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Courses Tailored for Your Needs and Budget

Digital marketers who attend our courses tend to either opt for our accredited CIM courses or go for one of our one-day courses. The CIM route means that students do either two or three modules of the level 3, level 4 or level 6 the Qualifications; these are either assessment or exam-based. These obviously involved some time commitment and can be more expensive. Traditionally, students have wanted to do the full certificates or diploma.

However, we are increasingly seeing that students are requesting bite- sized qualifications which, in turn lead to awards. Why? It could be due to budget or time commitment or just that students want to focus on specific awards like digital marketing. The beauty of doing a bite-sized award is that you still end up with a recognised, relevant qualification - from CIM.

To this end we have come up with a set of packages focused on different people's skills sets and needs, which include a mixture of CIM qualifications and hands-on practical courses.

So, what are the options?

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Google Analytics Resources

Every month Marketing Tom Media delivers Google Analytics training either as public courses (in both London Cardiff) or as in-house courses. And on our courses we often discuss resources that students may find of use. Here is a list of websites and web resources which I think Social Media, Analytics and CIM students may find of use.

Let's start with an obvious one - Google Analytics for Beginners from the Google Analytics Academy. You are able to sign up for the Academy where "you'll learn how to navigate the Google Analytics interface and reports, and set up dashboards and shortcuts". A really good resource which is driven by video.

If you don't have a Google Analytics account from your own organisation, or would just like to trial analytics, just over to the Google Analytics demo account page from where you can test drive a live website using GA. (more…)


Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2018

Every year Mary Meeker delivers one of the most anticipated presentations on Internet trends. This year it was delivered at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The slides below cover all aspects of Internet trends relating to smartphones, time spent on the Internet, mobile payments, voice-controled applications, e-commerce sales, and offer insights into both companies (like Amazon and Google) and countries (such as China). It runs out to 294 slides and here are some interesting points:

  • 3.6 billion people or half the world is on the Internet
  • eCommerce revenue was up 16% in 2017 in the U.S. versus 14% the previous year
  • Often when people start out in eCommerce they go to companies like Shopify and take payments through companies like Square
  • People's product searches begin either with Amazon (49%) or with search engines like Google (36%)
  • But discovery is emerging as a way to find products, especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram
  • Social media is enabling more efficient product discovery in commerce
  • eCommerce referrals from social media, are at 6% versus 2% in 2015
  • 45% of Spotify's monthly active users are subscribers versus 0% when they launched the subscription product 10 years ago
  • 79% of US consumers are willing to share 'Personal data' for 'Clear Personal Benefit'

There is a lot of very useful data here which can give you an insight into where the Internet is heading and, possibly, where your focus as an organisation should be. China and AI are worth particular attention on this slide deck.

Here's the video presentation of the Internet Trends:

And here is the slide deck:


12 websites digital marketers should be reading

Photo by Ewan Robertson on UnsplashThe Internet is awash with blogs, news sites, and social media outlets but which websites can give you new insights and help to steal a lead over your competitors? We have compiled a list of 12 sites which we think will give you the competitive advantage. Bookmark them, follow them, Flip them or just visit them!

Wired

Wired has been around since the early 1990's and continues to offer cutting-edge articles on a range of subjects from business to culture. It is well-known for articles on the latest developments in technology. Gotta be one of my favourites!

Sample article: The Blockchain Explained

Harvard Business Review

An excellent read especially if you're looking for articles on strategy, working effectively and HR, to name but a few. Many of the articles are free though sometimes, for more in-depth articles, you will need to subscribe.

Sample article: Why a Gen-X CEO Hired a Millennial to Help Him Keep a Learning Mindset

Fortune

There was a time when Fortune had a pure focus on "C-suite" business news. Like many other publications/websites it now seems to offering wider reading options, though many of its articles are aimed at chief executives, chief financial officers, etc.

Sample article: Here's Why Twitter Won't Suspend or Delete Donald Trump's Account

MIT Sloan Review

Fascinating articles on a range of subjects aimed at "academic researchers, business executives and other influential thought leaders about advances in management practice, particularly those shaped by technology, that are transforming how people lead and innovate." A very good read for those doing level 4 and level 6 CIM qualifications, along with marketing and business under/post graduates.

