Covid aside, if you run an eCommerce business, it makes sense to use remote staff, certainly for some roles. These are the individuals who will get your business out there and seen, using creative and engaging campaigns involving content, advertising, social media, and more.
Building a remote or virtual digital marketing team isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve not done it before. It involves trust, insight, and excellent communication, so here we take you through how to do it effectively.
Worried you can’t afford marketing and go with a DIY approach? With eCommerce loans, you can get the expertise you need. It’s the way of getting the money you need to spend money to make money safely and reliably.
Employed vs. Freelance vs. Agency
Before we get cracking with the nitty-gritty, let’s give some thought to your eCommerce business model. It’s possible to build a remote team using fully-fledged employees from anywhere geographically. Depending on your size, this might be cost-effective and necessary.
However, especially in your earlier days as an eCommerce startup, using freelancers and digital marketing agencies may make far more sense. You aren’t responsible for expensive employer overheads, such as pension contributions, and providing a physical working location with these options. You’re not even responsible for them having the right equipment. Instead, you pay a fee for a service performed.
For this reason, this article predominantly considers building a remote digital marketing team to be a case of onboarding the right digital marketing experts remotely, without the ball and chain of being their employer.
Why is building a remote digital marketing team tricky?
Surely building this fabulous remote digital marketing team should be easy?
Well, it’s not so straightforward. There are some notable digital skills gaps. At the moment, amid The Great Resignation, many freelancers are heading back to employment, taking advantage of the candidate-favoring market. However, the technology and the people are there; you need to know how to find them. Additionally, marketing naturally works when done by experts offsite. Don’t forget that marketers, by their very nature, are already expert communicators.
So, what do you need to do to create the dream team?
1. Know who you need and what they’ll do
Marketing is a mighty broad umbrella, and within it, there are all sorts of different people doing different roles.
If you want an all-inclusive option, the simplest option is to choose a digital marketing agency. They will ensure every channel is utilized, all SEO boxes are ticked, and your social media is a powerhouse. However, you pay a lot more for this. It’ll be a large expense, and you’ll have less ability to cherry-pick what you need.
Alternatively, you can utilize different experts for different things. For example, you could use a videographer as a one-off to prepare some videos, use a regular content writer, and have a PPC expert on hand.
So, start by deciding who should be in your team, what you want from them each month, and setting the budget.
2. Get hiring
Having decided who you want, you now need to source them. Not sure where to start? Follow these seven tips for recruiting and hiring the right remote workers. Recruiting freelancers is very different from recruiting employees. However, marketing experts always ask to see evidence of their previous work.
Remember that you are hiring entirely for their skill set. Once you’ve found who you are looking for, make sure that you are clear with them about the nature of the hire, i.e., employed or freelance, and sign agreements relevant to what you choose. Of course, being remote, you’ll need to use an electronic signature to bring peace of mind to both parties with your documentation.
Always choose people who have proven their ability to work remotely. They must be diligent, self-motivated, innovative, and autonomous.
3. Communicate effectively
Depending on the size and scope of your digital marketing team, you won’t necessarily want them communicating via you. Instead, the team needs to work together cohesively. Use project management and communication tools to make communication smoother and keep track of everything. For example, it needs to be clear who is responsible for what and what deadlines are, etc.
Ensure you have regular online meetings to keep focused on the outcomes and the direction of your remote team. Use metrics to quantify successes and accomplishments as much as possible too.
Especially if your team is not working full time for you, ensure that they understand your business values, ethics, culture, and style. They will likely build the branding, and you want them on-point with your tone and style. Style guides can help to ensure similarity between different team members.
4. Work securely
Managing a remote team means being sure that information security is top-notch. Especially in an eCommerce business, you don’t want to expose and enlarge vulnerabilities through your workers. Therefore, you’ll need to consider the different security risks of remote workers.
Importantly, use a VPN to ensure they use a secure connection every time they work for you. But, again, there are different options to choose from. You can even build a remote technical team to manage all of the computing sides of your eCommerce business, including things like remote helpdesk, should your marketing workers need it.
Extend your concern here to how data is handled, especially regarding uploading documents, accessing your website, and different programs.
5. Get to know your team
You always get more out of your workers if they feel committed to you, even if they are freelancers. You want your marketers to enjoy working for you so that you can keep these skills with your business. With marketing, the better your relationship with your workers, the better they will represent your brand and work to deliver results.
Therefore, invest time and effort into getting to know your digital marketing team, even though they are remote. Things such as video conferencing can be very powerful. So far from being an expense you don’t want to have, simply allowing some non-work-based paid communication between team members can ensure a seamless and effective team that pays off in terms of results.
Running a remote digital marketing team enables you to save money on costly overheads while also benefiting from a global talent and skills pool. In addition, the evidence shows that your remote workers are more likely to be productive and focused, and you’ll also lose less time to absence.
Many startups leave their marketing too late, mainly because they are worried about the hassle and expense of managing staff teams. However, you need to commit to marketing for your business to be successful. It’s not optional. Get your marketing team on board early, and you’ll find that the company thrives more quickly. You’re competing with a flooded marketplace, and so you need the right experts to get you seen and known.
By choosing to build a remote team, you don’t need to worry about investing in an entire in-house marketing team. It’s a way of getting the benefits without the hassle and expense. And remember, you can fund what you need with eCommerce loans.