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The Challenge with Digital

How individuals, employers and businesses can all benefit from bridging the skills gap

 

The digital world offers opportunities and benefits to all of us as individuals, professionals and businesses. It connects us, empowers innovation and permeates what seems like every aspect of our lives, yet the demand for digital skills continues to outstrip the supply of talent among workforces.

 

In January, Damian Hinds addressed the growing digital skills gap in his first public speech as the new Education Secretary, advising that schools need to prepare young people for the digital revolution. As well as traditional academic subjects and public speaking skills, digital literacy is high on the agenda as it continues to prove a fundamental requirement in a high proportion of new jobs.

 

EY and Tech North also highlighted the ‘significant’ digital skills gap in the North of England recently. A report that examined the Northern Digital Jobs Strategy stated that 712,750 digital tech vacancies were posted over the past three years, but they are more likely to remain unfilled compared to other industries – despite the average salary being 48 per cent more than the median across the board.

 

This increased media attention only cements the importance of digital when it comes to climbing the career ladder, as well as getting onto it in the first place. Schools and employers will need to play a key role in bridging the knowledge gap and by equipping the next generation workforce with a better understanding of the benefits of digital, and businesses will reap the rewards of this too.

 

So, why should students, young professionals and businesses support the call for better skills and acquaint themselves and their employees with digital?

 

The truth about salaries

Digital doesn’t only provide opportunities for career development – the financial rewards are attractive too. The average digital salary in the UK is close to £40,000 and there are currently over 350 jobs available in the UK with a salary of over £60,000, which has grown considerably over the last year alone. The head of digital marketing at a business can expect to earn between £60-80,000.

Answer the demand

In the current job market, the demand for digital skills has never been higher – the skills are no longer a desired trait, they’re a necessity of working life. As we’ve already learnt, employers are prepared to pay more if you can differentiate yourself from those who have a limited knowledge of digital.

 

Being present
Knowing how to boost your online presence will help to reinforce your skills, your brand and your business, plus what you offer to your audience – whether that’s as an employer, client or consumer. For businesses, having the in-house skills to build a digital marketing strategy will enable you to reach more people, generate more leads, convert more sales and help to portray exactly why you or your business is great.

 

Productivity equals progression

It is proven that investing in digital skills will help productivity, innovation and profitability. If you’re an individual looking to climb the career ladder, upskilling with digital will not only boost your efficiency, it will also give you the motivation you need to achieve results and progress. If you’re a business, providing digital training will have a multifaceted benefit – you will boost employee output, improve retention and keep morale high because of the investment you’re making in your team.

 

If you or your employees want to take advantage of the promising digital future, expand your knowledge or implement a digital marketing strategy that will elevate your business, we have courses available in London, Manchester and online.

 

For a full list of courses, check out our website

Reasons you need a digital marketing strategy in 2018

Digital Marketing Strategy and why you need it

Digital Marketing Strategy often evokes a feeling of dread when I say it on our courses but my mission in business is to make digital marketing strategy simple – easy to follow and to get marketers to see the value – don’t get me wrong many already do but those tasked with digital planning may not always have come from a background or had professional training on the ‘art of digital plan writing’ which can make it feel quite overwhelming.

I’m not sure even the marketers who are qualified in the ‘art of digital strategy writing’ wake up and relish the thought on embarking on this arduous task but the benefits far outweigh the process.

digital marketing strategy

One of the main issues I see with clients digital marketing is that there is a distinct lack of strategy – the largest proportion, approaching half of businesses (49%) are doing digital marketing, but with no strategy…

Most small businesses focus on increasing revenue (72%), but they also see a great value in establishing new customer relationships (60%), and marketing and advertising (46%). (Business Insider 2017)

Benefits of Digital Marketing Strategy

  1. You have a clear view of the opposition – you can see where your competitors market online and what share they are claiming of traffic
  2. You identify some quick win opportunities to position yourself online
  3. You have a focus that can be broken down in to monthly and ultimately daily tasks
  4. You have a clear grasp of your consumer behaviour
  5. You’ve worked out what yo want to achieve & how to measure it – Businesses with a digital strategy often see far better results through that fact that they monitor and then draw insights from a campaign – real time and make improvements to their approach and see an on-going incremental uplift in leads and conversion

I am often asked what is the most important aspect of digital marketing – what should my digital marketing priorities be?

