For content creation, different companies use different methods and tools that work best for them. In the end, what's important is that the content is being created and the team creating it is dedicated to pursuing a defined strategy and set of goals.
But when putting together a content marketing team or outsourcing to a content marketing agency, what should you be looking for?
Essential Content-Team Members
Creating content is definitely not a solo project. You need an entire team if you want to reach the company's content goals.
When putting your team together, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that one person on your team is capable of taking on more than one role at a time. There's no single right number of people you need on your content team; you have to consider your company's resources, abilities, and overall goals to find the sweet spot.
You might also be happy to hear that not every member of your team has to be physically present in your office. Half of B2B marketers, for example, outsource at least one content marketing activity; among those who do, the content activity most likely to be outsourced is content creation (84%).
Outsourcing content creation is an effective way to accomplish your goals without having to search for new team members or train existing employees to develop content.
Although the exact composition of your team will depend on your company's needs and capabilities, the following four core roles will be required for any effective content marketing team.
1. Subject-Matter Expert
To educate and provide value to your industry, you're going to need to choose someone in your company to be the subject-matter expert. This person will serve as a face of the company and offer knowledge, advice, and real-life experience to the content team.
This person does not have to be the most outgoing, extroverted, talkative person in the company; he or she just has to be someone who is fully immersed in the industry and has a ton of wisdom to share.
2. Content Strategist
This person researches and creates unique content plans. His or her day-to-day involves interviewing subject-matter experts, reviewing answers to questions, coming up with interesting ways to tell stories, and scoping out which publications to target for guest posts.
Calling the shots and creating the ideal content to support the end goals of lead generation, SEO, and/or thought leadership takes a lot of planning ahead, investigating, and creative thinking.
Editing and writing are two different skill sets; often, though, if someone is a gifted editor, you can rely on him or her to be a solid writer, as well. You'll need someone who can actually put the content together. And though it isn't recommended that the same person both write and edit his or her own work, sometimes it's necessary.
During the editing process, the content should be reviewed to ensure it aligns with the strategy; it also must have the right tone, and it should flow and read nicely.
Ideally, you'll have more than one editor; it's beneficial to have another person double-check the content to make sure everything is perfect—down to the last comma. The second editor should also adhere to a preferred style guide to maintain consistency. Sometimes, even the most careful eye misses something, so having two editors on staff is highly recommended.
4. SEO Strategist
In order to ensure that your content is getting the views online that it needs, you're going to need an SEO strategist. This person works with the team to make sure the company's website pages are optimized for search engines. He or she performs keyword research and technical audits to develop the SEO strategy. (Keyword research for content marketing is different from regular website keyword research.)
The SEO strategist on a content marketing team will spend a great deal of time thinking about what questions people are asking about a particular subject and researching ways to ensure that the best answers—yours—will be seen by your target audience.
The Value of Outsourcing
Maybe you've been through all of this before, and forming an in-house team just didn't work for your company. Sometimes, time and budget are already spoken for, and current employees are so busy with their other daily tasks that they can't add on content creation.
That's when outsourcing your content strategy makes sense.
Outsourcing your content doesn't have to be scary, and it shouldn't feel like you're giving up control. Think of an outsourced team as an extension of your own company. The team works day in and day out to create and perfect content so that you don't have to. Instead of spending time and money to hire and train an entire content marketing team, leave it to those who have the skills to focus on your brand and goals.
Create the Team That's Right for You
Whether you outsource your content creation or create your dream team from within, your content should benefit your company and meet your established goals. Though I highly recommend the roles outlined above as a baseline, industries and service offerings change, so you may need to add roles as your goals and needs change over time.
You might eventually need to bring on a designer to create visual elements, a project manager to push deadlines and consistency, or a social media coordinator to distribute your published content effectively.
But start with the essentials, and see where your goals take you from there.
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