What A Typical Day At A Digital Marketing Firm Looks Like

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Digital Marketing

One of the best things about being a content strategist for a digital marketing firm is nothing stays the same for long. One minute you’re doing client-discovery work, the next you’re working on an audience assessment or talking on the phone with a client, explaining how content, social media, and conversion-rate optimization works to inform SEO strategy. The ability to rein in chaos, making order out of disorder, is what attracts me to content strategy.

But I’ve come to realize digital marketing firms are not ideal settings for everyone. Instead of laying out the pros and cons, I thought I’d outline a “typical” day for me, allowing readers to make a decision for themselves.

3 am—5:30 am: I typically jump out of bed, walk down the hall, turn the computer on and then head to the kitchen to make coffee. After grabbing a cup of coffee, I sit down at the computer and start checking things off the list: sports on ESPN; social media via Twitter; and a handful of blogs on topics ranging from nutrition and fitness to content strategy, SEO, and business strategy.

My goal is to get two hours of work in before I get to the office, with my focus squarely on getting those items off my plate that are best completed outside a busy office:

• Overdue tasks: I open up Wrike, our project management software, and look for any overdue tasks I might have missed the day before. If I can handle the task quickly, I take care of it right away. If not, I create a note in Evernote, ensuring it’s high on my list of priorities when I arrive at the office.

• Emails: I see emails as “task derailers,” so I either (a) answer them right away, but only if urgent; (b) answer them in bulk at a pre-determined time; or (c) answer them after work hours.

• Social media: Personal branding is uber-important to me, so missing out on relevant social media interaction is not an option. I use 20 to 30 minutes each morning for tweeting, retweeting, and sharing content from friends and followers.

5:45 am—7:15 am: Train at nearby gym

7:25 am: Drop my daughters off to school

7:30—8:30 am: Commute to work

8:45 am—9:55 am: Arrive at the office and see what’s waiting for me. I immediately tackle hot button items from Evernote and Wrike, then typically hear from project managers and account managers, who apprise me of the “hot plate” issues, which are usually associated with clients/projects I’m already working on.

10 am—10: 30 am: I liken the morning scrum to the morning editors’ meetings from my newspaper days. Here, the project managers give us a quick assessment of where we are with each client, highlighting the biggest needs, concerns and any potential pitfalls.

10:45 am—12:30: At this point, I dive into one of my biggest ongoing projects. Usually it involves a content strategy deliverable—audience assessment, competitive analysis, keyword analysis, etc.—for a client.

  • Reach out to our SEOs for any reports they’ve run to ascertain top keywords, best keyword opportunities and their assessment of the top pages on the site, in addition to areas of the website that are thin on content
  • Get information from the analytics/CRO team regarding the conversion funnel, content bottlenecks, landing pages, etc.
  • Paid media team is also looped in to discuss relevant insight they’ve gleaned

12:30—1 pm: lunch

1:15 pm—5:30 am: Pick up where I left off for lunch

5:30 pm—5:45 pm: At this point, I’m getting ready for the next day—answering emails, entering tasks and checking in with project managers to ensure they have what they need before I escape for the day. This is also the time when I jot down a few tidbits on a sticky note, which will be the first item I see upon sitting down in my chair at the office the following day.

As I stated earlier, there is no typical day when working in digital marketing. A lot of things come to you at once, and you either handle it or you grow miserable trying.

In the next and final piece of this installment, I’ll share what I think are the ideal personality types for in digital marketing.

What does your typical day look like? Do you think working at a digital marketing is on the horizon for you?


Image Credit: Evgeny Karandaev via Shutterstock

Ronell Smith
Ronell Smith is the Director of Strategy for Advice Interactive Group, a full-service digital marketing agency with offices in Texas, California and Florida.
Ronell Smith
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  • http://www.analyticsseo.com Matt OToole

    Wow! I hope you get to bed at a reasonable time… and I thought we were working long hours! You’ve got a small typo there: “5.30am”. Interesting that you’ve got a separate team for looking at CRO, analytics and landing pages to the SEOs in the firm. Any particular reason for splitting SEM tasks like that?

  • James R. Halloran

    Well, damn! That’s one loooong day, every day. I definitely don’t think I could ever wake up at 3 a.m. and go the gym soon after. But it’s good to get an inside view of someone’s schedule in a digital marketing firm.

    Thanks for the insight!

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog/ Ryan Biddulph

    Good stuff Ronnell! Early start, and you cut the day at 5ish, to avoid burnout. Thanks for the share.

  • http://twitter.com/CharleneBurke Charlene Burke

    Well, that looks like a familiar schedule. Though I’m usually up at 4:30 am and don’t have to drive kids to school. I, too, get a LOT of work done in the morning. And, being the agency owner, I’m doing a lot of managing of people and their projects. My day often finishes somewhere around 6 pm. And then, because I’m the owner, weekends not full work days but I am available to my team and our clients.

  • http://gravatar.com/jasonwaite3 Jason Waite

    Sounds like a little bit too much time at work to me. Maybe you should double your pay, and work 1/2 the hours? I started increased my pay in content marketing, SEO, marketing strategy, and now get to work 30 hours.

    Great post. Great info. I’m sure lot’s of people enjoy seeing the ordinary day of a content marketing.

    Jason Waite
    Dallas, TX

  • http://www.workado.com Justin McGill @ Workado

    Would love to hear what you think about Workado – as it’s specific to digital marketers as a “campaign management” solution versus Wrike or other “project management” solutions.

    • http://twitter.com/RonellSmith Ronell Smith (@RonellSmith)


      This is the first I’ve heard of Workado. Pulling up the website now.


  • http://www.allaccessconstruction.net Joe Johnson

    Easy money lol… Mines is pretty much the same really