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The Clientside Podcast

Essential Skills for Digital Marketers with Andrew Armitage

The Clientside Podcast

36 min Andrew

Following our last episode on digital skills, in the absence of a guest for this episode, Andrew Armitage follows up by talking about the skills that he feels every digital marketer (or arguably just marketers, period) should have to help them do their best work when it comes to managing website content, creating audio and video material, analysing data and creating graphics.

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Andrew:
Hey, everybody, it's Andrew Armitage here, and I'm your host on the Clientside podcast. This is the show where we share insights into our world as a digital agency and the things that as a client or working client side, you need to know to ensure you can stand out online. Perhaps you work with agencies or you work in-house. You might even be a business owner. In fact, whatever your background is, you're more than welcome here. And we're delighted that you're joining us because we know that in-house teams, particularly in smaller businesses, can sometimes feel a bit isolated or excluded from the latest difficult trends and behaviors.

Andrew:
So we're here to help you plug that gap. And this is our seventh episode. Yeah, we've hit seven episodes. So welcome back to listeners. If you're here for the first time, I'm really delighted that you are lending us your ears. It's great to have you with us. So the seventh episode? Well, that makes me think that we've achieved something of a milestone. Here's a quick stat for you. There are over 700,000 podcasts out there, but honestly, it's fair to say that only a small number stretch beyond that critical seventh episode. In fact, 93 percent of podcasts don't make it beyond episode 7. Why seven? Well, I'm not exactly sure. It's one of those odd numbers that seems to become the threshold for lots of different things. And as far as podcasts go, it seems to be the number of shows allow a podcast to be officially called a series. So although it's early days for the Clientside podcast still, we've hit our first milestone and alongside this, we've now also had over 250 downloads since we published our first episode back in June. So we're not quite hitting the heady heights, but it does feel like we're making progress and we've got something that we can build on. So Episode 7, this is going to be something of an interesting show because it's the first show that I'm doing without a guest. If truth be told, we haven't actually been able to fit in an interview with a guest since the last one.

Andrew:
I've had a pretty full on schedule since the last episode and we've just really not been able to get ahead with a full season of interviews in the bag just yet. But we've got a few great conversations lined up and I'm really looking forward to getting those recorded and sharing those with you. In fact, one of the things that I've been up to over the last week is I've been across in Canada at the Dot All Conference in Montreal. For those of you that know a little bit about A Digital, which is the agency that I run, we do a lot of work with a platform, a content management system called Crafts CMS and Dot All is the annual developer conference. So I spoke there last week about migrating websites to Craft, which was a lot of fun. There was some fantastic presentations as well from all the speakers, not just focused on Craft, but lots of content and inspiring presentations on building world class websites and using all the latest development tools. So the videos will be coming out from that if that's something that is of interest and do look out for those on our social media. So like I said, this is a show without a guest. So what am I going to talk about? Well, on our last episode, we talked with Veronica Swindale from the Northeast Sales and Marketing Academy or NESMA, and we talked about digital skills. So I wanted to follow up on that conversation really with some thoughts of my own in terms of the skills that

Andrew:
I believe digital professionals really ought to have in their skill sets. If you want to check out that conversation with Veronica first, then please do. In fact, while you're there, you might want to hit that subscribe button on the podcast. And you'll not only find that episode, but you'll also be able to hear the other shows that we've done. And of course, you'll get new episodes delivered directly to your device or straight into your favorite podcast App. You can find the show now on Apple podcast, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Acast, I think there's about eight different platforms now where the podcast is out. I can't remember them all, but I'm sure you will be able to find the show in your favorite app. So thinking about this episode, I think there's a bit of a dual audience because this is really about the skills that businesses should have within their staff and what they should be looking out for when recruiting people to fill a marketing or digital base role. But I also think there's some value in some of the things I'm talking about for individuals who might be looking to develop their own skills or perhaps on the lookout for new job opportunities. Now, I'm not saying that people won't be able to do a marketing job without these skills, but for those who are looking for job opportunities, these are the skills that will help you stand out for those on the recruiting side.

