As a digital marketing apprentice, social media implementation is vital. you’ll need to show that you can run digital campaigns across a variety of channels, including social media platforms, websites, and email. In this post, I’ve compiled a list of the top do’s and don’ts for digital marketing apprentices when it comes to launching a social campaign. You’ll be able to tweet, comment, post, and snap with confidence knowing that you’re on the right track if you follow these simple principles.
Do – Keep consistency across social media platforms
The only way for you and your organisation to flourish online is to maintain a consistent brand throughout all of your online conversations. You can improve your brand equity, consumer trust, and, eventually, your bottom line by being loyal to who you are. Reminding yourself of the corporate voice/tone, utilising brand colours when creating, and ensuring that the messages you’re publishing or re-posting are relevant to your brand image.
Delete any remarks made by a social media troll that are derogatory or insulting, and report the individual. Bots that post spammy messages in the comments are in the same boat. Despite the fact that you have no control over this behaviour, you should react to these comments as quickly as possible since they can harm your brand’s reputation.
Do – Vary your social media post type
Your social media implementation should be varied to some extent. The same old 1 by 1 aspect ratio photo style can get monotonous, and if your followers grow weary of your format, they may start passing over your material without engaging with it. That’s why I always recommend sharing a balanced mix of vertical, horizontal (landscape), video (or Reels on Instagram), and gallery posts (Carousel on Instagram).
Don’t – make spelling or grammar mistakes
This may seem obvious, but you should always have a second pair of eyes proofread your posts or articles. Before sending out a post or an update, be sure it’s been proofread by at least one person. Apps like Grammarly, on the other hand, can help you lower your typo rate.
Do – Create a social media post schedule
Scheduling social media postings ahead of time is a huge time-saver. Pre-scheduling your social media activities will save a lot of time for a digital marketing apprentice, allowing you to focus on other digital parts of your company. It’s always a good idea to save time by scheduling your blog articles, tweets, and status updates ahead of time. An example of a tool that can help with this is Later.
Don’t – Mix personal and professional
Nowadays, brands and businesses strive to humanise their online presence. This might involve linking their personal and corporate accounts, as well as commenting and sharing between them. Although it looks to be a great idea when done correctly, I feel it is a hazardous strategy because your business might be overwhelmed by personal updates, leaving your audience confused about what your business stands for.
Hopefully, this ‘do’s and don’ts’ advice has taught you that social media isn’t only for personal use, such as posting pictures of your cats or holiday photos! Instead, social media implementation is a strong tool for businesses and digital marketers to promote a brand, drive traffic to a website, and develop a reputation that your competitors can’t ignore.
Digital marketing apprentices are responsible for using social media implementation as a marketing strategy. The goal of social media marketing is to increase your brand’s visibility, personality, and community. Hopefully, now you can create a set of fundamental ground rules for your business’s future social media marketing campaign by following the dos and don’ts outlined above.
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Contrary to what many may think, email marketing isn’t dead. In fact, the average order value of an email is three times higher than that of social media. It is thus no wonder that email marketing remains one of the specialisms listed in the digital marketing apprenticeship standard. Use these best email marketing tools and software to develop effective email marketing campaigns.
Let’s start with the most essential: email service providers. ESPs allow you to send email campaigns to a list of subscribers using email software. Mailchimp is a great free one because you can split your subscribers up into groups and segments. This means you can send targeted emails improving click-through rates and conversions. In 2022, personalisation continues to be an important part of email marketing strategies, and email automation is a great way to achieve this. Email automation is available on Mailchimp and can be used to create effective drip marketing campaigns, ensuring you send the right message at the right moment to the right people. Other ESPs you could look at are Zoho Campaigns, which is free with up to 6,000 emails per month to 2,000 contacts, and Klaviyo, which is also free with up to 500 emails to up to 250 contacts.
Cost: Mailchimp Free includes up to 2,000 contacts, with 10,000 sends per month and a daily limit of 2,000.
Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Technologies, implementation, specialist areas (email marketing), digital tools
Best Email Template Builder | Stripo
Most ESPs provide a host of free email marketing templates, but they are usually basic newsletter designs. Stripo utilises drag-and-drop content modules to help you create HTML email templates, and is one of my personal favourites as you can set the branding for headings and other design elements. Additionally, each content block can be optimised for mobile. Using Stripo you can create beautiful email mock-ups and reuse the templates. Sections of your email templates can also be saved as modules, which can be dragged into new designs. Altogether, Stripo guarantees brand consistency across your email campaigns.
