Digital Marketing graduate skills 2024

What Digital Marketing Skills Are Employers Looking for in Graduates?

Today’s students care about employability. They want to possess the skills employers need and be able to use them instantly in any digital marketing role. 


That’s why educators must know exactly what digital marketing skills are in demand. 


Because the skills employers want change as new technologies emerge (like artificial intelligence) and platforms or channels evolve (like GA4).


According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing, only one in five respondents felt they had some of the required digital marketing skills to carry out their roles, while 79% believed the skills needed had changed completely over the past decade.   


So what digital marketing skills do employers want to drive growth and increase brand awareness?


1. Email


Email marketing has come into its own as businesses rely more on their first-party data. A direct and personalised channel, email can help drive engagement, nurture customers and convert prospects. 


Companies use email because it works – its ROI is a remarkable $36 for every $1 spent, according to Litmus. The best way to create an effective email campaign is to know the steps involved and use platforms like Mailchimp and HubSpot.


Key skills to learn and refine for email marketing are:


  • Targeting and segmentation – The strength of email is in segmenting an audience into lists dependent on interests and behaviours. This helps target specific groups with tailored messages to drive conversions.
  • Content creation – Learn how to create content that talks to a target audience including a great header image, subject line, body text and call-to-action.
  • Campaign analysis – As with any marketing campaign, it’s key to set and track metrics to determine performance such as open rate, click-through rate and conversions.

2. Paid advertising (PPC)


Paid advertising or more specifically Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is used by businesses to reach their target audience with specific messages. You only pay when an ad is clicked so PPC can be a cost-efficient and highly targeted channel. 


In 2024, Statista predicts that advertisers will spend $190.5 billion on search advertising globally with the market share going to Google. 


So as the advertising market continues to grow and offers the potential to drive high-intent traffic, employers want people with PPC knowledge who can create targeted campaigns that convert. 


Key skills to learn and refine for PPC advertising are:


  • Campaign management Create and manage successful PPC campaigns by determining campaign structure, creating landing pages & crafting content.
  • Account optimisation – Analyse and optimise campaigns to increase reach by changing settings, ad group structure, keywords and landing page.
  • Targeting and segmentation – Choose keywords relevant to the target audience and look at the type of targeting (search, display or inventory).
  • Reporting and analysis – Analyse campaign data to get insights and tweak campaigns where required.

3. Social Media & Community Management

With 60% of the world’s population using social media, there’s no question of its power as a channel to engage and influence consumers. Plus, the ecosystem keeps growing with TikTok, WhatsApp and Threads gaining popularity.


While social media can be used to drive organic and paid traffic, it’s the engagement amongst prospects and consumers that can add real value to businesses. 


As people want to learn more about the value of brands and what they stand for, social media offers a way to build communities and give insight into what customers want and need.  


Key skills to learn and refine for community management on social media are:


  • Community development – This focuses on developing effective strategies for building and developing online communities. This involves researching the market, finding a platform and developing relevant content.  
  • Audience engagement – Use platforms to spread the word of the community such as email, social media or online forums. Think about content formats or ways to drive engagement e.g. polls, live video.  
  • Conversation management – Initiate and participate in conversations but also act as a moderator to resolve conflicts or remove inappropriate content.  

4. UX & website optimization 

Customers are unforgiving when it comes to having a bad experience online. In fact, 88% of consumers are less likely to return to a site with poor user experience according to HubSpot


Guaranteeing a great user experience that’s quick and seamless relies on optimisation. Elements such as navigation, page speed and mobile-friendly can all have an impact and that is true for all pages from the homepage to custom landing pages. 


Web pages are an important part of a customer journey and as many serve to drive conversions, it’s important to get the structure right.  


Key skills to learn for website and page optimization are:


  • Content development – Any content needs to be relevant and related to the product or service. If using various channels, make sure they look the same and the content resonates as people go from one to the other.  
  • Design – Think about the images used, navigation, and the placement of any CTAs.  
  • SEO – Keywords play a huge role in giving context to content for search engines. Make sure to research and include them on relevant pages.    
  • A/B testing – Use A/B testing to see what’s working and what isn’t. Test headline, imagery or CTA placement.  

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