Digital marketing is more important than it’s ever been. Building an effective team to manage that digital marketing remains challenging, though. When budgets are already stretched thin, your HR team is struggling to identify the right skills, and you’re not even sure what it is that you need, it can seem like an impossible task. Fortunately, the key steps to building an effective digital marketing team that is capable of producing real-world results are considerably easier than you might expect. It might seem as if marketing in the digital age is a confusing, almost undefinable project, but real and tangible results will be made much easier by using the following steps.

Step 1: Know Your Objectives

As with any task, the first step is to identify exactly what you want to achieve. At its most basic level, the end goal of all marketing is to increase profits, and digital marketing can do that for you. However, being such a vast area makes the subject very complex very quickly. There are some key components to digital marketing that your team needs to be skilled at:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Paid advertising

When you’re starting to build your team, those are the skills and experience indicators that you need to look for.

Step 2: Look In-House

Before your HR team starts to submit vacancy adverts, it’s always smart to look internally first. There’s a chance that you may already have employees with a solid understanding of paid advertising or social media management. Even having the foundation of digital marketing skills will give you something that can be developed. Building the skillsets and experience of your existing team members is always a better idea than outside recruitment.

Step 3: Think Soft Skills

While you want to make sure that your hires have the practical skills and experience that you want from your digital marketing team, it’s a common mistake to overlook soft skills. Technical ability is an easy parameter to judge interviewees by because they are tangible, but they can too often lead to bad hires. Make sure that your recruitment team has access to the HR systems that can make it easier to identify soft skills like communication and collaboration, leadership, and self-management.

Step 4: Be Realistic

Digital marketing is not a magic button that your team can press as you start to watch profits soar. For example, SEO can be quick to improve and implement, but it can take months before the real-world effects start to occur. Content marketing, too, may not yield immediate results, but it can continue to work for you long into the future. Don’t set unrealistic goals for your digital marketing team, and discuss with them what they think they can achieve and what milestones they should be aiming for. If you have hired an SEO specialist and a social media manager only, then you may need to outsource your content creation to an agency or a freelancer.

Digital marketing isn’t a quick fix that you just pick up and then leave alone. It requires constant development and fine-tuning. Maintaining a digital presence while ensuring that you remain true to your branding and are engaging with your target audience is a full-time job. Take the time to hire the right digital marketing team and give them the tools and the time that they need, and your business will only benefit.