Improve your skills to become a 'T-shaped Marketer' via these courses and tutorials

When we look at where to focus our free blog content at Smart Insights, our main aim or filter we use is that the content must help digital marketers improve their skills or the results for the businesses they work for. This is also what our member content, in our guides focuses on too - starting with digital strategies and then getting into the details of tactics like with email marketing, social media, SEO, video and many more digital skills.

Of course, there is a lot of great free, structured online courses around developing digital skills, so we thought it would help to share our thoughts on this - and give a shout out for our new free online course content.

We agree with the Co-founder of Moz Rand Fishkin that modern marketers and particularly hands-on Content Marketers…

Google has announced they will penalize rankings of mobile sites with "intrusive interstitials" (Pop-up ads or email capture lightboxes)

Continuing their ongoing push for the "perfect" mobile experience Google has announced via the Official Webmasters Blog "two upcoming changes to mobile search results that make finding content easier for users". Although their headline doesn't mention pop-ups and the article labels them 'interstitials', that's the change we wanted to alert you to since most marketers and web users know them as pop-ups.

The first change is basically general house-keeping for Google. They're looking to remove the labels they first introduced two years ago as part of the Mobile-friendly update AKA Mobilegeddon, to show which sites were mobile friendly (as shown below). It's likely that you have acted to ensure your site is mobile friendly, but if not, sites that aren't mobile friendly were penalised on smartphone rankings from April 2015 with the signal increased…

Find out why email should be a big focus for you post-Brexit and get some tips on campaigns to implement

I was in the South of France when the referendum result happened. The enormity of it hit me quite hard while surrounded by such kind and engaging people, all trying to be sympathetic about the decision. Since that day, focus (at least in business terms) has turned to the impact it will have on companies. As an organisation that works with both Global and UK based companies, we have seen many different reactions to the vote, but the overriding emotion seems to be caution. Some companies are already in recession planning mode (just in case), others are holding off on non-essential projects and most are not comfortable making any big and expensive decisions right now.

Rob McLaughlin, Head of Digital Analytics at Sky explains the importance of a data-driven approach to modern marketing

Q. You recently moved decided to move from agency DigitasLBi, to joining Sky as their Head of Digital Analytics. Why the move?

It has been a great experience working with my colleagues and clients at DigitasLBi, the breadth and depth of our engagements ensured interesting and challenging projects which really helped me continue to develop myself. I have been incredibly fortunate throughout my career to have been given the opportunity to work with some fabulous brands and high -growth businesses, DigitasLBi continued to add to that but the human aspect of that agency is something special. The agency is a collection of exceptionally bright and diverse individuals and one can only benefit from sharing space and time with them, I highly recommend the experience! More…

The right vendor depends on your own personal requirements

Marketing Automation vendors are not one-size-fits-all. It is important that you choose the right vendor for your specific business requirements as B2B companies have more complex and longer buyer journeys and more people involved in the buying process. Your Marketing Automation platform selection should focus on finding the best fit with your business plans, resources and company culture. There are several ways to navigate the selection process, including a formal RFP (Request for Proposal) for shortlisting vendors to running in depth demonstrations. Here are six steps that will help you in this process.

1. Define Your Business Goals

In order to know what a Marketing Automation vendor should be able to deliver in terms of features and service, it is important to clearly define the business challenges or opportunities that you are facing. Describe the gap between the current situation and the desired state.…

If your creating B2B content for social, have you stopped and asked yourself what your audience actually uses social for?

You create content, you publish it and you promote it on social media. Create, Publish, Promote, Repeat. Yet have you ever thought to consider how your audience are actually using social media whilst they are at work? Are they using it to relax during a tea break? In which case humorous and easy to read content will do best. Or are they using it to learn more about their industry and discover new trends, in which case detailed thought leadership and posts providing industry specific stats will go down well.

New research from Pew Research Centre asked over 2000 American adults how they use social media at work, to discover what people are looking for when browsing during working hours. The results are interesting, and show how no one reason dominates.

The most common reason was…

What are the ideal roles for an effective data analytics or business intelligence team?

Creating teams within a business is a complex task, one that involves a wide range of skills, some of which are hard to quantify. Should you put similar people together in the hope they'll 'get each other', be more productive and 'get on great'? Or should you mix lots very different people with different skills sets together so they can combine their strengths and cover one another's weaknesses?

These questions come down to management style and company culture, so we can't offer any great insights there, as it will be different for everyone and, to some extent, set in stone. But where we can offer insights is in how to structure a data analytics team to get the best results from your employees. This article is based on our summary of this guide from Google  exploring the ideal Analytics organisation…

How to engage your audience by optimising every feature of your email

Every email that you send to your clients has distinct elements. There’s the subject line, of course, as well as  headline and body, to name just a few. And every single one of those elements has a distinct role to play in emails that are either engaging and often read versus those that quickly land in the “trash” folder.

Take the body of an email: If your customers feel like they’re reading a generic piece of information that’s crafted for everyone, and not specifically for them, they’ll be turned off. That points to the importance of data gathering as a part of the email-crafting process. The more you know about customers beyond that email address—who they are, how old they are, what they like and don’t like—the more likely you can create sub-groups of emails that offer benefits and reasoning…

A good relationship with your agency is key to creating solutions to your marketing efforts, both yourself and the agency are happy with.

As an extension of yesterday's post, today we are looking at the top challenges of working with an agency.

The work comes from Clutch who surveyed 500 respondents all of whom work in companies with over 500+ employees for their 2016 Enterprise Marketing Survey. They asked marketers, "What is the biggest challenge of working with an outside agency?”.

Unsurprisingly "communication" came top of the list, with 18% if respondents claiming it to be the toughest thing about working with an agency. Whether there is a lack of, or complete miscommunication, it is something that has to work for a successful business relationship. On the agencies behalf, it…

How a watermelon got 500 times more views than the President of the United States: Why Live Video offers a massive opportunity for brands willing to be creative

Live video streaming found its footing nearly a decade ago when sites like Livestream and Ustream emerged. However, back then, brand marketers felt lukewarm about the technology — bandwidth was limited, audiences were extremely niche, and the stakes of live broadcasting seemed too high.

But now, with Facebook pushing the option to its huge user base, YouTube announcing the integration of mobile live streaming on its platform, and news outlets like Wall Street Journal, NBC, CBS, and Fox News trying their hand at it, brands are having a hard time resisting this now-viable marketing avenue.

In fact, a recent poll found that 44 percent of executives live-streamed an event in 2015, while another 20 percent plan to try it by the end…

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments

Need help with your Digital Marketing?

Get more from your digital marketing with in-company or remote training and consultancy from Smart Insights

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments