Have you thought about building out a marketing team?
In this article you’ll discover 5 Tips and Tools for Hiring an All-Star Marketing Team
So in an effort to lend a hand to rookie marketers and new heads of marketing, here are the 5 big lessons I wish I knew before I built a marketing department from the ground up the ones that will save you a lot of time, frustration and money.
A common rookie marketer mistake is to think that a good marketing strategy is one that includes all the popular marketing tactics, like SEM; display; social media; a beautiful, responsive website; a blog; a full-blown content marketing strategy; and so on. Everyone is always talking about this stuff, so we should be doing all of it, right?
The question I get the most from them is also the one that weighed most heavily on me:
“Where do you start?”
What I like to propose for you today, is a simpler version and system to create a marketing team in your company.
I call this system: Plug and play marketing team.
This system is nothing new and has been used by many successful companies.
For example, just take a look at Sol from examine.com. His 7 figure business is fully automated with this system. Many parts of my plug and play marketing system came for Sol and others like Neil Patel
The beautiful thing about the plug and play system is, once you create it, you will never have to worry about finding “Master roles” in your marketing team again. Instead everything is broken down into singular tasks that are fully SOP (Read Sam Carpenter: Work-the-system)
Plug and Play Marketing Team:
Build an All-Star Marketing Team
Step #1: Create separate verticals in your marketing division
Vertical are those that focus on a specific sectors. The entire business can be part of the vertical market, or just an individual department and then sub verticals within the department as we shall do today.
Let’s use buzzsumo as an Example.
By the Way, if you don’t know Buzzsumo, get to know it!
You would divide their marketing efforts into as many categories as needed. The idea with the categories is to isolate sectors in your marketing vertical.
In Buzzsumo’s case, I isolated three, (I am sure they have more) but to make things simple for this lesson, we will use the top three most common.
- Content marketing.
- Email marketing.
- Optimization and Conversion
Jayson DeMers, of AudienceBloom, who delivers content marketing advice with guest blog contributions for a number of prominent publishers, suggests the most successful content marketing teams have talent in the following four areas.
- Business strategy. To be effective, content marketing strategy must integrate into your core marketing goals. Your content marketing team must thoroughly understand the market, how your company is to be positioned, its goals, and how success is measured.
- Online marketing. Your content marketing team must include an expert who can get the content discovered by potential customers and influencers. A wide range of skills come into play, which at a minimum should include SEO, social media, email marketing, and guest blogging.
- Client communications. Your content marketing team will benefit from someone adept at interacting with customers. Jayson writes, “Your ability to intuitively understand clients, to answer hard questions, and to judge whether a specific channel or piece of content is right for them will be infinitely better if you regularly interact with the people you serve.” He suggests having someone like this work closely with your content marketing team.
- Content creators. You need a strong writer, or several, who understand your business and can consistently produce great content.
Step #2: Create multiple Cogs for each vertical.
- Each Cog represents a singular task (Duty)
- Example: Content marketing vertical, you would map out individual tasks/jobs
For our companies: This is the following COG system we use for content marketing
A solid foundation of talent and leadership is key for any strategy to work now or in the future. It gives the team the experience and direction it needs to build — and allows rookies to shine.
- Project Manager
Your Project Manger is essentially the coach. He/She needs to understand how to work with a group of egos — without letting his/her own get in the way. He/she should also know the product, and, more importantly, the customer. He drives the company’s marketing vertical and excels at managing moving parts,
Start out by hiring a writer, preferably someone with several years of experience. I always like working with freelancers or even creative writing majors more than marketing specialists.
A strong editor should be just as capable at editing material written by others as writing their own. This is a key skill, because so much content is first drafted by others (whether subject matter experts inside the organization or freelance writers).
You need someone who can turn words into visually engaging messages for the customers. People are presented with hundreds of images and articles daily — they aren’t going to spend time on a message unless they are drawn to it and the pull usually begins with the visuals.
Your content promoter needs to be a peoples person. He/she is responsible for building inbound links to your content. This requires building relationship with influencer’s. On top of that, he/she is responsible for maintaining social media promotion as well.
Where to find your Cogs?
It’s important for this person to mesh well with your team, so don’t hesitate to ask marketing friends for referrals. Pay attention to LinkedIn connections while you’re vetting potential candidates, too, in case you have a mutual connection. Leadership skills and the ability to fit in with your company’s culture are key here.
Bonus: Where to find good writers.
- Go to Buzzsumo. Type in your top 10 company keywords
- Find the top 30 articles from your keywords.
- Reach out to those writers.
Step #3 Create a SOP for each COG
A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a document consisting of step-by-step information on how to execute a task
Break your project down into specific tasks. Think of this as a sort of recipe of how to do something. An important aspect of writing these instructions is to pretend that you are literally walking the person through a process. Be sure to include helpful hints and guides along the way.
With our companies we love to use two services.
Number one: Sweetprocess
They take all of the hard work out of creating your SOP and streamline it online.
Number 2: Google Drive
It is not as sexy and streamlined as Sweetprocess, but if you are a startup that is bootstrapping than Google drive is your answer (You can’t beat free) 🙂
How to train your team
One hidden advantage of working with cog teams is that it forces you to create very detailed work instructions and procedures for anything that you intend to delegate to the team. The process of training your team will actually force you into working on your business rather than in it.
One terrific way to train your team is to actually go through the process that you are delegating yourself and document each step along the way. Use the guideline that anyone who picks up the document and has the skills, should be able to do the job on their own after reading it.
Step #4 Organizing Your Cogs.
Once you have created your SOP training for each Cog. It’s then time to organize your cog team into a lean mean mega marketing team.
Here are the following tools we use to create a flawless operational process.
Slack.com: If you are not slacking. You are lacking.
We completely ditched E-mail for slack. It streamlines the communication in real time and makes interacting between team members easy as pie.
Trello is unique compared to the other CRM’s out-there. Trello is more or less an action oriented checklist as supposed to a complicated CRM. Remember, your Cog team needs simple, but yet effective tools and the great part of Trello is, it fully integrates with Slack.
Here is a screen shot from socialmediaexaminer
Step #5 Document Your Goals
Goal setting is important for every marketing team because it provides structure to all your activities. A clear destination brings focus to the team and a clear objective inspires people to do what it takes to achieve the goal. If you haven’t established clear, measurable goals for your team. It takes only a few minutes.
You probably heard this before “Content marketing is a long-tail branding play”
…This may be true, but content marketing must have an ROI. Every dollar needs to be tracked.
Now that your cog team is in place, I recommend you do weekly KPI meetings with your team and this is the system we use.
I got this brilliant idea from Dan Martell. At the start of each Monday we jump on a Zoom.us call and each of us will open up our shared Google Doc, from there we go through each KPI from the following week
Metrics to follow
- Leads from content
- Improve last click or direct social conversions
- Improve social conversion rate
Randy Fishkin Over at MOZ.com has a very similar approach as well:
Creating goals for your content
Creating measurable goals for your content marketing beyond “increase traffic and rankings” is essential to building a terrific content team.
“Our ultimate goal is to improve and build up branded traffic. We believe content has the power to build a brand and allows our clients to compete at a different level.”
Use Google docs to record updates and suggestions
While on trusty Google. I found this perfect illustration of this process from http://www.samueljscott.com (Check out his site: Dude knows his stuff!)
Use this model whether you’re looking to turn your team of one into a two-person shop or you’re hoping to build out your marketing department to a team of 10 or more. By focusing on the skill sets your business needs to be successful — rather than on the resume of an individual candidate — you’ll ensure vital functions are covered while expanding in a sustainable way.
How have you approached building your marketing team?