You’ve decided it’s time to hire a marketing person for your business - there’s just one problem: you’re not quite sure where to begin.
The marketing field is a wide umbrella for many specialty areas from SEO and social media to brand management and user experience. In fact, there are over 100 different types of marketing. What type of brand you need managed also matters. Running a political social media campaign is different than a campaign for a business. On top of that, you have the choice of hiring a freelance marketing professional, agency, or in-house.
We know, it’s a lot to consider just to hire a marketer for your business!
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you not only define what type of marketer your business needs but give you resources and tips on how to find them.
Today, the majority of marketing skills you should look for are in the digital space. Over the last decade, online advertising and marketing has become a major focus for businesses. Below is a list of the different types of skills a digital marketing person can possess.
A social media marketer will have a wide knowledge of managing and creating content, engaging, and analyzing results in order to grow your business' social media following on various platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Social media marketers may also have influencer marketing experience in setting up partnerships and engaging with brand advocates.
A paid marketer is specialized in managing a company’s paid digital media strategy and how to target your ideal customers through a “pay per click” model such as Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.
A content marketer will have experience identifying and creating content that will attract and engage your target audience. Content marketers will have experience developing, editing, and managing content such as blog articles, landing pages, and social media posts.
An email marketer is responsible for managing an organizations’ email marketing campaigns, developing engaging email content, and maximizing revenue opportunities from the companies CRM and customer database.
An SEO marketer will have a wide knowledge of Google search and what your website needs in order to improve your rankings. SEO marketers may use a range of tactics such as on-page optimizations, content strategy, technical analysis, and website performance, keyword research, and link building to improve your website's relevancy.
Video marketers specialize in video creation and production for companies. Video marketers should have experience with managing and growing a following on social platforms including Youtube and Vimeo.
UX marketers are experts at identifying roadblocks and testing different aspects of your product or website to improve a customer’s experience. Improving conversion rates such as sales, email subscriptions, or click through rates are their main goals.
This type of marketer is data driven usually a Google Analytics and Search Console aficionado. Marketers who specialize in website analytics and reporting can dig into analytics and find out what’s happening on your website and can guide overall strategy based on metrics from paid, social, referral, and organic search.
A mobile marketer knows how to optimize apps and improve user experience with your brand on mobile devices.
This type of marketer is creative and has an eye for branding and design. They can use tools like Illustrator and Photoshop to design print and digital media that engages and attracts your audience.
What a list! As a business owner, you know you need a marketer, but as you can clearly see above, that can mean many things. In order to hire someone, you first need to know what type of skills would most benefit your business.
Is your company marketing to other businesses or customers? Knowing who your customers are will help you understand how to reach them. Marketing to HR professionals looking for a payroll management solution will be completely different than marketing and attracting new customers into a restaurant. Many companies will look for marketing managers who have experience with B2B marketing or B2C marketing as they tend to differ in strategy.
What marketing tactics are your competitors using in their campaigns? Are they active on social media? Do they outrank you on Google? Do they have a popular app? Look at all of the marketing strategies of your competitors and analyze what they’re doing vs. what you’re currently doing. Do you see an opportunity that you can capitalize on?
Take a good, hard look at your current marketing strategy. What’s working and what isn’t? Are there holes that could be filled by hiring a freelance marketing manager or a marketing agency? Maybe your website looks great but your rankings have fallen. You may want to hire someone with an SEO background to find out what’s going on. Is your Instagram following dropping? Hiring a social media specialist will help you drive social strategy and improve your engagement. Define those areas of improvement and make sure whomever you hire to handle your marketing campaign has the experience to bridge the gaps.
As mentioned above, there are many skills needed to be a successful digital marketer or freelance marketing manager, but it’s almost impossible that one person can be an expert at all of them. If you want to hire an in-house marketer, you should focus on finding a digital marketing person that has a wide knowledge of different areas of marketing but possesses expertise in the skills your business needs most.
In-house employees are part of your core team and are paid to know your company, brand, and industry inside and out. As an employee, they should feel a sense of ownership of your business as they work strategically with all of the employees and other departments towards your business goals.
