So you’ve decided to get started with your content marketing campaign — now what? Depending on your company’s size, you’re probably thinking of hiring just one to three people, or you might be thinking of up to nine. Many companies are finding it best to work with in-house teams as well as freelancers, outsourced agencies, and ‘brand fans’ who contribute content.
Depending on your strategy and campaign, you’ll need your team to fulfil these basic content marketing team tasks:
If it looks like a whole lot of work, that’s because it is — especially if you want to ensure your content is relevant, interesting and useful for your audience. But with 63% of Australian for-profit marketers looking to increase content marketing activity this year*, the talent pool is narrow. So to build the team you need, keep these five tips on hiring marketing staff in mind:
Hire people who understand your brand and your audience. If an applicant has not done any research about your company and the solutions you offer, that should ring a bell. The same thing goes with applicants who have no clue about your audience. Your content marketing team will be your brand ambassadors tasked with engaging your audience — so it’s a must that all team members have a solid grasp of who you are and for whom you exist.
"Team members must have a solid grasp of who you are and for whom you exist."
Find a strong leader. This leader will guide your team in creating a strategy and see that you stick to it. He/she must encourage creativity, know trends, understand how to use big data, and also target conversion and ROI goals. He will also handle budgeting, contract negotiations and research. We find that it also helps to have a leader with an entrepreneurial outlook, editorial understanding, and a quick grasp of how ever-changing social media developments, such as Facebook's Instant Articles, might impact your future strategies.
Look for solid writing skills. Emails, advertisements, articles, Tweets, taglines, headlines, landing pages… As you begin your campaign, you’ll find that you have lots of copy to write. Even as audiences increasingly show preference for more visuals, they also find that an accompanying story, description or guide can be immensely helpful and can provoke conversations.
Understand how your audience interacts with media. As Mark Zuckerberg said: “It’s as much psychology and sociology as it is technology.”
Find tech experts with an eye for intuitive design. When hiring web developers, app developers, graphic designers and video producers, gauge how much attention they give to the human aspect. That means understanding how humans use and interact with the digital world, and being able to build experiences around it. To paraphrase Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, social media is “as much psychology and sociology as it is technology”.
"To paraphrase Mark Zuckerberg, social media is 'as much psychology and sociology as it is technology'"
Create a culture of content. You want to gain perspective from all sectors of your company, from HR and Accounting to Sales and Customer Service. It’s important to include your clients and customers as well. So spread the word about your campaign. If you end up having a key contributor from each department, as well as from a few ‘brand fans’, all the better. You can give them guidelines for the content they’ll be contributing, be it photos, graphics, videos or text.
As you hire, remember that it helps to know what to expect from your content marketing team, especially when you're launching a content marketing campaign with a small team and budget. These tips can help you manage your expectations and avoid false starts that may end up costing you a fortune.
*Data from Content Marketing in Australia 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, a survey of 251 for-profit marketers in Australia by Content Marketing Institute and Association for Data-Driven Marketing & Advertising