Apprenticeships UK: Digital Marketing Apprenticeship

Do you like or know anyone who enjoys creating online content? Ever wanted to start marketing but you are not aware of the opportunities that are out there? Ever thought of considering a Digital marketing career?

Now that some forms of traditional marketing have been replaced with Digital marketing, it is important to recognize what the job is. Some individuals may start on a Level 3 apprenticeship and progress onto a Level 6 Digital marketing apprenticeship where a degree can be obtained.


What they don’t tell you about Digital marketing
Studying a digital marketing apprenticeship, is not like studying an original qualification. A digital marketing apprenticeship can allow you to progress into the following careers:

  • Digital marketing executive
  • Digital marketing account manager
  • Social media executive
  • Online and Digital lead
  • E – commerce specialist
  • Content Marketing Executive
  • Digital producer
  • Programmatic Executive
  • And so much more

Overview
Digital marketing consists of the following:

  • Leading on content creation. E.G creating a landing page for a business
  • Executing marketing strategies for a business so they can progress when opportunities arise
  • Digital marketers tend to use platforms such as social media, websites, and emails
  • Digital marketers also use financial and analytical tools to help them with delivering a successful campaign

Digital marketing apprenticeship: Practical skills/ behaviors and knowledge

Behaviors/ Skills an apprentice would have or develop:

  • The ability to communicate verbally and possess active listening skills
  • The ability to work independently and effectively in a team
  • Work well under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • Be considerate when working on projects that is related to culture, diversity, and equality
  • Creative and logical thinking skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • High attention to detail
  • Being enthusiastic and having a flexible work approach
  • Always being complaint within the business that you work in

Knowledge an apprentice would have or develop

  • Understand how to develop and apply marketing concepts to topics within the program. This could include applying the 4-marketing mix to a business plan or campaign
  • Be able to create content for different segments of the market. This would include setting up Call to Actions.
  • Be able to demonstrate promoting business ideas on different media channels to maintain brand awareness
  • Can select research methods to help choose the best technological tools for each campaign.
  • The ability to manage, plan and report on marketing projects.
  • The ability to accurately observe and make conclusions from statistical data, to help determine the campaign’s performance. Eg Return on Investment
  • Manages different interfaces to apply this for appropriate strategies

Entry requirements

Candidates would need a C grade (equivalent to a grade 4) in 5 GCSE’s. These grades must include English and Maths
Have 2 A levels or an equivalent qualification

Details on this Apprenticeship

This apprenticeship can last for 3 – 4 years

The salary is £21,000

After completing the apprenticeship you will receive a degree, once the degree is over the apprentice can move onto further opportunities. These opportunities could even include becoming a freelancer or working in the public sectors the choices are endless

To conclude
Moving forward with a digital marketing apprenticeship can allow the following benefits:
The ability to engage with different communities through platforms such as social media and email marketing, doing this to promote positive discussion and engagement.
Have the chance to use different tools to gain insight on the marketing platforms such as your favorite social media channels.
Contribute to planning a business by presenting them with opportunities that can help embrace change.
Can identify and comprehend factors that will impact internal and external stakeholders for requirements.

So why not give this opportunity a try ! Click here to follow the LinkedIn Page https://www.linkedin.com/company/apprenticetips-com/about/

Organic vs. Paid Social Media

Young people sitting on stairs using smartphones for organic and paid social media

Weighing up the options between paid and organic social media? Not sure where to start? We’ll save you some legwork: you’ll find everything you need to know in this expert guide.

As a digital marketing apprentice, social media implementation is crucial. For instance, you’ll need to show that you have a variety of skills and the ability to run digital campaigns across different social media platforms. In this guide we’ve outlined the main differences between organic and paid social media, as well as including some examples to help you understand better. We’ve also chucked in some useful links to help get you started to becoming a social media wizard!

The key to social media is being social

Eli Fennell

What is Organic Social Media?

Organic social media refers to the free content that all users, including business and brands, share with each other on feeds. For example, this could include posts, photos, videos, memes and stories.

As a brand, when you post organically to your account, you can expect that people who see it are:

  • A percentage of your followers (also known as organic reach)
  • Your follower’s followers
  • People following any hashtags you use

Brands use organic social to:

  • Establish their personality and voice
  • Build relationships through informative, entertaining or inspiring content
  • Engage customers at every stage of the customer life cycle journey

Example of typical organic content from a business:

Pantone leveraging user-generated content

Pantone excels at the strategic use of user-generated content to build a stunning feed. For example, the brand uses aesthetically pleasing, high quality content to grab the audiences attention. Additionally, the short, punny copy doesn’t detract from the image.

