“Spending energy to understand the audience and carefully crafting a message that resonates with them means making a commitment of time and discipline to the process.”
— Nancy Duarte
It’s nearly the end of 2020. By this time, you and your company should be reaping the rewards of having an online presence!
If you haven’t fully explored what the benefits of online marketing can do for your company, you might want to consider assembling a dream digital marketing team in 2021.
A Digital Marketing team is composed of different individuals with a distinct set of skills from creating content, planning strategies, and managing people in a digital landscape. Each role in the organization pursues different objectives, but head towards a common goal, a successful and profitable digital marketing campaign.
Know the essential digital marketing roles, team structure, hiring process and skills stack to grow your business. Modern companies began stacking up on inbound digital marketing skills and revamping their strategy and talent pool.
This allowed them to generate higher quality leads which cost 60% lower compared to outbound marketing.
Do you want to know how you can transform your marketing department to become an inbound lead generating machine? This article will show what a high-performing digital marketing team might look like across a variety of company sizes.
Table of Contents
- Start with Team Structure
- Small Digital Marketing Team
- Medium-sized Digital Marketing Team
- Enterprise Digital Marketing Team
- Getting Your Marketing Team Up and Running
- Onboarding Checklist
- Outsourcing Your Dream Digital Marketing Team
- Finding the Right Marketing Talent
Start with Team Structure
Structuring your digital marketing team like My Cloud Crew is a huge task. Marketing is an ever-changing industry, and as the industry changes, so do team structures and job roles. Hiring the best talent will require knowing the best skills for each role.
And even if you’re hiring for a startup or a small business and only have resources for 1-2 marketing roles now, it’s important to know which skills are transferable. You should also identify high-potential team members who can grow into bigger roles in the future.
This section will cover different types of digital marketing roles within teams, and the required skills to excel in those teams.
We’ll also go over how to build that team based on your business size. Read on and get ready to take the first step to set up your digital marketing dream team!
Small Digital Marketing Team
Recommended for: For Small Businesses with 5 to 50 Employees
When your marketing resources are thin, you’ll likely need an all-in-one specialist to handle minimum marketing requirements.
Top priorities include managing the website day-to-day operations, email marketing, blogging, and social media management.
- Update website content regularly
- Write blog posts
- Write engaging copy for social and email
- Design visual assets from a branded template
- Keep track of content output and metrics
Your marketing generalist will create and execute all digital marketing efforts to drive awareness, generate leads, and connect with audiences. Meanwhile, the web specialist makes sure that your digital storefronts are up and running.
Together, your marketing duo should have a working knowledge of creating, scheduling, and measuring the performance of digital content. If you can afford multiple marketing roles, you may want to get specialist roles such as pay-per-click or funnel marketing specialists.
Generalist Skills Needed
Minimum skills required for generalists include content creation, website content management, basic SEO knowledge, and social media management. Familiarity with project management and graphic design will also come in handy.
It helps a lot if generalists are regular social media users themselves.
Knowledge of content creation software such as Canva, WordPress, or Adobe is necessary. In addition, analytics tools like Google Analytics or Ahrefs, can help teams track and measure performance.
The Marketing Generalist will also need to be comfortable with customer service, as they might be asked to respond to customers via social media messages or posts. Outside of direct replies, brand messages are usually made through content copy, blog articles, and social posts. In order to reflect the company’s voice accurately, an understanding of the company’s goals and objectives is key.
Medium-sized Digital Marketing Team
Recommended for: For Medium Enterprises with 50 to 500 Employees
At this size, a business will have the capacity to bring in executive-level expertise to lead the following specialist teams and scale marketing efforts.
Hiring in this environment can be tricky. You can find folks who have done tons of email marketing but have never had to come up with the actual content offer itself. Steer clear of one-trick ponies, and opt instead for someone with perhaps a little less depth of experience but great overall communications skills and marketing savvy.
The creative team will require a diverse set of skills to complete the job at hand. This includes knowledge in a number of disciplines, including programming, creative design, and communications.
Familiarity with web tools, creative suite programs, and communication software is required. As your company grows, you may find the need to hire a creative team full-time.
