well as companies and news pages, so you know if there’s an important update and can even use that in your day-to-day jobs.
To stay updated, the following resources can be quite helpful:
- Think with Google
- Meta for Business
- Instagram for Business
- YouTube Blog
- Social Media Today
- Search Engine Journal
- CXL Blog
For more specific sources like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Looker Studio, and BigQuery, you can follow the experts on LinkedIn as well as the official product pages on their social media.
For instance, if you’re cut off from social media and the industry in general, you wouldn’t know what ChatGPT is, and you can use this new tool to your advantage to get ideas for content or create some code, etc.
Here’s our recent guide where Julian talks about using ChatGPT for GTM implementations. Also, we have a post where experts share how they’re using ChatGPT in digital marketing along with exact prompts.
Staying updated can open a lot of doors, even when you’re not looking for them!
Don’t Forget the Data
While you might be tired of hearing the ‘data-driven’ buzzword quite a lot, it’s not far from reality that data is at the center of digital marketing.
If you get good at reading data and spotting patterns or trends, that’s a skill you can use in any job but more so in digital marketing.
You don’t have to be an expert in tracking data or visualizing it, just being good enough to navigate and get answers to simple questions will do the job.
This means working knowledge of the tools that you use will improve how you make decisions. For instance, the most common tool is Google Analytics for websites, but there are others like Adobe Analytics, Piwik Pro, In-app analytics of Shopify, Salesforce, etc.
So, wherever there’s data, there is an analytical tool that is being used to gather it. It gets dissected to obtain insights, which can help measure the overall website or a specific campaign’s performance and then create audiences to remarket.
Getting good at numbers even in Excel or Sheets can be quite helpful in creating reports and form analyses. Data is an essential skill for a digital marketer to have, and the level and depth of it depend on your role and interest.
Even the brightest minds can come to a point where they struggle to get fresh ideas or innovate how things are done.
If you keep experimenting with different strategies or learning new skills or new tools, then you also keep evolving as well and won’t hit a plateau. It helps to not only build confidence but also to open different doors or areas that you wouldn’t have thought about.
For instance, if you try to do audience targeting differently, then maybe it will give you better results than your usual way. For instance, conversion rate optimization – the whole industry is built on experimenting about what could work better or not.
Getting into the whole experimenting mindset would lead you to find out what’s working and what isn’t. You will keep optimizing because you will always think that you can be better than yesterday.
It’s important to market yourself by building your following that eventually develops into a brand itself (with time and hard work). It helps you to differentiate yourself from the noisy industry and stand out.
You could do this either with a YouTube channel, social media page(s), a blog, or a combination of all three. This would make you a go-to person in your niche.
You’ll need to post quality content frequently, otherwise, you’d be lost in the shadow of everyone else talking about the same thing.
Do your research, and talk about things that aren’t being talked about by other people, because that’s your opportunity. E.g., if someone is writing about Google Analytics 4, then you could talk about Adobe Analytics or any other analytical tool that isn’t talked about so much.
The following forums are great places to engage with other community members:
- Reddit – Especially the sub-forums that are more focused on a specific problem or tool.
- Product Communities – Most products have forums where you can engage with fellow users to either help them or get help yourself. For instance, check out the Google Analytics Community. You can find it for other Google products, as well.
You could engage in other people’s posts or forums by answering their questions, challenging their ideas and even holding Q&As. This will show people that you are genuinely interested in the topic and know about it.
Moreover, this type of engagement will also naturally expand your network and help you make newer connections in the industry. No doubt, networking can always be helpful!
Yes, yes… this has been said countless times now. But it’s beneficial when dealing with people from different departments, trying to explain what CTR means or what’s lookalike audience for remarketing.
If you communicate your requirements, your findings, or your concerns in an easy-to-understand language, then the collaboration becomes smooth as there are no back and forth and corrections that ought to be done.
Most importantly, communicating with other digital marketing people who are good at what they do is another way to keep getting better and learning from the best. But with better communication, you can also provide something of value to others.
At an early stage, it’s about asking the right questions and continuously looking for answers. It becomes even more important at a senior level where you’re managing a project, a team, or even a whole department.
Learn Project Management
Every client could be just another project for you, and good project management skills will help you to keep the cogs turning smoothly.
From managing basic ad campaigns to complex projects that run for months, being able to break down things and collaborate with other teams while maintaining all-around communication is what project management is all about.
It could be helpful to know what linear, agile, and other project management methods mean and how you can use them to your advantage according to the situation. This skill will set you apart from other digital marketers.
If you’re also good with at least one project management tool like Asana, Monday, JIRA, or Clickup, etc., and know how to make the best out of them, then that could also complement your digital marketing skills as you’d be more organized.
We have discussed 10 ways you can improve your digital marketing skills, but there are many other ways you can achieve the same feat.
What’s important is that you are always open to learning new things, can let go of bad habits you’ve picked up, and most importantly, focus on continuous learning if you want to be on top of your game.
This is an ever-changing digital landscape and staying ahead can be exhausting at times and burnout is real. So, don’t be too hard on yourself, and remember to take breaks and rest, as well.
Talking about continuous learning… do you know how automatic form tracking works in GA4? If not, check out our latest blog to learn how.
Let us know in the comments what digital marketing skill has helped you the most to get ahead in your career and how you improve your skills.
Great read regarding an overview of improving your digital marketing skills and the benefits for continued business success. Thanks for this.