If you’re blessed with the opportunity to start a digital marketing team from the ground up, take it. You’d be surprised how many companies are living in the Stone Age when it comes to marketing technology. They need someone like you to launch them into the modern era of the internet…or at least help them manage their website. While these tips are marketing-focused, many can be applied to almost any solo team or start up partnership. Here’s how to shine on your first few months of the job.
Start off strong by surveying the landscape.
The worst thing you can do when you start a new job is kick down the door and denounce anything the company has been doing up until you arrived to save the day. Literally or metaphorically. People hate change. They went out on a limb to hire you as a digital marketer, because the internet told them you can do magical things to drive business. Don’t make them regret it. So before you unleash your genius lead generation plan, make sure to…
Get familiar with your organization’s processes.
If you were hired and know nothing about your new employer, shame on you. But share your secrets in the comments below. But knowing the year the company was founded and the nuances of its sales process is a completely different animal. As a digital marketer, your goal is to attract as much high quality traffic and leads to the website as possible. But you can’t do that if you don’t know anything about the sales cycle or understand the competitive advantage of your product. While you’re at it, figure out the approval process for content creation and onboarding new tools.
Make your presence known.
Knocking down the door may get you attention at first, but you might scare your team off with your radical ways (entrances included.) Remember that it’s infinitely easier to ignore an email from someone you can’t match a face to the name. So be sure to introduce yourself slowly but surely around the office. Want another pro tip? When someone asks what you do, don’t launch into a 10 minute speech about search engine optimization. Say you’re helping with the website. And don’t be afraid to mention that you’re here to make the lives of the sales team easier. It’s the truth, and earns you brownie points.
Ask for access to any and all marketing tools the company has.
I would say “is using” but these half a dozen unused tools are the reason why you have a cubicle with your name on it. You don’t have to be a marketing person to adopt marketing software. In fact, most popular tools are designed to be so user-friendly that you actually wasted 4 years of your life getting a marketing degree. Hopefully it won’t take you another 4 years to figure out what’s working and what’s not.
Before you do a deep dive into the data, make sure that proper tracking is in place.
I was shook when I found out that my blog had better data tracking than my current employer. But you don’t know, what you don’t know. Which is great for me because I need a job, and they need someone to help them wrangle the science of digital marketing. It’s a symbiotic relationship. If you want to look like a rockstar a few months down the line, make sure you set up a strong digital foundation.
- Google Tag Manager is literally a marketer’s dream. Poking your web developers every time you need a tracking code installed is a surefire way to make them hate you. This allows you to experiment as much as you want, and the dev team only needs to install it once.
- If your company doesn’t have Google Analytics, drop everything and get that tracking code on your website immediately. If they already have it, make sure you create a new view with filters (e.g. filter out internal traffic) and set up goals. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can start showing off how much better the site has been performing since you got there.
- Google Search Console is a must, especially for larger sites. It helps you spot issues such as broken links and allows you to submit your XML sitemap (aka the treasure map that leads the Google bots to your valuable content.)
- HotJar is a freemium tool that shows you the weaknesses in your user experience (UX) and where people are dropping off of your site. You can create heat maps and even record visitors’ behavior, so you can see how they’re interacting with your content.
Get the rest of the team on board. Especially your boss.
Someone gave the green light to hand you a paycheck, but that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a spot on the bench until you decide to move on. You have to earn your keep. This means getting your coworkers to buy into your newfangled ways and proving that you are a valuable member of the team.
Educate your team on best practices.
Despite people using the internet every day for hours, most don’t know how it works. But you do. #Jobsecurity. Or they might have a basic idea and cling to the little knowledge they have. Many people know about search engine optimization (SEO), but not the nuances that come with it. For example, they value your worth week to week depending on how your website is ranking for a keyword. They may not know that keyword ranking is an unreliable metric to base a website’s success upon. But that’s the only marketing jargon they know, so they’ll stick to it. Remember that you’ll face resistance when you tell them that batch and blast email campaigns need to go. Denouncing the way things have been done around the company for a long time is a delicate matter. Before you take the security blanket away, make sure you explain why and replace with a better alternative.
Convince your coworkers that your crazy idea will work.
Getting your team to buy in to your new methodologies and ideas can be exhausting. But cooperation is key when it comes to a successful marketing strategy. You need the sales team on board to get feedback about the quality of your leads as well as make note of their other efforts (e.g. placing a print ad in a trade magazine.) Also, content doesn’t write itself. You may need feedback or other team members to pitch in depending on the topic.
Share your progress.
Even if your marketing campaigns are a swimming success, the rest of the team may not know that. Check in at least once a month with data about the website’s performance. Numbers don’t lie, but they can be manipulated to tell a good story. I’m not saying to fudge the numbers. Don’t do that. But select graphs and stats that tell a good story. For example, adjust date ranges or swap data points from weekly to quarterly.
When presenting the data, make sure it’s easy to consume and comprehend. Your boss may not have time to pour over data tables, so save him a headache by adding visuals he can breeze through. Don’t forget to include a summary of your findings and any tips for reading the information. My biggest recommendation? Build a scorecard that you add onto every month.