Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in an effort to control costs, many organizations have restructured their marketing teams and have reduced their overall spend with outside firms. As more people work remotely and spend even more time online, digital marketing has become the priority for many businesses. As marketers face new realities of working with smaller staff sizes and reduced budgets, allocating the right resources to digital marketing is imperative at this time.
Now more than ever, organizations must evaluate where digital marketing fits into their marketing plans. For teams that are currently in this position, it may seem overwhelming to manage entire digital marketing strategies at first. After all, digital marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach; everything from search engine optimization to social media falls into the category, but depending on the organization, some tactics may prove to be cost-prohibitive, impractical or unnecessary. With the right approach, marketing teams can manage the strategies that work for them.
Here are five ways to simplify your approach to managing digital marketing strategies:
1. Prioritize what is important and forget the rest (for now). Start with the marketing tools you already have in place; determine if your tactics are performing well. If they aren’t, don’t prioritize them. Use the last year as the baseline for measuring performance, and depending on your growth (or lack thereof), decide whether or not the tool is worth managing. For example, if a corporate blog has seen a month-over-month increase in visitors, keep creating content for it. If a social media channel has remained stagnant in terms of engagement, consider if it’s worth spending more resources to grow it or if your time would be better allocated elsewhere. If you determine the tool isn’t worth the investment of those resources, shut the account down; don’t let it sit idle.
2. Create a digital marketing calendar. There are many resources available to help teams plan their digital marketing efforts. Whether you’re launching a new digital ad campaign or sending out a targeted e-mail campaign, keeping it all organized is key. Creating a calendar with important dates can help keep teams connected and aware of what to expect each week, especially when teams are working remotely. Additionally, many digital marketing tools have built-in calendar functions that enable users to plan and schedule content and include helpful features like Outlook and Gmail integrations.
3. Enlist the help of a marketing automation tool. Marketing automation tools can help teams plan and streamline their digital marketing strategies. Instead of using multiple tools, many applications allow users to manage everything in one place, including contacts, reports, e-mail campaigns, landing pages, blogs, social media and more. By using one tool, teams can streamline their marketing processes by accessing all of the digital marketing tactics they may use in their efforts on one platform. This reduces the chance of errors and eliminates redundancies that can occur when they’re using multiple tools.
4. Build a content library. Identify people within the organization who are subject-matter experts on different topics. Spend time interviewing them and asking questions. Use this material to create blogs, white papers, eBooks and more. Over the course of a year or a quarter, align this content with the greater marketing strategy, and then promote it via the digital marketing channels that you’ve identified as important to the organization. When you build out an initial repository of content, marketing teams can access the material at a later date for use in other campaigns and balance other marketing efforts without the stress of creating new content.
5. Delegate. As marketing teams face staff reductions and budget cuts amid the pandemic, these factors can create added stress. One way for leaders to ensure responsibilities are evenly distributed is to delegate tasks. If someone on the marketing team is more adept at writing content and another is a social media expert, take advantage of the team’s strengths. Set realistic expectations and goals; allow team members the opportunity to check in with each other to make sure the responsibilities they have been assigned are manageable. By delegating, marketing managers can have conversations with their reports about what aspects of the digital marketing strategies are working and what could be improved. They can also help ensure the workload is divided equitably.
While these are just a few steps marketing professionals can take to simplify their approaches to managing digital marketing strategies, it’s important to remember that each team and business is different: What works for one organization may not work for another. Setting realistic goals, understanding the team’s strengths and weaknesses and encouraging feedback will go far during the process of simplifying any digital marketing strategy.
by Sara McKinniss