Businesses have suffered a severe repercussion from the economical effects of the pandemic. Amidst the unfortunate climate regarding different industries, one of the businesses that continue to thrive is Digital Marketing and this is primarily because of the flexibility involved in its work processes. A team with solid core values and a clear vision in mind is one to reckon with in terms of productivity and results so this is a fundamental area to pay attention to.
For this article, I have asked experts from our industry about how they transitioned from their traditional workspace to a remote work setup and so far, their answers have affirmed how digital marketing is going strong even during this situation. I will also give you a preview into how our team is doing it and successfully so. SEOs and other companies who are looking for the benefits of a work-from-home setup, read on!
Impacts of Transitioning to a Full Remote Work Setup
Let’s tackle the hard parts of having a remote work setup. Not everyone can transition to remote work, especially if their scope of work requires face-to-face interaction with clients or if they have a need for onsite materials for them to accomplish their tasks. For digital marketing, there are also roadblocks to having this kind of setup.
Owner and Marketing Director of SEOteric, Matt Brooks says, “Communication, or rather connection, is harder to maintain. I would routinely visit each person throughout the day to connect, and that is much harder to do in a remote work environment. We all miss the connection of being together, and the culture you build is harder to maintain when working remotely”.
Connection has been seemingly lost since everyone is on the other side of a screen. Working as a team can be greatly aided by face-to-face interactions which can improve transparency in communication but with remote work, this can be difficult to do.
Paul Ronto, Chief Marketing Officer of Run Repeat echoes this statement, “One of the big downsides of remote work is the feeling of isolation. It really sucks productivity when you feel alone all day. We crave personal connection and losing those intra-office chats/relationships takes its toll”.
Still, the positive effects trump the negative since these can all be dealt with by the right mindset and vision for productivity in accomplishing tasks.
“Working remotely does not have any significant downsides for workers specializing in digital marketing. Digital Marketing flow has significantly increased and utilizing social platforms for targeted advertising has become increasingly effective and efficient during quarantine, primarily due to the spike of users and potential clients use of the internet and increase in social media screen time,” Tristan Barrett of YouPlanets says about the overall impact of remote work to digital marketing.
Key ingredients for digital marketing to thrive in remote work:
My team is still at the ready to empower businesses who are underserved in the digital world. The remote setup is not much of a surprise for us, so we handle it excellently. As their leader, I see to it that I overshare and target the most cohesive communication channels that we can take advantage of. I believe this is more important than keeping them in the dark and leaving my team members with more uncertainty than they have during this pandemic.
More than being transparent in terms of my communication, I also work hard in order to achieve KPIs and to motivate the utmost productivity in them. Instilling a vision in team members is essential since this can help them realize their purpose. To do this, there are key ingredients to maintain the growth that digital marketing can give to businesses. Let’s take a look at some of them here:
The call for unity resounds more than ever, especially since mobility is limited during these times. We cannot see each other but that doesn’t mean that integrity and precise work ethics would be absent. Trust is a two-way street so this does not only apply to team members but you have to trust the management as well. For all of us to have a sound working environment, it would be beneficial for everyone to feel safe in it.
Alexander Porter of SearchItLocal shares that, “While office environments foster connectivity and creativity, they also allow for levels of oversight. Remote work requires trust, not only in individuals within a team but in the processes themselves. For me and the remote team at Search It Local, the greatest effect of working remotely has been the growing sense of trust in each other and the service we provide”.
Inherent trust is important in order to make a remote setup work and this gives freedom to work at a designated pace. I would like to work with a team I can trust so this is a valuable ingredient for remote work.
Invest in Productivity Tools
I invest in software because it greatly helps in getting things done. For this reason, productivity tools are one of the things that you should look into if you are aiming to increase productivity in your team. We use Hubstaff and Trello as tools to aid our productivity and this can help us track the tasks from team members. Additionally, they are efficient in monitoring how a team member performs so that is a great benefit from this software.
We also have a P2 Blog where we log on our weekly tasks. This is instrumental for our remote work process moving forward as we are transparent with the rest of the team on our workload. With this, team members are expected to log in their completed tasks and the tasks for next week. There is also a section for the things that came up during the week, so we can adjust expectations on the submission of tasks.
