"In the new world of brand journalism, everyone needs to re-evaluate their place in the content ecosystem. Marketers have to think like journalists. Journalists have to understand marketers. And publishers have to bring everyone together. These are not small tasks," writes Theresa Cramer, editor of EContent magazine, in the introduction to Inside Content Marketing (CyberAge Books, May 2016). Like many other books about content marketing, Cramer's looks at what it takes to be a great content marketer--from strategy to measurement. It offers a tremendous amount of useful information to help businesses of any size leverage content to connect with customers.
However, one thing that definitely sets Inside Content Marketing apart is that it offers significant insights into the importance of building a successful content marketing team and offers valuable tips on how to effectively staff up for content marketing success. So often we spend our time talking about tools, metrics, and strategy, forgetting about the human element. And given that the goal of content marketing is to make genuine connections with people... people may be the most important piece of the content marketing puzzle.
With that in mind, here are four tips from Inside Content Marketing for building a content marketing successful team:
- Hire a Journalist--If you have been thinking about or practicing content marketing for any length of time, you've probably already heard this, but it can't be said enough. Journalists know a good story when they see one, and can bring a new perspective to your marketing efforts. And they know how to build an editorial calendar! Whether it's on a full-time or occasional freelance basis, you need a journalist on your team. (Hint: Look to trade publications to find the perfect fit for your company--there are plenty of under-employed journalists out there that know your industry and would love to help.)
- Outside Expertise is Important--As your content marketing efforts grow, keeping them in-house may not be feasible. More importantly, there are times when it will be important to get an outsider's perspective on your business and content because it can be easy to slip into sales and marketing talk that is the furthest thing from the kind of compelling storytelling required for successful content marketing. Whether you hire an agency or a consultant, bringing in fresh insights and outside expertise can be invaluable.
- Invest in Education--Content marketing is always evolving. There's a new tool out there on a near-daily basis. Let's face it, actual content marketing "experts" are few and far between, so it is important to invest in the education of your team. Certifications and courses abound to help content marketers stay at the top of their game.
- You May Need a Publisher--As tempting as it might be to completely walk away from paid advertising, publishers have reach that you may not. They also know their audiences and can help you connect with them. Paying to promote your content--or even working with publishers to create custom content--can help you reach a wider audience and do so more effectively.
Sure, strategy and measurement are very important. Having the right tools to create and distribute your content are also essential. But without the right people on your team, tools and tactics are useless. If you're struggling with getting your content marketing off the ground, or in achieving greater reach and scale, it might be time to ensure that you've got the right people and expertise on your team.