There are many moving parts when working as a digital marketing project manager, including running a brand’s campaign, working with its audience to keep them engaged and coming back for more, and collaborating with nearly every other department within a company.
With so much at stake, it's not hard to see how poor organization and execution can hinder digital marketing project management success. So, how do you get it right? This article will cover all the details about being an effective digital marketing project manager, including why the role is so crucial, the different areas digital project managers work in, and some best practices for success.
What is digital marketing project management?
A digital marketing project manager's duties revolve around creating and maintaining various digital marketingworkflows and processes. Tasks that may make up a digital marketing project manager’s daily tasks could include things like:
Tracking and documenting the status of digital marketing projects via project management tools
Managing and upholding the responsibilities of various team members
Setting and tracking budgets for digital marketing projects
Creating and managing quality criteria for projects
Identifying, tracking, analyzing, and reporting performance metrics for digital marketing projects
While some of these duties overlap with the broader discipline of marketing project management, digital marketing managers focus exclusively on digital projects, like those surrounding your company's web performance and social media presence.
Why is project management important in digital marketing?
Similar to traditional project management, digital marketing project management is a vital piece of any marketing team to ensure projects are being completed on time, meeting the organization's standards, and resulting in growth for the company.
This growth may look like more closed deals, new customers, followers on social media platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn, or a wide range of other measures; it all depends on the company's goals. Without project management to keep digital projects on track to reach these goals, a business may never achieve the type of growth they want. Worse yet, the company may even miss opportunities for growth, leading to stagnation.
Never miss another growth opportunity — see how Teamwork gives agencies all the tools they need to scale and grow profits.
Project management in various areas of digital marketing
Now, let’s get into specific areas where digital marketing project managers may work, including search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, email marketing, social media, and more.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become essential to any company’s marketing strategy if they have an online presence. This is because SEO essentially makes a company’s website more visible online. And the more visible a company’s website is, the more customers will visit and the more chances the company has to convert prospects into customers. In fact, the first five results that show up on the first page of Google for any given search term account for 67.6% of all clicks, according to Zero Limit Web.
For example, when someone Googles a certain keyword, businesses that “rank” highly on Google for that keyword will show up near the top of the search results. In order to rank highly, a company needs to adopt certain SEO strategies.
Benefits of project management for SEO
SEO can be both a long game and a short game, so having a project manager dedicated to various SEO projects will benefit the company's growth over time.
Having a dedicated project manager for SEO will ensure the team works efficiently.
Often, smaller companies and startups may enlist an outside digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, so having a project manager to ensure full visibility and proper communication between the company and the agency is key to a successful SEO project.
According to Content Marketing Institute, 67% of marketers report that content marketing generates demand and leads for their brand, which increased by 7% since last year. Because of this, conventional wisdom would assume if a company is going to dedicate time and money to content marketing, they would want to do it right. A large part of doing content marketing “right” means staying organized and ensuring deliverables adhere to necessary timelines — which is where a project manager can be especially helpful.
Benefits of project management for content marketing
There are so many different directions to go in when it comes to content marketing between blogs, videos, infographics, sponsored content, and promotion of all the content. Having someone dedicated to organizing all ideas and projects will ensure nothing falls through the cracks and everyone stays on task.
Content marketing can also become chaotic quickly, so a project manager can help by looking at content projects from a bird’s-eye level to help simplify otherwise complex workflows.
It’s easy to fall behind on publication schedules. A content marketingproject manager will ensure everyone involved in content creation and promotion stays on the agreed-upon timeline.
Email marketing is a bit more established than some other areas of digital marketing but has grown in unexpected ways in recent years. According to HubSpot’s Not Another State of Marketing Report 2021, 77% of marketers have seen a boost in email engagement over the last 12 months. That means that dedicating more resources to email marketing may benefit a brand’s overall growth. One of those resources that should be considered is an email marketing project manager.
Benefits of project management for email marketing
Email marketing, similar to content marketing, often needs to adhere to tight timelines, which a project manager can support.
Email marketing also has the potential to reveal amazing data about a brand’s customer base. Still, the data all needs to be tracked and analyzed properly, both of which can be done with the assistance of a digital marketing project manager.
Social media marketing
Whether a brand operates solely online or has a brick-and-mortar shop, social media marketing is a must in today’s marketing and advertising landscape. Data gathered by Sprout Social finds that in 2021, 98% of consumers said they plan to buy at least one product via social shopping or a social media influencer in 2022.
But doing social media well takes strategy, creativity, and organization. This is why, in addition to a brand’s in-house creative team, there needs to be a social media marketing project manager as part of the team.
Benefits of project management for social media marketing
Project management can ensure all aspects of a brand’s social mediamarketing plan are executed promptly, such as checking and responding to comments, direct messages, and engaging with potential partners.
Project management can also play a huge role in influencer marketing specifically, which often consists of a lot of communication and processes to follow and uphold when working with influencers, both of which can be well-suited for a project manager.
