Content selling remains fairly new for most marketers. The (appropriately) loud voices in the marketplace like The Content Marketing Institute make it feel like the trend of using valuable content to rivet customers to action or to progress along the customer journey is well-nearing the high-adoption mark. But look during the complexion of the speakers at their summit as well as you will see often consultants. Thats the sure sign it remains early days.
Yet most brands have been investing in this direction from experienced CPGs like Huggies (look during their efforts with Pull-ups) to real estate agencies like Coldwell Banker to the own efforts with the recently re-launched content site, Prepare & Prevent.
Team structure is the big discussion. Are we entering the phase favoring more distinct specialisms (e.g. SEO, amicable community management) or modernized generalists (e.g. digital brand managers)? What skills remain critical, which require re-tooling, what have been the down-right gaps? What should be finished in-house vs. remain an outsourced network?
Many marketers have been figuring this out by doing. Here is the POV on near-future group structure as well as rules of engagement.
The Three Drivers of Great Business Content
First of all, where does great content come from? The business? Usually marketers get good first during writing content about their own products as well as services. Their lens is often one that favors how products as well as services have been seen within their company. The best of them take an outside-in view as well as channel the interests of their customers or sales channel. New storytellers? No doubt we need new storytelling capabilities within companies as well as ones that naturally channel the customer-centered view. Brand marketers? Again, brand marketers can be terrific storytellers about themselves. They often onslaught to go over that self-centered view.
Great content comes from 3 places as well as orientations:
Clear business goals as well as insights:
what have been we selling? What is the value proposition, what is the unique selling proposition, why would anyone buy us?
Continuous, practical insights about the customer:
what do we know about their needs right now? How have been they engaging with the content now? What insights can we reap as well as insert in to the strategy as well as approach everyday?
A compelling, clear brand position:
what do we stand for that matters to the customer? What is distinct about us? What role can we play in the customers lives?
These inputs must guide the content team.
The Three Core Team Members
Integrated Marketing Strategist Part planner (think connections planner not media planner), part brand manager, part digital practitioner, the Integrated Marketing Strategist can pencil together the very good paid, owned, earned plan built on the core selling strategy that actually drives measureable results. Their personal skill set may weigh heavier as the strategist, project manager, or even the dilettante (e.g. amicable media) as well as they know how to daub in to the network of specialists to get the job done. They know how to drive action.
Content Creator as well as Strategist A strong storyteller, the content creator-strategist is in all strong in both aligning content strategy to the selling and/or business strategy as well as formulating truly high-performing content. They work across mediums video, graphics, animation, narrative text. They understand what people wish as well as respond to. They know how to drive engagement.
Insights as well as Analytics Specialist Research used to be planned as well as then delivered weeks later in the PowerPoint show. Today, the Insights as well as Analytics Specialist can daub in to digital signals in real or near-real time as well as convert those in to practical insights. They translate content as well as selling performance data in to actions that can be taken, subsequent things to try. They know how to tease-out insights.
Snap these 3 group members together as well as you have the super-strong group focused on creativity as well as effectiveness.
The Essential Specialisms
Each organization will have its own list of necessary selling specialisms that go over the core. Marketing leaders must choose which to put in head-count vs. outsource from trusted partners. Here have been the few typical specialisms relevant today:
Digital Media Planning there is the range of specialists inside the media planning world. digital media isnt even likely the single specialism. That being said, someone who understands the performance of sponsored posts, display, native, search as well as media partnerships is key.
SEO Specialist there is the lot of art as well as science with constantly cultivating discoverability.
Social Media Community Managers this remains the vicious function with the unique skill set from traditional marketing.
Email Marketing Specialist - email will continue to be the backbone digital selling channel for the foreseeable future.
Video Marketing someone who understands the complex world of video distribution as well as marketing. These folks answer the question of what do you wish people to do as well as which people have been we talking about.
Video Production whether you have been formulating the 6-part how-to series or the beautiful brand video, these have been folks you most likely wish as part of your outmost network.
Media Optimization who is optimizing your media in real-time?
Public relations - the more narrowly defined 'media relations' is the true specialism.
The Agile Way of Working
We onslaught with the tension between the truism that small teams work better especially in immature disciplines like content selling as well as the need to scale or operationalize. This latter pressure leads us to build departments. The former causes us to wish to establish ways of operative that promote productive collaboration as well as avoid silos of expertise.
Here have been the few ways of operative that allows us all to balance these tensions:
Sit together open-plan group rooms set the stage for daily interaction. Having sat in so most configurations over the years, this feels like the truth during this point.
Analyze insights together if you have been going to be data as well as insights-driven, then you need the forum for sharing those insights as well as deciding how to apply them to your work as the marketer. Discussing research as well as performance metrics together is the fastest way to ingest learnings.
Embrace the experiment be stretchable every day. No one really knows exactly how the swim lanes should be painted or observed. If you can except that we have been experimenting with new group structures as well as processes as well as fine-tuning in real time, then you can be more comfortable with overlapping responsibilities as well as the group (vs. department) ethos.