Content marketing is a marketing technique for creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.1 It’s a marketing strategy that has been proven to pay off. According to Demand Metric, 90 percent of organizations use content marketing and 68 percent of people spend time online reading about brands they’re interested in.2
Although the idea behind content marketing is simple, developing it is not. Creating content that engages customers, develops brand loyalty, and generates leads and sales can’t be left to chance. In order to have a steady supply of meaningful content, you need to assemble a team of people with a variety of skills. You also need to decide whether to hire a content team, outsource content development, or do a little of each. Often—especially in a small business—content team members will wear several hats.
According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates three times as many leads.2 Building a strong content team is an important investment in your marketing success.
These are the major roles and responsibilities in a typical content team:
The managing editor is the person who has the final say on everything involved in content creation. They often create content themselves and have knowledge of media, production, and analytics. They also need to have management skills and experience. (Larger organizations may also have an editor and editorial assistants.)
Writers and designers are the key content creators who craft the messages and look of the content and make sure that everything is on brand. In some companies, content is created in several departments and it’s a writer or editor’s job to make it cohesive. Content creators must also make sure messages are consistent and formatted correctly for all media.
Other content creation specialists include web developers, videographers, photographers, audio engineers, and video and audio editors. Most small businesses find hiring contractors or freelancers to be the most practical way to fill these positions.
Other bases you should cover include a process for monitoring online content that pertains to your business, industry, and products; an approval process for stakeholders to sign off on content before it is published and make sure it complies with company standards as well as legal regulations or restrictions; and analytics to measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
The content team should meet regularly to develop the editorial calendar and to analyze results from content that has already been posted.
If you were to hire for all these positions, you would need to bump up your payroll substantially to cover salary, benefits, and overhead. Fortunately there are outsourcing options and software tools that can supplement in-house staff.
Depending on the complexity of your content marketing strategy, you may be able to combine some roles, such as editor/writer. There are affordable tools for monitoring your online presence and analyzing your marketing results. Web developers, designers, and others are available on a contract basis.
When you hire outside talent, you have the advantage of working with a variety of people. However, you should choose the people and companies you work with as carefully as you would full-time hires. Understand their processes and make sure they understand yours, and beware of low-ball prices; in most cases, you get what you pay for. Be willing to invest in contractors with a proven track record. Nail down budgets for each contract or project before you begin.
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