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5 Effective Ways to Motivate Your Marketing Team

Keeping your digital marketing team motivated is key to both their success and your own. Follow these tips to ensure your team stays engaged and inspired.

5 Effective Ways to Motivate Your Marketing Team

Back in October, I wrote Are Any of These 3 Things Draining Your Passion for SEO?

In it, I looked at how things like lack of client education and the constant pressure of the industry can lead to burnout.

The thing is, regardless of whether you’ve been in the digital marketing space for 10 months or 10 years, you are continuously faced with new challenges.

Let’s look at 2019 – halfway through the year we’ve seen two fairly large Google algorithm updates, Twitter launched a new interface, and Facebook changed their algorithm and made a number of updates impacting ads.

And that’s just three platforms!

The thing is, digital marketing can be a tough space and keeping your team motivated is key to both their success and your own.

What can we do?

Obviously, it will vary by person and by team but there are available tactics that will help us motivate our teams. Let’s take a look.

1. Get Team Buy-In

At the end of every month, we sit down as a team, evaluate client performance, look at what was accomplished, what is still pending, and what we need to do the following month.

We ask each member of the account team to come to the meeting with a few ideas and next steps based on both data and their own knowledge of the program.

Seems straightforward enough, right?

The thing is, this wasn’t always the case.

Several years ago, client planning was created by the Director and Account Manager and sent to the team. People were simply told what they would be doing.

As both the team and organization grew, however, it became more apparent people didn’t want to just be told. They wanted to feel involved.

By asking each person to come to planning with their own ideas, it forces them to not only understand what’s happening across the account but also ensures we have their buy-in on the monthly plan.

After all, some of it was their idea and according to a Salesforce study:

“Employees who feel their voice is heard at work are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work”.

Ask your team for input and get their buy-in on ideas you are proposing. They’ll not only feel engaged but they’ll also be more motivated to perform the task at hand.

2. Share Results

For anyone on the agency side, working with clients who have multiple marketing departments with multiple marketing leaders is standard stuff. The challenge is getting teams on the same page and motivating them to help one another.

Take for example the content team. We all know content is an integral part of SEO success, but what happens when the content team has no accountability to SEO?

This scenario happened to me not too long ago and I’d be lying if I said we immediately figured it out.

We didn’t.

In fact, even after hosting trainings, providing guides and best practices, providing topics, and helping optimize content that was already written, we still were getting pushback.

It wasn’t until we started specifically creating reports to show the content team how their work was impacting site performance.

We highlighted shifts in rankings, shifts in traffic, and showcased the search results themselves.

Do you know who loves a featured snippet?

The person who wrote the piece that’s now in the featured snippet!

Here’s the thing…it’s not that people don’t want to help one another.

In fact, 73% of workers say their to-do lists become overgrown because they want to be accommodating, helpful, and polite.

It’s more likely everyone has their own set of tasks and taking on more or changing a process can feel like an unnecessary burden.

If we take the time to show the team why their work matters and how they are impacting the organization, they’ll be more motivated to listen and continue helping.

3. Celebrate Wins

72% of people ranked employee recognition as having the greatest impact on engagement. So, what are you doing to recognize your team?

Whether it’s hitting that monthly revenue number, attaining that top spot in the SERPs, or creating a killer Facebook ad, it’s important we take the time to celebrate our wins.

We work in a “what have you done for me lately” industry and it can be very easy to simply look ahead to the next thing.

Stop. Take a minute and celebrate.

In previous organizations I’ve been a part of, new sales meant ringing a gong or taking a victory lap around the office on a motorized scooter.

To be quite candid, it was a bit annoying but it also forced everyone to take a moment and celebrate what was happening.

You don’t have to get an office gong and you certainly don’t need an office scooter as there are other ways to show appreciation:

  • Say Thank You. At the next team meeting, let everyone know what happened and say thank you. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.
  • Write a Note. I know of several offices that keep thank you cards handy for just these occasions. Don’t hesitate to write a thank you note letting your team know how much they are valued or congratulating them on a win.
  • Give a Gift. This is the most obvious one but can also one of the more challenging. How much should you spend? What is an appropriate gift? Things like $25 gift cards or even an extra vacation day can go a long way towards motivating your team.
  • Have a Happy Hour. Grab some drinks for the office or cut out early and buy the team a round.
  • Get Social. A few months ago our team won an award for a social media campaign. Exciting right? We recognized them in front of the entire organization but also shared it out on social media. Their success was now being shared by the world.

Every win doesn’t have to result in a big celebration but recognizing your employees is imperative to keeping them motivated.

4. Offer Training

In LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 94% of respondents noted they would stay at a company longer if the company was invested in their development.

Of course, they would!

You are showing them you not only care about where they are currently, but you care about their future.

The thing is, not all organizations offer training and more importantly, not all organizations offer the right kind of training.

At KoMarketing, we offer our team several types of training, including the following:

  • Bi-Weekly Team Training. Every two weeks we discuss a topic in the digital marketing space. Trainings can be in the form of presentations, exercises, or discussions. The key is to give each member of the team exposure to something they may not see every day.
  • Dale Carnegie / LinkedIn Learning. Both of these programs offer courses to help with leadership development, communication, and career growth. As much as we’d love to provide the team with trainings on time management or how to manage up, we don’t have the time (ironic right). These courses allow the team to get an outside perspective and develop skills we can’t necessarily help them build.
  • Conference & Event Attendance. Regardless of what organization you work for, you are only exposed to so much. Events allow the team to learn from their peers, hear what other companies are doing, and network with people they can later turn to when they have questions.

The trainings I noted above are just the tip of the iceberg and what works for our organization might not work for you. It’s important to find something that benefits both the employee and the organization.

Start by asking your team what they are interested in, where they feel like they are lacking expertise, and what types of training they’d actually enjoy.

5. Have Fun

What are the things people enjoy about their jobs? A lot of things:

  • Flexibility
  • Growth Opportunities
  • Benefits
  • Culture
  • Teammates

Know what else they enjoy?

Having fun. You don’t have to install a slide like Google or set up ping pong tables, it can be as simple as playing music on Fridays or holding a game of charades (trust me, it’s hilarious).

We spend a large portion of our lives at work and there has to be a balance. Your team will appreciate it.

Getting Started

If there’s one tip I can give you, it’s this – start small.

If suddenly you are making big public announcements and handing cards out to everyone, people are going to wonder what’s up.

Start by celebrating wins in meetings, ask your team for input during the next meeting, or get people together for happy hour next Friday.

Keeping the team motivated takes more than just one or two actions. It has to be continuous and by starting small you can start to get some of these processes in place.

Have other ideas for motivating your team? I’d love to hear them!

More Resources:

Image Credits

In-Post Image #1: Samuel Zeller/Unsplash
In-Post Image #2: Gesina Kunkel/Unsplash

Category Careers
VIP CONTRIBUTOR Casie Gillette KoMarketing

Casie Gillette is the Senior Director of Digital Marketing at KoMarketing, a B2B marketing agency in Boston, MA. She has ...

5 Effective Ways to Motivate Your Marketing Team

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