Digital Marketing: How knowing the Principles of Coding can save the day! (Html + CSS)

Laptop sits on a white desk with coding on its screen.

Think coding is something that only belongs in The Matrix? Think again!

When you think of coding, you probably picture that famous blur of green numbers whizzing across a black background, or you might think of a hacker on TV breaking into the ‘FBI mainframe’ from a café around the corner. But coding is so much more, and so much less, than that! From simple instructions to format text to creating complex applications and programs, there are endless possibilities when it comes to the magic of coding. And, as part of your Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship, you’ll learn the very basics of how to code for websites to get you started!

So, what is coding?

Essentially, coding is the way we tell computers to perform certain tasks. These words you’re reading right now? They’ve been formatted using HTML. And this website? That’s been dressed up with CSS. These are the two coding languages that you’ll learn the basic principles of during your Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship. In the same way that other languages work, coding languages come with their own ‘rulebooks’. Using these rules, you can apply elements of the language to create specific outcomes. For example, using ‘tags’ in HTML, you can create bold text or italic. Similarly, in CSS, you can apply rules that mean all paragraphs are, for example, centred to the middle of the page instead of formatting this manually in HTML.

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HTML
HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is used for creating Web pages. Originally, it was the only coding language used to create a web page and designs were often simple and awkward to format. Nowadays, it is still the standard markup language for creating Web pages, but it only describes the structure of the page and tells the browser how to display the content with basic formatting (such as headers and paragraphs). The design element of the webpage is taken care of by CSS.

CSS
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is what we use to ‘decorate’ the HTML structure. This is where colour and design come into play. The way CSS works is by creating sets of rules, e.g. to make all headers appear bold and blue. The further down the CSS code you go, the more specific your rules can be – lower down rules override higher up ones, hence the name ‘cascading’.

But why do I need to know coding?

For the most part, you won’t! You definitely won’t need to know how to hack into any mainframes (that can just be a hobby, if you want!). But understanding how to quickly format your website using basic coding can be essential to making your design stand out from the rest. You can create your own unique design, rather than working from a template, and will have an instant basic understanding of how websites are structured – something which hugely appeals to prospective employers.

Now, while you’re unlikely to need to build a website from scratch yourself as a Digital Marketer, being able to format your content using just your keyboard will save you heaps of time – time you can spend planning your next campaign or reviewing content performance. Plus, if something does go wrong with the website you’re working on, you’ll have a better chance of understanding the error and either fixing it yourself or communicating it with a team member if you have an understanding of the principles of coding. Not only that, but you’ll be able to impress clients by taking their website to the next level with smoother linking, and interactive elements (e.g. quizzes and forms).

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Take your digital marketing skills to the next level with a bootcamp on the Principles of Coding

If you’ve already learned the basics of HTML and CSS on your apprenticeship (or, you’re just excited to get started!), you can support those learnings with free classes on w3schools.com or via apps like SoloLearn (where you can learn even more languages!).

Conclusion

Learning the basics of coding in HTML and CSS is a great way to get yourself familiar with the structures of websites, and while you might not need to build a website from scratch for your job knowing what’s going on ‘under the hood’ will help you quickly fix problems and format blog posts using just your keyboard!

The do’s and don’ts of social media implementation as a digital marketer

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.

For a further look at the do’s and dont’s of social media as a whole, read ‘The do’s and don’ts of social media as a Level 3 Digital Marketer’.

Don’t – Allow trolls or bots to spam the comments

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.

Don't allow trolls or bots to spam the comments - The do's and don'ts of social media implementation as a digital marketer
Don’t allow trolls or bots to spam the comments

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.

Don't mix personal and professional - The do's and don'ts of social media implementation as a digital marketer
Don’t mix personal and professional

Conclusion

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.

For more information on other apprenticeship courses available in the UK, visit our website by clicking the link here.

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6 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Facebook Ad Costs

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6 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Facebook Ad Costs

Cost pers, budgets and ad best practices can all seem very daunting and confusing when you first dip your toe into the world of sponsored Facebook ads. Lots of different elements can dictate how quickly (or slowly) your ads spend their budget, and if you have no prior social media marketing knowledge it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle!

But never fear! We’ve got 6 easy ways to reduce your Facebook ad costs that even beginners can implement. Keep reading to find out our top tips on how to lower the cost of your Facebook advertising.

