Content marketing dream team

Let’s take a look at how to organise the process and build a solid content marketing team. Outline given in this post is applicable both to in house teams and content marketing agencies one can outsource to (e.g. this one) Team Breakdown Every member of a team has a function. At the early stages employees …

Dmitrii Borodin
Founder and product owner


'Content marketing dream team'

Content marketing dream team

Let’s take a look at how to organise the process and build a solid content marketing team. Outline given in this post is applicable both to in house teams and content marketing agencies one can outsource to (e.g. this one)

Team Breakdown

Every member of a team has a function. At the early stages employees would often have to take many different functions (hats). Once you have the first significant success, it will be easy to expand your team with purely-specific specialists.

So, come peek at how we work. In our team, each specialist is responsible for a specific area of work:

  • Account Manager communicates with clients and is responsible for the quality of all works within the client’s project. Our account manager is like an “in-house” customer. The manager represents the company in front of customers and within our company — represents customers and their interests.
  • Content strategist is a chief specialist in the implementation of content marketing strategy, a person deeply immersed in the client’s business and its subject matter. Based on market and subject research along with customer wishes, content strategist creates a long term content vision. The strategist is responsible for the work of editors and the final quality of the content. Here is a more in depth sketch talking about content strategist role.
  • Copywriter writes texts for landing pages, articles in blogs and posts on social networks, creates prototypes of landing pages, scripts for videos, guides, etc. Basically, whatever textual content the client’s project requires.
  • Editor is responsible for the final point of content delivery. From spelling checks, eliminating misprints to stylistic consistency and grammatical flawlessness of texts copywriters hand out. Editors also provide detailed technical tasks for copywriters.
  • Content Manager responsible for placement and competent visual design of materials on client sites.
  • Web Analyst monitors the key figures of client websites via statistics services. Analyst provides recommendations to the account manager, content strategist and editors based on the data analysis.
  • SEO Analyst is responsible for website ranking in search engines. SEO analyst tracks important metrics, analyses the data and makes necessary decisions to improve the result.
  • Designer is not pro actively involved in content creation but rather is briefed by content strategist for specific tasks. From my experience many businesses neglect this role, but in a world of just-too-much-text-content design along side with video and coding is an awesome differentiation point.
  • Coders. All those lead quizzes and cool animations brought to life by these guys and I tell you what – content strategy is never complete without POSSIBILITY for a content strategist to utilise narrow specialists when they fit.

Proxy allies

It is difficult to overestimate the role of account managers in the client-oriented business. They are the basis of our business, because they:

  • generate revenue;
  • are responsible to the client for the final result of the project;
  • represent client’s interests in our agency.

Account managers strictly monitor compliance with deadlines and quality of work. They can force any specialist to redo one job ten times if they do not have a clear assurance that this work will satisfy a customer and provide results for the website.

The account manager is ready to hear the client out at any time. Having received the feedback, the manager makes all necessary corrections.

The main task of the account manager is to launch the project in the shortest time possible and to start getting solid results.

We are well aware that an account manager is an important part, but only in the client-oriented businesses. If you are working on the implementation of the marketing strategy for your own company, you will not need an account manager. However, someone will have to perform some of the account manager functions. What are these? Well, tasks like project budgeting and performance reports. In case the content marketing strategy is a separate project, I assume that these functions will most likely be performed by the project (or a marketing director, if the implementation of the content marketing strategy is on marketing department).

Creating a relevance chart

The first stage of work on any project is the creation of a website’s relevance chart. So now the promotion is carried out using a wide semantic core. SEO specialist builds a semantic core, which includes all the queries present in the relevant niche. In modern conditions, this is the only effective way to significantly increase traffic, expand contacts of the target audience with the brand.

A relevance chart is derived from the semantic core. This chart is an Excel document, reflecting the structure of the website (by sections) with all landing keys for specific pages. A relevance chart is necessary to organise interlinking on the website. So the copywriter writing, for example, an article in the blog uses landing keys from the map to link relevant sections of the website.

Creating a content plan

A content plan is a document including the list of article topics planned for the nearest quarter (editorial portfolio of topics) and the publication schedule.

A content plan is created based on:

  • Market research
  • Analysis of content distributed by competitors
  • Close interaction with the customer (interview)
  • SEO tasks reflected in the relevance chart

A content strategist is responsible for creating the concept of distributed content and the editorial portfolio.

Based on the requirements of the customer to the content, the study of the subject and SEO tasks, a content strategist will draw up the materials for the quarter ahead. A strategist formulates article headings, topics, writes an annotation on each of them (what the requirements and tasks are) and passes the content plan to editors and copywriters.

It is necessary to realise that an editorial planning is dynamic. It can and should change every week or every day, added with new topics and tasks to update other articles. The work on the editorial plan (content plan) should be a non-stop process. The market is not static and the objective of the content strategist is to keep track the relevance of published materials. It’s very important. Publication of high-quality materials on the rising tide of general interest to a certain topic and use of news trends to increase the level of your sales gives you a real opportunity to get explosive growth of traffic from the target audience.

What the content should be like?

Take our own website as an example. In our marketing and development blog targeting decision makers we have educational materials.

The work on content development is driven by the idea that the content should be spread around the web. Who is it intended for? What kind of content you need to reach these people? The most effective concept is a complex system of diverse content (for different sub-audiences) paired with different communication channels. But this is also the most arduous and expensive way. This concept suggests the development of advertising, entertaining and educational content. All of this content (even entertaining one) should be useful to your audience, so forget about kitten gifs. Check it out. Here are my favourites:

At the same time, you should realise that your content may not be just text-based. The distribution of video reviews, company videos, video tutorials, infographics, etc. — all of this is part of the effective content marketing strategy.

