A well-oiled and optimised content marketing engine is a thing of beauty. But just like any other machine, if a part isn't functioning properly or is completely absent, the whole thing will break down. (This has occurred more frequently than we'd care to acknowledge among the teams we've helped advise.) When a content marketing team isn't performing well, the signs aren't necessarily glaring. It's not so much about the errors committed as the chances passed up.
Of course, the reality is that many marketing teams have a cap on the number of people they can employ or outsource to, so they are often compelled to accomplish more with less resources. It’s no wonder that things slide through the cracks. However, even the tiniest businesses may make enormous strides—as long as they have the proper jobs filled.
If you want to develop a successful content marketing team, whether you have two employees or 20, you need to make a simple mindset adjustment. Cover the proper duties rather than just filling the right titles.
When it comes to content marketing teams, one of the most common issues we notice is the use of hiring checklists. You've realised you need help managing your social media accounts and have put out a call for applicants. If you're in need of written material, engage a writer. As a result, the same types of roles, such as "marketing manager" and "social media manager," are often found in most content marketing organisations.
Having a complete team may seem like a good sign, but it doesn't guarantee that every position has been filled. (After all, the devil is in the details and things slide through the gaps all the time.) On the flip side, just because you have a small staff doesn’t mean you can’t construct a smooth content marketing organisation.
We believe the smartest way to construct a content marketing team is to adopt a holistic approach by concentrating on responsibilities vs. job titles. Roles are more like special abilities than job titles, which often refer to the tasks performed by an employee. Multiple of these abilities may be possessed by the same individual.
Given the chance to develop these skills and the encouragement of a small team, you can do a lot. Because employees are less limited by the expectations associated with their titles, this method also encourages greater opportunities for creative cooperation and experimentation.
If you want to build the best content marketing team possible, what positions do you need to fill?
What Skills Should Be Included in Your Content Marketing Team
While the specifics of what a business requires may vary, the work done by a content marketing team remains consistent across industries. It is essential to ensure that all bases are covered, from distribution and analytics to keeping an editorial calendar and coming up with new ideas.
This list of the most crucial jobs in content marketing was prepared based on our extensive expertise (and some of our own missteps). It is impossible to have a successful business without each of these positions, since they are essential in ensuring continuity, filling in gaps, maintaining focus, and ensuring quality.
Though several are discussed here, expanding your content marketing team doesn't necessitate a flurry of new hires right now. Almost all of us are struggling against time, money, and superiors. As much as it's okay to ask for more money, it's always preferable to find ways to get more done with what you already have. Here are five such methods. To that end, we've provided links to additional materials that might assist you in landing or excelling in each position. We've categorised them conveniently by the three phases of the content marketing cycle (planning, making, and sharing).
Your content marketing operation will revolve on the strategy phase. Now is the time to develop a robust plan that is in line with the objectives of your business and is supported by facts. See our comprehensive guide on constructing a content strategy, and get your hands on our content strategy toolbox if you're stuck.
The relevant stakeholders must be involved from the beginning if a plan is to be successful. If you want to succeed at content marketing, you need the following people on your team.
The content marketing machine needs a driver, who might be the company's founder, chief marketing officer, or another executive. Since marketing's main purpose is to back up sales, this position works as a conduit between the two departments. Business executives and brand stakeholders work together to make sure that the brand's voice and visual identity are consistently reflected in all marketing materials.
The following are resources for marketing managers:
From manufacturing to distributing, the marketing machine has several cogs. A competent marketing manager acts as a mechanic, serving as the team's central point of contact to ensure that everyone in the content marketing team has what they need to do their jobs. A marketing manager handles whatever is required, including guiding content strategy, monitoring industry trends, assisting with content production and distribution, and more.
Resources for the Marketing Manager:
The capacity to track and analyse content performance is crucial for any content strategy. That's why you need an analytics manager. This position requires more than simply arithmetic prowess; instead, it requires the ability to draw meaningful conclusions from large amounts of numerical data. (Such a mind is also essential for helping produce content using internal data.) First and foremost, this person's job affects the roles of everyone else. The marketing manager may be encouraged to change the wording of the newsletter's calls to action as a result of their data analysis, and the managing editor may be persuaded to commission additional electronic books as a result.
Access to Data Science Professionals:
Google has an entire school dedicated to helping you get the most out of your statistics, called the Google Analytics Academy.
After deciding on your objectives and keywords, you can plunge headfirst into brainstorming and developing content that will truly connect with your target demographic.
The creation of content requires the most time and effort. Some have remarked that the time it takes to create a piece of content is always three times as lengthy as you expect it to be. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that producing high-quality content requires a dedicated content marketing staff. You can see an example of that right here.
A managing editor is responsible for the overall content strategy, editorial direction, and execution. That includes deftly overseeing an editorial calendar, organising content creators, selecting a balanced array of articles, and making sure your content strategy is put into action. That's because this position bridges the gap between content planning and creation.
