Freya: My Footprint Academy Experience

Published on July 27, 2023 by Alex Eade

A team of highly skilled people, doing amazing charity work, with BCorp status… just the start of why I wanted to be a part of Footprint Digital’s Academy week. 

Learning from Digital Marketing experts

Getting real-time experience with actual clients and learning from the best in the industry was one of the best moves I could make to kick-start a career in Digital Marketing.

In this article, I share my journey of how I discovered Footprint Digital and what I learned during the Footprint Academy – which is made to explore real world events in the digital environment. 

For those who don’t know, Footprint Digital is a team of marketing experts who work with all types of companies building successful and sustainable marketing strategies. Their services include Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click advertising (PPC), Paid social, Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), Content Marketing, and their own Digital Carbon Footprint Audit. 

I personally went into the course without a lot of knowledge on SEO, PPC or how to create client strategies but on the last day I was confidently able to deliver, with my team, a presentation plan to our given company. 


Applying to Footprint Academy

I first heard about the Footprint Academy during my masters degree. Tom, the company owner, came to present the five-day course while opening our minds on how important digital marketing has become in the business world. 

You can find more information about the course and how to apply here

After sending my CV and cover letter, I had an interview with the Head of People, Charlotte, and a couple of weeks later I received the amazing news that I was accepted on the course.


 A Week In the Life of a Digital Marketing Student 

The week was planned extremely well, the team had an amazing, friendly and motivational attitude throughout. There were 26 students in the Academy, which was the biggest number of attendees they had so far. We were separated into six groups of five to six people and we were lucky enough to all have a Footprint Digital Relationship Manager in each group who guided and helped us when necessary. 

One aspect that I loved during the week was that each day different members taught us about their department and the processes they go through for their clients. More on that below!

The structure was leading us into building a successful digital strategy plan using all the right tools in the right order. 

From spending the last five years writing essays, it was refreshing and exciting being able to use all the theory, learnt from university and the academy week, and apply it in a real business world setting.


Monday: Auditing, Goals & Strategy

On the first day I met my team members, and straight away real-life clients were given to each group and each had a meeting with the company’s representative. For our group it was Alex, the Marketing Manager, from Footprint Digital. The other groups had representatives from Stay in a Pub, Kapow, Bennetts Motorcycle Insurance, and Seamark Nunn. 

The two main topics covered on the first day were Communication and Business questions, delivered by Rosie – Client Services Team Leader and Kaya – Partnership Manager. 

Topics Covered:

  • Auditing a Business’s Marketing 
  • Brand Positioning 
  • Brand Alignment 

The knowledge I got from my first day was how to work closely with clients and the techniques used to get deeper understanding on what their company really needs.


Tuesday: Search Engine Optimisation

SEO was one of my favourite days on the course. Steve, a Technical SEO Manager, explained a very technical topic in a way that made it extremely easy to understand and really interesting.

Topics Covered:

  • Principles of SEO
  • Keyword research
  • SEMrush
  • Content Keyword Mapping 
  • Content Duplication and Thin Content 
  • Technique and Codes 
  • Measuring Organic success tips 

Getting to work with real life digital tools is a massive positive of the course. I learnt quicker and understood the process that Footprint Digital goes through when their client’s website visibility needs a boost. 


Wednesday: Pay Per Click 

PPC was a really interesting day, especially just after learning about SEO because they complement each other in many ways. PPC is designed to target and attract their audience quickly and at first glance. Michael, Head of Paid Search, and Abdul, Paid Media Manager, encouraged us to start getting creative and thinking outside the box.

Other areas we learnt:

  • Creating Ads copy that tick all boxes 
  • Creative keywords 
  • The Anatomy of Google Ads
  • Understanding the audiences

It was the first day that we had to go back over the notes made during our client meeting which helped to start linking the steps together. Again, we were able to work on their system in real time and experiment with different keywords.


Thursday: Content & CRO

Kerry, Head of Content, and Simran, Content Manager, made day four really fun and creative. I really loved the games they used at the start of the day – they were simple but effective because it opened my mind and made me confident in my ability to be creative. 

Other areas we learnt:

  • Identifying and creating a value proposition
  • Heuristic analysis of on-page copy
  • Principles of CRO: Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • Value of A/B testing 
  • Wireframing 
  • Creating conversion-focused copy
  • Optimising existing content

The main goal of the activities throughout the day was really about getting into the mind of the target audience and writing content that is useful to them.


Friday: Digital Marketing Project Presentation

On the final day we presented our work to the clients, the other teams and Footprint Digital employees! 

I had such mixed emotions on the last day. I was excited to present the work we had done throughout the week but also sad that the Footprint Academy was ending because I had learnt so much and the overall experience was amazing. 

In our group’s presentation slides, we included:

  • Website overview as a benchmark
  • Competitor comparison to see how they stack up against the competition
  • SEO changes to improve performance
  • PPC recommendations 
  • Content improvements for greater engagement

We made sure that the presentation was simple and easy to explain and used Footprint Digital branding throughout.

Working with a team all week was amazing. My team all had very different personalities and backgrounds but we worked so well together and had lots of fun at the same time. Being able to deliver our work together was a very proud moment for all of us. 


Apply to the 2024 Footprint Academy! 

If you’re thinking about applying, then I’d say you should 100% apply. You will experience a week of hard work but the team makes it fun and exciting. I learnt so much in only one week and the future opportunities with the company are also available.