Building Your Digital Marketing Team

MentorDigital marketing is a key aspect of any organization’s marketing mix. As digital marketing grows to represent a greater proportion of your marketing mix, at some point you’ll need to start thinking about splitting up the digital marketing responsibilities among multiple employees. Below we look at some tips and strategies for putting together an effective digital marketing team for your organization.

Key Roles to Fill

A robust and well-rounded digital marketing team has many components and key roles. The larger and more sophisticated your efforts become, the more you may need to bring on specialists in key areas:

  • Content Creation
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Data Analysis
  • Social Media Management
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Technical Support

This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive, and it isn’t the case that you will necessarily need a warm body for each individual role. For example, your SEO professional could double as a data analysist or social media manager; however, you want to make sure you’ve got each element of your strategy covered.

Freelance versus Full-Time

Depending on the specific circumstances of your organization, you will need to decide whether your digital marketing team should be composed of freelancers, full-time employees or some combination of the two. For example, you may decide the best fit for you is a full-time digital marketing manager who oversees a team of independent contractors. There are many factors both legal and logistical to consider in making this determination, including flexibility, cost and availability of talent.

Sources of Talent

Some great sources of freelance talent are professional organizations like IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) and ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors); MediaBistro is also a good source. LinkedIn can also be a good way to find both freelance and full-time talent, and you should never underestimate the power of a good referral.

Sources that are not so good, in our opinion, are sites like Elance or Guru, primarily because they’re frequented by “the masses”—many who do not have strong backgrounds, experience or skills. The rates charged by freelancers on these sites may be low but you get what you pay for.

Questions to Ask When Hiring

Hiring a digital marketing team member isn’t drastically different than hiring any other type of employee, but below we lay out some questions to help give an idea of the skillsets potential freelancers and employees might bring to your organization:

  • Explain the process that you would use when working on (insert specific type of project). (here you want to get a sense of how the candidate would approach an assignment, what steps they would take; in particular, how they might research a topic, look for sources, etc.)
  • What do you feel is the most important part of the (writing, design, SEO, etc.) process? Why?
  • What piece of work are you most proud of? Why? (Here you’re looking for a focus on outcomes; You’re hoping they will share information about some specific results they were able to achieve through a piece of work, not just a sense of pride because of the “creativity” of that work.)
  • What was the biggest mistake you’ve made (as a writer/designer, etc.), and what did you learn from it. (We all make mistakes; here you want to get a sense of how they successfully recovered from an error and what they, hopefully, gained through the experience.)
  • What clients/editors have been your favorite to work with? Why?
  • What clients/editors have been your least favorite to work with? Why?
  • What is the most useful feedback you have ever received? Why?
  • What feedback have you received that you did not feel was useful? Why?

The importance of digital marketing continues to grow, and as your efforts in that area become more sophisticated, specialization among your staff will be crucial. A solid digital marketing team can be a huge boon to your revenue stream and brand development as long as you build it well from the beginning.

Need help integrating digital marketing into your overall marketing communication plan, or assistance in creating and disseminating high quality content on a consistent basis? We can help. 

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

Best Practices in Influencer Marketing

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