Andrew:
These are the skills that will save you time and money and give your marketing activity a distinct edge over your competition. So shall we check out the list? Here we go. The first thing which may be a little bit controversial. It's a point that keeps getting kicked around in the industry, and that is that I think everyone should have at least some knowledge of code. Now, I'm not talking about you having to be able to build a Web page from scratch, but there are some really good reasons why having some awareness of how code works will help you. Code obviously sits behind a website and email newsletters and so on, and I can already hear people thinking, well, I don't need to code myself because we use WordPress or use Mailchimp. We've got a WYSIWYG editor in our content management system, WYSIWYG, by the way, stands for, what you see is what you get. Although more commonly your own experience might be what you see is what you don't get. So you might be thinking that, well, we can just add widgets or we can download plugins and we can do everything that we need to do, I don't need to know how to code. Well, all of those things are, of course, true, and for any well-built Web site, I would absolutely expect that you can add content, publish images add videos and so on without having to write out code.

Andrew:
But it is a massive help if you do have at least a bit of an understanding of what might be happening behind the scenes in the background as you're writing out your content. Many people will open up their content management system like, say, whether it's WordPress, Joomla, it could be Craft or even other hosting systems like Shopify and Squarespace and think when they sit down to type, their page will behave just like they've opened up Microsoft Word or a Google doc. Yes, on a simple page that may well be the case, but web pages can be something of a delicate case. Sometimes when it comes to laying out content, especially when you have to consider that your page needs to scale to different sizes for different devices. There's a lot going on in the background and at some point you'll take a look at something you've just written, whether it's a new page on your site or a blog post, and be really frustrated that it just doesn't look in the way you expected. And that's where I refer to what you see is what you don't get. You know, a WYSIWYG editor is really it's just a text box where you can type your text. So if you've got a bit of an idea of what's happening on the page, a little bit of knowledge of HTML, then that can go a long way to help you fix things yourself or just get a feel for why something hasn't quite laid itself out in the way that you expected.

Andrew:
And most WYSIWYG editors will have a gear or a little cog icon somewhere, or perhaps a little angle brackets that are used in HTML that will allow you to see the code that's been written out in the editor behind the scenes. So like I said, I'm not saying that everyone should be able to code up their own page from scratch. What are the sort of things that you should know about? Well, let's just roll back a little bit and look at what makes up a Web page. Because there are three main elements that you'll find in the vast majority of Web sites. First of all, we've got HTML. This is, it is code, but it's English. It's readable code. And this is where you can see the angle brackets and things like that. And the HTML is essentially your content, but it's marked up in these things called tags. And they basically tell your web browser what sort of content something is. So, for example, we've got P tags for paragraphs. We've got UL tags for unordered lists, which are bullet lists. We've got OL tags for ordered lists which are numbered lists and then we've got headings, things that your headlines that go from one to six and H1, H2, H3 and so on. Then you've got links, images, video, all those sorts of things that refer to your content. And then we can apply styling rules to HTML.

Andrew:
So that's the second element to our web page. The styles and the written rules, they live in a separate file that we call a style sheet, and that's also known as CSS, which stands for cascading style sheets because the rules cascade across your whole website. So any layout or styling rules that say whether the site should have perhaps a wide banner image, then two columns, perhaps three columns in the footer, all of that will be set in the CSS. And the beauty of that is if you need to change the layout or the rule that applies to perhaps, let's say a heading, you can do that just once in your style sheet and that change will then cascade through the rest of your site. Now, the third element, the last part of your Web page, which will be made up with something called JavaScript, and this is mainly the behaviors and interactions that exist on your page. So let's say you might have a little calendar dropdown or a form that tells you that you've not submitted a valid email address, that will usually be done with JavaScript. So as we go from top to bottom there, starting with each HTML into the style sheet and into JavaScript. The level of complexity increases. HTML even if you can't write it, it's usually pretty straightforward to read. Styles are going to be a little bit more awkward to get a head round, and certainly when it comes to JavaScript, we are really getting into proper code at that point.