As mentioned above, by hiring one person you are slightly more limited with their variety of skills and specializations. In-house employees are also a huge investment. Attracting top talent requires you to be competitive offering a salary, benefits, and vacation time which can be very costly over time. You can check Salary.com and Glassdoor to find out the average salary for marketing professionals in your area.
Does your candidate possess the skills that you need? If their background is in technical SEO but you need a solid content strategy, they’re probably not the best fit. It helps to understand a little bit about the skillset you’re looking to hire for to ensure you’re asking the right questions.
Where have they worked and what have they worked on? If you’re an ecommerce site, you may want to target candidates who have experience marketing for ecommerce sites since marketing for ecommerce tends to differ from SaaS.
Have they managed teams? Do they have contacts to help bring in help when needed? A candidate who has resources or management experience can be valuable should your marketing needs grow down the line.
Can your candidate manage and strategize for the bigger picture? Don’t be afraid to ask them in an interview what their plans and recommendations for your company are. After all, if they do their homework, they should have some ideas to bring to the table. A good marketing person will have the experience and skill set to know what your business needs.
There are many resources available for finding in-house candidates to fill marketing positions. Some of the more popular job recruiting sites include:
If you don’t have the budget to bring on a full time employee, then hiring a marketing freelancer is the next best option, and oftentimes the most affordable.
A freelancer will usually work on a contract or per project basis and are paid on an agreed fixed amount. Since they are contractors, they don’t require benefits or vacation time, and many of them are more affordable than an agency or hiring an in-house employee.
A freelancer may not have all of the skills needed to complete your marketing team. Having them work on bits and pieces of your marketing strategy or on a per project basis limits the effectiveness of what a team or full time employee could accomplish. Furthermore, they are often working with multiple clients, so you may not get 100% of their attention all of the time.
What types of clients do they typically work with and what are their specializations? Do they have a portfolio of examples they can show you? Ask for referrals or testimonials from previous clients to get a sense of how reliable they are.
You should have a good idea what the going hourly rate is for a freelancer based on the skills and project you’re hiring for. You could also shop around and get quotes from a few different freelancers to compare pricing and services.
Since you may not be the only client a freelancer has, it’s important to understand what their frequency of communication and project turnaround time is. Properly managing expectations is the first step to a successful freelance relationship.
You can find freelancers specializing in every type of marketing on the following sites:
If you can’t commit to hiring a full-time employee and need more skills and resources than a freelancer, hiring a marketing agency is your best option.
The biggest benefit of hiring a marketing agency over an employee and freelancer is you’re able to take advantage of multiple skills and specialty areas to cover all of your marketing bases. Depending upon your budget you could have an entire team of various specialists dedicated to managing your marketing strategy. Agencies often have a wide range of experience working for businesses and industries of all types.
Prices range for agencies and many of them can be quite expensive so you should do your homework before you settle on one. Similar to freelancers, you’re most likely sharing your agency team with other clients so their undivided attention to your business may not be possible. Furthermore, an agency isn’t part of your company so they may not have the same sense of ownership or expertise about your industry/brand that an employee would have.
Similar to hiring a freelancer, you’ll want to know what type of businesses the agency has worked with. If you’re a SaaS company, you ideally want your team to have experience marketing for SaaS, or even better, if they have experience within your industry. It’s also good to know what type of specialists are available to you. You may start out small but as you grow, you’ll want to find out what other specialists can they offer you to help manage all aspects of your strategy. It’s a good idea to ask for agency referrals as well.
As mentioned above, pricing can vary significantly from agency to agency. Most agencies will prefer to work on a retainer where you pay a monthly fee for their services. An agency should be as transparent as possible with their pricing.
Because agencies tend to work with multiple clients, you’ll want to understand how much time will be devoted to your account and how often you can expect to hear from them. They should also be clear about the type of reporting they provide and how they measure results.
The best way to find an agency is through referrals or research based on your location and the services you’re looking for. There are a few sites that recommend top digital marketing agencies or agencies by location.