Marketing teams must drive revenue, increase awareness and inform product and service teams. It is an essential function within any organization, yet marketing teams are often asked to do a lot with a little. Sure, certain industries are notorious for large marketing teams or huge budgets to hire ad firms, but the majority have tight budgets, small teams, and large expectations.

As Director of Marketing, I’ve learned a lot about how to be efficient and effective with small marketing teams, and in this post, I want to share a few tricks of the trade with my marketers in arms. We’re in this together. This post is part of a Tips for Small Marketing Teams series including:

  1. 10 Tips for Small Marketing Teams
  2. Marketing Processes You Need to Automate
  3. Where and How to Augment Your Small Marketing Team

A small marketing team should get comfortable adding supporting players from time to time. It could mean deputizing people within your company to aide in marketing activities, or it could mean bringing on outside contract workers. Augmenting your team will depend on your skill set, skill set of marketing team members and colleagues from other departments.

You may have a solutions architect at your company that has time to create content, but no graphic designers or brand experts. Or perhaps you have in-house designer, but no one to handle technical set up of your marketing automation tool. Start by assessing the skills sets and even marketing channels you have covered with in-house resources and where you need help. Then decide what you can learn or what makes sense to contract out.

Roles You Could Keep In-House

Copywriting

Use internal resources for content creation and help with messaging. Create a reward system for contributors.

SEO

You know your business and handle content population on your website, learn SEO from a resource like yoast, Google or LinkedIn Learning then make sure SEO is a part of your process when publishing ANY and ALL content on your site.

Social

This could go either way. If you’ve employed the content calendar you should be able to easily have someone else post to and manage your social channels. There are free tools to schedule social posts.

Pro tip: proper mentioning is important to the impact of your social posts. Social tools cannot always find/identify people or organizations that you want to mention in your posts.

Event management and marketing

Events need promotion of course, but there are also admin-type duties like setting up registration, shipping material, or ordering swag. I suggest keeping the marketing side of events in house because you’ll want control over your marketing messages, booth drivers, etc. and buy-in from the sales team. To get help here, consider finding someone in-house that could help with the admin pieces.

User Experience Designers at a whiteboard

Roles You Could Outsource

Copywriting

If you find someone who knows your business and market well assign them some evergreen content or the write-ups that don’t NEED to be done by your team.

Site Speed & Maintenance

Because website maintenance and UX review isn’t a daily or weekly initiative, but still needs to happen on a planned cadence, it’s a perfect project to outsource. Once you have someone you trust, it’s nice to have them available for bugs or unforeseen issues.

Graphic Design

If your brand is consistent and clearly outlined a trained designer can easily jump in on digital ads, email templates, branded content and more. The result is cleaner, professional work that truly represents your organization. Pro tip: the devil is in the details here, be sure to create briefs with crystal clear deliverables.

Tech Stack Administration

Get outside help for the initial setup of your automated processes. Then have someone on hand that can help with fixes, maintenance, updates, and new features. You must know your processes, but you do not need to be an expert in all things technology, especially when you do not need to know the answers on a day-to-day basis.

How to Hire Out

Once you’ve identified things that you can easily manage and have clear deliverables, shop around for price and capability. My two preferred ways for hiring out are using an agency or hiring individual freelancers or contractors.

Use an Agency

An agency can act as an extension of your team. It’s lower risk than hiring five new people, and an agency should bring additional expertise, technology, and relationships to the team.

Hire Individual Freelancers/Contractors

An easy way to expand your marketing efforts on limited resources is to use a third-party platform like Upwork to hire and engage awesome freelancers. You’ll find well-reviewed contractors who can work with different budget constraints to achieve your goals.

Wrap-up and Next Steps

Knowing how and when to augment your small marketing team will increase your productivity, efficiency and impact business drivers. This post is part of a series of tips for small marketing teams. Check out the first two installments and subscribe to receive future Adage communication for industry insights and educational resources.

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