By now, most companies are aware of the benefits that content marketing can bring to a business. It builds trust, answers customers’ questions, costs less than traditional marketing, and much more. But what if you’re not set up to create content or your business is just starting out?
4 Key Tips to Building a Successful Content Team
1. Create a Content Strategy
A content strategy is the blueprint for how your team (and company) will meet your key objectives and goals. It’s an important document that guides both your content team and other areas of your business.
A great content strategy will cover important topics such as why you’re creating content, the type of content you’ll create, how you’ll distribute it, who’s responsible for producing it, and how you’ll keep your brand voice and personality consistent across all of your content. As this will be a key document for your business, it’s vital that you don’t underestimate the importance of a carefully planned and well-documented content strategy.
If you don’t have experience creating a strategy or someone within your company who can undertake this job, it’s well worth investing in help from an external agency. Asking for help from an expert will give you a robust strategy to guide your team through the next few years and set them up properly to reach your key business and content-based goals.
2. Ensure You Have a Style Guide
If you have multiple teams across your business creating different types of content, it’s imperative that everything produced is consistent. From using the same font across all brand assets to deciding on a date or time format to use, it’s the seemingly little things that are important.
You may choose to have a brand style guide that outlines how all brand elements should be used, such as logos, iconography, brand colors, and typesets, and a separate guide that covers content. Whichever way you choose to detail this information, ensure that it’s consistent, clear, and regularly educated on. In fact, it’s a good idea to include education about your style guide in the onboarding process for new employees.
Don’t have a style guide? Learn what to include here!
A language style guide is a particularly useful thing to invest time and thought into. Does your business have “clients” or “customers”? When is it okay to not write out the company name in full? Should certain punctuation be used for specific areas or types of content?
3. Hire the Right People
Forty-two percent of companies have a 1–3-person content team, which isn’t a lot when you consider the number of different specialist areas within content marketing. This means it’s incredibly important that your team has the right makeup of skills.
If your business is large, you may be able to fill each of these roles with individual people. If not, you’ll want to hire people with skills that span a few of these roles so that your content team is set up for success.
Don’t forget – we can help with your proofing and editing needs if resourcing is a problem.
The person heading up a content team could be called a Chief Content Officer, Managing Editor, Content Director, Content Marketing Manager – the list goes on – but whatever title you give this role, they need to be multi-skilled. Strategizing and project management are just some of the skills the person in this role should have.
Depending on your company structure and size, this role could be the main point of contact between the business’s executive team and the content team. They’ll be responsible for budgets, resourcing, schedules, and the overall content plan and strategy. If your company is small or a start-up, the content lead will likely also need to write well and have editing experience.
Get this part right and your content team will run like a dream.
A content editor is usually the final person to work on a piece of content before publication. They are responsible for reviewing everything before it’s put out into the world and ensuring that it aligns with the brand or corporate style guide (discussed in more detail below).
Most likely, your editor will work on all aspects of the content, including ideation and development, design, production, presentation, and evaluation and analysis. Small teams may find that there are a lot of crossovers between the editor and content lead roles.
Read our helpful tips for hiring great editors.
It’s probably no surprise that a content team needs at least one person who can write well. Although there are many different types of copywriting (technical, marketing etc.), small businesses can usually manage with just one writer. If that’s the case for your company, you might want to hire someone with a journalistic background.
Remember, a copywriter is responsible for ensuring your brand voice and personality are at the forefront of all your written content. They need to know your language style guide inside and out.
A content producer or content creator not only writes a wide range of content but also does some graphic design work (if you don’t have someone to do this) or videography (unless you have a trained videographer, of course). Working within the content strategy and plan, this team member is probably experienced in creating social media content and other forms of digital content.
Depending on your company, you may have a content producer for B2B content and one for B2C. This is where your content strategy is especially important, as it will guide both types of content creation and ensure that they’re aligned.
A critical role within a content team is a proofreader. This may not be a full-time role depending on your company size and content output, but someone on your team should be experienced in it. Of course, we can help with this – no matter the size of your company.
Content filled with typos and bad grammar could do more harm than good to your business, especially when you’re first starting out. To ensure your business consistently sounds professional and trustworthy, proofreading is a step that shouldn’t ever be ignored!
As mentioned, there are many different roles that can fit into a well-rounded content team, such as a reviewer, a strategist, an amplification specialist, etc. It’s important to identify the roles you need as part of your permanent team and where you can utilize external assistance.
Advertising and marketing agencies will have a range of specialists that can help you fill any gaps – but bear in mind the potential costs involved. When working with external agencies, it’s a good idea to be aware of the challenges that might arise before you sign any contracts.
For more on building a successful team, you may be interested in reading How to Build an Efficient Editorial Team.
Once your content team is in place, it’s easy to leave them alone to do their thing – especially if the team consistently performs and reaches business goals. But it’s important to offer them opportunities to develop their existing skills and learn new ones, just like any other team you may have in your business.
Provide the team with development and training opportunities and allow them to explore areas of interest that may not be a hundred percent aligned to their role. Doing so will ensure that your team is well-rounded, engaged, and best of all, producing successful content for your business.
Get these basics sorted and you’ll soon be on the road to success. If you plan well, create in-depth guides, have the right people in the right roles, and continue to nurture your content team, it won’t be long before you start seeing the benefits of content marketing.
Need Help Scaling Your Content Team?
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