How do I organize my marketing team to work remotely? How do I manage a remote marketing team? How do I make sure team collaboration doesn’t suffer due to remote work?
With uncertainty due to the current climate and the fear remote work may compromise your marketing teams ability to create, you have questions.
Making your entire team work remotely and managing a remote marketing team is a huge step, one that needs proper planning and execution especially during periods of crises.
This guide is aimed at helping marketing leaders, marketers and business owners make their marketing teams transition to remote work painless and keep your marketing team productive while working remotely.
[Click to skip ahead]
- Take Your Entire Marketing Operations Remote
- Remote Marketing Teams Need to Stay Connected
- Keeping Communication Open
- Make Your Remote Marketing Team Productive
- Host or Participate In Virtual Events
The real kicker? All the templates in this guide are free-to-create and editable. Signing up to Venngage is also completely free. Let’s get started, shall we?
WATCH: Communication Tips for Remote Teams
1. Take Your Entire Marketing Operations Remote
If you’re a marketing leader scratching your head on how to take your entire marketing operations remote, managing a remote team can be easier with the following templates:
- Marketing & Growth Strategy Plans
- Project Plans
- WFH Policy Guides
In these times, all marketing leaders need to do one thing really well: communicate with your marketing team regularly. That’s it.
To improve team communication, here’s some templates I’d recommend you use:
1. Remote Marketing Teams Need Flexible Marketing Plans
It’s important as a senior marketing leader to keep your entire marketing team on track when it comes to creating content, optimizing ad spend and hitting your marketing goals in the process.
And in times of crises things can change, fast.
Having your marketing plans, slides, goals, growth strategy and other important documents in one place and instantly editable is the best thing you can do to keep your remote marketing team on the same page and make online collaboration seamless.
Take for example the strategic marketing plan above. You can take an agile approach to social media reporting for your company or client by having a flexible document that can be instantly edited.
Also, don’t forget to incorporate your brand guide style into your designs to ensure consistency when communicating with your customers across various marketing channels.
You can use Venngage’s MyBrandKit (a Business plan feature) to maintain a consistent branding across all your marketing collaterals. Just upload your brand colours, logo and fonts and you’re ready to go.
Your own company’s marketing goals and strategies can be adjusted as you deem necessary with a growth strategy template like the one below:
Having an agile version of your marketing strategy can make it easy to change things on the fly during times when you might need to revise your goals and set new KPIs for the coming months.
2. Managing Projects Remotely With a Project Plan
How do you accomplish big projects successfully as a remote marketing team? You start with making a project plan of course.
As a marketing executive or small business owner, delivering projects on time while keeping your team in sync is what could make or break your company’s success over the long term.
Here’s an example of a simple project plan template you can customize and use right now:
As I mentioned the importance of having a flexible marketing and growth strategy, these templates can also be quickly edited on the fly to reflect any new updates to timelines or deliverables.
Working on a complicated project with many moving parts? Here’s a business strategy template that can help you align your whole team together and shine light on the way moving forward:
While pen and paper work or an online word document work just fine, presenting project or marketing plans visually makes communicating things easier with your team and makes your message much more memorable.
3. Make a Remote Work Policy Guide
If you’re a company that’s already partially or completely remote, you’ll need a process in place to make working from home effective and smooth. The solution?
A formal WFH policy to set and manage expectations about your company’s remote work policy and make the transition to remote work even smoother.
Without an official remote work policy in place, it’s difficult to set clear expectations, quell miscommunication or manage a remote team effectively.
You can even collaborate with your team to create a WFH policy that includes working hours, expectations, best practises, etc to make sure your entire organization abides by it.
Here’s a remote work policy infographic Venngage uses to communicate remote work best practises and any changes to our remote work protocols with the whole team:
2. Remote Marketing Teams Need to Stay Connected
Marketing teams rely on creative collaboration and constant connectivity to eliminate blockers, generate fresh marketing ideas and execute marketing campaigns on the fly.
So staying connected as a remote team and being able to collaborate online is an absolute must to make sure marketers keep creating and producing marketing wins.
Here’s a just a few ways you can be effective, efficient and improve collaboration as a remote marketing team:
1. Use Marketing Checklists to Aid Your Remote Marketing
Checklists are powerful because they prevent people from dropping the ball and boosting productivity by defining tasks clearly and specifically outline what needs to get done.
