Just a few years ago, digital and social media consultants were a rarity in most workplaces, including in advertising and marketing. Even the larger ad agencies only had a small team of people working on online, with the majority of that focus being on websites. Today, however, the digital consultant plays a considerably more important role in many companies. From project managing the social media presence, to analysing customer behaviour, digital consultants need considerably more skills than a working knowledge of Instagram. So if you know that online strategy is about more than just Facebook ads, digital platform consulting may be the job for you.
1 – Project management skills
Digital consulting is, above all else, about managing the multiple ongoing projects in the company’s digital strategy. Your day-to-day job can include such diverse tasks as creating social media content, planning the digital strategy, coordinating an online event and more. You will need solid project management skills to keep all your plates spinning.
Thankfully, project management is a skill that can be learned. You can either complete a degree or diploma qualification, or you can learn fundamental and advanced skills through various online courses, like the courses offered on the ManpowerGroup’s powerYOU platform and that are certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI)®
2 – Strategy skills
A major part of your job as a digital consultant will be working out strategy. This can be anything from the whole company’s overall digital strategy, to the specific strategy for a targeted campaign. Therefore, it is beneficial to learn how strategies work, how to develop one, and also how to adjust strategy when necessary.
Learning business strategy skills is a combination of learned skills and workplace-specific experience. You can learn how to develop and implement strategies easily through short and online courses, while building a clear understanding of your company’s industry needs.
3 – Digital skills
This one feels like a no-brainer, but obvious as it may seem, we’re mentioning it anyway. Having an in-depth knowledge of your relevant platforms is essential. However, it’s more than just knowing the platforms. It’s about continuously monitoring trends and seeing if new platforms or programs become important. It’s also about keeping up-to-date with developments, techniques, studies and more.
Many of these skills can be self-taught, often through the platforms themselves. Keeping up to date with the digital world is at the core of your job, so this is something you must remember to focus on regularly.
4 – Marketing
Marketing is a very broad, all-encompassing term. It covers everything from direct marketing to social media to beta-testing to statistical analysis. Over the last several years, marketing has become ever more important for the online space, as companies vie for consumer attention and engagement. Marketing is therefore a fundamental skill for any digital consultant.
Thankfully, there is a whole world of marketing learning available, from degrees to short courses. You don’t necessarily need a degree in marketing to be a digital consultant, but you will definitely need the knowledge.
In our brave new normal, strong, knowledgeable digital consultants will become ever more important to companies. If this career path appeals to you, we strongly encourage you to start finding suitable accredited courses. These are available through universities, colleges and various affiliated online platforms.
There are, of course, thousands of courses offered that are not accredited, and some of these may hold real merit – especially if they are presented by a successful digital consultant. This is, after all, a relatively new field of expertise, and formal education may not necessarily be as up-to-date as the people doing the job on the ground. Our advice here is, be diligent when selecting such courses, and make sure you will receive quality learning.