How marketers can avoid threats and claim opportunities with distributed teams


By Liron Smadja, director, global expansion marketing at Fiverr

The globalized news cycle is both a negative and positive for marketers. Major news events create far more threats and opportunities around content than they once did, and when headline-making events occur, the global media hype cycle influences consumers’ interests — and keyword volumes get pushed and pulled in real time.

Take major political news, for example, or even just the ponderings of a Twitter-happy world leader. These inputs can affect financial markets within minutes, and they can have immediate implications for keyword volumes to target in PPC campaigns and across trending subjects on social media.

Say a big financial story hits the morning headlines in Europe. A digital marketing team based in the U.S. stands to miss hours of opportunity to take advantage of new keyword strategies. Equally, they could be oblivious to threats to brand safety such as advertising next to a suddenly negative subject area they hadn’t anticipated.

For marketers, one solution to threats like these is a cost-effective freelance digital or social media marketer to check in on ad accounts each morning — swiftly adding negative keywords and building out exclusion lists to avoid bad placements or taking advantage of cheaper, low hanging fruit around popular new search traffic.

By replicating this approach in any region in the world, marketers can open up a number of different marketing opportunities.

As work shifts online, the world of marketing opportunities expands

The production cycle is another example of the opportunities a globalized acceleration of online work creates. The old process of launching a campaign, which may have involved a 3–4 day process — shooting videos, editing, uploading and tweaking ad spend — has shifted into a new 24-hour rolling workflow. A team in Prague might shoot one day, send the files to Brazil to be edited overnight, have them pinged to Taiwan for the campaign set-up and have them up and running the following morning. 

This revolutionary way of working is enabled by globally distributed teams.

Creative and buying models are transforming at a global level

Many people haven’t yet realized how disruptive the pandemic has been to traditional creative and buying models — but those who have are reaping the rewards. Teams are collaborating on a global scale but operating as a single agency. 

The digital world won’t wait for anyone and those who can simply hand over project components to another time zone at the end of the day are likely to turn out better quality content in the long run — and at scale. This distributed workflow then helps relieve the pressure on staff of working late nights to get ahead of the next day.

Having flexible freelance staff around the world — individuals and teams that can respond to events as they happen in their normal working hours — can help marketers grasp opportunities that others might not see, avoid brand safety threats and further manage demanding workloads easily. Here are four tips to getting the most from freelancers:  

1. Talk to them early. Freelancers may not be staff members but to get the best out of them try not to leave everything to the last minute. Embedding freelancers into the wider team gives them as much visibility over the task as possible. A full brief, provided in good time, will allow them the hours they need to get the job done well — and allows team leads the time to review work before other deadlines loom. Platforms with great collaboration tools can help marketers make the most of freelancers’ time and get the best quality work.

2. Give them a thorough brief. It’s easy to think that hiring a professional will mean they instinctively know exactly what the team wants. And while they will usually know their market and have a pretty good idea, it remains the case that every job is different. The more detail project heads can get into the brief, the more likely it is they’ll get exactly what they need when the freelancer files. 

3. Finding strong candidates takes real research. There are freelancers out there from all over the world who do work in all sorts of different niches. If the team takes the time to scout around, they’ll have a better chance of finding the perfect person who’ll deliver the most compelling work. Don’t just lump for the first person, unless they really are well-suited to the job, because finding a hot prospect almost always requires a little bit of digging first.

4. Be respectful. Freelancers are people too. Some managers can be dismissive of freelancers if they know they’re only going to be around for a short while. But this is a mistake. Treating creatives with respect is the best way to get them producing top-quality work — and that’s the same for freelancers as it is for in-house staff.

Having flexible freelance staff around the world — individuals and teams that can respond to events as they happen in their normal working hours — can help marketers grasp opportunities that others might not see, avoid brand safety threats and further manage demanding workloads easily. Following the four steps above is the pathway to identifying and onboarding freelancers who can help marketers achieve that goal, one successful project at a time.

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