Guest Post by Author William Bancs

The Internet has revolutionised many aspects of modern life. From broadening communication channels and making entertainment more accessible to opening up entrepreneurial opportunities, it is central to everything that we now do. While it has been impactful on an individual basis, the biggest shifts have been seen in the way businesses now operate and reach out to their customers.

Brand visibility isn’t just measured in column inches or minutes on television these days; it has spread to search engine rankings, pay-per-click advertising and social media coverage. Consequently, businesses need to be savvier about how they engage with their audience and the channels used during this process. Ignoring the Internet and its bountiful potential could prove to be a huge mistake. However, knowing where to get started and how things work online can be a bit of a muddle. This is where online training can really help.

The Changing Face of Marketing

In days gone by clear signage, strong customer service and an advert in the local newspaper were enough for smaller businesses. At the other end of the scale, larger companies may have invested in television advertising campaigns, broadsheet pieces and billboards to spread the word. Now though, everything has changed. Businesses of all sizes use Twitter to interact with customers, develop a fanbase on Facebook and optimise their websites to appear in Google. The conventions are changing, but the underlying principles remain the same.

Knowing what you should do and understanding how each platform works is half the battle. This is why many businesses are seeking training to assist staff and inform their own strategies moving forwards. As in any discipline, education can provide you with the basis for future growth and development. While some may attempt to give it a go and see what they can achieve without much in the way of guidance, this can prove to be risky. After all, it is a completely new and often ruthless environment.

A few misguided tweets on Twitter and you could find yourself at the centre of a negative publicity storm. Equally, a little misconstrued SEO advice could see your site kicked off of Google and require twice the effort to get back to where you once were. In short, online marketing can be decided on the finest margins, so you need to know which side of the line to tread before you can start striding off confidently.

Increasing your in-house Marketing Skill

As well as an abundance of companies offering SEO, PPC and social media management services, training courses are also available for those that prefer to keep things in-house. The major potential benefit of this is that you can grow your team’s skills and continue to manage all marketing efforts from within your business. This means that you won’t be reliant on others when looking to expand or adjust your strategies, plus you will always maintain control.

This is a clear benefit to modern businesses and the best thing about online marketing training is that you can scale it to fit your needs. So whether you’re a two-person team operating out of a small store or a multinational outfit, you can use the knowledge acquired to create campaigns that will have optimal impact with minimal input. Essentially, training is about providing you with the tools to achieve your online goals and avoid the many pitfalls that lie in wait for unsuspecting marketers.

It would be extremely foolhardy to start marketing your business online without any prior training or experience; just as it would be if you were to create a television advert on basic equipment and attempt to distribute it. While success is possible, your chances will be greatly improved if you have the knowledge to back up your enthusiastic endeavours. Anybody can achieve great results online; however, you need to walk before you begin to run.

William Bancs is a professional freelance writer, bloggin on behalf of GBO Training, a website dedicated to helping businesses expand and grow online.

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