What is Paid Social Media?

Paid social media involves brands paying money to social networks such as Facebook and Instagram to have their content shared with specific audiences. Paid social posts will show up in the feeds of whichever audience you decide to target and can be filtered by demographics, likes, interests and more.

Cost-per-click (CPC) is one of the most common methods of charging for this type of promotion.

Businesses and organisations use paid promotion on social media to:

  • Raise brand awareness and attract new followers
  • Promote new deals, content, events
  • Generate leads
  • Drive conversions

Example of typical paid content from a business:

example of paid social media
Moz stands out with colourful ad creative

Similarly to the the organic social example, Moz uses bright colours to stand out in the audience’s feed. It grabs the reader’s attention with bold colour choices. However, this ad is targeted to people who like marketing and marketing agencies, so a case study link makes sense here. Moreover, the strong, minimal copy gets the point across quickly and efficiently.

While paid social and organic social vary in their scope it is useful to know the benefits and drawbacks of each.

The verdict on Organic vs. Paid Social Media

Both organic and paid social media suit different businesses with different priorities in different situations. If your business doesn’t have the budget to implement a paid social media strategy, then try focusing on organic social media. Write thoughtful content and actively engage with your customers online. However, if your business has a sizeable marketing budget, prioritise your paid social media efforts to immediately spread brand awareness and draw specific audiences to your profile.

Ideally, you will be able to find a way to incorporate both methods into your overall social media strategy to improve your online presence. To take your social media marketing skills to the next level, take a look at more of our digital marketing blogs to become a social media pro!

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A guide to digital tools for your Digital Marketing Apprenticeship

A computer screen showing editing software

The term “Digital Tool” in your apprenticeship will refer to any software program, online resource, or website which helps you in your role as a Digital Marketer. For a quick guide on the types of digital tools and how they can benefit your Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, read on!

What is a digital tool?

These are tools that you use for:

  • Content creation,
  • Content scheduling,
  • Sending email content,
  • Web metrics, analysis, and reporting,
  • Communication,
  • and more.

Digital tools for content creation:

Content creation spans across text posts, such as status updates and blogs, graphic and infographic content, animated graphic video content, filmed video content, pdf content, email content – essentially any kind of visual that you see online.

Canva

Canva is an online digital tool for making graphics and videos. They have both a free and paid plan available. Canva has a huge library of templates, icons, animations, royalty-free images and music that you can use for your business. It’s a must-have for any digital marketer looking to create infographics, videos, or dynamic presentations with a bit of extra eye-catching content.

Herefish and MailChimp

Herefish and MailChimp are both digital tools for creating templates for email marketing newsletters. They both have a library of pre-existing templates, and the option to create your own from scratch, adding in your company branding.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a library of content creation programmes. There are many different ones available, but here were we’ll discuss;

Photoshop

Photoshop is used to create original images, or edit existing images and photos. You can remove distracting objects from a photo, adjust the colours of an image, or create GIF content. Content created in Photoshop has the option to be high resolution, so it is a great programme for logo and asset creation.

Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is a video editing software. You can cut and move around clips, adjust the speed, audio and colour levels, and layer videos, music and images on top of one another. Premiere can export GIFs, .mov, .mp4, .mp3 and more.

Audition

Audition is an audio editing software. You can import your video content and remove any background noise, amplify the voice of someone speaking, add ambient background noise, and more. Audition is great for anyone looking to clean up audio if you’ve filmed content without a mic – or to polish and perfect audio that already used a mic.

Digital tools for content scheduling:

Content scheduling allows you to plan a date and time for a post on a social media channel. By creating and scheduling content in advance, you can work on other tasks and know that every post is going out as planned.

Sprout Social

With Sprout Social, you can connect multiple accounts to schedule content. You’re given a calendar, which shows all your upcoming posts. You can set posts to go out on specific platforms, at specific dates and times. For certain channels, you can set thumbnail images too. Currently, you can schedule images and videos, but not documents or Instagram carousels.

An image of a person on a computer, editing a video using a digital tool.
A person using video editing software, which is a type of Digital Tool.

Sending email content:

Every email that you receive from a clothing brand, service, or company is classed as email content (or email marketing). This type of content plays an important role in lead generation and can also be used as a method of linking back to your website and social media.

Herefish and MailChimp

In Herefish and Mailchimp, you can create lists of contacts to receive your content, and put together tailored automations to reach these lists. By using these programmes, bulk email campaigns are sent out without having to manually type out each individual address. If you’ve got content you want to go out to people in a specific postcode, make a list for your contacts in… Derby for example, set up the automation, and hit send! Your contacts will then receive it instantly.

