As has been the trend for a while now, content marketing is a highly valued marketing strategy for brands. Research from the Content Marketing Institute found that in 2021, 43 percent of marketers said their content marketing budgets were higher than previous years. And 66 percent of that group expects an increase in their budget for 2022.
Behind any strong content marketing strategy is a team. Looking to build a content team of your own? This guide will go over how to structure content marketing team roles, what a content marketing team really does, and how you can scale your strategy.
Types of roles on a content marketing team
Content marketing roles vary based on team size, which depends on your budget and resources. Whether you hire an array of specialists or a few individuals, however, your team will fulfill these major roles:
- Chief content officer: This person oversees the entire content marketing process and defines goals. They ensure that content marketing strategies align with your overall business goals.
- Content strategist: The strategist plans what to create and where to publish it. They identify ways to optimize for SEO. Additionally, they analyze data to see how posts perform and what strikes a chord with audiences.
- Content marketing manager: As manager of day-to-day operations, the content marketing manager develops editorial calendars and deadlines. They also allocate tasks and develop workflows. When content is finished, they may review pieces before publication.
- Content creator: The creative of the team, the content creator writes blog posts, designs graphics, produces videos or podcasts, and more. There are typically multiple content creators, especially if a business is publishing multiple types of content. Content creators are also often outsourced, either as freelancers or through content marketing agencies.
- Content editor: Editors act as the team’s quality control. They review content to ensure its accuracy, presentation (no misspellings, for example), and how well it fits the brand’s voice.
- SEO specialist: Before content hits the web, SEO specialists make sure it’s optimized for both on-page and off-page SEO. They also check analytics to see how your content and website perform.
- Influencer outreach/subject matter expert manager: This role involves reaching out to influencers or subject matter experts to request content and build relationships.
- Technical content manager: Even the best content is useless if viewers can’t reach your website. The technical content manager makes sure a company’s website runs smoothly and is easy to use. They may also operate a content management system (CMS) to manage digital content.
- Social media manager: Working as the voice of your brand, the social media manager establishes a social media presence and measures KPIs like engagement and return on investment (ROI).
The responsibilities of a content marketing team
The work of a content marketing team is all about planning, creating, optimizing, and promoting content for your brand’s marketing strategy. This content can be educational, entertaining, inspiring, engaging, or a combination of these. Above all, it should always be high quality. Check your facts, edit out those typos, and keep content in line with your brand’s voice.
Key roles of a marketing team
Outside of pure content creation, there are many other facets to marketing. Your team will likely interact with any of the following:
- A marketing team director, who oversees marketing campaigns
- Project managers, who plan tasks, assign roles, create schedules, and document reports
- Data analysts, who collect and analyze data
- Marketing consultants, who identify your target audience, develop a marketing strategy, and analyze sales and profits
- Web designers, who make sure your website is accessible, appealing, and SEO optimized
How to determine the roles you need on your content marketing team
Every brand is different, so the size and scope of your marketing team depends on your budget and resources. Before you add any new team members, however, make sure that those members will add quality content. A team that’s too large can impact productivity and lead to diminishing ROIs.
Determining how big your content marketing team should be
Consider your business goals. Who do you need? How will those team members build toward your content strategy?
When marketing consultancy Jigsaw analyzed one hundred companies, they found that most had roughly ten nonmarketing employees to each marketer.
As your content marketing team structure grows, it will become more complex, with more specialized roles for employees. While a small business may just have one content marketer, a large business will have separate roles for marketing, SEO, branding, and more. Those roles may be broken down even further.
Additionally, the Jigsaw analysis recommended building up an in-house media agency. While you’re growing, however, and even as you continue to scale, outsourced support offers the advantages of saving time and money.
Building a personalized content marketing team
Your creative team is the engine of your content marketing efforts. It’s important to hire right—and support your team as it grows.
When hiring, look for potential. Expertise is great, but don’t rule out a newbie who shows promise. In many cases, a candidate with less experience, when given opportunities to learn, can become a strong asset to the team.
Consider each team member’s compatibility with other teammates. Diversify your team, balancing strengths and weaknesses.
It’s important to share the company’s vision so employees will know what they’re working toward. Additionally, ensure pathways for advancement, such as promotions. This awards motivated team members, makes them feel valued, and helps them grow professionally.
If possible, make an effort to meet face to face, either in real life or over videoconferencing. This will help your team get to know each other better and keep connected.
Tips for structuring your content marketing team
While content marketing allows for lots of creativity, it’s also important that every teammate understands their role. With so many roles to fulfill, how do you keep an organized structure? Below are a few tips on keeping your team cohesive.
