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Whether or not you have a strategy in place already, managing content marketing has a lot of moving parts that need to fit together in order to be successful. Although it might seem that managing content marketing requires you to keep a lot of balls in the air at once, it can be less of a juggling act than you think.

The secret to a streamlined, efficient content marketing process is managing content marketing. That means having a plan — and knowing how to execute that plan — for every aspect of the process.

Follow these steps to take the headache out of managing content marketing for your brand.

6 Steps For Managing Content Marketing

1.) Have an Idea of Who Does What

It’s true that many hands make light work. But, the cliché that too many cooks in the kitchen is also true. You want to have a content marketing team that’s big enough to tackle the tasks you need for success. However, you also want to be extra clear on who is responsible for what, so that five people don’t all decide to create content, ignoring the process of distribution or tracking.

Here are a few roles your content marketing team might have, and the responsibilities of each role:

Content creator

A creator can be someone who writes the content, produces graphics, or makes videos. You might outsource this role, or have it performed in-house.

Managing editor

A managing editor is the person in charge of assigning content creation tasks and approving content topics or ideas. He or she might also proofread or copy edit content, although those tasks can be outsourced to copy editors.

SEO expert

An SEO expert stays up to date on everything that’s going on with search engine optimization. This person helps you produce content that ranks well in the search results.

Content manager

A content manager typically oversees all aspects of content marketing, making sure everything goes as planned.

Audience director or manager

An audience director or manager knows your customer base or audience. He or she is usually responsible for creating buyer personas, and keeping those personas updated.

Content curator

The curator is the person who does the heavy lifting (research-wise), finding content topics to focus on, or finding content that already exists that your company can share with its audience. Sometimes, a curator and a content manager can be the same person.

Analytics expert

The analytics expert pays attention to KPIs and other metrics, and lets the rest of the team know how content is performing.

If you’re having trouble visualizing what each content marketing role should be, or where each role falls in a hierarchy, Ann Handley has put together a handy visualization.

2.) Have a Plan for Research

Research is a key part of managing content marketing. The people on your team who are responsible for research need to know what they’re looking for, and why. Your research plan can include:

  • Discovering your audience.
  • Defining the audience and detailing their wants and needs.
  • Looking at content that’s currently trending.
  • Keeping up with news stories and current events.

Research should also include finding potential influencers to partner with, or finding new content creators to work with.

3.) Have a Plan for Content Creation

Making a plan for content creation means knowing what type of content will work best for your audience, as well as what topics to create content around. Using an editorial calendar will allow you to define a content schedule, and will help to make sure that pieces get submitted, proofed, and approved on a consistent basis.

If you’re not sure what a content calendar should look like or what to include on yours, the Content Marketing Institute has a free template.

4.) Have a Plan for Content Distribution

Once the content gets created, you need to have some way to distribute it. Your distribution plan should include a combination of organic distribution (such as publishing a blog post or video on your website, and sharing those on social media), paid distribution (such as having influencers boost or share your content), and, in a perfect world, earned distribution (which happens when people freely share your content with their friends).

5.) Have a Plan for Content Updates or Repurposing

Content can get stale — even content that was super popular when you first published it. To keep things fresh, it’s important to have a plan for updating your content. For example, if you publish a piece that includes stats and figures, go back a year or even a few months later, and update it with current numbers.

An example of repurposing content is creating blog post transcripts for videos, which is what Moz does for its Whiteboard Friday series. Another example is publishing posts on a secondary site, such as Medium. Benjamin Hardy, the blogger behind GoinsWriter, published several posts from his blog on Medium, and ended up increasing his subscriber list by thousands in just a few months.

It can also be a good idea to have a plan for repurposing content. If a blog post was super popular, you might want to go back a few months later and create a video around it. The person on your team who’s responsible for analytics can be the person who’s in charge of making a list of content to repurpose.

6.) Have a Plan for Measurement

Finally, managing content marketing means having a plan for measuring and tracking your content. You can track the number of shares your content gets, the traffic it generates, or the number of leads it creates. Knowing what your goal is will help you decide what metrics to pay attention to when tracking your content’s performance.

There’s a lot to keep track of when managing content marketing. But knowing who’s responsible for what, and having a clear plan for every aspect of content marketing will help your brand stay afloat.