What Roles Should Your Content Marketing Team Cover?
You want to do some content marketing. You have a writer, a social media manager, an SEO specialist, and a marketing manager. You might lack someone to build links across the web, so you’re hiring a link-building specialist at the moment. Once this is done, it seems like all positions are filled and your content marketing machine is fully ready for operation.
But is it?
Content marketing is complicated. There are so many things involved. And if some piece isn’t working or missing completely, then the whole operation will suffer. A full team packaged with standard job titles doesn’t necessarily cover all the roles involved.
At Kaiiax, we realized that a smarter approach to building content marketing teams isn’t by job titles, but by roles that cover each stage of the content marketing cycle: strategy, content creation, distribution, and analytics.
A smarter approach to building content marketing teams isn’t by job titles, but by roles that cover each stage of the content marketing cycle.
This way of thinking allows you to focus on the entire machine as a whole, rather than on the job duties of the team members. By analyzing how each role contributes to the content marketing operations, you will be able to see where you can improve.
Also, when people feel less constricted by their particular job titles, they turn out to be more creative and collaborate better with others.
Сontent marketing roles at every stage
When I started out in content marketing, I was pretty much a team of one. I was responsible for writing content, editing it, sharing it with social media, publishing case studies and landing pages, and even writing emails.
We had no strategy, no processes, no KPIs at that point. I was just performing my duties as a jack-of-all-trades that involve content. Even though we managed to get some results I-don’t-even-know-how, it’s very unlikely that this approach will generate repeatable success.
Content marketing is a large workload that requires strategic thinking, wise approaches, and a rhythmic system that empowers everyone to be focused, aligned, and accountable.
So what is a killer content marketing lineup? Let’s define the roles organized according to each stage of the content marketing cycle.
Who do you need to define a content strategy?
The strategy is the first and core part of your content marketing operation. This is where you make decisions informed by data and aligned with your company goals.
We like to think of a strategy as a triangle where every corner is linked to the other two. These corners are Offer, Target, and Content.
Offer is what you sell; Target is who you sell this to; Content is how you spread your offer to the target audience. You need to define all these three pillars before producing content.
Here is who you need on your team to do the strategy well:
- Product owner
This can be the CEO, CMO, or anybody else who drives the whole thing and defines high-level marketing goals.
Responsibility: Define where to go
- Data analyst
A very important, but often non-existent role in content marketing departments. Data analyst is needed to help people in charge make decisions based on data. This role is not just about pulling numbers; it’s about extracting important data-driven insights from those numbers.
Responsibility: Collect data to help the product owner make decisions
- Content strategist
This role is responsible for developing a content plan that focuses on acquiring leads and guiding website visitors through their buyer’s journey. It’s the content strategist who defines what to write, where, and how.
Responsibility: Develop a content plan
- SEO analyst
When you’re building a strategy, you need an SEO specialist to help inform your content decisions. An SEO analyst does keyword research, analyses competitor’s websites, validates ideas to make sure your content ranks and is relevant to your target audience.
Responsibility: Helps define a content strategy, validates content ideas
Time to write! Who’s involved?
The most labor-intensive part of the process. Content creation is where companies fail. It takes a long, rhythmic, regular, and focused work to create truly effective content. Here’s who you need to do that:
Some online resources call them Content Marketing Managers, though we prefer a short but noble title— writer. When you’re trying to find a writer, don’t look for someone who can type words. Look for someone who can produce compelling content that is interesting to read and enticing to share.
Responsibility: Write high-quality content
- Subject matter expert
If your content isn’t credible, it’s not effective. Your expertise is the most valuable asset that you can share with your visitors. Make sure your writers have access to subject matter experts who work in your company so they can create content that “sells” your brand.
Responsibility: Share expertise, review content
- SEO specialist
Like content creation, SEO is an ongoing activity. You need to engage an SEO role at the stage of strategy definition, and all the way during content creation, distribution, and analysis. SEO specialists help writers optimize their content for search engines. They also manage off-site SEO activities, fix technical SEO issues, and report on organic traffic growth.
Responsibility: Optimize content for search
- Content editor
This role makes sure you publish well-thought-out, readable, attractive, and trustworthy content. They check drafts and provide feedback to content writers.
Responsibility: Review drafts, give feedback
Published. Now what? Roles at the content distribution stage
Publishing content on your website doesn’t guarantee that your audience will see it. Getting your content in front of the right people is what the content distribution roles are going to be responsible for.
- Content promotion specialist
The responsibility of this role is to research websites where your content can be promoted. These can be external blogs, media sites, email newsletters, forums, social media platforms. Content promotion specialists also write guest posts and conduct outreach campaigns.
Responsibility: Distribute content
- Backlink acquisition specialist (link builder)
This role’s job is to build links across the web to ensure organic traffic growth and improve your website’s ranking in Google.
Responsibility: Acquire backlinks
- Email marketing manager
If your website already has some traffic, you should launch an email marketing campaign that will focus on lead nurturing and growing relationships with your website visitors. An email marketing manager is the one who plans and executes this campaign.
Responsibility: Create an email marketing strategy, send emails
- SEO specialist
At the stage of content distribution, the SEO specialist’s role is to direct off-site SEO and manage the backlink acquisition process.
Responsibility: Direct and manage link building
- Paid promotion specialist
If you’re using paid marketing channels, you need a role that will plan and execute pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and retargeting campaigns.
Responsibility: Create and implement paid marketing campaigns
Don’t forget about analysis
At this stage, you need everybody above to report on the results of their work. People who took part in building the strategy are accountable for the results.
Who operates the content machine?
Like any project, content marketing needs a manager or somebody who will run the operations.
- Content director
This role is responsible for operating the content marketing machine and managing external specialists. They make sure everyone on the team knows what to do and how to do it. They monitor, measure, and analyze the effectiveness of content marketing initiatives, and do whatever is needed to keep the operations running.
Responsibility: Manage entire content marketing operations (people, processes, technology)
Other roles you might need
Depending on your team’s size and focus, you might also need somebody to take care of visual content such as infographics, e-books, white papers, social media content, website, and landing pages. A graphic designer will help you develop a brand that stands out. Also, a dedicated web developer might also be needed at some content marketing stages such as website redesign or landing page development.
What roles can you start with?
At least the following six:
Content director — your content marketing machine won’t start without a mechanic managing every part from production to distribution.
Data analyst — building a marketing strategy without data is like shooting in the dark. You need someone to gather and analyze data to support your decision-making at every level. At Kaiiax, we value insightful data over gut instinct and are convinced that a data analyst is an absolute must for a marketing department’s success.
Content strategist — to make content work, you need a person who understands how to address the needs, wants, and problems of your buyer personas, and how to use your blog and other channels to generate traffic and leads for your business.
SEO analyst — do you want your website to appear first when your audience types in the search terms you’re targeting? Of course, you do! Make sure you hire a talented SEO specialist to manage both on-page and off-page SEO for your company.
Writer — the core of your content marketing operations. It’s best if you have at least two writers to publish content frequently and regularly.
Content promotion specialist — a person performing this role can combine content promotion and backlink acquisition roles to increase your reach and improve your website’s organic ranking.
Audit your content marketing operations
Want to start hiring people to fill in all the content marketing roles we’ve listed? Not immediately. First, you need to assess your current operations, see what is lacking, and think about how you can adjust your team to have all the roles covered. At Kaiiax, we help companies set up, develop, and improve their content marketing operations.
If you want to audit your current processes and see where you could improve, we’re always there at firstname.lastname@example.org.