Can you win big with a small content marketing team?

Many believe that small content marketing teams are at a disadvantage because of their size. Small content marketing team

However, at Write My Site we see things a little differently. Small content marketing teams can be just as effective as large ones. In some cases, they can even prove more successful!

Here, we’ll take a look at what makes a small content marketing team sparkle, and the steps you can take to play with the big dogs.

What do we mean by ‘small content marketing team’?

If you were picking your content marketing dream team, you’d probably have someone dedicated to every area of content marketing. That way, no one would get overloaded and you’d almost certainly fire out top-notch content every time.

Here are the nine core roles your dream team might include:

  1. Marketing Director – Manages budgets, communicates the value of the marketing team’s efforts to management and comes up with the ‘big picture’ ideas
  2. Marketing Manager – Oversees day-to-day operations, works with the Marketing Director to plan content strategy, tactics and implements them
  3. Communications Manager – Manages distribution on internal platforms and external media channels. This role’s focus is on increasing content’s visibility.
  4. Editor – Provides quality assurance after thoroughly checking a piece for accuracy, spelling, grammar, SEO and more
  5. Writer – Creates the text for the content – pretty simple, really!
  6. Designer – Makes everything aesthetically-pleasing and eye-catching, to encourage click-throughs. Should have a strong awareness of CRO.
  7. Developer – Transforms ideas for digital campaigns into reality. Can help with most things, including website changes, coding email campaigns and tracking.
  8. SEO expert – Helps you understand your company’s position online, identifies new opportunities and targets effective keywords
  9. Pay-per-click-specialist – Manages PPC channels, to ensure quality leads and effective use of budget

But, let’s face it, most businesses are unlikely to hire that many people for content marketing. This could be because there’s no room in the budget. However, it’s often the case that a boss won’t justify the expense because they don’t really understand how content marketing works.

So, what happens? The roles are usually merged together, to create a small content marketing team. In our experience, this tends to consist of two to three people.

However, it’s not uncommon for content marketing to be a one-man-band affair. A company may choose to outsource some of the work, but the primary responsibility for content marketing can lie entirely on one individual’s shoulders. Eek! That’s a lot of pressure!

Can a small content marketing team make it?

Absolutely. A small content marketing team can be very effective, if it has its priorities right and stays on top of everything.

It should have a clear content marketing strategy and overall content strategy in place before even thinking about content creation. This should include a precise workflow and a logical system for coming up with ideas, writing, editing, distribution and tracking performance.

(It really helps if someone on your small content marketing team knows a bit about analytics software).

Once everything’s running smoothly and efficiently, it can be much easier for small content marketing teams to create and publish content than an equivalent team in a larger business. This is because the content doesn’t have to go to nine different people for sign off!

Smaller teams are also much more agile; for example, if your editor and overall manager is the same person, you can distribute content after one round of checks – hoorah!

Tips for a small marketing team

So, it is possible for a small content marketing team to win big, you just need to figure out how. Luckily, we have a few tips to help you get started:

1. Build up channel by channel

By approaching content systematically, you can give 100% of your focus to one specific area of content marketing at a time.

Once your process is perfected and you’re delivering great content 24/7, you can start thinking about other areas of content marketing. Keep publishing on that original channel, but now you’ve got some experience, it probably won’t require all of your attention.

We suggest that you should start with your blog. It gives your SEO a boost, can increase brand awareness and establishes authority – so it’s well worth it!

You must create a clear content plan/writing schedule and stick to it. Consistency is key to content marketing success, so don’t skip a week because you get too busy.

Once that’s done, look at other areas, such as:

  • Social media
  • Email campaigns
  • Infographics
  • Guides
  • White papers

2. Focus on content creation, then traction

Creating a bank of high-quality content should be your top priority. It will position your company as a reliable source (both for visitors and Google) as well as build trust, authority and relationships.

You must ensure that all your content is of high quality and valuable to the reader before you start thinking about traction.

We suggest keeping an eye on your rankings and analytics to inform your strategy, but not to take the initial findings as gospel. You need to give your content time to grow and generate results organically.

As time goes on, you’re much more likely to get website hits. So, let your content sit there for a while, before jumping into re-purposing, sharing or publishing on different sites.

*Image courtesy of HubSpot 

3. Set goals for your business

Content marketing is a long-term strategy, so you won’t see immediate results. However, you should make annual goals for your small content marketing team to achieve.

Assess your current performance, then suggest where you want to be in twelve months’ time. Remember, goals must be realistic, specific and measurable through analytics software for them to be effective.

When the end of the year rolls around, you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement and set new goals for the following year. This will give your team something to strive for and all of your content a clear direction. Sounds good, right?

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If your small content marketing team is overwhelmed or ‘stuck’ with a specific area, see if you can outsource some of the workload.

This might include outsourcing to:

  • Writers
  • Designers
  • SEO agencies
  • PPC specialists

For a little extra cash, this can give you the breathing space you need to reassess and bring everyone together. It will also allow your small content marketing team time to focus on the important elements of your strategy.

The most important thing for small content marketing teams to do is to keep going! It can be tough, but you really need to stick at it if you’re going to achieve results. It’s a long game, so hopefully you’re now ready to play!

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