Every business needs a digital marketing specialist.

This person is usually an employee who wears multiple hats. They have to be capable of working in solitude for long periods of time and able deal with overwhelming bursts of intense teamwork and interaction with prospects, clients, and customers.

While digital marketing has its fair share of fanboys, for the most part, it’s still an undefined category. It exists in the shadows of the office.

Sometimes it’s a remote position with employees that only show up to meetings once a month.

In essence, digital marketing specialists are the Batman of the corporate world. Most employees have no clue what they even do. The citizens of Gotham have no idea just how hard these caped crusaders work behind the scenes.

As a hiring manager, what skill set should you look for in a digital marketer? They probably all seem like a bunch of WFH Cowboys, with the internet being the closest thing that the office world has to the Wild West.

Here are 7 skills that I want to see in the right candidate.

1. Digital Marketing Specialists Who Are Writers

The written word is the most powerful tool that any marketer has at their disposal. When I’m on the hunt for a potential hire, I want them to consider themselves a writer before they think of themselves as anything else.

Go to almost any freelance writer’s website and they’re likely going to be offering a variety of digital marketing services. Writers usually have blogs. To promote they blog, they have to market themselves. Key digital marketing concepts are usually picked up along the way.

This writer needs to be able to knock out amazing, SEO friendly content, but a compelling copy with clear and irrefutable calls to action.

When asked what the biggest challenges were with content marketing, 77% of the answers involved creating content. Someone who is a writer first is not going to have a problem there.

2. A Social Media Guru

Social media is the easiest and least expensive way for my business to reach a large audience. It’s also really easy to waste a ton of time and resources.

Many digital marketing variables are all working together to bring in leads and conversions. Often, it will appear that your social media campaigns aren’t working. Maybe they aren’t.

Sometimes, a digital marketing specialist needs to get attention before they start to focus on conversions, especially in a new company or an outfit that’s trying to rebrand.

Social media is the best place to experiment with this kind of thing.

Because it’s free to use, the focus is more about interacting and helping prospects and customers while also sharing information that they’ll find useful.

Here, my potential digital marketing specialist needs to show me that they can be a people person and do so on multiple platforms; all while helping to expose the brand to new faces.

By multiple platforms, I mean the platforms that are most viable to what my business is doing. If my target demographic is males millennials, why is my digital marketing specialist talking to me about the value of Pinterest? If my demographic is about video and visuals, then why are we talking about Reddit?

Know the business first. Then figure out what social platforms are the best for my brand.

Throwing out too much sales information on social media is a great way to turn people off and get unfollowed or ignored.

Being a social media extraordinaire is a lot like juggling eggs. What I’m looking for is a velvet glove, not an iron fist.

3. SEO

Search engine optimization takes about a week to learn.

It takes a lifetime to master and is constantly changing.

While it’s a valuable skill and a must have for any business, anyone can be trained to do it.

I have a hard time putting it so high on the list for that reason.

Where SEO can be difficult is knowing how to optimize everything from the website to the content to social media to link building and keywords. Can my potential hire make it all work together and make it seamless?

I don’t want anyone to know just how hard I try to get my business on the first page of organic rankings. It should appear that we’re there simply because we’re awesome.

THAT is incredibly hard.

4. YouTube

This is technically considered content marketing, but YouTube deserves its own category.

While the SEO of it works in a similar way to Google, this is one place where the writer may have a challenge.

Video marketing completes the content trifecta. Short form, long form, and video.

Utilizing YouTube will reach an audience that isn’t reading blog posts or other written content. So the strategy has to be substantially different. This is where a digital marketing specialist can really get their sell on and I’m going to find out with relative ease how well they can do that.

YouTube viewers and content readers are likely going to be different sets of people; I want someone who is an expert at repurposing content.

5. and 6. PPC and Analytics

Google Adwords and Analytics are a pair of ferocious marketing tools. I want someone who knows how to design an Adwords campaign and can study analytics to understand what online ventures are successful and which are failing.

Similar to SEO, this is something that can be learned with relative ease, especially to someone who has a sales or advertising background.

If I’m using my “writer first” approach, this could be more of a challenge.

Anyone can come up with an Adwords campaign. Knowing what all of the Analytics information means and how to utilize it to increase conversions is the person I want and the most difficult part of all things PPC.

For a new business, SEO is going to take a while to become a profitable venture. On the short term, I have to rely on paid ads to get me there.

7. Email Marketing

It all comes back to being a writer, doesn’t it?

Email marketing, like other forms of content and copy, are about more than just words.

Email marketing is a craft all its own. It’s about convincing a prospect to give an email address just as much as it is about writing great emails that can create conversions.

Landing pages and emails, in this day and age, are also about nurturing leads. Keeping loyal customers in the know about exciting things happening within the company, offering exclusives to email members, coupons, etc…

We’re living in the mobile age, where over half of the cell phone users check their email via phone, making emails a viable part of mobile marketing. Similar to social media, email campaigns are cheap for the business and free to the consumer.

I know this can be a lot to take in. Any maybe the perfect digital marketing specialist doesn’t exist. Maybe you need a team. If that’s the case, contact us today to find out how we can help.