Sat 1 Aug, 2015

Why Specialist Digital Marketing Tutors Are Better

If you’ve ever been on a training you probably know that not all lectures are created equal. In fact, you can normally tell the difference pretty quickly.

It’s not uncommon to have a tutor who is able to cover a range of topics and can answer 80% of the questions, but doesn’t have the extra depth of knowledge in the subject that really makes the biggest difference. They may be enthusiastic, charismatic and engaging but you’d trade those qualities in for that 20% of knowledge and experience that adds the real value to your learning.

The tutor cannot gain the 20% by being trained by the outgoing tutor, nor can they study up for weeks before the big day. The 20% can only be acquired by being a practitioner of the art  — learning the ropes, making the mistakes and perfecting the practices of the discipline.

That’s why, as soon as exams are over, we all forgot how to conjugate French verbs, the events that led to World War II or how photosynthesis works. This is temporary knowledge, which may do the trick for last-minute swotting for exams, but is wholly inadequate for creating true lasting knowledge.

In an educational context, that 20% translates into a tutor having real-life examples to share, the ability to formulate solutions for specific challenges and the confidence to push students to a more developed understanding.

FEEDBACK IS IN AND WE WERE A WIN

We recently held our first Facebook course for a group of practitioners with diverse backgrounds —  from gaming specialists to retailers marketers and mobile app developers.

They gave us a 4.5/5 for the value of the course and 85% of them would recommend the course to friends and colleagues. We’re really chuffed with the feedback, however it’s the qualitative side we found most interesting.

The feedback drew out some interesting points. Across the board, our attendees highlighted two areas of strength: 1) the depth of detail running through the practical exercises & implementation vs sharing lighter-weight case studies, 2) a trainer who isn’t a full-time trainer but rather a practitioner of the art, coupled with a genuine interest in ensuring the students learned something valuable.

THREE SIGNS YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Whether you’re considering our Facebook training course or someone else’s, there are the three things you should be looking out for:

1. HAS THE TRAINER PRACTISED WHAT THEY PREACH?

To get the most out of a course, you need that 20% of in-the-trenches expertise. Without it, they won’t be able to meaningfully apply their knowledge to your own specific context. Nor will they be able to challenge you to the same degree.

For example, Josh  —  our course leader for Facebook  —  still works with large and complex advertisers at Nanigans. Just as Facebook campaign performance decays if left untouched, so too can your knowledge of a channel if you stop practising the art.

2. DO THEY TALK ABOUT CONVERSIONS OR LIFE-TIME VALUE?

If Joe Smith sees your ad for a pair of trainers, converts and spends £100, that’s great but are you also looking at what else Joe may buy in the future? Conversions are great but they’re one-time transactions that don’t capture the full worth of newly acquired customers who will be making further purchases.

Advanced Facebook marketers take a more comprehensive lifetime-value view of new customers, using mathematical formulae to set bids that represent a more realistic value of the person viewing their ad. Knowing how to do this, and then teach the methodology, is the domain of a marketer who’s managed campaigns for the most complex clients. If conversion measurement is the 80%, life-time-value bidding is the 20%.

3. DO THEY COVER MULTIPLE INDUSTRIES?

As we said in our previous article about careers in digital marketing, an advertiser will gain in-depth knowledge of channels in order to obsessively meet specific business and marketing goals. The trick is to translate their vast knowledge on a particular product, such as how Facebook can help ship low-cost holidays, to then use the same channel for selling something different, like consumer electronics.

The tutor needs to act as the bridge and, as such, must have the requisite industry experience. That’s important for people who are looking to expand their remit in the role or transplant their skills over to another business type.

Not all courses are crafted the same and it’s a practitioner-tutor with extensive industry knowledge that will ultimately deliver the extra 20%

The extra 20% is not just a benefit, it is an advantage that will empower you with true learning on the subject of Facebook advertising. In an industry defined by small margins, that 20% is going to make all the difference in the world.

The author & course leader: Josh Caine Goldsmith has spent 5 years running direct response campaigns across social, search and display. For the past 18 months he has been an integral part of the campaign management team at Nanigans, advising large advertisers in gaming and ecommerce on how to get the most out of their Facebook campaigns. Good with numbers, he holds a first-class degree in Physics from the University of Sheffield and coaches students in Maths, Science and Astronomy during his spare time.