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Digital Marketing Team: Best Practices On A Shoestring Budget

Whereas it’s great to have the funds available to structure a sound digital marketing department that can make a big splash, you can build a well-rounded digital team on a shoestring budget and see flying success!
By Kaley Nguyen | 12 min read
on September 18, 2019
Image credit: gdutb.org

In the entrepreneurship world, every single day is a real-time battle against your competitors. You shove and slash your way through the day, hoping to earn the trust and business of your target audience. In such an ever-evolving digital landscape, a well-rounded digital marketing team is definitely a super-powerful “weapon” to win the business fights.

However, building a dream team of digital marketers is no small feat, especially if you’re working on a shoestring budget. This journey is challenging – yet possible! Let’s arm yourself well with a marvelous digital team to be riding the crest of a wave.

Essential Ingredients for A Perfect Digital Marketing Team

Speaking of how to build a digital marketing team, talent acquisition is what you have to do first. Whereas there are any number of professionals you could hire at this point, you’d be better off carefully considering such a hiring option to optimize your limited budget.

Digital Marketing Team Best Practices On A Shoestring Budget - Fig 1
Image credit: Career Profiles

Below are some pivotal roles that you “must” have when it comes to forming your well-rounded digital marketing team.

#1 The Marketing Strategist

Your marketing strategist refers to the one bearing the responsibility for deciding on and overseeing your digital promotion efforts. Understandably, he or she needs to understand both your company and your buyer personas extremely well.

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

So, which specific criteria is your ideal marketing strategist required to have?

Usually, you will want to pick someone who already has a strong online presence as well as a good track record. What’s more, to optimize the potentials of your business’s limited capital resources, your would-be strategist should be able to balance the competing priorities of budget and outreach.

As the strategist needs to have a combination of both analytical and creative skills, filling this role can be a huge challenge. Let’s ask around for trusted 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!

#2 The Social Media Moderator

Typically, your social media moderator or manager will be responsible for putting the strategist’s social media marketing plan into practice. His or her job includes promoting the engagement of customers and other stakeholders on several social networking sites. Plus, they’re staying informed about trends and shifts in social media demographics. To master these marketing tasks, your social media manager should be an expert on how to communicate your voice to the outside world in a way your target audience will love.

As you’re taking your hiring consideration for this position, thoroughly investigate the candidate’s social media presence. It should show both “maturity and flair”: Anyone 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.

#3 The Content Creator

Rather than just an optional extra, content creation is a major priority for most businesses these days. With that in kind, acquiring an adept content creator on your digital marketing team will allow you to create masterful pieces of content, which is much more efficient than if you’re constantly relying on outsourced writers.

Actually, the content creator will work closely with both your strategist and social media moderator to create on-voice content for your business. Thereby, not only does your chosen person have to be highly-skilled at both written and verbal communication, but he or she is also able to create anything from blog posts to YouTube videos. Ideally, such employee should also be professionally trained in copywriting so that this individual can tailor expert content for your website and landing pages.

An outstanding content creator is the one who clearly knows that you have only seconds to grab someone’s attention and is skilled at doing so. That being said, finding candidates with all your desired skills can be tricky. What you should do is to give it your best shot to attract the right talent. Moreover, as you interview potential content creators, either ask to send you samples of their work or ask them to create an interview video for you to demonstrate their skills.

#4 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 targeted audience. That’s where your would-be data analyst comes into play. In such a data-driven marketing world of today, the role of a professional data analyst is of utter importance.

Once hired, your data analyst will assume the responsibility for knowing the goals of your digital marketing efforts as well as how to measure the performance of your social media - for example, the effectiveness of written and video content - compared to these target metrics. With the analyst’s help, your digital marketing team will be able to orient its efforts to content creation that connects with customers. By that way, your team members will be able to avoid much wasting time and money on things that aren’t effective.

So when hiring for such an important role, what should you consider?

Actually, it’s a “should” that you seek for data analysts familiar with major social media networks and third-party analytics tools. Plus, it’s important to look for those who have the ability to present detailed data in a usable, understandable yet actionable format.

#5 The Technical Specialist

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

Since most tools used in our modern digital marketing require some level of coding, this person has to be well-versed in HTML and CSS – the two most dominant programming languages.

After joining the company, your technical specialist will work to create templates and help build out your campaigns. To perform an excellent job, he or she must stay engaged in the realm of emerging technologies and keep informed about the changing trends in digital media. Mastering these skills, the technical specialist can add the polish to your simple content, capturing your audience’s attention with visually aesthetic elements. That makes him or her an indispensable part of your digital marketing team.

When you’re interviewing for such a technical position, it’s a great 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 marketing projects.

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

Building the Bones of Your Digital Marketing Project with Your Team

Once you have filled out your digital team with essential roles, it’s time to move on implementing your marketing projects.

Should you launch this project for the very first time, take it as the framework or skeleton that you will want to build on for the future. Like any sturdy structure that is built, it needs to have good bones as well as a solid foundation.

Another thing you should bear in mind is that doing digital marketing on a tiny budget doesn’t necessarily mean that your results will be poor or end up looking cheap. What you need to do is to ensure that every single element your team put in place is carefully thought out and is of the highest possible quality.