Tools for the Managing Editor:
In the competitive field of content promotion, search engine optimization is paramount. A trusted specialist who can conduct audits, monitor development, and maintain content promotion and optimization is crucial. This function combines analytical rigour with tactical decision-making, from selecting the keywords that will guide your brainstorming sessions to the ongoing testing of new plugins. They might be an external consultant brought in to train the team and answer particular issues, or an internal expert who is always on hand. (They may double as your resident data guru.)
Specialist SEO Resources:
If you're an SEO professional of any skill level, you'll love SEMRush's library of helpful materials including ebooks, how-to manuals, and more.
The latest Search Engine Land marketing news and strategies, updated daily.
Marketer Neil Patel Fantastic techniques for boosting site visitors and sales.
You may most greatly benefit your audience by imparting your knowledge to them. Having a reliable source is essential for producing high-quality material (aka a subject expert).
It's not hard to track out a solution, thankfully. It's possible that the person you need can be located in a certain network, whether it's a physical or virtual community. Despite the fact that they weren't hired for the role, you might be able to identify a specialist on staff. Our previous business development leader's master's degree in business analytics came in helpful when we required assistance with developing and vetting our data guides.
Helpful materials for learning more about...
It's no secret that poor editing is a major issue in content marketing; even so-called "thought leaders" can't seem to get it right every time. You may avoid embarrassment and improve the quality of your work by working with a professional editor.
Please take note that a certain well-known marketing brand serves as an excellent (poor) illustration of this. They publish a lot of articles and have a big newsletter readership, however their writing is shoddy and full of mistakes. Due to this, my confidence in them has gradually eroded over time.
Resources for the Editor:
Grammar Girl is a helpful site with down and dirty editing advice, or editing 101, as some have called it.
The Grammarly Chrome extension is fantastic for preventing spelling and grammatical mistakes (especially helpful for emails and WordPress).
Freelance editors can advertise their services on Upwork.
Include visuals in your article whenever possible. In any case, whether you're creating an infographic, an interactive, an e-book, a white paper, or a piece of social content, a well-designed piece will help your audience better understand your business, as well as improve their experience. Data visualisation is an important ability for every good designer to have.
Helpful Tools for Designers:
Behance and Dribbble are online portfolios that may connect you with tens of thousands of independent designers and developers. Viewing their previous work and feedback can help you get the best designer for the task.
The Fundamentals of Data Visualization:
Somewhere out there is an expert and a writer waiting to be discovered. However, those two features are rarely found together. Hiring a skilled writer who can effectively convey your ideas is crucial if you want to make the most of your story's potential (in your voice). A word of caution: being able to type does not automatically make one a writer. You need the help of a writer who can craft engaging content.
Tools for writers:
It's something you've probably heard a gazillion times by now. Without readers, even the best material is useless. The distribution team is responsible for exposing your material to the appropriate audiences. With the aid of the right team, you can expand your social media following, expand your email list, secure editorial positions in high-profile magazines, and boost your brand's profile through strategic collaborations.
Getting your material in front of the correct people is crucial if you want to create an impression. At this point, it may be helpful to consult with a distribution professional. This person has connections at large newspapers, can predict what will resonate with publishers, is skilled at building mutually beneficial partnerships with other companies, and can devise effective plans for maximising both earned and paid placement. A distribution strategist's goal should be to increase your visibility by collaborating with other organisations to disseminate your material (through guest posts, content campaigns, etc.).
Distribution Strategist resources
In terms of influence, a captive audience is unrivalled. You've stumbled onto a treasure trove in your email list. The primary focus of this position is to cultivate and expand that connection in order to raise the rate of conversions. Best practises, compelling subject lines, A/B testing, compelling calls to action, and other strategic considerations should be top priorities for your email marketing.
Tools for Email Marketers:
Sumo is an excellent set of tools, including heat maps, popup list-building forms, social sharing buttons, calls-to-action, and more, for maximising your site's conversion rate.
HubSpot is a comprehensive marketing platform that assists with everything from analytics and call-to-action buttons to landing sites and search engine optimization.
Create high-converting landing pages in minutes with Unbounce (great blog, too).
Social Media Expert
Do you remember when everyone's business card said "social media guru?" Thankfully, interest in that title has begun to wane, but social media is showing no signs of slowing down. Someone who can anticipate future developments is essential. A social media specialist should be well-versed in social media culture and best practises, have ideas for engaging your audience (particularly through sponsored social), plan for distribution, and present your company in the best possible light on social media.
The following are excellent references for social media specialists:
The Social Media Examiner is a magazine dedicated to the field, with articles on the latest trends, best practises, and more.
Using NUVI, you can keep tabs on your social media in real time.
Learn what others are talking about with BuzzSumo.
Advice on Deciding Which Social Media Metrics to Use: Learn the ins and outs of social media analytics so you can gauge the success of your posts.
Even if they aren't essential, other departments and employees in your firm can help boost your content marketing efforts. Making the most of current resources is essential for maintaining a competitive edge.
Methods for Backing Up Your Content Marketing Staff (Even More)
No matter how well-prepared your content marketing staff is, you may occasionally want some outside assistance. Always consult the experts, whether you want to brush up on your knowledge or need some help with the launch of a major product.