It would also help if you have tools for time management and Alan Silvestri from Growth Gorilla has this to say about this, “The biggest effect of constant remote work is the need to manage your own time. Fortunately, today’s tech offers a variety of tools to help you. But I’m always experimenting and trying to improve – that’s how critical time management is for success.
Streamline the Hiring Process
Most of the work processes now can happen online. Even hiring applicants can be done via Zoom calls. Our team has a 6-step hiring process and with the lockdown happening, we had no problems observing this for applicants. What’s lost now is the effort to go to the office and return for each step. This is how I know that an applicant is a valuable addition to the team.
Our own Human Resources Manager, Alexie Nobleta says this about the hiring process during the pandemic, “Applicants are more eager to move on with their application process now that there is an option to work from home. This is because job seekers are looking for a safe option. They also have fewer expenses when working from home so this helps in attracting them to pursue their application.”
Additionally, the CEO of Netbooknews, Kenny Trinh, says, “Remote employees have more freedom than traditional office workers. They can wake up at the office starting an hour and just sit in front of the computer. They don’t have to tense about catching a ride and reaching office though bad traffic. Who would want to miss this benefit?”
Pay close attention to your communication channels
As I said before, transparency is key to communication. We need to exhaust all communication channels possible so that not a word is lost in translation. This helps in improving efficiency especially because clients are expecting our responsiveness. Working from home has opened up a lot of avenues in communication as video chat has become a norm.
Andrew Laws uses Slack for their communication as he says, “During the COVID-19 Pandemic there has been an increased reliance on email for most companies. But not for us. We decided a couple of years ago to ban internal emails in favor of using Slack. Slack integrates brilliantly with our project management software (Trello). Remote working and careful configuration of Slack has also helped reduce our overheads, so even losing work has been more tolerable than it would have been otherwise”.
Communication is one of the key ingredients that we need in order for digital marketing to thrive. Without it, you might as well be working with a brick wall. Accessibility of information is of the utmost importance. Never forget this when you are transitioning to remote work.
Refine your process documents
Working on a remote setup is a chance to revisit your process documents as well as strike the right balance between efficiency and time management. It is high time that you see how you can refine your process so you can motivate maximum efficiency.
Jo McKee, the founder of McKee Creative has accomplished this for their team and he shared, “To do this we set up very clear Job Brief documents so that each person understands not only the task and the deadline, but also how it fits in to the bigger picture. We promote initiative, and provide incentives for the team member to grow with the business. It’s also really important to hire the right people. If you’re working remotely and hire the type of person who just “ticks the boxes” without thinking about the impact of their work, the quality of the work will suffer.”
In Google Drive, we have created an Agency Manual where new team members can find every workflow and template they need to complete their jobs. It also serves to introduce one another via a quick bio.
Digital Marketing and Business
The digital marketing industry is showing no signs of slowing down. As businesses are now realizing or revisiting the potential that an online presence can give to their growth, digital marketing is more prevalent especially since it can operate under remote work. We, as digital marketing experts, have to show stability in the form of our organization. Business Development Head, Charm Villanueva says, “We are already ahead of the game and it is our responsibility to guide businesses through the shift – from traditional marketing to digital.”
Tom De Spiegelaere also affirms this as he has seen a boost in conversions due to the circumstances of the pandemic. Businesses have seen the potential of online to help them achieve their goals and what better way than to serve that purpose for them, right? Tom says, “To fill that need, we’re doing our part in pivoting our strategies to help companies stay relevant, profitable, and helpful to their customers. The pandemic may have been a shock to us all, but this has proved how crucial a company’s online presence is. For that reason, business owners need a company like ours to help them navigate the changes in the market today.”
See how many digital marketing experts are navigating this change in a significant way? Remote work can do a lot for your company, especially now. For those who are scared to explore this option or opted not to do so, what have you got to lose? Productivity will be ignited if you lead your team. At the end of the day, no matter what the office setup may be, it would still be up to you as a leader to motivate your team in achieving a common goal.
Who else is working remotely? How do you like it so far? Comment down below!