Feb 12, 2019
A digital marketing apprenticeship is to this day one of the most popular and enticing apprenticeship standards on the market. According to the most recent data from the ESFA, 3890 starts have been reported on the Digital Marketer standard since it's release in 2016. What isn't there to like? A career building websites, getting websites ranked well through SEO and creating content for social makes digital marketing a very appealing choice for school and college leavers who are native to these platforms.
When setting up Apprentify, it was a no-brainer to run with this apprenticeship. Ex-marketers running a digital marketing apprenticeship with a commitment to doing things the right way jumped out at me straight away when I joined the business late last year. With the memories of the 3aaa demise fresh in my mind, I wanted to join a business where we could do things right and with the right people. Almost every day we see bad news stories coming out in the FE sector, and from day one we made the commitment to doing things right.
Now that we're up and running, it's given us an opportunity to take a small step back and ask "What have we learned along the way?" A popular apprenticeship standard means the market is saturated. Every provider would love to run a strong digital marketing apprenticeship for the reasons listed above. How have we tried to stand out in what is a fiercely competitive market?
Here's my top three tips in how to build an effective programme:
Top three tips
Tip #1: Go beyond the Standard
Yes, the apprenticeship resonates with young people. That's nowhere near enough! Employers don't care if your talented young people really really really want to work on Facebook all day. They care that this new hire into the business is going to bring ROI. The standard is fantastic and the vendor qualifications are valuable, but the shift to Standards from Frameworks was all about making apprenticeships employer led. Work with your clients to understand what the market needs and wants, and build a programme that resonates with them.
At Apprentify, we made the very early decision to design a Path to Mastery going beyond the Digital Marketer apprenticeship standard offering training and qualifications that add value to employers.
Tip #2: Invest in eLearning
Technology should be driving your apprenticeships, not embarrassing them. Gone are the days where apprenticeships are solely work based and classroom taught. Portfolios have been online for years now - why are training sessions not catching up? With a wide variety of eLearning platforms out there, there's no excuse for your apprenticeship not to invest in making learning that isn't only engaging but facilitated by technology.
Our Digital Marketer apprenticeship is delivered blended through webinar sessions and a cutting edge apprenticeship management system called Bud (shameless plug) - apprentices now have a one stop shop for all of their eLearning and portfolio requirements to deliver effective apprenticeships
Tip #3: Get certified
Unfortunately, Digital Marketing as an industry likes to talk a big game. Just a quick scan on LinkedIn and you'll find experts, gurus, ninjas and growth hackers galore. Ultimately, the variety of quality in Digital Marketers leads to - to this day - questions, cynicism and suspicion about their value. To prove value, make sure you have certifications to back up your sales message.
If you're looking to stand out in a saturated market, delivering the same product as the next person will only go so far. You might undercut on price or offer a delivery model that is slightly more aligned with their needs but focus on the quality of your own product and ask yourself if you're doing the Digital Marketer apprenticeship justice.