What to Know – Level 6 Retail Leadership Degree Apprenticeship

Are you looking to take your Retail Leadership skills to the next level?

Two females in a food store. One working behind the counter and assisting with the customer's products. Skills that can be developed using Level 6 Retail Leadership

Are you passionate about providing customer service that is consistently meeting customer’s expectations? Looking to inspire a team who will turn to you for advice and innovation? This Level 6 Retail Leadership Degree Apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to earn a degree in Retail Management whilst working with your own team of retail-based employees.

What are the requirements?

Each indiviual employer will be in charge of their selection criteria for the apprenticeships that they administer. However, if you have not yet achieved your Level 2 English and Maths then you will need to achieve this prior to taking the end-point assessment.

If you meet the requirements, what next?

You will have to ensure that you are aware of the skills that will be necessary to excel in this field! Employers will be looking for certain behaviours, such as inspirational leaders, those who challenge & innovate, and have a passion for Retail Sector. If you have retail experience, and love to motivate your team then you may be what employers are looking for. Read on to find out what skills you will be able to hone and develop.

Two males in a store. One helping the other with his purchase using a tablet. Skills that can be developed using Level 6 Retail Leadership

What are the skills that you will be able to develop with a Retail Leadership Degree Apprenticeship?

  • Retail Landscape: To be able to analyse and evaluate key economic and political trends, and understand how they impact upon the retail landscape. Consider the impact of different business models, including online retailing. Construct key business plans and be able to demonstrate clarity of thinking and decision making.
  • Retail product life cycle: Implement the link between product quality and customer satisfaction. Influence the design of the store/website based on current and customer buying pattens where necessary.
  • Retail innovation and the digital challenge: Evaluate the most effective methods of digital delivery and how they wil impact the product range. Understand the impact of new technology on the customer journey and experience.
  • Retail Marketing and the customer: Consistently apply the retail brand values and relay this onto your team. With research, construct a customer engagement/pricing strategy. By using data, analyse and predict the customer’s current and future needs and purchasing trends, including how the customer journey is impacted.
  • Retail Supply Chains: Assess the effectiveness of the overall supply strategy and approach of the business, determining which areas are ethical, sustainable and profitable. Anticipate future requirements for new products. Review the role of logistics, warehousing and transport operation within the retail business.
  • Retail Finance, Data and Management Information (MI): Review performance against key financial and performance data and ratios. Use consumer trend data, and sales MI to predict the reaction of customers, and respond accordingly. Articulate key business decisions, and how they link with overall performance.
  • The Impact of Change in Retail on our people: Allocate appropriate levels of resource to different methods of operation. Build teams, and empower and manage others to improve business performance. Utilise emotional and social intelligence to build and develop relationships both internally and externally. Demonstrate effective problem solving and time management skills, and an expert written and verbal communication style.

What qualification will I achieve after completion of the apprenticeship?

You will achieve a Level 6 degree in Retail Management, completing your degree through a university. You will also have around 4 years of retail management experience alongside achieving your degree.

What happens after my apprenticeship?

Each successful apprentice will have a unique outcome, but due to your commitment and hard work, your employer may offer you a permanent position post-apprenticeship. However, this is not always the case, but you will still have an industry recognised Level 6 degree with 4 years of valuable experience which will put you in a fantastic position for when you’re exploring new roles.

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Understanding the 4 Basic Principles of Marketing

Are you creating Marketing campaigns for your company? Do they fit your product and company’s goals? Read this blog to ensure you have a good understanding of the 4 Basic Principles of Marketing.

Introduction of the 4 Principles of Marketing

In this section I will help increase your understanding of the 4 Principles of Marketing (4P’s) also known as the marketing mix. The 4P’s are a set of actions a company will use in order to promote its brand, product or service to its targeted market. They key principles involve a framework that helps companies producing goods or services recognise the strategies and tactics they need to consider in order to succeed.

For a business to stand out in a highly crowded marketplace a great marketing strategy is vital. The four steps that marketing revolves around are Product, Price, Promotion and Place. All concepts are compatible and mix well together in different ways, which ultimately will drive product adoption within your targeted audience.

