Creating a Content Marketing Program from Scratch: Part 2

Last month, I started a new blog series that describes step by step how to create a new content marketing program from scratch. The first article focused on the importance of committing to your program, defining the audience for your content, creating a strategy and selecting the right distribution channels.

Click here to read the first article if you missed it. Today we’re going to talk about building your content marketing team and creating a workflow map to ensure that your content is published and distributed on a regular basis.

Build Your Content Marketing Team

Keeping a content marketing program running smoothly requires a dedicated team of individuals who are responsible for handling specific responsibilities. This team may consist of staff members, outside contractors and freelancers, or a combination of both.

Content marketing programs usually require team members to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Project management and oversight
  • Topic idea generation
  • Creative, which includes both writing and design
  • Content optimization to maximize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results
  • Content distribution and promotion
  • Metrics review and determination of content marketing ROI

Depending on how large and complex your program is, team members could include the following:

  • Chief content officer— Responsible for content planning and overall program performance.
  • Content writer— Creates the right content to support program goals.
  • Editor— Ensures that the content is accurate and matches the desired style and tone.
  • Designer — Ensures that content is presented in a visually pleasing manner and meets all corporate style and branding guidelines.
  • Content strategist— Creates content calendar and chooses the right distribution channels.
  • Content optimizer— Performs keyword research and provides writer and editor with short-tail and long-tail keywords to be used strategically to boost SEO results.
  • Social media manager— Manages and promotes content across key social platforms and oversees online comments.

Carefully critique the skills sets and capabilities of your internal staff to determine who would be best suited to handle each of these roles. If there isn’t a staff member who seems capable of handling a particular role, start looking for an outside contractor or freelancer you can hire.

Create a Workflow Map

Let’s face it: Creating and managing a content marketing program can seem daunting, even to an experienced marketing pro. Even after you’ve covered the basics like creating a strategy, defining your audience and building your team, there are a lot of different moving parts to coordinate.

The best way I’ve found to get everything organized and keep a content marketing program running smoothly is to create a workflow map. Here’s a sample workflow map that was used by one of my clients recently for a weekly blog:

  1. Content strategist creates editorial calendar for the next quarter’s weekly blogs.
  2. Content optimizer provides writer with short-tail and long-tail keywords to be used in each blog.
  3. Content writer drafts week one blog and sends to editor for review.
  4. Editor tracks changes to the blog and returns to writer, who sends edited blog to designer to select graphics.
  5. Writer loads copy into content management program (such as WordPress) and alerts designer.
  6. Designer adds graphics and alerts chief content officer that the blog is ready for final review.
  7. Chief content officer approves blog or requests any final changes from writer and/or designer, then schedules release.
  8. Rinse and repeat the next week.

Note that this is a simple, bare-bones workflow map for a single weekly blog. It doesn’t include multiple back-and-forths that could occur between steps, or content promotion and metrics review that should occur after the blogs are released. All of these could double or triple the number of steps actually involved in publishing a weekly blog.

Next month we’ll discuss topic idea generation in more detail, as well as content promotion, a content marketing budget and measuring the ROI on a content marketing program.

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