Digital tools for web metrics, analysis and reporting:

Web metrics are classed as a specialist area, and will be important in your apprenticeship when showing that you can monitor your social media accounts, pull through data, and interpret it to form short and long term marketing plans.

Instagram Insights

This digital tool is only available through the mobile app. Instagram Insights will give you the ability to see your audience demographics, such as age and location.  You can also view metrics for feed posts and story posts, narrowing these down to engagement, reach, shares, and profile visits.

One feature that sets Instagram Insights apart is the ability to see which days, and time of day your audience is most active. With this, you can develop a content scheduling plan tailored to your business and audience, posting when they are most active and likely to see it.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a one-stop location for all your social platform metrics. You can compare content across channels or view content from one specific platform. Sprout has a Reports feature, where data is automatically pulled through and formed into charts and graphs. This saves you time inputting data to create your own infographics for presentations. Sprout also automatically compares stats from month-on-month, giving you a percentage for each metric so that you can see where stats have reduced or increased.

Herefish and MailChimp

After sending out email content, you’ll need to monitor how it performs. Herefish and MailChimp track data from those who receive your content. They can tell you who received the email, who unsubscribed or opted out, and who clicked a link. They can sometimes also tell you which company the contact works for, and what industry they’re in. This is crucial information to know whether your content is reaching the right audience.

Communication

How do you speak with team members, other internal staff, or external companies? For every email or direct message you send, a digital tool is keeping you connected.

Outlook

Outlook is an email application. You can use it to send and receive emails, schedule meetings or confirm attendance. You can also set out-of-office automatic replies, and make rules to re-direct emails you receive.

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype

After the last few years of lockdown and working from home, you’re likely familiar with at least one of these digital tools. They can be used for online meetings, helping you to communicate from afar. They allow you to share your screen and lead presentations, so this can come in handy for any client proposals you make.

 

Conclusion

There are many digital tools that can be used in your digital marketing apprenticeship. They can make completing tasks much easier, whilst also showing that you have a great understanding of your role as a digital marketer. These digital tools are often part of our everyday lives, without us even realising.

Now that you know how to make, schedule, and report on your content, it’s time to learn some social media etiquette! Check out our guide “The do’s and don’ts of social media as a Level 3 Digital Marketer” to find out more.

Speaking of social media – connect with us!

👋 Follow our socials on: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Engagement – 5 Ways to Succeed on Social Media

Illustration of three people using social media, commenting and liking posts.

Having a strong social media engagement with your audience is more important now than ever before especially with the younger generation. This means having meaningful connections with your customers both new and existing.

But in a world where almost everyone is online how do you bring the right attention to your brand? Read on to find out how interacting with your customers on social media can benefit your business.

What is social media engagement?

Social media engagement is the measurement of responses you receive. Although a big number of followers and likes is good, the emphasis should be on the quality of engagement. Are your followers having a positive experience? Are they engaging with your content and sharing it with others?

The most common metrics are the number of likes and comments but there are a number of metrics you can use:

  • Shares and retweets
  • comments
  • likes
  • saves
  • mentions
  • use of branded hashtags
  • click-throughs 

It is important to track a variety of metrics as different platforms will have different engagement features. Having more than one KPI for social media engagement can also help you pinpoint what areas you can improve and what content may need some changes from the way users are interacting with it.

Now you know what it is, here are the 5 easy ways to increase your engagement rate:

Set your engagement goals

Before hitting post you need to decide what it is you want to achieve. The motivations for engagement will differ based on your business goals. If the goal is to increase traffic on your website the focus could be to increase the number of click throughs to the webpage. If your business wanted to collect feedback on a new product the strategy could be a poll asking your followers for their preferences.

Get to know your audience

To communicate effectively with your target audience you need to understand their wants, needs, and interests. Find out what platforms they use the most and if certain topics interest them more. Have a look at the trending hashtags and what your followers are talking about. This knowledge can help you to create content relevant and valuable to your audience.

Experiment with content

There are so many different types of content you can share on social media. Try different formats and make sure to analyse the results to find what works best for you. When creating the content take into account the context and your audience. For instance, if you are a cosmetics brand perhaps you could post a makeup tutorial and add a link to your website for viewers to purchase the products used. Not only would this increase your engagement rate via the click-throughs or ‘swipe ups’ but also could lead to an increase in conversion rate.

