Creating and promoting useful, unique content is something everyone is doing, and in this case, your mother would tell you it’s OK to follow the crowd with this one. And so do we.
Approximately 91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers implement content marketing, and if you’re not already a part of one of those percentages, you need to be. Why? Well for starters, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and produces nearly 3 times as many leads.
In order for your content marketing efforts to be successful, you need to structure a content marketing team. Your content marketing team provides numerous benefits for your brand, including:
- Driving awareness
- Educating prospects
- Building credibility and earning trust with potential clients
- Generating leads
- Nurturing leads
- Increasing direct sales
Now you know what your content marketing team’s responsibilities are and why this team is needed, it’s time to learn what team members are necessary and how you’re going to structure your team.
Content Marketing Team Players
Most content marketing teams are smaller. Roughly 41% are only made up of 2-5 people. But the size of your team all depends on how big your company is and how big your budget is. You also should sit down and set goals and strategies before you start hiring people. This helps you create a framework for your content marketing team, and once that framework is set, you can move on to compiling your team players together.
Every team needs a captain, a team leader. He or she is the person leading your content marketing strategy. All content and processes should flow through the team lead, who needs to be involved with the steps and every team member. According to Joe Pulizzi, who holds this role at CMI, the responsibilities of the team lead — or chief storyteller as he titles them — involve:
- Managing content
- Approving designs
- Getting web, print and event resources
- Budgeting projects
- Negotiating contracts
- Developing audiences
- Researching and measuring content results
The team lead should do all he or she can to ensure the content marketing team’s goals are executed.
Next in line is the managing editor. Your team’s manager is second in command and plays a crucial role within the team. This role oversees the editorial calendar, scheduling, assigning the content creators tasks, making sure content is captivating and consistent and maintaining your brand’s voice. A managing editor needs to know the mechanics of publishing content online, how to manage all the content and sometimes must add images to written content pieces. You should hire someone who has a strong background in journalism or English.
Content creators are exactly what their name says they are. They’re the ones actually creating the content that gets sent to the managing editor for review. A content creator could be a writer, a designer or a videographer. They could even be all three. Depending on size, budget, workload and types of content you wish to create, you may only need one content creator, or you may need three or four or more. Many companies have in-house content creators, but some also outsource to freelancers. There are pros and cons to each, so just make sure you choose whatever option works best with your brand and its goals.
Buyer personas might already be in place, and the content marketing team thinks they know all there is to know about your brand’s audience. But to really be successful and produce content that hits home with your audience every time, it takes more than reading a description about your buyers. You want someone on the team who interacts almost daily with customers — someone who knows their problems, who knows what their needs and wants. This person will be so in tune with your customers that they can judge whether or not a specific content topic, style or channel is going to align with your customers. The client communicator role doesn’t need to be full time. It can be a consulting role to your team.
Lastly are stakeholders. They aren’t always seen or remembered as players on your team. But they’re the approvers. They’re people you want on your side because they’re needed to help your content marketing efforts succeed. Not taking their input is a surefire way for your efforts to fail. Don’t look at stakeholders as the bad guys, as people you don’t want to deal with until the end of the process who then can ruin your content projects by disapproving of them after all your hard work. Educate these people on what your content marketing goals and initiatives are from the get-go. Involving stakeholders from the beginning of your content voyage makes them team players, your friends, not your enemies.
Steps To Structure Your Team
Once you know the people you need to hire and after setting your content marketing team’s goals and strategies, it’s time to start building your team. Here are some steps to consider when structuring your team:
Hire the best candidates for each position. You know the positions that need to be filled, so now it’s time to interview and hire the right candidates. You can hire outside your company or select from those already in your company. We suggest starting within your company. People who have the needed skills and already know your brand make the best candidates (usually). Not to mention it’s a lot easier and shorter process to hire from within.
Align internally. Besides the team players we listed above, find individuals and other teams in your company who can become part of your extended content marketing team. These people can be valued assets to your team. Look for writers, content contributors and topic idea contributors.
Train your team. Once you’ve hired your team members, you need to train them. Training methods and how much training is necessary depends on who you’ve hired, the structure of your team and what your goals are for your content team and content marketing efforts. A way to lessen how much time is needed training, hire people of high quality who already have the skills and talents of the roles you hired them for.
Measure what’s working and what isn’t. Monitoring and tracking metrics may be more of maintaining your team instead of structuring it, but nonetheless it’s important, needs to be done and should be put in place from the beginning. All marketing strategies are measured, and content marketing is no different. You made goals, so you want to monitor and track them to see how they’re doing. Digital marketing strategist Jay Baer believes there are 4 categories of metrics worth tracking — consumption, sharing, lead generation and sales.
Well there you have it. You now know who and what it takes to structure a successful content marketing team. So what’re you waiting for? Start recruiting the right players and organize yourself a winning team right now!