GDI: Pathways for Entrepreneurship Update
Oct 3, 2019
Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment has developed the Pathways for Entrepreneurship program to create and expand Métis business across Saskatchewan. One of the very successful training delivered through the program is the Digital Marketing Certification. GDI partnered with Blue Moose Media to offer a series of Digital Marketing Certification courses to Métis entrepreneurs. The overall goal of these training workshops is to empower Métis entrepreneurs with the skills and strategies to utilize social media and digital marketing to achieve business results. The workshops provide training on social media fundamentals, photography and graphic design, Facebook and Instagram advertising essentials, and Google Ads fundamentals.
In today’s world, social media plays an increasingly important role in the way we interact with each other. It also plays a significant role in the way we consume content and network with our groups, hobbies, and interests. The information age has brought about a plethora of data about individual likes, dislikes, and demographic intelligence. Marketers have utilized technology and developed algorithms to efficiently target advertisements and enable businesses to reach potential customers much more effectively than ever before.
Utilizing social media for advertising is also big business. Facebook alone reported over 40 billion USD in advertising revenues in 2017, with 2018 revenues exceeding 55 billion. Compared to traditional marketing channels, social media shines in its ability to engage specific target markets in a cost-effective manner. These platforms also provide campaign management tools and provide real-time data updates so businesses can learn what campaigns are most effective, and which ones are not.
Since 2011, more people across the globe own cell phones than toothbrushes. Smartphone users worldwide spend an average of 3.3 hours per day on their device with this number steadily increasing at the expense of other platforms (TV, print, radio, and desktop computers). It is clear that for businesses to stay relevant, build brand equity, and attract new customers, they must leverage the advantages of social media in their marketing strategy.
In early 2018, GDI hosted its first entrepreneurship workshop in Saskatoon with 12 Métis entrepreneurs completing. Feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive. Across 2018-19, GDI hosted four additional workshops (Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and Meadow Lake) for 48 Métis entrepreneurs with a 94% completion rate.
Qualitative results show that 100% of the 20 survey respondents rated the workshop as Very-to-Extremely Helpful. In order to have successful workshops and programs, attracting high-quality students is a must. For the digital marketing workshops, custom ads and photos were developed. A unique landing page an in-bound marketing strategy was implemented to generate potential client leads and build awareness about the Pathways program. In total, the campaign ads were viewed 564,008 times and 2,706 individuals were driven to the landing page. 137 solid client leads were generated, and all 48 seats were filled with qualified Métis entrepreneurs. These campaigns have also benefited clients as they are able to learn about the many other supports offered through the Pathways program. Details about the Pathways for Entrepreneurship program is available at www.gdins.org/entrepreneurship