Cost: The free version of Stripo allows you to create two email templates and export 4 emails to ESPs per month
Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Technologies, specialist area, digital tools
Best Email Marketing Analysis | Google Analytics
ESPs are great sources to collect email metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates and email deliverability. But, once a user clicks on a link and leaves their email inbox, ESPs can no longer track their behaviour. This is where Google Analytics comes in. Using UTM tracking parameters, Google Analytics can track where users came from, how long they spend on a page and whether they ended up completing a goal. As a result, digital marketers can calculate their return on investment for their email marketing strategy.
Cost: Google Analytics is free for small and medium-sized businesses
Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Data, analysis, digital tools, digital analytics
Best Email Copywriting Tool | Grammarly
Have you ever
sent an email and then realised there’s a typo? It can happen, but
unfortunately, it could make your brand look unprofessional. While email best
practice is to write copy in Google Docs or a Word Document, this can often be
time-consuming. These word processors do not analyse the text for the tone of
voice either. Grammarly is a writing assistant that does not only review your
spelling but also your grammar, inflexion, and clarity of the sentences. The
best features are Grammarly’s plug-ins that can be used in apps, word processors
and, you guessed it, email clients. This ensures you can write easily readable
and typo-free email campaigns even when time is of the essence.
Cost: Grammarly free checks for spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Written communication, technologies
Best for Email Compression | Compress JPEG
If you have used an ESP before, you may have noticed a warning comes up when you try to import an image that is too big. The reason ESPs have these pop-ups is that emails over 3MB in size risk being flagged as spam. One way to reduce an email’s size is to compress the photos in it. Compress JPEG makes it easy to import or drop the files into its compressor. After the software compresses the file, you can download the minimised version. Any files uploaded on Compress JPEG are deleted after one hour because security and privacy are key to the operations of most businesses. You can also adjust the quality, and in turn the file size, manually. In addition to JPEGs, PNGs, GIFs and PDF files can also be compressed by clicking on the appropriate tab on the website.
Cost: Compress JPEG and its sister sites are free to use with unlimited file compressions
Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Problem-solving, digital tools, interprets and follows
Creating Effective Email Marketing Campaigns
As a digital marketer, it is important to understand the wide range of tools at your disposal. Using various email marketing tools will bring you one step closer to building and implementing a great email campaign that is sure to impress your line manager and EPA organisation.
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UX (user experience) design is a field of marketing that is often left to particular experts, with many digital marketers having little input into the process. However, there are plenty of UX marketing considerations that marketers on any level can learn. UX is wildly important for digital marketers and forms a core pillar of a good SEO strategy. Remember, a poor UX will lead to drop offs and higher bounce rates, something no digital marketer wants. This article will provide a list of simple, actionable UX marketing tips any digital marketer can make use of.
What is UX in digital marketing?
UX design sounds like a scary topic for digital marketers, but it needn’t be. UX is just the process that goes into making a product (in this case a website) more pleasing to use. It’s worth explaining User Experience vs User Interface and why these things are distinct, as they can cause a lot of confusion. User interface (UI) looks at the design elements of the assets the user is interacting with, such as the best colours or typography to use, whereas UX is all about the interactions themselves and the journey the customer takes. The terms can be confusing and are always accidentally interchanged!
1. Understand your customers
Firstly, when making any decisions for your company’s website, it’s always useful to look back at your user personas. If your company doesn’t yet have a set of user personas, it’s definitely worth creating them. Personas help you empathise with the users and their needs. A good user persona will include their motivations and goals and as a digital marketer you can take these and make the website changes needed to satisfy them.
2. Ask for feedback
This leads on from the previous point, user research is incredibly valuable to any digital marketer, but especially so when it comes to UX. Try setting up a website feedback form to better understand customer sticking points and generate ideas. There are numerous types of feedback form to try, depending on what you want to know. Align the feedback form type to your website’s goals; if there’s a page with a higher drop off than you’d expect, maybe it would be worth adding an exit intent survey to find out why, the responses may help remedy a poor section of the user journey! Maybe there’s some information your users are struggling to find, in this case a timed feedback pop-up asking if the user is having trouble may provide useful results. Always use pop-ups and surveys sparingly as too many can come across as spammy and damage your user experience.