The honest answer is everything people avoid doing because this has the biggest opportunity to be snapped up- so one clear example is Blogging which is a great task to build into your week – I recommend a 3 times a week because we know as practitioners this is what is takes to stave off competition and also dominate the search results. It also will reap you about 44% more traffic too – not much can beat that return on investment in marketing.

I can assure you though that everyone says – ‘I will work up to that’ or ‘I don’t fancy that’ so they move onto the easier tasks and a common mistake is PPC adverts for a quick win.

The issue with adverts is though you are just renting that position in Google an article is there for life and will stay on the web forever – Oh and most people skip ads to click the first ‘organic’ result (unpaid) and that sweeps up about half of the search traffic for that term – so I know where I would prefer our business be positioned.

So why invest in Digital?

  • 82% of prospects can be reached via social media (InsideView)
  • Over 70% of B2B decision makers use social media to help them decide (Dell)
  • Digital Marketing spend is forecast to reach £240 billion pounds worldwide by 2020 (Forrester)

Why invest in digital marketing training?

Professionally trained marketers can achieve:

  • 44% increase in web traffic through effective blogging and content marketing
  • 60% increase in web sales conversion with a responsive and high converting website
  • 40% increase in sales leads, through improved management and digital lead funnels

Assuming they have a clear strategy in place.

Then consider that the average salary of a Digital Marketer is £37,500 then review the facts about recruiting a new team member and look at that against the cost of training someone in your organisation.

  • New hire productivity <100% for first 5-6 months
  • First 3 months productivity < 50%. This can be a significant drain on your financial resources
  • Eric Koester of MyHighTechStart-Up est. costs of new employee is approximately one and half to three times the cost of their annual wage.
  • So, hiring a new Digital Marketing Specialist could be as high as £112,500
  • Training a member of your current workforce is a significantly lower cost with professional qualifications costing a little over £1,000 – I know I can teach course delegates how to audit and plan and how to actually write a digital marketing strategy in a matter of 2-Day fast track course so I know what option I would go for as a business owner and a marketer.

Mi PA Case Study

Mi PA –  Providing tailor made virtual receptionist service to business

Emma Mills, Founder of Mi PA, enlisted the expertise of Business Consort to boost her team’s social media skills

Training/qualifications undertaken:

3-Day Ultimate Social Media Marketing

Organisation requirements/objectives:

We wanted to get up to speed with the best social media, techniques and best practice and develop our social media strategy to enhance engagement and network size for our own brand awareness but also as a managed service for clients.

MIPA and Business Consort Case Study

Challenges faced prior to training:

Developing professional social media graphics in-house to react to dynamic needs of our clients social media communications. Growing our network and post, YouTube channel and blog engagement.

Training outcome/results:

The training has given us the ability to create an array of social media creative such as blog content, infographics videos, animations, graphics, images and banners.

Are there any areas of marketing you still feel your business could improve upon?

Social Media changes almost daily so keeping up to speed with consumer behaviour is vital so we use Business Consort’s free digital expert club to keep on top of latest tips, techniques and trends to aid our social media marketing.

 

Shell Case Study

Shell International Petroleum Ltd – Shell Bitumen

Construction Sector

Emma Mallinson, Global Marketing Product & Solutions Manager at Shell Petroleum Ltd, enlisted the expertise of Business Consort to boost her team’s digital marketing skills

Training/qualifications undertaken:

2-Day Fast Track Digital Marketing

Organisation requirements/objectives:

We wanted to get up to speed with the latest tools, techniques and best practice in B2B activity and hone our digital communication skills to help support our business objectives.

Challenges faced prior to training:

It was becoming extremely time-consuming to manage social media posting, as we didn’t have sufficient knowledge of various tools. We were also unsure about the appropriate metrics to use and how to develop a strategy to integrate digital.

Training outcome/results:

The training has given us the ability to lead discussions with our global digital teams within the organisation to request the appropriate support to get channels up and running. It’s also given us the know-how on building digital such skills into our communications strategy and reaching the right people.

