Content marketing produces three times more leads than paid search. It also generates three times more leads than outbound marketing and costs 62% less.
But to truly reap the rewards of great content marketing, you need to have an awesome excellent content team.
What’s a Content Team
A content team is responsible for the ideation, creation, optimization and distribution of your company’s content marketing efforts.
This means your content team needs to develop a content strategy, create high-quality content, understand the nuances of creating SEO content, and be creative in how they share and promote content.
While some companies choose to have their entire content team in-house, many want to save money by hiring an in-house strategist and outsourcing the rest.
Whether you’re a small business, agency, or big brand, having an effective content team is an integral part of your content marketing success.
What Are the Positions in a Content Team?
While many businesses will have slight variations on their content teams, there are a few common “content positions.”
A content strategist is the mastermind behind all the content. They control the content strategy and how the company will use content marketing to support the broader business goals.
Many businesses will choose to hire a content strategist in-house and outsource the actual content creation.
What to look for in a content strategist:
- Understands how to develop a content strategy
- Able to manage a team of writers, editors, and designers
- Understand the importance of consistency and branding
- Can find creative ways to distribute and promote content
This is the person producing most of your content. Whether it’s an article for the company blog, a white paper to support the sales cycle, an update for social media, and any types of written content.
Many companies choose to hire freelance content writers.
What to look for a content writer:
- They understand your industry and your customer
- They understand SEO and how to produce keyword-rich content
- Able to create long-form, informative content
It’s important to note that copywriting and content writing aren’t the same thing. The easiest distinction is that copywriters aim to persuade whereas content writers aim to inform.
It’s a subtle but key difference. Copywriters are best used for writing ad copy, landing page, email copy, and the sort.
What to look for in a copywriter:
- Able to produce short-form copy that is persuasive
- Know how to stir emotions through storytelling
- Able to write text that is clear and concise
Looking to hire a copywriter? Check out our copywriting service.
A content editor is responsible for making sure every piece of content is error-free and on-brand. Everything from tone, to style, to word choice will fall under the editor’s umbrella.
The importance of an editor shouldn’t be underestimated. The competition is steep in content marketing, so errors in your content can be very costly.
What to look for in a content editor:
- High attention to detail
- Understand your brand and company tone
- Strong communication skills to educate writers on how they can improve
Visual content is also a crucial part of your content strategy. That’s why many content teams include a graphic designer.
How to Build an Effective Content Team
1. Hire a content strategist
73% of organizations have someone overseeing their content strategy. (CMI, 2014)
The most important role on your content team is the strategist that orchestrates all the other moving part.
If content marketing is going to be successful, it needs to speak to a specific audience about a particular need. Having someone dedicated to building and implementing a content strategy will ensure all of your content marketing efforts support your overall business goals.
2. Start with a strategy
Before you start hiring writers, nail down your content strategy first. That’s because your plan is going to influence the type and number of writers you need to hire.
Plus, having a documented content strategy will help new writers understand how your company uses content marketing, why it matters to the brand, and the target audience they are writing for.
Ultimately, it’s going to result in higher quality content.
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3. Find and hire great writers
64% of B2B marketers outsource writing. (TopRankBlog)
With so much content published online every day, you need to find a way to stand out – and nothing speaks louder than well-written, useful content.
But when the bar is so high, you can’t afford to have a mediocre writer producing your content. Instead, consider hiring one or more professional freelance writers.
Working with talented writers ensures you’ll get quality content that drives meaningful results.
- The 8 Best Places to Hire Freelance Writers
- The Step-by-Step Guide to Finding, Vetting, and Hiring Freelance Writers
4. Manage your content team effectively
44% of marketers say content production is their #1 challenge. (LookBookHQ)
Your job isn’t finished once you’ve hired writers. At this point, it’s about managing your team, so you get their best output.
Here are a few tips to help you manage writers.
1. Ask for Writer Samples
As well as reading their biographies and finding out each writer’s key areas of interest, it’s a good idea to ask for a writing sample to see if you like their style.
If you run a niche company, look for writers with experience in your industry; they can create the high-level content you need. However, bear in mind that many writers have the skill to research and write about a range of topics, so keep an open mind.
2. Provide Instructions
Even the best content writers are only as good as the instructions they receive. Make sure you’re specific about each project, outlining your overall goals, the word count, subject, keywords, target audience, and tone of voice.
When a freelance writer understands what you’re looking for, you’re more likely to be happy with the results. Don’t be too specific though; writing that has to adhere to a very strict outline can sound robotic.
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3. Provide Resources
Who are your competitors? Are there any websites or blogs that suit your style? Perhaps there are specific articles that relate to your topic. All of this information can be incredibly helpful to any writer.
Good freelance writers will do most of the research, but giving them some pointers can help them deliver better content more quickly.
4. Communicate Clearly
Keeping lines of communication open is key to getting the best results from your writers. Giving instructions and following up with comments is all part of building better relationships with your writers. Having a record of past conversations also helps to avoid ambiguity going forward.
5. Provide Feedback
Even though your team is based remotely, you should still treat writers with the same respect as you would treat employees working in your office. Positive feedback is always appreciated and will encourage every writer to deliver quality content in the future.
5. Hire diverse skill sets
One of the biggest advantages of building a content team is that you can hire writers with diverse skill sets.
By hiring diverse writers, you’re able to pick the best writer for each project.
For example, you can give the long, in-depth pieces to the writer on your team with the best technical writing skills. Or let the writer with the strongest copywriting skills write your sales copy.
Be sure to look for diversity not only in terms of their writing skills but also their industry expertise.
Having one or two writers with lots of industry knowledge on the team is ideal for creating thought-leadership pieces, but these writers tend to cost more and may not be needed for simpler content.
6. Create a style guide
Consistency is an underappreciated principle in content marketing.
Part of building a relationship with your readers is having a consistent and authentic personality in every piece of content or campaign.
Part of that personality comes across in the tone of your content, the design and even simple word choices.
Having a style guide helps everyone on your content team deliver a consistent message about your company and brand.
Are you ready to build a team of writers?