There’s a lot that goes into a successful business. Having the right employees is one of them.
Maybe you’re an established business who has dabbled here and there with a marketing strategy, but never made any substantial effort to complement your business goals with a solid digital marketing strategy. Or, maybe you currently work with an agency but have grown enough to hire someone internally to handle some of the workload. Whatever the situation, you’re ready to put forth that time and energy and money to hire someone to lead your company in this endeavor.
To make sure this new employee is qualified and capable of meeting your expectations, here are 9 aspects of the job the candidate should have experience in to be successful as a digital marketing manager.
Areas In Which All Digital Marketing Managers Should Have Experience
Social Media: You need someone to manage all of your social media accounts while also actively implementing strategies to grow and engage your followers. This person should understand the best practices and trends in the social media world and be knowledgeable enough to respond to customer questions and concerns submitted via social media.
Blogging: Having a blog is very important for businesses looking to expand their online reach because it allows you to grow in the organic rankings for focused keywords, as well as presenting your company as a thought leader in your industry. For that reason, your digital marketing manager should manage your blog and provide relevant and intriguing concepts for posts. This person should, therefore, be a great writer and able to quickly understand your target markets so they can address their needs, wants, and concerns via blog posts.
Content Marketing: Providing downloadable content and offers on your site is a key element to a good inbound marketing plan. If no additional content or valuable information is present on your site, your visitors have no reason to come back often or stay long when they’re there. These offers can include things like ebooks, webinars, infographics, or free samples, and your digital marketing manager should handle the implementation of these items on your website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): A huge part of a digital marketing strategy is search engine optimization. When searching on Google, the majority of people click on the organic rankings. That means that not only should your content be thorough and engaging, but it also has to be written with optimization in mind. Keyword strategy and the execution of it are instrumental in gaining new leads on the internet. Your new employee should be experienced in this, as well as building inbound links, to maximize your results.
Email Marketing: Building and maintaining an email list is one of the most important things to include in your digital marketing strategy. Therefore, it’s one of the most important skills your new digital marketing manager should possess. This individual should be aware of optimizing campaigns for mobile devices, pinning down the best timing and frequency for your particular email list, and, of course, crafting great email copy with clear calls-to-action.
Paid Marketing: Although it was mentioned above that most people click on organic search results, that doesn’t mean paid marketing is useless. Tactics like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and retargeting are beneficial in helping you grow now, while you build more on your organic efforts. Paid advertising involves a lot of day-to-day maintenance and knowledge about how to analyze and adjust your campaigns, so it’s beneficial to hire an individual who has experience in this area.
Traditional Marketing: Although the main focus for a digital marketing manager would be your online strategies, it is important that they understand the offline traditional marketing strategies you have in place as well. To have a cohesive plan, all aspects of it need to be included and considered when making decisions. Also, there are places where offline and online marketing strategies intersect, such as an offline mailer that is sent out but tied to a special domain or online offer. Having an understanding of how traditional marketing efforts work will benefit your future employee in the long run.
Graphic Design: Visual elements of content are becoming more and more important in the digital marketing world. People want content easier and quicker than ever before, and graphics convey information faster than a long page of written words can. Therefore, a lot of the digital marketing tasks require graphics to articulate or accent important areas of the overall plan, so having a digital marketing manager who is familiar with creating graphics is a must. It’s also encouraged that they possess an eye for design and an understanding of what works visually and what doesn’t in the various channels of digital marketing.
Project Management: Perhaps all jobs entail a bit of management skill, but being a digital marketing manager requires a huge helping of it. With so many different aspects of the job, it is essential that your future employee be able to handle multiple projects, manage a content calendar to keep everyone on task, and regularly follow up on analytics to measure either the success or the areas that need improvement for every element of your marketing plan.
Tips on Testing an Applicants’ Skill Level
It’s all very well and good when applicants list past work experience or education that states they have experience in these different areas, but it’s even more impressive when an applicant can prove those skills to you. Here are a few tips on how to take your application process to the next level to ensure you hire the best digital marketing manager possible.
- Have the applicants submit a writing sample for you to review. Possessing good writing skills is a necessity to being successful as a digital marketing manager, so having a chance to review this before hiring is vital. Examples of what to request for a sample could include re-working a page on your website, writing a blog post on a given topic, or creating a downloadable content offer that fits with your target audience and their needs. Of course, you might have to give them a little information upfront since they aren’t intimately involved with your business, but getting a sneak peek into the kind of content they can develop will greatly narrow down the qualified applicant pool.
- Have the applicants submit a graphical sample for you to review. Along with writing, doing graphical work is another large part of a digital marketing manager’s job. Also, there’s a difference between being competent in using Photoshop and actually having an eye for design and what looks good. If your applicant submits a design with clashing colors and a dozen different font selections, this may not be the best individual for the job. Examples of what to request as a sample could be an infographic, a redesign of your Facebook banner, or a sample post for Instagram.
- Review their personal social media accounts. If this person is going to be managing your business social media accounts, you might want to take a look at how they manage their personal ones. If they rarely post or, alternatively, say a lot of controversial or questionable things, that might be a red flag to consider. You don’t want to hand over the face of your business to someone who doesn’t seem to understand common courtesy or have good judgement about what they post for the rest of the world to see.
- Offer the job on a trial basis. This isn’t always an option for all applicants, but if you’re not 100% sure about the person you’re considering hiring, see if they will take the job on a trial basis. Maybe he or she only works so many hours a week, or you hire them full-time on a 30-day or 60-day trial. That way, at the end of the given period, you can re-evaluate if they are providing the type of value you had been hoping for. That said, make sure you also set forth clear guidelines on how they will be evaluated and perform an assessment according to those guidelines when the trial has ended.
There are a lot of different aspects to a great digital marketing manager and many ways to put those skills to the test before hiring. Some areas might be more important to your company than others, but it’s good to at least consider all of them - even if you aren’t currently utilizing a certain channel, such as email marketing or social media. Larger companies that have a marketing department might only need someone to fill certain aspects of this position, so consider this when creating your job description. Alternatively, if you are already working with a marketing agency, a digital marketing manager can be perfect as the liaison for your company while also taking on some of the tasks in-house to maximize your budgeted dollars for these efforts.
To start you off, we’ve crafted a job posting for a Digital Marketing Manager that you can use and revise to your needs and specifications. Download it today and start the search for your ideal digital marketing manager employee!