I learnt a lot about the importance of website optimisation and, as a result, we are re-developing our global content. Again, as a result of gaining the knowledge, I was able to communicate with our experts about what improvements needed to be made.

Are there any areas of marketing you still feel your business could improve upon?

We’d like to further boost our skills around using social media as a marketing tool – it’s an ever-changing part of marketing, so it’s essential that our fingers are firmly on the pulse when it comes to updates and new platforms.

Do you outsource any marketing requirements? If so, why?

We outsource brand and communications; campaign creation; content creation; and PR. We’ve chosen to do this purely for the level of expertise that outside agencies can offer.

MTIS Case Study

MTIS-Ltd – Holiday Scheduler

HR software solution specialists

Since 2003 MTIS has been providing companies with easy to use Microsoft Office based products for common business tasks.

By offering solutions based on software that customers are already using, MTIS is able to provide high powered, multi-featured products for low prices. Holiday Scheduler is an off the shelf solution for tracking staff absence.

Mike Taylor – Director

 “The Business Consort Advanced Digital Marketing Course was brilliant.  Dawn McGruer is a master of the topic and delivers the course at great pace. There is an enormous content and it will take some time to absorb the information. Applying just 10% of what we were told will bring gains. I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone or any company.”

Training/qualifications undertaken:

Advanced Digital Marketing

Organisation requirements/objectives:

While most of our new business came via search engine advertising, I felt the need for a better understanding of how an integrated digital approach could improve our visibility. Combining parallel activities on social media together with an optimised website seemed to be a practical way forward.

Challenges faced prior to training:

Although we were pulling in a sustainable level of business, we were struggling to reach a wider audience and were unable to target specific prospects effectively. We wanted get the message out far and wide about what we offer and how our services can benefit businesses, with a particular focus on HR professionals.

Training outcome/results:

The training has equipped me with the skills to market the business across social media platforms, paying particular attention to the power of advertising on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s given me the hunger to learn more and build on what Business Consort had taught me.

Are there any areas of marketing you still feel your business could improve upon?

Marketing is a real learning curve and I believe it’s all about trialing different tools to figure out what works best for your business. For instance, I wouldn’t prioritise email marketing, but I would look into the value of SEO and what it can do when executed properly.

 

Meet our Trainer Dawn McGruer – Greater Manchester Business Week Interview

See latest interview with Greater Manchester Business Week

Course Trainer Dawn McGruer MCIM FRSA MIoD

Business Consort welcome their 20,000th student this month

Cirrus Case Study

Cirrus – Global business consultancy with offices in the UK and Asia Pacific

Leadership, talent and engagement specialists

As a global consultancy in a highly competitive market, it is crucial that Cirrus has a strong digital presence and connects with customers throughout their journey.

The training opportunities and coaching support from Business Consort has helped Cirrus put the right foundations in place to extend our reach, increase our opportunities and engage with our customers more effectively.

Cirrus will be more agile and customer focused as a result.

Louise Casey – Marketing Communications Manager

I have extensive marketing experience across a wide range of sectors.

I am passionate about producing innovative communications about our services and work. I always have the client in mind when creating engaging communications. I pride myself in being a great multi-tasker and love working across a variety of projects.

Training/qualifications undertaken:

CIM Digital Marketing Diploma and MailChimp Email Marketing

Organisation requirements/objectives:

As a global business, we recognised the need to increase and improve our digital marketing initiatives to build our online presence, extend our audience reach and drive more traffic to the Cirrus website. With an increased focus on lead generation we wanted to make sure that these initiatives were implemented effectively to improve our lead conversion rates.

Challenges faced prior to training:

With a rapid shift in focus towards digital marketing and a desire to manage this in-house we need to ensure that our digital marketing skills are current and the best they can be. Our market is incredibly competitive with a wide range of global competitors making it difficult to achieve standout. Our competitors are increasingly using digital channels to reach our audience and our clients are undertaking a significant amount of research online before speaking to us so it is crucial that we standout and are present throughout what can be a quite lengthy and complex purchasing journey.

