By Dayna Rothman
In order for your content marketing to be a success, you need to ensure you have the right team by your side. These are the people who will create, curate, project manage, and distribute your content to the rest of your marketing department.
You need to have at least one person dedicated to content creation. Why? There is a lot of strategy, project management, and creative skills that go into creating content that is engaging, resonates with your audience, and paints a great picture of your brand. If you don’t have at least one person managing the process, your content will fall short and reflect poorly on your organization.
I know that many organizations have tight budgets, so you certainly don’t need to have all of my recommended roles, but keep the following positions and roles in mind as you think about expansion.
1. Chief Content Officer, VP of Content, Director of Content
This person has many titles. Some companies have fully embraced content marketing and have a Chief Content Officer, while others have a Director of Content that reports into the CMO or VP. And then some companies include the responsibilities of this role in other executive functions.
This is the senior role in your content marketing organization, and your CCO’s responsibilities could include:
- Owning the story of the business
- Content final approval
- Audience development and influencer relationships
- Measurement and business accountability
2. Managing Editor, Content Manager
This is a critical role for your content management. In fact, if you only have one role available for content marketing then this is the one! Your managing editor is the person who makes sure all of your content is on brand and created with a high level of quality.
Your managing editor might have the following responsibilities:
- Content strategy and creation
- Vendor coordination
- Content production
- Content calendaring
- Message consistency
- Content SEO
- Content publishing
- Blog management
3. Internal Content Contributors
In addition to your core team of content marketers, you should also have internal content contributors. These are members of your organization who contribute content in some way. This could be in the form of blogs, ebooks, or other types of content.
Content creation and writing should be an important skillset within your organization, particularly in marketing. You should look to build a culture of content creation internally.
Here are some tips for working with internal content creators:
- Consider providing incentives for blogs or ebooks created
- Make sure you train internal contributors on your brand, tone, and content creation basics
- Give recognition in monthly company meetings for employees that have gone above and beyond with content contribution
4. Internal Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
You need to create content about various aspects of your organization and as a content marketer, you simply can’t be an expert on everything. That’s why it is critical to leverage members within your organization who are experts—your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).
Your SMEs are responsible for ensuring your content is accurate. Here are a few ways to work with SMEs in your organization:
- Schedule 30 minute to 1 hour brain dumps with SMEs so they can go over what should be included in your content
- Involve your SMEs in each draft review to ensure content accuracy
- Have your SMEs give you final sign-off
5. Outsourced Writers and Agencies
To supplement your internal content team you may want to use outsourced contract writers or agencies. By training and working with outside resources, they can act as an extension of your team. This could work for content teams on a budget or who have a lot of volume to produce.
Here are some tips for working with external writers:
- Create a style guide so that your external resources know your tone, your brand, your voice, and different grammar guidelines that you might have
- Make sure that you properly vet out your vendors. Ask for writing samples and speak with references
- Proactively manage your external resources by setting up weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly reviews
6. Partners, Customer, and Thought Leaders
You also might want to engage partners, customers, and industry thought leaders to help you create content. The benefit here is that you can leverage the expertise of someone else in your industry and you can work with them to get an additional piece of content created.
Here are some tips for working with partners, customers, and thought leaders for content creation:
- Set a meeting with internal stakeholders and devise a plan for working with external content creators—an example might be, your partner writes, you both edit, and you design
- Some thought leaders charge to write content for you, so keep that in mind
- When designing content that includes two companies, make sure you come to an agreement on branding
The makeup of your content team is critical for success. What roles make up your content team?
Dayna Rothman is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Marketo and Author of Lead Generation for Dummies. She runs the Marketo content initiatives and is the managing editor of the Marketo blog.