Andrew:
And absolutely, I wouldn't expect people really to go beyond having an understanding of HTML. Yes, you need to know how the different elements interact with each other. But when I say I think people need to be able to code, I'm really just talking about having a good handle on HTML. We've talked about paragraphs earlier with HTML and one of the big frustrations that I've seen with people writing out blocks of text on a page are when they hit enter and they only ever seem to get a paragraph break. Now, this is because you've just added paragraph tags in the background and paragraph tags are different to line breaks, to get a line break you press shift and enter. And if you look at the code, you'll see P tags for the paragraphs and BR tags for line breaks. And it's just simple things like that, that can just stop you from scratching your head thinking why on earth is it not behaving in the way that I expected it to? The same sort of thing can apply when you're looking at links and videos. Sometimes you might want to link to open in a new tab. There are rights and wrongs for doing that. But let's put that to one side. You might need to embed a video on the page and just being able to read some of that code can help you understand what's going on and give you a little bit more granular control.

Andrew:
The other really crucial aspect to HTML code is that that is what search engines read. That's where your title tags and your headings sit and these are the parts of the code that search engines will look at to work out the structure of your content and your page. So, yes, it's really important to understand, for example, when you might use a heading one, when you might use a heading two or heading three. And if you think about a newspaper article, you'll always see the major headline at the top of it. So that's your equivalent to a heading one. Now, as you scan down that article, you'll often see little subheadings or subtitles, and that's essentially where you can introduce heading two and heading three. So if you're scanning down a particularly lengthy article, you might actually jump from heading one to heading two to heading three, and then you decide whether you read the bits that sit in between those headings. But just by looking at the headings, you can get a bit of a feel for what that story is all about. And that's exactly what search engines are wanting to do. In fact, it's exactly what people are wanting to do. People habitually do not read lengthy patches of content on a Web site, so if people can jump down from different headlines and then decide which bits are relevant to them and read those, then they can get a good handle or a good understanding of what that page is all about.

Andrew:
And that's exactly what search engines are wanting to do. And one of the really common mistakes that we see repeatedly is that people don't use these headings. They might just put their text in and they set it as bold. Now, visually, that might work for your page, but actually you're muddying the waters of that content structure and that ultimately can hamper the chances of improving your search engine visibility. So knowing when to use certain headings rather than just say marking up the text as bold can really help as far as search engines go. Other bits and pieces around code that are useful to know are which bits happen in the browser, which bits happen on the server, and how code follows logic to run. I think knowing these sorts of things can be a huge help if things don't seem to be running properly or you think that something might need fixing. And let's face it, at some point something is going to break on your website. It always does. It's a fact of life. So let's think about the HTML all of that is rendered by your web browser. It is essentially your content. And if something's not right relating to your content, then that probably points to something in your HTML that needs fixing. But as things get a little bit more complicated, we might start and think about things that happen in the front end or the back end.

Andrew:
And when we talk about front end, that's the stuff that's happening in the browser, the things that you can see. And the back end, that's the stuff that's happening on the server that tends to be heavy lifting. It's a little bit more transactional stuff. So when you submit a form, you want to save information. All of that's happening on the server. And that's where most of your website code will sit over on the server. And I certainly wouldn't expect people to understand how all that side of things work. But when there are problems with Web sites, there's usually a single event that triggers an error. And knowing where in the overall sequence of events that that could be happening makes it a lot easier to diagnose and fix. Even if you're not the one doing the fixing. So let's take an example. You take your car to the garage and you say to the mechanic, there's a problem with my car. Well, yeah, that's pretty vague. And they're going to have to spend a bit of time perhaps taking out on a test drive, doing a bit of diagnosis. Whereas if you're in a position to be able to say, I can hear a noise, it appears to be coming from the front left wheel, I think it could be the brakes then, you know, that might not be the actual problem, but it does at least give the mechanic a little bit of a direction.

Andrew:
And of course, the goal is to get you back up and running as quickly as possible. So if you can at least point someone in the right direction or you know, you're not wasting your time by looking in the wrong place, then like I say it can just help get you back up and running a little bit quicker. It may even turn out to be something that you can self-help or self-fix, and obviously that can save even more time. So there's some tools that can really help you with getting a better idea of what's happening in the HTML, and these are web developer toolbars in browsers. Most browsers have them so you can right click and click on inspect element. For example, if you click on a heading, it will show you what heading number that is. And you know, there's other toolbars that you can download. Just go into Chrome or Firefox. They tend to be more developer oriented browsers like I say, even though you're not getting into the code, just do a quick Google search for web developer toolbar. And these have some pretty cool features like being able to disable the browser cache, which can sometimes confuse people and clearing out cookies. That kind of thing. So they are definitely worth checking out. So let's move on to the next area that I think is really important, and that's audio and video. Once upon a time, publishing a video or a piece of audio content was just exclusively for big brands.

