"What was the last post you read and really liked before switching off your mobile phone last night?"
We posed this question to one of our team writers over a content strategy call. She recalled an Instagram Post from an account called Ted The Stoner.
Why did she like that post so much? Because it was -
- Easy to remember
- Had a takeaway
Aren’t those three often the dream goals in content marketing for any business?
Every business is competing with 86% of marketers around the world, trying every trick in the book to lure their customers. That’s because content marketing is a charm that may increase conversion rates up to six times as compared to other digital marketing methods.
Yet, a handful of brands really get there. Why is that?
Because of a common assumption:
If they can, we can!
Imagine what they are assuming:
- If they have the resources, we can have the resources
- If they have good strategy, we can have good strategy
- If they have expertise, we can have expertise
Instead of assuming, it is good to ask: What will our content marketing team bring to the table? A plate full of the usual: salads, cheese, pepper, bread? Or a dish that customises combination meals to be served at different times to cater to different taste buds?
Every company that doesn't get there eventually figures that it didn’t have enough:
- Analytics tools
Quite rightly so. However, these are often broader concepts of the actual problem. The real problem is the tendency to pin 100% responsibility on resources or people instead of focussing on the actual values of the brand, product or service.
Working on a clear content framework first
# 1 Defining brand personality
This begins with going back to roots. It is advisable to list down the values, unique factors of the brand or offering apart from listing down the competitor’s values and unique characteristics. A good question to ask would be: How is one’s brand different?
# 2 Formulating content framework
It is imperative to build and break content themes and study the customers deeply. What’s the first thing an average customer does in the morning? How does he/she end their day? What are the values, beliefs or concerns they may have? Then, one may list down areas where the brand or offering fits into their schedule or life. This will surely help in developing a content framework.
# 3 The right kind of people
Do not hire team members on a whim or when something needs to get done at the last hour. Once the content framework is in place and the work requirements are clear, one may hire the necessary people in both the short- and long-term.
# 4 Effective communication
Companies today hire content marketing teams just like they will hail a cab. They expect this team to know the route, the tools, the way to drive and the confidence to reach the desired destination. Unfortunately, most such rides are misleading for everyone. It is the business's responsibility to transparently communicate expectations, the brand’s story, vision and goals with their prospects. Team members need to feel they are a part of the brand’s growth and journey.
1. Content Analyst
Content analysis is a process that determines keywords, themes and concepts within oral, written or visual content to identify patterns and gain insights. It helps:
1. Examine the existing content and its impact on the brand.
2. It enables us to identify the latest trends and refine current marketing strategies, respectively, to reach end-goals.
3. It helps to determine which content needs to be prioritised and which needs to be eliminated.
4. It helps to understand the customer's perspective on existing content and derive decisions from it.
All these aspects are essential to evaluate success and the returns on investments. This is where a content analyst comes in. Content analysts are not just go-to experts for the audit of your content but also the competitor’s content for better optimisation.
The responsibilities of a content analyst are:
1. Measuring the content's performance over multiple platforms, gathering intelligence by monitoring different campaign responses, identifying trends and relating them to the business goals.
2. From choosing the keywords to continually testing various plugins, it is their job to create an efficient system to get the maximum return possible on any marketing investment.
Their role is not just about pulling numbers; it's more about obtaining data-driven insights from those numbers.
Google Analytics is an amazing tool for analysing content. It helps businesses gather information like the number of users visiting the website, their per-page session duration, bounce rate and more. This data may help attain the source, demographic, traffic channels, most visited hours, favoured devices and most traffic pages.
Another tool that may be used alongside Google Analytics is Ubersuggest. It is generally used for competitive analysis, like determining the strengths and weaknesses of the competition. It is also a great way to assess the competitor’s organic monthly traffic, organic keywords and other SEO issues.
2. Content Strategist
Content strategy is a process that uses content planning as a primary means for achieving business goals.