Sample article: Are You Taking the Wrong Approach to Digital Transformation?

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Bloomberg produces titles on subject like markets, tech and business. Though quite a lot of the articles are US focused, often on US politics/business, there are still interesting reads to be found here.

Sample article: Facebook Is Still In Denial About Fake News

Entrepreneur

This magazine seems to have a focus on start-ups, franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs. You will find the usual "get rich" and investment articles but you'll also find interesting articles on digital marketing and interview tips, networking and tips on growing your business.

Sample article:  The Face of Intelligent Marketing? Your Customer

Inc.

A quick look at the sections of this American website/magazine will give you an idea of the primary focus of its articles: Startup, Lead, Grow, Innovate and Technology. Articles are often varied, relatively easy and short to read.

Sample Article5 Productivity Tips to Get Your Work Done (Now That It's Dark at 4 P.M.)

AdWeek

Guess what? It's about advertising! Anything and everything to do with advertising. It also has a healthy mix of articles relating to digital marketing which is always of interest to our clients. Stats and case studies make it of interest to students.

Sample articleThese Digital Billboards From McDonald’s Change Depending on How Bad the Traffic Is

Fast Company

This is one of my favourite magazines (alongside Wired) and, as their site says, "Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, world changing ideas, and design". So, there you have it!

Sample article: For Amazon, The Future Of Alexa Is About The End Of The Smartphone Era

Entrepreneurship - NY Times

Entrepreneurs, start-ups, innovation, funding and small business - these are the topics you will find on this website. Like its parent site, the Entrepreneur section offers meaty and interesting articles which are also well-written. Not as frequent as others but worth a read.

Sample articleA Paintbrush in One Hand, and a Drink in the Other

VentureBeat

If Big data, Cloud, Deals, Dev, Enterprise, Entrepreneur, Gaming, Mobile, Security, Small Biz, and Social float your boat then Venture Beat may be the place for you to check out. Definitely worth a read.

Sample article: AI Weekly: Digital assistants are changing business, but they still need human help

TechCrunch

TechCrunch covers the business side of technology. When news breaks about the latest digital innovations/disruptions TechCrunch is often the first to break it. Its Crunchbase offers great insights into people, investments and companies in the tech industry. Another "must-read" publication.

Sample articleTwitter fixes another important problem with support for 50-character usernames


Are You Making Digital Marketing Waves or Ripples?

Adobe Spark-5

Just before the summer I came across an interesting article from Darren Rowse, entitled How I use Google Analytics ‘Compare’ Feature to Motivate Me to Grow My Blog. Though it is around 3 years' old, the basic idea really resonated with me. In it Rowse highlights the 'hourly' feature of Audience Overview within Google Analytics. This interesting Analytics report splits the day into hourly segments and lets you view the number of sessions per hour (in the form of a graph). However, what Darren Rowse does is add an extra element - comparison of today against yesterday or the week before.

What grabbed my attention was the idea of trying to see how you could possibly make one hour, or a number of hours today, 'beat' the session count from another day. Imagine that you look at your graph and say, "it looks like 9.00 isn't performing as well as this time last week." Well, your challenge is to consider the tactical digital tools at your disposal, and boy there are MANY, which could improve on last week's rankings. Whilst this is very much a reactive exercise, it would well turn into a proactive one in the future once you know what works and whats doesn't for you.

One topic the we cover on our digital courses is the interconnectedness of many of your digital media channels.Taking your website as the centre of digital marketing activity we consider how you might go about 'making noise' or making waves through this digital network. For the remainder of this article we will explore how you can go about doing this.

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is the foundation on which much of your digital marketing activity is built and making sure the your website is positioned highly on Google is a key objective. So, what should you be doing on a frequent basis?

Keyword Checking. Are you using the right combination of keywords? Are you going for highly trafficked keywords or focusing on the long tail? Let's say that I am looking at keywords for social media courses in London", do I go for the high volume (where there is potentially higher competition ) or for lower volume (where there MAY be lower competition but richer pickings)? Once you know the right keywords, you can start by placing them in key locations: page titles, content, links, headlines, meta descriptions and more.