1. Understanding Your Relevance Score

Understanding your ad’s relevance score is really important when trying to reduce your cost per clicks (CPC). Ads are given scores between 1-10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. That score shows how ‘relevant’ your ad is to your audience’s interests and needs. For example, if you’re running ads about a new sports trainer launch but you’ve targeted people who have never expressed an interest in sports or sportswear before, or have never visited your website, then your relevance score is going to be low. This is due to lack of positive actions taken on your ad – no click throughs, likes, or comments. If your ads aren’t relevant to your audience then Facebook will charge you more to try and avoid users being annoyed with irrelevant ads.

Anything less than a score of 4 is a cause for concern and optimisations would need to be made to improve this. 5 and 6 is average and a good place to be when you’re first starting with sponsored Facebook ads. Anything above a 7 is good and where most companies should aim to be.

2. Create Highly Targeted Campaigns

Following the same theme as above, ensuring that you’re running highly targeted campaigns is another great way to reduce your Facebook ad costs. By doing this you know exactly who you’re targeting and will be able to tailor ad copy, creative and offers to suit their needs and wants. You can target by age, gender, location, interests and behaviours, and you can also create Lookallike audiences (LALs) to reach further potential customers. The more targeted your audience is, the more likely they are to be interested in what you’re offering and engage with your ad, taking positive actions on it therefore helping to lower your CPC.

A lady on Facebook Ads Manager while looking at her phone

3. Retarget Previous Engagers

Retargeting engagers of your previous ads is such a great way of lowering Facebook ad costs. Not only does it ensure that the people you’re targeting are interested in what you’re offering, it also means that they are a valuable pool of people having taken positive actions previously.

You can retarget people in many ways. The most common one is to show users ads containing products they browsed or added to cart on your website but never bought. You can also import your CRM data and retarget customers who have bought specific products or attended previous events. For example, during the Black Friday period you can make a custom audience containing the data of people who bought products from you last Black Friday and target them with your new sales message. As they have previously bought with you during the same period last year they’re more likely to purchase again this year.

4.  Increase Your CTR

Focussing on increasing your click through rate (CTR) will help to increase your relevance score and therefore lower your Facebook ad costs. Some simple ways to do this include:

  • Using appropriate Call To Action (CTA) buttons. ‘Learn More’ will sometimes drive higher click through rates compared to ‘Shop Now’ for cold audiences that don’t trust your brand yet.
  • Write simple copy that’s easy for the user to read and gets straight to the point. Don’t leave them guessing what the ad is about or what they need to do next, they’ll just keep scrolling. Your copy needs to be eye-catching, engaging and explain exactly why the user should click on your ad.  
  • Keep your ad frequency low. Frequency is how often your ad is served to a person. If it’s too high then people will get bored, annoyed or even report your ad.

5. A/B Test Campaigns

A/B testing campaigns is a really useful way to learn what type of content your audiences respond best to. Do they prefer video content, carousels, shorter copy? To do this you need to create different versions of the same ad, changing one element on each ad. This will show you what your audiences prefer and allow you to run those ads in the future while turning off the not as successful ads. This keeps frequency down, engagement up, and your spending low.

A person on Facebook on their laptop and mobile phone

6. Budget Optimisation

Probably one of the easiest ways to lower your Facebook ad costs is to select ‘budget optimisation’ when setting up your ad campaigns. When you do this, it gives Facebook permission to push budget towards the most successful ads within the campaign. This means you don’t waste money on ads that aren’t achieving results and you can turn them off. Facebook does the work for you, what more could you want?!

And there you have it, 6 easy ways to reduce your Facebook ad costs and getting the most results out of the budget you have! Visit Facebook’s Business page to learn more about creating campaigns and advertising on Facebook.

Find Out More About Digital Marketing Apprenticeships

Fancy finding out more about how to get into the Digital marketing space by doing an apprenticeship? Read the Level 3 Digital Marketer Occupational Brief and Assessment Plan to learn more.

Level 4 Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprenticeship

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Level 4 Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprenticeship

Interested in a career in Commercial Procurement and Supply but not sure where to begin? Our Level 4 Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprenticeship will provide opportunities for you to learn the skills required to become a successful Commercial Procurement and Supply professional and will open doors for you to secure your dream role within this vast industry.   

During your apprenticeship you will learn while you earn, focussing on the entire procurement lifecycle, how an organisation’s budget is spent, cost and pricing models, supply chain management, and commercial contracting, to mention just a few. The procurement training will take place over 24 months and when the level 4 qualification is completed you will have the equivalent of a Foundation Degree.  

