I train a lot of marketing professionals each year, and over the last few months I’ve definitely noticed an increase in requests for training from marketing departments. Many marketing groups are starting to realize that social media and internet marketing are key opportunities for their organizations, but they aren’t sure about where to begin.
A good starting point for your training program is to really assess your goals and objectives, as well as your budget (both time and money). Rather than pushing the training off to HR, be sure that key members of your marketing department are involved. While HR may play a key role, the marketing department is usually more in touch with what they need to achieve and who should be involved.
When you start building your training plan, consider the following:
1) Who Should Be Involved
Determine who the right people are in your organization to involve in the training. Some training programs I’ve delivered have included CEOs, General Managers and Executives, while others involve only marketing executors. Even in the training is focused on marketing there may be other departments that you may want to include, such as IT, PR, Customer Service or Product Development.
2) What do you Want to Achieve
Create clear goals and objectives for the training program. What level of depth and breadth do you want to achieve? Are you looking for hands on how-to, or strategic directions? What tools are the most important to cover (remember you can’t cover everything)?
3) Consider More Than Social Media
While many companies initial contact us for social media training, upon further discovery most of them also opt for training and best-practices on areas like Email, Search Engine Optimization and Website best practices. It is important to remember that social media should fit with the rest of your internet marketing strategy – it isn’t a stand alone program.
4) Find training providers with a background in training
Many social media and internet marketing companies add training to their offerings because they are talented speakers and they know their stuff. This doesn’t make them great trainers. Work with a company that specializes in training and understands how to effectively disseminate knowledge and help participants build actionable steps. Training should also include reference materials.
5) Build a Going Plan
After the initial program, build a training plan that allows for continuous education. This will allow your organization to stay educated, up-to-date and motivated. We’ve all attended training programs where we felt great at the training but promptly forgot about it after the session. You will get more out of your initial investment if you build a plan to keep it top-of-mind going forward.