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 09.29.19

Page Titles. Are you using the right keywords in your page title? Let's assume that most people don't enter your website on the home page, then the company name/brand is not important at this point. Think about the theme of the page and change keywords accordingly.

Search Console. I wrote an article on Search Console last year so won't go into it in too much detail but from an SEO perspective these things are important:

    1. Search Analytics. Where are you positioned? How many clicks are you getting for your keywords but as importantly how many of the keyword impressions display "0" for you? 0 means that people are not clicking on your listing in Google but on someone else's which probably means you are not optimising your pages (on-site and off-site) for Google. This is a great opportunity for you to get untapped traffic, so get working on it!
    2. Fetch as Google. If you have created new pages or modified other pages (see below), then you might want to use this tool so that Google can identify your site in a matter of hours (not weeks!).
    3. Data highlighter. Offering events, courses, confernces? Well, you should be using this tool as it gives your website more visibility in the search engines. Check this out:

serps21

Meta Descriptions - These are 160-character strings which allow a website to indicate what a page is about. They are often used by search engines to supplement your search results. We often say that they can mean the difference between someone clicking on your link and your competitors in the Search engine results. However, did you also know that social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook also use them when displaying information that you share (notice below)?meta

Email Marketing

So. you're harvesting email addresses for your mailing lists but are you telling your customers about the latest products, services and offerings that your company has to offer?  Use email marketing to flag up the following:

  • New products and services
  • Latest blog articles
  • Company news
  • Achievements (in our case congratulating students on passing their exams)
  • What about new staff?
  • Latest promotions?
  • Book offers?

Aside from using your email marketing package (such as MailChimp), have you considered using email signatures to flag up new articles, products, offers, etc? On my email accounts I often have different offers. So, someone who has already been on one of our courses will be invited to sign up for a special rate on another course.

Social Media Marketing

Each time I write a blog article or have a new product/service that I would like to promote, I'll fire up many of my social media tools. Let's go through how you might use each of the tools.

Twitter - OK, first thing you need to consider is what you are trying to promote and then consider crafting a tweet with some or all of the following checklist:

  • Image - have you sourced or created (possibly using Canva) an image that conveys the message of the article of page you wish to promote?
  • Link - have you made sure you have created a link on Bit.ly (probably using your custom link)?
  • Hashtag - have you identified the broad hashtag that sums up what the tweet is about and how about the 'granular' (or focused hashtag which may directly relate to your business)?
  • Call to action?
  • Keywords - have you thought about the correct use of keywords in your 140 characters?
  • Photo tagging - could you have tagged someone in the tweet (journalists, stakeholder, etc)?

In his book, the Art of Social Media, Guy Kawasaki invites Twitter users to try and 're-use' some of their tweets. Don't just tweet once, but use the same tweet at different times. Aside from tweeting another way to gain some traction for your tweets, and hence content, is to pay for Twitter advertising.  The potential benefit of using this to complement your tweets is that you can now expand the reach of your tweets outside of your followers. What about directing tweets at influencers within your industry (with the hope of a Retweet or alert a follow or reply)?

LinkedIn - I use LinkedIn on a few different levels. Firstly, I use it inform the people who are following me that I have added something new to my website - blog article, new service, etc. It is possible that I might  'repurpose' (or slightly change the updates) as we mentioned in the Twitter section. Images and links are vitally important and don't forget that LinkedIn sends 4 times as many people to your website than Twitter or Facebook. I also find that Sundays are pretty good days for pushing people to the website from LinkedIn. LinkedIn groups are another place that I will often go to, having published something on my website, just to flag up articles of interest for members. And don't forget to use your Company Page on LinkedIn. I find that many companies tend to neglect their LinkedIn company pages but don't forget your contacts/clients/employees/stakeholders are using this platform more and more so, why not use it to flag up stories of interest to them? And how about the good, old direct message? Consider who in your network might find your new content/offers/products of interest and then directly message them. It does work!

