As years pass and marketing channels evolve, marketers are held to an even higher standard. The good old days when marketing professionals were labeled as working in either “accounts” or “creative” are gone.
Today, agency and in-house marketers alike are required to employ more integrated marketing tactics to meet the needs of our fast-paced, consumer-driven world. Companies and agencies seek marketing professionals that can provide everything from strategy and public relations to paid search and graphic design.
Enter the “hybrid marketer.” This individual is a marketing marvel equipped with branding expertise, public relations insight, digital know-how and website development best practices in order to meet the many demands of this integrated marketing environment.
To set yourself apart in a competitive job market and bring additional value to your clients or team, be sure to master these top three skills:
1. Website Development
Marketing in the modern age has come a long way from traditional billboards and radio spots. In 2017, the most common place to reach your audience is online. Unfortunately, the basics of creating and maintaining a website are still a mystery to most marketers, aside from their web developer counterparts.
For hybrid marketer hopefuls who can’t always rely on busy IT and development departments to handle every website task, it’s a good idea to learn a few website basics to fix issues on your own.
Luckily, the dawn of the content management system (CMS) has significantly simplified tasks such as changing photos, adding and removing posts or pages, adjusting URLs and updating copy. WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are common CMS platforms that are easy to learn and manage on your own.
If you haven’t already, start to familiarize yourself with your company’s CMS of choice. Being autonomous with website tasks is valuable, especially when time is of the essence and minor website changes need to be done as soon as possible.
Another element of website development to become familiar with is hosting. In order for a website to exist on the Internet, it must be hosted on a server. There are many service providers that offer hosting for a monthly charge such as GoDaddy, Rackspace and Media Temple.
Some hosting terms to note are file transfer protocol (FTP) and secure sockets layer (SSL). FTP refers to the communication and data swapping between client and server channels that allows for file sharing and downloads. SSL adds a layer of encryption to a website, which is especially important for ecommerce sites that are processing payments.
Many marketers see the world of development as a smattering of code, but there are many fundamentals for the hybrid marketer to understand beyond HTML and CSS that can allow them to communicate intelligently with clients or execute simple tasks on their own.
2. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing takes on many forms and many marketers’ first interaction with digital is email marketing. Whether you’re actively involved in creating email campaigns or aspiring to start, there are a few metrics you should be aware of.
- Open rate represents how many users from your contact list have opened your message
- Click-through-rate is a percentage of your audience that clicked on a link within an email
- Hard bounce is an error message received because the email address you sent the message to no longer exists
- Soft bounce is an error message that occurs when a recipient’s mailbox is full or the message goes to a spam folder
These are just a few of the terms that an email marketer needs to know. Learn more about how to craft the perfect email experience to further boost your email marketing skillset.
The remainder of the digital marketing space is sometimes referred to as “search marketing” and can generally be split into two categories: search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).
SEO involves utilizing a host of different tactics in order to improve keyword rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs) to achieve the end goal of increased website traffic.
SEM is the paid advertising arm of digital marketing. Ads generally take one of two forms: pay-per-click advertisements, which are text ads at the top and bottom of page one of Google, and display advertisements. Display ads are distributed by the search engine and are shown on various partner websites such as Blogger and YouTube.
In order to be a successful hybrid marketer, you need to look beyond the meaning of SEO vs. SEM to learn the associated analytics terms and tactics.
- Sessions are synonymous with website visits
- Clicks vs. impressions, an important statistic for SEM, compares clicks that lead to sessions and impressions that indicate the number of times your ad was seen but not clicked on
- Conversions occur when users complete a desired goal such as filling out a contact form, making a purchase or completing a download
- Organic traffic originates from a search engine
- Direct traffic is earned when a user types in your URL directly or accesses it from a bookmark or favorites list
- Referral traffic is obtained from a referral link on another website
Digital marketing can be seen as a formidable opponent when considering it for the first time. But the more you learn about this marketing space, the more valuable you’ll be as a modern hybrid marketer.
3. Creative Marketing Elements
Although they may seem simple on the surface, copywriting and graphic design are more than just words and pictures.
The modern marketer must understand the various types of copy that certain mediums demand. For example, a blog can require a very different writing style and format than an email or whitepaper.
Beyond that, copy must speak to the needs and challenges of the buyer persona it aims to reach. Copywriters are challenged with producing compelling copy that doesn’t just comply with the buyer’s journey but also turns pain points into solutions that convey empathy and understanding.
In addition, graphic designers need to be aware of including elements of responsive design and the considerations of user behavior. Generally, copywriters and graphic designers work in sync to create the perfect user experience – which is what our modern marketing landscape demands.
If you’re an aspiring hybrid marketer without creative experience, become familiar with new developments in copywriting best practices and graphic design capabilities. It can help complete your understanding of the intricacies of the industry and guide your own specialty.
Becoming a hybrid marketer is difficult task, but keep in mind that the more versatile you become, the better you’ll be able to serve your employer or potential clients.
An easy way for marketing managers to help raise hybrid marketers in their agency is to train your team on various specialties through interactive group tutorial sessions. You’ll provide your coworkers with a more well-rounded perspective on marketing best practices, foster a greater sense of teamwork and encourage top-notch work.