Online marketing is a full time job? Really?


I participated in a conference call earlier today with colleagues in another region where I was describing my role and what I do on a daily basis. After going through all my daily responsibilities I was somewhat bemused when one of the persons on the call said “But that sounds like a full-time job”. After hearing this I thought it may be a good idea to explain a “day in the life of an online marketer”

Preparation of content

Any online marketer is dead in the water without good content to fuel their online marketing fire. In order to source good content, you need to meet with thought leaders on a regular basis to encourage them and assist with the creation of content. Any good content marketer will know that content has to be fit for purpose, depending on the channel they are using.

Publishing the daily blog post

There are no hard rules around the frequency of blog posts but the general rule is not too many, not too few and focus on quality. I attempt to schedule one blog post per day, preferably first thing in the morning.

Sharing blog post across online channels

Depending on the social networks you are participating on, you may want to introduce your published article differently. As you know, Twitter has a 140 character limitation so you want to be brief but still attempt to attract attention. In terms of Twitter I try to attract the attention of social media influencers and journalists and editors from popular business publications. In some cases I will contact certain individuals through a Direct Message (DM) and email or mention their Twitter handle in my tweet.

When sharing on LinkedIn and Google+ you are able to prepare a longer introduction to the content and ask your community for their comments, opinion and feedback. Besides the LinkedIn update, I also share the article on the relevant LinkedIn groups I manage and other groups I have joined. I also include specific people I am connected with on LinkedIn. In the LinkedIn groups I manage I will also use my weekly announcements feature on the groups to send an announcement to group members.

After creating updates on all the relevant social networks I then add a scheduled update on Socialoomph for Twitter and LinkedIn.

Preparation of email campaigns

For our email subscribers, we will identify specific content and determine which roles within organisations and which industries we should be targeting. I then need to prepare the templates for the relevant emails, create the filters, insert links, send a test to check that all is in order and then schedule the email.

Dialogue with community

Any online marketer or community manager has to ensure that all comments on blog posts, DMs on Twitter, shout outs on Twitter, replies to email campaigns, requests for information, CVs sent, comments on LinkedIn updates, comments on LinkedIn groups, requests to connect on LinkedIn, requests to join LinkedIn groups, discussions submitted on LinkedIn groups which require authorisation (I will end it there) are attended to and responded to timeously. This is an all day task and depending on what campaigns you are busy with, varies in intensity.

Measurement and feedback

This has to be done on a regular basis so that the relevant stakeholders within the organisation are kept abreast of all online marketing activities, understand the effectiveness of the channel and are able to react quickly to sales leads that are generated through my efforts.

Writing articles and supporting other influencers

I also need to find time to identify suitable subject matter to write about for subscribers to my personal blog and for sites where I am a guest blogger. Over and above that, I need to spend time reading, commenting on and sharing articles written by thought leaders.

So if you are looking for someone to manage your online marketing, I can assure you that if you want to do it properly and get results, then budget for a full time person.

Is there anything I have missed out? Please add to my list.

22 thoughts on “Online marketing is a full time job? Really?

  1. kuirab


    Great insight, always look forward to these emails. I Manage to keep abreast of online trends in terms of marketing as well as learning on how to do it better. Thank you.


  2. NewBrandYOU

    Full time needs to be defined – it is a 24/7 job, so don’t only think of finding an online marketer, but put a backup into your strategy. Who will stand in for the person should they be on an out of country trip, if they are sick and if they need to take leave.

  3. NewBrandYOU

    The online marketer should be experienced enough to have full understanding of the company and have sufficient influence to get the thought leaders to actively engage. Without sucha person of influence the strategy never gets very far.

    1. David Graham Post author

      Easier said than done Richard. I work with some really clever people who can turn around companies but they are just not comfortable with online engagement. I believe there will always be the need for an intermediary. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. Dot Field

    Not only is it a full time position it is a lifestyle! Online does not have working hours nor does it sleep. To manage online marketing and communication and manage it well is a passion and a calling!

  5. Sarah Britten

    And not just budget for a full time person, but budget for someone with the insight and EQ to respond to people with sensitivity and insight. That doesn’t necessarily mean hiring someone senior, but it does mean you can’t always farm it out to the intern (unless the intern has a real talent for it).

  6. Dr Nik (@nikolauseberl)

    Well put, David! In fact 50% of all executives’ time should be spent on digital content marketing – seeing that by mid 2014 every second retail purchasing decision will be influenced by social media (and that Coca Cola is placing their entire target of doubling the business by 2020 on online content marketing)

  7. Trishpp

    It is indeed a 24/7 job and one of the most exciting around if you are prepared to give it all you have. You need to be prepared to research widely, read voraciously and support others in the online community to get the best results. The joy in online market is that you can also do it in your PJs and no power dressing required.

  8. Bernie Borges

    I agree that this is a full time position. It should start with a clear and measurable objective that is well defined and agreed upon by the approving management team. It should contribute strategically to those business goals. The absence of clear goal definition positions you for risk because the stakeholders may not understand the value of your contributions.


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