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How to Manage a Content Marketing Team in 2023

October 12, 2023

With the content creation industry at its peak, content marketing teams are becoming more diverse. They include people with complementary skills and with different roles and responsibilities.

You’re responsible for maintaining content quality and consistency as a team leader or manager. You also have to navigate shifting technologies. All that while maintaining balance and harmony between content marketing team members.

Sounds like a lot? Well, because it is.

Oh, and we didn’t mention the overall content marketing strategy and client communication.

The good news is that having a good plan and using the right tools can help you stay on top of everything. It’ll bring you, your content team, and your clients satisfaction.

In this article, we’ll explain how to easily manage a content marketing team.

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How to manage a content marketing team: 7 tips

Here’s the ultimate guide that’ll help every content marketing manager. Those who are just entering the content marketing world. And those with years of experience who are trying to adapt to new trends and technologies.

1. Structure your team

visual structure of marketing department

(Image Source: HubSpot)

A successful content marketing team requires people with diverse sets of skills. The specific roles may vary depending on your industry and company size. Here are some key roles that should be present in your content marketing team structure:

  • Content marketing manager. They’re in charge of making sure everything runs smoothly. In some companies, the content marketing manager is also responsible for creating a content strategy. Other companies hire a dedicated content strategist or a consultant.
  • Chief operating officer (COO). You need someone to ensure that day-to-day processes align with your bigger vision and goals.
  • Copywriters/Editors. They’re responsible for content creation – from blog posts to web copy. It’d be great to have experienced copywriters with expertise in your niche. Having a great editor is essential if you’re working with junior writers.
  • SEO manager. They work closely with content strategists and are in charge of other SEO specialists, link builders, and others.
  • Graphic designers. You need a team in charge of designing visual content to supplement your written content.
  • Social media manager. You need at least one dedicated person if you use relevant social media channels. Social media managers are in charge of creating and posting content. Some of them are also doing community management.

Now, the question is whether you should create an in-house team or hire freelancers. Everything depends on your budget and estimated workload. Both options have their pros and cons.

The in-house staff ensures consistent work quality, and you can always rely on them. On the other hand, hiring freelancers is often more cost-effective. They also bring broad skills and expertise, making finding specialized talent for specific projects easier.

Content managers usually work as full-time employees. However, many agencies choose to hire freelance writers or designers per project. You could also hire an external consultant if you need someone with expertise.

More and more content teams are going fully remote. This gives them more flexibility but also comes with a specific set of challenges. If that’s your case, read this guide with helpful tips on how to manage a remote team.

2. Set performance expectations

five-step checklist for performance management

(Image Source: HubSpot)

If you want to create a high-performance content team, you first have to make sure you’re on the same page. This refers to your strategy and content marketing goals.

You need to articulate your goals and then explain what you expect of each team member. It can be helpful to break down goals into smaller milestones and set deadlines for each. Project management tools like Asana or Trello can help you track progress. However, as the landscape of project and work management tools continues to evolve, it’s crucial to stay informed about the diverse array of options available. Platforms like Wrike and Monday.com offer unique features and functionalities that cater to specific business needs.

When setting your standards, explain what quality content is for you. The best way to do so is through creating detailed guidelines. Remember to provide plenty of examples your content team can refer to.

Defining your target audience is also essential. Create one or more buyer personas according to your ideal customer(s), detailing their occupation, income, social media networks, pain points, and more. The more detailed and segmented your personas are, the more targeted and successful your campaigns can be.

One common misconception is that it’s challenging to track content marketing efforts. Especially compared to some other types of marketing, like paid advertising. But that’s simply not the truth.

Here are some helpful content marketing metrics:

  • Website traffic
  • Organic search traffic
  • Keyword ranking
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Engagement rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Leads generated
  • Social media shares

3. Create a culture of feedback

 checklist with four tips for giving feedback

(Image Source: HubSpot)

Regular and constructive feedback plays a vital role in creating a high-performing team. It also helps foster continuous improvement and growth in your company.

Yet, according to Gallup, only one out of five employees has received meaningful feedback in the last week.

Chances are there’s room to implement more frequent feedback, and here are some tips to help you do so:

  • Balance positive and constructive feedback. This is essential for maintaining a positive atmosphere. It helps your team grow while also avoiding resentment. Some marketing leaders used the 3:1 rule. The rule consists of providing three positive comments for every critique. You can also use the sandwich technique for constructive criticism. You should begin and conclude any criticism you have to give with a positive comment.
  • Be specific. Avoid giving vague and generic feedback. Instead, describe the particular behavior or action you’re referring to, whether positive or negative. Make sure to illustrate it with some examples of situations that happened.
  • Experiment with different types of feedback. Feedback doesn’t have to come from content marketing managers only. Experiment with peer-to-peer feedback or ask clients and other stakeholders for feedback. You can combine input from different sources to see a bigger picture using 360-degree employee evaluation software.
  • Provide support and actionable steps. Constructive feedback should contain tips and actionable steps. That way, you’re helping employees improve or correct particular behavior. Ask employees what support they need and provide adequate resources or training.
  • Automate the process. If you don’t have time to do everything manually, you can automate the process using feedback software like Effy AI. Start by getting templates your content marketing team must fill out and regularly scheduling feedback. After that, you can automate getting detailed reports and insights.

