5 Attributes of a Top Digital Marketer

digital marketer

The days of print advertisement are not exactly behind us. But, today’s consumer continues to transform how businesses do marketing. Did you know? Digital marketers are one of the most in-demand roles among African startups, according to our own proprietary research.

Cue the ads, social media posts, videos, blogs, emails, newsletters, and other forms of content that drive web traffic and customer decision-making. Insert the digital marketer. 

In fact, 52% of consumers made purchasing decisions based on social media platform, Facebook, according to Digital Marketing Institute

For many startups and SMEs, the need to staff their team with a digital marketer may not yet be apparent or factored into the annual budget. Whether it’s because of the changing landscape of marketing or the evolution of technology, some decision-makers are slowly catching on, while others are growing their brand to the bank. 

As an everyday consumer, how often have you seen a great idea with poor execution? 

  • A well-crafted social media post published at the wrong time.

  • An email campaign with no call to action.
  • A blog post that failed to keep your attention.
  • An ad that didn’t match the product or service.

This is the challenge many businesses face as they attempt to connect to their target audience. In 2019, 61% of companies expressed the desire to onboard digital marketers to their team. Knowing that brands only have seconds to capture a consumer’s interest amplifies the need for talented digital marketers who are knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the marketing landscape, digital tools, buyer’s journey, and ultimately, sealing the deal. 

The marketing game is changing, and it’s time freelance digital marketers suit up and get ready to play. Forbes noted digital marketing was the third fastest-growing industry for freelancers. The demand and urgency for freelance digital marketers are present. 

So, what does a digital marketer do? How can you identify a top digital marketer? Read on for 5 signs.

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1. Digital marketers love numbers & problem-solving

Digital marketing has many components that make it a successful way of doing business. One of them is the numbers game. Understanding the science behind data and analytics is critical in digital marketing. 

From studying social media or website traffic and engagement, to deconstructing problems, proposing solutions, and seeing results in real-time. 

Being able to measure the highs and lows of drip campaigns, newsletters, social media, and other digital content across various platforms and the influences of audience decision-making for a marketing team of two or twelve professionals. 


According to HubSpot, 75% of marketers use their reports to show how campaigns are directly impacting revenue and 15% of them measure the success of their content programs by how many leads they generate. 


Like any other school subject, math isn’t everyone’s thing. Leveraging tools like Google Analytics and HubSpot are a marketer’s favorite present. However, explaining email open click rates, bounce rates, conversions, and engagement to a software engineer may seem like pulling teeth. What is naturally understood, doesn’t have to be explained. 

Being data-driven is a key attribute of a skilled digital marketer. Not only does the data behind content performance matter to the team, it matters across the company and among stakeholders. 

How will senior management know the effectiveness of the company’s branding– logo, voice and tone, website design, content– without the professional who knows what it all means? The answer is all the details and metrics. 

2. Social Media is Their love language

Not everyone has the patience or craftiness to manage a thriving social media account. Digital marketers know how to secure real followers (please, no bots), publish engaging content, and are platform and audience savvy. 

In December 2020, Africa had more than 233 million Facebook users. Creatives are rewriting the continent’s narrative, and the same is becoming a goal for startups and SMEs. Facebook and other platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, and now TikTok continue to see robust numbers thanks to youthful, out-of-the-box users. 

For this reason, a strong comprehension and passion for social media is a valuable mark of a successful digital marketer. 

Many business leaders are busy managing operations and bottom lines. The last thing on their mind is posting a captivating, targeted caption and finding the right picture to accompany it. 

Increasing brand visibility is key to reaching target audiences. Building meaningful connections with your target customer drives influence and retention. Most important, being consistent with social media posting and engagement grows brand awareness and consumer trust.   

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3. Storytelling is Their Calling

Marketing, whether traditional or digital, has the same objective: generate revenue. For a digital marketer, the new canvas is any electronic device at your customer’s disposal. Unpacking the inspiration behind your latest artwork, recording your next makeup tutorial, documenting your latest dining or travel experience, if a story attracts the masses, revenue is sure to follow.

From podcasts to mobile push notifications, white papers, web design, and weekly digests, the screen is a digital marketer’s best friend. It’s also why creators and strategists have to develop content that informs, appeals, resonates, and sells. Identify a common problem and provide an easy and affordable solution. 


It’s not just one blog post, infographic, or LinkedIn article that’ll do the trick. Brands are having to go beyond their comfort zones and get creative (and with the times) to meet any and everyone where they are. 

Marketers are competing for attention spans and budgets. Establishing a digital campaign that attracts, retains, and influences a consumer’s decision-making takes imagination, an eye for details, and emotional intelligence. 

4. Age is more than a number

A digital marketer is a role that caters to young adults, and those keeping up with trends. Technology and consumer trends are constantly evolving. And it’s no secret Gen Z and millennials are known to keep a pulse on things. Young influencers are using simple strategies to market and make a substantial name for themselves. So, leveraging digital marketers amongst the generation is a win-win situation for a business. 

In 2020, Business Wire noted the following consumer pattern:

  • Trust in recommendations from friends, family members and influencers shared via social posts is strongest among younger audiences:
  1. 66% of consumers ages 18-29
  2. 61% of consumers ages 30-44
  3. 60% of consumers ages 45-60
  4. 53% of consumers over 60


It is economically sound to acknowledge digital marketing as a career path that allows young innovators and creatives to flourish while helping businesses reach their goals. For many mature CEOs and marketing professionals, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest platform or tech trends as a source for advertising and audience reach. But for young, energetic, curious, and emerging marketers, when it’s an interest and passion, it’s not a chore; it’s a treat.

5. Digital Marketers Have the skills and credentials

Digital marketing is a role that doesn’t require years of formal education to find success and career longevity. Yes, great marketers study the science, reasoning, and methodology for effective marketing strategies and execution through traditional university schooling. However, thanks to platforms like Hubspot, Linkedin, Coursera, and some colleges and universities, moderate, low and no-cost digital marketing certificate programs are accessible, affordable, and highly recognized in the industry.

A solid digital presence and strong personal brand signals what companies today need from digital marketers. One does not need 20 years of experience in marketing to be a lead-generating, deal-closing digital marketer.

The wrap-up

In today’s workforce, companies are strategically working to keep their brands on par with their yearly goals. While the pandemic has caused practically everyone to reassess operations and business practices, it has put digital marketing in the spotlight. For this reason, brands that have nonexistent or understaffed marketing teams are outsourcing their digital marketing needs to freelancers. Obtaining quality service that doesn’t overthrow their budgets is critical. Understanding the importance and influence of digital marketing is something business leaders can no longer ignore. Ready to increase your brand’s visibility using a digital marketer? Check out these profiles:

  1. Digital Marketing Manager
  2. Content Creator
  3. Digital Strategist

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