Your content marketing team should include the following roles:
Social media manager
Something magic happens when businesses find and hire the right content marketing team. When the team is finally in place, and the content creation process is figured out and chugging along, that’s when the traffic, leads, and sales begin to really take off.
Putting these teams together, however, isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem. It’s important to have the right people in the right roles from the start — at least if you’re going to see the type of results you’re looking for.
Many of the business owners or team leaders we speak to aren’t confident about which content marketing roles they really need to hire in-house, which they can hold off on, and what skill sets should be paired with each. But, over the years, we’ve worked with hundreds of companies to grow their businesses using the They Ask, You Answer approach to inbound — and we’ve helped our clients put together some incredible content marketing teams that have generated big results.
We’ve seen these content marketing team structures work for our clients, who have grown to generate millions in revenue, and we’ve also seen these content marketing roles work for our own growth here at IMPACT.
So, whether you’re ramping up your content marketing efforts in general or implementing They Ask, You Answer for your business, a strong content marketing team couldn’t be more important to your success.
In this article, we address what you need to put together the best content marketing team possible, including:
Why you need an in-house content marketing team.
The ideal content marketing team structure.
The one step you must take before hiring anyone for your content marketing team.
Ready to finally succeed with content marketing by hiring perfect-fit candidates for the exact roles you need, and avoid hiring those you don’t?
Here’s what to know.
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Why you need an in-house content marketing team
Before you hire or put together a content marketing team, you should understand exactly what it is this team does and needs to accomplish. Once you understand the team’s main objective, you’ll see why we recommend having them in-house.
This team not only creates all of your marketing content — such as blog articles, videos, and email campaigns — but they need to do it in a way that represents your company’s subject-matter expertise, core values, and voice.
This is one of the major reasons we advise our clients to never source content from an outside agency or freelancer. No agency or freelancer is ever going to give your content marketing efforts what they need to succeed or capture your brand’s true voice. They will never be as invested as an in-house content marketing team would be, and they will always be juggling your work with the needs of other businesses (which inevitably leads to slower processes and ineffective content).
Your content marketing team is also charged with planning your content strategy and tracking how well it’s doing, so they can improve the content if needed.
The goal for this team is to create content that:
Reaches more prospects.
Converts better-fit leads.
Helps grow revenue for your business.
This means your content marketing team is not only strategizing ways to create bigger, better content for finding right-fit leads, but they’re also obsessed with figuring out what’s working and what isn’t so they can constantly make the content and process better and more effective.
There is no better way to set up your business for success with content marketing and They Ask, You Answer than by hiring content marketing team members of your own.
Ideal content marketing team structure
Now that you know exactly what your content team is in charge of and why you should have them in-house, here are the roles that should make up your team. We’ve also included a few tips about who would make a good fit for each role in terms of the right skill-set, so you can choose the best possible candidates.
1. Content manager
The content manager position is the most important position on the team. It’s the one position on this list that is 100% necessary to have in-house if you want to succeed at content marketing and They Ask, You Answer.
It is this person’s sole job to own the content marketing for the company, and without someone dedicated to this role — and only this role — it never works out. Some businesses try to put this role on someone who is already wearing too many hats. What happens is other priorities always surface, and the process is too slow, which stalls progress and makes it difficult for the team to put forth the effort needed to make your content strategy work.
By hiring a dedicated content manager, you will have someone who creates your business’s content calendar and then ensures that new assets are published regularly without fail.
They will also:
Obsess over creating high-quality content that accurately reflects the true tone and spirit of your brand message.
Interview your company’s subject-matter experts and capture their insights (and your company’s unique perspective) and integrate it into your content.
Work directly with the sales team and help them integrate content into the sales process, allowing them to close more deals faster.
Monitor your organic search performance and routinely improve ranking and traffic results. The search engine optimization they will perform includes keyword research for new pieces and ensuring older articles are updated to include more relevant terms.
Update existing content to ensure it remains relevant and effective to your target audience.
Oversee the other areas of your sales and marketing initiatives where content is critical (including your website, email, and social media).
The ideal person for this role:
Loves to write.
Is easy to get along with, which will allow them to build relationships with your subject-matter experts.
Is a talented editor who can shape whatever content comes their way into something that converts.
Doesn’t mind digging into data, which will prove useful since they will need to analyze how well your content is performing and adjust accordingly.
Has experience creating and maintaining an editorial calendar.
We typically recommend that clients consider hiring applicants from the journalism field since they possess lots of the qualities mentioned.
If you want to know more about how to find the right-fit candidate, take our free course “How To Hire a Content Manager” to help you find the best one for your team. In addition, our team of advisors is also happy to talk to you about what the process of hiring the perfect content manager for your business might look like. Schedule time with an advisor today.
2. Content writer
Content marketing is a writing-intensive endeavor, and of all the content marketing team roles, high-quality writers can be difficult to find.
Not only should your team publish three blog articles per week, but your content writers will also need to:
Create premium content offers.
Send out newsletters and emails.
Add new website pages.
Revise outdated content.
If the only position you hire for is a content manager, writing will be their primary job duty. However, this can make it difficult for them to perform other tasks.
