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7 Tips to Manage a Remote Digital Marketing Team

Tony Caccavo, Esq. is a former educator, attorney, and the CEO of TeamPassword, a password management company. He believes cybersecurity tools and information should be made accessible, to better protect individuals, companies, and society at large.

April 5, 202411 min read


The workplace is changing. In the United States alone, 4.7 million people now work remotely, at least part-time. Globally 16% of companies are now fully remote. Organizations are no longer restricted to a local pool of candidates, but they can tap into worldwide talent. That’s why, for many organizations, remote work represents the future

But switching to this new form of working can be a learning curve. If you’re struggling to adapt – don’t panic! Here are 7 tips to help you build a remote team that thrives. 

[Table of Contents]

7 tips for remote team management

  1. Equip your teams for remote work
  2. Rethink your hiring process
  3. Digitize onboarding
  4. Make a natural working environment
  5. Don’t forget time zones
  6. Upgrade your marketing tools
  7. Avoid micromanagement

Now it’s your turn…

7 tips for remote team management 

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The idea of creating a fully remote team ten years ago would have seemed impossible. Thankfully, it's easier than ever to produce a thriving group of remote employees. The first step is ensuring that teams have the tools to allow them to work effectively. 

Consider the following options for your remote teams 

  • Password management tools - Create an encrypted log of company passwords that employees can access on desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. Teampassword offers a simple, secure solution designed with ease of use and collaboration in mind.

  • Project management software - Help keep track of marketing projects. These tools help agents monitor their progress toward meeting goals. Examples include Asana, Airtable, and Trello. 

  • Collaboration tools - Ensure that remote teams stay connected as they work on campaigns. They allow teams to transfer files, share comments, and keep tabs on progress. Popular options include Zoom and Evernote. 

  • Meeting Scheduling tools - Allows users to schedule team meetings and notify participants in advance. Some tools even provide insights into employee schedules to ensure there’s minimal disruption. Here again, Zoom is the most popular choice. Other options include Calendly and Doodle.  

Whether you're building your remote team from scratch or adding new members, you’ll need to think about your hiring procedure. 

Although the process is similar to traditional hiring, some key differences exist. After all, in-person interviews are no longer an option. 

As you’re building a remote team, you’ll want access to as wide an array of marketing talent as possible. Make it clear that team members can work from home on the jobs page. Consider how wide you want to cast your net. Opening a position to worldwide employees might seem appealing, but you’ll have the challenge of communicating with staff in different time zones. 

You have several options for the interview stage. You can stick with a traditional one-on-one or panel interview via video call. If you do accept applicants from other time zones, think about how you can work around their schedules. For example, You could ask for pre-recorded interviews and send a list of questions to candidates. 

The interview process is a chance to set the tone. If you want to create a more relaxed remote working environment, you might steer clear of the traditional suite and tie requirements.  

Today many marketing managers are also getting inventive with hiring. This involves creating a more interactive process to get a better sense of the skills of applicants. You might send a set of tasks to a prospective candidate, such as crafting a marketing plan for an imaginary product launch. 

Ultimately, it's all about thinking ‘outside of the box’. The more you can adapt to the virtual environment, the stronger your team will be.

Once a candidate is selected, it’s time to show them the ropes. Unfortunately, you’ll no longer be able to get ‘hands-on’ with your onboarding. Handling this properly is essential. As many as 89% of employees who had an effective onboarding experience are engaged at work

As with the interview process, you need to consider how onboarding can be handled digitally. We’ve listed some suggestions below: 

  • Set up a ‘welcome’ meeting - Make sure that new employees feel like part of the team straight away. Host a video conference meeting so they can greet and get to know teammates. 

  • Simplify onboarding with interactive elements - Ease new hires into their roles by replacing overwhelming paperwork with interactive QR Codes. Create links to crucial onboarding materials like the employee handbook and forms in your welcome kits using a free QR code generator. This streamlined approach not only makes essential information instantly accessible with a simple scan but also engages new employees interactively and efficiently.

  • Make sure equipment is delivered on time - There’s no use having team members waiting around before they can start their job. Make sure that new employees have all the equipment they need from day one. 

  • Don’t scrimp on training - Training can bring real value to the growth of new employees. Make sure you cover key areas such as exploring marketing data privacy, lead generation, and data analysis. 

  • Provide necessary materials - New team members will need to get to grips with your chosen marketing tools. This means providing materials that can be accessed after training. Create a space where employees can access video tutorials, articles, and other relevant resources.

  • Check-in regularly - Onboarding should be an ongoing process. Make sure that you hold one-on-one meetings with new employees regularly. Keep track of how they’re doing and any areas that they’re struggling with. Be on hand to offer assistance to help them overcome any difficulties. 

One of the biggest challenges of switching to remote work is that it doesn’t feel natural. For instance, there’s no morning commute and rush to get to work. This is a good thing, people save time and money and arrive on time. But for employees who have built a routine around this process, it can feel strange. 

