Learn more about Jeremy's course here!
Hi Jeremy! What's the elevator pitch for the work you're doing in the classroom at Monroe Community College?
Similar to working with a client in the marketing world, students enter our certification course with a goal in mind. We seek to understand those goals and do our best to help students achieve them.
We teach a course that covers a wide foundation of the digital marketing ecosystem. Due to the nature of our fast-moving industry, I carefully curate the course materials. While there is plenty of hands-on learning, nobody will leave the class as an “expert” in any one area.
Students in our course come in with varying levels of experience. Lectures are delivered synchronously, but assignment timelines are reasonably flexible. Course adjustments are made based on feedback during and in-between lectures. After each subject we cover, I provide an extensive list of further resources to help students expand their educational journey in that area. As a marketer, continuing education is essential.
What are some of the assumptions that you had to blow out of the water when you made your first foray into the classroom? What was the hardest part to overcome?
Our independent certification course is not part of a degree program. So the student personas are even more diverse than I had expected. We have young aspiring marketers, seasoned entrepreneurs, alongside people looking for an exciting career change. The varying goals and levels of understanding was a challenge throughout the course.
It’s no surprise that communication is key. Our class Slack channel is one of our greatest assets for collaboration and 1:1 discussions. Direct messaging often feels more conversational and encourages students to reach out more often than email. Using Slack before the pandemic made the virtual classroom transition much smoother. What are some of the items that your students have been able to show after having been in your class? Any success stories?
Students leave our class with a variety of assets to include in their portfolio. During our first few weeks, students build personas and empathy maps. This audience foundation helps them draft campaigns and ads for Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Students also learn about research and strategy for Search. We have an SEO strategy assignment where students pick a small business of their choice and take a deep dive into their search presence. They assess the site's content, usability, keyword usage, and more. They rewrite page titles, meta descriptions, and identify other opportunities for improvement.
My last class ended in April, a month after the pandemic became a harsh reality in the U.S. It looked bleak for new marketers on the job hunt. A few weeks later, I received a LinkedIn message from a former student celebrating their new digital marketing role at a local insurance company. As an educator, there is no better feeling.
Another student reached out to say the course helped build up their confidence. They walked into a local business and offered to help with their marketing. It went well and last I heard they're helping that business transition to a modern website and develop new content.COVID-19 has affected everyone, but what are some initiatives as it relates to remote learning that excite you?
It's been an exciting year for conferences and webinars. Conferences provide high-level tactics and case studies from some of the best humans in the industry. This is especially true for the marketing world.
Historically, many of these events are costly and often require substantial travel time. COVID-19 has forced many of its hosts to bring their conferences to a virtual environment. You can now hear many industry experts from the comfort of your home office.
This transition allowed me to attend Profcon 2020. It's an awesome event designed specifically for marketing educators (more on that later). Also, hearing Hubspot’s Inbound 2020
will be FREE and virtual this year is exciting for everyone.
Even specialized conferences like MozCon
became more affordable and realistic for those who typically can't make the Seattle trek. Consequently, Moz ended up doubling their attendance numbers. What are some resources you've been using lately that you can share with our professors?
My top tool recommendation is Soapbox by Wistia
for video recordings. I use it for assignment reviews and recorded messages to students. Similar to Loom, there is a free option and recording is as simple as downloading a chrome extension. I prefer Soapbox due to their flexibility in selecting: show your face vs. your screen or both. Sometimes having my face full screen helps change the tone and draw focus to a particular point. With Loom, your face is always in the little bottom corner window.
For the marketing instructors that haven't heard of Stukent
, I recommend checking them out. They have a variety of frequently updated teaching resources and a social media marketing simulation. Despite my excitement to test this in my next class, I believe real-life business experience prevails over supplemental tools. That being said, simulations can add a competitive nature to the class and a sufficient boost to the hands-on learning experience. This is especially helpful in a remote class environment.
Stukent also runs an annual digital marketing conference for educators
. They hosted it virtually this year and I took away a ton of great insights from other professors. Let us know if there is anything else you want us to know or talk about.
This industry moves at the speed of light. I’ve witnessed enough companies onboard graduates for entry roles and teach them dated tactics. A foot in the door to kickstart a career is valuable, but in some cases new marketers are set up to fail.
I'm thankful for organizations like Hubspot that provide high-quality marketing content and supporting resources for educators. It helps instructors keep their courses fresh and teaches students core fundamentals that often get overlooked with employer based training.
Creating and sharing content for aspiring marketers is part of our recipe at Cheddar Consulting. We develop these resources to help those who are getting started and trying to find the path that best suits them. I recently published an ultimate guide to starting a career in digital that I think aspiring marketers can find a ton of value in.