The market is constantly changing which can be unpredictable and overpowering at times. The strategies you build from sustainable marketing principles will ensure your company has long-term stability.


The first component of the Marketing Mix.

Product is undoubtedly the core component of the marketing mix as the product or service you are advertising is the face of your brand. You need to do thorough long-term market research to ensure you are selling a product that is going to be profitable. Do customers really want it? Is there a need for it in the marketplace? Does it have a strong demand?

Using Market segmentation can help you identify key considerations allowing you to deliver a product that your target audience are engaged in. Your focus needs to be on solving the problem for your customers, addressing the key benefits the product has and persuading them that this is something they really need and want.


The second component of the Marketing Mix

The pricing strategy for your business is critical to the success of your business therefore thorough market research needs to be actioned. Having the correct pricing strategy as well as focusing on quarterly or annual goals will help your company grow within the market. You will need to determine the market value and understand what your customers are willing to pay before setting a price. Marketers need to consider the product’s real and perceived value as well as supply costs and any discounts you may offer.

Pricing influences how customers perceive your product. If you assign a product higher or lower than the price that customers was expecting this will affect your overall number of sales and leave a negative impression.

Assign the price of the product too high, the potential customer may be off put and automatically go to your competitors to find a better deal. Assign the price of the product too low, potential customers may question why it’s so cheap compared to other competitors in the market e.g. Maybe it’s not good quality? Maybe it’s not good hence the low price in order to sell?


The third component of the Marketing Mix

Place is more than just physical locations, it refers to anywhere you may sell, market, or distribute your product. This is where the product or service you are selling is available for people to purchase, either in a physical shop or online website. You will need to use your market research skills to find out what locations are the most convenient for your target audience.

In this modern age more individuals are using the internet including social media sites to find products that interest them. Social media is a great place to increase brand recognition and digital presence online as your posts are visible to a large scale of people. It is also a very effective way to target multiple audiences at once and link them straight to your company website. Engaging your audience online will make a huge difference to your overall success and increase sales.


The fourth component of the Marketing Mix

Promotion raises awareness about your company and products or services you have to offer. It is every type of marketing communication that you have send out about a product to your targeted audience.

It allows you to hand out information about your products and reasons why our audience should use them. Communicating with your target audience is key to effectively promote your product and gain a higher engagement rate. You should take time to research the best ways to do so.

Here are some examples of ways to promote your business –

  • Social Media Marketing – Advertising through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
  • Content Marketing – Blogs, Videos, E-books etc.
  • Email Marketing – Advertising through a mailing list of subscribers
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Boosts your search rankings online
  • Sales Promotions – Short term promotions or deals

I hope this article helped you increase your understanding of the 4 key marketing principles!If you want to learn more about Digital Marketing, why not take a look at the Digital Marketing Level 3 Apprenticeship, expand your knowledge now!

Alternatively read more of our interesting blogs about Digital Marketing here

Everything You Need to Know About Audience Targeting

A Guide to target audiences for Digital Marketing Apprentices

Graphic of a target with people around it

So you’ve come to the point in your apprenticeship when you have more responsibility for your campaigns and you don’t know where to start. With there being so many components that go into planning campaigns, like creatives, devices, budgets and more, it can be tricky to know what to start planning first. We look no further that this because we’re here to set you up for success.

As a marketer, you want to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time and the right place

Everyone is not your customer. Not everyone is going to be interested in the product or service you are advertising, which is why is it so important to define your target audience before anything else. In this article, well highlight some of the different way you an segment and identify your target audience.

What is a target audience & Why are they Important?

A target audience is a specific group of users with shared characteristics who are most likely to be interested in the product or service you are advertising. You would typically segment your audience by demographics, geographic, psychographics and behaviors. Below are some examples of each of these segments:

DemographicsGeographics Psychographics Behaviors
– Age
– Gender
– Income
– Level of education
– Profession / Role in
– Company
– Marital Status
– Language
– Country
– City
– Region
– Postal Code
– Personality
– Traits
– Hobbies
– Life goals
– Values
– Beliefs
– Lifestyle
– Spending habits
– Buying habits
– Browsing habits
– Interactions with brands
– Loyalty to brands

Defining a clear audience will help you create a message that will appeals to the type of people who are most likely to convert. Consumers want a brand that understands their challenges and provides solutions for them. In turn, this will build a strong relationship between you and your customers. However, in order to do this you will need this to find out more about their needs and challenges…

Empathy Maps

An empathy map is a visualization tool which helps marketers identify and understand their audience’s situations and feelings. Empathy is a common synonym to “being in someone else’s shoes” and is a key skill for marketers to have, as it allows them to take on their customers perspectives.