Facebook - this may not be your 'top' platform for 'professional social networking' but that doesn't mean that people don't use it to check friends/family updates during the day. They do - all day, every day! And, of course, if they're following your company page, they can also receive bang-up-to-date information from your website. So, why not create schedule those updates and get them to appear at peak viewing times on Facebook? Learn for your success full updates (check Insights). For certain posts that are working (engagement and reach) or those you think may need nudging, why not boost a post? Don't forget that organic reach for your Facebook posts may be as low as 6.5% and these boosts can help you reach either more of your Facebook followers or even those who are part of your potential market.

Related Courses

Social Media Marketing Course (London and Cardiff)
CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing


Have You Tried Out Google’s In-Page Analytics?

Last week Google rolled out a new tool within the Google Analytics dashboard. Called In-Page Analytics and currently in beta-mode, it is meant to be an improvement on the Web Overlay option that used to appear in this dashboard. The idea is that is adds an extra layer to your website, whilst you navigate around it to give you a better visualisation of how visitors move around your site and what they click on. This is a screenshot of what the Marketing Tom website looks like with this layer added. Notice how it indicates what percentages of visitors clicked on certain links. What's pretty neat about this new tool is that you get added data in a panel on the left as you navigate around the site. I also quite like the bar which indicates what percentage of people clicked before the fold (or as the fold appears on your pc).

Related Articles

Introducing In-Page Analytics: Visual context for your Analytics data (Google Analytics Blog)
Google Adds "visual context to Analytics (Econsultancy)
Google In Page Analytics Provides Visual Context For Traffic Data (Mashable)
Google Analytics: Goodbye Site Overlay, Hello In-Page Analytics (Search Engine Land)


Do you approach Digital Marketing tactically or strategically?

A lot of the work that we do at Marketing Tom Media involves helping clients create Digital Marketing Strategies - either through advising them on training or sitting down with them and working out the detail of the actual strategy. So often I see clients being tempted by some some new, exciting application and want to sign up for it and apply it straight away. You've seen a competitor has a blog and another a Twitter account and feel that in order to keep up with them that you should do so to.

Well, hang fire!

Some of these tools may, or often may not, fit in with the digital marketing or social media strategies of these organisations but may not for yours. A couple of days' back Seth Godin wrote an article - when tactics drown out strategy - and said:

Most of us are afraid of strategy, because we don't feel confident outlining one unless we're sure it's going to work. And the 'work' part is all tactical, so we focus on that. (Tactics are easy to outline, because we say, "I'm going to post this." If we post it, we succeed. Strategy is scary to outline, because we describe results, not actions, and that means opportunity for failure.)

He further goes on to say that:

"Building a permission asset so we can grow our influence with our best customers over time" is a strategy. Using email, twitter or RSS along with newsletters, contests and a human voice are all tactics. In my experience, people get obsessed about tactical detail before they embrace a strategy... and as a result, when a tactic fails, they begin to question the strategy that they never really embraced in the first place.

We often have this discussion on the courses that we run, be they CIM courses or 1-day workshops. Students often say that they saw a great offer by Google (a free Adwords voucher), use their credit and say it never worked for them. Or they hear that MailChimp is being used by all and sundry but it doesn't work for them. Might it just be that they tactical approach is wrong possibly because they haven't properly considered their strategy.

When students do a course like the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing or a level 4 or 6 CIM course with us, they are often presented with a methodology like SOSTAC which gives them a framework for developing successful digital marketing plans. This is what SOSTAC stands for:

  • Situation Analysis
  • Objectives
  • Strategy
  • Tactics <-----
  • Action
  • Control

These frameworks are important as they give you and your colleagues direction (objectives) based on what is happening with your organisation at this moment (situation analysis), let you consider the right audience and channels to market (strategy), help consider the correct tactical tools and offer a mechanism for measurement of your activities (control). Notice where tactics sit - position 4 out of 6 in this framework! But time and time again we see people begin their Digital Marketing activities at this point. So, next time you see an article on Mashable about some new Web 2.0 application or a report from the Guardian about the top social media tools for business, pause and ask yourself whether it fits into your overall digital marketing strategy. If you don't have a digital marketing strategy, you know what you have to do!

Related Courses
CIM Qualifications (These courses cover both strategic and digital marketing issues).