For your organization to succeed in today’s fast-paced world, it must be able to communicate its message and products deftly through online platforms. However, Canada is facing a digital skills gap. The new technologies deemed crucial today were far from mainstream yesterday, and many digital marketers are struggling to catch up with the ever-growing graphic design, video editing, copywriting, and analytics skills they need to master to stay ahead in their careers.
As a leader in your establishment, there are steps you can take to help them. Here’s how to close the digital marketing skills gap in your organization.
Assess your organization’s skills gap
How the ongoing digital skills gap manifests within your organization can vary depending on your team’s capabilities. For example, they might not understand how to create relevant copy for your target audiences or are unsure of how to operate software for social media campaigns. That’s why it’s best to assess that gap before upskilling. A good place to start is your key performance indicators or KPIs, which can show you overall performance trends and mark out any isolated instances of performance failures. For example, you can look at traffic to your website or social media engagement, which refers to how many interactions your posts get. You can also give your marketers skill assessments based on real marketing initiatives to identify training deficits or ask your marketing team and its managers what they believe they need to learn. This way, you’ll have a holistic picture of how to support your employees.
Provide accessible learning resources
Once you better grasp your marketing team’s learning needs, grant the tools to address them. Accessibility to resources is critical, as your employees are balancing learning with work output. You can start by leveraging Innovate BC’s programs. This government agency is tasked to support the growth of BC’s tech sector and offers an array of digital marketing initiatives like training programs and mentorships you can try based on what your team needs to learn. The learning platform Studocu is another excellent choice that employees can use to study at their own pace as they work. It hosts top-rated study notes from educational marketing institutions like Centennial College and Toronto Metropolitan University. These notes will be available on any of your employees’ digital devices whenever they have time to review them.
Test newly learned skills in current digital marketing campaigns
The fruit of your digital marketing skills initiatives can only be felt once you test them out. After you’ve given your employees time to learn their new skillset, allow them to use it in developing marketing campaigns. One great way to do this is to combine digital marketing with another marketing effort your team might already be confident in. For example, as our contributor James Daniels points out, PR strategy needs to include digital marketing. If your team already has a solid content plan for producing upcoming PR campaigns, suggest they incorporate digital marketing to acquire more attention, trust, and exposure to your target audience. Don’t forget to track your campaigns—the data you gain will help you analyze what worked and what didn’t, both for your advertising efforts and digital marketing skills projects.
Reward high-performing team members
Even after digital skills training and real-life applications, your marketers may hesitate to experiment and go the extra mile to get your organization to the cutting edge. Solving this issue is simple: reward high performers who go above and beyond in their marketing campaigns. A study from the University of Toronto showed strong positive performance benefits when employees won tangible bonuses. However, be wary of enforcing penalties, as those result in a loss of productivity. In short, create an organizational culture that rewards your employees for taking risks and putting in the extra effort to upskill.
Closing the digital marketing skills gap is imperative for your organization to thrive. Follow the above tips to support your digital marketers and boost your establishment’s success.