Empathy maps vary in size, but all of them should include the following four points

  • Say & Do – What the customer says about a product or brand. How do they interact on the internet… do they use social media? What actions and behaviors have / do they adopt and how do they interact with products and brands.
  • Think & Feel – What do they think about when they interact with a product? What occupies their thoughts and what matters to them? How do they feel when interacting with a brand? What do they get excited about and what worries them?
  • Hear – Who and what influences them and where do they find this? Celebrities? Social Media influencers? Their friends and family?
  • See – What do they see, day to day, in the environment they are in? What does this environment look like? What type of people or products are around them?

Below is an example of an empathy map, and some questions you can consider when creating one…

By producing an empathy map, you gain an understanding of your customers needs and wants. As you identify what you know about your audience, place it on an empathy map to gain a more holistic view of the users world.

Empathy maps serve as a foundation to another method of audience planning, which is more personal and involves thinking about a particular user in your audience. Customer personas represent a real person in your audience and have more human characteristics like name, age, motivations, personality, age and interest.

Customer Personas

Remember having an imaginary friend when you were a child? Marketers have them too, but in this case, they’re called customer or audience personas and they are an especially helpful too when defining your target audience. Customer personas remind you to put your audience’s wants and needs before the businesses’. As a result of this, you’ll be able to create better content that will appeal to the people you’re trying to target.

Customer personas are brief documents that encapsulate data about your target audience. They allow you to:

  • Build empathy for your customers and evaluate messaging from their perspective.
  • Give data context and a human face.
  • Help your business have a shared understanding which will help in decision making.

Take a look at this example of what a customer persona might look like and what questions you can ask yourself when creating one.

Some important things to note:

  • Don’t use gender unless it is consistently true for the customer or unrelated to why the persona would want your product/service. For example, if you’re promoting a Football brand, don’t specify your persona as a male because woman can enjoy football too.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Consider if a name and photo is actually helpful or weather it creates a bias.
  • Use real customer research and quotes.
  • Don’t make things up.


Having the responsibility of planning a campaign when you’re still new to the advertising industry can be scary. One of the most important components of any campaign is the target audience. If you target too broad of an audience, then you run the risk of wasting money on impressions from users who will not be interested in your brand / product. By defining a clear target audience, you can ensure that your advertising is being see by users who are the most likely to want you product and convert, which is what advertising is all about!

To learn more about digital marketing and digital marketing apprenticeship tips and advice, check out our other blog posts by clicking here.

What is the customer lifecycle?

Brief overview of the custom Lifecycle

Firstly, the customer life cycle outlines the steps taken by a customer as they progress through the funnel. It gives marketing, sales, and customer service teams a complete picture of the customer’s journey and highlights areas for improvement.

Circle flowing around showing the movement of a business with people working

What does each stage of the customer lifecycle look like?

  • Reach – The point when you first make contact with your potential customer. During this stage, you are trying to capture your potential customer’s attention and begin developing a relationship with that person.
  • Acquisition – Now that you have the attention of your potential customers, the goal of this stage is to send people to your website in hopes of converting them into a customer.
  • Conversion – This is the stage where your lead turns into a paying customer. The best way to convert your leads into paying customers is to focus on providing value and building the relationship rather than simply selling the product or service.
  • Retention – During this stage, you need to continue to build and maintain your relationship with that customer. This means maintaining contact in some way and continuing to bring value to that person so they will think of you every time they need your product or service.
  • Loyalty – When customers regularly buy from you and recommend your product or service to anyone who will listen.

