Leveraging Interns to Kickstart Your In-House Marketing Team


If you’re a business owner with connections or access to a local college, leveraging an internship program can be a golden opportunity to jump start your in-house marketing team. At The SEO Blueprint, we recognize that interns bring a unique blend of enthusiasm, creativity, and modern skill sets that can significantly enhance your marketing efforts. Leveraging an internship is a cost effective way to ensure you’re bringing in a team that’s tech-savvy from the start. 

As an added bonus, interns quickly become familiar with your brand, culture, and processes, turning them into ideal candidates for full-time roles in the future. Essentially, your internship program can build a strong talent pipeline for your company in the future if you decide to hire a full time marketing role (or even another role). And if you choose to work with The SEO Blueprint, we will help establish a comprehensive program to run your interns through to ensure you are maximizing all the benefits they provide, while ensuring your interns receive the mentorship and guidance that they will certainly need. 

Understanding the Role of Interns in Marketing

Interns are generally extremely tech-savvy and bring creative approaches to common marketing challenges. Their familiarity with the latest digital tools and trends can inject new energy into your marketing strategies. 

Unlike seasoned pros who may be reserved, interns are generally eager to prove themselves, making them perfect candidates to mold into future marketing experts for your brand. Their enthusiasm and willingness to learn create a dynamic environment where fresh ideas can flourish, driving innovation within your team.

From a financial standpoint, hiring interns is a cost-effective solution. You benefit from their contributions while paying intern rates on a part-time basis. With 10-20 hours a week, interns can immerse themselves in your brand and ethos, making significant strides in your marketing efforts without breaking the bank. 

This part-time commitment allows them to balance their academic responsibilities while gaining valuable practical experience. Moreover, once they graduate, these interns are primed to move into full-time roles at entry-level salaries, providing your company with a seamless transition to a more experienced and deeply integrated marketing team.

Setting Up Your Internship Program

Honestly, the setup is usually the trickiest aspect of an internship program. But it’s also important. Interns will feel that you are not prepared – they are used to their teachers spending their first day outlining exactly what they will do and when. They are programmed to look for guidance, or at least an outline. So make sure you are prepared BEFORE they join the team, or we will have a rough start. 

Define Clear Objectives

To maximize the benefits of your internship program, it’s crucial to establish clear objectives from the start. Interns should come in with a well-defined set of goals, ensuring they understand what is expected of them and how their contributions will impact the company. Clear objectives provide direction and purpose, enabling interns to focus their efforts effectively.

Create Structured SOPs

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are essential for maintaining consistency in your brand voice and marketing efforts. SOPs should be detailed and easy to follow, outlining the steps for each marketing task interns will be responsible for. This ensures that even as new interns join the team, they can quickly get up to speed and produce work that aligns with your brand’s standards. Reviewing each SOP during the onboarding process is crucial, as it helps interns understand the importance of consistency and quality in their work.

Develop a Comprehensive Onboarding Process

Onboarding should involve a thorough review of each SOP, walking interns through the processes for all marketing tasks they will handle. This step-by-step introduction helps them grasp the nuances of your brand and the specific requirements of each task. 

Additionally, creating a schedule with due dates for all tasks is vital. Managing their time in weekly buckets allows interns to concentrate on one marketing channel at a time, enhancing their focus and productivity. 

For instance, dedicating week one to social media posts, week two to blog posts, and so on ensures that they can immerse themselves fully in each area, producing higher quality work and gaining a deeper understanding of each marketing channel.

Training and Mentorship

Interns love and appreciate training and mentorship. They are young and ready to step into the real world. Providing training opportunities is an easy way to ensure they feel valued and are getting what they crave – it could be the reason they stick with your company over switching jobs as well. Smart interns will realize when they are learning more than their peers, and opt for a lower salary in favor of advancing their skills – but beware, they will learn their value and look for pay increases as well. But while we have them, let’s give them the best. 

Provide Adequate Training

Ample training is crucial for ensuring interns are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in their roles. However, if you’re a small organization without a dedicated marketing team, providing this training can be challenging. One effective solution is to seek outside help to deliver monthly “crash courses” on various marketing topics. Engaging external experts to conduct these sessions can give necessary training and a greater sense of community.

