When companies are craving long-term, sustainable growth, they need to think about content marketing.
Content marking is knowing how, when, and where to publish, how to organize information online with the purpose of reaching a specific audience, understanding SEO, incentivizing profitable customer action, and so much more.
And it takes a blend of marketing knowledge, artistry and creativity, and content talent to bring it all together.
How do you build out an exceptional content marketing team – one designed and equipped to meet your organization’s content marketing goals and needs?
Put these 11 tips to work for you as you build yours.
1. Determine Your Marketing Objectives
Knowing your “why” or the vision is the most crucial step in your marketing strategy as this is how your company will promote itself to the public.
It’s also important to set goals for your content marketing program, which will help align the team, understand the purpose, and measure progress and success.
This is also an important first step as it’s the backbone of building the best team to execute the strategy and objective. It’s going to be awfully tough to get top talent to buy into your vision if you aren’t quite sure what it is yourself.
2. Start From The Top
In large organizations, two important leadership roles are the Chief Content Officer (or also known as Director of Content Marketing) and the Content Marketing Manager.
- The Chief Content Officer (CCO) is the person who oversees every facet of the content program to ensure that the company’s content marketing strategy is on point and meeting its business goals. This role is the backbone of the team, as the decisions and hiring will trickle down from here.
- The Content Marketing Manager will report to the Chief Content Officer. This person focuses on laying out the roadmap for the team once the vision and/or strategy have been defined.
In smaller companies, these roles might be combined into one.
The Chief Content Officer and the Content Marketing Manager will then further define the job roles and a formal structure for what the team should look like.
This will help the hiring process and recruiting for these specific roles, not to mention keeping the team organized and on track.
3. Document Processes
In order for the content marketing team (or any team for that matter) to be successful, companies must document working processes and “standard operating procedures” or SOPs.
Without solid documentation, attempts to scale your content marketing team will result in chaos and unsure ownership and responsibility.
Standard operating procedures provide your team a set of go-to instructions to guide their efforts so you can easily replicate successes and scale your content marketing campaigns.
4. Know Your Style
Establish the tone of voice, writing style, and messaging preferences that will be carried throughout your content.
Have a style guide and document the tone of voice and communication style so every person on the content marketing team represents the brand with the same integrity, values, and tone.
This is an important part of ensuring that each and every prospective customer has a similar experience with your brand.
It will also help you determine whether content team candidates are a good fit, as you compare their portfolio and writing style against your own.
Learn more about how to create a style guide (with examples).
5. An Editor Is Everything
The content editor is responsible for developing and implementing processes that ensure content quality and keep the brand out of hot water with copyright issues.
They edit the content so it is as clear, concise, engaging, and close to error-free as possible.
Editors also provide direction to the writers to ensure that each piece of content meets its objectives.
Look for an editor who is organized, meticulous, punctual, and proactive.
6. Keep Innovating With A Content Strategist
In smaller organizations, ongoing content strategy and planning might be handled by the Content Marketing Manager or Director.
This content professional has their finger on the pulse of your industry’s competitive landscape.
They are constantly considering and testing new content types and formats.
The content strategist brainstorms, ideates, and challenges the status quo. They’re always on the hunt for gaps in your customers’ journey and innovative content to fill it.
When larger companies look to hire a content strategist, they should search for someone who knows how to create exceptional content, has a big picture view of the industry, and understands the vision for the company’s future.
7. Prioritize Brand Design
Hiring a designer for your content marketing team is crucial.
Research has found that 65% of the general population are visional learners, meaning they need to see information in order to retain it.
Furthermore, studies have shown that the brain can process images and videos 60,000 times faster than text, so it’s important that you have a designer on hand to create high-quality visuals to augment your written content.
The best content tells a story that evokes an emotional reaction or entices your site visitor to take action. Design is an essential element in creating those experiences.
8. Hire Experienced Writers Who Care
The best writers are also gifted researchers, so you don’t necessarily need to find a writer with a lengthy portfolio in your exact topic.
But it’s critical that you find writers who are passionate about the topic in order to create authentic, exceptional content.
According to Matthew Brew, Head of Marketing at EduMe,
“In-house content resources are crucial. Writing is very revealing – you can read someone’s level of interest in what they’re writing about. That’s why you need people all in on your mission to be true brand guardians, to really embody (or craft) your tone of voice.”
Whether you’re building an in-house team or hiring through an agency, seek out writers who believe in the company’s mission and content strategy.
9. Diversify Your Team
Each person on your content team will have their strengths and weaknesses.
For example, some writers are great at producing highly informative and educated pieces, but may lack humor and cannot produce satire, and vice versa.
Your customer base is diverse and your content team should be, too.
Have content team members inventory their interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Use these insights to inform future job postings and seek out talent with complementary skills and attributes.
10. Define Career Paths For Ambitious & Motivated Team Members
Ensure there are pathways for advancement on your team. Perhaps an individual starts as a writer; how can they become an editor, then a Content Marketing Manager?
What skills will they need to develop, and how will you ensure they have the time and resources to do so?
Make sure your team is constantly growing as individuals and know that they are valued enough for internal promotions and opportunities.
Promoting internally tends to cost less than hiring externally, and creates organizational loyalty and a higher employee retention rate, as well.
11. Face-To-Face Training & Communication Are Important
New hires need real-time communication and training, whether through video conferencing or in person.
People will get to know individuals much better when you can hear their voices and see their facial expressions versus communicating through chat or by phone.
Asynchronous training videos can help team members in different timezones get up to speed, but it’s important to make time for regular 1-on-1s between managers and their direct reports.
Regular team meetings can help keep everyone connected and moving in the same direction, as well.
Building out a content marketing team can be daunting, but the payoffs are well worth it.
When you have a cohesive, energized team constantly pulling in the same direction and turning out their best works in your company’s name, you’ll realize your content goals – and then some.
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