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The Anatomy of a Corporate Content Team: 5 Models Your Brand Can Follow

anatomy_of_the_corporate_content_team_5_modelsEvery organization is in the media business now, which means there’s a growing number of corporations that are building out full-blown newsrooms.By producing original journalism, these organizations establish themselves as industry thought leaders, supplement income with an advertising revenue stream, and get discovered by the people who will eventually become customers.

Brand journalism isn’t just restricted to established content powerhouses like Cisco, Intel, and Microsoft. Organizations large and small are doing their best to figure out how to create content at scale.

One simple indicator of that trend is the growing number of corporate content teams that have adopted HubSpot’s Content Optimization System -- nearly 7,000 teams now -- to create, optimize, distribute, measure, and manage all of their web content. The brands that aren’t yet producing journalism of their own are most likely thinking about how to join in on this content game … before their competitors do.

Regardless of how new to publishing your organization is, though, there’s one common puzzle every organization has to solve: How in the heck you’re going to build and structure the team of writers, designers, editors, and producers who will make your corporate content engine run.

To help solve that puzzle, we dissected five common corporate content team structures so you can identify which model makes the most sense for your organization now and as it evolves. If you’re curious how other organizations are churning out content that arguably competes with mainstream media, or if you simply need some inspiration, this post is for you.

5 Common Corporate Content Team Models

You can flip through the brief SlideShare presentation, or check out the basic summary below for a quick run-down.

1) The Traditional Newspaper Model

Architecturally, the traditional newspaper model resembles a pyramid with reporters forming the foundation of content creation that’s approved by select section and managing editors before publishing. The reporters specialize in different beats to write stories on a variety of different topics, and the result is a one-stop-shop for thought leadership and industry news.

2) The New Media Content Model

Most online publications have borrowed their editorial structure from magazine publishing. A small editorial staff -- including a handful of staff writers and multimedia producers -- sits at the center, orbited by a constellation of freelancers, guest contributors, and special correspondents.

3) The Aggregation Model

Aggregation is another method of content “creation.” Rather than contributors pitching ideas and editors assigning stories, writers curate and redistribute content published elsewhere. Aggregation allows organizations that lack the resources for original reporting to comprehensively cover a subject, and the value for the reader is that they get all their news in one place rather than having to search and discover each story individually.

4) The Agency Model

When your organization doesn’t have the time, money, or skills on hand to keep a content engine going, it’s not uncommon to solicit help from a marketing agency. Agencies can help in numerous ways: from strategic direction, to one-off content projects, to ongoing blogging or social media editorial management. Sometimes a partnership with an agency is the only way to accomplish the marketing goals your company has established.

5) The Small Team Model

Most startups and small businesses don’t have the luxury of building out a robust content team quite yet, but that doesn't mean they can’t do content marketing. By fostering a culture that encourages and rewards employees for wearing a part-time content creation “hat” on top of their regular job responsibilities, you can tap into individual employees’ expertise, and employees can find additional purpose, fulfillment, and variety in their role.

Keep in Mind: There is No One Size Fits All

You’ll likely end up with a model that combines elements of all five corporate content team models. Your team structure may evolve over time as your goals change and your team grows, too. The HubSpot content team, for example, started out most similar to The Small Team Model, but now most closely resembles The New Media Model with occasional use of The Agency Model.

Don’t fret if you don’t think your company fits into one of the five molds. We merely aim to help you figure out how other companies are structuring their teams so you can cherry-pick the elements of each that will work best for your organization. What model does your team use, or which one are you most likely to adopt?

Now that you have an idea of how you might structure your team, grab a copy of our free guide on How to Create a Content Machine to get you and your team running smoothly -- especially if you’re starting out using The Small Team Model.

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