Digital marketing happens to be one of those areas that can be effectively handled from home, so managing your marketing team remotely during our uncertain times is quite achievable. But how do you keep your marketing team productive as they deal with the mental stress of self-isolation?
There’s no single working solution here, though. Every business may develop their unique way to handle remote employee management.
To help you out, here’s how we are making sure our remote team remains productive:
Table of Contents
1. Video Meetings Are Essential
As someone painfully used to working from an office, I find it emotionally hard to work from home. It’s the feeling of isolation, being away from the team, which makes it particularly hard to get focused or motivated to work as hard as I used to.
I know my teammates are struggling with the same issues, and I am sure there are many people experiencing this problem.
I find regular video conferencing to be quite helpful, both for planning and lifting the feelings that come with self-isolation.
We have an internal blog which we are using to schedule daily virtual meetings:
To host virtual meetings, we ended up using UberConference which allows to create a virtual room for up to 100 participants, for only $10 a month,
The main reason why we chose the platform is its simplicity.
Once set-up, the virtual room is always there, very much like a real room. Whether the organizer (i.e. the host) is there or not, your team members can come in any time and chat. It gives that nice feeling of presence.
Every day, we have a set time slot for each team. Even if there’s nothing to discuss yet, it is important to come in for 5 minutes to see each other. It is just like coming to an office and seeing everyone’s faces.
We also have fun activities scheduled almost every day. These are not required to attend, but if you feel isolated or miserable, they can prove very helpful. There’s a dedicated room for streaming live music (performed by one of the employees). There’s another room where our employees’ kids can join and chat with one another.
We are still exploring these new territories. This is just our initial set-up which has already proved to be helping improve our team morale.
2. Calendars Are Lifesavers
We were using calendars prior to working-from-home, but they have proved real lifesavers for managing the remote team.
We have tried and evaluated many calendar and project management apps. We are currently using Outlook Calendar, because it integrates well with our mailing system. But there are a few other solutions I have been on and can recommend.
For smaller teams, there’s a variety of solutions that integrate with WordPress. We considered picking one for our internal blog to include the fun committee’s calendar. For bigger teams, smart scheduling solutions from Deputy provide great features for managing large teams and organizing multi-level responsibilities.
3. Give Collaborative Tools a Try
Finally, I’ve always been a huge advocate of collaborative tools, both for in-house and remote teams. They keep teams accountable and self-driven, improve employee morale, and help with motivation.
Collaboration gives that satisfying feeling of everyone working towards a common goal. Regardless of the type of business you are running, your marketing team handles a lot of scattered tasks which are also often associated with other teams, outside of your marketing department. That requires more organization and communication for cross team collaboration.
For example, more often than not, your marketing team:
- Promotes content other people wrote
- Uses visuals that your design team put together
- Relies on sales materials your sales team has created
On top of that, all of your marketing team’s micro-activities cannot always be easily scheduled or accounted for. Creating a daily list of these activities or putting them into a report would steal half of your team’s time.
Collaborative dashboards solve both of these problems:
- They include other teams into your marketing activities
- They get all the micro-tasks done through employees pushing one another and picking up each other’s tasks
Sadly, I am not aware of a single collaborative solution which fit all marketing needs, but here a few I am currently using:
Venngage for Visual Content Co-Creation
ContentCal or Traject Social for Content Co-Sharing
ContentCal allows your whole company to create social media updates to go live on your branded channels.
ContentCall keeps a library of your past updates and hashtags allowing your team to easily re-use your top-performing content.
It also offers powerful communication tools allowing team members to post and respond to each other’s comments and collaborative social media inbox feature which enables your whole company to quickly respond to your customers online. This collaborative approach to social media management improves productivity and saves sales.
Easily set up social media posts, get approval from clients, and share on multiple channels that appeal to your company’s audience.
One of the best features of Traject Social is how affordable it is compared to other social media management tools.
SE Ranking, AuthorityLabs, and Cyfe for SEO Monitoring
As an SEO agency, we have built our own tools we are using to keep an eye on our clients’ organic visibility, so I don’t have any recent experience with third-party solutions. But here’s one I had a positive experience in the past:
SE Ranking is a multi-feature SEO analytics and management platform that includes ranking and backlink monitoring. You can create projects and add users, as well as manage their permissions. The platform makes SEO much easier to organize, especially if you are running several websites scattered across multiple teams or team members:
The tool offers one access to multiple SEO tools and numbers, as well as offers access to SEO to-do lists which you can delegate to co-workers.
Obviously, you should also use Cyfe to create sharable dashboards and keep your whole remote and scattered team updated. Cyfe allows you to connect your Google Analytics, Search Console, and Moz Data into one beautiful white label dashboard for SEO monitoring. With Cyfe, you can easily tie your successes back to business impacting conversions.
Finally, if you need more one-on-one help, pick a coach to help you out. Our SEO community is donating time to providing business-oriented remote working training which can be accessed here.
This year’s pandemic is predicted to be a major disruptor to the global workspace. Many remote workers may not want to go back to work from the office any more. Remote teams will become a new normal.
We all do remain hopeful that these changes are temporary and we will soon move back to our office. But we are confident that going through this will make us a more powerful and flexible company. Coming back we will be more confidently facing any workflow changes the future may bring.