Let’s see how we can relate the customer lifecycle to search marketing…

  • Reach – SEO helps massively with the discovery of your website through SERPs
  • Acquisition – Because of the increased traffic, and effective, tailored content, this will result in more people moving into the acquisition stage of the life cycle.
  • Conversion – Optimising your website’s user interface and experience helps in the conversion of users. Whether this is lead generation or purchases, the process should focus on making those conversions as easy as possible.
  • Retention – Keeping the brand/business at the forefront of your customers mind. SEO keeps your customers coming using content marketing. Blogs and videos are a fantastic way of keeping the SEO clock ticking.
  • Loyalty – Things like exclusive content could be used for customers to increase loyalty.

Lastly, Why not take a look at Apprentice Tips full range of Apprenticeship blogs here where you’ll be able to find an apprenticeship for you to be able to utilise your knowledge!

A guide to Social Media for your Digital Marketing Apprenticeship

A guide to Social Media for your Digital Marketing Apprenticeship

Have you recently started or are looking to start a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship? Well Social media is a huge part of digital marketing, so if you want to learn the basics of social media keep reading…

What is Social media marketing?

Social media marketing is an aspect of digital marketing where a business promotes their product or services on social media platforms

social media marketing platforms

Examples of Social media platforms include:

  • Meta
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • TikTok
  • Snapchat
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • and more

Organic vs Paid Social Media Marketing

There are 2 main types of social media marketing: Organic and Paid. Organic social is when a business posts content without spending money to reach more people, earning loyalty and growing their business organically. Paid social is when a business pays for campaigns on social platforms to reach more people and target specific demographics. Paid social requires setting up the campaign with specific goals in mind, such as: brand awareness, reach or traffic.

We’re going to be focusing on paid social…

What makes up a Paid Social campaign?


One of the key parts of a paid social campaign is deciding the audience. You can target: age, location, device, gender, interests, and past user activity. For example: if you received a brief for the newest iPhone, you may want to target technology lovers, in the UK, aged 18-34.


You also need to decide which ad placements you want to do for each platform. For example skippable vs non skippable ads, in feed, collection ads, carousel ads, stories etc.


Recently, influencers have become a huge part of paid social media marketing. With platforms such as TikTok and Instagram producing more and more influencers, brands can pay them to promote their product. You can do this in 2 main ways: Pay the influencer to create content advertising your product, which you can then post from the client’s account with paid reach, or the influencer can post the content from their account, and you can then boost the reach from the client’s account. The use of influencers is great for targeting specific groups of people with specific interests, and younger audiences who use TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat more than other platforms that have less influencers.


Your client may also want you to perform an A/B test within your campaign. This is when you split the budget and run (usually 2) identical campaigns, changing 1 variable. This could be: campaign objective, placements, targeting, creative etc.

Measuring performance:

You also need to decide on a KPI (key performance indicator) for your campaign so you can measure success. These could be: increased revenue, increased traffic to website, brand perception, purchase intent and many more. To measure your KPI, you’ll use a metric such as revenue, link clicks, CTR, impressions etc. These help you conclude whether your campaign was successful, and how you can improve the campaign next time.

Ready for your Digital Marketing Apprenticeship?

Now that you’ve learnt the basics of Social Media Marketing, you are ready to start your digital marketing apprenticeship. This will include learning all areas of digital marketing such as search, display and programmatic, as well as social. Doing a digital marketing apprenticeship will help you gain experience, knowledge, and a qualification, to help you kick start your digital marketing career!

Learn more about digital marketing apprenticeships:

Click here to learn more about digital apprenticeships and the different qualifications you can earn!

So what can you do to learn more about paid social before your apprenticeship?

Most of the social media platforms offer training on how to use their ads manager platforms, such as Twitter flight school, which will help you get a head start with your paid social career. If you want to improve your general digital marketing knowledge, why not complete the Google Analytics exam, as employers will love to see this on your CV.

Where to find us:

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us on any of our social medias!

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Website Development | FREE Website Tips

3 Things You Can Implement on a Website RIGHT NOW!

Laptop with statistic on.
Website Development Ideas – Increase Website Traffic 

We believe 95% of websites are not fit for purpose. No matter how big or small a business is, website development is considered one of the most important factors within a marketing strategy. 