This helps build and maintain a distinctive and cohesive visual style across all platforms, both physical and digital storefronts. The creative team will be responsible for all brand imagery, so somebody who is proficient in design, strategy, and web optimization should be top of mind.
Your web design team will use their mastery of programming and web design tools to create and maintain the message your website is conveying. As such, they will work closely with content teams, so the ability to collaborate is essential.
They will be the point of contact for someone who runs into a problem on your website and should be able to fix any technical issues that may arise. You should trust your web design team to create a user experience that keeps customers coming back.
The general function of a web designer is to make the web page experience seamless, optimized, and engaging for every visitor. They’ll use their expertise to deliver a delightful experience to customers who interact with your business’s web pages.
You can structure your web design by need. However, if you can afford to build out an entire team, you can start hiring senior web developers for a quicker turnaround. Meanwhile, associate-level hires can assist with those job duties as your design team grows.
Larger companies hiring for a content creation team can hire by skill or by the needs of other teams.
For example, Social Media Agencies need content creators for every client or group of clients. When building this team, make sure that your content creators are familiar with online management software like WordPress, YouTube, or Facebook Creator Studio.
The content team will draw their strengths from skills such as technical writing, feature writing, copywriting, editing, organisation, and search engine optimisation. Content creators will be the ones making sure your brand has enough content to tell a cohesive, compelling story.
The content they produce will be useful in every facet of your marketing function, from video to blog posts.
They are skilled writers and usually know how to create a solid blog post or webinar. They also have to be keen on editing — their blogs, videos, and social media content depends on it.
This team will be the go-to for the production of high-quality multimedia assets for your business, including podcasts, videos, ebooks, or other materials as needed. They may have to work on projects with other teams to make sure the messaging is correct, so your content creators should be ready to collaborate with others.
Hire a content creator who understands the story of your brand and brand voice.
Their methods of sharing your voice through video, podcast, or ebooks should ultimately incentivize prospects to learn more about your business.
In a mid-sized company, the SEO Strategist might be melded with a content writer role.
If that’s the case, make sure that the SEO functions are being carried out by someone who has an understanding of analytics and optimising content for search engines, as well as conducting thorough keyword research.
In other words, if they can’t speak Google or Bing’s language, they probably aren’t the right fit.
Comprehending analytics and optimising content for SEO purposes will help your business rank on search engines and reach new prospects, or nurture leads until they’re ready to purchase.
The SEO Specialist will mainly be driving traffic to your web pages by optimising content and using the keywords necessary to rank on the SERPs for topics related to your product or service.
To accomplish these goals, SEO teams need to be made up of individuals with strong technical, programming, and writing skills.
Some SEO functions require writing, editing, and proofreading content to optimise it for audiences.
This is where having a strong writing background will come in handy. SEO teams should be excellent problem-solvers and think about how to optimise content specifically for search engines.
In addition, SEO specialists should be fluent in analytics software to ensure they’re able to incorporate the lessons from those metrics into their overall strategy.
From there, you can hire project managers and team managers who are experts in the field of SEO and can offer seasoned advice to other team members, as well as manage multiple SEO projects at once.
Paid Media Team
Your paid media team is customer-obsessed!
They follow your potential customers’ media consumption – what they’re buying, watching, reading, and liking online on any device.
Companies that invest in customer acquisition through the strategic use of media platforms are engaging the expertise of skilled Paid Media Specialists, hoping to reach their target customers and get their message to spread across multiple channels.
To be a competent Paid Media Specialist – Media Planners and Buyers – requires diligence, analytical thinking, and a keen sense of audience behaviors and preferences. Without knowledge of marketing tech tools, software, and data that provide insight and structure, it is next to impossible to succeed in this role.
Media planning and buying tools like Google and Facebook Ads help the Paid Media Specialist to deliver your message strategically, calculate reach and measure its impact.
PR and Social Media Team
This team is in contact with your customers — they will introduce audiences to your brand, and advocate for the company.
A skill valued in this team is attention to detail; these teams have to be experts in how products can help customers and capitalise on little moments that can enhance the customer experience.