Utilize Online Resources

Investing in online resources like Udemy and similar platforms can also be beneficial. These sites offer a wide range of courses covering different aspects of marketing, allowing interns to learn at their own pace and deepen their understanding of specific skills. Providing access to these resources can help interns fill any gaps in their knowledge and stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends and techniques. Just be sure to make it clear that these resources are to be utilized after hours as a benefit to their work, not as part of their daily duties. 

Establish a Peer Network

Creating a peer network is ultimately the best option for ongoing support and mentorship. Having a network of peers allows interns to ask technical questions and share ideas, as well as give them a greater sense of belonging. 

This peer network can be internal or external, depending on the size and structure of your organization. Encouraging regular communication and interaction among interns and more experienced team members can greatly enhance their learning experience and professional growth.

Leverage The SEO Blueprint

This is the part where we pitch our services.Our mentorship and training services provide the structured support your interns need to thrive. By working with us, you gain access to expert guidance, tailored training sessions, and a community of marketing professionals ready to share their knowledge and expertise. We help you set up an effective internship program, ensuring that your interns receive the mentorship and training necessary to become invaluable members of your marketing team.

Measuring Success and Impact

Imagine your interns don’t get a grade for each paper they hand in. They would be lost! Floating in space. That’s how it is without measurable success and feedback from their managers as well. And it will turn them off to the idea of moving into a full time role, or even pushing to get better. 

Set KPIs and Goals

Establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on the tasks your interns are working on is essential for tracking their contributions and the overall success of your marketing efforts for both you and your interns

For example, if your intern is managing social media, they should track and report metrics such as impressions, reach, new followers, and comments. While follower count is less significant in today’s world, engagement metrics like reach and interaction are critical for building a community and expanding your brand’s influence.

For tasks like newsletters, focus on open rates and replies, which indicate the effectiveness of your content and its resonance with your audience. 

When it comes to blog posts, tracking keyword rankings and the number of users brought to the site will help you assess the impact of your content strategy. 

Each task should have specific KPIs that align with your broader marketing goals, ensuring that interns understand the importance of their work and how it contributes to the company’s success.

Evaluate Progress

Your KPI spreadsheet should be your north star for performance. Interns should fill in this spreadsheet and review it on a weekly basis. This practice not only keeps everyone on track and accountable for their performance but also instills a valuable skill in your interns: the ability to measure and report their results. Consistently tracking KPIs helps managers understand strengths and weaknesses in their approach, and should give the interns something to improve and work on. 

Adjust and Improve

Regularly reviewing this data allows you to adjust strategies and tasks as needed. If certain metrics are not meeting expectations, you can identify the root causes and implement changes to improve performance. This iterative approach ensures that your marketing efforts remain dynamic and responsive to evolving market conditions and audience behaviors.

By emphasizing the importance of KPIs and providing a structured way to track and analyze them, you empower your interns to take ownership of their work and understand its impact on the broader marketing objectives. Partnering with The SEO Blueprint can further enhance this process, offering expert guidance on setting up effective KPIs and leveraging data to drive marketing success.

Transform Your Marketing Team with Interns

Leveraging interns to kickstart your in-house marketing team is a smart, cost-effective strategy that can yield significant long-term benefits. By tapping into the enthusiasm, creativity, and technical prowess of interns, you can infuse fresh energy into your marketing efforts while building a sustainable talent pipeline for the future. Setting up a structured internship program with clear objectives, detailed SOPs, and robust training and mentorship ensures that your interns are well-prepared to contribute meaningfully to your team.

Measuring their success through well-defined KPIs keeps everyone accountable and highlights the value interns bring to your organization. Regularly tracking and reviewing these metrics not only enhances the interns’ learning experience but also drives continuous improvement in your marketing strategies.

Are you ready to transform your marketing efforts with a powerful in-house team? Partner with The SEO Blueprint to set up an effective internship program that maximizes the potential of your interns and positions your business for sustained growth. Contact us today to learn how we can help you build and manage your own in-house SEO and marketing teams, providing the mentorship and tailored frameworks for long-term success.

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