In the marketing world the message has always been “bigger is better.” In the movies you see the corporate marketing agencies or big, impressive marketing team. When was the last time you saw a small team or, better yet, a one man show managing a company’s marketing campaigns? The truth is, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, many companies are realizing that the big, fancy marketing team is not so cost effective after all. Enter the small marketing team.
This team may be one person with a couple of remote employees, or it could be three or four employees in one location. These teams don’t have the personnel that larger teams have so often the members will have multiple tasks or a very fluid job description. This can present some challenges, particularly with content marketing. Here’s how to make it all work when your marketing team is small.
Define your marketing objectives.
While this should be done in any marketing campaign no matter what size, it is very important for the small marketing team. Marketing objectives provide areas of focus and allow for monitoring and measurement. If you identify content that isn’t performing up to par, you can freshen it, making the necessary adjustments to get it back up to speed. Decide what you want your content to do and create goals.
Create a content publishing schedule.
Identify various platforms where you would like to publish. This could be news sites, industry sites, or journals. Gather the submission information for each and keep it all together. Then create your publishing schedule, making the main focus for the bulk of your content your own platform. It is the one area where you are in complete control.
Publishing on other sites is great; it’s very good exposure. However, articles can be removed at the whim of the site owners or editors, or the site can go belly up. Either way, your content is lost, making your own platform your best option.
Organize with an editorial calendar.
Get in the habit of entering everything in your editorial calendar. If it has to do with your company, it should be entered. If your team is spread out, you may want to use a Google doc or a site like Air Table so everyone on your team has the most recent information. Add several tabs or sections so you can have a place for brainstorming keywords and topic ideas for posts, another tab for scheduling social media posts (for HootSuite), and another for goals. Use it to get organized and keep everyone on your team on the same page.
Focus on your core platform – preferably your own.
Focus on your core platform which should ideally be your own site. This will drive traffic and it is where your customers will come to get information on your products, services, or company. This is the platform that you have complete control over and you know it isn’t going anywhere. Try to post to it several times a week for best results and always keep the content high quality, relevant, and natural.
Identify technology and tools you can leverage to facilitate growth.
There are tools out there for doing just about anything with your content. You just have to find them. A quick rundown:
- Hootsuite – Post to several social media accounts at once and schedule posts.
- Taboola – Content discovery platform.
- BuzzSumo – Blog post performance analyzer.
- Tagboard – Hashtag manager.
- Canva – Graphic generator that allows you to create professional quality, relevant, branded graphics for your content.
- WriterAccess – Content sourcing platform that makes it easy to find writers, place orders and manage the workflow.
Identify various skills team members have – especially those who can wear several hats.
On a small marketing team, it is usually necessary that at least some team members perform several tasks. Identify those who have multiple skills and utilize them. You can do this by talking to the members and asking them what their strengths are or what relevant training they’ve had. You can also administer aptitude tests to find out the areas where each member’s skills are the strongest.
For instance, some members may be stronger in content creation, but also do very well with social media while others are stronger in analytics and organization. Only one person should be the lead though. You don’t want multiple people trying to manage the team, that will just lead to confusion. Find one person who is a strong leader and good organizer, then put them in the manager position.
Outsource your specialized talent.
Outsourcing at least some of your more specialized talent is a very smart strategy. Say you don’t have a writer on your team and you want strong content. Hire a freelance writer and have them write the content. You can either choose a local freelancer who will come into your office or hire someone remote. Technology has made it so easy for teams to work together no matter where each member is based. You can teleconference, chat, email, and talk on the telephone. This also opens you to the possibilities of hiring some of the best talent available. You don’t have to rely on the talent pool that is near you. The world is wide open for you.
If you are a small marketing team you can still operate like a large agency. Some of your methods may be a little different, but you can still show that dynamite really does come in smaller packages – marketing dynamite, that is.
Stephanie M is a writer living in East Central, Alabama, but she didn’t always lead such a peaceful, carefree life. A few years ago she made a daring escape from the “cube farm” at a Federal Agency in Washington, D.C. (after eight very long years) where she worked. as an analyst focusing on disaster response, technical writing, program management, and FOIA.