Google unveiled Primer in 2014 as a way to bridge the gap between the rookie and the professional search engine marketer. It was developed to help learn the basics in digital marketing in bite-size pieces AKA a less overwhelming way to learn how to market your business online.
Pros of Google Primer
We like the idea of mini-lessons. Who doesn’t have 5 minutes to kill at least a few times a week? Come on, we know you are spending more time on Facebook than that… so why not take that time and instead get a quick lesson on content marketing, or even a refresher? A refresher is particularly useful for those of us who maybe focus on one aspect of SEM more than others. For example, if you specialize in Google AdWords for PPC, but also offer content marketing services, if your clients aren’t currently taking you up on your content marketing offer, it may be useful to spend a few minutes refreshing so if/when they come to you to expand their marketing services (because they are so happy with their PPC results), you’ll be all refreshed and ready to go!
While the mini-lessons won’t cover all areas of SEM, lessons are constantly being added every week, so the database of information is expanding. There are currently 4 categories of topics to choose from: Advertising, Content, Measurement, and Strategy. If you have an idea for a lesson, you can even make a suggestion to Primer, which is nice.
You can complete lessons on your phone and Primer content is created for on-the-go access. This is huge if you’ve ever lost 4G or wi-fi.
Cons of Google Primer
While Primer can certainly help to learn some basics or get a quick refresher, it is what it is – mini-lessons. 5 minutes of “work” does not anyone an expert make. Even multiple 5-minute lessons cannot get someone the experience or knowledge that a professional SE marketer holds. Experience trumps Primer. I can just see some hot-shot business owners thinking that they hold all of the SEM answers because they have gone through all of the Primer lessons. Come on, you know the type… the person who thinks they are an expert because they did the tutorial. And they think that anyone who does the tutorial can and will be an expert overnight. This is simply not the case. There is still a need, a quite hefty need at that, for SEM professionals and agencies. Outsourcing can be your friend. Don’t forget that.
While the topics are great in Primer, a marketer will definitely need more than Primer to be successful. And while Primer is labeled as being for everyone and anyone looking to learn more about marketing, our belief is that brand managers at Fortune 500 companies aren’t going to get much value from an app like this. Though we are willing to listen if anyone believes otherwise! Especially if you are a brand manager at a Fortune 500 company.
Our take on Primer? It’s a great way to brush up or learn some basics or kill some time without thinking that you’ve wasted time meandering around on social media. And while Primer won’t make you an expert overnight, there is nothing wrong with brushing up on your SEM skills, especially since you can do so in the same amount of time as it takes to order and receive your morning latte.