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Marketing Strategy

How to Get By with a Small Marketing Team

by Stormie Andrews . February 11, 2020
Discover how to build a small marketing team that thrives and has a substantial impact on the growth of your business. (Plus, the key players every inbound marketing team needs.)

As a marketing manager who’s either working solo or has a small marketing team of 1-2 people, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get it all done. You’re cranking out content, strategizing for social media, optimizing for SEO, and more. You’ve noticed sales dropping off, along with customer interest. The problem is that you have no time or energy left to focus on growth because you're putting all of your resources into your digital marketing efforts.

Sound familiar?

If your company’s growth is flat-lining because of marketing inefficiencies, it’s a sign that something has got to give if you want to turn it around. It may be time to re-evaluate your marketing team's structure so you can take the pressure off of you and free you up to focus on what made you love what you do.

What Do Small, Overwhelmed Digital Marketing Teams Typically Look Like?

Whether you’re your company’s only marketer or you’re part of a small team, the following examples will resonate with you. You may feel alone, but trust us, you’re not. In fact, you’re in very good company.

Before turning your team into a marketing powerhouse, you need to consider the size of your company and the roles you will need to fill.

Today, there tends to be two types of less than ideal marketing teams, the solo marketer and the small marketing team comprised of 2-3 marketers.

The Solo Marketer AKA the Lone Wolf

As a solo marketer who works for a small- to medium-sized business, time is your biggest resource. Chances are your neck is straining under the weight of the number of hats you have to wear each day just to stay on top of it all. You’re struggling to manage and strategize your marketing, SEM, social media, and SEO needs, never-mind trying to write your own content.

It’s no surprise that you’re finding yourself burned out and lacking the time you need to grow your business. Even if you could excel in every aspect of marketing, from data analysis to developing campaigns across multiple platforms, it’s impossible for a single person to find the time to do so.

The Small Business Marketing Team

Online business moves fast, and a team comprising two or three people may not be big enough to stay on top of the changes or run successful campaigns. Even if you have a specialist in SEM, a copywriter, and a social media whiz, there will still be role gaps on your team that will stand in the way of your success. Sure, you have a team in place, but there are only so many hours in the day and so many resources.

If your small marketing team works just as hard to get the same results you used to, it can quickly become discouraging. Today, customers control the sales process, and that’s why the outbound efforts you used to rely on have been coming up short. No one wants to be sold to anymore. Instead, they want to find the information they’re seeking organically.

8 Roles Every Inbound Marketing Team Must-Have to Be Effective

How many players should be on your inbound marketing team?

The ideal marketing team will have several key players, each of whom will bring their unique area of expertise.

1. Marketing Manager

Every person on your marketing team will be talented in their own field, but it takes a skilled marketing manager to bring their efforts together into a coherent strategy that can promote your business or brand.

According to PayScale.com, marketing managers earn on average $64,379 annually.

To fully harness the potential of each person on your marketing team, it's worth having a marketing manager on-board.

2. Content Marketing Manager

You need a content writer on your team because they create the blog posts, articles, quizzes, and other written content that will persuade potential new customers to engage with your brand.

According to PayScale.com, the average annual salary for a content writer is $44,727.

To generate content that gets results in the form of traffic, sales and leads, it’s worth the expense of bringing a professional on board.

3. SEO Manager

Your company’s SEO manager role is to figure out which keywords will bring you the most website traffic and optimize it so it gets results. If your digital marketing team is running a great campaign, you have the SEO manager to thank. This is the specialist who understands how to optimize everything from content to social media.

According to GlassDoor.com, the average base pay for an SEO manager is $84,172.

4. SEO Strategist

A search engine optimization expert analyzes your data and uses it to predict everything from customer behavior to future trends. They are experts with using SEO to drive traffic to your website. They know what it takes to improve your search engine rankings. According to PayScale.com, the average annual salary for an SEO strategist is $50,476. These are valuable and highly compensated employees because their skill sets are constantly evolving.

5. SEM Manager

Your company’s SEM manager is to make sure your site is bringing in ROI. These are specialists in e-commerce responsible for your PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns and more. These are the pros who know how to turn your investment into traffic that produces. If your site is visible on the web, you can thank your SEM manager, and that’s why the average annual salary for an SEM manager is $68,375 according to PayScale.com.

6. Graphic Designer

If your visual marketing materials make heads turn, you can thank your graphic designer. These are the experts for everything from color theory to typefaces to layouts.

A graphic designer understands how to make your brand stand out from the rest on everything from brochures to websites to billboards.

According to GlassDoor.com, the average annual base pay for a graphic designer is $48,561. This is one expense you can’t skimp on, because if no one notices your graphics or they’re not high-quality, why bother?

7. Social Media Manager

A social media expert controls your brand’s presence. They will create a social media strategy for you if you don’t already have one in place. According to Indeed.com, the average annual salary for a social media manager is $47,745. This is one position you don’t want to leave up to anyone who can’t make time for it.

8. Webmaster

A webmaster also helps your SEO by making sure your site loads quickly and is free from internal errors that might cause search engines to penalize you. Your webmaster may also handle other tasks, from administration to IT. This is the person who will develop and maintain your website. They monitor your site’s performance, make sure your campaigns run smoothly, and track your content.

According to GlassDoor.com, the average base pay for a webmaster is $61,083.

With so many skill sets involved, it’s not practical or realistic to learn every one of them. More than that, it may not be cost effective. Outsourcing roles to a team of inbound marketing experts may solve your marketing and marketing budget woes. They’ll bring the tools and the resources you need to get the job done.

Unless you have an extra $400,000+ annually lying around to pay the key staff members you need to succeed, your best bet is to partner with an agency. They’ll give you the tools you’ll need thrive and survive no matter what direction online marketing takes you.

The Key to Maximizing the Impact of a Small Marketing Team

To maximize the impact of your small marketing team, don’t under-fund your marketing department and outsource whenever you need to.

If you’re not seeing the ROI you’d like, an inadequate budget could be at the heart of it. Setting an adequate marketing budget is critical if you want your brand to make an impact. It’s also important to make sure you’re spending that budget on the right tools. Tools that are wrong or that you don’t have time to learn how to use are a waste of your budget.

When you’re part of a team with just two or three people or you’re marketing on your own, you have very little room for error. There’s no time to spend on anything but the most important tasks. You need to understand what works and have a plan to achieve it, but having a plan in place won’t do any good if you don’t have the budget to execute it.

Many companies think nothing of outsourcing tasks like graphic design but have never considered outsourcing their marketing. It may seem counter-intuitive to pay someone to market when you’re already paying the marketers on your staff. Truth is, outsourcing tasks is often more cost effective than handling them yourself because you won’t spend paid time training.

Every member of your team brings their own unique talents to the table, but there’s so much more that goes into finding leads and converting them. With the right team and budget and a solid plan of attack in place, your small marketing team will outperform much larger marketing departments in no time.

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