Sometimes it makes sense to go it on your own. Maybe it’s budget, time, or the fact you have a great internal team, but there’s a growing trend of companies bringing their marketing in-house and only outsourcing when specialized skills are required.
We’ve noticed this trend first-hand and that’s why we offer online marketing training as a service. We’re actually proponents of clients educating themselves and if it results in putting ourselves out of a job then, well, we’ve done our job. The old school agency model of bilking clients through exorbitant retainers is the reason we started Deep Dish Digital – We knew there was a better way that respected client’s changing needs and shrinking budgets. Specifically, the growth of digital marketing channels has meant companies need to be nimbler, create more expert content, and be social media savvy. This is best achieved by people who are closest to the brand. Doing so successfully takes some training.
When it comes to online marketing training, we view five areas as the most important for companies to develop internal competencies in. The world of online marketing is vast and can be intimidating, but you’ll get the most benefit from training on website user experience, pay-per-click advertising, social media best practices, email marketing, and digital analytics. Each are discussed below:
Website User Experience
The biggest problem with websites we see is that they’re developed from the perspective of what the company thinks is important versus what best serves a customer’s needs. A website should not be an online version of your brochure or sales material, it needs to be a tool that informs, captures leads, and gives customers a purpose for visiting. Beyond fulfilling your customers needs a website should also be search engine friendly, and increasingly search engines value websites that provide a good user experience.
Online advertising is set to surpass TV advertising in 2017 (source: eMarketer, March 2016). This is a watershed moment and indicative of where eyeballs are spending most their time. Thankfully, it’s not rocket science to launch online advertising campaigns using Google Adwords or Facebook and they’re relatively affordable compared to traditional media. It helps to have an online advertising consultant get you started but once things are rolling you’d be surprised how easily it can be managed internally by small to medium sized businesses.
Social Media Best Practices
We hate to burst anybody’s bubble, but social media will not replace the need for paid advertising. Getting organic reach on social media has become increasingly difficult and it’s hard to prove its direct link to revenue generation. Social media, if appropriate, is best used for awareness building and customer service. If used correctly it can be a great way to amplify your expertise and serve as a convenient way for customers to reach you. If used incorrectly it will result in wasted effort or in the worst case make you look like an ass.
The single best piece of contact information you can have is an email address. Period. Using it appropriately requires responsibility and trust. It’s important to put efforts into building your email database, using email marketing software, and ensuring compliance with Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). Knowing best practices regarding how often to send email, the best content, and how to use it to drive sales/action will have an immediate impact.
Measure twice and cut once – It’s an old saying that is extremely relevent to the field of online marketing. Using traffic analytics tools for your website, reputation management monitoring, and social media measurement applications can give you data that produces valuable insights, if you know how to use them. If you wonder where your marketing dollars are best spent then taking advantage of digital analytics and tracking software can shed light where there is darkness. Knowledge is power.
Concentrating your online marketing training efforts in the above areas will produce dividends. Even if you just want to educate yourself so you can choose an online marketing vendor with confidence, having some essential online marketing skills will help you make good decisions. Deep Dish Digital is glad to provide training in the form of seminars, workshops or private consulting – Please visit our Online Marketing Training page to learn more.