Here’s an example of a marketing checklist your SEO team can use to optimize your website’s images for search engines:
Keep in mind these templates are completely customizable, so feel free to edit the template above to make checklists your business might specifically need.
There’s also plenty of checklist templates on Venngage for specific use cases ranging from tracking marketing campaigns, boosting productivity and managing complex events.
2. Use Online Collaboration Tools to Your Advantage
At Venngage, we use the following online collaboration tools to stay connected and get stuff done as a remote team:
- Venngage’s Presentation Maker for our meeting slides
- Google Meet for attending online meetings
- Slack for online messaging
- Trello for task and project management
- Ring Central for team collaboration tool
All these remote work tools work well in conjunction to improve team collaboration especially if your marketing team is scattered across the world.
We collaborate on our marketing team meeting slides together, attend calls on Google Meet, use Slack to communicate and discuss blockers and use Trello for tracking progress on our tasks.
We create and edit our meeting slides together using our real-time collaboration feature (Business plan feature) allowing us to share designs and documents that are editable by the whole team erasing any friction in the process.
3. Keeping Communication Open
As a marketing leader, executive or a business owner you need to keep both your employees and customers in the know whether it’s providing your customers with updates relevant to them or responding to your internal team in times of crises.
1. Using Email Newsletters for Company Updates
There’s plenty of email newsletters on Venngage, but during times of crises you need email newsletter examples that are informational rather than promotional.
Here’s an example of how can use an internal email newsletter to communicate important company-wide updates with your employees:
The contents of this email newsletter were addressed to the Basecamp team by their CEO Jason Fried (you can read the original version of his email here).
Also, keep your customers in the loop with any status updates but only if they’re relevant and contextual. Nobody likes receiving emails that aren’t relevant to them:
2. Responding to Crises with Company Checklists
If you’re a thought leader in your industry and want to act in good faith by spreading helpful information, you need a crisis communication plan in place.
Not relevant to marketing per say but sticking to the topic of remote work policy guides, I highly recommend having a crisis-response checklist in place to help your company and others in your industry deal with sudden changes or complex situations that come up out of nowhere.
You never know which situation will come up, so being equipped ahead of time with how to respond in times of crises can prevent lower company morale and help keep things moving.
The same remote work policy infographic I shared above, can also double as a company crisis checklist with things to keep in mind:
4. Make Your Remote Marketing Team Productive
If you’re a marketer with little to no experience working from home or remotely, this section of the guide is for you.
Remote work isn’t as fun as the internet claims it to be. You still have to get the work done, but keeping in mind that you can’t get distracted by what’s new on Netflix.
Tons of remote workers, including me sometimes suffer from lack of productivity, miscommunication, procrastination, loneliness, burn out, among other things.
This is worse for marketers who lack experience working remotely, being thrust into doing so without knowledge of remote work best practices or a lack of access to online collaboration tools.
Without overwhelming you, here’s an infographic summarizing some common work from home tips and best practises:
I hope these productivity tips help you settle into your new remote lifestyle. Got your own productivity tips you want to share with your marketing team? Just click and edit the template above.
Here’s a few more ways (and templates you can use) to make remote work productive:
1. Track Your Progress with Marketing Checklists
I’ve already shared a few examples of marketing checklists earlier that can help you coordinate marketing campaigns as a team, but how about checklists that just help you stay on top of your marketing tasks?
Here’s another example of an SEO checklist that your marketing team can use to audit your blog’s SEO performance on a regular basis:
2. Use a Weekly Work Schedule Template to Set Working Hours
In most situations, you’re going to be setting your own hours as a remote worker. At Venngage, everybody (including the marketing team) has flex-hours but that comes with a caveat.
It can often result in overworking due to a lack of a clear schedule or work hours. So, when working remotely make sure you create a clear schedule of the time you’ll start working and the time you’ll end.
Here’s an example of a weekly work schedule template you can edit as you see fit:
Schedules will force you to prioritize your work, quell potential burnout and preserve your sanity in the process.
If you’d rather be more granular with tracking your output and any roadblocks you encounter, perhaps using an activity checklist template could be more suited for your needs.
3. Run A Productive Meeting Remotely
For marketing leaders, running meetings is crucial to keep your marketing team in sync on a weekly basis. But how do you make remote meetings engaging and productive?
At Venngage, here’s how we structure our remote team marketing meetings:
- Agenda of the meeting.
