Lots of businesses want to invest in content marketing, but some don’t know where to start. They may be unsure how to formulate a content strategy, or how to measure content marketing success. And trying to do content marketing without hammering out these details first is a recipe for wasted time and money.
Our advice? Get some people in there who know how to do content marketing. In other words, create a content marketing team.
But that begs another question: how do you structure a content marketing team? A poorly structured team will also lead to wasted time and money. But a well structured team can produce great content that speaks directly to your audiences’ needs, which in turn will generate more leads and grow revenue.
In this guide we’ll show you how to create a great content marketing team structure based on the essential functions a content marketing team needs to perform. We’ll also provide you with an idea of how much it might cost to structure your content marketing team.
Let’s get started.
Essential Job Function #1: Strategy
To start performing content marketing, you need a strategy. That means your first content marketing hire should be a big picture thinker who knows how to take a content marketing plan from A to Z.
You’ll need this person to perform the following tasks:
- Formulate your content marketing goals.
- Identify your buyer personas.
- Audit your existing content (if applicable).
- Audit your competitors.
- Formulate a content marketing brand and style guide.
- Create a content marketing distribution plan.
- Create a method for measuring content marketing success.
- Secure tools needed to effectively execute on the strategy (including labor).
- Manage the Content Marketing Manager and Head of SEO (more on these in a moment).
Who develops this roadmap? Their job title might differ from business to business. For a small company this might be the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Larger companies may hire for the following job titles:
- Chief Content Officer
- VP of Content
- Editorial Director
Once the content marketing strategy is built, the Chief Content Officer will continue to work with senior-level marketing leaders to adjust the strategy as needed. They’ll also liaise with other departments to ensure alignment with the organization’s broader goals.
Average salary: $168,000 (Comparably)
Essential Job Function #2: Plan
Next you’ll need a Content Marketing Manager to execute on the Chief Content Offier’s vision and oversee day-to-day operations.
The Content Marketing Manager will need to perform the following tasks:
- Identify when, why, and how a piece of content needs to be created.
- Manage the content marketing calendar.
- Work with the Head of SEO to identify topics to write about.
- Execute on the content marketing distribution plan.
- Manage Content Writers, Editors, and Designers.
- Enforce editorial guidelines.
- Track metrics indicative of content marketing success.
- Liaise with the Chief Content Officer.
Most importantly, the Content Marketing Manager will keep the rest of the team on-task, and enable them to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Note that smaller organizations may also have the Chief Content Officer fill this role.
Average salary: $67,000 (PayScale)
Essential Job Function #3: SEO
SEO is the foundation of every content marketing strategy. Without utilizing SEO best practices, it will be very hard for your content to get in front of your intended audience and deliver the results you want. Therefore, you need a Head of SEO to work with the Content Marketing Manager to make sure all content is in a position to succeed.
The Head of SEO will need to oversee the following tasks:
- Identify keywords to target for content.
- Create SEO guidelines for creating content.
- Ensure every piece of content is optimized for SEO.
- Oversee technical SEO in conjunction with the engineering team.
- Track SEO metrics that are indicative of success.
- Identify old content that can be updated for SEO.
- Identify linkbuilding opportunities.
The Head of SEO will also be responsible for managing Linkbuilders. The job of a Linkbuilder is to build backlinks to your website by pitching content to third-party outlets and securing opportunities for content creators to distribute content on other websites.
Why is this a job unto itself? Because linkbuilding is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Websites and content with a lot of backlinks generally rank higher in Google Search Engine Results pages. Note that this is a role you can outsource—there are agencies as well as freelancers who specialize in linkbuilding.
Smaller organizations may also charge the Head of SEO with performing linkbuilding.
Average Head of SEO salary: $68,000 (PayScale)
Average Linkbuilder salary: $15/hour (Glassdoor)
Essential Job Function #4: Content Creation
Now that you’ve hired the folks who understand the what, where, how, and why of content creation, it’s time to hire the people who will actually create the content. This is actually a few different jobs, depending on the type of content you want to create. They are as follows:
- Content Writer: These folks write the content (duh!). They are assigned keyword-researched topics from the content calendar. They then research the subject, and create a piece of content utilizing SEO best practices (as prescribed by the Head of SEO). Ideally, you’ll want to find a Content Writer that specializes in a topic related to your business, so that they can write authoritatively on the subject.
- External Content Writer: Some organizations may also hire an External Content Writer. This person specializes in writing content for third-party websites. They typically work closely with linkbuilders to identify guest-post opportunities.