Research by MarketingProfs suggests that 35% of marketers believe that their content strategy is driving results. But half of the companies are still not clear about what content strategy really is, how it impacts businesses and what is the role of a content strategist?
Businesses need to understand that they need a robust content strategy master plan that includes aligning the content to achieve business goals by evaluating, developing, producing and measuring the content. Before coming up with a strategy, brands should have answers to the following questions:
1. What do we want to achieve using content marketing?
2. How to evaluate the KPIs of a different type of publishing content?
3. Who is our target audience?
4. What are the gaps in our existing content?
5. How to align our content with our brand, audience and business goals?
6. Which content formats are bringing us more engagement?
All the questions mentioned above may be seen as core objectives that may help a business develop a roadmap to produce the right content and drive consistent results.
The responsibilities of the content strategist include:
1. Setting goals and creating a strategy for various content platforms such as websites, blogs, social media and email marketing.
2. Creating blog structures and an editorial calendar.
3. Understanding client requirements and directing other team members accordingly.
4. Refining the strategy based on the analysis of performance data.
Every content strategist has a vision of how their content marketing system should work. Most content strategists use Buzzsumo to discover trending topics that are already at the boom in their business field to sharpen the efforts in that direction.
3. Content Writer
Content writing includes planning, writing and editing web content for digital marketing. Written content is the foundation of content marketing.
Content writers are responsible for writing different content formats like blogs, social media posts, podcast titles, white papers, web page copy, landing pages, YouTube video descriptions, video scripts, email newsletters, keynote speeches and much more.
Content writers must not be treated as a jack-of-all-trades. But here are some skills that a content writer should possess:
1. Content writers should understand the context of the content they are writing. They should first research the relevant sources from where they may get accurate information, and then they should take notes and shape polished content.
2. Writers are, in a way, representing a brand or business in front of their target audience. So they must have a passion for knowing and understanding about what is written, the purpose behind a particular piece of content and how it can be improved.
3. Writers should have the ability to create and share a vision to retain user attention. A writer should know how to craft exciting content keeping in mind the brand's mission and the topic.
4. Proficient knowledge of the niche and grammar is a must for writers.
The more knowledge of the brand niche a writer has, the more useful and engaging content may be written. These are the responsibilities of content writers:
1. They should perform ad-hoc research and produce excellent and original content to represent a brand.
2. They should have a deeper understanding of in-house content creation tools.
3. They should be able to direct the content according to the customer personas.
4. They should follow the editorial calendar, which contains topics, notes, ideas and feedback from a content strategist.
5. Develop engaging and compelling content for various platforms and markets.
If a business is uncertain about hiring a writer on a full-time basis, they may outsource the content to specialised freelancers on a contract basis. That works really well if the businesses are looking for specialised and authoritative subjects.
4. Content Researcher
The content researcher's role is to gather data and facts researched for the benefit of the brand's long-term growth and its online visibility. According to research conducted by Forrester, the average person reads at least 11.4 pieces of online content before making a purchasing decision. Without proper content research, everything a business or brand creates will eventually be stagnant.
Here are some core responsibilities of content researchers:
1. Understand the target audience and shape the product, service and content accordingly.
2. Research what the target audience is sharing and engaging with on social media.
3. Analyse the competitors' content and apply some of their successful strategies that may work for your business, too.
4. Perform research around keywords and questions related to the brand niche.
5. Help the content writers with data and resources that they can incorporate in their writing.
Hiring a content researcher may not seem as important as other members, but they play a crucial role in terms of brand visibility, web traffic, lead pipeline and revenue.
5. Content Editor
Content editors evaluate the written material to ensure that the text is accurate, readable, consistent, credible and ready for publication. There is no harm in always using an extra pair of eyes to check if the content produced is impeccable before publishing the content.
Having a content editor proofread the content will only make it better, particularly when the business uses content marketing to drive leads. Constructive criticism and detailed feedback may transform the content from ordinary to excellent.