4. Use the right content marketing tools

dashboard of a keyword research tool

(Image Source: Semrush)

With the right tools, managing your team and producing content becomes less challenging. Here are some essential tools you should try out and pick the ones that work the best for you:

  • Task management tools: Asana, Trello, Notion, and ClickUp
  • Keyword research tools: Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, and SERanking
  • Grammar tools: Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and Hemingway Editor
  • Content optimization tools: SurferSEO, Outranking, and Frase
  • Content management tools: WordPress, HubSpot, and Wordable
  • Design tools: Adobe Express and Canva
  • Analytics tools: Google Analytics and Supermetrics
  • Communication tools: Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom

5. Promote internally

employee recognition statistics

(Image Source: Gallup)

Upward mobility is the best way to leverage the knowledge and skills of your existing employees. It also motivates your team to improve their performance and increases loyalty.

Here are a few tips for promoting internally:

  • Define career paths. Your content team should clearly understand their career path and what’s necessary for professional advancement. Clear targets and having something to work towards is often the best motivator.
  • Nurture your best talent. Keep an eye on people excelling in their current roles and going the extra mile. Make sure to acknowledge them and provide them with support and resources.
  • Provide growth opportunities. As a leader, you should encourage your employees to improve their skills. You can do so through various types of training, online courses, and workshops. You could also promote cross-training and mentorship, where people learn from other team members.
  • Recognize your employees. Reward your content team for their small wins, and make sure they know you appreciate their efforts.

6. Create a style guide and document your processes

example of written style guide

(Image Source: ContentDesign)

A style guide is necessary for keeping your entire team on the same page and ensuring consistency in content production. Keep your guide detailed but straightforward to avoid misunderstanding and reduce editing time.

Here are some things to include:

  • Preferred writing style
  • Tone of voice
  • Spelling and grammar
  • Formatting and layout
  • Visual guidelines

Documenting the entire content creation process will help you streamline your workflows. It’s also an excellent method to reduce the amount of errors.

Make sure that every team member understands what their roles and responsibilities are. For example, explain how content submission and revisions work. Also, be transparent about the consequences of not respecting deadlines.

Don’t limit yourself to written guidelines. Instead, include plenty of screenshots to illustrate every step and even video tutorials if needed.

It may initially seem like a lot of work, but it’ll save you time in the long run. You can use those materials for the onboarding process. That way, your content manager won’t have to repeat the same things to every new employee.

7. Make sure your employees are happy

Delighting your clients begins by ensuring the happiness and satisfaction of your employees. Happy employees aren’t just more productive, they’re the driving force behind a thriving marketing agency.

When asked what they’d change at their current workplace, most answers fell into one of the following categories: engagement and culture, pay and benefits, and well-being.

data from Gallup survey on what employees want to change

(Image Source: Gallup)

Here’s how to take care of your team:

  • Encourage work-life balance. As a marketing leader, you should promote taking breaks and rests when necessary. Everything starts with you; you should lead by example instead of over-working yourself. This is even more important when working in a creative industry such as content marketing. Taking breaks is the best way to fuel your creative batteries and come back with fresh content ideas.
  • Offer flexibility. Provide flexible work hours and schedules to accommodate your employees’ needs and preferences. Their productivity will increase as they create content at times and places when they’re most efficient.
  • Offer diverse benefits. Provide comprehensive benefits packages that ensure your employees’ health and financial security. That way, you’re eliminating one of the main stressors in their lives and enabling them to focus on work. Ask your marketing teams what they need the most and listen to them. For example, some people may appreciate help with education and professional development expenses. Supporting initiatives for physical or mental well-being is always a good idea.
    Also, you can never go wrong with holiday bonuses, gift cards, and similar.
  • Organize meaningful team buildings. Again, ask your content marketing team what kind of team-bonding activities they’d enjoy the most. Avoid routine team-building activities, as chances are your employees find them boring. Instead, you should strive for something more meaningful. Everything depends on your team’s preferences, but here are some ideas. Why not organize team retreats or focus on personal development?
    You could propose learning a new skill unrelated to work, such as cooking or painting classes. You could organize a cultural exchange if you have international teams with diverse backgrounds. This activity may help you learn more about your team members and understand each other.
  • Show appreciation. It’s essential to implement regular recognition as part of your company culture. Don’t wait to reach significant milestones. Instead, praise your employees for their hard work along the way. Acknowledge their contribution by showing them genuine gratitude.

Conclusion

Content marketing teams also evolve as the content creation industry grows and develops. Their roles and responsibilities are diversifying. As a manager or leader, you now have multiple roles and must ensure that everything runs smoothly.

You can do so by:

  • Thoughtfully structuring your team
  • Setting clear tasks and expectations
  • Documenting processes and streamlining workflows
  • Fostering a culture of appreciation and feedback
  • Using the right tools to help you

Following these suggestions will make navigating the fast-changing digital marketing landscape easier. It’s also a great way to increase employee satisfaction. Remember that happy employees are the foundation for your company’s success.

Sharik Rasool
Sharik Rasool is a consultant specializing in SaaS marketing and organic growth. He helps all-size businesses achieve organic growth.
Sharik Rasool
Sharik Rasool is a consultant specializing in SaaS marketing and organic growth. He helps all-size businesses achieve organic growth.