Kelly Shermach, Content Strategist
I’m a Chicagoan, so I associate the term “dream team” with the Bulls of the 1990s. But when suiting up for a show on the content marketing court, you need similar collaborative talent as that of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Phil Jackson, Horace Grant, B.J. Armstrong, Toni Kukoc, Pete Myers, Ron Harper, Dennis Rodman and Luc Longley.
Just as with the world champion Chicago Bulls, individual content marketing roles may change, but the positions on the team remain a constant. Here’s a rundown of the key elements of an all-star content team, the responsibilities each has in developing content strategy and assets, and tools that may prevent air balls when you’re down a player.
Keeping everyone cool headed and focused falls to the project manager. He or she ensures projects are in budget, meeting business requirements and the agreed-upon timeline. Marketing management will rely on the PM for updates on current and upcoming projects. In a pinch, you may use Trello or Basecamp as a virtual team member in this position.
Content Strategist or Content Producer
Content strategists and developers, alternately known as writers, go on the offensive to understand how your brand can capitalize on market trends and deliver solutions to B2B buyers in a way your competitors can’t. They own the backdoor move in which their unique wording cuts behind opposing teams, toward the basket.
Content strategists depend on design leads, sales reps and demand gen experts to identify the best content formats and designs to connect with buyers at each point in their customer journey. Grammarly or Hemmingway App are fantastic writing and editing tools that can help pull off a lay-up when your team lacks a true editorial member.
So, what should marketers do once they set their playbooks on fire and lose the lead gates?
Creative direction for projects includes everything from campaign theme development to marketing asset creation — websites, banner ads, e-books, infographics, etc. — and all the teamwork in between. Team members, internal clients, stakeholders and even management may offer game-winning tips on graphics. The design lead ensures that the result clearly and effectively expresses the capabilities of the product or service you’re marketing, as well as your broader brand values.
Of course, the sales representative develops new business. However, in meeting with clients and prospects, he or she learns one-on-one about industry challenges that can inform content strategy. In many cases, a member of the sales team can serve as a subject matter expert for content creation.
Once sales close, the rep takes on the role of account manager, maintaining and expanding projects within accounts. The account manager takes primary responsibility for customer satisfaction which makes them prime for sharing buyer pain points, challenges and measures of success—the perfect alley-oop for a B2B marketer.
Interactive Design & Coding
As digital dominates any marketing strategy, you need to match a high standard of design with expert coding that not only champions your creative through great wireframes, prototypes and completed assets but delivers data from customer interactions with your content to appropriate tracking and measurement tools. Tools like Brackets are a great way to test your coding chops!
Demand Generation Expert
In SiriusDecision’s 2017 Global CMO Study, marketing senior leaders named the increase of net new purchase relationships as their top growth priority. If your marketing leadership has set a similar goal or even if it just wants to keep other superstars from getting a championship ring, a demand gen expert on your content marketing team helps connect content with buyers across nurture stages. They have the knowledge to lend to those who will execute sophisticated marketing campaigns to move buyers.
It’s rare to have all these stars on staff and rarer still that dream teams don’t rely on a solid bench when the game heats up. Consider an agency partner as your next recruit or your solid bench.
If you need help creating a framework for your content marketing, check out our Resource Center.
And if you’re ready to call us into the game, talk to Content4Demand’s marketing director, Steve Voith.