You’re finally at a point where you want to invest your time wisely and work “on your business” and not “in your business.” You also realize that growth requires partnerships with other professionals that will help you achieve your lofty goals with efficiency and excellence. That’s why you’ve decided to tap an outside firm to elevate your company’s marketing efforts.
While marketing may not be in your wheelhouse, you understand the value of honoring your company’s brand and creating compelling messages that reach your ideal audience on a consistent basis. You need a partner who understands your business, understands your customer, and most importantly can take the “overwhelm” out of promoting your business.
An experienced marketing pro can provide a fresh perspective, help you get the most from your budget, and pull all of the marketing together for you. If you’re not totally convinced that outsourcing is right for your business, read our blog highlighting five reasons why you should hire a virtual marketing partner.
If you’ve already decided to take the plunge, the good news is it’s easier than you think to work effectively with outsourced professionals. Follow these strategies for making the most of your relationship and you’ll have a virtual marketing team that runs like a well-oiled machine!
Create a marketing strategy.
It’s critical that you and your virtual marketing team be on the same page regarding your goals. When we work with our clients, we always start with strategy. We never jump in and assume to know your business and make random recommendations based on the trendiest marketing ideas. We learn about your goals, your customers, and what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past. A marketing plan will serve as a baseline for you and your virtual team when it comes to choosing promotion channels, assessing progress, and determining when and how to change tactics. The importance of investing time in this work cannot be overstated.
Establish ground rules.
Whether you are working with an individual or a team, everyone must follow the same rules, have the same deadlines, and comply with the same standards as they would if they were working in your office. You may have hired your virtual marketing team based on their knowledge and skills, but you also need to be clear about your expectations regarding things like work ethic, performance, and attitudes. If your brand is obsessive about details, make sure your team is detail oriented. If fast delivery is your brand promise, hire professionals who take the same approach to setting and meeting deadlines. This will go a long way towards ensuring that everyone is on the same page and things run smoothly.
Keeping the lines of communication open is critical to working as efficiently as possible with your virtual marketing partners. Because you’re not right down the hall or around the corner from your team, it’s essential to leverage the tech tools at your disposal. Establish protocols from the start: email is a given, but there may be times when phone calls and texts are most productive. Video conferencing, collaborative apps, or other chat tools may also be viable options.
Meet in person.
As a business owner or marketing manager, try to schedule at least one in-person meeting per quarter with your virtual team. While there may be costs involved with getting everyone together, the benefit is substantial in terms of generating ideas and building camaraderie. Use this time wisely: for instance, rather than reviewing a list of upcoming projects it might be better to focus on current campaigns from the standpoint of what worked, what didn’t work, and what can be done differently. Having open discussions with the entire team and soliciting their ideas can lead to greater success down the road.
Your virtual marketing team will need feedback – both positive and constructive – in order to produce the best work possible. At Hype, we make it a point to send ideas, drafts, and examples to clients for review and comment. We also encourage clients to set up weekly or monthly check-in calls to discuss progress, review analytics, and evaluate their campaign’s performance against set goals. An honest and frequent exchange of information will help clarify direction and allow your team to make the necessary adjustments and implement your suggestions.
Partnering with a professional firm is smart marketing – and one of the most important business decisions you will make. Working with a virtual team allows for enormous flexibility as well as access to resources and skills you don’t have in house. Fostering a collaborative relationship and communicating to ensure shared goals and strategies will lead to positive outcomes for your projects.