Andrew:
You know, only a Kellogg's or a Cadbury's type of company would ever be seen on TV or heard advertising on the radio. But, you know, things have changed massively since those days. And simply now by owning a smartphone that means you can create video and audio content. And I firmly believe that now every single company out there needs to be a media company. You know, you're not just selling widgets and manufacturing what you might do or serving customers. We've got to be media companies. And I think anybody working in marketing has to have some experience of either creating or editing audio and video content. You know it's not difficult these days. It can be done directly on your phone. You can download free apps. And of course, it can get more complicated depending on the type of production that you want. But for most companies, that should be creating content on a regular basis, we're not talking about putting out BBC or Netflix style documentaries. You really want to try and keep it fairly straightforward. And I think for that you need to be able to create your own short videos, podcasts, really as and when you need them. And audio and video editing is actually very similar. And many of these apps now make it largely a point and click exercise. It will take care of transitions between different clips. They'll smooth out audio, the louder background music track. So it really is fairly straightforward to get involved with this stuff.

Andrew:
And I think everyone who is in a marketing role or been recruited into a marketing role at least should have some experience. Now, I would totally advocate that if you are looking to create a show reel or an introduction video to what you do as a business, then, absolutely, this does not want to look amateurish. So why would you need to know about these things yourself? Well, at some point something's going to happen in the business or in the organization you're working for when you just don't have, let's say, 500 pounds to two and a half grand, let's say to commission a short video or the purpose of that video may only have limited appeal to a small audience or even just for a limited time window. So I think it's really important that when these opportunities arise, they are not simply dismissed because of budget. You know, not every video you put out there has to be a top quality broadcast. And in fact, there's a strong argument that says video can look a little bit rough around the edges. You know it can perhaps make you look a little bit more human, a little bit more personable. You know, I look down my LinkedIn feed and I can see dozens of videos that have been shot by people in their cars, their kitchens, even out while walking the dog. So I think it's about having the right type of video for the situation and the audience.

Andrew:
But it's also about not limiting your opportunity to do things. Now, I totally get there are other hurdles when it comes to audio and video and I know full well from first hand experience, probably the biggest fear of recording yourself is the sound of your own voice. Everybody has this to begin with and it's only by practicing this that you can actually get over it. I've been through it, particularly with video. I still do. I just recognize it's one of the types of content that is in demand right now. And I think as digital marketers, whether you specialize in the digital space or not, it's just something that you need to be doing. No time and space to record can be a barrier too, especially if there are other people who could overhear you. Again, from my own experience, that just pushes the level of awkwardness and embarrassment up through the roof. But all of these things do become easier with practice. Yeah, actually sometimes I think having people in the room it does help to focus you. You might not want to be overheard, but it does kind of focus you in terms of you've got a job to do. You've got to get on with it. You've just got to get it done. I think if you are given too much space, sometimes you procrastinate over what's good and you just keep going over and over and over again on the same thing. And I've certainly fallen into that trap. But I do try as much as I can to do these things.in a

Andrew:
single take because you know some of the things that you might post out on social media can be here today, gone tomorrow. And you really don't want to fall into that trap of trying to create the next piece of viral content every time you sit down. So practice, practice and you'll find this becomes much less of an issue for you. And you can script your audio, you can script the video, even if you have to do a little bit more editing afterwards to try and take some of your bloopers out, what have you. But just try and do it, just try and get into that rhythm of practicing. And if it's a little bit rough around the edges, it doesn't matter. It makes it look a little bit more human and a bit more personal. So let's move on to another point. And we've talked so far really about technical skills, but when there's so much marketing is about content, writing content is also a key requirement for anyone in this type of role. So I think, you know, given that I see all companies now as media companies, you've also got to be a production company as well. So, yes, that's writing blog posts, scripting video and audio content. And of course, writing is a core skill, but it's not just about being able to write and have good grammar. I think it's a really important aspect is about how you can set context for your audience and tell a story.

