TOP FOUR MARKETING SKILLS ALL ENTREPRENEURS MUST HAVE TO COMPETE

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When it comes to being a successful brand or business today, it's critical you have basic online marketing skills. But with so many tools and platforms available, how do you know what skills will be most helpful? Here are the four top skills you should have to make your business a success.

1). Facebook Advertising - Having a branded Facebook.com page is no longer enough. If you'd like to generate interest, traffic, and even sales to your website, you should know how to create an ad, refine your target audience, and how to run split tests to determine which ad generates the best response.

As someone who uses Facebook.com advertising regularly for my own businesses as well as my clients' businesses, I can tell which ad/offer will perform the best after about 200 clicks (or $150.00 ad spend). This is a great marketing tactic for brands that are on a low budget.

2). Social Media Marketing - If you don't understand social media marketing and don't have a strategy in place for your brand or business, then it's going to be difficult for you to build your name. Instagram.com, Pinterest.com, and Facebook.com accounts are must-haves for any visual business. Not only are they free to join, they're great ways to connect with prospective and existing customers, approach influencers, and increase search engine visibility.

3). Email Marketing - Although many marketing experts say email marketing is "dead", it's not. This strategy is an effective and low-cost way to generate additional revenue.

Running new promotions or product announcements is also a great way to stay in touch with your customers. You might also want to consider adding a "top tips" or editorial-like section to your emails. Check out the BobbiBrownCosmetics.com and Gilt.com email newsletters for ideas. Also, make sure your emails are optimized for smartphone and tablets.

4). Video - Video marketing has become a huge part of the digital space today. Brands such as Gucci.com and Chanel.com have mastered video marketing and you should too.

However, if you're a startup, then your brand most likely doesn't have the resources to allocate to commercial video production. Luckily, Instagram.com StoriesSnapChat.com and Periscope.com allow you to create real videos from your smartphone. These platforms are perfect for behind-the-scenes runway shows and photo shoots.