Here are some creative formats to try:

  • Live video
  • Instagram reels
  • Polls & Surveys
  • Q & A
  • Memes
  • Infographics
  • Customer reviews
  • TikTok 

A brand that has a great social media presence and engagement is Nike. Their Instagram features a wide variety of content from short interviews with athletes, encouraging their followers to comment or tag their friends and to click the link in their bio for more information or to purchase a new collection. Check out their Instagram page for some inspiration.

Respond

To have strong customer relationships you need to get involved in the conversation. Be reactive to direct messages, mentions, and comments promptly and keep the conversations going.

It’s a good idea to have a community guideline on responses to ensure they are in line with your brand’s tone of voice and values. This will help when facing negative comments and having pre-composed responses for common queries can save you some time.

Review the engagement data regularly

Social media platforms have analytic tools for you to measure the success of your social media marketing strategies and campaigns. Take full advantage of these tools and regularly audit the analytics.

Compare the data to past months and see if there were any trends or patterns. Maybe there was an event that had an impact on your brand’s engagement?

Three colleagues analysing a data report

Have a look at the data and ask yourself these questions:

  • Which post got the most engagement?
  • Was there any platforms that had very low rates?
  • Which platform drove the most traffic to the site?

Conclusion

Having social media as one of your channels for digital marketing will greatly benefit your business. To ensure you are getting the most out of the platforms engage with your customers by interacting with them, sharing valuable content they will be interested in and remember to set clear goals and track the results.

Tiktok Tips for a Digital Marketer

Tiktok tips for a Digital Marketer

Let’s TikTok our way to success.

698 million monthly active users.

Let’s just read that sentence again.

What started as a Gen-Z dominated dance/lip sync battle craze has quickly become an entire beast of its own. Connecting the world in an instant, placing power in the hands of small businesses, and creative artists, making them overnight sensations.  Placing your content in Infront of an audience that wasn’t even looking for it, gives you access to a market you could only dream of otherwise.

In this article, we will discuss the impact of TikTok on your business and how this exciting new app on the block is going to revolutionise the way digital marketers create content. Are you ready for some TikTok Tips?

TikTok Tip: Real people give REAL Results

TIkTok is known for light-hearted, and entertaining content, 30s of joy before the next new thing. The platform is thriving because it’s real people exposing themselves in creative and sometimes ridiculous ways! Even if you’re a ‘serious’ business, brand credibility is always a top objective fro your social media stategy, and TikTok has basically given you a 1-way ticket to establishing that!

The clue is in the name, social media users are hungry for social interactions. TikTok offers you a platform where you can educate about your business whilst embedding humour and creating long-term relationships with consumers. The brits love humour, so they’re more likely to remember your business if you’ve evoked emotion from them!

TikTok Tip: Reaching for the stars.

TikTok has been downloaded over 2 billion times since its launch in 2016. This means TikTok is the perfect way for you to reach an international audience. The clues in the stats, if those many people have downloaded an app then contrary to popular belief, it’s definitely NOT just Gen-Z using it! There’s a doctor, seamstress, traveller, dentist somewhere who’s an active user. Just tapping into a piece of that audience is the opportunity you need to get in front of the right people.

TikTok Tip: Influencers Galore.

The best thing about TikTok? Absolutely anyone can go viral. This ability to give anyone a chance to become influential means that TikTok offers a limitless pool of influencers you can pick from. 86% of marketers have used influencer marketing to generate sales or increase brand awareness. To save you time from watching endless hours of TikTok to find the right influencer for you, TikTok did all the hard work for us and created the TikTok creator Marketplace. Simply put, it’s like picking the right FIFA player for your team. They have created an analytics tool that helps brands find the right user to partner with. It lets you see all the important stuff like engagement, reach, demographics and views.

Tiktok tips for a Digital Marketer

TikTok Tip: User Engagement

On average, a user spends 52 whole minutes a day on the app. As screen time inevitable increases, there is definitely an opportunity here for you to advertise to customers. There’s so much variety on TikTok, there’s space for everyone to share their products and services. Noteworthy, TikTok has some super unique algorithms which means you’re going to get much higher engagement on your videos with half the effort!

TikTok Tip: Beating the business

In 2020, TikTok launched TikTok for Business which basically provides digital marketers like you and me, with a whole social media strategy readily available to help maximise their reach. They give you tips and ideas on how to generate content with the right partners.

TikTok Tip: A piece of advice?

TikTok is a storm that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, it’s an exciting time, encouraging us to experiment and create dynamic content. It is forcing us out of that boring box to try new things, educating us about things we didn’t know existed whilst creating mass movements and bringing cultures together. It is allowing us to travel to the far corners of the earth whilst being in our bedroom(sometimes bathroom).