Because content marketing is so writing-intensive, we also recommend hiring content writers with the attributes we mention for content managers. Look for applicants with a background in journalism or English. It’s a lot easier to teach marketing to writers than it is to teach writing to marketers.
If hiring a full-time content writer is out of the question, we suggest having the sales team participate in creating written content under the guidance of the content manager. As we mentioned prior, you will never get the results you’re looking for if you hire a freelancer or agency to do the writing for you.
Companies like Yale Appliance, and even IMPACT ourselves, have a policy that “everybody writes content.”
If your company is struggling with what to write and how to write it, I suggest the following resources:
In short, if you’re not producing written content weekly, you don’t have a content marketing strategy.
Most small business professionals know that an effective video marketing strategy drives growth — but we aren’t always sure how to do it right, or we think video marketing is too expensive for our small businesses, so we tend to dip our toes in it rather than jump right in.
If your company isn’t already creating video content, you’re a bit late to the party. But the good news is, it’s never too late to start.
Ready to own the production process and do what it takes to make great content.
A self-starter who treats the brand as if it were their own.
Comfortable with receiving constructive criticism.
Great with communication and knows how to make people comfortable.
Energetic and able to excite others on the team to be on camera.
It should also be noted that video content is not just a marketing tool; video is a powerful sales tool as well. Once your videographer is hired, it will be easier than ever to create highly effective videos (such as The Selling 7) that build trust with your prospects and skyrocket your sales.
Today, by the time your business knows a prospect exists — what we call the zero moment of truth — 80% of their buying decision is already made. This is because any time our prospects plan to make a purchase, they search for information about their options online, which means your website does the heavy lifting at this point in the process.
With all this in mind, think about how the pages of your website look:
Are they easily navigable, allowing users to browse your site and find the content they’re looking for?
Do they offer clear conversion paths?
Are they optimized for mobile?
The look and feel of your website, web pages, and various templates can play just as important a role in keeping people on your website as the content itself.
Have deep technical and coding knowledge of the particular language they’re being hired for, paired with an understanding of user experience (UX) and web strategy.
Be a team player who is able to think like your buyer and deliver the best UX solution possible, even if the idea is challenging to implement.
Approach problems thinking, “Here’s how we CAN do this,” versus, “It won’t work, and here’s why.”
The right designer/developer on your content team can help you create beautiful website pages that entice visitors to stay on your pages longer while making it easier for them to maneuver through your site. In addition, these folks can often fix technical issues as they arise, ensuring your site is always operating efficiently.
5. Social media manager
Where is your digital audience when they aren’t searching for answers through Google?
What are some of their preferred social media platforms?
Are they frequently scrolling through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram?
If you want to reach your audience in a meaningful way, you have to do it on their level in the places they inhabit, in the formats they most prefer.
Many of these platforms are constantly evolving their algorithms for how, when, and for whom they display content, so it’s important to find someone who:
Knows what platforms are being used by your prospects and how to engage them through social media posts.
Communicates well and is skilled at fostering genuine conversation.
Handles all social situations with ease, even when someone gives negative feedback.
Creates and designs social posts, but also digs into data to keep track of what’s working and what needs improvement.
Embodies the voice of your brand.
A social media expert with all these skills will know how to best deliver your company’s message to reach prospects and engage them in purposeful ways.
The one step you must take before hiring anyone for your content marketing team
With all of this said, the only way you can hire an effective content marketing team is if you get buy-in from sales and leadership at your company. Unless you have top-down buy-in from your entire organization, your results will always be lackluster — even with the right team in place.
Leadership needs to stress the importance of content marketing, not just as a marketing goal, but as a company philosophy.
Without leadership on board, the rest of the company won’t see content marketing as a priority and will often push back on helping the marketing team.
If the rest of the company isn’t in-tune with the content your marketing team is producing, they won’t have any idea of what kinds of content is available on the website and won’t point customers and prospects to it.
The sales team should be working closely with the marketing team. Nobody understands the struggles that prospects are having or their questions quite like the salespeople who talk to them every day.
Sales should be using the content the marketing team is creating to better help prospects get detailed answers to their questions, thus helping prospects close as customers faster. We call this process assignment selling.
When the sales team and the marketing team are working in sync, the marketing team always has a wealth of relevant content to create, and the sales team gets a stockpile of content to use as they nurture leads to closing.
Put together a winning content marketing team today
You don’t have to fill every single one of these positions. Many of these responsibilities can be held by a single person or shared by a group.
But again, the more duties you put on an employee’s plate, the further stretched they’ll be, and the longer it will take to see results.
If I was only able to hire three of these positions, I’d start with a content manager, a writer, and a videographer (and of course, get buy-in from sales and leadership). Those three can cover the most important bases for ensuring your company is creating the most relevant and helpful content your audience needs.
Once your team is ready to grow, I’d fill the additional roles as the need and budget arises.
And of course, if you want to fast-track your team to learn best practices for content and video marketing, I’d highly suggest looking into IMPACT’s consulting programs or talking to one of our advisors who can talk to you about hiring your very own content marketing team and see incredible results at your own company.
With the right people in the right roles, your content marketing strategy will be taking off in no time — and growing your business along with it.