Wondering what skills, expertise, or background you might need to land a digital marketing job in the Web 2.0 era? Do you know what criteria companies will be using to determine your level of digital marketing savvy?
The authors of the book Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs advise companies to use the DARC framework when hiring new digital marketers.
D = Hire Digital Citizens
A = Hire for Analytical chops
R = Hire for Web Reach
C = Hire Content Creators
So how does your marketing skill set measure up to this list? Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these guidelines to get a better idea of what skills companies might want their digital marketers to possess.
Hire Digital Citizens
Do you “get” the Web? Are you naturally curious about it? Do you have your own profiles on the major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn)? Do you actively update these profiles? Do you read any blogs? Do you write your own blog? Do you use a RSS feeder? Do you rank first for your name in Google? If you answered “yes” to most of these questions then you are a Digital Citizen.
Companies are going to be looking for Digital Citizens, not Digital Tourists. If the questions above left you feeling a little confused or disoriented, then you my friend are a Digital Tourist.
And don’t think about trying to fake your way through these questions in an interview. A smart company will ask you to show them your Twitter account, Facebook account, favorite blogs, etc., right there on the spot. So if you don’t have anything to show them…well I’m guessing you will have a pretty short interview.
Hire for Analytical Chops
The great thing about digital marketing is that you can measure almost everything that takes place on your website. These days companies can determine how consumers found their website, how many visited the site, how many pages they viewed, how much time they spent on the site, and much, much more.
So who is going to slice and dice all of this data to come up with meaningful insights? Leave it to the engineers and stats geeks, right? Wrong! If you want to be a kickass digital marketer and stand out from the crowd, then it better be YOU.
Performing web analytics may not seem sexy, but man has it got teeth. Being able to identify a company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and come up with impactful strategic actions based off of measured data are EXTREMELY valuable skills. Learn how to do these well and you will always have a place at the digital marketing table.
It’s not always easy to determine how analytical someone is during a conventional interview. So it’s possible that a company may have you bring one of your favorite spreadsheets to the interview and have you describe some counter-intuitive insight that you were able to pull out from the data. Or they might want to see if you are familiar with some of the free web analytics tools (e.g. Google Analytics) available online.
Hire for Web Reach
Many companies have learned to focus their digital marketing efforts on inbound marketing instead of outbound marketing.
The best inbound marketers have used the Web to establish a personal network of connections within their industry. They have built an online following by writing their own blog or being active on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
So when a company hires a marketer with a popular industry blog or a huge Twitter following, the company automatically expands its reach by now having access to the marketer’s digital followers.
Industry web reach can be relatively hard to acquire. But if you are creative, have a passion for a particular industry and have noteworthy things to say, you can slowly build your own community of industry specific followers.
Unless you are Charlie Sheen, you won’t build up an online following overnight, so don’t even try. Besides, when it comes to having meaningful web reach, you are better off having a small number of followers who are actively engaged with you than a large number of followers who show only a passive interest.
Hire Content Creators
Companies need to regularly create remarkable online content to attract and maintain a community of followers who may eventually become customers. Content can come in many forms: blogs, videos, podcasts, e-books, webinars, etc. At the core of all of these content forms is the written word. Therefore, companies are going to look for marketers with excellent writing skills.
They may also look to hire people who are good storytellers. These are not necessarily people with excellent writing skills, but perhaps people who excel at communicating through videos or podcasts. Either way, if you are a marketer with creative instincts and the ability to craft a good story, then you will have a leg up on others with say…an engineering background.
What to do now?
Only you can determine how well you stand up to the DARC criteria described above.
Do yourself a favor, perform an honest assessment of your skill set and develop a plan to improve the areas where you think you are the weakest.
So how would you rate yourself against the DARC standard? What are you strong points? What are you weak points?
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the Comments below.