by Sandra Gudat |
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Content is king. But why? Simple: because value-added content has the power to influence consumer behavior—without overt sales tactics.
Value-added content (AKA custom content and custom publishing) addresses consumer needs and lifestyle interests connected to your products and services, offering an educational benefit to readers.
Engaging in such content marketing can help establish your company as a trusted resource—keeping you top-of-mind when it’s decision-making time. Furthermore, value-added content enables you to teach your customers how to buy from you by providing useful information at each step of their buying process.
Sounds great. But taking content marketing from theory to reality can prove complex, time- and resource-prohibitive, and, when not done well, ineffective.
That’s why, when you’re developing a new content marketing initiative, your first step is to build your team. Or, if you’re refreshing an existing program, start by assessing your key players.
Whether you wind up hiring new players or tapping current employees who possess the requisite skills, here are six key roles you’ll want to fill to create a winning content marketing effort.
1. Chief Content Officer (CCO)
The CCO owns your content marketing initiative. He or she is responsible for developing strategy, setting goals, defining direction, and establishing a mission statement for your content initiative.
The CCO also manages the companywide integration of your content initiative and stays engaged throughout the content development and distribution process to ensure the initiative stays on track.
Although the CCO must thoroughly understand content marketing, he or she doesn’t necessarily need to write, design, or produce video. Your current marketing director may be able to fill the CCO role.
The CCO is the one person on your content team who should be an in-house staff member.
2. Managing Editor (ME)
The ME is your put-it-into-action person, the one who takes strategy and makes it happen.
Your ME is in charge of developing your editorial calendar and overseeing the people who actually create and produce your content.
He or she also edits content developed by others, whether it will ultimately be a newsletter, a video, or something in another format—policing quality, tone, style, and appropriateness for the mission.
He or she may also create content. In some organizations, the ME job is combined with the CCO position.
The ME is the one person on your team who must be an excellent writer or editor, and he or she must be comfortable working in all media you’ll use for content.
3. Content Creators
These are the folks who develop the raw content that is then refined by the ME. They do not have to be trained writers; they could be subject-matter experts, customer service reps, C-level execs, even customers (think testimonials and user-generated content). Or they may be skilled writers—staffers or freelancers.
In some companies, the content creator position is blended into the ME position.
Content curators might also be considered a type of content creator. Curators dig around (usually online, perhaps with the help of tools like Scoop.it and Curata.com, to find information that your team can repurpose. Just remember: Curated content is not unique, so don’t rely solely on curating for your content marketing strategy.
4. Content Producers
These are interactive designers, videographers, and other professionals who make your content look good and ensure it’s properly formatted and optimized for each channel.
They may also be responsible for distributing content—actually getting it into the appropriate channels.
Content syndicators might be considered part of your production team because their job is to share your content (similar to a media relations manager in traditional PR/marketing).
5. Chief Listening Officer (CLO)
This person is your “ears on the ground” in social media and other channels, listening to conversations and routing the discussion to other team members as appropriate.
In some cases, the CLO may also participate in, and help maintain, conversations.
By hearing, organizing, and sharing the feedback from these conversations, the CLO helps your organization react promptly and appropriately to reactions to your content.
This person reviews and analyzes your content-related data, such as pageviews, downloads, bounce rates, conversion rates, in-bound contacts, information requests, and so on. The analyst also provides interpretations and recommendations based on the analysis.
Your CCO and development team can then use all that information to gauge your program success, evaluate progress toward goals, and enhance your content efforts.
There is no one correct way to build your content team. I consider the six roles described here as essential, but you may need to make adjustments to accommodate your company structure or corporate culture.
Some companies even expand their teams to include a variety of other positions, from director of audience to channel master, lead trainer, and return-on-objective chief.
The important thing is to make sure the primary responsibilities are covered
Consider what makes sense for your company. You can always add players later if you spot a gap in your lineup.
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Sandra Gudat is president and CEO of Customer Communications Group, a full-service loyalty and marketing agency with a consultancy approach and a dedication to providing measurable, sustainable results. LinkedIn: Sandra Gudat
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