Content Marketing Team Structure: The Definitive Guide For 2022

Mihael D. Cacic

Published 8 Oct 2021
Updated 8 Oct 2021

Let’s not kid ourselves, sometimes there’s an “I” in “TEAM”. As in “I am the one doing everything by myself”. We’ve been there. Not a very fun place to be.

Maybe that’s exactly why you’re here, too. You’ve been spreading yourself thin trying to level up your company’s content marketing efforts. Or maybe you’ve been getting dirty looks from your gold-star employee because they’re overwhelmed by the vast volume content marketing requires. Or you’re slowly contemplating on only beginning the content marketing route.

Either way, by now you’re fully aware you’re gonna need some new coworkers. A content marketing team of gold-star employees, a well-oiled machine, a best-case scenario. A good team will seamlessly create regular content that will raise your company’s value, leads and sales. Sounds too good to be true, and by all means – it could be, if you’re not willing to put in some serious brain power into carefully structuring your team.

To give you a head start, here’s our DEFINITIVE guide on how to structure a kick-ass content marketing team. No non-sense job positions, just a quick recap of everything (and everyone) you should consider, before investing your time and money into an inoperative team that will just weigh you down.

Skip To Sections:

  1. Essential Team Members Throughout the Content Marketing Process
  2. Building In-House Team vs. Outsourcing to An Agency
  3. Recruiting Content Marketing Team Members in Practice

Before you jump headfirst into hiring team members, consider hiring a freelance content marketing team like 21writers. You’ll get experienced marketers working for you without having to hire or train new employees! I’ve already done that for you 🙂

If you’re interested, shoot me an email at [email protected].

Chapter One:

Content Marketing Team Members

Essential Team Members Throughout the Content Marketing Process

Before we begin, who are the “essential” team members is entirely subjective to your company’s content marketing objectives. Think of these team member positions as of more fluid roles, which may not always be defined by their title. The structure of your team shouldn’t be built on dry job titles, but rather on skill, experience, and talent, useful in each stage of content marketing process. 

As far as our experience goes, at the beginning the workload won’t require as many team members and some will be wearing multiple hats, depending on their skills. However, as the demand is developing further, you may recognize the need even for a few more members. You will see along the way, who might bring some additional value. The worst you can do, is plant content marketing roles to similar players in your company that already have their full-time job. There’s only so many hours in a working day. Just… don’t be that guy. 

So, who are these talented people that will drive your content marketing from A to Success?

Stage 1: Content Strategy & Plan

Let’s start with the big kahunas

The big picture thinkers.

Content Marketing Officer / Chief Content Officer / VP of Content Marketing / Content Strategist

Employee of many job titles, this person in their core, is the leader. They decide where, when and how the process of content marketing will be developing. In alignment with business goals, performance metrics and branding, content marketing officer narrates the central story being portrayed into the public. Their storytelling is supported by a deep understanding of company’s mission – it is the silver line of content marketing. 

Often the role is taken by a C-level or some other higher-level employee from marketing branch. If that’s not an option, we’ve noticed that the role suits perfectly to a content strategist that is willing to tell people what to do. Knowledgeable in their specific branch, they are more than capable of understanding what type of content is needed to serve to the audience, how it should be structured to uplift company’s visibility and how the content should be tweaked based on performance metrics and trends. Count yourself lucky if they are willing to take the responsibility, you’ll get an amazingly competent leader on your side.

✔️ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • deep knowledge of company’s business objectives and branding, audience persona, content marketing process and trends
  • ensuring collective awareness of content marketing direction
  • developing overall content marketing strategy
  • constant communication with other company leaders to support goal orientation with content marketing initiatives
  • establishing budget plan and distributing funds
  • determining risk management system

🦾 TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • content strategy platforms
  • project management software
  • budget planning
  • content management systems 
  • Microsoft Office / Google Docs

❤️ PERSONALITY TRAITS

  • data-driven
  • assertive
  • passionate
  • imaginative
  • gut instinct for opportunities
  • understands people
  • goal oriented
  • good communicator

💲 SALARY: $177,733 per year

Content Marketing Manager

By the side of the captain of this ship, there stands a person with a detailed map, itinerary and a to-do list for every crew member. In content marketing terms, this would be the content marketing manager. 

