If you read Silverpop's blog regularly, you know our contributors pass along strategies, tactics, tips and news to help you run an effective digital marketing program.
This time, however, the focus is on you and why you should invest in education and training that can help transform your team into a high-achieving unit that makes a measurable contribution to your company's bottom line.
Continuing education is in everybody's best interest, whether you're the marketing team leader looking to coach your team or a team member who wants to gain new skills and stay current on marketing issues.
Don't let a lack of time, money, management buy-in or a combination discourage you. Check out our two-step training strategy and resource list below.
First, Track Down Useful Resources
If your company doesn't offer off-site training or education, don't give up the fight. Good information is all around you, especially online, and much of it is free or low-cost. Below are some suggestions:
1. Ask your vendors.
When you succeed, your vendor succeeds. To that end, Silverpop maintains a full resource library (available to anyone — see the end of this post for a list of suggested titles) of white papers, Webinars, case studies, blogs like this one, FAQs, tip sheets, podcasts, studies and video seminars. Also, visit the websites for Silverpop's tech partners for information tailored to those services.
2. Explore online communities.
LinkedIn hosts many industry discussion groups where you can post questions and get advice from experts and peers. Also, ask your vendors if they host user groups where you can ask specific product questions or seek general guidance.
3. Visit content-sharing sites such as SlideShare and YouTube.
These sites host thousands of presentations and videos you can study or share with your team for deep educational content and how-to information.
4. Attend industry and vendor conferences.
If money is a sticking point, you'll have to get creative. Some industries’ conferences waive fees for speakers and panelists or for companies that meet brand requirements. Check with conference management to see if your company qualifies.
Your vendors might be able to help here, too. Many, including Silverpop, offer national or regional user conferences. Or, offer yourself up the next time a vendor asks for clients to participate in a panel discussion or presentation at an industry conference.
5. Check for company memberships in local or national trade associations.
Your company might belong to the DMA, the Email Experience Council or other trade groups. These memberships often include access to free or discounted information, Webinars or conferences.
Next, Put Those Resources to Work
1. Share your training information.
Curate the information you find, and give it context so your team members can understand why and how a white paper or Webinar can help. Also, create your own master list of resources and encourage team members to seek out their own resources.
2. Set aside time for group learning and discussion.
Yes, time is tight, but see if you can schedule a monthly or bimonthly lunch gathering where your team can sit in on a Webinar, watch a video or share what they learned at a local workshop or in assigned reading.
3. Report your successes to your superiors.
Showing how your training helps your team build skills and generate better results could loosen the purse strings for a major training initiative.
Silverpop Resources to Share and Study
1. Silverpop Expert Library
If you haven't had a chance to sift through our white papers, tip sheets and recorded versions of our in-depth webinars, start with the list below:
2. Silverpop Case Study Library
Check here for data- and advice-packed success stories from our clients, including Stonyfield Yogurt, King Arthur Flour, Moosejaw, SmartPak Equine and CaringBridge.
3. Silverpop Blog
Search our archives by topic or expert author when you want a quick hit of news, advice or perspective on important industry issues. Sign up for email links to new posts or subscribe to our news feed.
4. Digital Marketer
Our monthly newsletter features articles from an in-house experts plus content from ebooks, white papers, Webinars, videos and more. Sign up today! (Note: Digital Marketer is for non-clients only, customers get their own newsletter.)
5. Silverpop on Slideshare
If you’ve ever attended conference presentations featuring Silverpop, you know they always include a great slideshow. Find many of them here, and follow us so you get notices as soon as we upload fresh content.
6. Silverpop on YouTube
Here's where we house many of our marketing tips, tutorials, speaker presentations and other videos. Subscribe to the channel, and you won't miss a single upload.