Paid advertising (PPC)
Paid advertising — also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising — has taken off in recent years, and Google is the best place to do it. Like most digital marketing efforts, PPC does require expertise to be done well, which includes knowing how to manage the operational details of running paid campaigns. These operational details align with the skillsets of digital marketing project managers.
Benefits of project management for paid advertising
Paid advertising requires a lot of research on the front end, so having a project manager to create a process the advertising team can follow will help each ad initiative run more smoothly.
Brands have the potential to invest a lot of funds in paid advertising, which is why having a project manager on board to track dates and budgets specifically can help the team avoid going over budget.
In addition to the upfront research, PPC advertising also requires a lot of post-campaign analysis. Having a project manager involved in tracking and reporting key performance indicators (KPIs), such as ROI, can help make interpreting data easier for key stakeholders. This is because the PM can often help bridge communication gaps by translating very detailed, in-the-weeds points into overarching themes and main takeaways.
Affiliate marketing is a strategy brands use to either work with a publisher to earn a commission by promoting their product or service or vice-versa. The result of affiliate marketing is typically a sale for the product or service being promoted.
One of the most commonly seen affiliate marketing programs is by clothing brands, where they partner with influencers who have a substantial following. The influencer promotes the brand’s clothes by giving followers a unique promo code to use on their next purchase. The brand gets a sale, and the influencer gets a small kickback — it’s a win-win.
Benefits of project management for affiliate marketing
Starting an affiliate marketing program from scratch can be a lengthy process that will likely require help from members of all teams, even beyond marketing. A project manager can orchestrate these communications and collaborations to make the process more seamless.
An affiliate marketing strategy is one of the simpler strategies to scale, but not without a lot of coordination and patience — tasks that align perfectly with the skills of project managers.
Brands often have fairly strict rules regarding affiliate marketing programs, so having a team member (like a digital marketing project manager) who knows all the details and can hold affiliate marketers accountable is vital.
Best practices for digital marketing project management
As you have read, there are multiple areas within digital marketing where project management can greatly benefit a brand’s overall growth. In addition, there are also best practices digital marketing project managers can tap into to ensure success.
Define your digital marketing goals and plan accordingly
A company can have the best digital marketing project managers in the world, but if there are no clearly defined marketing goals, project management may be a waste of time and effort. As a digital marketing project manager, you can define your goals by first meeting with necessary team members who are also working on strategy. This process can be tedious, but ensuring everyone is on the same page before you make your project management plan is key.
Once your marketing goals are clearly defined, you can plan accordingly by laying out your project management plan and collaborating with other team members as you go. Communication is vital, even in the early stages of project management.
Maintain clear and consistent communication teamwide
In order to communicate well as a digital marketing project manager, you’ll want to establish relationships with everyone on your team. Now, we’re not saying that you need to be best friends with everyone, but having solid working relationships can make communication much easier.
Additionally, you may consider setting communication expectations up front with all team members involved when starting a project. Something as simple as sharing your preferred communication styles and methods (i.e., “I prefer over-communication to under-communication, and “I prefer email over text”) and asking what everyone else’s styles are can go a long way toward avoiding miscommunication and frustration down the line.
Assess resources and prepare for roadblocks
Before diving into setting up and executing a project management strategy, project managers should be sure to assess resources like online tools, budget and financial expectations, and staffing resources as well as anticipate potential roadblocks.
The best way to do this is talk to other team members who have worked on similar projects in the past. Ask them about their perspective of how the project management went. Find out what worked, what didn’t work, and how they overcame any issues that arose. This will help to ensure smooth project timelines once things get moving, and helps you deal with any potential issues without slowing down the overall project progress.
Optimize your workflows with project management software
Optimizing workflow is a huge component of digital marketing project management, and one way to do this is by implementingproject management software. A digital software solution can help teams become more agile internally as well as when working with clients.
Examine your team’s current workflow and identify areas for improvement. Are there a ton of repetitive tasks? Are you still invoicing clients manually? Do you struggle with consistent project planning, or getting approvals from higher ups? Project management software offers automation opportunities that cuts down on time-sucking activities, and helps you organize projects in a single centralized location. These tools are a window into your project operations, and make it easy to include team members and stakeholders, so everyone can see what’s needed from them and when.
One project management software worth exploring is Teamwork. Our platform offers a ton of templates, resource management capabilities, kanban boards, and integrations that simplify managing a remote team. Find out more about why marketing teams love Teamwork.
Supercharge your digital marketing efforts with Teamwork
All in all, digital marketing project management should be a piece of any company’s marketing team regardless of size or maturity. As mentioned, project management software, Teamwork, has superior automation and workflow capabilities, can keep every project organized in one place, and support effective collaboration among internal and external team members and stakeholders using a variety of dashboards. Learn more about Teamwork and try it for free today.