They take the content marketing strategy and put it to real work – assigning who is doing what, when and where. To ensure everything is executed in expected quality and time, the clearly defined organization of all content marketing assets is vital. 

It takes a special kind of personality to keep tabs on every piece of content produced, but let’s not forget that some of the content marketing assets to be organized are human beings. Apart from mad project management skills, the content manager should have good people skills as well. They should recognize the talent in people, so that someone isn’t doing what they’re simply not good at. 

And sometimes even the most talented ones find themselves in a rut. Team workflow will plummet without the motivator. Accountable for stable volume of creating and publishing content, content manager will make sure everyone is supported in material and motivational manner.

✔️ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • managing and organizing all content marketing assets via editorial calendar
  • ensuring resources and clear direction in content creation and distribution efforts
  • coordination of team members and recognizing the right placements for them
  • defining and appointing tasks
  • overlooking the working process
  • ensuring everyone is on-task and motivating if not

🦾 TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • project and task management software
  • content management systems
  • Microsoft Office / Google Docs

❤️ PERSONALITY TRAITS

  • highly organized
  • talented at coordination
  • great at time management
  • strong communications skills
  • empathetic
  • supportive
  • good at reading people
  • patient

💲 SALARY: $103,131 per year

SEO Expert

Defining content marketing strategy is heavily supported by Search Engine Optimization or simply put – optimizing content the way Google loves it.

SEO expert is one of the tech guys that help direct the content strategy with their data-driven insights. Conducting keyword research, implementing content ideas and technical SEO, tracking SEO metrics indicative of content success, and identifying link-building opportunities will help bring your brand on the first site on Google search. You know that nobody ever is going to the second site. 

Bigger companies’ revenue is blooming from having an in-house SEO expert, for smaller companies, however, it is fiscally smarter to outsource one as an advisor. BUT! If you take our advice in hiring a content strategist to lead your content marketing process, SEO is fully included. 😉

✔️ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • enforcing SEO techniques that will get the content in front of the audience on Google
  • developing on-page, off-page, technical and content SEO strategies
  • demonstrating how to implement SEO techniques to content creators
  • conducting keyword research to lead the strategy
  • informing what creates traffic and leads
  • inspiring creation of trending types of content 
  • keeping track of SEO metrics and reporting key insights 
  • updating old content with SEO tactics 
  • researching and trying plug-ins
  • identifying link-building opportunities

🦾 TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • SEO and SEM
  • HTML, CSS
  • keyword research tools (Ahrefs, SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner, Linkio)
  • SEO management tools (Moz, Cyfe, SpyFu, Google PageSpeed Insights)
  • link-building

❤️ PERSONALITY TRAITS

  • tech-savvy and data-driven
  • logical
  • curious
  • adaptive to changes
  • willing to experiment
  • good at explaining and teaching

💲 SALARY: $55,895 per year

Stage 2: Content Creation

Next, you’ll need fishes somewhat smaller in size but major in significance. They give everybody else in the team something to do. They turn ideas into reality.

Here are the content creators of substance in the content marketing process.

Writers

You’re dabbling into content marketing, meaning you’ll move forward from quick sales pitches to longer form content. Naturally, such content will require different kind of expertise from your content writers. You’ve probably been working with standard copywriters that excel in shorter types of written content – for ads, emails, websites, and social media. They’re great for grabbing attention quickly and communicating key messages that seal the deal. But – now you’ll need significantly more substance. Look out for content writers as they are experienced in building educational, informing and engaging long form content. 

Let your main priority in search of the right writer be the talent. Check out their expertise and experiences based on their portfolios, social media accounts and possible testimonials. Talented writers will get you a good story and tell it the right way. Long form content demands great sense of entertainment to engage the reader from beginning to an end. That sense is based on a natural gift in writing, but built upon strong investigative skills and solid understanding of your target audience. 

You’ll recognize good writing by the spark. The spark that will keep you interested in those portfolios. 

