June 26, 2016

The 5 People You Need In Your Digital Marketing Dream Team


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When you first get started in business, you and maybe one or two other people wear all the hats. Not only are you the owner of your business, you’re its accountant, IT manager, customer service representative and marketing rep all at the same time.

Over time though, as your company grows, you’ll find it necessary to branch out and establish teams of specialists. And when this happens, one of the first teams you’ll want to consider building is your digital marketing team.

While there are any number of professionals you could hire at this point, building your digital marketing team will allow you to expand your promotional efforts, bringing in the additional revenue that will enable you to bring on others in the future.

Before you begin hiring these professionals, you’ll want to take a few key steps, including  documenting your processes and determining what specialists you’ll need. Once that’s complete, it’s time to get hiring.

Below are the 5 people you should look for first when building your digital marketing team.

The Marketing Strategist

Your marketing strategist is the person who’s ultimately responsible for deciding on and overseeing your digital promotion efforts. As a result, he or she needs to understand both your company and your buyer personas extremely well.

Once hired, your strategist will work with the rest of your digital marketing team to create a content calendar and keep your efforts on track.

You’ll want to choose someone who already has a strong online presence and a good track record. This is also somebody who’s able to balance the competing priorities of budget and outreach.

Because the strategist needs to have a combination of both analytical and creative skills, filling this role can be a challenge. Ask around for referrals and be sure your interview process is thorough enough to weed out those that won’t actually be able to move the needle for your brand.

The Social Media Manager

Your social media manager will be responsible for putting the strategist’s social media marketing plan into action.

He or she will engage customers and other stakeholders on social networking sites. They’re also staying informed about trends and shifts in social media demographics. Your social media manager should be an expert in knowing how to communicate your voice to the outside world in a way your customers will love.

When hiring for this position, thoroughly investigate the candidate’s social media presence. It should show both maturity and flair. Anybody can claim to be a social media expert but a quick check of a candidate’s social profiles should tell you whether he or she is truly able to walk the social media walk.

The Content Creator

Content creation is a major priority for most businesses these days. Having a skilled content creator on your digital marketing team will allow you to create more content, more efficiently than if you’re constantly relying on outsourced workers.

Your content creator will work closely with both your strategist and social media manager to create on-voice content for your company. As a result, the person you hire needs to be skilled at both written and verbal communication, and be able to create anything from blog posts to YouTube videos. Ideally, the employee should also be trained in copy writing so that he or she can create content for your website and landing pages.

A good content creator knows you have only seconds to get someone’s attention and is skilled at doing so. That said, finding candidates with all the skills you want can be tricky. But they are out there. As you interview possible content creators, ask to see samples of their work, or ask them to create an interview video for you to demonstrate their skills.

The Data Analyst

Without somebody looking over your analytics data, you’ll have no way of knowing whether or not your marketing content is making a difference to your audience. That’s where your new data analyst comes into play.

Your data analyst is responsible for knowing the goals of your marketing efforts and knowing how to measure the results of your social media, written, and video content compared to these target metrics. With the analyst’s help, your digital marketing team will be able to focus its efforts on creating content that connects with customers. They’ll also be able to avoid wasting time and money on things that aren’t effective.

When hiring for this important role, look for data analysts familiar with major social media networks and third-party analytics tools. Also look for those who have the ability to present detailed data in a usable, understandable, and actionable format.

The Technical Specialist

Last, but certainly not least, is your technical specialist. This digital marketing team member will be the technical implementer of your marketing strategies.

Since most tools used in digital marketing these days require some level of coding, this person must be well-versed in HTML and CSS.

After joining your company, your technical specialist will work to create templates and help build out your campaigns. He or she must also stay engaged in the realm of emerging technologies and keep informed about the changing trends in digital media. With these skills, the technical specialist can add the polish that simple content, alone lacks. That makes him or her a valuable part of your digital marketing team.

When you’re interviewing for this position, it’s a good idea to have another person with you who’s comfortable with technology to ask specific software and coding questions.  The last thing you want is to hire a technical specialist who can talk a good game but can’t actually execute your important projects.

If you don’t already have a technical person on your team who can fill this role, have a friend or fellow entrepreneur stand in to thoroughly vet your candidate’s credentials.

Will you have the budget to hire all five of these people right away? Probably not, unless you’re the lucky recipient of some serious venture capital funding.

Even if you can only bring on members of your digital marketing powerhouse team one at a time, keep these recommendations at the back of your mind. That way, you can address different needs at the appropriate time, depending on your internal priorities and your budget.

Whether you hire one person or five, having a digital marketing team on hand to manage your efforts will make a big difference in your ability to promote your brand and encourage customers to buy your products and services. With the right specialists in place, you can rest assured that your marketing efforts are in good hands. That will free up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.

How have you considered building a digital marketing team?

Dream Team Photo via Shutterstock

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Sujan Patel


Sujan Patel Sujan Patel has championed Internet marketing and entrepreneurship for over a decade. His experience, ideas, and strategies have helped hundreds of companies build and strengthen their businesses online. Sujan is the VP of Marketing at thisCLICKS, the makers of When I Work — an employee scheduling software solution for small businesses.

12 Reactions

  1. You would probably want to complement this team with some outside vendors/software tools to provide the nitty-gritty skills needed to execute the strategies set forth. Just a couple might include SEO, email marketing, PPC, and conversion rate optimization.

  2. I have to agree. But these doesn’t need to be different people. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find one that has 2-3 traits.

  3. This is great info and a lot of what I recommend to my clients. The data analyst job is so important but is the one that’s the most easily ignored. The best scenario is when the marketing strategist is a data head too, and the data analyst simply helps fulfill and report on the strategy … otherwise, and I’ve seen this lots, the data analyst brings 1,424 pieces of data to each meeting without connecting it to what’s important to the business and executive.

    Nicely written!

  4. From someone who works for a smaller company and is currently serving three out of the five roles you mention, I wanted to thank you for the informative and well-written article.

  5. I think you talked about some MNC companies or big-shot startups because most of the time the bootstrapped startups and small businesses can’t afford to hire so many specialized digital marketing resources. We always prefer dynamic people, able to work on multiple things efficiently. Obviously a team like this will definitely be more productive but will be hard to retain them for a startup.

  6. I agree. Great post. It is great team especially if you are medium size and have the budget. Each person can really focus on the task at hand.

    You can find a great junior marketing strategist and round out the rest with interns or new graduates to support the strategist.

    But it is a lot of work when done right.

  7. Hi Sujan, thoroughly read your article. It is well articulated. But how a “Dream Digital Marketing Team” would be perfect without proper SEO & PPC expert? PPC is the fastest way to promote any business, brands, services & products through Search Network. Though here money matters, but apart from money it requires lots of experience and expertise. Google has stopped showing right hand side pushing organic search result even further and has made the organic competition fiercer. I think every successful Digital Marketing Team must have experienced AdWords PPC expert.

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