To ensure that working from home is effective, you need to take a specific approach, but after getting it right, it is possible to build a remote marketing team that’s highly effective. With an increasing number of people working from home than previously, use the tips provided here to build a remote marketing team to meet your KPIs and keep the team on track.
Working remotely offers numerous benefits for organizations of all types, from large marketing teams to small startups, which include:
– Businesses are able to reduce overhead by eliminating the need for office space.
– Research reveals that employees are 77 percent more productive when they work from home vs. working at an office.
– We are currently in the midst of a digital skills gap, which means that you may need to search harder to recruit the expertise required for new roles.
– Modern technology has made virtual communication and collaboration a reality.
Marketing teams, specifically, are perfectly suited to operating off-site, because marketing professionals are talented communicators and much of their work nowadays is done in the digital realm. Still, if you are used to operating onsite, you may approach creating a distributed team with a bit more caution.
A specific approach is required for remote teams to be effective. If you stay organized, set expectations upfront, use the proper tools, and maintain communication, then your marketing team has all it needs to be successful.
With that in mind, actually having the proper tools can make a huge difference. Here is an overview of the 6 most important tips and tools that you need to get started:
Hire the Right People for Your Remote Marketing Team
The first step is to hire a team that’s committed to putting in the work and comfortable working remotely. The team needs to be autonomous, motivated, creative, and organized. It is definitely much to ask, but you will find the right candidates out there.
You will need to put some effort into finding the right candidates, but you can rest assured that there’s no shortage of qualified talent looking for remote work, whether on salaried or freelance basis. Use Zoom.us or Skype for interviewing candidates to simulate face-to-face interviews. You will feel more comfortable with the hires if you can connect on a visual level as opposed to simply confirming workloads via email.
Document It All
Policies, processes, and procedures need to be clearly documented since the team isn’t gathered in the same place every day.
Document the accomplishments of your team and remote workers during your weekly meetings. Give the top performers special recognition and explain how their work contributed to the overall team mission. Develop a metric for measuring the results of your marketing efforts to have the information required to manage your team and it is documented for your use at a later date.
A handbook that outlines etiquette and expectations for remote workers is critical. Have every employee document their everyday processes so that any other team member or future employee can step in seamlessly if needed. You can use tools such as Trainual for creating video process documents that make it possible for new hires to get up to speed on business processes.
Stick to Your Style Guide
Communication matters a lot when working with remote marketing teams.
Creating a style guide can be a great way of ensuring that the team is consistent in its external communication, whether it is in the form of social media posts, whitepapers, blog poses, or other documents. A typical style guide includes rules for things such as word usage, punctuation, and capitalization.
A style guide eliminates the guesswork from most days of writing and gives the team a voice to write as one strong unit. You can create your own style guide from scratch or adapt an already existing one such as the AP Stylebook.
Creating a style guide exemplifying the strengths of the team can be useful to share with clients to gain trust and allay any fears of using remote marketing teams. A client-facing style guide shows how your team can consistently communicate the brand. The client can confidently approve using the style guide and be sure that whoever handles the project delivers an exceptional and on-brand product.
Information security is one possible risk of managing a remote marketing team. Fortunately, it is possible to minimize this threat by having the remote team create a secure connection using a VPN wherever and whenever they use the Internet.
ProPrivacy.com maintains an excellent directory of VPNs so you can choose the most suitable one for your team’s needs. Using it alongside hyperfast broadband makes for a great experience. It is also important to be cautious about sharing passwords across various web-based services used by your team. 1 Password and LastPass are both reliable services that can make password management easier and more secure.
If your remote workers are using company computers to do their work, they need to use proper etiquette when handling the devices so that those devices are kept secure from any compromising data.
Here are some tips for employees using work computers at home:
– Only use your work email since phishing emails or viruses could potentially find their way in the work device through your personal email.
– Resist the urge to shop online because popup ads and cookies from shopping websites could slow down the work device.
– Avoid browsing any websites that you wouldn’t show your boss. You wouldn’t do this in an office space and you shouldn’t do it either on a work computer at home. Furthermore, suspicious websites could come with malware and/or viruses that could do serious harm to the device.
– Never save personal documents to your work computer. Not only could you compromise security accidentally with a buggy file, but at the end of the day, any content downloaded onto the work computer belongs to the company if it remains there after your departure.
Maintaining both proper rules of the web and secure log-ins will ensure that remote workers remain focused and keep the network safe from outside attacks.
Leverage Communication Tools
If you want to have a world-class marketing team, you need to have the right online tools for your team to use. Unfortunately, there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution. Your team will have to rely on various services for content management, communication, SEO research, and various other functions.
Here are some of the most widely used services by remote content teams:
– Slack: It is a powerful team communication application that’s basically a private messaging platform and team chat room that empowers collaboration.
– Confluence: It is a platform that allows you to create interlinked documents collaboratively and is great for creating style guides and documenting processes.
– Zoom: It is a robust video conference platform that works for everything from one-on-one meetings to large team meetings.
– Airtable, Asana, and Basecamp: Are product management tools that are useful when it comes to assigning and following tasks across remote teams.
– CoSchedule, DivvyHQ, Trello, and Google Calendar: Are all amazing tools for creating shared editorial calendars for managing content publication.
Get to Know the Remote Marketing Team
The final piece of advice when it comes to managing remote marketing teams is not to be strangers.
Using tools such as chat, video conferencing, and other technologies during the workday to hold one-on-one meetings and brainstorming sessions as well as building bonds between team members can help build relationships on the remote marketing team.
Getting the team together at the end of the week can give everybody the opportunity to know how they contributed to the bigger picture during the workweek along with how different issues are affecting their jobs. Such routines allow team leaders to review performances and tighten strategies for the time ahead before minor challenges can become major problems.
Encourage non-work-related communication for members of the team to get to know each other on a personal level. Better still, if possible, organize real-world meetups or even an annual retreat for members of the team to bond.
If you have the right team, tools, and strategies in place, you will find that having a distributed marketing team is just as effective as having an in-house marketing team, if not more so!