Digital marketing. It’s probably the most discussed topic for businesses in the last 15 years – but still, there are some who haven’t quite got on the bandwagon. Hence, sometimes it’s hard to justify the need for a digital marketing apprentice.
If your business has been ticking along nicely up until this point, it’s no surprise that you might not have given the topic much thought, but undoubtedly, the pandemic has left you thinking that digital marketing now bears some consideration.
With some industries it just makes sense – a restaurant without social media and a presence on Google local search won’t get very far in this day and age. However, businesses in other industries may have been doing just fine on a traditional telesales model up until this point.
So why exactly does your business need a digital marketing apprentice?
Digital marketing covers a huge range of marketing skills, it encompasses:
- Social media management
- Paid online advertising
- Website maintenance and development
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Analytical reporting
And of course, much more!
You get a lot in return for your investment in a digital marketing apprentice, and the skills are transferable to any business in any industry.
So we believe the first question that actually needs answering is; does my business need investment in its online presence?
Here are just a few interesting stats that may help to make your mind up.
70% of B2B Businesses Start Their Research Using Online Search
It’s most often the B2B businesses who question the purpose of digital marketing, as they often place a considerable amount of emphasis on sales networking instead.
However most businesses will research their need for a service before they even consider discussing it with a colleague or someone within their network.
A digital marketing apprentice will have the skills and know-how to make sure your business is the first they see, the first to answer their queries and the first to give them expert advice – ensuring that your business has the edge over the competition.
Cement Your Brand as an Expert in Your Field – B2B Businesses That Blog 11x a Month Get 3x More Traffic
It can be hard to believe that writing and maintaining a blog on a website can generate sales if you haven’t tried it before, but if it’s set up and researched correctly by someone with a digital marketing orientated brain, then you’ll not only increase your traffic, you’ll also end up bringing relevant traffic and leads to your website, all of which could be potential customers.
If your readers are your potential customers, it only takes one well-designed contact form or clever incentive to convert them into a sale.
Justify Your Worth Against Your Competitors – 86% of People Would Happily Pay More for a Business With Good Online Ratings
You’ll notice right away, when you google most services these days, the first thing to come up is a rating system or a reviews website. People are aware that it’s easy to fall for clever marketing online, so they want tangible, real reviews to back up the decisions they make.
It’s as important to have a good review system for a small cafe as it is for a global service provider. Your digital marketing apprentice will be aware of this, and will know just how to incentivise your customers to leave glowing reviews, and how to reply to the negative ones in a way that will make your business look accountable and professional.
Aside from the proof research provides, the simple fact is, if you don’t have an online presence you’re losing major trust points from your potential customers.
Just imagine if someone is looking for a reliable local builder – are they going to choose the business with one listing on a directory website, or are they going to choose the business with a professional website, lots of pictures, reviews and answers to their questions?
Likewise, when a business is researching it’s next contract, if you have an outdated html website whereas your competitor has one with bells and whistles – who’s going to look more successful and professional? Your online presence isn’t just about sales, it’s about backing up and justifying offline purchases and deals too.
What Other Benefits Could a Digital Marketing Apprentice Bring My Business?
Stats aside, there’s a plethora of ROI-inducing things your digital marketing apprentice can get your business to embrace.
Enhance Buyer Convenience
If you’re a local business, digital marketing is still highly important. You might think you don’t need more than a simple listing with your business contact details, but let’s take a real life example:
During lockdown, my friends were seeking places to deliver takeaway food locally. There’s a fair few choices in my local area, all of which come up with an online search. However, only one had embraced technology and offered an online menu and payment gateway.
This instantly made our choice simple – we didn’t want the inconvenience of going to a cash machine as there aren’t any near to our home. It was a busy time, and quite a few businesses had engaged telephone lines, so instead of repeatedly calling and hoping to beat other customers, we ordered online because it was frankly more convenient.
It can really come down to something as basic as this if your business has local competitors.
Digital marketing apprentices will often learn the basics of coding and website maintenance, and should be able to set up simple systems such as this for you with ease!
