In this day and age, content marketing should be a strategic function in any business. From attracting traffic to company websites and generating more quality leads to improving brand reputation, content marketing does it all and more.
With an increase in the adoption of visuals, personalization and synergy in campaigns, content marketing continues to change how prospects and customers receive and consume content, and subsequently perceive businesses.
Today, it is not a question about finding the target audience – they are everywhere, from social media channels to syndication websites. The real challenge is finding smart, creative and hard-working people who can make a business’s content marketing strategy a success.
The marketing function, especially in startups, deserves the same dedication to roles and responsibilities otherwise provided for sales, legal, accounting and operations.
Finding the right set of people for marketing in the current landscape could be difficult. In this article, we share six tips to building yourself a killer content marketing team:
1. Define Your Marketing Strategy
Before you begin hiring, it is crucial to have a strategy in place. This will help you decide on the type of marketing support you need to hire. If your main goal is to amp up brand awareness through blogs in six months, hiring several writers and a search engine optimization (SEO) expert will help.
A marketing strategy defines your long-term approach to selling products and services. Its goal is to create a sustainable and successful business that connects with your prospects and existing customers. It doesn’t matter who you hire; you won’t get the desired results without a strategy.
2. Structure Your Team Properly
For your content marketing team to function efficiently, it is important to have defined job roles and a formal hierarchy. Without this, responsibilities will get blurred and chaos will ensue. To avoid this, create a list of marketing roles you would like to have in the team.
A typical content marketing function comprises writers, social media personnel, graphic designers, pay-per-click (PPC) specialists and a marketing head responsible for keeping the team aligned with the business goals. Here are the nine profiles you must typically hire:
a. Chief Content Officer
This is not necessarily a C-suite position, but this person leads the entire content marketing efforts for the business and is responsible for setting up the overall editorial strategy – including blogs, PR, email, SEO and social media – to keep the brand messaging consistent and relevant to the target audience. Besides, this person ensures the results from marketing efforts address business issues such as cost savings, engaging loyal customers, driving sales, etc.
b. Content Marketing Specialist
The process of creating content can become monotonous. When you spend your time brainstorming ideas, writing articles and promoting them, it’s easy to lose sight of the main objective.
It is vital to have someone who always keeps an eye on the strategy and ascertain how well or poorly it is performing, and that’s exactly what a content marketing specialist does. This person manages the writers, pays attention to detail and ensures the marketing goals are achieved.
c. Content Writers
A content marketing team without content writers is impossible! After all, this person is responsible for writing blog posts, web copy, guest articles and everything else that falls under the content umbrella. Seek writers with journalistic backgrounds, as they have the innate ability to investigate an issue from all perspectives. They also research thoroughly and pull their sources and quotes efficiently.
d. Graphic Designers
Visuals can attract and retain your customers. Great content marketing can’t just rely on words – they must be supplemented with powerful imagery, whether a video, an infographic or a GIF. Designers on the team will help you pick visuals for your content and ensure they complement the business branding.
e. Social Media Expert
This person’s job is to develop your company’s social channels around your industry, including promoting your content and engaging the target audience via group participation. A social media expert will track and analyze metrics such as reach, clicks, conversions and response time, and work closely with the content writers and graphic designers to create a holistic social strategy.
f. SEO Specialist
SEO helps make your business website as Google-friendly as possible so that it ranks high in search. An SEO specialist can optimize your website with the right keywords and ensure you generate massive organic traffic, boosting inbound leads.
They are an integral part of the team as they are responsible for your website’s look and feel, mobile responsiveness, user experience (UX), navigability and more. If your website looks dated and does not express every page’s exact value, your bounce rates will soar. Having developers on the team will ensure you create attractive web pages that entice visitors to stay longer.
h. Ads Specialist
If you are looking to receive quick returns to supplement your marketing strategy, an ads specialist will be a great addition to the team. This person can work together with content writers, SEO specialists and graphic designers to produce high-quality landing pages and subsequent ad graphics that can be used to point your paid traffic to those pages with appropriate keywords.
i. Project manager
This person acts as the project manager who improves content processes, implements specific solutions to function efficiently and ensures quality and compliance in the marketing efforts. This role is more crucial once the team reaches a mature level and adding it as a dedicated role becomes advisable.
3. Create a Style Guide
Nothing is worse than a business having an uneven tone of voice that varies from platform to platform. With so many members being an integral part of the content marketing team, it is essential to have a style guide that comprises a vocabulary list, communication style and a documented tone of voice, enabling every content writer, SEO and ads specialists and designers to represent the brand with integrity and uniformity.
4. Ensure Proper Documentation is in Place
Where there is a well-thought-out employee onboarding process in place, it is vital to have documentation that explains how your marketing team functions. This could include a detailed social media marketing plan or a flowchart illustrating the website design process.
This way, when new employees come on board, they already have in-depth explanations of how things work, and hence, learn quickly.
5. Deploy the Right Tools
Your content marketing team cannot function without specific toolsets. Imagine planning and executing a Black Friday email marketing campaign without email software or a project management tool. Here are a few tools your team can use daily:
- Content: Grammarly, BuzzSumo
- Social media: Buffer, AgoraPulse, Planoly
- Email marketing: Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor
- SEO: SEMrush, Ahrefs
- Project management: Trello, Asana
- Customer relationship management (CRM): CoSchedule, HubSpot
You don’t need to purchase all the tools your content marketing team wants in one go. Be slow and steady. Also, arrange for training if they need assistance in using a tool properly. Such purchases would always be an excellent value for money.
6. Make Friends With the Sales Team
Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand. Since sales reps interact with prospects and have a much clearer idea about what the audience wants, the sales team can help your content marketing team ensure their messaging, content strategy and targeting align with the value proposition and company mission.
To fetch the desired results, your team should avoid developing a bubble mentality and solely focus on the website, blogging and social media. They need to make friends across other departments – most importantly, sales – and communicate effectively to gain actionable insights for their overall marketing strategy.
Wrapping It Up
In 2019, the term “content marketing strategy” was the most popular Google search. It costs less than traditional advertising, is easier to measure than public relations (PR) efforts and reaches a targeted audience in real-time. To build a killer content marketing team, you must be methodical and not hire people at random. Be smart, work in phases and let new hires grow into their roles as the company grows to deliver the best content possible for your target audience.