Andrew:
And I can highly recommend a book called, I think it's called Your Story Brand. It's certainly by a chap called Donald Miller. And there's a podcast to accompany that although don't swap their podcast for ours. This book talks about how stories are so important in marketing because our brains can easily make sense of stories. You know, we grow up from such a young age listening to stories. I still read stories to our kids at bedtime and you'll recognize yourself there's usually a certain format that these stories follow. You know, it might be that someone is trying to achieve a certain objective or reach a certain place. But there's a challenge that gets in the way. There might be an internal challenge. There might be an external challenge. But then there's someone who comes along and acts as a guide to help you overcome that challenge and achieve success and reach your goal. And if you think back to some of the movies that you've seen in recent years, they all follow this really predictable format. And in fact, I'd love to do a whole episode just about storytelling, but we'll save that for another day. If people can put themselves in that story as they're reading it, then straight away they've got a path to a solution. You know, if they can see, well, that was me, I was struggling with that, then you can demonstrate how that particular person overcame that particular challenge and what they did to help them reach their goal.

Andrew:
So writing and storytelling, I think is another really important attribute for anyone who is working in a marketing role. Let's take a look at data, because data is really huge. And for anyone who's working, marketing, everything now, particularly digital, everything now is measurable. And you have to measure it. We've got to have that data. We've got to look at that data and work out what's working for us. And if we look at Facebook, you know, they've scaled to the size they have because they've collected so much data. Google and Amazon are also big players on the Web. And data fundamentally drives their business and they can target their customers with incredible accuracy and they will know exactly what they're spending to acquire a new customer and they will know exactly what's working for them and what's not. They'll be continuously testing this stuff by looking at the data. So data analysis is a really important skill. And at a basic level, this might just be looking at analytics. So reports from your website, social media activity, perhaps your email marketing list, but you need to be able to look for trends and patterns. And then you've got the more practical side being able to export into spreadsheets where you can create charts and show other people in the business, what's working and what's not and so on. We use Google Sheets. It's a great tool. There's loads of apps and things that will just export the data directly into that.

Andrew:
So we're not having to faff around with downloading files and importing them into, say, excel and things like that. But for companies to have an effective approach to marketing, they need to have a strategy, which means they've got to have some sort of target. They've got to know when they are hitting those targets. So that's looking at the data, being able to analyze it, see what's working, see where the budget has been effectively spent. See where it's not working so well and obviously have the ability to change and react to that kind of information that is provided. Also, it's no good to simply say, oh, well, we collect data. You know, there are hundreds of millions of websites that collect data, but only a small fraction of that data ever gets analyzed. It's no good just having analytics and saying, oh yeah, we've got analytics. We can look at it. You really need to know which pages are the most effective, where's your traffic coming from. How long are people staying on the site. Are they achieving the goals that you want them to achieve, you know, if one of the goals is to buy something. Can you actually see well, out of all those visitors that are coming to site? What percentage of people are actually hitting that goal? Because if it's a very low percentage, that would potentially point to something being wrong. It could be something that's broken.

Andrew:
It might be something that could just be improved. So it's not just enough to collect the data. You've got to then analyze it and do something with it. So data analysis is definitely up there on one of those must have skills. Now, perhaps a little bit conversely to that, next on my list is creating graphics. And I think there's few roles in marketing that don't need some sort of graphics creation. Like video and audio I think people need to have at least some experience here. I say conversely to what we've just talked around on data because, you know, we know that people some people can be more creative. Others can be more logical, methodical or analytical. But if you're in a position where you're having to create a social posting house, you need these to look engaging, even if you're just uploading an image to your websites. Your life is going to be made so much easier if you just have access and can use some basic graphics software. You know the obvious one is Adobe Photoshop. But quite honestly, that's expensive. It's got a huge learning curve. And I think for this type of graphics creation, the skill is actually in getting the content created, not necessarily the tool that you used to do it. So there are tools like Canva make this stuff super easy for anybody to do. You know, they have ready made templates for Facebook, for Instagram. You can pre-size your images.