A Digital Marketing Apprentice will Reduce Technology Adoption Costs
Here’s an interesting point many businesses don’t consider. Why don’t many smaller businesses, such as local takeaways, shops and cafes, embrace technology such as online payments and ordering? Some don’t even have a website.
It’s because many business owners don’t have the technology know-how when it comes to this area, so technology providers often take advantage of this. No doubt, if you’re a business of any size, you’ve been quoted hundreds, if not thousands of pounds for a web development company to make you a simple website.
But what if I told you a digital marketing apprentice could make a fairly robust website for you, with plenty of functionality, for less than you might expect?
Digital marketing apprentices have the basic coding knowledge and industry awareness to find their way around free website builders such as WordPress, and make them look incredibly professional, and SEO friendly, with just a small amount of investment.
In our eyes, that makes them excellent value for money, before they even touch your ongoing marketing strategy.
Hiring a Digital Marketing Apprentice Can Be More Cost Effective Than Working With a Marketing Agency
Take it from someone who’s been on both sides. You may be able to tell already from my avid promotion of all things digital marketing, but the author of this article is indeed a marketeer.
I started as a digital marketing apprentice, and for the past 8 years I’ve worked with both agencies and as an in-house marketing executive. I can safely say that I’ve been able to get more done and I’ve created much more ROI by working client-side.
I might be biased, but I’m acutely aware of how much agencies can charge, and how often they fail to deliver what they promise. However, if you’re working with someone who’s part of your business, they can take ownership of your brand and really intimately get to know what works for your marketing.
Sure, there are some fantastic agencies out there – but why not put that money into investing in one person. You’ll be amazed how much one person can deliver in digital.
Digital Marketing Enables Your Business to Test its Marketing Strategy and ROI in Depth
Offline marketing is great, but aside from sales generally increasing, you can’t ever really be sure of the impact it’s having and whether it’s working as efficiently as it could be.
Digital marketing apprentices know all about A/B testing – where you can measure and compare the effectiveness of different online marketing campaigns.
Using different testing methods, such as heatmaps on your website and analytical reporting, you can actively measure ROI on your campaigns, and use your money much more efficiently.
There’s no middleman to twist the truth about the effectiveness or impressions you’re getting, the data is always right there. Using tracking codes, you can follow a customer journey right from the first time they see your brand online, all the way to when they actually convert into a purchase, sometimes weeks later.
This also means you can run campaigns with more targeted, specific goals. You could aim to increase brand awareness within a certain demographic, you could run a campaign to up sales of one particular product, or you could run retargeting ads to make more previous customers return, for example.
As you can see, we’ve only just scratched the surface of the potential of a digital marketing apprentice in your business. But while we’re here, let’s also review a few common misconceptions about apprentices which often discourage employers:
You Can Upskill Any of Your Current Staff with a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship
Your new digital marketing apprenticeship doesn’t need to be a dedicated role for a new employee, you can actually choose any member of your team who would like to diversify their skillset and train them using an apprenticeship.
Interested in learning more? Pop over to our live chat, or give us a call!
Hiring a Digital Marketing Apprentice Isn’t Expensive
The actual training fees might sound a little intimidating at first, but the fact is, you’ll only be paying a small fraction of these, thanks to government funding.
Larger businesses will have access to funds in their apprenticeship levy, but other businesses such as SMEs will only pay 5% of the training costs.
Better still, if you have under 50 employees and hire an apprentice who is under 18, the government will fully fund their training.
You can find out more about funding apprenticeship training as a smaller business here.
All of that boils down to the fact that you could pay as little as £550 as a non-levy payer for your digital marketing apprentice’s training. (Don’t forget, it costs more than that for a new website!)
It’s also a little known fact, but if you work down the supply chain from a bigger business that is an apprenticeship levy payer, they can transfer up to 25% of their levy funds to your business to help you take on more apprentices.
So what do you say? Does a digital marketing apprentice sound like a must-have for your business going forward? Contact us for a friendly chat, or head over to our digital marketing course page and download a prospectus to learn more.