When you run a small business, you and a select number of your colleagues will wear more than one hat. This means you will be trying your hand at accountants, HR, sales… and maybe even tea making!
As the business grows you will be aware of the need to obtain specialist skills in certain areas such as online marketing. This will mean learning certain skills yourself, outsourcing or even employing someone in-house. The problem is knowing what skills are needed and how best to obtain them…
The strategist will be responsible for creating and overseeing your online marketing campaign. To be able to do this they will need to understand your company very well and create your buyer personas.
Once your strategist has researched the buyer personas and competition, they will have a good idea of how you should position your business in the online market place and then focus your efforts in the right areas. Your strategist will oversee your online marketing team and ensure they work towards the same goals by communicating the buyer personas, the messages you need to get across, creating a content calendar and specific campaigns each month.
Not only will this person have to know how to create a strategy for a campaign but they will also have to be able to monitor progress and alter the approach throughout the campaign. This will be done by looking over your analytics data; otherwise you’ll have no way of knowing whether or not your marketing content is having the desired impact and return on investment (ROI). If this isn’t done regularly then your entire team could be wasting a lot of time and money.
The best person for the job is someone with a marketing background and experience specifically with online campaigns. With it being a small business the ideal person will also have to deal with limited budgets and therefore not rely upon big PPC budgets and more on inbound techniques.
This role is essential and can be a struggle to fill because they will need to have sufficient knowledge of all areas you will be covering, including creative and technical.
The social media executive
The social media executive will be responsible for implementing your strategist’s social media marketing plan on a daily basis. This will include posting various types of content on a number of sites, increasing your audience, creating adverts, responding to any interactions and so on.
Their role will be to engage all stakeholders by encouraging them to like, comment, reply or share your posts and messages. They should stay informed about trends and understand the needs, interested and concerns of your buyer personas. It is essential that the social media manager should know how to communicate in a voice your audience understands.
The traits you should be looking for when hiring your social media guru are good English skills, creativity and a passion for everything social. One way of analysing this is by looking at their own social media presence and blogs.
The content creator
Content creation is a major priority for inbound marketing; if you don’t create your own content why would people be going to your website? If you create your own content on your own website and blog then you can use these materials on your social media and email marketing (not to mention the benefits such content will have to your Google ranking!)
Once the strategist explains to the content creator who they are trying to communicate with, the kind of questions they’re asking or the needs they have, they will then be able to create the content that will engage that person.
As a result, the person you hire needs to be able to create anything from blog articles and infographics to videos and slideshares. Good copy writing skills are crucial (and often the hardest to learn)
You may have to look for people who don’t have online experience due to the scarcity of good copy writers, for example someone who has experience in journalism.
The web developer
Pretty much all of your online marketing efforts will point to one place – your website. This is where you are able to convert interest into leads and sales. In order for your website to increase the conversion rate of any traffic you send its way, you will need to be able to manipulate the website in ways most ‘non-techy’ people can. Whether it’s better mobile user experience, navigation, call-to-actions, data capture or software integration, you will at some point have to have a developer at hand.
Not only will your developer help to convert more of your website visitors into leads or sales but they will also be able to improve your Google rankings by improving site structure, editing coding, ensuring page speed is optimised and much more.
Developers can be employed full-time, part-time or even on a freelance basis. However, there can be issues with freelancers as you don’t have much control over them. They might decide to work full-time elsewhere, go on holiday at short notice or become overloaded with other people’s work.
Once you have these people in place and working together you will find a significant increase in good leads, customer retention and brand value. In years to come you will look back and realise that this team of people was a key part of your business success and the reason why you could retire happy.
But we also understand that the vast majority of small businesses will not have the budget to employ all five of these people. However, if you now understand what is needed and know which of these skills you have in house, you can then look to outsource or employ the remaining skills and have confidence in what you are looking for.
If you are looking to outsource some elements of your online marketing team, get in contact with Strategy Plus and we can discuss how best to support your digital strategy…