Ann Handley on the 2 Must-Have Content Marketing Roles

3 minute read

Upland Admin

How many content marketers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Well, if by “lightbulb” you mean “a fully functioning content marketing machine that results in revenue driving online content,” there are some discrepancies among answers.

Some believe you need a dedicated staff of people with “content” in their titles. Others work with consultants and freelancers. Still others turn to internal staff to be contributors to the content plan. With all of these options, the answer could be anywhere between one and ten people.

Here at Kapost, we have eight people who’s primary role is content marketing—but not all organizations are in a position to support that large of a team.

In an effort to know more about the state of the content marketing industry, we turned to the best and interviewed content expert, Ann Handley.

Ann’s expertise is rooted in years of content marketing development, writing, and leadership. She’s recognized as one the most influential woman in social media by Forbes and co-authored the best-selling book, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. 

She’s also a professional speaker, and will be the keynote at the Content.NYC event on June 19. (Beef up your marketing chops, and register to attend.)

When I asked Ann for her take on putting a content team together, her pointers were some of the most concrete and actionable I’ve heard. Here’s what she said.

First: Think Roles, Not People

ann handley on content marketing roles

Content marketing can be a notoriously complex operation with a lot of manual tasks for each stage of production. But each job or task in creating content doesn’t need a separate employee.

There are roles that need to be filled in a content operation, not head counts, Ann tells us. One person can wear several hats and get the job done.

Next: Hire Your Team’s Backbone

But we all know, getting the right people for the job is the difference between chaos and revenue.

84% of companies say hiring for content marketing positions is difficult or somewhat difficult.

And few companies can afford to hire six people at once.

Don’t worry, Ann advises, you only need to identify people to fill two key roles: the strategist and the doer. 

  • THE STRATEGIST is the person responsible for the vision. This includes identifying key business objectives, major themes, and the content campaigns or pillars your content will focus on.
  • THE DOER is the person who actually produces the content. This could be a writer, videographer, graphic designer, or analyst depending on your company’s size and needs.

Together you have one person holding the vision and strategy, and one person or multiple people executing the plan. You also have the foundation to support a killer content marketing operation.

So How Many Content Marketers Does It Take?

Realistically the answer is: two. As your content efforts increase and your company sees revenue and sales pipelines grow as a result, you can look to bring on more people, or find budget to hire more freelancers.

Learn More

Discover more of Ann Handley’s advice on content marketing firsthand at the content.NYC event on June 19. Content experts from Traackr, ReadyTalk, Cloudwords, Original9 Media, and Kapost will be there, too. Ann will be given the keynote address. Don’t miss this informative, free opportunity to learn how to get content marketing efforts off the ground and drive money into your organization’s pockets.

And check out Ann’s new book, to be released this September:

Everybody Writes (Wiley) Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

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