Are you building your content team – or bringing your content team to the next level in 2019?
Many brands start with a simple content team: It consists of one person.
That may be the principal, who does all the blogging and promotional outreach personally. Or it may be a writer or web designer with some SEO skills who tries to pull everything together into a complete, though basic, content marketing strategy.
Smaller enterprises can generate major buzz with savvy digital marketing, even with just one or two people. As your processes mature, however, the benefits of specialization become obvious.
Specialization in content marketing allows you to:
- Uplevel your skills faster as you have more time to research and apply new techniques.
- Implement tools and processes that elevate your consistency and automate busywork.
- Produce more content overall and do it better, faster, and cheaper than going it alone.
That raises the question: What’s the roadmap to a modern content marketing team?
It’s time for that one person to take off almost all of those “many hats.”
But where do they go from there?
Let’s meet all the team members that come together to spark content marketing success.
Content strategy is where it all starts, and your content strategist is the person who makes the magic happen.
The content strategist sets forth all of the baselines for marketing – including how individual campaigns should work and what similarities all campaigns must share.
That includes things like:
- A list of SMART goals you intend to achieve with your initiatives.
- An analysis of your competitors and your strengths and weaknesses.
- Initial development of the buyer personas for your firm’s offerings.
- The brand style guide and content calendars that guide your efforts.
- Metrics and targets that can be used as part of ongoing analytics.
In companies where the founder or other top-level figure is starting to delegate content marketing, he or she will work directly with this person, not be this person. In larger organizations, the content strategist can report to the CMO.
The content manager’s work is where the rubber meets the road. After the content strategist paints the big picture, it goes to the content manager, who turns it into day-to-day execution.
This person is, among other things, a master of SEO, keyword research, and topic research. That grants the ability to find compelling topics for your content aligned with organic traffic targets.
Along with the content strategist, this person takes on about half the duties a “one-person content team” has. He or she delivers a high-level view of content gaps and opportunities by channel, then turns over the findings so production experts can craft magnetic content.
Digital Marketing Copywriter
Your writers are the bedrock of the content marketing process. That’s because they take the high-level insights captured by the content manager and bring your customer-facing content into being.
A digital marketing copywriter needs to have many skills. Foremost among them is the ability to frame messaging in ways that resonate with the audience – while using the chosen medium effectively.
Most great copywriters are versatile. They’ve internalized the brand voice so well they can turn it toward almost any communication challenge. As the team expands, though, there may be a need to bring aboard others with specialized skills for various content challenges.
That brings us to ...
Visual Content Creators
Under the header “visual content,” we include everybody whose principal responsibility is to create graphics, photos, and illustrations. These elements bring text to life and make your content more compelling, especially on social media.
Graphic design, photography, and video production sit beneath this umbrella. Teams generally recruit these specialists selectively after deciding stock photos, no matter how pretty, no longer convey the unique value of their brand.
Copywriters and visual content creators often work closely together throughout production.
It’s a fact of life: The best writers are not always the best editors.
That’s especially true when they need to review their own work!
To maintain impartiality and streamline the workflow, the content editor steps in. He or she shapes a copywriter’s work and brings it from good to great.
The role of the content editor focuses strictly on written content – but that can include everything from blog posts to video scripts. No embarrassing mistakes get past a dedicated content editor!
He or she suggests revisions to make content awesome and challenges writers to improve. The best editors are mentors and coaches who know how to help others unlock their full potential.
The production assistant takes all of the duties related to your content management system or web back-end in-house within your marketing team. He or she is responsible for ensuring that content appears on the web exactly the way it’s been envisioned, planned, and produced.
He or she may also manage newsletters, email courses, and social media in some organizations.
The role of production assistant is not used in every content team. Many times, content creators will be responsible for posting content after a final edit is complete. Some teams have final content forwarded to the content manager before it goes live.
A CRM with content management capabilities, like the free HubSpot CRM, can make publishing and optimizing content so simple, everyone can do their part. Consistency is the main benefit of having a dedicated production assistant – the same checklist can be ticked every time.
Digital Inbound Marketing Specialist
Once your content is out there, how do you drive traffic to it?
In the content team, the digital marketing specialist is the maestro of all forms of web traffic. He or she is responsible for architecting a strategy that others follow to amplify content and get more views.
In general, that includes:
- Paid: Paid social media, native and sponsored ads, and other placements.
- Earned: Guest blogging, influencer marketing, traditional media pitches.
- Shared: Social engagement and planning across all platforms and groups.
- Owned: Websites, blogs, newsletters, social – all in-house brand properties.
Sometimes, the digital marketing specialist has a report: A promotion assistant. The promotion assistant realizes day-to-day aspects of the overall content promotion strategy. That can include things like social media posts, forum outreach, and emails to influencers.
There may also be a paid media specialist who oversees digital ad spend.
Last but not least is the content analyst.
This person sifts through the ocean of data produced by content marketing campaigns and produces pearls of wisdom for you. Their reports distill your outcomes down to essentials so you know which content is performing well, on which channels, to which audiences.
Your content analyst equips other members of the content team with the facts they need to do better every day. But that’s not all: Sound, consistent analysis is essential to proving marketing ROI. It puts results in terms executives understand and justifies bigger budgets.
There you have it: The ultimate content team.
If this isn’t how your team looks yet, don’t fret. Good content marketing teams are always striving to improve. If you consistently launch new content that addresses your buyers’ questions and pain points, you can get raise your online visibility whether your team is big or small.