Most strikingly, employees no longer get the chance to have break-time chats. Meetings can feel distant, as people no longer sit together. There’s also a risk that communication is carried out entirely via instant messaging tools. This lack of face-to-face communication can quickly leave its mark and is one of the biggest challenges in remote team management.

A survey by Buffer showed that 15% of remote workers were struggling with loneliness. A further 21% felt that they stayed home too often because they didn’t have a reason to leave. Unaddressed, these problems can start to harm the productivity and mental health of your teams. 

But what’s the solution? The goal should be getting remote work to feel natural again by building a remote-first work culture.  

Below are some tips to help you get started: 

  • Set flexible working hours - Many modern remote teams are offering flexibility in employee working hours. The results are paying off – only 14% of workers with flexible working arrangements complained about burnout. Giving people a say in their hours may help your teams settle into their new remote roles. 

  • Prioritize video calls - Text-based communication is quick and effective. But make sure staff don’t become dependent on SMS. Create a policy that your teams meet via call at least once a day.  

  • Keep an eye on working hours - With less defined office hours, it can be easy to devote too much time to work. This might sound like a good thing, but employees can quickly get burned out. Introducing a time-tracking tool can help teams know when to take a break or finish for the day. 

  • Introduce mental health initiatives - Highlight the importance of employees looking after their physical and mental health. Share materials to encourage staff to go out and exercise, and check in with team members regularly. 

 This process may take some time – employees may need some coaxing. Make sure that team leaders set strong examples. 

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If your entire remote team is based in the same area you have nothing to worry about. If you’ve expanded to build a cross-regional team, though, time zones are an obstacle you must navigate. 

You may end up in a situation where employees have entirely different working patterns. When one group begins their day, another is fast asleep. In this scenario, it’s much harder to arrange group activities and meetings. 

To maintain a happy team, you and your team should be mindful of different working hours. This will require some give and take – sometimes people may need to work unfavorable hours for effective communication. In general, though, try to avoid calling teammates during their downtime. 

Introducing different forms of asynchronous communication can help bridge the gap. You ensure a steady stream of information between teams and ensure that no one is left out of the loop. 

For instance, establishing a group chat is a handy way of keeping people up-to-date with the latest info. Teammates can look back at past comments and keep track of the latest events. You might create recordings of conference calls for colleagues who couldn’t attend. 

The marketing world has advanced massively in recent years. Gone are the days of relying on simple market research. Thanks to the latest advancements in analytics we can unpack our data and gain deep insights into individual audience members. This allows us to reach audiences in unfounded ways.

If your organization is to stand out in this data-centric world, your marketing teams need to be equipped with the right tools. 

But where should you start? Below are some examples of must-have marketing tools. 

  • Social media management tools - Juggling social media accounts across multiple platforms can be tricky. An SM management tool helps you to monitor your different accounts from a centralized location. From there, they can automate posting and get analytics insights into individual posts. 

  • Email marketing software - Today, marketing teams can create fantastic campaigns and grow their lists more effectively thanks to email marketing software. These tools help teams create appealing emails at the click of a button. They help agents to tailor their messaging with personalization features. Some can suggest marketing slogans with AI. 

  • SEO tools -Vying for the top spot with your advertising isn’t easy. SEO tools help you to climb the search engine results page, allowing you to optimize your content with the right keywords. 

  • CRO tools - It’s the age-old question: how can you make customers behave the way you want? Conversion rate optimization (CRO) tools gather data about website users. They help you to understand user behavior better and increase the likelihood of a conversion. 

And of course, you should understand all the data you’re gathering from your marketing tools. If your organization manages an analytics team ensure there’s a strong dialogue with marketing. With the right data-driven insights you can create more targeted and effective campaigns.  

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It’s an easy trap to fall into. You can’t see what your teams are doing. Are they on course to meet their goals? Could they be working more productively? Unfortunately, leaders can often overcompensate for this lack of visibility by micro-managing. 

This sends a simple message to your team members: they aren’t trusted to make their own decisions. You’ll find that frustration quickly creeps in, and employees become less engaged. It’s a surefire way of creating an unhappy and unproductive team. 

So, take a step back and try to avoid fretting about your teammates. It’s worth offering emotional intelligence (EQ) training to help leaders in these kinds of scenarios. EQ helps people to be more plugged into their emotions. It helps them to control negative impulses and better understand how their actions might impact others.  

While working on EQ, team leaders should also take steps to boost visibility with teams. Scheduling regular teams can help leaders to track progress. Focusing on building team relationships also helps to ensure a strong flow of communication. 

Above all, try to demonstrate trust in your teams to make the right decisions. They’ll reward this faith with enthusiasm and a more productive outlook.   

Now it’s your turn… 

Building a remote team can be challenging, especially if you’re used to traditional work. From ensuring password security to continuing effective communication, you can expect a few obstacles before things start running smoothly. 

We’ve given you seven simple tips to help get your team off the ground. Why not start putting these into practice? Start simple – having the right tools and mindset for remote jobs is essential. So, make sure teams are correctly equipped. Then get to work strengthening your remote operation. 

With the right time and effort, you can build a strong marketing operation. So, why not get to work? 

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