Was IIDM’s Content Marketing Workshop worth signing up for?

I’ve been on a lookout for an online marketing workshop for so long, so when I saw the advert for the October 3 Content Marketing Workshop, I couldn’t contain my excitement!

The ad says it covers content marketing, KPIs, metrics, SEO, email newsletters, social media, ebooks and planning social media campaigns among others.

The workshop also boasted of an impressive lineup of speakers– top practitioners in digital marketing such as Carlo Ople (Di9it), Josh Villanueva (Rappler), Yves Gonzales (MRM Worldwide Manila), Jayvee Fernandez (ID8 Inc) and Manny Nepomuceno (BBDO Guerrero Ortega).

These people are not just employees of position in their respective companies, they played huge roles in many of their companies’ successful campaigns.

It was the ultimate crash course! The very one I was looking for.

I’ve been working as an Offshore Marketing Assistant for six months now and I’ve already learned so much on-the-job, but it only got made me hungrier to learn more.

Here’s where my thought process starts: If I have better understanding of what the heck it is I’m doing, my brain can function much better on-the-job.

When you do what I’m doing, there’s a tendency to get lost in the routine; and that takes you nowhere.

I don’t want that, I want to grow with my team.

Content Marketing Workshop was a bit pricey

It was pricey compared to other workshops I’ve seen offered online. And there are a lot.

I’m sure they’re all good but I needed something a bit more specific. I needed to go to this one.

It’s not that I’m short on training. My boss and our SEO/Internet Marketing Specialist take turns in guiding me, talking things out with me regarding my tasks, dropping me links, patiently answering my questions and supplying me feedback on my work.

And I read a lot, too.

But I guess I wanted more. I wanted to do better.

I’m pretty lucky that my company allots budget from my training; but for others, the cost might be a little steep.

Is it worth the investment?

Let me start off with a few things that went wrong that day…

There were no hand-outs given out but since the workshop was held at AIM (Asian Institute of Management) where rooms are set up for techie devices, most of us who brought our lappies and tablets took down notes.

However, there were some parts in the discussions that went fast so it was hard for others to keep up.

I think there were a handful of people who inquired about hand-outs and we were told that they would send us the power point presentations by email.

True enough, by weekend, the emails were in, and it came with a copy of our certificate of participation.

So if you’re the type who likes to keep those or having them framed and displayed, you’ll have to print it out yourself, haha!

What do I think about this? I guess,  I’m a bit disappointed with the missing hand-outs and being given a digital copy of the certificate.

But let me get back to that part later.

One of the speakers was late so the speaker before him ended up  showing us a bunch of videos that his company has made that went viral.  That was okay, I guess, I came up with some promo ideas from those.

On the other hand, I’ve already seen many of the videos that they showed that day,  but that’s just me, I can’t speak for everyone else.

IIDM is a training institute

If there was one thing every participant should’ve known about the workshop is that it’s part of a bigger marketing agenda.

IIDM or International Institute of Digital Marketing is a training school and the Content Marketing Workshop was just a peek to a  broader, more comprehensive (and more pricey) sets of courses.

You can’t expect to learn everything there is to know in a day. It’s just what it is — a crash course. And crash courses won’t make experts out of anyone.

The things that went right

One of the things I really like about the registration process was the chat box at the right  corner of the workshop details page.

I used that chat box a lot to inquire and to follow-up if my payment came through and all that stuff. It was really good for people like me who hate having to talk on the phone.

Welyn who took care of my registration details, was very accommodating and polite.

It’s not everyday you get to sit and listen to  these online media practitioners speak.

When you think of Php10,900 as is, it really seems like a lot of money and you would naturally want every peso well-spent.

But if you consider their calibre and level of expertise, their accomplishments and overall, their generosity to share their proven-effective strategies and tactics, I think Php 10,900 was not  enough to cover the fees of these highly-accomplished speakers.

Although not everything I heard that day was directly useful to what I’m doing right now, I learned new things, something that would help me grow — not just in my profession, but as a practitioner. That matters.

Going back to tardiness, I still believe that if you’re a speaker, it’s still “almost” unforgivable not to be there on time. Having said that, Yves Gonzales was the most energetic and most dynamic speaker of them all.

He totally changed the way I see Twitter. Seriously.

And the fact that he bared his heart in saying he took to heading MMDA’s Twitter management with the hopes of renewing the Filipino people’s faith on the government.

To me, that says a lot of the person. It speaks of purpose.

That was a good take-away for the day.

Which reminds me to ask my brother if they knew each other back in law school.

The food was great, in my opinion. Snacks were given out, a sort of a Kopi Roti pastry in mid-morning and Pancit in the afternoon,  and lunch was not the usual Menudo pack.

And although they were served in disposables, they were served by neatly-dressed waiters.

That was cool.

The balancer

Manny Nepomuceno was the last speaker. I kind of struggled listening to this one.

I mean, we’re talking graphs and numbers here. That’s like hieroglyphics to me.

But while the other speakers were primarily motivators when your imagination just starts working overtime and your brain’s spilling out all these brand new ideas, I thought Mr. Nepomuceno kept our feet on the ground.

He made practical sense to what we do as online marketers.

Here are 5 of his nuggets of wisdom (paraphrased):

1. Analytics is mostly common-sense. If you can’t understand the graph, use another you can understand.

2. Use your coconut! If it doesn’t work for you as an end user, chances are, it’s not working for others either.

3. If you want high engagement, put out highly engaging content.

4. It’s the web users who will decide if your content is relevant or not. What may not be relevant now may be relevant tomorrow.

5. The purpose of analytics is to produce valuable insights, not just results.

It’s still up to you

So was it worth it?

I can point out a lot of things that could’ve been handled better that day but if you’re asking the value of the learning I received — truth is, I’ve yet to see the results.

I’m still in the process of applying what I’ve been taught and adjusting what was passed on according to the needs of my role in our company.

At the end of the day, I have to take responsibility for my work and putting the training I got into good use.