Andrew:
You can get free stock images. And all you really need to do is upload an image add your logo perhaps some text in a suitable font and literally away you go and it's super cheap at something like nine dollars per user per month. It absolutely doesn't break the bank and you can get going really, really quickly. Obviously if you're wanting to create a bigger piece of content perhaps an info graphic based on lots of statistics then sure, yeah, you know you're going to want to put in a bit more effort on that. And it might be that you use an agency or you see a specialist graphic designer to be able to do that. And I don't want you to think that I'm dismissing the value of good content. Absolutely not. But I think from most marketing functions, you know, the goal is to have good consistent levels of output. And in fact, to be really honest, for so many companies, they only need to raise their game ever so slightly to give themselves quite a significant advantage over their competition. So you know good quality content is important. Viral quality content every single time is not. That's a little bit unrealistic. So I would certainly think about creating good quality graphics, but do it simply do it quickly. Don't sweat about it for too long because if it's going on a social post, it can literally be here today, gone tomorrow. And it's about being seen. It's about having consistency of being seen. Again not everyone is going to be suited to that sort of graphics creation role, even if its just uploading a photo, you know that's a start. If you feel a little bit more creative then you can get into the detail of adding fonts and logos and so on but it really depends on the position that you have within the company and obviously what their goals are as far as content creation. So the final area that I wanted to touch on is advertising law. Again I am not expecting people to become lawyers but there are of course certain legal rules that affect marketing and I don't think you need to need to know the letter of the law, but certainly the spirit of the law

Andrew:
especially when it comes to things like GDPR, cookies, consents. Those types of things, you know, these are really important points now that can land companies into some seriously hot water if they're ever found to be breaching the rules. And, you know, an advertising law is also relevant to websites. Just because it's not a paid ad somewhere doesn't mean that it it doesn't fall under the rules in the UK, it's the Advertising Standards Authority. The stuff that you post out on Facebook, Twitter or on your Web site,it falls under the jurisdiction of the ASA. It's not just ads that you might put into a magazine. So I do think that it's important to have an awareness of what's happening in this area

Andrew:
Data protection law has changed quite a lot with GDPR. And as a marketer, you have to make it your business. You've got to make it something that you're aware of because you can't afford to be inadvertently or accidentally sending emails out to an incorrect audience. That's not going to be a defense. It's been very prominent in the media. You're just not gonna be able to get away with saying, oh, well, I didn't realize that we couldn't do that. And the fines are hefty you really don't want to be on the receiving end of one of those. So I do think it's also important to have a bit of an awareness of what is going on around the legalities of advertising and posting on to social media, using email marketing lists and so on. So we've talked about a few key areas there that I really feel ought to be in every marketers skill set. Inevitably, there will be variations in there because it will depend at the type of level that you're working within a business, whether you're working alone or as part of a team, the size of the organization that you're working for, and of course, the objective that you're pursuing. But as people are always getting closer to digital content and it's getting easier to create and produce, logic simply dictates that by not being able to do some of these things well or even at all, then you're going to be missing out on the opportunities to connect with a wider audience.

Andrew:
There are also other areas that we could have talked about that really become subjects in their own right. You know, strategy, planning, SEO, communication, softer skills such as presenting to people, perhaps hosting webinars, understanding Facebook advertising platform and so on. And in the future, all of this will change again with an even greater requirement I think for data marketers and even those who can work with artificial intelligence platforms, which will inevitably become more widespread in our day to day lives. Marketing has become so diverse that there are loads of individual specialisms, but clearly people can't be all things to all people. So this list was really a bit of a dip into some of the skills that not everyone necessarily sees as requirements for a marketing role. And hopefully people to realize that there's more to filling a marketing position than just finding someone who can publish content to social media. I also think there's still far too many companies out there that expects people to suddenly become a customer. This can be all relative, of course. The barriers to spending a few quid on something are low and people might take that chance. But as the cost of buying from you or doing business with you grows or that process becomes more complex, the more work that needs to be put into nurturing and developing a relationship before people will just become a customer. Yeah, we see this so often in places like linked in and I'm sure you will have done as well.