The biggest question for the PR and Social Media team to answer is, “How can we engage the customer and influence them to share their delightful experience with our brand?” Creating compelling content offers and tracking their performance will be essential for teams to make a significant impact.
Enterprise Digital Marketing Team
Recommended for: Upwards of 500 employees, big brand-type companies where it starts to get massive, siloed, and global.
A large enterprise can expand its Creative, Content/SEO, Paid Media, PR and Social Media into full-time departments having specialists and managers to lead and execute an integrated marketing strategy across multiple channels and platforms.
Some companies employ Project Management teams to lead marketing operations.
Enterprise teams usually consist of 4-5 members, each with their own specialised roles. While each team has a dedicated task ahead of them, it pays to have teams align and coordinate with each other to ensure that a consistent brand message is delivered every time.
- Head Creative Designer
- Video Production Specialist
- Web Developer
- Graphic Design Specialist
Content SEO Team
- Head Content Creator
- Technical Writer
- Senior SEO Strategist
- Optimisation Specialist
Paid Media Team
- Head of Paid Media
- Paid Social Media Specialist
- Pay-Per-Click Specialist
- Native Advertising Specialist
Social and PR Team
- Head of Public Relations
- Social Community Manager
- Media Relations Manager
- Reputation and Brand Manager
Project Management Team
- Head of Marketing Production
- Production Managers
- Technical Support Specialists
Getting Your Marketing Team Up and Running
Prepare your team
Before you start tinkering with your team’s structure or drafting new job descriptions, have a think about what you’re looking to achieve with your team this year.
If, for example, your board’s keen to maintain revenues while lowering costs over the next three years, proving ROI will be ever-more important. Ensure you’ve got the right experts on board to make it happen.
Your overall marketing goal may be to improve brand recognition, crack a new sector or increase the number and quality of leads – if it’s the latter, you may need to assess your team in terms of email marketing and programmatic if this is where the majority of leads are coming from.
Your overarching marketing strategy
Where will your department be focusing its efforts in the months ahead? Are you focusing on producing better quality content? Or is social a bigger focus? The skillsets you need will be determined by the elements within your strategies and wider plans, so plug the gaps accordingly.
Once you’ve lined up your key objectives, it’s time to improve your understanding of the marketing skill sets.
Identify your skill stack
To help assess what your present digital team can accomplish, look at the list of skills below. Pick out those you consider most important, but try not to get more than double your team’s headcount. This will help you identify what you need in your team and what might be missing.
Form an action plan
By comparing two skills maps you’ll be able to easily identify gaps that need to be plugged.
It’s obviously important to ask yourself. Are gaps being revealed across the whole team or with particular individuals? If the majority of the team needs development in a particular area you can embark on training (either individual or team training).
If a particular individual is failing to develop skills
In a certain area, you can either invest in training (formal or informal) or look to replace them.
Make sure you take such decisions carefully and consider the advantages and disadvantages of individual training, team training, and replacement/redundancy.
Providing training to your team members is a great option, especially if members excel in most areas but need to acquire a new skill, or improve their understanding of one particular topic/area. members will always appreciate you taking the time and resources to provide training.
And with their newly acquired skill set, they’ll most likely be proud to show off what they can do for your company.
- Likely to increase an individual’s responsiveness to learning and development.
- Likely more cost-effective due to its targeted nature.
- If you’re using an external training provider, this option can (again) be costly.
- Finding the right coach can be difficult.
Too often the onboarding process is pushed to the bottom of the to-do list or cobbled together at the last minute: a couple of introductory meetings are set up and the new hire’s expected to dive in straightaway.
But the benefits of having a clear and comprehensive onboarding process in place are myriad.
Qualities of a good onboarding process
Offer the new hire structure and a sense of purpose – engaging employees early on will help you retain top talent. After all, first impressions count.
Impress upon them the fact that you’ve thought about their role within the team and their development.
Give the new hire the chance to take a holistic view of the wider organisation: meetings with colleagues across departments are crucial. This will also open up those much-needed channels of communication and encourage cross-fertilisation of ideas.
