Digital communication involves an organization’s online communication efforts. Most organizations today use a wide range of online channels from their website to mobile chat to blogs to connect with current and prospective customers, employees, and other stakeholders. They need digital marketing professionals who have a keen understanding of how to leverage this convergence of technology and messaging to their advantage. Digital communications professionals are responsible for everything from creating online brand assets to building an engaged social media audience.
Top Skills for Success in Digital Communication
Employers across industries are looking for digital communication professionals with a variety of specific skill sets. The chart below highlights the top skills hiring managers were looking for in 2017.
Along with the above areas of expertise, there are also many “soft skills” that will serve you well in a digital communication career, including:
- Flexibility—Those who thrive in digital communication tend to be people who are highly adaptable, as priorities in this discipline often shift quickly. “Flexibility is highly valued in these roles,” explains Dr Powers. “Hiring managers want employees who can easily acclimate to changes.”
- A commitment to lifelong learning—Ongoing education is important for staying marketable and at the forefront of the field, Dr Powers says. “It’s impossible to predict future changes but the most successful digital communication professionals are committed to lifelong learning to stay ahead of the rapid pace of change.”
- A passion for storytelling—Digital communications are often rooted in the art of persuasion, and one of the best ways to persuade your audience is by crafting a strong narrative.
- Empathy—Being a strong communicator involves gaining a strong appreciation for your audience and what drives them. Once you’re able to put yourself in the shoes of other people you’re trying to influence, you can establish more meaningful—and more effective —connections with them.
- Curiosity—“Being inquisitive will carry you a long way,” says Dr Powers. “The best digital communication practitioners are those who crave a deeper understanding of the people, processes, and channels of communication.”
Common Digital Communication Career Paths
The Association of Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising recently identified key growth opportunities for digital communications professionals in areas such as:
These roles involve the planning, creating, and sharing of compelling content to engage key audiences. Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing isn’t about promoting a product or service but about being a credible source of information that matters to potential customers.
Digital advertising professionals develop and execute strategies to reach highly targeted audiences through an array of online channels, from Google AdWords to Instagram.
These roles involve testing various marketing approaches, analyzing and interpreting data, and measuring the results of marketing campaigns.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Professionals in these roles implement, analyze, and continuously update website content and technical features to increase an organization’s search engine ranking.
Social media professionals are responsible for developing and executing social media marketing campaigns to influence a target audience, which includes the creation and curation of visual and written content. They also may act as community managers, listening and responding to social media users in a way that is in line with the organization’s brand identity.