Andrew:
People connect with you and they send you a message to say, hey, we're running an offer. Can we supply you with your office stationery or something like that? And the first thing you do is delete the message, right? Yeah. None of you responded to messages like that out of the blue. But why? Well, it's because we don't know them from Adam. You know, people want to know like and trust each other before they decide to buy from them. And that's where the whole idea of this marketing funnel comes from, where people enter at the top. And as they maintain or build their engagement with a brand or a company, the funnel narrows as the likelihood of them becoming a customer increases. And we'll save the idea of going into detail on a funnel for another episode. But my point is that people are looking for different types of content across different channels, and that's how they get to know like and trust you. So if you're in a marketing role, it's not enough to simply know that you've got to be doing it as well. We see loads of people. Oh, yes. Yes. I understand that funnel, but they're not doing it. So you've got to understand that and be doing it to a basic level, at least, that means that you're not missing out on opportunities. But also, I think another big reason for knowing how these things are having a bit of understanding of code, audio, video and so on, is there will be times that you need to commission someone outside of the business.

Andrew:
That might be a specialist filmmaker who can perhaps understand the process that needs to happen. If you're working with someone who's creating a video and you know the various steps that they are going to have to go through, all of this helps with planning ahead around timelines, understanding the work involved, being able to gauge the cost or the value of the project, and perhaps foresee any challenges that might crop up before they even happen. Now, one thing that you might be thinking at this point I've not mentioned is social media. I've left that out really, as I do think it goes without saying. And I've got a bit of a view, another view which might be a bit controversial. It sort of came up in the last episode and that's that there are so many people who seem to call themselves marketers because they can use social media. Just because you can use Facebook or post photos to an Instagram profile that's already got 732 photos on it, that does not make you a social media marketer. The key to becoming a successful marketer is pitching the message well before it's actually posted to a channel. Your marketing content? Yes, of course, there will be some content that is better suited to certain channels. But you want to start with a story, a concept or an idea.

Andrew:
You know, thinking about the pain points that your customers might have, the questions that might put people off from buying your type of product or service and then shaping it for the channels that your audience hangs out on. That way you'll get much better results rather than simply pushing out content because everyone else is doing it, we should be posting daily to Instagram. Yes, you want to be doing that regularly, but it's not just about the frequency. Consistency is also important. You don't necessarily need to be posting every day. And in fact, if you do that, you can always supersede the previous post before it's really had the opportunity to percolate across the various different feeds. So, yes, frequency is important, but consistency is also important. You know, not everything you post is going to get the same reaction. You want to be able to measure stuff so you can see how you can improve that content over time. And like I said, the last thing you want to do is fall into the trap of thinking that everything should go viral and therefore spend ages planning each piece of content rather than being seen to publish regularly or consistently. Don't waste loads of time by trying to create a masterpiece every time you want to post a social media. OK, so I think we'll wrap things up there. I hope you found that helpful and it helps you to either focus on the skills that you should be developing on a personal level.

Andrew:
Or if you're a business owner, the type of skills that you really ought to be looking for when you're recruiting people into a marketing role. Yeah, marketing is a critical function in any business. So these are things that businesses really need to get right as this is what your customers will typically see before they even become a customer. And even though the web is now a much more mature medium, there are still companies that aren't getting some of these basics right. If you've got any questions about some of the things that I've talked about today, then please do get in touch. I'm more than happy to talk about any issues that you might have come across in future episodes. Or in fact, it'll be great to talk about your experiences firsthand if you want to be a guest on the show, so do get in contact to let us know. So I think that's my role for now. We'd love you to leave us a rating and a review on iTunes. But don't forget, the podcast is now available on seven or eight different channels. I can't for the life of me remember them all like I say Google podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Apple podcast, They're the big ones, but there are other apps as well. You can email us by dropping a message through to hello@adigital.co.uk. And also, while you're here, don't forget we've also got our digital skills scorecard on our website.

Andrew:
Perhaps ideal to take now if you have listened to this about digital skills. So to head across to scorecard.adigital.agency and you could fill out the questionnaire. It won't take very long. Just pop in your email address and we will send you a personalized report covering the four key areas of strategy, assets, profile and skills. And you'll be able to see just how well your activities are performing and see what the areas are that you might want to improve on. So I'll be back in the next couple of weeks with another episode of the Clientside podcast. So have a great week and hopefully you'll be able to join me next time. Bye for now.

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There are some really good reasons why having some awareness of how code works will help you [as a digital marketer].

Andrew Armitage Tweet