Developing an efficient team for your company
Most importantly, set your team members up for success. When they’ve first been hired, have an onboarding strategy prepared. Any necessary documents should be signed and filed in an organized, secure place. Use the right software to streamline workflows and make communicating easier.
Provide teammates with guidelines for your content. Lay out their role and how it fits into the content production pipeline. Every team member should know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
When teams work in silos, communication problems easily arise. To avoid this, keep your team members connected. Introduce new hires to the rest of the team. Additionally, share with everyone the goals of the company and how different roles fit together.
Over time, assess how your team members perform to see what role suits them best.
Designate managers or specialists as needed. When hiring or promoting managers, look for those with a strong track record. Does this candidate have a proven history where they helped teams produce better content?
Managing and leading your content marketing team to success
A successful team knows where their work is headed. Moreover, teams are most successful when their efforts are coordinated. To support your team and facilitate collaboration, paint the big picture. How does each person’s role help the business? Involve the team in this conversation. What goals do they have, and how are they working toward achieving them?
Create an atmosphere that respects employees, encouraging them to take breaks when necessary. This helps prevent burnout and stress, which in turn can lower productivity and result in lower content quality.
Finally, define your metrics. Which KPIs matter? How will the data you collect help you with your business goals?
Structuring your content marketing team
As you structure your content marketing team, remain flexible. While roles should be defined, team members should be allowed to learn and grow through professional development and training opportunities. This is especially helpful in evenly distributing tasks. If one person goes on vacation or can’t show up to work, for example, other team members will have the know-how to fill in their role.
As you build your team, keep your target audience in mind. Focus on what would most benefit your clients. If your target audience has little to do with influencers, for instance, it wouldn’t make sense to invest in an influencer outreach manager.
You may work with a mix of in-house content marketing professionals and external workers. It’s common to fire freelance content creators, especially for written content. Meanwhile, editors should be in-house to ensure brand voice and consistency.
How to create a content marketing team that scales
It’s exciting to be at the stage where you’re ready to scale content production. When done well, scaling is a sign of a flourishing business. However, it can easily drain you of money and resources if you scale too early or don’t have a plan.
Even before you scale, it helps to have processes in place. In the future, if you do choose to scale content creation, you’ll already have a tried and true system.
Why you should have a plan to scale content creation
Scaling, in short, is a way of laying the foundation for your business to grow. It may involve hiring new staff, assigning new roles, or increasing the budget. When you scale content marketing, you create more high-quality content.
Doing so comes with several benefits. It increases brand recognition, which in turn builds trust with consumers. It keeps up with customer demand and keeps your brand relevant.
Scaling can also increase the quality of your content. Having an efficient, repeatable workflow is a key part of a successful scaling strategy, as is performing regular content audits. This makes it easier to create quality content and comb through your current content for material that needs to be updated.
How you can scale content marketing
When scaling content marketing, you can streamline your workflows. Make it easy to reproduce quality content. Have templates and checklists available for content creators to use. Have guidelines that document the content creation process, which the creative team can refer to when making content.
To make your work more efficient, automate what you can and take advantage of productivity software like Trello, Asana, or Jira.
Audit your existing content. What performs well? What’s been outdated? What had good information, but could be reworked to get more engagement? What areas of content are missing?
In that same vein, diversify your content. What social platforms and forms of media do your target audience use? Your content should be where your audience is, so it’s important to adapt it to the channels they use. This doesn’t mean you have to make tons of new content, though. Recycle or repurpose old content to make it more accessible to your audience or keep it up to date.
How to create a scalable content strategy
As you strategize your content marketing efforts, it’s important to go back to the foundation: your business goals. Why scale your content strategy? What will you achieve? What are your KPIs?
Take stock of how many resources you have in-house. Decide whether or not you need to hire externally, either through freelancers, agencies, or by working with subject matter experts. How will scaling affect your ROI? Based on your current data, can you expect an increase in profits or engagement from scaling?
If scaling will negatively affect your ROI, it may not be the time.
Keep your target audience in mind as you develop a content calendar. This will affect where you post and how often.
Meanwhile, invest in your SEO strategy and optimize everything: your website, social media, and—of course—content.
An Elite content marketing strategy
For as long as content remains king, it’s vital to understand how to make the most of content marketing. By establishing clear roles, supporting your team members, and laying the groundwork for scaling, you can guide your team toward success.
Does high-quality content factor into your content marketing strategy? Elite Editing provides professional content writing and proofreading services for businesses and other creators. Reach out today to see how we can help!