It's that time of year when the tempature slowly drops, the schedule suddenly overbooks, recent college grads seek employment and companies need an extra helping hand. If you're like many of us, you hire an intern to help with some of your marketing work. Many assume this will help you make more copies and caffeinate the team more quickly, but your intern is likely much more capable than that.
Tips for making the most of your marketing intern:
1. Paint them the bigger picture
It's tempting to have your intern jump right in since there's so much work to be done in such a short time, however it's essential they know more than their to-do list. Sit down and talk with them about your company or at least provide them with materials so they kind really understand what you do and why you do it.
This will help them understand more than just your company history, but also what tone of voice they should use in writing, social media and with clients or leads. It will also provide them with more incentive to work hard as they know what purpose it serves.
2. Prep your team
Introduce your intern to your team at large. In this way, the intern can be more than just an unfamiliar face doing the busy work. Point out who is responsible for what so that your intern finds the right resources when necessary. Perhaps even set up the intern with a point-person or mentor (with a willing employee of course) so they can form a stronger relationship.
3. Review your copy
This is the perfect time to reassess your communication and copy. It's likely that your intern is fresh out of college where the writing instruction was thorough. It's equally likely they can provide a fresh perspective – especially if your blog is looking a little dry or your social strategy could use some umph. It's true that they may have ideas you've tried in the past that simply don't work, but in the very least they will help you reflect on what is being produced and where it can improve.
4. Tackle a task that has been in the "to-do's" for too long
There is likely a major analytics or website project you've talked about doing but you just haven't gotten around to. This is a prime area where your intern can really dive in. As a digital native, they will have a smaller learning curve and can probably offer great ideas at the outset. Examples include reviewing your website analytics, a competitive analysis, amping up your social media interactions, optimizing your site speed, etc.
5. Create an ebook or infographic
If your intern is a savvy writer or has an eye for design, the typical 3-6 month internship is the perfect amount of time to research, write and layout an ebook or infographic. Just be sure you also have the time to help them along the way in research and review.