Let's look into some advantages of having a content editor in the team:
1. Editors are skilled at catching silly grammatical or spelling mistakes. They have an eye for detail, due to which they usually don't miss minor errors and make sure that only the best content represents the business.
2. Content editors may not instruct on writing style, but they will always ask questions and encourage the writers to think differently on the respective topic.
3. A content editor may catch recurring toxic writing habits that the writer may not have discerned. So, the editor may help writers to get out of a writing rut.
4. They are quite skilled in creating the structure of content so that the piece is aligned with content strategy and achieve the business goals.
Here are some of the responsibilities of content editors:
1. They have to structure the content logically, examine facts and raise queries with the writer.
2. They should correct the spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes and punctuation mistakes.
3. They should point out overused words, wordiness, passive voice, word choice, redundancies, adverbs and empty phrases.
4. They should suggest some relevant quotes or researched examples if they think it may make the content better or if they see a need for adding something more to the piece.
5. It is their job to see if the content's initial paragraphs are compelling enough to catch the readers' attention.
If a tight budget doesn't allow a business to hire a content editor for the team, then online editing tools like Grammarly can be used. It is a freemium tool that could drastically improve the overall quality of the content.
6. SEO Specialist
Search engine optimisation is a process in which the content is optimised to rank high on a search engine's organic listing. Businesses don't have enough time to learn all good SEO practices; Google are continuously renewing its algorithms, and it is tough to keep up with trending questions and keywords.
An SEO expert is someone who has the expertise in creating a well-executed SEO strategy that would enable search engines to rank the web pages higher. Let's first understand the vitality of SEO for any brand.
1. SEO may rank the website higher in an organic list, which is known to be a primary source of traffic.
2. SEO may help establish the brand as an authority using quality backlinks, optimised on-page content and elements, etc.
3. SEO may enhance the user experience by giving them what they are looking for.
4. SEO increases engagement, traffic and conversions.
5. SEO may help quantify the brand's digital performance.
Moving on to the responsibilities of an SEO expert:
1. SEO experts timely review the website content and work to create a more effective and wide-reaching web presence.
2. SEO experts perform research on keywords to improve search engine ranking so that consumers may easily find the business.
3. They perform traffic analysis regularly to take measures in increasing the traffic of targeted audiences.
4. They perform a huge role in increasing sales and revenue by advising content strategy and technical development about the latest trends.
If a business cannot afford a full-time SEO expert right away, it is better to have him/her on-board at least before launching their website and planning a content strategy, so they may offer useful insights and remarks that the rest of the team may build on.
7. Visual Designer
A good designer will bring the content to life through his/her artistic design and rich visuals. According to a study, people tend to remember 65% of the information even after three days if they see a relevant image with the content. It doesn’t take us long to judge a brand's quality just by looking at their design work.
So, isn't it important to have a design team working in collaboration with the core content team? Let's look into the skills of a designer -
1. A designer should have extensive knowledge about human optical ability, psychology and culture to create an appealing colour scheme for the brand.
2. Ability to pay attention to details.
3. Excellent time management skills.
4. Should know the latest trends and how to use them for the brand.
5. Understanding the brand and creating a unique colour palette, theme, design style and font family to maintain consistency in all the content designs.
Here are some responsibilities the design team should take up:
1. Creating an original and eye-catching image relevant to the content.
2. Ensuring the consistency of brand images throughout different channels.
3. Delivering fully-optimised, compressed, edited and ready to use images to the content marketing team.
4. Creating a design that may be repurposed and used on multiple platforms.
5. Understanding the requirements and delivering the images on time.
It is better to work with the same designer or design team for as long as possible because once they get familiar with the brand and its business goals, it becomes easier for them to execute the plan quickly.
Online designing tools like Canva are great resources for quick and impressive design work. It has easy to use features to enable even a non-technical person to create an engaging design.
8. Social Media Manager
This is the key person who manages and curates content for social media accounts of brands. Such managers observe and reply to audience comments, handle social media partnerships with different brands and create and post shareable content.
