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What Is Digital Marketing? What Does a Digital Marketing Apprentice Do?

What Is Digital Marketing What Does a Digital Marketing Apprentice Do

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If you’re running a business, you probably have some idea of what springs to mind when someone says ‘Digital Marketing’. It’s social media right? Well, not entirely.

The common misconception is that digital marketing is ‘posting to Facebook’ or just spammy SEO from those annoying people who pop up in your inbox all the time, and thanks to some lackluster marketing agencies, many believe that’s the case.

This is why you often hear from businesses who say; “I’ve tried digital marketing, and it doesn’t work for me.”

Sadly, they’re missing out on the true benefits of a full digital marketing strategy done well.

Below we hope to explain some of the many elements of a digital marketing strategy. Some businesses choose to do only a few of these techniques, and it works well for them. Others need a full encompassing strategy.

Which brings us to the question:

Would a digital marketing apprentice be good for my business?

And while the answer is always yes! the full answer is a little more complicated. Digital marketing apprentices work really well in the following situations:

  • You’re a startup and you need a digital marketing impact on an affordable budget while you get established.
  • You’re a business that has never tried or only dabbled in digital marketing, and you’d like to see how a trained professional can impact your business before you commit to growing that department.
  • You need to expand your digital marketing team but you want them to gel together really well. In this situation, you can get an apprentice and have someone on your current team be their mentor.

The great thing is, you don’t need to worry about knowing anything about digital marketing in order to have an apprentice. Our tutors are industry experts who come from a background of digital marketing roles. They’ll ensure your apprentice is on the right track to becoming a professional in their own right.


Ok, so now we’ve established if a digital marketing apprentice is right for us, let’s take a little look at what they do:

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SEO is one of the cornerstones of Digital Marketing. It stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, and in short, it’s the process of ensuring that you appear on a search engine when people are looking for keywords related to your product or service. For example:

You sell handmade cosmetics, you probably want to appear on Google for when people search for the following terms:

  • handmade beauty
  • indie beauty products
  • ethical beauty products
  • vegan makeup
  • online makeup brands

SEO is the process of ensuring you rank for these key terms and many others. It’s a long process that involves writing blogs, refining your website content and markup, working with other online influencers and much more. Generally you start to see results after around 6 months, but it’s recommended to all businesses who have a website. Why? Because once it works, it’s the cheapest way to gain sales or leads, generates a huge amount of traffic, and ensures established traffic should any other area of your marketing plan decline.

Website Management

All our digital marketing apprentices are taught the basics of code and website management. This is because in order to implement great marketing, an apprentice needs to know how to:

  • Make changes to banners and artwork.
  • Add keywords to tags and how to correctly mark up blogs.
  • Add internal links.
  • Add social media cues to your content.
  • How to upload products with the correct SEO content.
  • How to make a website more mobile friendly so Google likes it!

Many businesses task their marketing department with looking after their website, and even if you have a web developer, they should be working extremely closely with your digital marketing team. A poor website can mean customers don’t like using it, or that Google won’t recommend it. Bad layouts or broken elements can literally be the difference be the difference between a sale and no sale!

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Social Media

Ah, social media – if we had a penny for every time someone says they’re ‘doing social’ but really they’re just posting a picture to Instagram every day… Ok, so keeping your social media active is half the battle, so if you are posting regularly, hats off to you. However, posting regularly without understanding the intricacies of each platform might mean you’re just wasting your time. A strong social media strategy encompasses three things:

High Quality Content Creation

Images off the internet just won’t do. Your apprentice should learn the basics of graphic design so that they can create eye-catching and engaging images for social. They will also need to know the basics of creating video for your brand, as Youtube, TikTok and Instagram Reels are some of the best performing pieces of content right now.

Working with the Algorithm

Each platform has an ‘algorithm’, or basically, a set of rules that determines whether it shows your content to a lot of people, or no one at all. A good digital marketing apprentice will understand these algorithms and create a content strategy that makes it more likely that your account will be shown to more people.


Social media is social for a reason! It’s all about creating conversations and engagement, so people don’t just scroll past your content. Your digital marketing apprentice will build relationships with your followers and the influencers in your industry, ensuring your brand can create loyalty and subsequently, sales!

Content Marketing

Content marketing often overlaps with social media, it’s the process of making:

  • Videos
  • Blog Posts
  • Guides
  • Ebooks
  • Lookbooks and Photoshoots
  • Q&A Sessions
  • Webinars
  • Online Events

and much more, to add value for your online community. These content pieces will also often have SEO benefits.

Content is also often used as a ‘this for that’ exchange for a lead. So for example, on your website you may offer a free ebook that interests your customers, in exchange for them signing up for your email marketing list. This strategy revolves around the ‘Marketing Funnel‘ which is something our apprentices learn in depth. To summarise, it’s the process of turning someone who isn’t familiar with your business, into a customer. They usually move through several stages, including awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation and purchase. 

Your entire marketing strategy will be based around this, but we’ll talk about that in depth below.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is exactly what is says, it’s advertising you pay for! It can include Google Ads, Facebook/Instagram Ads, display networks, or even working with an influencer on a paid basis. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as ‘Spend more, get more leads’. Paid advertising involves experimenting with different layouts, landing pages, text, calls to action, keywords and much more to see what works. It’s a lot of trial and error, but if you get it right, it can be an extremely lucrative source of leads.

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Overall Strategy and Online Branding

We mentioned the Marketing Funnel before, well, your online strategy is the process of putting all the different elements of digital marketing together to map the customer journey from stranger to purchase. This is one of the first, fundamental things digital marketing apprentices are taught, as it’s the foundation of all the other work you do.

Your digital marketing apprentice will use analytics and further research to understand the best strategy for your company – it may not involve everything we see above. For example, a B2B services company may not actually be suited to social media, and it could be a waste of time and resources. Instead, they could invest heavily in SEO and Paid Ads.

This work is then supported by your online branding. Bigger companies may already have this, but smaller companies and start ups will need their digital marketing apprentice to create a branding document.


We’ve discussed many of the different elements of online marketing above, but we haven’t even touched on others, such as email marketing and influencer marketing. When you first work with NTG Training to take on a digital marketing apprentice, we’ll host an in-depth discussion with you about your goals and your company, in order to establish what the priorities for your Digital Marketing Apprentice are. We can then tailor the program to ensure they learn those specific skills promptly, and also ensure their projects related to their qualification are relevant.

Interested in learning more? See our extensive guide to the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, or speak direct to one of our friendly team members on 01244 678100 or [email protected]

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