Thinking about getting into the content marketing game? Smart move, considering content marketing is a cost saver and value driver. According to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing, all while generating around three times as many leads. Those numbers are enticing, but the content game isn’t for everyone. To really capitalize on content for your company, you need to do it properly. There has to be a strategy around your content marketing, and that strategy needs to be fully carried out by a strong, diverse team. An efficient content marketing team structure is the most important place to start.
Companies often struggle with building out an effective content marketing team structure — there’s no roadmap and they sometimes don’t know where to begin. Some firms dedicate individuals to creating content with no plan in place, others build multiple small teams within different lines of business, and some assign wildly different tasks to the same person. Mistakes like these can be dire, and leave your content foundation confused, disjointed, and disorganized for the future.
While there’s no exact science, we’ve detailed how you can begin building out your team, and a few key things you can’t afford to forget.
Content Strategists vs. Content Creators
To start, you should consider the two most important overall roles within your content organization: those developing the strategy behind your content marketing, and those creating the content itself.
In the early years of content, everyone was a creator and focused almost entirely on just writing. As content began to explode, and tech made understanding the impact of your content easier, the role of strategy came to the forefront. Brands were not only focused on measuring performance, but also focused on setting up a framework based on data from the get-go.
Content marketers deemed “most successful” by the Content Marketing Institute were far more likely than those marked as “less successful” to have a documented content strategy, 65% vs 14%. There’s a direct relationship between a thoughtful content strategy and success in the content space. And today, content creators aren’t even entering the picture until the strategy is in place.
Must Have Roles
Content is king. It’s cemented as a necessary component to a strong marketing strategy, and as such, it relies on numerous people in a myriad of roles to run well. If you’re part of a large organization, the days of pushing three copywriters into a room over a weekend to write as much as they can pump out are over. Here are the roles you need to create an effective content marketing team structure.
Head Content Strategist
Without a strategist leading the charge, your team will be making content and throwing it out into space, ensuring all of your hard work goes nowhere. You need someone to build an editorial calendar, set performance metrics and measure success, and make changes based on how content is faring. This strategy guides every other step of the process and drives the importance of keeping your content consistent, on-brand, and effective.
Lead Demand Generator (Performance/Analytics)
Working underneath the head strategist, there have to be people in charge of measuring the success of content. Someone should be analyzing the impact of your collateral on a daily basis and reporting to the strategist. These analysts track the progress of content that’s been published, and if certain pieces of content aren’t performing well, they’ll note that the strategy needs to change. These findings can affect where the content lives, who it’s targeted towards, how it’s promoted, and ultimately, how it’s created. This drives toward your end goal of making your content as effective as possible.
The managing editor is the lead content creator. They make choices about what content gets made and how it gets seen. They understand the landscape and know their audiences inside and out, and they can explain exactly why you are telling this story, and how it should resonate. As subject matter experts, editors push their producers in the right direction and dictate what the audience should see.
Content producers are taking your strategy and turning it into actual content. Producers run with the brand story that drives the content, and the distribution mix dictated by the plan of attack to make as much high-quality, relevant, valuable content as possible. They should focus entirely on creation, and stay away from metrics and strategy. They report to the managing editor who ensures everything is up to snuff and fits with the brand’s voice and story. This is what people see, so it has to be great.
Content can read well, but if it’s not enticing enough to get people reading in the first place, it’s useless. People are getting much better at avoiding irrelevant content, but they’re still attracted to shiny objects. Good design can address this. Consider integrating a designer into your content marketing team structure who is well-versed in what can catch people’s eye.
Other Content Roles
Where to begin? There are lots of potential additions to your team. It’s up to your organization to decide how to best optimize for your strategy, and what fits with your brand. You could opt for videographers, editors, freelance writers, social media gurus … the list goes on. These roles can help boost your content creation and distribution engines.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to an ideal content marketing team structure; however, the roles mentioned here are a good starting point to ensure your content is thoughtful, well-written, and properly measured. It may necessitate a few people wearing multiple hats, but it helps dictate who’s in charge of which aspects of any content marketing plan, and makes the all-too-important distinction between content strategy and content production.