Have you given thought to who you really need on your team in order to master digital marketing?
If you’re in a position where it’s time to assemble a “dream team,” then you should identify the key roles and responsibilities. Success or failure can hinge on having the right people in essential roles.
Your overall level of achievement is also affected – you can enjoy moderate success with one or two roles done well, but you can grow enormously when you build a high-functioning team. Here are some key team members to have, and the roles they should perform:
Digital marketing team members
Here are the main, essential roles on a digital marketing team:
#1. Project manager
A project manager is like the lynchpin between digital marketing and the wider marketing team, or even the wider organization. There are so many moving parts to an active digital marketing strategy that the project manager’s role is essential for overseeing and managing them all.
Digital marketing project managers are generally responsible for creating and managing overall digital strategy. They lead the design of campaigns, provide a link between digital marketing and overall organizational goals and importantly, manage or liaise between all the people involved.
Digital project managers tend to have at least five years of experience in the digital marketing space, are very knowledgeable about digital marketing strategy and trends and are adept at managing people and time. They may have additional skills such as web design or animation.
#2. Content strategist and/or Content manager
A huge part of any digital marketing strategy is devising and creating content. This can take many forms: blog posts, social media posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, animation and more. A content strategist is tasked with developing content strategy based on the business objectives that are a priority for digital marketing.
The strategist will research and develop “personas” for the target audience that the company wants to reach. They will understand the role of content in the customer journey, identify what to use and when, and measure results to optimize future efforts.
A content strategist might also: create and maintain editorial calendars, create style guides, manage budgets and assist with technical integration of content. A content manager will almost always do all of these things, but will also have people management responsibilities. For example, the content manager might manage a team of content creators.
#3. Content creators
The content creators have a key role to fulfill in that they create the deliverables needed for the digital marketing strategy. Their main responsibilities are to produce content according to the specifications of content strategists or managers, create to a high standard and turn in work on time. The roles and responsibilities of content creators will vary depending on what is required. Sometimes you will need people who specialize in one particular area, or you may want people who can cover more than one specialty.
Some typical content creator roles include:
- Copywriters (a separate skill with the ability to persuade with words)
- Social media specialists
- Email specialists
- Video producers
- Graphic designers
- Audio specialists
#4. SEO specialist
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a series of strategies employed to get your website found easily in search results. An SEO specialist is responsible for ensuring that digital content is optimized for search and that they keep up with and implement current SEO best practices.
SEO specialists will spend a lot of time in Google Analytics (or the analytics toolset that the company uses). They will provide advice on SEO strategies to other team members and will spend a lot of time testing, reporting and refining strategy.
#5. Social media manager
Social media may be run by one person or a team of people, depending on the size of the company. If there is one person in charge of social media, then they will be a social media manager and strategist (or “doer”) all rolled into one. Large teams might have one or more social media strategists that are managed by a social media manager.
The social media manager is responsible for developing and executing the company’s social media strategy. They understand audiences on the platform and what appeals to them. They create a posting schedule and the posts to go with it (unless they have team members to create posts).
Another key part of the social media role is fostering engagement on social media channels. Social media team members respond to comments or messages and look for ways to encourage conversation.
The social media manager will also keep a close eye on analytics and reporting. They use these to refine their strategies.
#6. PPC manager
The PPC (Pay Per Click) manager lives and breathes the advertising side of digital marketing. They specialize in PPC ads, but may also have skills in social media platform advertising (although this is often handled by the social media manager).
PPC ads such as through AdWords or Outbrain require research, testing and optimizing. The PPC manager spends their days creating ads and monitoring those that are already in-play. Having someone dedicated to this role tends to mean that you make better use of advertising spend.
#7. Email marketing manager
Email marketing is another key part of any digital marketing strategy. An email marketing manager devises and implements overall email strategy in relation to key marketing and business goals.
Email takes some specialist knowledge to be used optimally. For example, the email marketing manager should have strong knowledge of marketing automation, audience segmentation and the actual writing of persuasive, interesting, engaging emails.
The email marketing manager is also an expert at generating leads or sales via email. They know how to create sequences that logically take the audience where they’d like them to go.
#8. Front end developer
Front end developers are an essential part of a digital marketing team because they can put the nuts and bolts together that brings the strategy to life on a website.
A front end developer will create landing pages, call to action buttons, web forms, pop-ups and other essential design elements for your digital strategy.
Combining key roles
In small businesses, many of these key roles are combined. For example, someone might manage social media and email, or a content manager might do those and produce all other content. This can work just fine, as long as the demands of each role are able to be met within the reasonable course of a work day.
There are many multi-talented digital marketing specialists out there, but the main issue with combining roles is that as you grow, the role easily becomes too big. When that happens, something needs to give unless you split it into specialist positions. A busy social media manager will have more than enough on their plate if social is booming – that could mean email or other things get neglected.
The danger of trying to have all the bases of a digital marketing strategy covered with fewer people is that; a) you have to compromise on experience in certain areas and b) you don’t give each strategy the best chance of success (or the people in the role the best chance of succeeding).
Outsourcing marketing tasks
If you’re a business owner with a growing business that needs to scale digital marketing, or perhaps a marketing manager in a larger organization that needs to add these key marketing roles, but can’t do so internally, there is another option.
Any of these key marketing roles and their associated tasks can be outsourced to experienced people. You get the benefit of specialist marketing knowledge without the need to hire a number of people or go through lengthy training periods – especially if you go to an agency that employs their own team,
When you come to a company like React, you get unlimited marketing services for a set monthly fee. Our team of experts can handle any of the core responsibilities you’d give to a marketing employee.
A fully-developed digital marketing strategy requires several key specialists in marketing roles. Each of the areas outlined can take several years to master, and each can easily grow into a full-time role.
Combining roles is possible, but if you’re growing rapidly you run the risk of diluting marketing results by dividing time between the tasks. Your options then are to hire full-time employees, or to outsource to a marketing agency with expertise in those key areas.
Curious to see how our unlimited marketing services work? Take a look here.