Business owners and web design companies have made website development one of the biggest opportunities for small businesses. Why is this? Business owners build or get a website built for them that doesn’t work correctly. This is because they are focusing on design rather than generating traffic, leads, and conversions.

This is why it is important for business owners to understand how they can do this themselves. Here are three of our most important tips for upgrading a small business’ website. 

3 FREE Website Development Tips for Small Businesses:

1. Get Found in the Main Service Location 

With this 2-minute task, you can effortlessly rank a website by optimising the homepage SEO in three steps. 

Firstly, complete the following: 

  • Know what your search terms/keywords are 
  • Identify the main location you provide your service in 
  • Decide on your strongest USP (why should people choose you) 
  • Decide on a strong CTA (e.g. offering a free quote or phone call) 

Now, optimise the following SEO factors: 

  • Page Title – You have 70 characters to include your keyword + location (e.g.” Apprenticeships in London”), if you have remaining characters enter your business name (e.g. “Apprenticeships In London – Apprentice NOW”). 
  • H1 Title – Make sure your H1 title on your homepage says the exact same words as your title does (e.g. “Apprenticeships In London”).  
  • Meta Description – Edit your meta description (max. 240 characters) do this in 3 stages: 
  1. Long-tail keywords -Extend your initial search term with relevance (“Recommended Apprenticeship Company In London”). 
  2. Service USP – The benefits of your business (“Offering government approved apprentiships with qualified experts.”). 
  3. Call To Action – Make them want to click on your link (“Visit our website for FREE career advice.” ). 

2. Optimise Website Headers 

Rather than using headers to boast about the business, use them to create attention and customer value. 

A website displaying all about ‘you’ in the headers will not draw attention. Headers are intended to entice potential consumers by explaining how their problems can be solved. 

So, how do you do this?  

Spend time reviewing and editing all of the headers. These should be relevant to the page’s content yet address the customers directly. 

Important: If you don’t already have headers, you should add them right away! 

Website Design with Solution Focused Header
Website Development Ideas For Small Businesses 

3. Improve Call To Actions 

Improving call to actions is not about providing a better sales pitch, but rather adding value to the customer. 

How can you do this?  

Change the call to action buttons to offer something of value for free e.g. a free introduction call or a free piece of advice.  

This allows customers to get a free taste of the business and they’ll come flooding back because they know what they are getting is of value. 

Get inspired by some of the best call-to-actions here.

Don’t wait around to implement these, customers are ready and waiting for you! 

If you found this helpful and you’re interested in finding out more about digital marketing, click here.

The Seven Principles of Marketing

The marketing mix is another name for the seven principles of marketing. They are a set of key principles that are an essential part of a marketing strategy. It includes product, price, promotion, place, people, process, and physical evidence.

A hand holding a lightbulb in front of a blue to orange background


Fundamentally, the product is at the heart of any marketing campaign. It is the thing that your customers will be buying so it is important that they see its value and worth.

Research on the current market, the competitors that are relevant to you product and the target audience needs to be carried out prior to any product development. This so that you are able to create the best product and have a good conversion rate, thus creating profit.

In order to create a suitable product for your target audience, you need to think about many things. For example, what problem does the product solve for the customer? Why is your product the best in the market? Is your product up to standard?


The pricing strategy is very important as it will determine your profits.

The price of he product must be higher than the cost of producing it, in order to generate profit. However, it needs to be priced competitively and fairly so that a customer will be willing to make the purchase.

The price you charge will also dictate the expectations a customer has about the product. For example, if it is a low price then this will make a customer think that it is a standard product with not much extra benefit(s). However, if it is a high price then the customer will expect the product to meet or exceed their expectations and have some added value.


Where and how your customers will buy your product should be carefully considered.

The product should be available to purchase wherever the customer expects to find it. For example online retailers or supermarkets. And the placement in both of these places need to be relevant to the product, so you need to consider which aisle of the supermarket it should go in or where on the website it would need to sit.

On the other hand, placing a product in an unsuitable environment will create negative connotations with your brand and could have a lasting negative impact on it.


The marketing strategy needs to factor in all the promotional activities that will be carried out. This includes advertising, paid/earned marketing and in-store promotional activities.

