Developing, executing, and measuring a content marketing plan can be difficult under the best of circumstances. But when you’re not adequately staffed, even the most well-conceived content marketing plan can struggle.
That’s why it’s so crucial to have the right roles outlined and fulfilled by the people who can execute them the best. We’ve identified eight personalities that can strengthen your team. As you learn more about them, you might notice that many possess the same qualifications -- things like an ability to meet deadlines, good interpersonal skills, and task-specific marketing knowledge.
Check out more about these personalities below -- they’ll help bring your content strategy to fruition.
8 Personalities to Look for When Assembling a Content Team
1) The Taskmaster
This person is your project manager -- the one responsible for the successful execution of your projects and campaigns. While creative, the taskmaster should also be proactive and action-oriented. After all, this person is your closer, or as we like to say around here, the overseer of getting stuff done.
The importance of well-executed project management is especially clear when comparing high-performing companies to low-performing ones. According to the Project Management Institute, in a workplace culture that emphasizes project management, 71% of projects actually meet their original goals. Compare that to the 51% of projects in non-project-management cultures, and it’s clear -- companies that prioritize project management do better -- period.
The taskmaster has a lot on his or her plate -- things like budgets and being able to identify and prevent possible issues. But there’s technology out there that can benefit the taskmasters of the world, like the Projects app in your HubSpot software.
2) The Wordsmith
Not only does this person write well, but he or she is agile enough to do so in different voices and tones, based on your content topics and personas. In other words, the wordsmith brings your ideas to life through language. Plus, this person is able to create compelling work quickly -- like the rest of the team, he or she should be deadline-driven enough to keep deliverables on track.
The wordsmith should be well-versed in the goals and audience of the content -- that’s what’s going to help him or her make it engaging. In many ways, this person is a translator who’s able to convert abstract ideas into tangible composition. And being able to work independently, as well as part of a team, is essential here, as the wordsmith must understand the ideas being communicated by his or her colleagues, and work with it autonomously.
3) The Grammar Geek
While the wordsmith gives the content life, the grammar geek is an editor makes your brand look smart. He or she holds brand values high and serves as the champion for consistency and quality across all channels.
The grammar geek has a passion for language -- preferably, the one in which your content is being published. But he or she also understands how to write specifically for the format of what you’re producing. Digital content, for example, sometimes takes on a different voice than print, so make sure this person is fluent in both.
And make sure this person works well with your wordsmith -- chances are, they’ll have to share a back-and-forth to get a polished finished result.
4) The Artist
The strongest content teams have someone who can turns ideas and data into beautiful visuals. The artist supports your content marketing efforts by designing images, infographics, logos, and collateral -- online and print -- that adhere to brand style guidelines.
Make sure this person will thrive in a client-facing role, too -- he or she will likely have to communicate with multiple parties and be able to understand their respective visions.
5) The Growth Hacker
Of course, it’s always good to have a master of numbers and data on your team. How else can you accurately measure and analyze the ROI of your content marketing? This person love metrics, A/B testing, and proving that ROI. In fact, it's possible your growth hacker has a t-shirt with Peter Drucker’s famous management quote, "What gets measured, gets managed.”
The growth hacker should be more than just a data hound, though. This person truly understands what Peter Drucker meant when he wrote, “Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources, but only effectiveness converts them into results.”
Your growth hacker helps reveal what's effective. That, in turn, shows the team how to funnel its time and talents into the right actions to produce the right results. That requires an ability to develop, execute and report on a comprehensive content strategy -- on that both attracts potential customers and retains existing ones. Plus, this person should be able to collaborate with sales and operations, because you’ll need their help to meet objectives.
6) The Social Butterfly
Your social butterfly is in charge of content distribution, promotion, and amplification. They have an affinity for social media and branding and enjoy interacting with people online.
Like the rest of your content team, the social butterfly must understand the goals of the project and the audience -- that’s necessary in order to effectively communicate on social media. This person should be generally skilled in content distribution and promotion, and know how to engage influencers to drive interest around the brand and build customer loyalty. And it doesn’t hurt if this person knows how to manage paid promotions and campaigns on such social networks as Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and Snapchat.
7) The Risk-Taker
Every content team needs someone who challenges colleagues to try something new. Your group needs this dreamer to come up with the occasional crazy idea — because it might just work after all -- and, you won’t know if you don’t try.
This individual's unique perspective keeps your content approach from getting stale, or lost in any project chaos. And while the risk-taker role is a scary one for some teams to embrace, there’s evidence that taking risks can be beneficial -- when done with caution.
But maybe that fear comes from a desire to emulate other brand leaders; if the big guys are doing it "this way," we should, too. Or, a team may be afraid of looking dumb or silly. If you find yourself a little uncertain about the risk-taker role, ask yourself, “What content have I seen that's really stood out to me lately? Was it the same-old-same-old, or was it something different, edgy or new?”
Obviously, your risk-taker should have a big-picture mindset, and a sense of adventure. This person shouldn’t be too preoccupied with what other people think, either. But remember: He or she must know how to take a calculated risk.
8) The Rule-Follower
To keep the risk-taker (and everyone else) in check, make sure you fill the role of rule-player. This person ensures that your content follows industry best practices. If you’re in a regulated industry, this role becomes even more important -- violate any codes of conduct, and your content marketing efforts might get your company into hot water.
This rule-following team member is someone who executes on the finer, more mundane parts of the strategy. Though unsexy to some, the details are important, and they need to be thoroughly ironed out before your content goes live.
To that end, the rule-follower has a meticulous and methodical personality, with the ability to ask critical questions. And believe it or not, there are some who find joy in the execution, so to speak, and not just the strategizing -- this person should have that quality.
Make It a Combo
So what happens if you can’t have a team this large? Not every company has the capacity for an eight-person content team. That’s okay -- combinations are possible, and some are more important than others.
Make sure you have one risk-taker and one rule-follower. The risk-taker can come up with all the outta-this-world ideas, and the rule-follower can reel them back to earth. One becomes the yin to the other’s yang.
However, your taskmaster and growth hacker can be combined. Both are usually super-organized and meticulous; they like numbers, project management tools, and spreadsheets, and it’s fairly easy to find these traits in the same person.
You cannot combine your wordsmith and your grammar geek. Everybody needs an editor, right? Or as Ann Handley wrote, “Editors are not optional. Period.” And while wordsmiths can make great editors, it’s always challenging to review your own work -- that’s why they call it a “second set of eyes.”
But, you can combine your social butterfly with your wordsmith. Creative types have a natural affinity for promotion, and your wordsmith should be able to compose the right kind of copy for your social networks.
Most content marketers are familiar with the pain of trying to do too much with too few resources. The usual result? We end up doing little to none of it well. Having these personalities on your team will help you produce better, more consistent content that your audience will want to click, read, and share.
How have you made the most of your content team? Let us know about your top content personalities in the comments.
Originally published Oct 28, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017