How to Build Your Digital Content Team
Originally published on The Marketing Scope.
Ubiquitous internet access and the ease of publishing content changed the way information is consumed, and the rise of social media drastically accelerated the pace of that consumption. Today, a digital content team is essential for boosting SEO, promoting brand awareness, and establishing effective lead generation strategies. Ultimately, digital content keeps you relevant, and your ability to create it defines your future success.
But rest assured: Your competitors count on a content strategy. Indeed, 85 percent of businesses rely on content marketing for lead generation. A simple blog can produce stunning results, including a 55 percent increase in web traffic and a 97 percent increase in inbound links. Your future success will be defined by your ability to create content and disseminate it, whether you create a blog, whitepaper, infographic, or webinar.
The life span of your digital assets is an important thing to consider, and it varies based on the publishing medium. Website content, for instance, can last for weeks or months. Expect evergreen content that’s designed around staying relevant to maintain a useful life of three months or more. If your industry moves quickly and new information is available frequently, your blog will need to reflect this pace.
Social media content should be updated daily, and a platform like Twitter that moves at breakneck speed can easily support 14 or more posts per day. LinkedIn and Facebook are less frenzied, and one or two posts per day is likely sufficient. If you’re not sure how often you should post, it’s never a bad idea to one-up your competitors. Even companies outside your industry can provide examples to emulate.
For example, Moosejaw is an outdoor apparel company that’s seen tremendous growth from its fun, edgy content. In a crowded marketplace, the company leverages its digital content team as a key differentiator. Beachbody is a fitness company that leverages content, but it has figured out how to let customers do the work. Most of the brand’s content is user-generated, and Beachbody shares it across social platforms at an incredible rate. User-generated content is an excellent tool for staying within your budget.
The Dream Team
No matter the budget, your digital content team has two primary goals: to create relevant content in forms that are most effective for your industry and to distribute that content to the absolute maximum number of end points. In a perfect world, you’ll be able to fill the following roles, but don’t fret if you can’t afford this extravagance.
Video is the new currency, so you will want someone who can capture photo and video assets and edit them into compelling content. Teams that are heavily focused on visual content might have multiple camera operators or assistants, or those on a budget can pull a capable individual from another role.
The motion visuals role takes footage and re-purposes it for different uses. This person is a gifted storyteller who can craft multiple angles from a single interview. Designers are critical to elevating the look and feel of branded content, ensuring consistency across all platforms.
A copywriter is responsible for writing your web content, including blogs, scripts, and social updates. Copywriters should also be able to handle the copy strategy so they can operate more independently, and they will provide guidance for copy on infographics and presentations.
The marketing communications position is arguably the most important within your digital marketing team: This marcomm position posts and schedules social content across all platforms. She’s also responsible for training other employees on best practices for sharing published content and engages in online communities to maximize your reach.
A strategist is the last piece of the puzzle, and this person helps oversee the entire online content strategy. Strategists develop tone and approach, and they use various metrics to monitor how well your digital content team is executing.
If you can’t afford six full-time bodies, you’re not alone. A much more realistic starting point is a team of two. In this iteration, you’ll need two capable generalists. The marcomm specialist will also take on copywriting, marketing and automation platforms, and social updates. Meanwhile, the content creator is behind the camera and tackles design responsibilities.
Flavors of Content
Your content strategy will dictate the types of content you produce. For retailers, it might be information about sales, special events, or the availability of new products. For a service business, you might push information about your offerings or thought leadership pieces that are relevant to your industry. You’ll notice that a handful of different types work the most effectively.
Culture pieces highlight the values of your organization, and this type of content might include a “day in the life” video, posts about your charitable work in the community, or a new team member introduction. Announcements are fairly straightforward and include news about mergers and acquisitions, awards, or press releases.
Thought leadership revolves around industry best practices or new practices to successfully overcome challenges. Industry trends and forecasting also belong in this category. Finally, offerings are a promotion of your brand, services, and products — they get the word out and keep you top of mind. There’s no magic formula, but try to produce more helpful content over promotional offerings, no matter how tempting it might seem.
Few companies will be able to take their content marketing efforts from zero to 60. Start with a strategy, and then fill the roles of your digital content team as needed. As long as you have a clear process for content creation and distribution, you can maximize output. Even a small team can create a healthy amount of content, and the effect it has on your sales funnel will more than likely amaze you.