The world is awash with information, and ensuring potential clients hear your message amidst the noise is essential. Making your mark requires a good content marketing system, with well-defined goals based on up-to-date analysis. But a system is only as good as the people using it. So, as part of creating an effective marketing strategy, you need an effective content marketing team. Before you start creating new content, consider the content marketing roles that form the foundation of a successful campaign. With the essential skills and support in place, you have the necessary platform to develop and maintain your strategy.
Key Content Marketing Roles
Understanding what content marketing roles makes the perfect team involves a full understanding of the needs of a campaign. Creating content is so much more than writing some optimized text and uploading it to the internet. You must first define your target audience, consolidate your message and determine a metric for success. Then, set a budget, create the content and position the content for optimal client engagement. Finally, follow up on new business connections, and monitor results to determine the return on your investment. Each task is a link in the chain. And, it’s essential to avoid weak links by having defined roles within your team.
Content Marketing Strategist
Someone has to helm the operation, and that responsibility falls to the content strategist. This person has the most important content marketing role and is often an executive. The person who operates this content marketing role needs a holistic understanding of the company’s systems and ambitions. The strategist has a vision of what the marketing system must be. Consider the strategist as a project manager. It’s their job to ensure every element is working as intended to fulfill that vision.
Key responsibilities include:
- Driving strategy
- Setting goals
- Creating an editorial calendar
- Determining client requirements
- Developing audience personas for targeted content
- Measuring and reporting on results
- Adjusting strategy based on performance data.
Some companies decide to separate out the responsibilities of the content strategist and the project manager. The manager content marketing role focuses more on working directly with the rest of the team to keep operations on target. And, this person ensures clear communication down the line.
Content creators may be in-house employees or freelancers. But, they still have one of the most important content marketing roles. Having received guidance from the strategist or manager, writers produce content based on company style guides. Some content creators are designers, composing visuals such as infographics and original images for pairing with written content.
Editors are the content marketing roles on the front-lines. They check content to ensure it’s free from errors and represents the highest quality possible. They don’t just spot spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. The editors ensure content has the correct tone and talks to the identified audience personas for the campaign.
If there are several editors, one normally assumes the position of managing editor or creative leader. That content marketing role maintains quality and quantity while ensuring consistent voice and strategy. Some editors may work as content creators, but it’s a good idea that they never edit their own work. A fresh pair of eyes has a better chance of spotting errors and omissions, and bring a new perspective to the piece.
The production team’s content marketing role is to assemble the work of the content providers to create a coherent product that resonates with the audience personas and frontlines the brand message. This is a technical role, requiring an understanding of various publishing and design programs and in-house content management tools. But the position also requires someone with solid organizational skills for scheduling the rollout of campaign content to maintain a continuous presence and reinforce brand awareness.
Content Marketing Communications Manager
It isn’t enough to have excellent content — companies need excellent content with excellent reach. The communications manager or promotions manager is responsible for making sure the right people see the work.
Promotion involves finding new opportunities to gain a wider audience, using social media and paid placements. It also requires a good understanding of online marketing, including search engine optimization, blogging, e-mail campaigns, and effective use of social media. The manager also handles public relations, helping to maintain the company’s visibility, and maximizing the return on investment for every campaign.
Content Marketing SEO Analyst
The content is live, and it’s pulling in traffic — now what? If a company has invested time and money into an SEO campaign, it needs some quantifiable results to evaluate success and the return on investment. This content marketing role measures performance, monitors the number of responses from different campaigns, and identifies trends regarding what works and what doesn’t. This essential information feeds back into the marketing system to inform future strategies.
Over time, the analyst filters out the successful elements to create a more efficient system, making it possible to get the maximum return possible on any marketing investment. In a small company, the work of the analyst may fall on the shoulders of the content strategist, as analysis is a natural extension of defining strategies.
Throughout the process of developing a marketing campaign, producing the content, and then distributing it, it’s important that a company never forgets the end-user experience. Analysts have the ability to drill into the figures, but sometimes face-to-face consultations with customers are the best way to establish why something works or why it’s wide of the mark, as such consultations reveal the emotional responses hidden behind the figures.
In some organizations, the analysts may be responsible for talking with customers to gain insight on the end-user experience, but this is a position well served by a “people person.” Staff members experienced with sales and account management are good choices, as they have often built rapport with customers, and they have a “ground floor” perspective on what clients expect.
Takeaway: Big or Small, The Message Is the Same
It may not be feasible to have a different member of the staff covering each of these content marketing roles, and it’s common for some staff members to adopt several roles (such as the lead editor also serving as the creative leader).
The number of employees at your disposal isn’t a deal breaker, and a small company has just as much potential to build a successful marketing team as a large company. The important thing is that employees understand their roles and responsibilities, and support your marketing system to achieve the best results.