- Marketing metrics from the last week.
- Updates, status reports and live demos from individual marketers.
- Any marketing wins or important announcements concluding the meeting.
By keeping the agenda focused, we reduce times spent in meetings and ensure everybody has a productive meeting. Alternatively, If you’d prefer people have a few minutes to get up to speed, you can even run a virtual team building activity in the meanwhile.
For example, here’s a meeting template similar to the one we use in our remote team meetings:
Remote meetings don’t have to be complicated to pull off. It’s an opportunity to celebrate marketing wins, eliminate any roadblocks your team might be having and keeping everybody on the same page.
We use Google Meets and Venngage for all our meetings. And with the collaboration features I talked about earlier, editing our meeting slides as a team is effortless and fairly intuitive.
By visualizing important metrics, marketing KPIs we’re able to keep everybody’s attention on what’s happening in the meeting and collectively come up with next steps too.
Pro Tip: To make sure your team is attentive, update your remote work policy to communicate that your team must enable video on all online meetings. This way everybody is able to grab a little facetime while also paying attention in the meeting itself.
5. Host or Participate In Virtual Events
If you’re a B2B company and a major portion of your marketing strategy this year has been reliant on attending conferences or meetups and hosting in-person training programs, you already know what’s happening.
Attendance at in-person events is rapidly declining, events are being cancelled, people are practising active social distancing and doing their bit to flatten the curve.
There’s plenty of event platforms to help you host virtual events, as well as a plethora of webinar tools to help you host online webinars fairly effortlessly.
Our online “Infographics 101” webinar is always in sight on the Venngage blog:
I’m going to instead, walk you through how to promote your online event or webinar using Venngage on social media and other online channels.
With Venngage you can create quickly everything from online posters, event banners and other branded designs to promote your event online and on social media.
1. Use Virtual Posters for Sharing Event Information
Already made print posters for your event before it got cancelled? Well, you can still make virtual versions of your event poster. Take for example this online event poster template:
2. Promoting Your Virtual Event on Social Media
Promoting your event with pre-designed social media templates that all play well with each platform is really the main way you would build the buzz around your event on social networks.
Take for example this webinar banner template specifically designed to add some extra pizzazz to your webinar’s facebook page:
3. Use Customizable Slide Decks For Your Presentation
If you’re the one doing the presenting in your event or online webinar, creating an engaging slide deck to wow your audience is almost too easy with virtual webinar presentation templates like the one below:
And with BrandKit (a Business plan feature) making all your designs look consistent across the board is as easy as 1-2-3.
Attending online events is easy. But creating your online event, training session or webinar isn’t complicated either. You just need the right tools to host and promote your event.
I hope this guide gave you the high-level overview you need to make it easier to take your marketing team remote, manage a remote team effectively and improve employee productivity in the process.
Got any tips on how you work remotely? Processes you use as a marketing leader to make remote work seamless? Ideas on how to be more productive as a remote marketer? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you keep your virtual team connected?
The best virtual teams use the best remote tools that make online collaboration seamless regardless of how distributed the team may be. Tools like:
- Zapier, etc
These tools can allow companies to create, design and ship from anywhere in the world and across different time zones.
2. Can marketers work from home?
If you’re a digital marketer, yes. With the shift to digital marketing and the emergence of powerful marketing tools that help with everything from social media management, search engine optimization as well as analytics reporting and tracking, most marketers now have the luxury of working from home or rather, anywhere in the world.
For event marketing, B2B marketing and other forms of offline marketing working from home is not something that you can do throughout since it will require your physical presence every now and then.
3. How do you effectively manage a remote team?
Managing a remote team effectively boils down to a few tips:
- Set clear agendas
- Invest in the right online collaboration tools
- Trust your team to figure it out
- Be present to remove blockers
- Over communicate to prevent loss of context/nuance.
With these tips in mind, your employees can produce their best work and do so productively without the need to be micromanaged or getting stuck due to a lack of feedback.
4. Is working from home more productive?
More often than not, working from home has shown an increase in productivity and overall output. With the removal of distractions that arise on a daily basis in offices, working from home allows you to be more focused on your work and enter flow state more easily.
Having said that, working from home can have its own challenges: lack of motivation, procrastination, lack of clear agendas and distractions as well. If you can deal with these distractions appropriately, working from home might just make your most productive self.
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