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9 Signs It's Time to Grow Your Content Team

 

Growing traffic can be a bittersweet experience when you’re first starting out in content marketing. On one hand, you’re thrilled to see your posts gaining traction as incoming traffic and engagement climbs. On the other hand, your growing audience demands frequent content updates and they expect you to deliver good material.

You might be able to manage the content by yourself initially, or with the help of an in-house employee or freelancer. At some point though, that increase in traffic means your team and your content strategy are going to have to “grow up.”New Call-to-action

Fail to grow your content team and you could find yourself among the 57% of marketers who are struggling to consistently produce content. A lack of resources and slow output can limit the top of the funnel content and make it a lot more difficult to properly nurture leads -- let alone attract them. 

Is your team experiencing growing pain? Do you think it might be time to add another set of hands ... or maybe even a few? Check out the nine warning signs below to determine if it's time to make a change, as well as actionable tips to alleviate strain on your team if you do decide you're not quite ready.

9 Signs It's Time to Grow Your Content Team

1) Deadlines are looming (or rushing by).

An editorial calendar is supposed to make it easier for you to track everything going through the pipeline. It helps you stay on top of topic areas and ensure that content is published on a regular basis.

But if you find yourself faced with constantly looming deadlines, or worse, missed deadlines, then you might have a problem on your hands.

While some people work well under pressure, feeling it constantly can create a need to just get things done as soon as possible -- leaving little time for polishing. And drop in content quality is not going to do you any favors.

What You Can Do Right Now:

2) Editing is eating up all of your time.

The magical combination of a great writer and an experienced editor is content marketing gold. Quality posts can be written quickly with minimal editing and a good editor can glance through and add the finishing touches to a well-written piece in a fairly short timespan.

But if content is written in a hurry with little to no in-depth research and hordes of grammatical and spelling errors, then editing can turn into a lengthy process that steals you away from other important business matters you need to focus on. This is especially true when you hire one or more new writers: there’s always an adjustment period as they learn your specific style guide and find their groove.

What You Can Do Right Now:

3) Research leaves little room for production.

To build credibility, a lot of your content will require you to collect authoritative data, conduct quality research, and provide proper citations. There are no shortcuts here: It can sometimes take hours just to research and produce a single post.

If the time you spend researching starts cutting into other projects and little time is left for actually writing the content, then you have to take action right away. When this happens, some marketers scale back production or let time slip by without getting content published, but don’t fall into that trap.

When you start skimping on research, you start skimping on quality, so don't take this one lightly.

What You Can Do Right Now:

  • Diversify your content to fill schedule gaps. A quick video might be easier for you to publish than a 2,000 word blog post (just don’t skimp on value).
  • Expand your pool of writers to more than just one. Hire enough writers to maintain consistency and quality in your editorial calendar.

4) Quality is slipping.

I mentioned this in the above warning sign, and I'll mention it again: Quality is key. If you have a team of one or more writers and the quality of their content is starting to slip, then you need to evaluate your production process.

Are your writers getting enough down time? Are projects being managed well? Are projects being assigned to the right team member based on their expertise and skills?

What You Can Do Right Now:

  • Acquire a project management system to streamline the production process.
  • Stagger project schedules for your writers to give them more downtime and promote better work/life balance.
  • Change topic assignments if possible to give writers more variety.
  • Hire a project manager skilled in content marketing to better handle and manage projects.

5) You’re falling short on engagement.

Content marketing involves so much more than just publishing content. In most cases, your audience wants to engage in the comments, or on social, or via email, too. 

If you’re not responding, then your engagement levels might take a hit -- readers often want to see that you’re actually paying attention to them.

What You Can Do Right Now:

  • Schedule at least 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon/evening to respond to comments.
  • Hire a social/community manager to handle your engagement across the channels you use for promotion and branding. 
  • Issue a survey that asks your audience for their feedback directly to prove that you do value their opinion. 

6) You have a poor promotion plan.

One critical aspect of your content marketing strategy is the promotion of your content across a variety of channels. Although there are many useful tools to help you distribute content online, content promotion is still a time-consuming effort for each piece of content you publish.

What You Can Do Right Now:

  • Use social publishing tools (like HubSpot) to streamline promotional efforts.
  • Use a process management tool such as inMotion, TallyFy or Process Street.
  • Use these free social media image templates to create more engaging post promotions on the fly.
  • Hire a virtual assistant to handle content promotion for you.
  • Delegate content promotion to a dedicated project/content manager.

7) You're constantly dealing with inconsistent posts and missed opportunities.

If you suffer from irregular posting habits, regularly miss out on great content ideas, or leave trending topics out of your content marketing strategy, then it’s time to reevaluate your approach. Perhaps you don’t have the time to dedicate to strategy and planning right now, or your current strategy is stagnating and you don’t know where to go from here.

What You Can Do Right Now:

8) You're lacking content diversity.

If you limit the types of content you produce, then you also limit your potential engagement. Your audience may have different preferences when it comes to consuming content: Some prefer to read articles while others might prefer visuals, video, or audio.

Diversity is important in content marketing, and you should reanalyze your audience research to figure out what other types of content might work best for your audience.

What You Can Do Right Now:

  • Hire a contract designer or video specialist to test out custom images and video.
  • Use an online tool like Canva to easily add more engaging images to your content. 
  • Check out HubSpot's 386+ free content creation templates to simplify your process.
  • Hire a freelance designer to repurpose older content into new material, like an infographic or SlideShare. 

9) You're missing out on conversions.

Poor conversion rates are caused by a variety of factors, from minor design flaws to poorly worded or missing calls-to-action. A lack of steady conversions can also be a result of content that isn’t mapped appropriately to your sales funnel or the buyer’s journey. Rather than guessing how you can improve conversions, you may want to consider expanding your team by adding an expert on conversion rate optimization (CRO).

What You Can Do Right Now:

  • Don’t just create content for the top of the funnel (acquisition). Adding lead nurturing content to the mix to provide vitiors with a next step can make all the difference.
  • Hire a CRO specialist to help you map content to buyer intent and your sales funnel.
  • A/B test content offers to see what your audience prefers.
  • Leverage heatmap software like Hotjar to get a better read on your website visitors' behavior.

Are You Ready to Expand?

When you’re ramping up your content marketing efforts, it’s important to continually reassess the function and performance of your team as often as you monitor and evaluate your metrics. Set benchmarks or triggers that let you know early on where bottlenecks might form in your content creation and promotion.

Be proactive in the expansion of your content team to stay on top of your workload and avoid problems that might arise if you wait too long to hire experienced writers and editors to help you.

Have you run into any of these problems as you expanded your content marketing efforts? How did you address them? Share your tips with me in the comments below.

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