Entry Criteria for the Level 4 Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprenticeship

To be eligible for this apprenticeship you will need to have 5 GCSEs A*-C (including English and Maths). If you do not have a grade C or higher in English and Maths you will be required to sit a Level 2 Functional Skills exam before the end of your apprenticeship.

Personal skills and behaviours needed for this apprenticeship

While you don’t need any prior experience of procurement management or supply management to be chosen for this apprenticeship, you need to have a keen interest in procurement and supply and be willing to learn on and off the job, taking responsibility for your own development throughout the course. If you are organised, a logical thinker and good at problem solving, this will stand you in good stead for this apprenticeship and any future progression you may want to pursue after completing this qualification.  

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Key Responsibilities of a Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprentice

The primary responsibilities of a Commercial Procurement and Supply professional includes forecasting and planning requirements with internal stakeholders and suppliers, recognising the business’s needs and making financial decisions based on this, working with different procurement and contractual models, and overseeing category management across all stages of the commercial procurement lifecycle.

Commercial Procurement and Supply modules and exams

In order to pass this apprenticeship, you will need to complete the following modules within the CIPS Level 4 Diploma:

  • L4M1 Scope and Influence of Procurement and Supply
  • L4M2 Defining Business Need
  • L4M3 Commercial Contracting
  • L4M4 Ethical and Responsible Sourcing
  • L4M5 Commercial Negotiation
  • L4M6 Supply Relationships
  • L4M7 Whole Life Asset Management
  • L4M8 Procurement and Supply in Practice

You will also need to produce an individual project report and a presentation with questioning interview. You will also need to sit a Functional Skills exam if you do not already have a grade C or higher in GSCE English and Maths. To read about the technical aspects of the grading of the Level 4 Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprenticeship in more detail, click here to view the End-Point Assessment Plan.

Job roles available within Commercial Procurement

Once you have completed the Level 4 Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprenticeship you will have the skills to carry out a range of procurement job roles. These include Commercial analyst, Sourcing executive, Procurement operations support, Buyer, Commissioning and Performance monitoring officer, Framework management support, and Contract associate. This apprenticeship provides an excellent foundation to build on to create a future that offers excellent career progression opportunities.

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How to apply

Interested in applying for the Level 4 Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprenticeship? Click here to read more and find a training provider that delivers this standard.

Want to get ahead of the game? Click here to read our top tips on how to get the most out of your apprenticeship experience

Find an apprenticeship

Not the apprenticeship for you? Take a look at our full list of approved apprenticeships currently available in the UK and find an apprenticeship that’s perfect for you!

Butcher Apprenticeship Level 2

A butcher slicing raw meat on a conveyor belt

Are you interested in learning one of the oldest crafts in the world and working in an industry that is worth several billion pounds in the UK? Butchery is an industry where innovation meets tradition! Butchers have a large range of unique skills, knowledge and behaviours that lead to fulfilling careers in the butchery industry all over the world. If you’re interested in this highly skilled profession, read on to find out how this Level 2 Butcher Apprenticeship can benefit you and help build your desired career path!

What is required for you to undertake your journey to becoming a Butcher?

Level 1 English and Mathematics (apprentices without level 1 English and mathematics will need to achieve this level and take the test for level 2 English and mathematics prior to taking the end-point assessment.)

Key responsibilities of a Butcher apprentice:

The primary role of a Butcher is to cut, prepare, package and present meat products to the standards required by their employer. While displaying a deep understanding about different ranges of meat species and the varies techniques that are needed in order to process and produce products. Butchers must require a core understanding of working in retail, in order to demonstrate their specialist knowledge, behaviours and skills when working in a retail setting. Butcher apprentices must develop the core knowledge and skills relating to retail or processing, dependent on their working environment.

Must have skills to assist you on this apprenticeship:

  • Understanding of the development of the meat sector, including its values, culture, traditions and connections. -The key principles of butchery.
  • An understanding on the meat and poultry species.
  • Knife skills that assist in the craftmanship used for cutting, boning, trimming and mincing meat.
  • Understand the methods for weighing products and controlling the temperature in which meat is stored.
  • Understand how to wrap, seal, pack and label different kind of meat.

Desired skills:

  • Basic understanding of machinery used in the butchery industry.
  • Be able to carry out a range of primary and secondary butchery skills.
  • Work towards customers specifications.
  • Ensure that they are maintaining a quality environment, such as product sampling and food safety compliance.
  • Show support towards workforce development.
  • Share personal knowledge and experience in order to assist colleagues and new recruits.

