If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Content is king.
Why? Because value-added content influences consumer behavior without overt sales tactics.
Value-added content (also known as custom content or custom publishing) addresses consumer needs and lifestyle interests connected to your products and services, offering an educational benefit to your audience.
Engaging in such content marketing can help establish your organization as a trusted resource, keeping you on consumers’ minds when it’s decision-making time. Furthermore, value-added content enables you to teach your customers how to buy from you by providing useful information at each step of their purchasing process.
That sounds great, but taking content marketing from theory to reality can prove to be complex, time-consuming, resource-prohibitive and, when not done well, ineffective.
When you’re developing a new content marketing initiative, your first step should be to build your team. If you’re refreshing an existing program, start by assessing your key players.
1. Chief content officer
The CCO owns your content marketing initiative. He or she is responsible for developing strategy, setting goals, defining direction and establishing a mission statement for your content initiative.
The CCO also manages the companywide integration of your content initiative and stays engaged throughout the content development and distribution process to ensure the strategy stays on track.
Although the CCO must thoroughly understand content marketing, he or she doesn’t necessarily have to write, design or produce video. Your current marketing director could fill the CCO role.
The CCO should be an in-house staff member.
2. Managing editor
The ME is your put-it-into-action person, the one who takes strategy and makes it happen.
Your ME develops your editorial calendar and oversees those who create and produce your content.
He or she also edits content developed by others—whether it will ultimately be a newsletter, a video or something in another format—policing quality, tone, style and appropriateness for the mission.
He or she may also create content. In some organizations, the ME job is combined with the CCO position.
The ME must be an excellent writer or editor, and he or she must be comfortable working in all the channels you’ll use for content.
3. Content creators
These folks develop raw content, which the ME then refines. They do not have to be trained writers; they could be subject-matter experts, customer service reps, top-tier execs or even customers (think testimonials and user-generated content). They might also simply be skilled writers, whether they’re staffers or freelancers.
In some companies, the content creator position is blended into the ME position.
Content curators might also be considered a type of content creator. Curators dig around (usually online, perhaps with the help of tools like Scoop.it and Curata.com) to find information that your team can repurpose. Curated content is not unique, so don’t rely solely on curating for your content marketing strategy.
4. Content producers
These are interactive designers, videographers and other professionals who make your content look good and ensure that it is properly formatted and optimized for each channel.
They may also be responsible for distributing content-actually getting it into the appropriate channels.
Content syndicators might be considered part of your production team, because their job is to share your content (similar to a media relations manager in traditional PR/marketing).
5. Chief listening officer
This person is your “ears on the ground” on social media and other channels, monitoring conversations and routing the discussion to other team members as appropriate.
In some cases, the CLO may also participate in, and help maintain, conversations.
By monitoring, organizing and sharing the feedback from these conversations, the CLO helps your organization react promptly and appropriately to responses to your content.
This person reviews and analyzes your content-related data, such as page views, downloads, bounce rates, conversion rates, in-bound contacts, information requests and so on. The analyst also provides interpretations and recommendations based on the analysis.
Your CCO and development team can use all that information to gauge your program success, evaluate progress toward goals and enhance your content efforts.
There is no single correct way to build your content team. I consider the six roles described above as essential, but you may want to make adjustments to accommodate your company structure or corporate culture.
Some organizations expand their teams to include other positions, such as director of audience, channel master, lead trainer or return-on-objective chief.
The important thing is to make sure the primary responsibilities are covered.
Consider what makes sense for your company. You can always add players later if you spot a gap in your lineup.
A version of this article originally appeared on Marketing Profs.