How do I build an excellent content team?
Once a company has its content marketing plan ready, it can start creating content. The best course of action is to not to be too casual in your approach, keeping in mind that content marketing takes up 26% of the total marketing budget, on average (Hubspot, 2021). One of the first challenges you will face is therefore: who is going to create all this content?
Our own experts?
Often, the search for experts with detailed knowledge on the subject doesn’t go beyond the front doors. ‘No one knows our company and services better than ourselves,’ is the usual rationale. It is undeniably true. The only problem is that those same specialists are unlikely to be good content creators – assuming they have enough time and inclination to do the job. They may well be experts in the sector, but it will still take them a lot of time to write the texts. And that is precisely the one thing that specialists typically don’t have: extra time.
But let’s suppose that your expert does write an article: chances are that the text will not read smoothly or be written with the target audience in mind. And what do you do if you also want to create video content or social media posts to accompany the article? All of this is before you deal with the SEO in your content, which research indicates that 57% of B2B marketers consider to be their most powerful marketing tool. In fact, search engines drive 10 times more traffic to your company website than other marketing channels. (Intergrowth, 2022). Will your in-house specialists be able to deliver the same results? It would be a shame if you miss out on growth opportunities because you don’t invest in outsourced talent. Clearly, your in-house team won’t be able to undertake all the tasks involved. Companies very often find themselves in the position of having in-house specialists with extensive knowledge of its services and products but lacking in good content creators. There are many reasons why content creation is a sector in its own right.
Dive into the data on a regular basis and try to analyse it thoroughly. Which content works, and which doesn’t? Derive the following steps from your data insights.
An in-house or outsourced team?
Even after you have decided to engage a content creator, a number of challenges still lie ahead. In many cases, hiring one content creator to produce all content from then onwards will not be enough. Consider: Who will translate the content? Who will put it online? Who will do the keyword analysis and monitor it? Who will get to grips with the data to check that the content is ranking well? Who will maintain social media accounts that spread the word about the content?
Often, the assumption is that the one content creator will do all of those tasks. But you likely already sense that this person soon will be overloaded. It is almost inevitable, then, that one fine day your exhausted content creator will decide to look for another job. At which point, you will be left with the problem of having to look for someone new, in addition to having all the company’s accumulated knowledge walk out the door. Even supposing that your content creator remains with the company, you are still faced with the problem of your production volume being limited. A high workload also means that content quality will suffer.
Another option is to build a team of freelancers. Preferably, as broad a team as possible, so you can always bring in the right expertise when you need it. For example, one content creator may be very good at SEO, while another speaks five languages. It then becomes purely a matter of finding the right freelance specialist who can support you in your specific content needs. Added to which, you save time and money because you do not have to repeatedly train your own team. It is no coincidence that more than half of companies in the B2B sector outsource their content creation (CMI, 2019). The only question is: where do you find these freelancers?
There are a lot of platforms where you can easily find freelancers. However, there are some pitfalls to be aware of here, too. How do you find out whether the freelancer is competent? How do you know if the freelancer will make enough time for you and has adequate knowledge of your sector? Good freelancers are often busy and have other clients too. Do you need highly specialised freelancers? Count yourself lucky if you find a good freelancer who wants to work for you. Another plus is that while freelancers are often more expensive per content item compared to your own employee, the quality of the output may be higher.
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What does a project manager do in your team?
Since neither system is perfect, a mix is often chosen. The company hires a content creator who manages the production process and the freelancers involved. Here, too, there are a number of pitfalls. Content creators mainly want to create content, not manage freelancers. And they generally do not have the skills or experience to manage such teams properly. Content chaos is a real risk in this situation.
Finally, there is the option of collaborating with an agency that specialises in content creation. This involves putting a lot of work into the agency’s hands. On the other hand, it also allows you to keep your in-house team small while also having the assurance of working with specialists. Moreover, the agency functions as the institutional memory for your communications. So, even if employees leave the agency, company history is retained and transferred to new employees within the agency.
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