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These Are the 10 Basic Marketing Skills Everyone Needs to Master

Want to brush up on your business skillset? Mastering these 10 basic marketing skills can pay off with better brand awareness and a boost in leads and sales.


The 10 basic marketing skills everyone needs to master


Imagine you’re on a first date. You’ve heard a lot about him from your friend who set you up. He’s sharply dressed, has a smile that could light up the night and smells good (I hug people – that’s how I know he smells good). Expectations are high for an amazing date.


Fifteen minutes into the date, you are mapping out a swift exit. What happened? He won’t stop talking about himself. You are being sidelined by a monologue. Any chance for an engaging conversation has faded.


You could switch the above scenario out for a business lunch meeting. Why on earth would I want to work with you if you seem to only care about yourself rather than me or my needs? (I don’t care how good you smell. Also, I’m married, so this date is pure imagination.)


Marketing is like dating. The goal of your first interaction (date) is not to close a sale (get married). It’s to get to know each other. If you both like what you see/hear/learn, your relationship will progress.


Creating client-centric messages


This is the most important of the basic marketing skills, so get out your highlighter and mark up this part.


Anytime you sit down to write, whether it’s a social media post or an article, make sure you are talking to your audience, not at them. Your main messaging and copy should not be about you. Don’t lead the conversation with “I am an expert at …” and “We offer …”.


No one cares.


It needs to be about what you can do for them. Your messages should lead with “You need …” or “You deserve …”. Once you talk to them, you can slip in, “That’s exactly what we provide!”


Writing an email subject line


So many people get this completely wrong. Luckily, the fix is easy.


You want to write email subject lines that are interesting, creative, focused on the reader, and provide a sneak peek at what is in the email. Here at Jansen Communications, questions work really well.


Please do not every use “ABC Company June Newsletter” or “What’s new at ABC Company” as your email subject line. I have no idea if the email is relevant or not, and I’m not going to bother opening it to find out. Delete.


Segmenting lists


Segmenting your email list allows you to send out the most relevant information to each subset of your audience. It’s totally worth doing, because when you segment your lists, you will see a significant improvement in your open and click-through rates. On average, segmenting a list results in a 14% higher open rate and a 100% higher click-through rate.


You can segment your list by any number of criteria: gender, location, industry, purchase behavior, monthly spend, age, lifestyle, interests, job title, etc.


Setting up an automated email campaign


An automated email campaign is also known as a drip campaign. It’s simply a series of emails that start sending once they are triggered by an event, like downloading a free ebook.


They are super easy to create and set up. Every email marketing platform offers this service, and they walk you through the process.


Once you write the email subject lines, compelling copy and the call-to-action, watch the results. The open and click-through rates will let you know immediately if the campaign is working or not.


Using hashtags


Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter, Instagram or celebrity influencers. They are relevant on LinkedIn as well. In fact, LinkedIn suggests hashtags to use when you publish an article or update.


Why bother adding them? Hashtags make it easy for people to find content they are interested in. Use them if you want to be more findable online.


Creating custom graphics in Canva


Canva is a free online graphic design tool for non-graphic designers. It’s easy to use, and it comes pre-populated with numerous templates you can quickly customize.


A word of warning: it can be easy to go down a rabbit hole on Canva, so I suggest customizing (or creating from scratch) one template to use consistently. This is a time-saver AND it ensures your “look” on social media stays the same.


Once you have a template, start creating bite-size content to share on social media:

  • Quick tips
  • Favorite quotes (your own are OK, too)
  • Testimonials
  • Statistics
  • Questions (people LOVE to share)


Spying on competitors


Seriously – get good at spying on competitors. Don’t you want to know what they are doing – and what is working for them?


This isn’t as awful as it sounds. Just look up their websites and social media feeds. Take a look at their offerings, the topics they are writing about and any trends that appear to be taking off. Better to be in the know than be left wondering.


Optimizing blog posts for search


Want your blog post to get found in the sea of content out there? You need to optimize your blog post so search engines can “read” and index it. That way, when someone is looking for content on that topic, you are more likely to appear in search results.


I highly recommend installing Yoast for SEO on your WordPress website. You can also optimize blog posts on a DIY platform, like Squarespace or Shopify.


Choose one keyword for each blog post and make sure it appears in:

  • Your blog post title (preferably at the beginning)
  • First paragraph of your copy
  • A couple of more times in your post (but not too often, or you’ll get penalized!)
  • In your meta description
  • In the alt text of your image


Using categories and tags


Categories and tags organize content (blog posts) on your website. Categories are the main topics you write about; you shouldn’t have more than five for your blog. Tags allow you to get more specific about the main topic.


Think of these in terms of a grocery store: categories are grocery departments: produce, dairy, meats, bakery, and so on. Tags are subcategories. In the produce department, you’ll find bananas, kumquats, Romaine lettuce and tomatoes.


Understanding Google Analytics


This is the trickiest of the basic marketing skills to master, because Google Analytics was created by engineers for technical people. I am neither, but I can still glean a lot of useful information from the main dashboard (home) and various reports.


Let’s just stick with what you can find on the home page. You can learn a lot just by looking at:


  1. Number of users and sessions – is traffic to your website increasing or decreasing?
  2. User acquisition by source – where are website visitors coming from?
  3. Pages users visit – what are people reading/interacting with once they get on the website?


If you don’t know whether or not you have Google Analytics connected to your website, ask your website developer.


Did I miss anything? What basic marketing skills do you think are most important to master?


Image by Campaign Creators via Unsplash

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