If you are a digital marketer looking for some great ways to improve your marketing, check out some of the articles below:

Photographic Assistant Level 3 Apprenticeship

photographic assistant configuring a dslr

The Photographic Assistant Level 3 apprenticeship is a brilliant way to propel yourself into the photography industry, gaining experience, qualifications and also earning. So if you’re interested in a digital creative career path, then this is an option for you.

As part of your job role, you will carry out duties that will satisfy a number of competencies. Some examples are:

  • Carrying out skilled work in the photographic industry utilising common photographic knowledge and skills.
  • Generate, print or publish photographic images (digital or silver-based prints)

And on completion of this apprenticeship, you may move into further and higher education or secure employment in the respective sector of the photographic industry. Here, you generally have 2 options:

Option 1: An Assistant Photographer who generates the original imagery and is employed across a wide range of areas (social, commercial, government, scientific departments and specialist applications)

Option 2: A Photographic Technician who will work in a photo finishing business, high street minilab or in-house processing centre, producing prints from customer-supplied digital imagery.

Jobs and entry criteria for the level 3 photographic assistant apprenticeship

Employers will usually set their own entry requirements for a photographic assistant apprenticeship however, without English and Mathematics at level 2 you must achieve a level 2 prior to taking the End Point Assessment.

If you have an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3, (and British Sign Language qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications).

Level 3 Photographic Assistant Core Skills and Knowledge

  • Maintaining Imaging Systems – following proper procedures to maintain tools and equipment
  • Industry Awareness – staying up to date with the latest advancements
  • Controlling Digital Workflow – ensuring procedures have been established and tools have been organised
  • Image Manipulation – retouching images, colour-management, file compression
  • Add MetaData To Digital Images – embedding copyright and other key metadata information

Assistant Photographer (Option 1) Core Skills and Knowledge

  • Agree the Photographic Brief – proposing deadline, budget and considering health and safety
  • Undertake Photographic Tasks – skillfuly select the correct lighting, angle, location

Photographic Technician (Option 2) Core Skills and Knowledge

  • Start up and Shut  down Laboratory Equipment – quality control, maintain chemicals and inks
  • Use Mini Lab Equipment to Print Images – check for defects, record business data, calibrating equipment
Photographic assistant switching out a camera's SD card

Conclusion

Choosing the level 3 photographic assistant apprenticeship is a powerful option to propel your career in the direction on photography and other digital creative careers. As a result, you gain deep technical insight and experience into all aspects of photography. To find out more about apprenticeships, why not view some of our articles. And to stay updated, follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

7 Digital Marketing techniques to increase website traffic

Is your website traffic lower than expected? Then you came to the right place my friend! Here are 7 great tips to increase website traffic.

1. Email Marketing, old but gold

There are so many ways to market your brand in 2021, it important not to forget one of the traditional methods of marketing, Email marketing. Something as simple as an email blast can give your website the kick it needs to gain more traffic. Top tip, it’s imperative that you do not do these emails too frequently. People receive so many emails per day already, people are likely to unsubscribe to your email list if you use this method too much.

Email marketing is incredibly versatile, how you thought of using targeted email? Using your email database, you can use tools such as Mailchimp to send emails to a specific audience. It could be based on behaviour, geographical location and based on their interests. You can even personalise the emails by adding subscriber names to add a personal aspect you the email.

2. Be active on socials

Using social media to increase website traffic is one of the best and cost efficient ways to create awareness for a campaign as it’s easy and completely free! For short and snappy content with a good image/video/gift, Twitter is your best bet. In contrast, using Linkedin (predominantly used for connecting professionals) you would aim to use a more formal tone and engage the reader with a story or blog post.

3. Optimise your page using SEO (Search engine optimisation)

Another cost-efficient way to increase traffic for a brand is using SEO. Ensuring that the page has healthy keyword density, image alt text, fast page loading time and having secure backlinks to the page can boots organic traffic and build more awareness for your brand.

4. Invite a guest to your blog

Guest Blogging is a great way to gain exposure to a new audience. Identifying known bloggers and social media influencers that fit with your target audience and getting them to guest blog on your brand website is a great way to expose your brand to a new audience as they are likely to share it on their socials and which should bring more traffic to your website.

5. Display banner advertising

Having great imagery and engaging text on a web banner will attract people into clicking the link and finding out more about your brand and website. Ensure that the banners are on websites that the target audience is likely to visit.

