3 ways to build your content team
It’s easy to get lost in talking about the latest social trends, web analytics, tools, March Madness and strategy, but don’t forget about the human element. We here at Brandpoint understand that change is the only constant in the content marketing industry, and to keep up, we need a top-scoring team, worthy of the championship trophy.
When hiring to grow your content marketing team, first determine your priorities and goals so that each position is a valuable addition. Kipp Bodnar, CMO of HubSpot explains that restructuring is a strategic tool. “The goal isn’t to find a perfect org structure. Instead, find a structure that is right for right now, one that reflects what you are currently prioritizing—and deprioritizing—and sets you up to leverage your current growth opportunities,” he writes.
Start by evaluating your content strategy to figure out who to hire, and how. If your editorial calendar includes regularly scheduled original videos, you may need to hire a full-time video editor over a writer. If you’re looking to only create a two-week video campaign, then outsourcing may be a better option.
The following are three tactics for finding the newest and greatest talent to produce your best-performing content yet.
1. Build an internal team
Whether hiring a sole content strategist to own all facets of the process (I bow down to you) or enough writers to form a softball team (home run!), in-house content creators will have more time to devote to pure, luscious content. You can hire someone who already demonstrates a deep understanding of your field, or hire according to skill set. When dedicated to the brand full-time, she’ will develop an expertise on the organization and its products anyway.
Adding bodies to your team is a big investment. According to Content Strategy for the Web, you will want to ask: Can we support this position with an attractive salary, benefits and have the ability to invest in employee development?
You can also hire within the company or change up someone’s roles. But try to resist the temptation to recruit a marketer and expect them to become an ace creative writer over night. However, if this marketer is looking for new challenges and you have the means to provide proper training and educational resources, then see this as an investment in career development.
Quick tip: Check out your industry’s media publications to recruit journalists who already possess the knowledge and talent for writing in your field. Chances are you’ll find someone excited about your brand and values, willing to make the transition.
2. Recruit freelancers
As your content efforts grow and change, adding someone in-house may not be feasible. Remember: focus on a structure that’s “right for right now.” This is when it’s time to develop an external team—a database of freelancers. It will be cheaper, and an outsider can bring in a fresh perspective on your brand or industry because she hasn’t yet been corrupted with marketing or sales speak. When hiring a group of freelancers, you’ll be able to publish a range of content types in a variety of voices.
According to Content Strategy for the Web, working with freelancers gives your team more time to focus on other priorities while providing extra hands on deck when unexpected or short-term projects come up.
You can also expect freelancers to be flexible. Perhaps your freelancer wrote enough blogs in two weeks to fill up your editorial calendar for two months, and now you have no more projects to keep them busy. That’s ok! Pro freelancers know how to adapt to changing workloads, but be sure to communicate if you’d like them back for a future project so they don’t get tied up with a different client when you need them.
One challenge of working with external team members, however, is that they may not be working at the same time that you are, so you can’t just peek over the cubicle wall to check in. But a nifty content marketing tool can help connect teams wherever they’re working and create a smooth, quick content creation process.
3. Entrust an agency
When working with a content marketing agency, you’ll have a whole team on your side instead of just one or two freelancers—plus, you’ll gain an agency’s collective years of experience in working with a diverse range of clients (they’re pros at quickly nailing your brand’s voice) and often offer multiple services, so you can maintain just one contact to help with ALL THE THINGS, from your content strategy to development to promotion.
You could spend hours trying to fix your car’s oil leak on your own (with the help of trusty online videos, of course) or you could bring it to a veteran mechanic who can pinpoint the issue in a matter of minutes and fix it with eyes closed. Some jobs are better left to the experts, and with an outside perspective, content marketing agencies can more easily identify holes in your content strategy and recommend opportunities to improve. Plus, they’ve already spent the time to build relationships with publishers so you can increase impressions and engagement.
Opting to work with a seasoned content marketing agency, you can feel assured that you’ll not only get that leak fixed, but also a new paint job, stereo, and heck, a whole new transmission! You car—I mean, blog—will be better than ever.
Creating a hybrid of an internal and external team is also an effective strategy for many companies. With an already well-oiled marketing department that has the ideas and the dedication to make change, partnering with a content marketing agency gives them the tools to bring those ideas to life. Plus, an agency will be able to offer more diversity in terms of services and experience than a single freelancer.
You need content. Though many jobs have been replaced by machines, only living, breathing people can tell stories. Whether adding a full-time member, outsourcing a freelancer or agency, or even using a combination of the three, restructuring your content creation team is an invaluable way to continue growing your business.