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Use your time wisely - develop your marketing skills

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Use your time wisely - develop your marketing skills

Karen Lloyd Digital Marketing, candidate, job search...

We have never seen a situation like this in our lifetimes; we must stay at home to protect others. 

Please, please don’t waste this precious time that we’ve been given.

There are some fantastic memes around begging people to stay in indoors and do f*** all (lovely idea if you don’t have young kids!) – but to those planning on putting their feet up, I’m saying please think.  Use this time wisely. 

On social media there are countless ideas for new hobbies, crafts and projects.  Great, get cracking – but don’t forget about your professional development too!

So often people say to me that their professional development is really important to them, but they simply don’t have the time – well now you do!

And even better, it doesn’t have to cost you – unless you want to delve into the realms of a new CIM course, there are loads available online for free.  Some even give you a certification at the end (great for your CV!).

The choices for marketing courses are endless – where do I start?

The first thing to think about is what systems you are using at work and what direction your overall strategy takes.  Then tailor your choices to fit these.  If you use a tool like HubSpot for example – then fantastic!  There are lots of opportunities thanks to their academy to upskill yourself and acquire certifications.  These are fantastic on your CV and employers look for strong users.

If your marketing strategy is primarily tailored to inbound marketing, for example and you feel you could benefit from additional skills that complement this approach, then focus your attention here.

Alternatively, if you feel there is a gap in your knowledge that you’ve always wanted to explore, then this might be the perfect opportunity to do so.  Always wanted to learn to code?  Then now’s the time!

Here is our round up of those we’ve been given the heads up on as the most useful free options out there:

Digital Marketing: Google’s all round digital marketing course is a great starting point for advertising and ranking on the search engine.  It also helps it is accredited by the Open University.

Adwords: Google’s certification in Adwords is an excellent addition to your CV and will broaden your understanding of how Adwords can be used standalone, but also as part of a multi-channel campaign.

PPC: Wordstream’s PPC University give their first module for free which will give you the basics and the option to move on to more advanced usage.

SEO: Udemy’s SEO Training Course by Moz is a great starting point for those new to the discipline.  For a rounded course on all elements of SEO, including the use of one of the leading tools, it is worth checking out SEMrush’s SEO Toolkit

Analytics: Google analytics is a murky world to some.  Throw some light on the matter with their fantastic Analytics Academy, whether your run your own website and need a basic grounding or need to interpret optimisation data to inform your broader strategy.  It also gives you a certification at the end.

Content Marketing:  there are so many resources available for content marketing.  From Coursera The Strategy of Content Marketing, to Udemy’s content marketing for B2B, and Copyblogger’s copywriting training gives you the tools for implementation.

Email Marketing: we can all benefit from a brush up on our email marketing skills.  Luckily both LinkedIn Learning and HubSpot offer free training that covers everything from copywriting to killer subject lines, all for free.

Social Media: there are so many free online social media courses, you are spoilt for choice.  Our favourites though are Alison’s Diploma in Social Media Strategy and Facebook’s Blueprint which covers both Facebook and Instagram.

Marketing Management: Alison’s Marketing Management Diploma will lead you through the main marketing strategies and how to evaluate them.  It also covers the aspects and tools of market research, with a certification at the end.

I want something more…

LinkedIn’s Learning platform is a useful tool that offers a wide variety of courses from business to creative to core marketing to the slightly weird and wonderful.  A great source to check out if you are looking for something different.

The good news is that CIM offers online solutions, from training through to its formal accreditations, so if you can invest financially at this time it’s a great opportunity to start a more formal qualification.

But for those who want some short term, goal-based learning on a budget during a period when we literally have time to spare, then do check out some of these.  You’ll be able to look back on lockdown knowing that you invested the time in your marketing skills, as well as in your personal goals.