6. Take a deep dive into your website analytics  

Using specialist tools like Google Analytics can be a game-changing source of information on everything about your website. It can tell you what is the most popular page, bounce rates, demographics and even who is on your page at this very moment. You can leverage this information by analysing and using this to optimise your strategy. If a particular post is popular, why not make more content about a similar topic and see how it performs? See how, where and when you get visitors on your website and where exactly are they coming from?

7. Grab user’s attention with Video marketing

Studies suggest that retention is remarkably higher for visual material over text. Text on websites and blogs are a very important aspect of gaining more traffic on your website. However, videos can both attract new visitors and make your website a lot more entertaining, it grabs your audience’s attention and has the ability to drive your website traffic up at the same time – it’s a win-win!

I hope these tips help you on your mission for more website traffic. Even if you get one of these right, you should be a boost in traffic. Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget to share and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to stay updated.

A Guide To Effective Content Creation

Digital-Marketing-Content-Creation-Flatlay

Content creation: an arguably vague sector within the digital marketing spectrum, but needless to say an oh-so-important one. Not only does it allow you to innovate with your brand, but also to grow with your audience. When you dive deep into the depths of what content creation can entail in your apprenticeship, you’ll find a vastness of creativity, ideas and excitement. And with an ever-growing range of outlets for your creations and the development of more ways to reach your audience, it is clear to see why content creation can be seen as one of the most exciting areas of digital marketing.

But with such remarkable opportunity for experimentation, and so much availability for new and exciting ideas, not only can creating content for your brand feel somewhat overwhelming, but it also means there’s huge potential to miss the mark when it comes to resonating with your audience. So, I’ve rounded up my top tips to ensure that the content you create in your digital marketing apprenticeship remains fresh and your results remain strong.

Know Your Audience

It’s the oldest trick in the book – and it’s easy to see why. When you begin to think about the type of content you want to create for your brand, the audience you’re targeting should be at the top of your list for considerations. Not only does this mean understanding what themes of content they’ll find relatable, but also where they’re going to be found.

For example, considering which channels they’re more likely to interact with (and more specifically which channels they interact with whilst in a conversion mindset) Also, it’s important to consider which types of content they’re more likely to engage with. For instance, do they prefer feed posts or do they show more engagement in stories? Creating customer personas are a great way to begin to understand this. And when you begin gaining data on content that performs well, you’ll be able to refine your understanding on what is considered engaging for your audience.

Use Your Voice

It’s certainly not an easy job, but it’s a worthwhile one. Creating a voice for your brand and company which goes beyond getting the client or customer to convert is one of the most effective ways to make sure content delivers results. By creating a tone of voice for your brand which is used across owned media, your audience begin to engage with your brand on a personal level. Rather than just being a company which provides a needed service, you’re now an organisation which tells a story and is relatable to the human instinct of your customer or client.

An effective way of doing this can either be by showing the behind-the-scenes workings of your business, creating content which inspires customer feedback and communication, or simply by using humour to engage with your audience.

Consistency Is Key

Once you’ve established a clear tone of voice and understand your audience, consistency within your content is a great way to keep your brand on your audience’s radar. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to recycle the same best-performing video over-and-over on every channel, or that you have to plaster your logo onto every piece of content you create, it simply means maintaining the brand’s online reputation.

This can be anything from writing copy which matches the brands tone of voice, subtly using brand colours or fonts within graphic design work, or even having a consistent schedule to post content. Consistency creates yet another layer of familiarity of your brand for your audience and is an effective method to keep customer interest retained.

Digital-Marketing-Content-Strategy-Planning

Plan, Prepare, Execute

PPE – no, not that kind… All jokes aside, having a content creation process which includes thorough planning will ensure that content is not only created, but executed to a level which shows off the full potential of your brand. By having a clear understanding of hero-trends, micro-trends and keywords that you want to target, you’ll ensure your content remains relevant and insightful for your audience.

Keyword research tools, Google Trends and even having a clear understanding of your audience’s current interests, are great methods to ensure you’re on the ball with planning and preparing relevant and engaging content.

And To Wrap It Up

From having a clear and solid understanding of your audience and how to reach them, to creating consistent content which aligns with your brand, effective content creation is one of the best ways to not only reach your target audience, but to also keep them retained. And whilst these tips only make up the foundations when it comes to creating effective and engaging content, they’ll allow you to experiment with content and grow your company, whilst staying true to your brand and audience.

For more content creation tips, take a look here, or for more information on Digital Marketing, check out our blogs.

Level 3: Spectacle Maker Apprentice

Spectacles being repaired by a Spectacle Maker Apprentice.