It is essential that a variety of channels are considered when running a promotion. This includes social media platforms, print and online.


Your employees are an important part of your brand and customer satisfaction.

Staff should have adequate training to give excellent customer service to all customers and provide them with all the information they need. This will not only help sales but could also help with referrals, thus increasing your customer base.


The customer experience involves many different processes and it will have a direct effect on customer satisfaction. For example:

  • Website user experience
  • Communication with the customer
  • In-store experience
  • Delivery service
  • Interactions with staff

It is important to ensure that all points of contact with the customer are pleasant and helpful to make sure that your brand always delivers to a high standard.

Physical Evidence

The last marketing principle is ‘physical evidence’. This relates to what your customer ‘sees’ of your product relates to ‘physical evidence’. For example:

  • Your website
  • Your shop
  • Photos of your product
  • Physical/digital receipts
  • Business cards

The physical aspect of your business needs to create the right impression with your customer base as they are able to infer a lot from it. This means that it should all align with your brand and be consistent throughout all channels.

Five people in a room looking at a computer screen

If you want more essential information to help you in your apprenticeship journey, browse our website for a variety of beneficial resources.

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6 Reasons Why a Career in Digital Marketing Would be Perfect for You!

Social Media

Everything is going online! Companies in all sectors are focusing on developing a digital online presence.The digital economy is growing much faster than the offline economy, and so you should use this to your advantage and get the Digital Marketing skills you need to get hired!

Here are 6 reasons why

1. There are so many different diverse roles

There are a lot of different area’s in marketing today, including the following;

  • Social Media Marketing: Using an array of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to target audiences.
  • Offline Marketing: This includes physical marketing techniques such as ads, billboards, radio, and print media.
  • Email Marketing: Developing relationships with clients by creating newsletters which bolster your brand.
  • Influencer Marketing: This involves creating endorsements and sponsorship’s to promote your brand.

If you are unsure as to what area of marketing would suit you best, some good questions you could ask yourself are: Are you a more analytical or creative person? Do you enjoy thinking about the campaign or executing it?

2. It’s a fast growing industry

Marketing Hiring Trends found that about 69% of companies are in the demand for marketers. They also found the big gap between the supply and demand of those with the right skills for digital marketing. The demand stood at around 59%, but the supply was only 19%. These figures can show you the demand of digital marketers and that qualifications will not go to waste!

According to LinkedIn, the “Digital Marketing Specialist” role is among the top 10 most in-demand jobs, with 860,000 job openings. The most requested experience in digital marketing includes social media, content strategy, SEO, analytics, and more.

These figures can show you the demand of digital marketers and that qualifications will not go to waste!

3. It is fun and creative

A career in digital marketing allows your creative side to flourish. Creative thinking can be a powerful and important tool in the marketing industry. Did you know that creativity has loads of benefits that can have a positive impact on your daily routine?

  • Creative thinking helps you see new original opportunities
  • Helps you be innovative
  • Creates unique solutions
  • Helps your campaign stand out
  • Helps you create a meaningful connection with your customer
  • Helps your leadership skills
  • Let’s you be more agile

Creativity is one of the key factors of success in the marketing world, and therefore a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship allows you to put your skills to the test.

4. Marketing salaries are higher than the national average

Digital marketing jobs tend to be well paid. The average starting salary for a digital marketing job on the Indeed website is around the £24,000 – £26,000 mark.

When a job is in demand, that means there’s more opportunity to negotiate remuneration whether you are working in-house or as a freelancer. So long as you show how hard you work and how intelligent you are through the job search process, you’ll be able to bid higher and higher the more experience you get!

5. It’s very social

In digital marketing jobs, you’ll have the opportunity to work with several different teams & individuals. There is always something new to do and new people to talk to.

Whether it’s a new client, a college, or finding fun ways to engage and expand your audience, anyone with an interest in working with people will love working in digital marketing.

6. Working in digital marketing gives you versatile skills

 If you choose a career path or specialization in this field and you decide to pivot later, you’ll likely only need a little training in order to make the switch. You will have created a well-rounded skill set with Technical skills, digital copywriting, editing, data analysis, for example.In this sense, you can build on existing skills while still learning new ones, but still stay in the same field.