Training outcome/results:

It’s too early to demonstrate any tangible business results but I would say that working with Business Consort has enabled us to confidently implement a number of digital marketing initiatives that will set us on the right path to achieve our objectives. It’s very much work in progress but a major step we have taken is to build and launch our new website. The learnings from Business Consort have ensured that this is a strong platform for us to constantly improve and build on and that will work harder for Cirrus in the future. Now that we are looking to place more investment behind increasing our online presence we are confident that we have a sales tool that will be worthwhile driving prospects to.

Are there any areas of marketing you still feel your business could improve upon?

Cirrus is constantly looking to improve and evolve so that we are as agile and customer-focused as we can be. We are looking at utilising marketing automation to help us achieve this and to be more responsive to customer’s behaviour.

Do you outsource any marketing requirements? If so, why?

Yes – as a small team we outsource our PR requirements so that we are able to focus on our thought leadership, events, research, brand and campaigns. Following the digital diploma from Business Consort we have brought all our digital marketing in-house and will continue to manage it internally.

NEW Digital Marketing Qualifications

Here at Business Consort – Digital & Social Media Academy we are very excited to share some very exciting news with you.

We have added 4 new digital marketing qualifications to our portfolio.

We already offer the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing accredited by The Digital Marketing Institute (DMI).

This month we have launched 4 new DMI qualifications;

  1. Professional Diploma in Digital & Social Selling Accredited by The Digital Marketing Institute
  2. Specialist Diploma in Search Marketing Accredited by The Digital Marketing Institute
  3. Specialist Diploma in Strategy & Planning Accredited by The Digital Marketing Institute
  4. Specialist Diploma in Social Media Marketing Accredited by The Digital Marketing Institute

These particular DMI qualifications have been designed for the busy professional and are constructed to allow flexible, fast track study – student on average graduate within 12 weeks as the actual syllabus is 30 hours of video based learning but can be fast tracked through our blending learning study options which encompass face-to-face courses.

These are important advancements in digital marketing education – They are professional qualifications recognised worldwide and can be used towards CPD (continuous professional development) and cater for both marketing professionals as well as business development and sales professionals.

Why not test your digital marketing knowledge – Try our Digital Marketing Diagnostic Skills Audit Now

Need help finding the right course for you? get in touch Tel: 0800 334 6784 or email usDownload Course Prospectus

 

 

 

Business Consort Launches Online Summer School

Master Online Marketing in less than 60 minutes

How many times have you registered for a webinar – never to attend? 

Well if you are anything like us then it happens a lot – Our best intentions seem to go out the window as we get swept up in a client meeting or something more important crops up.

So we decided to help out busy professionals who are running around like headless chickens like we are but who want to ramp up their knowledge, improve their business success and efficiency – So we have launched an Online Summer School – hosted over 5 weeks in August – and it’s free to sign-up – just register here

The webinars will be hosted by Dawn McGruer FRSA MCIM MIoD – Head Trainer & Director at Business Consort – Digital & Social Media Academy.

The great news is the webinars are only 10 minutes long every Wednesday at 11am.

You will learn about the top 10 digital skills required in business today, you will see how to revolutionise your digital marketing planning and strategy using our Dynamic Digital Marketing Model ™  designed by Dawn who has over 17 years experience working in the digital arena and much more.

We will cover all areas of Digital Marketing across 5 key topics;

  1. Search Marketing & Online Advertising
  2. Content Marketing & Digital Creativity
  3. Email Marketing  & Lead Generation
  4. Social Selling & Social Media Marketing
  5. Digital Marketing Strategy, Planning & Measurement

The webinars start on 2nd August followed by weekly LIVE online classroom sessions on 9th, 16th, 23rd through to the 30th August.

Sign up for the series of free digital marketing webinars now – just register here  

So what happens if you can’t make it? 

Don’t worry we have planned for that – As digital marketing is ever-evolving we will be taking you on a Digital Developer journey to keep you in the loop of new trends, insights and tools – once Summer School starts;

  • Welcome email with details of how to join the session & reminders
  • We will provide access to the entire webinar series through our new state of the art online learning portal
  • You will be able to network and interact with us and fellow students using our support forum too
  • Plus over the next few weeks and months you will also receive digital tips, monthly webinars as well as useful articles to keep you entertained and motivated!

