The five digital skills business owners need to succeed in 2021
The last year has caused a huge shift in the business landscape, with technology and digital skills being more fundamental than ever for all businesses. Research shows that businesses integrating digital skillsets across the workforce could increase the UK economy by around £92bn.
With this in mind, Marco Mongiello, Pro Vice Chancellor at The University of Law Business School, has compiled a list of the top five skills business owners should brush up on in order to succeed in an increasingly digitised world.
1) Social media
The ability to understand and utilise social media effectively is a vital skill that business leaders should have.
Social media marketing goes beyond posting on Facebook and Instagram, it is about understanding the relationship between brands, influencers and consumers. What's more, businesses need to reach out to customers in ways that will drive traffic to their website and encourage conversations on social media.
Business owners who recognise the importance of social media’s influence should also understand each platform and the ways it can be used to enhance community engagement. Having this understanding will ultimately provide better results for the business.
2) Analytics and reporting
Data analytics allows business leaders to make educated and data-driven decisions in their roles to ensure targets are met.
The key to analytics is knowing what data to collect and measure, in order to make improvements and efficiencies. As a business owner or leader, you don’t want to waste money based on predictions or trends, instead focus on getting the numbers right.
Data analytics plays a pivotal role in optimising company performance, by identifying the weak spots and clearly showing where strategies are making an impact. With access to the right data, business leaders can make us of analytics across everything from sales and marketing to people management.
3) SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
SEO is one of the most influential disciplines that businesses need to maximise their online visibility to consumers. If it's important that potential clients and customers can find your website easily, then SEO should be the skill that’s at the top of your list to learn.
Knowing the significance of having your business appear on the first page of Google is very important, as 75% of users never click beyond the first page of Google search results. In very simple terms, an intelligent SEO strategy will increase your chances of appearing at the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages), driving more traffic and conversions.
4) Virtual communication
One key trend we’ve seen in businesses post-pandemic, is the increasing reliance on virtual conferencing and communication. A huge number of businesses have completely replaced face-to-face meetings with virtual alternatives, which requires a whole different skillset.
For the most part, the likes of Zoom and Google Hangouts are relatively user friendly, but it’s important for business leaders to ensure they have the best processes and technology in place to run efficient meetings.
5) Content marketing
Content marketing in business relates to its ability to increase the volume of quality traffic to your website and engage with your audience. Your company’s website or social media pages are driven by the content you create and without it, your audience wouldn’t be able to understand your message.
It’s important to have a good understanding of what interests your audience, then build blogs and content around that on a regular basis. In doing this, over time you can begin to build your business reputation online, attract more traffic to your website and boost brand awareness.
Marco Mongiello said: “The last year has shown how much businesses rely on digital technologies. More than ever these transferrable digital skills have come to the forefront of what companies are looking out for when it comes to hiring new employees. Having said that, almost 98% of workplaces require professional workers to have at least basic digital skills.”
“Business leaders also have to be digitally proficient to be able to identify the key digital skills that new employees should master, together with critical thinking, ingenuity and flexibility for the benefit of their business.”