There’s plenty of choices, here, and ongoing learning opportunities, where different skills fit together in different ways.


As you can see there are so many reasons why a career in digital marketing would be beneficial for you. Whilst it’s fun and creative, it also gives you the opportunity to have a competitive salary in one of the largest growing industries.

Find out more about Digital Marketing Apprenticeships here

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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10 Pro Email Marketing Tips for Beginners

email marketing, email creation, women, laptop, notebook

Whether you are a new Digital Marketing Apprentice ready to take on Email Marketing or simply want to know how to develop your content as a starter, here is your guide to ensure the maximum results from your campaigns. By creating email marketing campaigns, you can reach more customers and grow your business heavily by putting your company’s name on the radar. In order to achieve your desired results, here are the Top 10 Email Marketing tips which new email marketers should take into consideration.

1. Pick a suitable email marketing platform

The first and probably most obvious would be to decide on which platform best suits your email marketing requirements. The things to take into account are your budget, recipient size, email design and so much more. HubSpot is an amazing tool that allows you to easily redesign and configure your emails for your audience, however, it is a paid feature. A free version that would be suitable for large email lists and designing opportunities would be MailChimp. So as previously mentioned, research heavily into which platform is the best for your company.

2. Segment your audience

Segmenting your audience is the practice of grouping customers who have certain attributes together. You may ask why this would be beneficial, the first reason being personalizing content becomes much easier for future campaigns. Also, measuring results for particular contacts is more accurate and precise.

3. Designing your content

It is extremely important that your email campaigns reflect a similar style to your brand colors and website design. This as a result creates more brand awareness surrounding your company and makes your content look professional and easily identifiable.

Ways to Improve SEO content writing

4. Personalisation

Personalizing aspects such as Subject Titles/Lines, Intro Texts and more, causes higher open rates as recipients are more likely to open emails that are addressing them directly. This tip also aligns closely with Segmentation as you can increase the relevancy your emails have to your receivers by making your content more personal for different groups.

5. A/B Testing

Also famously known as split testing, A/B testing allows you to test certain elements of your content to help improve your campaign as a whole. Changing small things like one word in your Subject Line can go a long way in terms of measuring the results and seeing which performs better to adapt your future campaigns and see which best suits your audience.

6. Optimising campaigns for Mobile Users

Considering the percentage of users who are more likely to check their emails on their phones, it is crucial to make sure your content is optimized for their device. 70% of users are more likely to open emails on a mobile device so make sure your links work, your font size is readable and your email loads quickly on mobiles.

young woman using laptop, email creation, marketing tips

7. Make sure you have an unsubscribe button

As soul-crushing as it can be to have a dedicated contact unsubscribe from your content, it is crucial you give them the option to opt-out. This ensures you stay in GDPR regulations and also makes sure you stay on the good side of your target audience.

8. Do not spam

Creating a marketing campaign plan before releasing your batch of emails over the next month is very important. This ensures you are not overloading your recipient’s inboxes whilst also creating excitement for your next campaign release. Weekly campaigns are a great way to dive into the email marketing sector as a beginner.

9. Make your CTA contextual

Recipients should know exactly what action you are pushing them to take with one small message as your CTA. Clearly defining your wording such as ‘Read More’ or ‘Buy Now’ pushes the reader to take those desired actions. Another benefit is, good CTAs will drive traffic to your other platforms if the links work correctly.

10. Measuring Metrics and KPIs

The top 3 email metrics to look out for are: Open Rates, Click-Through Rates, Bounce Rates, and Conversion Rates. By measuring these KPIs over a period of time you can develop reports to see which campaigns settled better with the recipients and what sort of content pushed for the best results. With this information, you can cater your future campaigns for their stronger interests.

email creation, women typing on laptop

To reach customers in the most effective manner, follow these tips so you can ensure you get the maximum results for your company – whether you are an apprentice for a start-up or large organization. New and improved email campaign platforms make it easier for you to personalize your content, so you ensure CTAs are perfect and your content focuses on what your audience wants to hear rather than what you want to tell them. See better results, reach more potential customers around the world, and make a memorable impression with our top email marketing tips.

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