SMEs often find it difficult to understand the challenges of the web. I do not throw a stone at them, it is not obvious when we embark on the adventure! The pitfall is then to be discouraged, especially since it is not easy to impose oneself in front of more important actors. Yes, digital marketing for SMEs does not follow the same rules as for large groups. For all those who wish to progress and develop their skills internally, here is a selection of the best online training. Some are certifying, so it may also interest you if you are a freelance or web marketing consultant, in order to boost your CV. Come on, everyone at work!
1. General training
In general training, I suggest you discover 3 very interesting programs, launched by behemoths. These are Google for the pros (honor to training in French, which are rare!), Hubspot Academy and Lynda (mainly in English, but sometimes with translation or the possibility of subtitles for those who do not speak the language well. from Shakespeare).
I present these 3 programs in more detail:
Google for pros
This is the latest one launched by Google who knows about it in training (we’ll come back to this). With Google for the pros, Google offers tailor-made training tailored to your goals. The principle is simple: you create an account (if you already have a Gmail address, it’s very fast), then you answer a short online questionnaire so that Google can better target your issues and expectations. Then, you will be entitled to a little onion program, developed just for you!
The subject of the training is obviously web marketing, but you will only see the subjects on which you need to develop your skills. It can be social networks, online advertising, emailing, SEO … In short, all the major themes of digital marketing are available to you.
Most of the program are:
- Personalization: you don’t waste time taking modules that you already master or that don’t correspond to your problems;
- The presentation of each course in video format (more fun);
- The transcription of the videos in text format (simpler for cramming);
- The presence of a quiz to test yourself;
- The testimonies of business leaders who allow to get out of the “theoretical whole” and to provide very concrete elements;
- Google certification, offered at the end of the course!
The lessers ?
- No interactions with other members;
- No possibility to ask questions to a Google expert;
- Video presenters are not always very natural.
Here is the video which presents the course:
If you are interested in inbound marketing, this training is perfect for you since it is offered by Hubspot, at the origin of this concept. The Hubspot Academy works largely on the same principle as Google for the pros, with videos, quizzes, and the possibility of obtaining an expert certification in inbound marketing.
- Americans being a step ahead of the French in terms of digital marketing, you make sure by taking this training to be at the forefront on this subject;
- You can get in touch with the community of people who follow this training to discuss. Many supports are available: LinkedIn group, dedicated site, Twitter (a specific hashtag has been launched), etc. ;
- The program is very comprehensive (12 modules of 10 to 45 minutes).
The lessers ?
- The training is in English, therefore less accessible than that of Google for the pros;
- The approach is centered on “inbound marketing”, so you will only address the subjects that fall within this sphere;
- The training being delivered by the company behind the inbound marketing, it is necessarily a bit biased. Sometimes we would have liked lessons with more perspective on the subject, or a slightly more neutral tone (example: what are the limits of inbound? Etc.)
The “inbound” certification described by Hubspot
This training is still relatively little known in England, but it is promising! Lynda.com is an e-learning company that was bought last April by LinkedIn at a modest price of $ 1.5 billion. Like Google for the pros and the Hubspot Academy, it relies on video courses. However, it is distinguished by the wealth of subjects covered. Whichever one you want to gain skills in, Lynda can offer you training on it!
- Videos can be filtered by level: beginner, intermediate, advanced;
- They take into account the issues specific to different companies: there is a dedicated program for SMEs, one for large groups, etc. ;
- They also offer tutorials on getting started with web marketing tools to combine theory and practice. You will learn for example how to use WordPress, social networks, etc.
- A certificate will be given to you at the end of the training.
The lessers ?
- It is a paid training unlike all the others presented in this article (prices start around twenty euros per month);
- Some courses are very, very long (sometimes more than 4 hours). They are therefore very complete and you will learn a lot of things, but you really have to hang on to the end of certain videos (do not hesitate to press pause and go get yourself a little coffee to keep up!) .
An overview of the Lynda.com platform
2. Operational training
In addition, for those who wish to get their hands dirty and learn to do it by themselves, I suggest of course the training offered by Google around its flagship products. They are delivered with instructions for use.
Do you want to have data on your website and your visitor profiles? So, you will necessarily have to install Google Analytics which is the leading tool in this field. It remains to be mastered! Nothing could be simpler: sign up for the Analytics Academy offered by Google. You will find there video lessons, mini quizzes, and a community to talk to.
- The videos bring good popularization and are very short, which is motivating (we want to watch several in a row and therefore we progress faster);
- The tone is alive;
- Possibility of certification!
The lessers ?
- You must create a Google Partner account;
- The registration process is confusing. You can choose between taking the training individually or on behalf of your company. Be careful, the choice has repercussions. In the first case, it is your person who will be valued and who will obtain a nominative certificate. In the second, it’s your agency, and you will get a badge that you can display on your site;
- This tool is available in English (with subtitles) only.
The first video of the Analytics Academy
Adwords Online University
This time it concerns the control of online advertising, on search engines or in display. It will help you understand how they work, set up your account, set up relevant auctions, etc. It’s also a program offered by Google.
- The videos are in French;
- They are accessible directly on the YouTube channel “online university Adwords” (so no need to register / create an account before);
- A community space exists to exchange with other people on the training provided.
The lessers ?
- The videos are sometimes a bit long;
- The atmosphere is very academic and the tone can be boring … We have the impression (but is it one?) That it is a robot which speaks to us …
An example of an Adwords online university video
There are plenty of other online courses that you might be interested in, but I’ve taken a look at the ones I think are the most compelling! You can of course register for Mooc. Otherwise, the most accessible alternative is still to read blogs on web marketing to gain skills, without putting yourself under pressure with a whole training program behind! I hope I have helped reconcile digital marketing and SMEs. Feel free to ask me your questions in the comments if you have any 🙂