DETAILS OF THE APPRENTICE ROLE

A Spectacle Maker Apprentice is anyone who uses their skills and labor for the production and repair of finished, quality assured spectacles. This comes within a wide range of prescriptions, coatings and finishes, frame types and styles. They will be using a range of materials for frames, lenses and optical manufacturing and repair tools and equipment. They may be working within a small glazing workshop or in a larger manufacturing environment.

KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED TO BECOME A LEVEL 3 SPECTACLE MAKER APPRENTICE

Health & Safety

  • How to comply with current health & safety at work legislation and regulations including COSHH, PPE in the work environment.
  • Safe handling of materials and work processes that ensure the safety of self and others. This includes methods for the safe and sustainable disposal of waste materials.

Materials

  • The properties, uses and limitations of materials used for spectacle making including types of resin, plastics, glass and metals.
  • Techniques for protecting, moving, handling and storing materials.

Tools

The key optical tools and equipment used, the principles of how they work, and how they are prepared, maintained and safely used, including:

  • Hand tools such as precision screwdrivers and optical pliers.
  • Checking tools including focimeter, lensmeters, calipers and base clocks.
  • Process tools including Laps and pads.
  • Cutting, planing and polishing equipment, drills, tinting baths and coating machines.

Quality

  • The application and monitoring of the employer’s quality standards including methods of recording work.

Construction of Spectacles

  • The process of spectacle making and the elements and principles for the construction of spectacles.
  • Typical construction of spectacles and work practice and any restrictions placed on the construction including availability of lens types / frame limitations.

The Manufacture, Service and Repair of Spectacles

  • How to diagnose, analyse and assess for repair or manufacturing options.
  • How to assess and advise on the appropriate level of intervention that may be required.
  • Costings and the process of seeking approval for work.
  • How to apply mathematics and the optical science necessary for the production of prescription and non-prescription lenses.
  • Possible manufacturing problems which may occur and how to respond to them.

SKILLS REQUIRED TO BECOME A LEVEL 3 SPECTACLE MAKER APPRENTICE

Health & Safety and Working Environment

  • Maintain good standards of health and safety for self and for others, using safe working practices.
  • Prepare and maintain a safe working environment, where both hand tools and mechanical tools are prevalent.
  • Identify and minimize hazards and risks in the working environment.

Technical Interpretation and Understanding

  • Create and interpret technical optical specifications, drawings, and other written and verbal instructions for the manufacture and repair of spectacles. This includes the identification and appropriate response to problems, including testing and adjustment, seeking advice and guidance as appropriate.

Manufacturing and Repair Process

  • Select and use the appropriate processes, techniques, materials, tools and equipment for manufacture or repair of spectacles.
  • Undertake the spectacle making process from inception to realization.
  • Remove and dismantle components and products, correcting faults and re-assembly of spectacles to the appropriate standard.

Tools and Equipment

  • Carry out testing and adjustment of spectacles, including lens conformity, frame set-up and cosmetic checks.
  • Maintain materials and equipment as appropriate, including grinding and polishing equipment, assembly tools, (precision screwdrivers, optical pliers, routers), measuring devices (focimeters and lensmeters, base clocks and calipers).

Quality

  • Work to the appropriate optical quality standards and systems, with efficient use of time, materials and resources.
  • Record work and either self-evaluate or obtain feedback from others to improve work and working practice.

BEHAVIORS REQUIRED TO BECOME A LEVEL 3 SPECTACLE MAKER APPRENTICE

Quality Focused

  • Follow policies and procedures, have a strong attention to detail and apply quality assurance checks through the spectacle repair or manufacturing process.

Professionalism

  • Have a strong professional work ethic including pride in your work and attention to detail.
  • Plan and manage time effectively.

Self-development

  • Keep up to date with best practice and emerging technologies within the optical sector.
  • Obtain and offer constructive feedback to others, and develop and maintain professional relationships.

Safety Orientated

  • Be aware of and adopt the processes and procedures for the safe manufacturing or repair of spectacles for both self and others.

OTHER DETAILS FOR THE APPRENTICE

Typically the apprenticeship will take 24 months to complete. The maximum funding for this course from the government is £4000. Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the end-point assessment.

CONCLUSION

This apprenticeship is perfect for anyone with an interest in spectacle making and starting an apprenticeship. Once the apprenticeship has been completed and the apprentice is qualified, achievement of the standard meets the requirements for eligibility to be admitted as a Freeman of the Worshipful or Company of Spectacle Makers.

To keep up to date about approved apprenticeship standards in the UK please click here.

