Skills & Expertise

10 Digital Skills Every Media Pro Needs to Master

Media industry leaders weigh in on what you need to know


Does it seem that almost every day a new product or process emerges, adding to the list of things you need to use and understand to be marketable?

To give you a better idea of what skills are in highest demand—so you’ll find the most applicable openings when you’re looking at job listings, and crush it in your day job—we asked media pros what they valued as the top digital skills of the moment.

Here’s what they had to say.

1. Google Analytics

“Being familiar with Google Analytics is a must. It’s important for professionals to understand what’s working and what isn’t. Are there certain types of blog topics that are attracting more visitors to the website? What social network is providing the most referral traffic and which one do you need to reevaluate your strategy? It’s incredibly important to be well-versed in Google Analytics.” —Alyson Jamison, senior program manager at Stalwart Communications

2. Search Console

“One of the single most invaluable digital skills is Search Console. SC is all about visibility and making sure your website isn’t doing anything bad in the search engine world. It shows you what keywords people use to find you, and how well you’re ranking—assuming your sitemap is set up properly.” —Miné Salkin digital marketing manager at Absolute Mobile Solutions

3. WordPress

WordPress is easily the most widely used CMS (content management system). WordPress is great tool for media pros that don’t have extensive design/development skills. The visual editor makes it relatively easy to add, edit and remove content, and there is a plugin for just about every feature you can imagine, so most of the functionality is prepackaged and ready to go. Chances are you’ll encounter some WordPress sites in your career, so you might as well get a feel for how the platform works.” —Brandon Seymour, owner of Beymour Consulting

4. Photo and Video Editing

“Basic photo editing and video editing skills are becoming more and more important if you are looking to work in digital media, marketing, advertising or journalism. Even communications positions with smaller businesses and not-for-profits are calling for at least beginner-level skills in these areas.” —Angela Stairs, content marketing specialist at seoplus+

5. Inbound Marketing

“An Inbound Marketing Certification is important because it helps you understand the methodology of how a visitor goes down the buyer’s journey as well as your ideal “persona” (a fictional character who describes your best customer) and how to best reach them. This can help align your marketing and content efforts to discover who you are talking to and at which stage for maximum impact.” —Ethan Herber, inbound & digital marketing manager at CWS, Inc.

6. Headlines

“The most important skills are those that improve your chances of success in multiple ways. The ability to choose the right keywords and write enticing, keyword friendly headlines is crucial for SEO, PPC, social media, content marketing and copywriting. It gives you a huge advantage to get more eyeballs to your content and convert them into customers at lower costs than your competitors.” —Oleg Korneitchouk, director of marketing at SmartSites

7. Brevity

“PR pros generally know how to turn a complex situation into sound bites, but sometimes they forget that less is more in the digital world. In a world of five-second unskippable preroll ads and social videos that have to capture your attention right away, the ability to shrink a complex message into a short period of time is critical.” —Dave McCulloch, partner / digital strategy director at Capitol Media Partners

8. Understanding Your Audience

Understanding exactly what your audience is interested in and what they would like to learn about is an important aspect of all things digital. You need to be able to address the needs of your audience so that you can increase leads and draw traffic to your website. If you’re creating content surrounding subjects that aren’t relevant to your audience, it won’t provide value. Getting into the mind of your audience, and determining the main reason that they visit your site is going to help you create successful digital marketing campaigns.” —Paige Weiners, corporate marketing specialist at Blue Fountain Media

9. Digital Media Relations

“On the public relations side of our business it’s extremely vital to learn how to find specific writers, reporters, producers and bloggers. Not only that, you need to learn how to connect and build a relationship with them as well. In person versus digitally can be very different.” —Cassie Galasetti, co-founder at Social Sidekick Media, Branding & Public Relations

10. Listening

“Actively pushing your message to your audience is just half of the equation. Digital marketers also must master the skill of digital listening. With social listening platforms like Hootsuite, Radian6 or BuzzSumo, marketers are able to identify customer pain points. The entire company benefits from this.” —Malia Powers, PR manager at HeavyBit

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