They create strategies to execute digital marketing campaigns and examine the accumulated data results acquired from those campaigns. In addition to this, they also track the traffic on every social media platform and record which content is getting exceptional engagement. Then, based on these analytics, they further strategise to grow the site’s audience.
Here are some key roles that social media managers should play:
1. They should be aware of the prevailing trends and audience preferences.
2. Create social media strategies that align with business goals.
3. Analyse SEO and web traffic, and based on the report, schedule content and their posting time on different social platforms.
4. Collaborate with the sales, design and marketing team to ensure brand consistency.
5. Interact and respond to queries raised by followers.
6. Recommend new features to promote brand awareness.
Social media managers not only utilise social media to promote the brand and services, but they also use it to build a relationship between their customers and the brand. This is the most substantial aspect to measure the social campaign’s success.
The team may benefit from social media management platforms like Buffer that help to schedule, centralise and evaluate the social media campaign progress.
9. Email Marketing Manager
According to inboundrocket, more than 2.8 billion people in the world use email. It is the most vibrant, compelling and personalised way to reach out to customers. Email can be tailored to the customer's actions so that every interaction is relevant to their interest.
It would be wise to hire someone to write effective e-mails for the business so that it stands out in the customer's inbox. These are the roles that an email marketing manager must undertake:
1. Coordinate with the content manager and content marketers to define and execute the email marketing strategy.
2. Ensure that email messages clearly convey a brand's message with consistency.
3. Analyse the campaign results and suggest improvements to achieve campaign objectives.
4. Be well-equipped with email management platforms and keep track of campaigns and contacts.
5. Stay updated with the latest developments in email marketing fields.
Most B2B businesses thrive on e-mail marketing as it drastically improves sales and generates authentic leads. If a business cannot afford to hire an email marketing manager, then they may equip the content writers to create compelling email copies and get them enhanced by the designers. It is beneficial to use an automated e-mail marketing platform like Sendinblue to send bulk emails and let the analysts use the results to give feedback.
10. Content Marketing Manager
The primary purpose of hiring a content marketing manager is to manage and organise all the marketing processes and assets so that everything is done systematically and on time. They should be extremely organised and have exceptional communication and team management skills.
They should be skilled in using management tools like Trello to assign tasks to the team members and monitor their productivity.
These are the specific responsibilities of content marketing managers:
1. Proactively researching topics and keywords and renewing the content marketing strategy, respectively.
2. Generating new content ideas after validating the market.
3. Assigning different tasks to team members and making sure that they reach their full potential.
4. Monitoring every stage of the content generation pipeline closely and making suggestions based on the company's guidelines.
5. Creating transparent and compact modular outlines that are easy to take apart.
A content marketing manager may handle public relations to maintain the business reputation and visibility and may take adequate measures to maximise the return on investment for every campaign.
11. Project Manager
Content marketing may occasionally become a bit complicated when there are more stakeholders than ever, or there is a delay in publication. Project managers are the ones who help to plan the timeline and assist in sticking to it. The primary role played by project managers is to push projects to completion efficiently.
Moving on to the responsibilities of project managers:
1. Have excellent knowledge of setting content creation timelines and assigning workloads.
2. Confidently handle meetings with different levels of stakeholders.
3. Keep team members on track.
4. Be extraordinarily organised and have realistic expectations.
5. Should be able to spot if the content is not aligned with business goals.
6. Have a good understanding of the target audience and stakeholders needs.
For larger enterprises, project managers are essential for running the process smoothly and effectively with a well-planned strategy and excellent communication skills.
It may not be necessary to hire people for every role mentioned above; a single person might exercise multiple responsibilities. It all comes down to the need, budget and audience of the business.
These roles should be seen as a content marketing pipeline. It is the set of people any business wants to, ideally, hire in their team: a diverse group with expertise in their roles so that each one of them fits in to achieve the brand’s common content marketing goal.