Building the Right Team to Manage the Content Lifecycle

October 2, 2018 Lisa Sharapata

In our previous blog we discussed how content is a living, breathing thing.

And regardless of type, format, channel, or platform, all content moves through a lifecycle. It’s all conceptualized, planned, budgeted, created, managed, distributed, and measured in some way.

But as marketing organizations continue to evolve – so do the skills needed to manage each phase of that content lifecycle.

Configuring a team to support the entire content lifecycle requires three things:

  1. The right structure

  2. A proper mix of talent

  3. An optimized TechStack

The right structure

As a kid I drove my family crazy because I always asked, “why”? Why do I have to go to school? Why can’t I stay up as late as you? Why aren’t there dinosaurs anymore?

Over time, I learned that the answer to my “why” question usually had to do with what has happened in the past or what would happen if I did or didn’t do something. Ultimately, I learned that in an ideal state form follows function.

Form follows function is a principle associated with 20th-century modernist architecture and industrial design which says that the shape of a building or object should primarily relate to its intended function or purpose.

I started to see this concept play out over and over as I got into the real world. For example, if your business goals are to convert every person who comes to your website into a lead, [aka. Classic Marketing] the touches by marketing will decrease as they move down the funnel – and might look something like this below graphic from The Content Marketing Institute.

However, if your business goals are to be a trusted advisor in your space – and attract and build a clearly defined audience to drive profitable customer action [aka. Content Marketing] -- you need to set your team up differently to support incremental growth of your audience, as shown in this next graphic from CMI.

  

The right mix of talent

 

Let’s assume for the sake of simplifying this blog that you want to build a more modern marketing team with a Content Marketing focus. Regardless of your content marketing know-how, your program will only work if you have the right mix of people to implement it.

But how do you ensure you get the right skillsets together? Start with this new framework for content marketers from CMI as you put your team in place.

Also think about using a “T-shaped” or “hybrid” structure as you build out your team skillsets. Check out this eBook for more detailed information.

But you should also consider what problems you’re trying to solve for and create roles based on those needs--after all, form follows function!

For example, my role as Senior Director of Brand Experiences came about because no one was considering the entire experience a prospect was having as they had their first, second, and third interaction with us.

For example, once they became a (gasp!) Sales Accepted Lead (SAL), was the message and information we were sharing early on carried through? And if they became a customer – then what happens? How do we keep growing our relationship with them, and help them become a brand evangelist?  

Robert Rose, Chief Content Adviser for the Content Marketing Institute, talks about new positions such as an “Audience Strategist”. He states, “I really do see the ability to forecast, strategize, assemble, manage, and scale the audience-as-corporate-asset as one of the most important new frontiers for content practitioners.”

The bottom line is that it’s imperative to first determine your goals and objectives, then build your team to achieve them. As long as everyone has the same mindset and fits your team’s culture - you can and should think outside the box to build your team.

The right technology

No matter the configuration, a well-trained in-house content marketing team is a competitive advantage.

But what makes a team exceptional? It is all in how you grow it. In today’s environment people can’t do it alone. You need technology to keep up.

Before you start to consider what technology, consider why—as form follows function. Are you:

  • Struggling to get all your teams on the same page?

  • Getting creative work approved?

  • Spending hours recreating content or searching for images?

  • Having difficultly proving ROI of a campaign?

It could be all of the above.

Do some research and internal evaluations first before implementing any type of technology solution by attending neutral conferences, and read what analyst firms are saying.

Then look at fixing any problems you have behind the scenes first. Check out our eBook for more strategies.

To effectively manage the entire Content Lifecycle, you must remember that form follows function as you seek to create the right team structure, talent and TechStack to enable successful content marketing. Watch our latest webinar on demand to learn more about strategies for creating your content lifecycle team.

About the Author

Lisa Sharapata

Lisa Sharapata is the Senior Director of Brand Experience at Aprimo. For over 20 years she has been helping brands of all sizes transform their image and messaging beyond “features and functions,” as well as identify and discuss true differentiators that have meaning to their audience at every touch point.

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