All your inbound excitement won’t deliver results if you don’t have the right skills to adapt. After years of working with thousands of customers, we’ve got a pretty good picture of what a high performing inbound marketing team might look like across a variety of company sizes.
First, let’s define what we mean by different company sizes. You may not agree with all of them, but that’s fine; at least we have a common lexicon.
SMB (Small to Medium Sized Business) = Somewhere between 5-100 Employees
Midsized Business = Somewhere between 101-1,000 Employees
Enterprise = Upwards of 1,000 employees, but NOT including your massive Fortune 1000, big brand-type companies where it starts to get extremely big, siloed and global. (That could be a book!)
Now that we’ve agreed on sizes, let’s talk about who you need to hire to rock inbound at each level.
Structuring your marketing team(s) is a huge task. Marketing is an ever-changing industry, and as the industry changes, so do team structures and job roles.
Hiring the best talent will require knowing the best skills for each role. And, even if you’re hiring for a startup or small business and only have resources for 1-2 marketing roles at the moment, it’s still helpful to know the most transferrable skills that will help you hire people who can grow into new roles in the future.
This section will cover different types of roles within teams, and what skills are needed to excel in those teams. We will also go over how to build that team depending on your business size. Are you ready to take the first step to find your rockstar team?
Skills needed: Content creation, graphic design, basic SEO knowledge, social media management, project management.
Your social media team will create and execute social media marketing efforts. This team will need to have knowledge of how to make engaging content to drive brand awareness, generate leads, and connect with audiences.
To properly perform these job functions, your social media team should have a working knowledge of creating, scheduling, and measuring the performance of social content.
Basic graphic design skills or knowledge of design tools like Canva or Adobe will be necessary for the content creation side, while social media management tools will help teams track performance, measure success, and schedule content.
Teams also need to be comfortable with customer service, as social media teams will be the ones responding to customers who engage through social media tags or posts. They will also be communicating to customers through content copy, blog posts, and comment sections, so an understanding of the company voice and ideal customer is key.
To help small teams, social media management software provides marketers with the tools they need to execute an entire social media strategy, such as the tools within HubSpot’s Marketing Hub.
SMBs with a team member dedicated to marketing should have a general comfortability with basic marketing practices and social media experience to build an online presence. If you can afford multiple marketing roles, start specializing in marketing functions like social media manager, which can be its own role.
Enterprise teams can structure their social media team by having specialists and managers to lead and oversee social media strategy, as well as roles for day-to-day social media activities, such as creating Instagram Stories and Posts, video editing for Facebook, and content management.
Skills needed: Writing, editing, problem-solving, experience with programming and technical thinking, analytics, spreadsheets, drive, the ability to adapt.
The SEO team will mainly be driving traffic to your webpages by optimizing content and ensuring your brand is aware of the keywords necessary to rank on the SERPs for topics related to your product or service. Occasionally, they’re also required to lend expertise to make business decisions. To accomplish these goals, SEO teams need to be made up of individuals with strong technical, programming, and writing skills.
Some SEO functions require writing, editing, and proofreading content to optimize it for audiences. This is where having a strong writing background will come in handy. SEO teams should be excellent problem-solvers and think about how to optimize content specifically for search engines.
These hires should be comfortable finding and implementing keywords, which will improve how high your business ranks on Google. They will also have to develop strategies for link building and develop a basic SEO protocol for the company.
In addition, SEO specialists should be fluent in analytics software to ensure they’re able to incorporate the lessons from those metrics into their overall strategy.
If you work for a small company, your SEO strategist might be melded with another role. If that’s the case, make sure that the SEO functions are being carried out by someone who has an understanding of analytics and optimizing content for search engines, as well as conducting thorough keyword research..
In other words, if they can’t speak Google or Bing’s language, they probably aren’t the right fit.
Comprehending analytics and optimizing content for SEO purposes will help your business rank on search engines and reach new prospects, or nurture leads until they’re ready to purchase..
For businesses that are large enough to build a team, hire for different specialties within SEO. For instance, you can hire for historical optimization, link building management, or raising webpage traffic.
From there, you can hire project managers and team managers who are experts in the field of SEO and can offer seasoned advice to other team members, as well as manage multiple SEO projects at once.
Skills needed: Customer service, excellent written and verbal communication, customer-obsession, solution-driven mindset, collaborative and approachable spirit, attention to detail
Though the entire marketing team should be customer-obsessed, your Acquisition team will be made up of those who live and breathe methods for delighting the customer through every step of their buyer’s journey.
Acquisition hires are the first contact with customers — they will introduce audiences to your brand. Your acquisition team will communicate to the customer as a representative and advocate for the company, and need excellent customer-facing skills and company knowledge to do so.
Another skill valued in an acquisition team is attention to detail; these teams have to be experts in how products can help customers and capitalize on little moments that can enhance the customer experience.
The biggest question for an Acquisition team to answer is, “How can we delight the customer for every stage of the buyer’s journey?” and projects should reflect that. For instance, creating compelling content offers and tracking the performance of these CTAs will be essential for teams to make impactful strategies for driving growth.
