The marketing landscape continuously evolves at a brisk pace, leaving digital marketing specialists with no choice but to keep up in a highly penetrated industry.

Such demanding circumstances can be overwhelming for even the most experienced marketers – with so many distinct disciplines, it’s impossible to be an expert in each one.

So, how do you position yourself as the top marketing candidate in a crowded market? What areas should you focus on?

The path to becoming a top digital marketing specialist isn’t clear-cut – although one trait that’s valuable for any profession is having technical skills. Digital marketing recruiters recognize marketers who possess both sophisticated technical and creative skills to be the most valuable and adept to keep up in the digital space.

Digital Marketing Recruiters’ Top Technical and Creative Skills in 2018

The immersion of creative and technical skills is incredibly valuable for top digital marketing specialists in 2018. We’ve determined five core digital marketing areas that are going to be in high-demand for the coming year and the key skills you need to become an expert in each one:

Website Development and Design

digital marketing recruiters digital marketing specialists

Websites are the digital home bases for businesses – they’re often the first point of engagement and often leave the most powerful impression on visitors and prospective leads.

Digital marketing specialists that are able to develop and maintain websites to deliver the best user experience are going to be in high demand. Digital marketing recruiters regard those that are technically-adept in creating websites and understanding the customer journey to create a compelling user experience as leading candidates.

Learning coding languages such as HTML/CSS and JavaScript are always a great technical skill to have as a marketer in any discipline. Optimizing landing pages and any content on a site is key in driving SEO, and often times involves basic knowledge in coding.

Web development and design may appear to be more technical, but creative elements become useful when working with content management systems and encoding code into copy. Understanding the type of content that resonates with an audience is essential in maximizing the user experience. Thus, being able to implement effective content into the design of a site across all platforms will ensure it enhances customer engagement.

Key relevant skills:

  • Content creation
  • Front-end development
  • Web design
  • UX design
  • Customer analytics

Social Media

The days of being able to occasionally post on social media from time to time are gone. Today, social is a critical element of any brand’s digital marketing strategy and simply can’t be neglected. Strategic social media marketing requires a deep understanding of the target audience, their preferences and the type of content that is the most effective.

Digital marketing recruiters seek marketers that can demonstrate proficiency in reaching customers personally and directly through social media. Effective social marketing entails a union of creative and technical skills, and this will only become more prevalent in 2018.

Top digital marketing specialists in the social media space will possess the ability to create content and understand how to work with tools and different platforms to drive optimal engagement. Social provides marketers and brands with a channel that allows them to directly engage with their audience in a compelling manner. It has forever transformed the way brands communicate, and won’t give such heavy responsibility to someone without adequate experience.

Consider leveraging social media to enhance your qualifications as the top marketing candidate in 2018.

Key relevant skills:

  • Creative content strategy
  • Social media management
  • Social measurement, analytics, and targeting
  • SEO
  • Graphic design

Content Creation

digital marketing recruiters digital marketing specialists

Unique and valuable content is what sets the foundation for any brand’s digital presence. Content marketing is and will continue to be a core pillar of marketing – it holds the key in driving brand awareness and customer engagement through digital channels.

Digital marketing recruiters recognize the value companies who want to amplify their digital presence place on skilled content developers. Digital marketing specialists that not only know how to communicate through content, but know how to work with intricate CMS platforms and tools to automate and track the performance of their content are going to be in high-demand in 2018.

Being able to produce high-quality, informative content and work with innovative tools to further drive engagement is a necessary skill every top candidate should have. If you aren’t able to effectively communicate through writing, make sure you work on improving it – it’s a valuable skill to have under any marketing discipline.

Key relevant skills:

  • Copywriting
  • Content management
  • Project management
  • Performance metrics and analytics

Digital Advertising

In 2018, digital marketing specialists that are skilled in creating advertising campaigns through different digital channels, along with PPC campaigns, are going to be in high demand.

Digital marketing recruiters are going to look for marketers that possess a creative mindset and know how to develop effective advertising campaigns across multiple platforms.

Effective digital advertising encompasses elements of creative skills including graphic design and content development. Campaigns that incorporate visual images and content will drive higher engagement.

Digital marketing specialists that are able to create a digital advertising strategy with compelling video, infographics and other types of visual content are going to be highly desired by companies seeking innovation.

Key relevant skills:

  • Graphic design
  • Content strategy
  • Video marketing
  • Project management
  • Analytics

Marketing Automation and Analytics

digital marketing recruiters digital marketing specialists

Effective digital marketing requires adequate research-based analysis to determine what a brand’s audience wants and needs. Digital marketing specialists that are able to analyze and interpret data to produce valuable information are going to be top candidates in the marketplace.

Understanding how consumers behave through data and performance metrics has always been a valuable skill, but will become even more important in 2018. Being able to work with data and analytics to improve content, social and overall digital strategy is a key skill digital marketing recruiters will look for. The ability to improve marketing efforts with the support of analytics tools to track measurement and performance is significantly valuable.

Becoming familiar with progressive automation tools will set you up for the future of innovation in the digital space. Artificial intelligence (AI) is so pronounced in the marketing space, and will require human support to manage it effectively as it gets bigger because such tools lack emotional intelligence.

This innovative technology can’t calculate the human element, which is important. Digital marketing specialists that are able to work with marketing automation and analytics tools to support marketing functions will be in high demand.

Key relevant skills:

  • AI and machine learning
  • Data management
  • Mobile traffic analytics
  • Web analysis

Bonus Skill: Lifelong Learning

With the rapid pace of transformation in the marketing landscape, digital marketing specialists need to become adaptive and capable of learning new things.

Whether you’re a technical or creative marketer, lifelong learning is imperative – especially if you’re at the executive level. The digital space is never stagnant – even the most experienced marketers should possess the desire to learn if they want to maintain a lasting career.

Innovative technology will be the most valuable source of information to keep up with current skills. Sharpening up your skills as a digital marketer and seeking out guidance on how to grow your career will place you where you want to be.

Final Words

The marriage between highly technically-adept and creative skills is becoming a necessary element of every marketing department across all industries. While technical skills are necessary in getting ahead, the ability to think creatively and outside of the box is truly what sets you apart.