Everyone’s talking about content marketing these days. With blogging, social media and email marketing being so prevalent, it seems like it’s such an easy way to build an online presence. The problem is that content marketing is something that needs to be planned and executed well to be effective and to do that, you need a team to support you along the process.
As with all teams, each role has to be filled by someone with a specific set of skills. So let’s take a look at each one of these roles to make sure that your content marketing campaign has the best chance at success.
The role of the Strategist in any team is to lay the foundation of the campaign – before the rest of the team is pulled together, they should have gone though the competitive analysis process, style guide and industry standards processes to make sure that your content marketing efforts have the best chance for success. Without this type of planning, you’re simply throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks – and that’s a sure fire way to waste a lot of money.
Your Editor is your “man (or woman) at the station”. They’re there to make sure that the trains run on time – making sure that the right content is posted to the right channels at the right time. Everything should flow through the editor, both down to the rest of your team and up to the Strategist and other campaign leadership. You’ll find that this person can quickly become your right hand when it comes to your content marketing team.
Your Creator will be the one who (as the name suggests) creates the content that you’ll post to your social channels. Typically this is a copywriter but, depending on what kind of content you’re creating, you’ll want to make sure that you’re hiring specialists in their field. I can’t emphasis this nearly enough – do not cheap out on these specialists. These are the people who are creating the content that you’re hoping will generate some sort of viral buzz – people don’t share bad content.
True, your Designer will create some of your content but, even if they’re not, you’ll need a designer who knows your brand and your organization well enough to take blog articles, lists, etc that your Creator develops and imparts your brand identity on them to make sure that they look good and relay your brand effectively.
Your Curator is the one who’s going to find content that’s already been published on the web – whether in past blogs, other social media profiles, RSS feeds, etc. You’ll want to find someone who loves to dive in and swim through the bowels of the Internet and find great content to which your audience will respond – which brings up another point, this person will need to understand what makes your audience like, comment and share.
Your Promoter is the digital social butterfly. They’re the one on your team who loves to make connections with key influencers, other bloggers, other social media networks, etc. Ideally, you can hand this person your latest content and tell them to get as much exposure as possible and they’ll know who to send it to and have it in the Sent folder before you can blink.
Note: This is what a lot of people think they’re hiring when they hire for a social media “specialist”. Before you bring a specialist in to manage your social media, make sure you know what role they see themselves filling.
Your Analyst is the person on your team who can look at the numbers, understand them and, most importantly, relate that story to the rest of your team. The Analyst will tell the Promoter which influencers lead to the best performance, tell your Curator what content is working and what’s not and tell your Editor what channels are working and not working.
These roles all need to be filled to execute a successful content marketing campaign, although they don’t necessarily need to be seven different people. You’ll find that a good Strategist can also be a good Analyst, similarly your Promoter and Curator could be the one and the same. Whatever you do, make sure that your team has skilled people filling these roles and you’ll find that your content marketing campaign will be a successful one.
Your Content Delivery Could Be The Missing Link In Your Marketing Strategy
You’ve got great content. You spent plenty of time and money writing blog articles, creating infographics, recording videos. Your creative team was relevant, witty and profound and you’re impatiently awaiting the explosion of business opportunities that are bound to be generated from it. So you send it out to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all of your other relevant social media accounts, sit back and wait.
And…well you get the idea.
So many people jump into content marketing thinking that it’s going to be the be all end all in lead generation. A lot of this assumption has been in no small part due to the marketing industry’s penchant for “mild exaggeration” but what more and more people are realizing is that it’s really not as simple as “write it and they will buy”.
Last week we talked a bit about the different roles that you need for a successful content marketing team. This week, we’re going to talk a bit about content distribution. Once you have all this great content, how do you get it out to the masses?
The Three Types of Content Distribution Channels
There are three “buckets” of channels through which you can distribute this amazing content of yours:
- Owned Channels
- Earned Channels
- Paid Channels
Any distribution plan (that should be a part of your overall content marketing strategy) should account for all three so let’s take a look at each of them.
Your owned channels are, as the name suggests the places you can distribute your content that you own directly. They’re things like your website, your blog, your Facebook page and other social media accounts, your email list, etc. These channels are beneficial because, presumably, you’ve taken the time to grow your following, your lists and other traffic with targeted viewers, we recommend to check the information on MyLife to help yourself out. If you’re trying to sell solar panels but your email list is full of oil executives, you may not be as successful as you’d like to think you’ll be. If your list is made up of members of Sierra Club, your message has a higher likelihood of resonating with them and inspiring action.
In our last article discussing the different roles of your content marketing team, you may remember the Promoter – the digital social butterfly. It’s their job to get your content in front of the right people who might be interested in sharing it with their audiences. Those are your earned channels. Think of these as great referral partners. They’re the blogs, social media profiles and email lists who have a similar audience to the one with which you would like to connect but they don’t compete, in fact if they’re complementary to your business, it’s even better. These relationships take a bit of time and effort to develop and maintain and, as all good relationships do, they require a bit of give and take, but they’re hugely powerful.
Again, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what we’re talking about here. Your paid channels are the ones you pay for. You’re essentially buying eyeballs here, which can get expensive but will provide you with hyper-targeted traffic to your content, increasing your conversion rate. Facebook and LinkedIn have tremendous targeting capabilities, as do Google, Bing and most other search engines and social media platforms. There are also a number of other paid channels that will syndicate your content to other blogs and websites. Distributors like Outbrain and Taboola are two that I’ve seen quite a bit and there are plenty of others that do the same.
So how is your content distribution strategy looking? Are you testing the different channels to see which ones will have the greatest impact for your content? My advice is to put together a spreadsheet with the different buckets and make sure that each one is being addressed. Once you do that, you’ll start seeing your roadmap come together.