For companies whose members don’t have the resources to build a full Acquisition team, make sure the team member you designate for acquisition can effectively communicate your brand. They should know how to delight customers every step of the way.
If you’re building a team for a larger company, hire for an Acquisition team with roles that are either exclusively customer-facing or exclusively non-customer-facing. Individual hires will be able to focus their job functions based on their interaction with customers.
For example, someone in a non-customer-facing acquisition role could have duties such as developing CTAs and content offers, so writing experience and an understanding of basic graphic design practices are critical. Customer-facing roles, then, will onboard customers, source and contact them, and identify and ease pain points they might have in their journey.
Skills needed: Research, analyzation, strategic planning, cross-functionality, writing, customer service, a creative problem-solving mindset, technical knowledge, pricing strategy, solving for the customer.
This team is so important because they will communicate the features and benefits of your product to the customer. They’ll organize and drive the messages of a product and how it connects to your brand and the customer.
Product marketers identify target audiences to communicate with through product pages and ad copy. In addition, product marketers need to be star planners with keen attention to detail, as they will be planning the campaigns for your products or services.
When you hire a product marketer, look for someone who demonstrates a deep understanding of overall marketing functions since, for start-ups, they might be your only marketer. They need to know how to research, analyze metrics, use that knowledge to plan future campaigns, and target the customer’s needs in all of your business’s marketing materials.
In order to bring a product to life, a product marketer needs to know how to build an effective product page, and include content that will highlight that. They need to be able to present their strategies to other decision-makers and have plans for every strategy.
The product marketer you hire as a small business owner is likely your only marketer, or the one leading marketing efforts with another team member. Hire someone with a background or demonstrated knowledge in writing, presenting marketing, and business.
Remember, the product marketer will communicate the product’s usefulness to customers, so the team member’s skills should be robust. If you are hiring for a larger team, then, you can have a little more flexibility. You can hire product marketers by product stack, so for instance, phones and personal laptops could be product stacks for a tech company.
You can structure your product marketing team by specialty, as well — a role-based solely on developing copy or producing strategy, for example.
Skills needed: Writing, editing, organization, creative problem-solving, multimedia production, photography, graphic design, spirit of collaboration.
Your content creators will be the ones making sure your brand has enough content to tell a cohesive, compelling story. The content they produce will be useful in every facet of your marketing functions, from video to blog posts.
Content creators are skilled writers; they usually know how to create a solid blog post or webinar. They also have to be keen with editing — their blogs, videos, and social media content depends on it.
This team will be the go-to for production of high-quality multimedia assets for your business, including podcasts, videos, ebooks, or other materials as needed. They may have to work on projects with other teams to make sure the messaging is correct, so your content creators should be ready to collaborate with others.
When building this team, make sure that your content creators are familiar with online management software, like HubSpot’s Marketing Hub. This makes their job easier. Instead of having to analyze data from multiple different sources, online software keeps all of that data in one place.
In a startup, your content creation team might also be your social media and product marketing team. Though the roles are similar, content marketers need to have good organization and time-management skills in a fast-paced environment, so make sure the person you hire can work autonomously and in a team setting.
Hire a content creator who understands the story of your brand and brand voice. Their methods of sharing your voice through video, podcast, or ebooks should ultimately incentivize prospects to learn more about your business.
Larger companies hiring for a content creation team can hire by skill or by the needs of other teams. For example, Social Media Agencies need content creators for every client or group of clients.
Skills needed: Programming, Creative Suite programs, interpersonal communication, Website and email design, user-experience orientation, content management software, understanding of web standards and best practices, SEO
Of course, any business needs a website. And as your company grows, you may find the need to hire someone full-time to maintain your website. This team will be responsible for all things dot com, so you should hire a creative proficient in web design, web strategy, and optimization.
Your web design team will use their mastery of programming and web design tools to create and maintain the message your website is conveying. They will work closely with product marketing and content teams on web page execution, so the ability to collaborate across teams is essential.
They will be the point-of-contact for someone who runs into a problem on your website, and should be able to fix any technical issues that may arise. You should trust your web design team to create a user-experience that keeps customers coming back.
The general function of a web designer is to make the web page experience seamless, optimized, and engaging for every visitor. They’ll use their expertise to deliver a delightful experience to customers who interact with your business’s web pages.
You can structure your web design by need, but if you can afford to build out an entire team, you can start hiring Senior Web Developers to bring your site up to current standards and maintain it, while Associate level hires can assist with those job duties as your design team grows.
Hiring in this environment can be tricky. You can find folks who have done tons of email marketing but have never had to come up with the actual content offer itself. Steer clear of one-trick ponies, and opt instead for someone with perhaps a little less depth of experience but great overall communications skills and marketing savvy.
Regardless of company size or type, hiring great talent is one of the most difficult growth challenges you’ll face. Resist the temptation to hire an okay person; there are stellar talents out there who are worth the wait.