Betting on the promotion of all forms of content increases the trust of the audience to the brand, creates an image of the company as a leading expert in its niche and ultimately increases your sales.

Creating content: scalable and non-scalable workflows

Copywriter is one of the main specialists in the production chain. When the content marketing strategy is implemented by the company on its own, the best option will be to have several staff copywriters. Because in a situation where you produce and distribute branded content as part of one or even two or three projects of your company, it is profitable for you have copywriters, who are engaged in the subject, understand the company’s business, are committed and know all the experts, who can consult and educate on a particular subject for an article. Full-time staff copywriters allow for scaleability. However, a lot of things depend on the ratio of the project’s proposed budget to the set of tasks. If the cost sheet doesn’t allow you to afford a number of staff copywriters (say, advertising expenditure is set as a sensible priority), then cooperation with freelancer copywriters can be a more suitable and profitable deal for you.

But when it comes to mass content production on a variety of different projects (which is what we are dealing with as an agency), the only scalable approach is to have professional staff editors cooperating with a number of outsourced copywriters. The editor interviews the client, and then details a task to a copywriter. The editor is then responsible for the ultimate quality of the texts, working with the copywriter, making edits and — when necessary — requesting additional information to be covered in the text.

In case of GRIN tech we have few in house copywriters as well as managed list of 200 freelancers to reach out for complex topics (e.g. there are few PhDs on the list) and in case we need huge volumes in short timeframe.

Careful selection of copywriters and further cooperation with reliable authors are the only conditions to make it all work.

It is not profitable for the agency to keep a full editorial staff. There are two main reasons for this: full staff costs a lot; secondly, no copywriter can issue 12 000 000 symbols of high-quality content a day. You are going to need outsourced solutions. However, you are going to need several staff copywriters to solve important and urgent problems.

The benefits of the approach are:

  • Minimisation of financial costs.
  • The ability to stop cooperation with the outsourced author at any time, if the quality of their work is not satisfactory.

If you expect to scale significantly in a short period of time and go to serious volumes of content, you should bet on good staff editors  and a pool of excellent freelance copywriters. But in case the numbers within the next year are supposed to be small, it is better to bet on staff copywriters. Choose only good, experienced and expensive authors. Believe me, they are going to pay off very quickly and boost your profits.

Publishing content on websites

Content managers, who upload content on customers’ websites, must have a solid knowledge base. Their task is not to just work within the limits of the capabilities of the web engine. Visual design should work to improve the user characteristics of the web resource, from this point of view the site should be present convenient and interesting solutions: using graph Inputs, artwork and captions, highlights, unique design, etc.

Weekly Jump Start Meetings

We usually have them arranged by our account manager to review the project he’s responsible for. Such meetings are useful for everyone who is engaged in the implementation of content marketing with strategy: people sum up intermediate results, develop and discuss a work plan for the near future and so on. In our agency, any specialist involved in the project can become the pioneer of the project. These meetings are useful because:

  • each team member can feel responsible for the result
  • everyone can make constructive suggestions to improve the work of the project
  • it provides flexibility in decision-making
  • that’s how a quick response to the problem occurs

Measuring the effectiveness of content marketing strategy

The indicators that show the performance of the agency’s actions are monitored by a web analyst and processed based on the data of statistical services. In our office, this data is necessary for an account-management to make a full picture of a particular project, as well as to make monthly report. You should always have access to all the interim results of the project activities in figures: the growth of search traffic, and the number of leads. It show the picture, gives an understanding of dynamics and allows to develop the right-to-do solutions for any situation.

In our agency account manager sends a detailed report to the customer every month. The report contains data and recommendations from web analysts and SEO analysts. The report lists all the agency’s works carried out during the month, provides details and data, illustrating the development of the project and the current situation in general. Thus, the performance of the content marketing strategy is not something abstract. It can always be expressed in specific numbers. Here is a sketch post talking about our TOP-5 content marketing metrics to track.

To sum it up on content marketing team

You can definitely get stuck in the process. Business is a continuous attempt to cope with another issue. Look at our difficulties, related to the special nature of the customer-oriented business:

  • Sometimes customers wish to narrow down the semantic core at the stage of the relevance chart development. “Oh, that’s not our request. It’s irrelevant”. For example: you are a representative of a foreign online trader in the Russian market. Your offer does not include shares of Russian companies. But you give your clients the opportunity to make transactions with depositary receipts on them. So is it necessary to rule out a request like “shares of the Gazprom”? It seems like you should. But in fact, you can generate traffic through this request. Create a material dedicated to benefits of trading depositary receipts on shares of this company. And there are a lot of example like that one.
  • Lack of time for an interview with the editor. The client’s speaker cannot provide the information necessary for writing an expert-level article on time. It leads to the inevitable decline in the quality of content.
  • Coordinating content with customers takes too much time. This is not in the interest of your customers and your business. As a result both of you lose time and traffic.

This and other constraints are bound to occur. The main thing is to respond to them on time and solve problems. We try to quickly eliminate the causes of dissatisfaction. We constantly consult our clients and explain how and why results are related to time and budget. We are ready offer new solutions and aren’t afraid to try a few solutions a day. Business is about testing assumptions and you need to verify each as quickly as possible to achieve the result sooner.

Give us a try before you decide to build in house content marketing team.