Our SUMMER SCHOOL webinar series will revolutionise your online marketing –10 minutes a week every Wednesday for 5 weeks in August – What are you waiting for it will take you under 60 seconds to sign up and you can get started straight away and see the top 10 digital skills required in business marketing today!

We will be announcing our NEW Pick’n’Mix Learning Library and students will receive exclusive access at no charge with exclusive offers to add courses to their own portal as they wish so each learner has a totally tailored solution – We pride ourselves in Developing Digital Skills for Business so we have a built a Digital Marketing Skills Audit Tool with in our learning library portal allowing every student to easily identify knowledge gaps and match them with the best courses to bridge any skills gaps.

See you soon at Summer Schooljust register here 

What is content marketing?

so what is Content marketing? It is probably the most popular aspect of marketing across the internet for business in 2016 due to the return on investment it provides.

Marketing is impossible without the creation of content and over recent years we have seen decline of spend across more traditional methods of advertising such as banner or pay per click Google adwords because of the cost involved and results versus other digital channels.

A large amount of Google search users will skip straight to organic listings under adverts – Accordingly to a recent SEOmoz article organic results are 8.5x more likely to be clicked on than paid search results!

Also the fact that Google is no longer showing AdWords ads on the right hand side of its search results pages which makes it more competitive for the 3 or 4 spots available pushing organic listings down more means that many businesses are pursuing search engine ranking and domination of results through content marketing as a more cost effective method but also to attract traffic for broader search terms.

Consumer behaviour shows that approximately 25% of our searches are around brands, products and services we are actively looking for but the greater number of searches are centered around solving a pain – We search to solve a problem, to get the answer to a question, to research or learn more or compare options.

Keywords are rarely used on a daily basis as part of many marketing strategies and often are neglected after the initial website build and optimsiation meaning it becomes very hard to increase ranking positions and number of times presented in results as a business may only have opportunity to appear in search results for their company name and offerings which would be fine if someone is searching for something specific.

If we turn it around and lets think about your customer journey – Lets imagine you are searching for a ‘yellow widget’ we may search for the ‘best yellow widgets’ or ‘top 10 yellow widgets’ to start comparing options, or research to find out more about types of yellow widgets or the benefits of yellow widgets – we go through a variety of terms to before establishing our shortlist. We may also click through a variety of related articles and materials on our search. Content marketing allows us to create ‘tell not sell’ articles to enhance the journey!

Again with the term ‘Blogging’ this often acts as an instant turn off to businesses who think it will take over their lives or drain their employee resources with no real benefit – but in fact there is a huge business case for blogging such as increase in traffic and leads.content-marketing-process

Websites with Blogs have 434% more indexed pages (helps search engines & SEO efforts) and 97 % more inbound links. (U.addresstwosee latest 2016 blogging facts

Blogs tend to be where we create this type of content which could be video, article, infographic, whitepaper, tips etc as well as our online press releases.

Google basically rewards businesses who create good quality, unique content on a frequent and consistent basis and successful sites such as the BBC are quite simply blogs – So taking this principle on board content marketing using business blogs as well as promotion tools like email and social networks etc to share and gain reach can increase your engagement and search ranking tenfold.

Developing a consistent and frequent content strategy geared around SEO (search engine optimisation) means we can reach a wider audience, attract visitors into our websites, capture data of prospects which is critical to build sales or lead generation funnels as well as nurture them through to conversion as well as engaging with existing customers for repeat purchase.

Using inbound marketing as a strategy using our website as a content hub tends to be the most effective method as content purely posted in social networks has a short term visibility an d no ongoing seO benefit as content is locked behind a login so Google can’t see this meaning it can’t be found in search results.

Durability of content whereby it can keep on working for our businesses is key due to the fact we really want to reap the exposure and reach of content over a pre-longed period of time which will in turn enhance visibility in search results of search engines and thus increase web traffic and leads.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to follow our digital marketing tips and news…and connect with us on social media, share this article to help others or join the conversation below and feel free to ask any questions and we will be happy to help! 🙂