Give the new hire an easier and clearer way of tracking progress and allow them to flag areas of concern as and when they arise.
The following checklists are designed to give you an idea of what you’ll need to cover with your new hire during their first three months in the role.
There will, of course, be other points to consider – depending on the role itself – but the below make a good starting point.
The first 30 days
- Put together a first-week orientation pack. This should outline what the new hire is expected to do; it will also help make them feel welcome.
- Ensure the manager in question sits down with your new hire regularly (maybe once a day to begin with and then weekly). Outline the role and its responsibilities. What projects or campaigns are you expecting them to work on? Can you ask them to brainstorm ideas in advance of an upcoming design meeting? Take advantage of their newness while you can! And document everything from the get-go.
- The new hire should be asked to set up meetings with all key stakeholders, as well as team members (depending on team size)
- Set short and long-term objectives: these may be as simple as reading up on the company or looking at collateral from previous campaigns.
- Set up end-of-week meetings to run through how the new hires getting on and answer any questions they may have.
- Ensure the new hire is familiar with company systems and processes – where to find documents on the shared drive and who to approach for what.
- Set up a probationary review
The first 60 days
- Sit down with the new hire to discuss and assess their familiarity with the organisation and role, as well as their overall happiness.
- Ensure regular meetings are diarised and actions set.
- Check-in with the new hire around training requirements. Is there a particular course or training session you could send them on to ensure they’re best equipped to take on projects or campaigns you have in mind?
The first 90 days
- This should be where you’re beginning to see really positive results from your new hire. Make sure the dialogue continues through regular meetings and ensure you’re setting SMART goals. Also bear in mind the fact that the costs of staff turnover in the first 60/90 days can be high – making sure you’re meeting their expectations is almost as important as making sure they meet yours.
- If the new hire isn’t performing, it might be time to consider the following:
∘ Review how clear you’ve been in terms of expectations.
∘ Have a frank conversation with the new hire outlining where they’re falling short. Quantifying the problem is crucial. It could be that they aren’t meeting quotas or standards, or aren’t following procedures correctly – make it clear where the problem lies, involve HR if necessary, and document everything.
∘ Review the individual’s training. Are there any gaps in knowledge or understanding that could be easily plugged through training or mentoring?
∘ Set new goals and timelines, and make sure follow-up meetings are planned in a timely, documented manner.
∘ Learn from your mistakes. If you’ve made the wrong hire, sit down with your HR director to discuss where you went wrong and what you’ll be looking for from the replacement.
Outsourcing Your Dream Digital Marketing Team
When you need to skip the recruitment, onboarding and training – a process that could take at least 3 months to a year – and need a crew that will hit the ground running, consider outsourcing your marketing to a virtual team.
The gates have opened for businesses of all shapes and sizes to access quality virtual talent.
You’re no longer limited to hiring locally and the best part, the hourly rates of virtual talents are more affordable than the wages of a local hire.
Engaging a virtual marketing team brings highly prized skills and expertise to your business, allowing you to focus on your long-term business goals and accelerate growth.
The coolest thing about your virtual marketing team, if done well, is that it creates a low-cost, high ROI marketing machine.
Your Investment Will Pay Off
Your investment in marketing talent, technology, and advertising will pay for itself in a matter of months.
You could say it is better than free.
A clever team of digital marketers will build you an engine that will spit out 2x, 4x,10x returns on your marketing spend.
Let’s assume that you’re a small startup doing most of the marketing yourself or you have one intern handling the bulk of your digital marketing tasks – your email, social media and website management, etc – to save a few dollars.
That needs to change. You may have one super talented individual in your team but they don’t possess all the knowledge, skill sets, and hours in a day to get things done.
It takes a Team of Marketing Specialists
In the early days of digital marketing, your business could get by with one jack-of-all-trades — the Full-Stack Marketer.
In the present time, that role just won’t cut it anymore.
Your business needs to engage a team of specialists to lead your prospects through the funnel – converting them from strangers into qualified, interested prospects and then eventually, raving fans.
