by NextGen | Mar 26, 2020 | Remote Work
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has changed the world that we live in. Currently about one half of the world is quarantined at home. So, many people around the world are trying to continue with their jobs and work from home. Working from home is different in many ways from working from the office. I run a digital marketing agency and I have extensive experience working from home because digital marketing is done via the internet. In this blog post I will share with you some advice about working from home. I hope that this information will be helpful for many people who have had to adjust to working from home in the last month or so.
1. Team Communication
Communication is very important in the business world. Many surveys have shown that the number one skill that employers look for when they hire new people is communication skills.
Good communication is even more important when the team works from home. It is a lot easier to work together with your team when everyone is together in the same office. When your team is physically together you can just walk over and ask people a question any time. However, when everyone works from home it is a lot more difficult to get in touch with people.
Teams that are new to remote work often try to communicate via email or ad-hoc call to other team members during work hours. In order to improve team communications while working from home I suggest using one online communication tool for the team, such as Skype, and asking everyone to be “online” on that communication tool during work hours. On Skype you can have several different statuses, such as: online, away, offline. Therefore, my suggestion is to ask everyone to be “online” on Skype during work hours. This will make it a lot easier for team members to reach out to each other when they need help.
2. Stay Focused
It is a lot more difficult to stay focused when working from home. At home we have many distractions such as: the TV, music, neighbors, children, pets etc. I have a cat and she is my biggest distraction when I work from home.
Therefore, when you work from home you need to make more of an effort to stay focused. Please do not think that because your boss cannot see you while working from home you can slack off. If you do not take your job seriously while you work from home that will show in the deliverables that you prepare and will have an impact on the results of the team.
Even though it is a lot more difficult to stay focused when you work from home you really need to make an effort! My suggestion is to designate one area of your home as “work area” and try to remove all distractions from that area in order to make it easier to focus on work.
3. Team Management
Another topic that is important to discuss when talking about working from home is team management. It is a lot easier for team managers to manage the team when everyone works together in the same office. Normally there is a lot of informal communication going on the office and therefore it is a lot easier to make everyone is aware of upcoming deadlines, milestones and project activities.
When the team works from home team communication needs to become a lot more intentional. Therefore team managers need to schedule more virtual team meetings in which they will talk with the team about upcoming deadlines, milestones and project activities. This also means that in a work from home environment team meetings become a lot more essential.
I hope the information that I shared with you in this blog post is helpful! You can also watch a video on this topic on my YouTube channel. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions when you work from home during the coronavirus outbreak. Stay safe, stay home!
by NextGen | Mar 12, 2020 | Digital Marketing
In this blog post I will discuss the top 3 marketing channels that digital marketing agencies serve. Hopefully, through this blog post you will gain a better understanding of what digital marketing agencies do.
Why I Decided to Write About This Topic
I run a digital marketing agency and my friends and family keep asking me to clarify what I do. The clarification questions were quite surprising to me at first, but then I realized that many people actually do not know what digital marketing agencies do.
I think it is very important that all the readers of my blog have a very good understanding of what digital marketing agencies do, therefore I decided to write on this topic today.
Important Digital Marketing Terms
There are a couple of important terms that I would like to clarify before I dive into today’s topic.
- What is Digital Marketing?: Digital marketing is any marketing activity that can be done online or by using an electronic device. So, for example, when you use your computer (an electronic device) to send an email you are performing a digital marketing activity.
- What is a Marketing Channel? In simple terms, a marketing channel is a category of marketing activities. In this blog post I will discuss the top 3 marketing channels that digital marketing agencies serve, so that means that in this blog post I will actually discuss the top 3 categories of marketing activities that digital marketing agencies do.
Channel #1: Social Media
Social Media is definitely the biggest channel for my team. We spend the most of our time on social media activities because it takes a lot of time and effort to manage client’s social media profiles.
When we get a new client for social media services the first thing that we do is we create a content plan. In the content plan we talk about the following:
- Social Media Networks: What social media networks we will cover.
- Themes: The themes that we will develop content on.
- Format: The format of each post (video, picture, carousel, etc.)
- Frequency of posting: How frequently we will post (once per day, two times per day, three times per week, etc.)
Then, after we have finished the content plan the next step is to develop the content. This means to develop the graphics and the captions for every post. Also, we perform hashtag research to find the best hashtags for every post!
The next step after developing the content is very important, the next step is to send the content to the client for approval. It is very important that the client has an opportunity to review the content and provide feedback before you post anything on his/her social media profiles! At my marketing agency we have developed a Google Sheet template that we use to collect the content in and send it to the client. Click here to see the template.
Then, after the client has approved the content the next step is to schedule the posts. We use social media management tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite or Loomly to schedule the posts. Then the posts get published automatically on the scheduled date and time.
In addition to those standard social media service, for clients who have bigger budgets we can also provide additional services such as responding to comments (on posts) or direct messages. Also, we frequently run paid ads for clients. Paid ads are a totally different world, therefore I will write a separate blog posts about paid ads in the future.
Channel #2: Email
The second digital marketing channel that I would like to talk about is email. I love email! In my opinion email is the most effective digital marketing channel. Many people still open their emails, and the average email open rate for email is over 15% percent. While, when you target people via other digital marketing channels normally only a few percent of your targeted audience will see the content that you are trying to present to them.
When we get a new client for email marketing services first we discuss their current email marketing list. We want to understand how the client has obtained their existing list of email contacts. Then, we talk with the client about different strategies that we can use to add new contacts to their email list. For email marketing it is very important to have a long and growing list of contacts.
Then we discuss with the client their desired mailing frequency. Most clients want to do monthly newsletters. So, the mailing frequency is normally once per month. Then we proceed to creating and scheduling the emails. We use the email marketing tool Mailchimp to create, schedule and distribute the email.
In addition to those standard email marketing services we can also provide more advanced email marketing services, such as email automation, to clients with bigger budgets. Email automation mean sending emails to people based on their behavior. A simple example of email automation is when you send a “welcome email” to everyone who signs up for your monthly newsletter. A more complicated example of email automation is when you create multi-step email cadences based on people’s behavior. Email automaton is an advanced topic, therefore I will write a separate blog post on this topic in the future.
Channel #3: Website
Yes, your website is a very important marketing channel! We help clients with the marketing aspects of websites such as color, text and graphics. It is very important to remember that we are not programmers, therefore we cannot do complicated, customized website elements. For more complicated website related tasks we work with the client’s IT team, or the vendor that is maintaining their website.
More specifically we help clients with the following aspects of their websites
- Making sure that the content on the website is structured in the right way so that the website can be easily found by search engines. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Making sure that the website looks attractive to potential clients and that all the colors and text work well together.
- Making sure that everything on the website is on-brand so that the website represents the client’s brand in the best possible way.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. English is my second language so I apologize if there are any grammar mistakes in this blog post. If you enjoyed this content please click here to subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
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