Core required behaviours Butchers must display:

  • Demonstrate appropriate personal responsibility for both health and food safety.
  • Display a strong willingness to learn and expand their knowledge and learn new skills within butchery.
  • Be efficient and punctual.
  • Show and be respectful towards customers, peers and colleagues.

For full detail on the core knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for the apprenticeship, please see the course overview page.

Course content and completion requirements:

The apprenticeship will undertake training to develop their knowledge of the butcher standard, skills and behaviours, while keeping a log book to demonstrate evidence of their learning throughout the course. In order to qualify for End Point Assessment, apprentices must complete a Level 2 Food Safety Award, Level 2 Health & Safety in the Food Supply Chain Award and a Level 2 Knife Skills Award. The final grade will be assessed based on training undertaken during the apprenticeship, then an End Point Assessment (EPA) which consists of a multiple-choice exam, a practical skills assessment and avocational competence discussion with an independent assessor, to further discuss knowledge, skills and behaviour learnt during the apprenticeship and their performance.

Duration:

The typical duration is 18 to 24 months, for a level 2 apprenticeship.

Is this butcher apprenticeship for you?

The Level 2 Butcher Apprenticeship is an excellent starting point for those who are looking to pursue a career in butchery and wish to further their knowledge in one of the oldest crafts in the world. It is perfect if you are someone who is looking to gain specified skills in a highly skilled profession, while reaching towards your career goals with unprecedented support along the way. Following successful completion of the apprenticeship, apprentices are recognised by the Institute of Meat (IoM) entitling them to use the initials M.Inst.M.

If you have already completed this apprenticeship and are looking for further development, please find information on the Advanced Butcher Course here.

Is this apprenticeship not what you’re looking for? No Problem! We have a host of information on the wide range of apprenticeships, you can find out more here.  

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Digital Marketing: Your Guide to Excellent Customer Service

Image of person replying to comments on phone

Social media is a great platform for online marketing and encouraging website traffic, however you should also be using it to establish your brand reputation and build valuable customer relationships by providing quality customer service.

How can good customer service maximise sales?

According to an American Express Global Customer Service Survey, 78% of consumers have ended a transaction due to bad service.

Good customer service allows you to build trust with your consumer, as well as providing them with tailored information about your product or service. On social media, all comments are in the public eye, meaning it’s especially important to showcase how you treat your customers to a wider audience. Interacting online also gives you better understanding of your customers so you can develop and tailor future content to their interests.

Interacting on social media is an example of a ‘touchpoint’. This is any interaction that the company has with customers or prospects. The better this experience is, the more likely it is that your business will retain the customer or sell to the prospect. For new customers, this can be the ’Reach’ stage of the Customer Lifecycle, the point when you first make contact with your potential customer. For existing customers, customer support aids the ‘Retention’ stage, where you continue to build and maintain your relationship with that customer.

Diagram showing Customer Lifecycle

So, how do I do it?

You know why good customer care is important, but what can you do to make sure you’re providing it? Here’s some of our top tips:

  • Tone of voice – reply to queries professionally, clearly and in a friendly manner. Depending on the nature of your business, replies can also incorporate humour.
  • Personalise – reply to each comment independently and address the user by their name. Do not use an automated reply system on social media as they may not match the situation and could deter the customer. Take the time to respond directly to your followers as needed to create a relationship and answer their question.
  • Solve the issue – provide a clear solution to the customer’s query. If you aren’t sure, politely ask for more information. If you are not able to find a solution, offer alternatives such as similar products or services that your company could provide.
  • Response time – responding quickly will prevent the customer losing interest and going elsewhere.
  • Be consistent and fair – treat each customer with the same level of service regardless of your relationship with them.
  • Provide follow up – provide ‘next steps’ information such as a contact number, email or web address. Adding a call to action can also encourage traffic to your website, allowing users to discover and potentially invest in your products/services that they were not initially looking for.
  • Use positive language – Redirecting a conversation from negative to positive places focus on a proposed solution and can avoid conflict from miscommunication.
  • Finally, remember to reply to all comments, even if they aren’t a query or complaint. A simple ‘thank you’ on a positive comment shows the customer that you value their custom and appreciate good feedback.

Put your knowledge to the test – apply for a digital marketing apprenticeship

Customer service is a key competency in the Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Digital marketers define, design, build and implement digital campaigns across a variety of online and social media platforms to drive customer acquisition, customer engagement and customer retention.

Find out more about the latest digital apprenticeships available and a host of apprenticeship information on our website, ApprenticeTips.com.

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