Whilst professional project managers may be strong in their own field and know which project management processes and procedures to use to deliver successful projects, when it comes to digital marketing knowledge, they might benefit from a little help. It isn’t essential to have industry experience to be a successful project manager in that industry but background knowledge can aid communications, prevent mis-understandings and ensure a digital marketing project has the best chance of success.
There are a whole range of different channels in the sector where some background knowledge can be beneficial. These include search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), Meta Ads, conversion rate optimisation (CRO), email marketing (and email marketing software), SMS marketing, social media and content marketing.
Here are 7 powerful tips to help project managers better understand the digital marketing industry in order to manage projects more effectively and deliver more successful projects.
Project goals should align with the main digital marketing goals, such as:
- Increase website traffic
- Increase subscribers by email
- Increase customer base
- Increase number of qualified leads
- Increase brand recognition
- Increase user engagement
You don’t have to connect your project to all of these growth metrics – in reality a single digital marketing project might target just one particular area such as SEO, white hat link building, keyword optimisation or upgrading to a secure web host like HyperHost which may only impact website traffic. Nevertheless, you should define the most appropriate marketing goals.
Document the goals and ensure they are clearly defined as SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic, Time-sensitive). Also make sure the list of goals is available in an accessible tool for your entire team.
A good example of a SMART goal for increasing the number of existing email subscribers who book a telephone callback might be:
- Increase callback rate by 10% within 3 months by adding more prominent calls-to-action to the email body and to the email signature.
2. Prioritise digital marketing tasks
Even when a project is focusing on just one part of digital marketing there will, like projects in many other sectors, still be a wide variety of tasks needed to deliver the final outcome. Consider these different elements of your project and give each one a score to allow you to see clearly which elements you should work on first and which carry less importance to the project overall.
As an example, your project may be focused on improving a low conversion rate to increase the number of web visitors who complete certain defined actions such as purchase a particular product, sign-up for more information, subscribe to a newsletter etc. Existing web pages may be lacking in appealing visual elements so new images may need to be produced or purchased; or existing images enhanced with an image editor to add text or branding elements. Those new or improved images need to be chosen or created before web pages are redesigned and this inter-dependence of tasks needs to be carefully managed.
3. Define the requirements of your project
Agile project management is a great way of ensuring that you are moving your project forward quickly. In the field of digital marketing, this means that you need to consider the end result i.e., what the audience needs rather than, for instance, what type of content you might need. By utilising a video downloader, digital marketers can easily download and repurpose popular videos that align with their audience’s interests, allowing them to stay nimble and adapt quickly to their audience’s changing needs. The project requirements will depend on scale. For example, if you sell online, imagine you offer over 50,000 premium procreate brushes to your users. Even though it seems like a sizeable task, breaking it down into manageable granular parts could be the first step you can take in the direction.
Things to consider include:
· Targeted blog posts optimised for search
· Project management templates
You can work on more than one task at a time, so consider if there is value in running a number of different tasks consecutively.
This applies to any project in any industry, so we cannot stress enough just how important it is to assess your resources before you start any project. Remember, resources include the people on your team, the talent acquisition software you use, the tools you have, and the budget that you have to work with.Without the right resources, readily available at the time you need them, then the project has little chance of success. This applies at all levels, from a small local business site all the way up to a global multilingual eCommerce site.
Consider the resources for a pay-per-click (PPC) project, for instance. Many of the tools required are free to use, such as Google Ads itself but also Google Analytics with its embedded analytics capabilities, and Google Search Console. But the level of budget required for the actual Ad spend is crucial to compete successfully with other businesses in the same field. Equally establishing the budget required to manage the project effectively is also important. It is not a simple matter of assigning the amount of money available without researching whether that is enough to compete in the market. Even though there are various free tools, you might still need assistance from marketing consulting companies or SaaS marketing agencies to stand out among your competitors. This is an additional expense you need to consider and include in your budget.
In every project the most important project tasks are those that will have the biggest impact on the end goals. A project manager will already be familiar with time and task management, and creating a schedule that takes account of inter-dependent tasks and important milestones, but also considers which non-dependent tasks can be completed in parallel. In addition, project managers should also let their teams know the timing and scheduling. One of the most effective ways is to use timeline infographics to visually show these.
For instance, part (or all) of a digital marketing project may be a social media campaign targeting LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. You can also leverage the power of TikTok, as the platform allows you to create short engaging videos with TikTok sounds and go viral. Since the content required for each social media channel is markedly different it is possible to run each part of the project at the same time. Similarly, a LinkedIn campaign could be combined with a more general content marketing campaign since the necessary content could be similar.
Once you understand the project deadlines, you need to break down each task into component tasks to make them more manageable. You can start this process by discussing with your team members all the individual elements that are needed to complete each task and make the project a success. Make sure that you agree on time estimates for each task and in what order they need to be completed.
Whether you are scheduling social media posts, regular blog posts or Meta Ads (Facebook Ads) this will help you to effectively assign tasks and for all of your team to understand the deadlines.
No matter what type of industry you are involved in, effective communication is your single biggest weapon in delivering successful projects. This is particularly important in digital marketing when timescales can be short and keeping to them matters. Effective communication ensures there are no assumptions made by stakeholders that the project team is unaware of; it ensures barriers to communication (whether they are emotional, cultural or even geographical barriers) are avoided or mitigated. Whether you are talking, listening, documenting or emailing, make sure that everyone involved understands their responsibilities and the role they will play in delivering the final outcome. In that context, email security is vital as well; therefore, pay attention to the SPF record checker to keep your shareholders’ data safe from attacks.
Just because you have completed steps on your project plan doesn’t necessarily mean that you are heading for success. Digital marketing of any type is all about keeping a business visible, and this means making sure that you are reviewing what you have done and updating it where necessary. All projects require some level of flexibility in their planning but digital marketing projects even more so as they are more likely to be impacted by external events. So make time to review your efforts on a regular basis. That way, you can make the necessary tweaks to optimise your ROI and ensure your campaigns are still relevant.