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4 Tools/Techniques Every Marketer Should Master in 2014

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If you heard a hurricane was coming to your town in a few days, you would stock up on the essential items needed to survive, right? Yet so many marketers don’t seem to take the same approach to their marketing efforts when it comes to learning about tools and techniques they need to ensure their brand survives.

Gone are the days of generalists and specialists, today’s marketers need to be fluent in both strategy and tactical methods – which gives them the leverage they need to understand the landscape, measure their efforts and implement changes as quickly as possible.

If these techniques aren’t mastered immediately, marketers risk losing their jobs, businesses and brands to those who have a much better grasp and drive.

  1. SEO Copywriting

If your brand engages in any form of digital marketing, chances are that you do some level of writing. It may be something as simple as a tweet or a more complex blog post, but once you’re writing for the web, it’s important to consider both your audience and search engines.

Understanding your audience and what they might be searching for when looking for your product or service can help tremendously with bringing new traffic to your online properties. Therefore, all digital marketers should at least know the fundamentals of keyword research and how to use these to write bios, social media updates and website content that search engines will love.

Additionally, if you have a WordPress blog, you should install the free WordPress SEO by Yoast plug-in which takes all the hard work out of crafting SEO-friendly blog posts. Also, tools like Buzzsumo and Zite are greats tools for helping professionals curate and formulate new ideas.

  1. Advanced Email Marketing

It’s no secret that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to get customers – 40 times more effective than social media. Yet, based on a survey by marketing research firm, the Radicati Group, over 84% of emails are considered spam, which shows us that we need to be a lot more calculated in our approach to email marketing.

When creating newsletters and email campaigns, it’s important to consider the audience and ensure what you’re sending us something they actually want to see. The great news is, with the data provided by most email marketing companies; this is a lot easier than it sounds. Once you’ve learned how to conduct A/B Testing – sending varied versions of the same email to see which is more effective – then you can review the results to see what elements work best for your audience. Take it further by optimizing for mobile devices and segmenting your list to get even better results.

  1. Social Media Advertising

Social media is pretty popular, isn’t it? And now that it seems as if it’s here to stay, the majority of brands worldwide have also gotten involved with social media in one way or another. Translation: It’s more crowded than Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

The smarter brands have figured out how to stand out from the crowd: advertising. While many complain that social media used to be ‘free’ and they shouldn’t have to pay to get access to an audience they have already secured through likes and follows, traditional marketers and advertisers will tell you that paying to get the attention of people who already like your brand is standard fare. With brands seeing great results through Facebook and YouTube advertising, and other social media channels such as Instagram and Pinterest recently opening up their advertising platform, knowing how to create and manage effective advertising will soon become a standard job requirement for marketers.

Facebook offers a great advertising training course for beginners through Facebook Studio EDGE, and most social media channels also have a business site just for this purpose (for example, these for Twitter and LinkedIn). When you’re ready to go even further, check out the blog of Facebook Ads expert, Jon Loomer, who takes on all the testing in social media advertising so we don’t have to.

  1. Data Analysis

Brainstorming new campaign ideas is fun. So is designing the creative elements and seeing how your fans react.; analyzing data to determine ROI – not so much. Data analysis may not be fun, but it is crucial to figuring out what’s working and what’s not when it comes to online marketing. It’s also the part that will make your boss love you – when you can prove that the money they put into your campaign (and your salary) is a worthy investment providing sustainable returns.

The most popular tool for data analysis for websites and applications is Google Analytics. Of all the tools listed in this article, this is probably one of the most complex and difficult to learn. Luckily, Google Analytics takes care of that with providing Google Analytics Academy, free online courses for those wishing to learn how to use their platform effectively. For those just starting out, we recommend the Digital Analytics Fundamentals course.

Putting in the time to learn these skills will possibly be one of the best investments any digital marketer can make in their career. Your customers will be happy you understand them, your manager or clients will be impressed with your knowledge and results, and you can rest assured that you’ll survive in this fast-paced marketing world – for at least another year!

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