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Cultural Learning and Participation Officer: Level 3 Apprenticeship

Do you want to make a difference in diverse communities? The Level 3 Cultural Learning and Participation Officer (CLPO) apprenticeship may be the role for you. You can earn while you learn with this 15- to 21-month-long course. If you want to plan, organise and coordinate artistic and cultural education workshops, schedules of activities, and community engagement projects, then you are reading the right blogpost.

CLPOs plan, organise and co-ordinate the teaching of arts, culture and heritage subjects. They facilitate creative workshops, visits, talks, performances, festivals, events and digital arts. They’re also required to use online content and social networks. These activities take place in cultural venues, online, in schools, hospitals, prisons and other community settings, including care homes.

Entry criteria for the Level 3 Cultural Learning and Participation Officer Apprenticeship

Before taking the end-point assessment, candidates must have achieved a Level 2 English and Mathematics qualification.

For those with an education plan, health and care plan, or legacy statement, the English and Mathematics minimum requirement is Entry Level 3.

The British Sign Language qualification, for those hard of hearing, is an acceptable alternative to the English qualification.

Most employers require CLPOs to have an Enhanced DBS Certificate.

Key responsibilities of a Cultural Learning and Participation Officer Apprentice

1. Project Coordination

As a CLPO, you will have to plan, organise, and coordinate education and community engagement projects on the behalf of organisations. You’ll have to identify learning objectives specific to your project and target audience. On top of that, you’ll work within a set budget, and ensure you’re keeping to Health and Safety guidelines.

2. Communication

You’ll have to polish up on your verbal and non-verbal communication skills. From public speaking to digital communication methods, you’ll be liaising with a range of audiences, partners and colleagues.

3. Relationship Management

A Cultural Learning and Participation Officer has to establish and develop positive relationships with a range of internal and external partners, artists, colleagues, participants and audiences. You’ll have to build networks effectively with these stakeholders and identify their benefits in order to succeed.

4. Project Administration

CLPOs plan, implement and analyse community events. From booking venues, to collaborating with artists, you will do it all! Excellent time-management and organisation skills are of paramount importance.

5. Problem Solving

You’ll be expected to identify problems and form ideas towards their solution. It’s essential to think creatively here and to seek external help where necessary.

6. Team Work

Collaboration is key to becoming a successful CLPO. The more collaboration, the better your projects will be.

Core competencies for the Level 3 Cultural Learning and Participation Officer Apprenticeship

  • Positive and Proactive attitude
  • Promote an inclusive environment
  • Using initiative
  • Working well with others
  • Emotional intelligence and resilience
  • Ethics/professional values
  • Creativity
  • Passion about the value of arts and community to society
  • Emotional intelligence and resilience

Summary of modules in the Level 3 Cultural Learning and Participation Officer Apprenticeship

CLPO Apprentices are expected to compile a portfolio based on the modules in the course. Your portfolio, or e-portfolio, should contain a minimum of 21 pieces of evidence and a maximum of 30. It should have written summaries of all appropriate activities that have been completed with regards to the modules:

  • Understanding audiences and effective methods of engagement
  • Working with Partners
  • Impact and social benefit
  • Meeting regulations and legislation
  • Your role and responsibility
  • Understanding the organisation
  • Fundraising
  • IT Systems and Software
  • Project Coordination
  • Communication
  • Project Administration
  • Relationship Management
  • Problem solving
  • Team working
  • Positive and proactive attitude
  • Promote an Inclusive environment
  • Using initiative
  • Emotional intelligence and resilience
  • Ethics/professional values
  • Creativity
  • Passion

Summary of assessment in the Level 3 Cultural Learning and Participation Officer Apprenticeship

Assessment Method and WeightingAreas AssessedAssessed ByGraded
Practical observation
50% weighting
Core competencies / module topics metEnd-point assessment organisationFail / Pass / Distinction
Professional Discussion
50% weighting
Core competencies / module topics met End-point assessment organisation Fail / Pass / Distinction

Please see the CLPO Apprenticeship standard for more information on this.

Conclusion

As you can see, the Level 3 CLPO Apprenticeship is a great starting point for anyone looking to help diverse communities and gain skills in leadership and planning, whilst immersing themselves in the arts. The core skills covered in the apprenticeship will develop your professional skills, and job opportunities. In addition, you will earn while you learn. Employers are keen to use apprenticeships to shape how their employees learn and progress. With diversity at the forefront of many employers’ minds at the moment, there is no better time to upskill and qualify in this area.

To get a more detailed view of the technical aspects of this apprenticeship, explore the CLPO apprenticeship standard.

Level 3 CLPO Apprenticeship. Photo of community with cultural learning and participation officer