Finding the Right Marketing Talent
Most first-time employers fall into the trap of hiring based on experience. It’s the typical “right-person-wrong-job” hiring mistake. They hire solely on the candidate’s glowing resume only to realise down the road, that they’ve made a bad decision. Don’t let this happen to you.
Start by asking: What results do I want my virtual marketing team to achieve? For example, if your top priority is generating new leads, then you want to find inbound marketers who will create and implement top-of-the-funnel content like what’s pictured above.
If you’re trying to elevate your brand presence, then focus on building a team around marketing communications, PR, and eye-catching design.
If your goal is to start generating a steady stream of new business, consider assembling a dream digital marketing consisting of these essential roles below:
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
A virtual Chief Marketing Officer is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and monitoring the overall marketing strategy. Your CMO will develop your content and paid traffic strategy to drive awareness, interest and leads to your business.
Hiring a CMO can provide your business with the structure and executive firepower to get your marketing team and marketing initiatives firing on all cylinders.
CMOs are highly experienced senior executives, often coming from 2,000 companies. Additionally, the role reports to either a CEO, General Manager, or a savvy small business owner that can lead and manage a CMO with confidence.
A diversely certified digital marketer who has been trained across multiple digital marketing disciplines is a good start for your online marketing needs.
Well-versed in social media, content marketing, social funnels and Google Ads™ funnels, analytics, and reporting, Canva Pro™, team management & more. In the event that you need it all in one generalist role, a digital marketer can roll out a multi-faceted marketing program across organic and paid channels.
A content marketer will create & execute your content strategy across social, blogs & more. Content Marketers handle the creation and publication of all content on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
It takes a mix of persuasive copywriting, storytelling, and visualisation skills for this role to be effective. A superstar Content Marketer is well-versed in creating copy in various forms including email, blogs, and posts. Each content can educate and entertain your prospects as they drive organic lead growth.
Marketing Funnel Manager
The marketing funnel manager handles the acquisition of customers by implementing lead generation campaigns.
They track the performance and effectiveness of your marketing through a careful study of analytics from paid advertising.
Leading the critical task of marketing automation, they ensure that you enjoy a steady stream of marketing qualified leads. Moreover, an acute understanding of data analytics can pinpoint cost-effective channels.
A search engine optimization (SEO) specialist analyses your data and uses it to predict everything from customer behavior to anticipate trends and most searched topics. They know how to optimise your content, ensuring your business turns up on your target customer’s Google search.
SEO specialists are very much in tune with the way Googles searches work and how to best maximise its functions.
Social Media Specialist
A social media specialist who helps plan your social content is key to creating the consistency and cohesion that you need to build the online presence your brand deserves. Whether your business requires a daily post or a promo announcement, a savvy social media specialist can get it done.
Pay per Click Manager
The Pay-per-click (PPC) Manager is your expert paid advertising guru, producing top, middle, and bottom of the funnel leads. The PPC manager implements Pay-per-click media strategies for clients. This allows for efficient ad investments at search platforms such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You get the results that you paid for and get clients directed to your site.
Improving your branding’s appearance helps make them stand out from the others. Given the requirements, you may not need an in-house artist full-time, but having a graphic designer on call to help with your initial designs or during campaigns can be very valuable. As virtual staff, the graphic designer will have access to the latest tools and trends. This ensures that ideas, designs, and graphics are fresh and in fashion.
While acquiring a website is an easy thing to do, with all the free services offered out there. But going with a free offering wouldn’t address your need to stand out.
Having a web developer helping you create a website that conforms to exactly what you want and need can bring your vision to life a little closer. The web developer will perform all the required coding, design, and layout of your website according to your specifications. Maintenance and update jobs are also part of the duties.
This ensures links are active, buttons are clickable, and forms are available.
Another DIY project that looks easier than it actually is creating and publishing videos.
However, getting your videos to get front and center of attention will require more than basic knowledge.
Utilising an experienced video editor to create your videos help get your brand noticed. Plus, you get to enjoy the benefits of a professionally-made production without the hassle of doing it yourself.
Assemble Your Dream Digital Marketing Team Today!
Don’t wait 6 weeks to recruit a perfect stranger. Lease high-caliber marketing talent that already possesses the skills, certification, and training.