As product-driven, hard sell marketing techniques continue to fade in the rear-view, marketing departments are taking a much closer look at their content. Roles and responsibilities are evolving. Businesses are realising the benefits of an integrated content approach. And the buyer’s journey is being baked into the strategy.
As a result, content marketers are feeling mounting pressure to master a widening array of content techniques, topics and technologies. But have you identified the key content marketing roles that will take the pressure off and help you succeed?
Each content asset is designed to sit within a campaign, answering questions, solving problems and carefully guiding leads through the sales funnel. It’s a balancing act that takes some mastering.
Due to the diverse skills needed, you’ll be able to see some clearly-defined roles within the content marketing landscape. These roles need to be assigned, otherwise you’ll start to see cracks appearing in your content marketing strategy. Once you begin to miss opportunities and lose sight of targets, it’s hard to make up the ground. And that’s a very good reason to act now.
Although the different content marketing roles and responsibilities are easily categorised, that doesn’t mean they all need to be carried out by different team members. Every marketing department has to start somewhere. You may have a smaller team at the moment. That’s fine. One person can take on multiple roles, as long as they have the necessary skills.
Once you’ve identified and allocated the different responsibilities, you’ll also be able to plan the long-term future of your department. So, let’s take a look at the key content marketing roles that every business needs.
The content marketing strategist
Every marketing department needs direction. It needs a plan that links marketing with sales, aligns with the core business objectives and adds measurable value to the bottom line.
That’s where the content marketing strategist excels. It’s somebody who begins by focusing on the customer, their wants and needs, where they hang out and the words that they use. From there, the content marketing strategist creates pathways to your company’s products, identifying the content and the conduits that will resonate with your audiences and buyer personas.
Not only does this person shape the strategy, they also ensure your tone of voice (ToV) is consistent across all marketing channels. They set the targets, monitor progress and ensure content campaigns are creating forward momentum.
The content marketing strategist role is a senior position within your team, likely to be fulfilled by a marketing director, marketing manager or content marketing manager.
The content creator
You won’t get very far without content. But it needs to be the right content, well-researched and designed to solve your audiences’ problems. It also needs to align with your ToV and take your leads on a journey towards the sale. There are so many different ways that your content creator will connect with your audiences, including:
- Landing pages
- Long-form articles
- Short-form blog posts
- White papers
- Case studies
- Social campaigns
- Explainer videos
- Opinion pieces
And the list goes on. That’s why the content creator needs to have a range of skills, from research and technical capabilities, to storytelling and creative writing, and even a little SEO knowledge thrown in there to target the right keywords. It’s also why you should gather a pool of contributors, to allow you to quickly build out your content offering. But you’re also going to need a content editor.
The content editor
Your content editor is the gatekeeper and releaser of your content. They understand your company’s ToV. They know your corporate guidelines inside and out. They probably even helped you to write them.
Once your content creators have done their jobs, it’s down to the content editor to approve the assets. They’ll check the grammar, punctuation, flow and style.
For online content, they’ll also make sure the headings are SEO-friendly, the copy is optimised and the paragraphs aren’t densely packed. They’ll know their way around metadata too.
Not only will they upload and manage your online content, they’ll keep your CMS platform updated, moderate any comments and, for added SEO benefit, build internal links from new content back through to relevant existing articles on your website, and vice versa.
The social media manager
Previously considered a junior role in the marketing team, the social media manager is responsible for posting your content and maintaining your brand’s personality across platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
They’re also responsible for planning, creating and running social advertising campaigns to drive targeted visitors to your content.
As well as contributing to and following a social media schedule, they need to actively engage with your audiences. They’ll be answering questions, responding to comments and reaching out to other brands. And because social never sleeps, they’ll need to think on their feet and sometimes respond to people out of hours.
Due to the immediacy of this role, your social media manager needs to fully understand your brand guidelines and ToV, and must be able to respond quickly and confidently. They’ll be on the frontline, interacting with influencers, customers, leads and prospects.
The graphic designer
Content doesn’t end with the written word. It needs to look great too. And it can be pretty obvious to your audiences when you’ve scrimped on the design budget. In a world where infographics, video and imagery are in abundance, you need to make sure you have a great graphic designer on your team.
They’ll need to be familiar with the full Adobe creative suite, or at the very least know how to use free design tools such as Canva. Working closely with other members of your team, they’ll produce anything from social media thumbnails and skyscraper banners to ebooks and interactive graphics.
What’s more, they need to be a repurposing expert, taking assets and reconfiguring them for a wide range of campaign opportunities.
The SEO specialist
If nobody sees your content, then there’s no point in producing it. And because 93% of all online interactions start with a search engine, you have to ensure your search visibility is high and continually improving.
Technical SEO is a complex subject that continues to evolve. It’s far more involved than simply measuring domain authority, removing toxic links and managing outreach. Regular investment in solid SEO practices could be your best route to market, so make sure you have a SEO expert on your team.
That’s why you need an SEO specialist who can get your pages ranking for the keywords and key phrases that your audiences use. They can also help the content editor and creator with the SEO responsibilities within their roles.
Putting it all together
Now that we’ve identified the key content marketing roles, you can begin to build out your team and allocate responsibilities. Some matches will become apparent straight away. And as we said at the start, one person can take on multiple roles if they have the necessary skills.
Don’t forget, if your team is currently overstretched or there’s a knowledge gap, you can also outsource some of the roles. Taking on agencies and partners means you can harness the benefits of experience while staying lean, focused and within budget.
Working as a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2004, Lee helps SMEs win more business through developing effective digital marketing strategies. He is a dedicated Liverpool FC fan, dog lover and loves long country walks (and a cheeky pint) with his dog, Banjo. Do you publish content yourself, or need content for your own website? If you’d like to collaborate on anything at all, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.