3. Set up a user experience visualisation tool
This is probably the easiest way for any digital marketer with no experience in UX to get started. Tools like Microsoft Clarity and HotJar can visualise the user experience for you, allowing you to understand how users are actually interacting with your website. These tools provide you with visual heatmaps, showing exactly how far users scroll, where they’re clicking and where they’re spending time on each page. They also provide session playbacks, showing you videos of actual users going through their customer journey! Click maps for example will give an insight into whether users are interacting with your site in the way you intended, for example, are they mistaking something for a button? Scroll maps show whether important content isn’t being seen and session playbacks can show you how intuitive your website is overall.
4. Evoke emotion at the right stages
This is something digital marketers already utilise across other disciplines that fall under their role and it’s no different here. In the same way that digital marketers will want to invoke an emotional response at particular customer touchpoints, a UX designer will want to invoke emotion at particular stages of the website’s customer journey. In eCommerce for example, you may want the customer to feel satisfied after they’ve completed a purchase. Perhaps you could use a nice animation, happy icon or image. Or maybe you could think about splashing some happy or comforting colours like yellows or greens. Think about your tone of voice at particular sections too, what emotions do you want to evoke at each stage and what words can you use to get there. Of course, this should all be in line with the company brand guidelines.
5. Create a user flow chart
This will help with visualising the steps your customers are taking toward a conversion. Tools like FlowMapp can help with this, with easy intuitive sitemap creation and the ability to collaborate with your team. As a general rule, try to keep the number of stages in the customer journey down. There’s no set rule here but more than 5 is excessive. At that point, users may get frustrated or lost. See if there are any less important steps that can be removed as this will streamline their experience. Ensure that the navigation is well organised and intuitive with clear pathways. Make sure the content of each page gets progressively more specific the further down the site structure the user goes. Lastly, add a breadcrumb if you haven’t got one already. Breadcrumbs massively ease navigation for the user and always let them know where they are!
6. Create wireframes for suggested improvements
A wireframe is a rough sketch of a web page, made up of simple shapes and diagrams representing an interface. These can be incredibly easy to produce, any digital marketer can take a look at a website and create wireframes for their suggestions.
Wireframing can be done with pen and paper, however tools like Freehand by InVision make the process easier and allow easy sharing and collaboration with your team. Wireframes could even be made in Microsoft Paint, as long as they can get your idea across. You won’t need any graphic design experience to produce wireframes and honestly, they’re pretty fun to make.
7. Design, layout and readability
This provides plenty of opportunities for quick wins. Make sure there is enough white space on your page, this is space between each element on the page. You might feel like cramming things together to “not waste space” but this will severely negate your user experience. This means checking there is a good amount of padding between elements, making sure section breaks are obvious and having well placed and uncrowded calls-to-action. For readability, don’t have your text span the entire length of the screen, this is jarring to the user and they lose interest. Best practice is to keep to 50-60 characters per line length. Left aligned text is easier to follow with longer amounts of copy too, so don’t centre align large passages!
8. Check your page performance
There’s nothing more irritating to a user than slow page loading or poorly optimised mobile web design. In fact, 1 in 4 users abandon a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load, and a 1 second delay reduces customer satisfaction by 16%! You can run each webpage through Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which provides a score, highlights issues and suggests improvements. Take up technical issues with your web developers. If it’s just an image size problem, ensure large images are converted to JPEGs and compressed. You should also run pages through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, which highlights any issues the page may have on mobile devices.
9. Commit to regular A/B testing
When it comes to UX in marketing, any changes are almost pointless if you can’t measure the impact you’ve made. You won’t know if you’ve created a better UX unless you test against the original. While counterintuitive, there are plenty of cases of companies creating more beautiful website designs and yet getting worse user experience. A/B testing works because it gives you the truth as to whether new changes have actually contributed to your goals. Remember to always keep staging copies of websites so you never lose anything! A great resource for coming up with new ideas to A/B test with is GoodUI, which lists hundreds of real tests run on widely-used page types. It tells you exactly which data-backed design choice to go with, however counterintuitive it may be.
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