In 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist working at 3M accidentally developed an adhesive that is re-usable and pressure sensitive.
In 1974, one of Dr. Silver’s colleagues, Arthur Fry, used the adhesive to anchor a bookmark in his hymnbook.
This led to the creation of the “post-it” or “sticky note” – the famous yellow piece of paper which can be re-adhered.
An accidental invention by an employee resulted in a key product that generates several billion dollars a year for 3M.
While post-it is an outlier, many businesses credit their success to their employees.
And it shouldn’t be any different. Your staff runs your business. It doesn’t run itself, does it?
That’s why it’s critical that you build a solid content marketing team to run your content marketing efforts.
The first hire for your content marketing team
Hire a chief content officer.
The role of the chief content officer is often handled by the head of marketing in your company. If you are involved in extensive content marketing, it’s best to hire a dedicated employee for this role.
A chief content officer is responsible for:
- Creating your company’s content marketing strategy
- Work allocation
- Hiring people
- Defining KPIs for each team member
In smaller content marketing teams, the chief content officer will wear multiple hats – strategist, content writer, editor, marketer, etc.
As your team expands, the CCO should delegate tasks. They are then free to spend time on the most critical tasks.
Core members of the content marketing team
Broadly, your team consists of three segments:
They create the content marketing strategy and have expertise within certain channels.
Aim to keep the number of strategists to a minimum. Ideally, the chief content officer should be the only strategist in your team.
Note: Strategy and tactics are two different elements.
These are the people who work hands-on to ensure that the strategy takes shape.
They create content, ensure the creative elements are in place, and push out content to your main website.
The folks who analyze the content that works and the content that doesn’t. They are also responsible for promoting content on external channels.
The biggest challenge that marketers face is getting content discovered.
Based on your budget and content marketing maturity, your team could incorporate the following roles:
If your core strategy is written content, content writers are your bread and butter.
In-house content writers understand your business and the audience well. They research and create content that’s aligned to your content marketing strategy.
Smaller teams tend to outsource content writing. Outsourcing content can be disastrous if you cannot find reliable writers who can deliver consistently. You’ll probably face problems of missed deadlines, lack of understanding of your audience, and churn within your writer base.
The best strategy is to hire a good in-house writer or to hire a junior and train them.
This group consists of designers, video producers, and technical support.
Based on the type of content you create, this team can be crucial to your operation. For example, if you create professional videos, you need video editors, camera and studio equipment operators, video artists, etc.
One word about designers
If you can afford to hire a good designer, then do so, because a designer can add immense value to your content marketing efforts. They can significantly raise the quality of the content you produce.
If you decide to outsource design work, collaborate with agencies or full-time design freelancers. In my experience, design freelancers who have a full-time job tend to have high turnaround time.
High turnaround time can affect your content plan, especially if other teams are dependent on the designer to deliver their work.
Tech support people ensure that the content is published to your website. They can also support re-purposing of content to various formats and post them to relevant networks.
A tech team also helps marketers in adding UTM tags to URLs. They will use the creative supplied to create multiple ad variations. Once ads are created, the tech team will push them out to content distribution networks and social media channels.
Dependent on the type of content, you need either a content editor or a video editor. They have different skill sets, so hire different people for these roles.
Even the best writers sometimes find it difficult to proofread and edit their content. A content editor ensures that the content is crisp, grammatically correct, and flows well.
Video editors can make the videos crisp and short, resulting in increased engagement rates.
Marketers and Analysts
The folks that ensure the content you create gets in front of people.
Content marketing is 50% content and 50% marketing. Creating great content is not enough for people to notice you.
You need to promote your content to attract people’s attention. Often this involves paid promotion on third-party platforms.
Analysts can give you insights into the type of content that returns the highest ROI.
What’s the ideal content marketing team size?
Based on your objectives and budget, teams can range from one person to 10+.
Don’t expand too fast; always start with a small number. When your team faces execution challenges, hire new people.
Are you ready to build a content marketing A-Team?