Turn Your Content Marketing Team into the A-Team
Given infinite time and resources, you could try to cherry-pick and hand-assemble the perfect marketing team with exactly the right blend of complementary skills and experiences. But because content marketing is constantly evolving, you may never have the perfect team.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
— Theodore Roosevelt
You may not have enough content creators or someone to lead the content strategy, for example, but we have listed the types of cross-functional roles and skills needed on your team. It’ll take some creativity to mix and match the roles, but you’ll be more successful when responsibilities are clearly assigned.
We also included the tools needed to support each role. Smartly applying technology is the special ingredient that will help you turn your crew into a high-functioning, high-quality marketing A-Team.
Code name: “The Boss”
Skills: Marketing strategy, business intelligence, Agile Scrum Master
The marketing manager role is accountable for leading the marketing team, coordinating with the product owners and keeping stakeholders up to speed with results. They are the linchpin to the success of the team because they need to understand what we do, what we sell and to whom. This person also operates as the marketing team’s Agile Scrum Master to keep work flowing smoothly. They approve the budget usage and resource allocations that will generate the desired ROI. And to help them stay on top of requests and deliverables, they own the marketing side of our project management tool.
Tool: Project management
The marketing team uses Asana to manage all of our projects. We needed an intuitive tool that could be used by both the marketing team and stakeholders with the ability to easily organize projects by date and priority. Asana also aids in providing transparency — you can assign tasks to team members so you know who is held accountable for each project. Best yet, we can track small tasks as well as large projects with lots of moving parts, and managing it doesn’t require an advanced degree in nuclear physics.
Code name: “The Voice”
Skills: Content strategy, visionary thinking, writing
As a content marketing agency, it’s quite obvious that we lean on content marketing to generate inbound leads. To stay on top of delivering a consistent cadence of quality content, our content strategist creates a vision for, and oversees, our owned channels (e.g., the blog that you’re reading right now). This person directs the brainstorming and captures the ideas for a robust editorial calendar. In addition to maintaining the calendar, the person in this role conducts keyword research, writes content (and engages others in the office to help out) and sets all the publishing deadlines. Being the most in-tune with our content, they are tasked with managing our content marketing platform.
Tool: Content Marketing Platform (CMP)
We use BrandpointHUB for all of our content-based marketing initiatives, including sell sheets, whitepapers, blog posts and social posts. We didn’t pick it so much as create it based on a need to be able to organize and monitor all of our content marketing production from a single centralized location. It’s the right tool for us because we have total control over the features that allow us to coordinate and collaborate on our work.
Code name: “The Influencer”
Skills: Social media strategy, trend spotting, editing
These days, having an active social media presence is a mandatory part of marketing. Our social media strategist is that brave soul out there on the front lines operating as an influencer, trend spotter and capturer of the “voice of the customer.” This person also plans the social media publishing calendar, as well as writes and edits content. Because it only makes sense, this person manages our social media platforms.
Tool: Social media management
We also use BrandpointHUB to promote our thought leadership and services across multiple social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. We leverage the HUB because we can schedule and approve social posts well ahead of their target publish date. It’s the right tool for us because it’s also how we provide our social media services to our clients.
Code name: “The Double Dripper”
Skills: Email marketing, marketing automation, customer experience design
Our leads and clients are at differing stages in their awareness, conversion and retention funnels. Our email marketing manager is tasked with staying on top of every touch point we have with our audience, from the moment they first interact with us through closed deals and renewals. We keep our contacts interested and informed by sending a weekly newsletter with the latest content marketing tips and best practices, and send automated email drips and special promotions. It’s critical for this role to own designing our customers’ experience, segmented by audience and filtered into the correct lists. To coordinate all this, the double dripper owns our marketing automation and customer relationship management tools.
Tool #1: Marketing Automation (MA)
We use Pardot to capture leads and deliver targeted drip campaigns based on segmenting our audience by their stage in whichever funnel they’re in. We selected Pardot in large part because of its relationship with our CRM and the fact that a lot of the integration work has already been solved. It’s the best tool for us because of its ability to sync and update data based on how our leads and clients are interacting with our different messages.
Tool #2: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
We use Salesforce to track all of the information about our leads and clients, including opportunities, closed deals and approved contracts. Because we have a ton of contacts to keep track of, we selected a CRM that’s robust enough to make it easy to handle all of that data. It works well for us due to the flexibility in creating automation rules and its ability to generate custom reports based on any criteria we can imagine.
Code name: “The Number Cruncher”
Skills: Paid media management, analytics analysis, webmaster(ing)
As much as we would love to capture all our leads from organic search results, we can reach a new audience and cut through the digital noise when we pay for increased visibility. As our resident data nerd, our paid media specialist operates our Google AdWords and other paid media channels. They also oversee our search rankings and run our Google Analytics practice. As an extension of this role, they constantly tweak our CMS to optimize page performance.
Tool: Content Management System (CMS)
We use WordPress as the structural framework for our corporate website. Outside of being incredibly popular, its adaptability and available best practice examples were an easy choice to help us hone our own approach. Our tech team can also support it, and we have the flexibility of evolving it as we go, rather than having to periodically scrap and rebuild.
Code name: “Pixel”
Skills: Graphic design, motion graphics, user interface design
None of our content would ever be as explosive without our resident graphic designer to create all those lovely visuals, from header images on blog posts to infographics and whitepaper layouts. As a small business, we’ve found this role requires wearing many hats, and our designers have excelled in extending their skill set by expanding into motion graphics. Over time, they have even grown to leverage their expertise in generating user interface mock-ups and designs.
Tool: Adobe Creative Suite
This group of tools has everything a designer could ask for. InDesign, Photoshop and After Effects are the most used by our designer. These programs can be complicated to use for first-timers, so if you don’t have a professional designer on the team, it may be worthwhile to spend resources for training — or just watch a few online tutorials for the very basics.
More than the sum of its parts
When you assemble the right talents and apply the right tools, you get yourself a bona fide marketing A-Team. And when we couldn’t find the right tool, we made one. Because of our successful 20-plus year history in content marketing, we were in the unique position to craft our own custom content marketing platform that supports our best practices and how we provide services to our clients. Over time, we’ve extended the HUB to be useful for our clients to help them accomplish their tasks and overall content marketing goals.
To get your marketing A-Team up and running, activate your free 14-day trial of BrandpointHUB.