After another eventful year for small businesses, it’s clear that a versatile digital skillset is vital. With the turbulence of the pandemic and many related business closures, digital dexterity has helped small businesses cope. Whether it’s digital marketing to connect with customers or cybersecurity to keep your data safe, modern businesses rely on a range of key digital skills.
In this blog, we look ahead to 2022 by discussing the skills your small business needs for the future.
1. Social media skills – because simply ‘having’ Facebook won’t cut it
To boost the visibility of your small business, connecting with customers online using social media is essential. With so many platforms and content types, creating a regular flow of content can seem overwhelming. But as nearly 80% of the UK population now uses social media, you can’t afford to go without social media skills!
Creating a successful social media presence isn’t straightforward. You need to post in a way that suits your audience and the ins and outs of each platform. It’s not as simple as churning out the same posts for use across all your channels. To keep customers’ attention and interest, you need to understand what works for each platform and its users.
Even skeptics can’t deny the importance of getting this right. For instance, 43% of consumers used social media more last year to discover new products. Pandemic or not, social media isn’t going anywhere, so it pays to learn how to use it to your advantage!
2. Marketing skills for an engaging content strategy
Digital marketing is connected to your social media strategy, but it’s a valuable skill in its own right. By understanding the inner workings and goals of your marketing strategy, you can master a variety of ways to communicate with customers of different types, interests and backgrounds.
It’s worth getting skilled in the basic components of digital marketing, so you can engage customers in more enticing ways than simply advertising. Take blogging, for instance – businesses with blogs can get around 67% more leads than those without.
Some essential marketing skills for small businesses include:
- Blog content creation
- Email marketing
- Web analytics
- Video production
3. Cyber security skills to keep your business safe
Small businesses often underestimate the risk of a cyber attack. But just because your business is small, don’t assume your data has no value to cyber criminals.
The risk of cyber attacks continues to increase. In 2021, 61% of small- to medium-sized business owners reported at least one cyber attack in the previous year. In the age of remote working, businesses should be extra careful, as using personal devices and emails can easily cause security breaches.
With cyber security skills, you can apply safe behaviours throughout your business. From two-step verification to securing online meetings, small businesses just can’t afford to ignore this key digital skill.
4. Be visible with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) skills
SEO capabilities are essential for small businesses. They complement your social media, marketing and content creation by making you more prominent on search engines. This is critical when it comes to reaching customers, as the first Google result scores about 32% of all clicks. Whilst we appreciate that reaching the number one position isn’t easy, moving up just one spot in the search results can increase your click-through rate (CTR) by as much as over 30%.
As more businesses establish themselves online, you need to have a strong grasp of SEO skills to be found. If you’ve had SEO training in the past, don’t assume your skills are up-to-date. Search engines are continuously evolving, so you need to do more than just planting what you assume are the right keywords in your web copy. Instead, you need well-researched keywords that can be naturally incorporated in your text. You also need to think about the structure and user-friendliness of your content – the more appealing your text is to users the more appeal it will have for search engines, too!
Acquire key digital skills from an exceptional training provider
NSDesign works with small businesses to help them build confidence and skills across their digital platforms. We’ve worked with thousands of start-ups and small businesses to streamline their online strategy. From introducing businesses to social media to developing advanced digital strategies, we’ll be your digital partner through it all.
To find out what training and expertise we offer, including workshops for the key digital skills featured in this blog and upcoming webinars, visit our website. Or, if you’d like to discuss your needs or our services, get in touch for an informal chat!