As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on around the world, it’s more important than ever before to invest in digital marketing. After all, the last thing you want is for your customers and online audience to forget about you during these difficult times. Now that you are forced to adopt a remote work model, you’re faced with a unique set of challenges, though.
How do you go about assembling and managing a remote marketing team without hindering performance, culture, efficiency or productivity? Without a doubt, this can be a difficult task and a challenge, but it’s nothing you can’t overcome with the right solutions in your hands.
In fact, you as the leader have an opportunity to build a thriving remote marketing team that will take your company forward. All you need to do is to take a comprehensive approach to remote team management, so let’s talk about the most important steps you need to take in order to build a thriving remote marketing team.
Start by hiring and onboarding the right people
First things first, understand that no matter how many marketing tools you have at your disposal, the success of your marketing efforts will come down to the people. That’s why your first order of business should be to find the right person for every position in your marketing team, and onboard them properly. Keep in mind that you have an important responsibility in this process, as you cannot expect people to achieve their full potential without your guidance.
Leadership and guidance will be instrumental especially when managing a remote team, so make sure to tick the following boxes:
- Identify your most lucrative marketing channels. Your marketing efforts should utilise the right channels to prevent financial waste.
- Look for marketing professionals specialising in one area of digital marketing. Don’t expect one person to manage your SEO, paid search and your entire social media presence, for example.
- Make sure that the candidate is experienced and willing to adapt to your managerial and internal processes.
- When hiring employees, make sure to onboard them faster with the buddy system. Pair one new employee with one veteran from the same marketing niche so that the latter can help the newcomer to quickly become a productive team member.
- Try to find creative and analytical minds with various backgrounds in order to foster and improve innovation in your marketing department.
Define collaboration and communication methods
One of the biggest challenges when managing a remote marketing team is how to ensure seamless communication and collaboration. This means both internal team collaboration as well as cross-department communication. If your marketing experts are scattered around the world, this becomes an even greater problem if you don’t have the right communication and collaboration tools.
Firstly, you should unify all your communications in a centralised platform. Typically, you’ll want to implement a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) system to get low-cost phone calls, virtual and audio conferencing, mobile apps, and more.
Along with VoIP to enhance internal and external communication, the latter of which will enhance customer experience, you’ll want to implement a comprehensive project management tool that will allow your marketers to collaborate on projects in real time. Your PM tool should allow everyone to work together seamlessly in a centralised digital location and thus ensure the success of every project and task.
Track and visualise your team’s hours
The next important pillar of successful remote team management is tracking attendance and employee time at work. By implementing software that gives you a clear overview of employee time and attendance, you’re able to make better managerial decisions, build more effective and efficient workflows, and manage your human resources for maximum productivity and output. In other words, this tool should help you monitor your employees to better run your entire organization.
When it comes to your marketing team, this type of oversight can be invaluable, especially when you take into account that marketing is also a creative process. You can visualise your team’s hours and time spent on every task and project to identify roadblocks and potential risks, establish more efficient lanes of communication, and allow them to collaborate more seamlessly.
Automate as much as you can
Modern digital marketing puts a great emphasis on the automation of various processes. It’s not just sales automation that you should invest in, as you should also automate your email marketing and remarketing, data collection and reporting, keyword research and parts of on-page and off-page SEO, and much more. Keep in mind that the more menial tasks you automate, the more time and energy your marketers will have to invest in mission-critical processes and deliver amazing marketing campaigns.
Maintain a positive team culture
On a final note, don’t forget that one of the biggest risks that remote teams face nowadays is losing their internal culture. The workplace culture you have worked so hard to build needs to survive the transition to remote work. This is also one of the first things that starts to deteriorate when your marketers are working remotely.
Without social and physical interaction, marketing teams can easily fall apart. So, make sure to:
- Conduct regular video meetings with the team.
- Be the leader they need and address their every concern.
- Promote the right values, including equality, honesty, transparency, trust, co-dependence, and accountability.
- Devote time to one-on-one meetings to address the needs of the individual.
- Organize online team-building events to spend quality time with your colleagues and talk about anything but work.
Managing a remote marketing team takes leadership skills, guidance, as well as the right tools and people. Use this guide to build and maintain a thriving remote marketing team and refer to it whenever you hit a roadblock.