Limited financial capability to mount a flashy and finances expensive marketing campaign doesn’t mean that you and your team won’t have the finance to plow into your subsequent digital marketing budget plans. This is why you need to keep your marketing ambitions and wild ideas reigned in for now and instead put your focus on building the strongest bones possible with the limited resources that your team has to work with. 

Best Practices That A Digital Marketing Team Should Adopt on A Shoestring Budget

With little elbow room available for your team to try your luck at a wide variety of different marketing strategies, it can often be the best move to build your foundation on what has already proven to be the best tried and tested methods used by other experienced digital marketers. Here are some of the best ways forward to form your own high-performance marketing plan together with your dream team.

#1 Map Out Clever Content Marketing Strategy

Digital Marketing Team Best Practices On A Shoestring Budget - Fig 2
Image credit: Murielle Magazine

Creating brilliant pieces of content around your unique selling point (USP) is amongst the most powerful ways to capture people’s attention and get them talking about your brand.

In our era of digital marketing, there is a popular saying that goes: “Content is King”. Always bear this in mind whenever you go about formulating your next digital marketing strategies.

No matter which specific strategy you adopt, pay close attention to these points to craft a winning content marketing plan:

  • Pick content’s topics specific to your industry
  • Make sure your content delivers real value
  • Write conversational content in a friendly tone

After all, digital content marketing is all about how your potential customers will engage with you. Thus, it’s more than essential to first learn about your business products or services, then try your best to be convinced to buy from you.

#2 Mix Up Your Content Mediums

Whereas there remain a few different types of content that you can create, your choice of content delivery may vary according to your business type and how effectively each medium will get your message across.

Either can you choose to stick to one or two different content mediums or you can mix it up a little bit to see which type of content leads to the most engagement. 

Here are some content types that are worth your attention:

  • Business white papers

White papers in business are typically concise reports that inform readers about a complex issue, often used to convey an organization's philosophy and persuade potential customers

  • Customer case studies and testimonials

Whereas case studies are more in-depth, detailed descriptions of a customer situation, the problem and the process by which the problem was addressed, testimonials refer to some types of accolade exclaiming your fantastic service or product

  • Infographics

Infographics - a clipped compound of "information" and "graphics" - are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly.

  • Regular informative blog posts

These refer to online journals or informational websites displaying information, usually in the reverse chronological order, with latest posts appearing first. 

Digital Marketing Team Best Practices On A Shoestring Budget - Fig 3
Courtesy: EnvZone
  • Videos, podcasts and live-stream Q&A’s

These content formats emerge as the growing trends for content marketing. With the aid of technological advances, more and more digital marketers can adopt them with limited resources.

If you run a business with many visually appealing products or services, then videos and graphic content will keep your target audience engaged much better than dense blocks of hard text about your products or services. Actually, visual content is a great way to market your branding message in a small package, easily getting your business images exposed to the digital world. 

Far gone are the days when video production was extravagant or out of reach of small entrepreneurs. These days, there are a few good quality free video editing tools that you can make good use of, such as Windows Movie Maker and Open Shot or Video Pad.

#3 Create Your Own Community on Social Media

Establishing and growing an engaged and eager community on any social media platform is often the cheapest way for your digital team to make the most of your limited marketing budget.

It is up to you to choose whether to take out advertising on these platforms or not. Quite often a new business will wait a while before investing in Facebook ads, for instance, at least until their business page and profile has become established and matured.

#4 Ignite Your Social Media Presence

There is no doubt that the very first impressions count. And this is particularly true in case of your business’s impression leaving on target audience. No matter how mainstream this idea seems to be, it’s important to bide your time and establish your business profile and credibility to earn the audiences’ trust.

To begin with, Facebook and LinkedIn are amongst the most dominant social media platforms to establish yourself on. Direct your digital team to deliver plenty of fresh and valuable free content to attract online followers to your social pages.

Day after day, your team can actually build up a strong following on these platforms without actually spending a penny on adverts!

#5 Build A Customer Email List

Another strategy for your digital team to grow your small business on a tiny budget is to develop an in-depth customer email list.

First of all, it’s essential to set up your website to capture your visitor’s email address. Then, your team can start off crafting irresistible newsletters for your visitors and customers to sign up to or simply ask your customers for their email address and ask their permission to email them with news and special offers.

To launch a compelling email campaign, make sure that your email communications are informative and helpful with plenty of valuable free advice and information. Establishing a valuable relationship with your customers will enable you and your team to promote your business brand while giving your customers something that they will look forward to reading. 

You can easily set up a free account with MailChimp to get you started. Your team member can use their free services, in the beginning, to help manage and organize your email marketing campaigns. Once your team has built up a sizeable email list, you can look at taking up their paid options for more features and useful analytical tools.

Digital Marketing Team Best Practices On A Shoestring Budget - Fig 4
Courtesy: MailChimp

The Bottom Lines

If you are a "solo-entrepreneur" or the head of an SMB with just a handful of employees, it will be understandable that your marketing budget will be tight. Building a digital marketing team on such a tight budget seems overwhelming - but it doesn't have to be! Let's follow our guide to frame up your own dream team.

This article is also credited to Joe Dawson and Sujan Patel.

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