How To Build An Effective Online Marketing Team

How To Build An Effective Online Marketing Team

So, do you want to build a digital marketing team? Great decision! In today’s world, including digital marketing within your overall marketing campaign is no longer a luxury — it’s a necessity. You’re probably already aware of the multiple benefits of digital marketing, but in case you need a little more convincing, here’s a quick summary of why you need to give due importance to digital marketing efforts:  If used effectively, digital marketing will yield high conversion rates, keep your audience constantly engaged, and allow you to reach millions of potential consumers with no geographical boundaries. The key words here are “if used effectively.”

Today, with a multitude of options on the internet, it’s easy to get confused and buried under a mountain of information on how to put together an effective digital marketing team. Here, we will go over the essential roles that comprise of a great marketing team and what skills you need to look out for in applicants when hiring for different positions.

How to Hire

You might have heard the saying “The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing” by ancient Greek poet Archilochus, later widely popularized by Isaiah Berlin’s essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox.” While Berlin’s essay spoke about different authors and their ways of thinking, this saying is extremely relevant when it comes to building an effective team. Rather than foxes, it’s important to hire hedgehogs who specialize in one aspect of digital marketing. In most instances, hiring foxes or a couple of jack-of-all-trades to handle projects just won’t cut it. Hedgehogs (or specialists) are important as they can provide insight into a particular aspect of digital marketing and make sure that aspect of your strategy and campaign is executed in the best possible way.

That being said, it’s important to remember that soft skills are crucial for any position. While “hard” knowledge does have its place, soft skills play an important role, especially when it comes to building a team. Make sure to keep that in mind during the hiring process.

So which are the pivotal hedgehogs that should make up your digital marketing team? Let’s take a look:

Project Manager

No team is complete without a project manager. The project manager is responsible for managing the entire digital marketing team, as well as liaising with other teams to make sure company goals are met in a timely manner. While it might sound cliche, the best project managers have a diverse set of leadership skills. You’ll want to make sure that potential candidates for this position are able to communicate — both orally and in writing — and work under pressure.

Meeting deadlines is an integral part of project management, so potential candidates should have great time management and organizational skills, as well as a commanding presence so as to push team members to be fully productive. Finally, problem solving skills are a necessity, as things rarely go according to plan in most workplaces. In terms of educational qualifications, you might want to consider someone with a background in management or business — but note that this is not integral, and often field experience can prove to be more valuable than educational qualifications alone.

Obviously, considering you are building a digital marketing team, your project manager should have a stellar understanding of digital marketing tactics. Other team members will share their expertise in different aspects of digital marketing, but it is up to the project manager to ensure that team members work together to come up with a holistic strategy plan. They must have the knowledge and foresight to reject outdated marketing tactics, as well as balance budgets and campaign priorities, resulting in a foolproof and customized digital marketing strategy that continues to evolve alongside company objectives.

Content Creator/s

Content creation is easily one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. According to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, 80 percent of consumers say that “authenticity of content” is the most influential factor to become a follower of a brand. While some businesses prefer to outsource content creation, it’s good to have at least one or two in-house content creators who can make sure that all content produced adheres to your company’s set of standards. The content creators are in charge of building a short-term and long-term content strategy, updating the content calendar, and of course, creating relevant content.

Ideally, you’ll want to hire someone who can create anything from blog posts and white papers to infographics and YouTube videos — remember, video and visuals are a big part of content creation too. If finding candidates with all these skills proves to be difficult, list your priorities in terms of content and hire someone who is able to fulfill those needs. For example, if your business wants to focus on creating video tutorials for consumers, you’ll want to hire a content creator who is able to direct and edit shots into effective and enjoyable videos for consumption.

Depending on your content priorities, you can hire someone with the right mix of skills. However, as a general requirement you’ll want to look for candidates who are extremely skilled when it comes to verbal and written communication, are innovative thinkers, pay attention to detail, and have the ability to produce amazing content even when deadlines are tight.

SEM Specialist/s

An SEM specialist is vital to digital success. Your SEM specialist will ensure that your content actually shows up in searches — after all, there’s no point in having stellar content if it can’t be found online. Considering SEM is quite technical in nature, the ideal candidate will be well versed with SEO tools and platforms like Moz, Majestic, and SEMRush, thoroughly understand Google Analytics and Search Console, as well as specialize in Paid Marketing Techniques like AdWords. Additionally, your SEM specialist will also need to conduct SEO audits, investigate keywords, and have experience with on-page SEO (meta-descriptions, tags, headers etc).

You will want to hire someone who loves to keep up with SEO trends, thrives in a dynamic and ever-changing environment, and is quick to adapt to and execute changes as they occur. Finding the right candidate does indeed seem like a tall order, so if your budget allows for it, consider dividing SEM into two areas: SEO and paid marketing. Then, you can hire two individuals, each of whose expertise is in one of these areas. If this isn’t financially possible, define what your priorities are in terms of SEM, and look for the right candidate accordingly.

While there aren’t many formal educational degrees in SEM yet, there are plenty of online certificate courses that teach SEM strategy and tactics. It is a good idea to hire someone who has either completed some form of SEM training, or has had years of experience handling SEM and become an expert in the same through experience. You will also want to make sure that whoever you hire is a team player, as the SEM specialist will need to work closely with your social media manager and content creator for maximum effectiveness.

Social Media Manager

Your social media manager will be responsible for handling any social media plans and putting them into action. From coming up with captions to maximizing utility through hashtags, your social media manager needs to be a quick thinker who is inherently creative. This position requires someone who can engage audiences, talk about products and services in an enticing manner, and has a thorough knowledge of social media strategy.

While putting together the digital market campaign, the social media manager must contribute information about best practices and relevant strategies for a particular product or service. In short, your social media manager needs to be able to communicate the company’s voice to external audiences in a way they will love.

Today, anyone can claim to be a social media expert; considering millennials spend so much time on social media, this isn’t hard to believe, right? Wrong! Simply being active on social media platforms doesn’t always translate to being able to execute a social media campaign for clients across various industries. So, when hiring a person to fill this position, make sure to examine a candidate’s social media presence for flair and a sound understanding of social media strategy. Sometimes, a background in journalism and/or media studies can be advantageous for this position.


Now that you know what roles you need to fill to build your digital marketing dream team, it’s time to write some job descriptions. Job descriptions actually play an important role in attracting the right candidates, so you’ll want to make sure to write comprehensive and enticing job descriptions. Start by identifying your digital marketing goals, and juxtapose these with your current budget so as to strike the perfect balance.

Whether you end up hiring 5 people or 10, with the right specialists in place, you will have a team that you can rely on for all your digital marketing needs.

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