- Editor: The job of the Editor is to edit the work of the Content Writer to ensure it matches SEO, brand, and style guidelines. They should also be able to coach writers and help them improve their content. Some editors help oversee the content calendar, and perform metrics tracking. A good Editor will make sure all the content that appears on your website looks great.
- Designer: The designer’s job is to provide visual content, such as graphics, charts, and infographics. They work closely with the Content Writers to identify visual assets that would compliment their content.
These roles only pertain to the creation of editorial content. Depending on what type of content you need to create, you may also need to hire for the following roles:
- Videographer (for video content marketing)
- Podcast producer
- Public relations expert
Note that in smaller organizations, the Content Marketing Manager may also create some or all of the content.
Average Content Writer salary: $45,000 (PayScale)
Average Content Editor salary: $47,000 (PayScale)
Average Designer salary: $50,000 (PayScale)
Average Photographer salary: $17/hour (PayScale)
Average Videographer salary: $45,000 (PayScale)
Average Podcast Producer salary: $64,000 (Glassdoor)
Essential Job Function #5: Distribution
Once you have a bunch of high-quality content that aligns with your brand’s broader strategy, you’ll need somebody who can distribute that content so that it gets in front of the right audience. This job title may differ from business to business, but we’ll call this person the Demand Generation Specialist. Their job should include the following:
- Paid promotion of content via promoted social media posts, sponsored content, and native ads.
- Generate earned media for content via relationship building with third-party organizations and influencers (note that this role may also be filled by a Linkbuilder or Public Relations Expert).
- Foster engagement with content by sharing it on major social media networks and interacting with social users.
- Oversee creation and distribution of the company email newsletter.
The ultimate goal of the Demand Generation Specialist is to make sure your content can be found.
Average Demand Generation Specialist salary: $66,000 (Glassdoor)
Essential Job Function #6: Measurement
The last job function your content marketing team structure should address is someone who can measure the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts and offer suggestions for improvement. For smaller organizations, this role usually falls to the Content Marketing Manager, Head of SEO, or Editor.
But larger organizations should hire a Content Analyst who is dedicated to digging into the metrics indicative of content marketing success. Here are some of the things your Content Analyst can help you with:
- Metrics tracking (pageviews, time on page, scroll depth, bounce rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, etc.).
- Soliciting qualitative feedback from customers.
- Generation of dashboards and reports on content performance.
- Getting the most out of your content intelligence software.
Average Content Analyst salary: $52,000 (Glassdoor)
Additional Content Marketing Team Structure Tips
Now you know what you need to establish your content marketing team structure. Here are a few other things to keep in mind as you build out your content marketing team:
- You need engineers: Engineers and content marketers need to work closely from time-to-time to address technical SEO fixes (page speed, robots.txt etc.). Engineers may also need to fix issues with your content management software, and edit the structure of pages on your website.
- Start small: There’s no need to hire for all these roles at once. You can get started with a Chief Content Officer, then build out the rest of the team once you have a strategy in place. If your organization is small, your Chief Content Officer can oversee most functions to start (although your content output will be small).
- Use contractors: You don’t have to hire full-time employees. If you’re new to content marketing, hiring a bunch of salaried employees when you don’t yet have a proven strategy can lead to a lot of wasted time and money. Hiring contractors, on the other hand, allows you to test out your strategy without making a long-term commitment. You may find that working with contractors allows you to access lots of different skill sets you might not be able to find in one individual employee.
- Seek out referrals: Instead of putting out a new job listing every time you need to hire for your content marketing team, ask your current employees for referrals.This can save you a lot of time vetting unknown candidates.
- Make all candidates write something for you: It should be standard operating procedure to administer a writing test to anyone you’re considering hiring for a content marketing position—even if they have a strong portfolio. Why? Because portfolios can be misleading. Many are heavily edited beforehand. By making a candidate write a fresh piece of content for you, you can see first-hand if they have the skills you need to get the job done. And for goodness sake, pay them for their sample. This is only fair considering how much time and effort goes into creating content.
Knotch Can Help You Get the Most Out of Your Content Marketing Team
Knotch is a content intelligence platform that helps marketing teams get the most out of their content marketing efforts. Using Knotch, your content marketing team can get real-time quantitative and qualitative insights into content performance, as well as content ideas and competitor analysis.
Using Knotch can lighten the load of your content marketing team, allowing them to focus on the functions that are most essential to your business. In some cases, Knotch can even replace positions that you would otherwise have to hire out for.
If you’re interested in getting the most out of your content marketing team, sign up for a free Knotch demo.