✔️ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • professional deep research of given topic
  • pitching content topics
  • skillful marketing communication with target audience
  • basic knowledge of SEO to support writing with keyword research
  • delivering requested content on time in an expected format

🦾 TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • proficient in English Language (spelling, grammar, style)
  • marketing copywriting expertise
  • Microsoft Office / Google Docs
  • reference management tools
  • project management systems and communication tools
  • grammar, style and spell checker tools
  • basic SEO and keyword knowledge

❤️ PERSONALITY TRAITS

  • powerful storytelling
  • investigative
  • insightful
  • smart
  • entertaining
  • interesting
  • able to take critique 
  • adaptive
  • independent

💲 SALARY: $48,683 per year

Designers

The main players in content creation team might be the writers, but you know raw text turns out a bit dry. A bit boring. That’s where the key support players come in – the designers. Their priority is to create lead magnets to support and strengthen the written word. Long form content, even when it’s written as engaging as earthly possible, can often be quickly skimmed by the readers. We’ve gotten used to getting information we need by the speed of lightning and, well, picture is worth a thousand words. Before your reader gets to the in-depth reading, they will quickly scan if your article includes what they’re interested in. The easiest way of leading their gaze is with images, infographics, charts, videos. Whatever is suitable for the content, your brand’s voice and audience persona.

Before rushing to find “a designer”, define what kind of visual design you’ll be including in the posts. For different channels and formats of visual content, you’ll need different kinds of professionals – photographer, videographer, video editor… If you’re able to afford only one of them, choose a graphic designer skilled enough to deliver a wide array of imagery. Again, rely on their portfolios. 

✔️ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • providing visual content for all content marketing campaigns – graphics, charts, infographics, videos, etc.
  • following contemporary trends in visual communication
  • delivering visual content in a final state
  • adapting creatives to brand’s visual identity 
  • ensuring fast and efficient creation of imagery
  • being proficient in graphic design software and constantly learning

🦾 TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • graphic design software (Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator)
  • HTML and CSS
  • content management systems
  • project management and communication software

❤️ PERSONALITY TRAITS

  • creative
  • imaginative
  • tech-savvy
  • eye for contemporary aesthetic 
  • adaptive
  • able to take critique
  • efficient under pressure
  • good at time management

💲 SALARY: $50,222 per year

Stage 3: Content Review & Improvement

Love them or hate them, here come the perfectionists.

Editor

It would be great if your whole team would be a team of perfectionists, because then you wouldn’t need one head perfectionist to rule them all. But let’s be honest, it’s not in everybody’s blood – which doesn’t mean they are not great at what they do. It’s normal to make mistakes, however, it’s smart to have different set of eyes to catch them. That’s where content editors come in to make sure everything looks perfect before it gets published – their job is to perfect

With extreme attention to detail, content editors will save your brand from embarrassing mistakes that can take away from showcasing your expertise. There is no room for typos, grammatical errors, sloppy storytelling, if you want to present your company in the best light possible. Editor will not only edit the text, they will also perfect everything in visual sense. So that everything looks excellent on the website, they will tweak the layout of the elements in the post, edit the text format to look inviting and overall apply changes on stylistic properties of the site. 

Entrusting so much responsibility should not be taken lightly. When looking for an editor, pick someone highly educated in language and experienced in (content) marketing communication. The role should be entrusted to someone with rich expertise before your costumers start calling you out on the mistakes. You will lose their trust and gain bad rep. 

✔️ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • proof-reading and editing all the content being produced
  • making sure everything is perfect before publishing
  • getting rid of grammatical, style, punctuation errors
  • fixing the visual aspect of content online – formatting, layout, visual flow
  • uploading and updating content online

🦾 TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • rich expertise in English language and marketing communication
  • grammar, style and spell check tools
  • content management systems
  • basic web coding language like HTML or XML
  • Microsoft Office / Google Docs

❤️ PERSONALITY TRAITS

  • natural knack for language
  • excellent writing skills
  • extreme attention to detail
  • perfectionism
  • respective
  • helping
  • willing to educate

💲 SALARY: $59,572 per year

Stage 4: Content Distribution

What is content without these professional hypebeasts? Something only you, and nobody else, would look at.

Distribution Strategist / Demand Generation Specialist / Content Promoter

Once all the strategic, creative and editorial efforts are through, content gets published. And now what? Desperately waiting for your future customers to maybe notice your fresh content? Pointless. Instead of waiting, find someone to professionally hype your content up, so no one will miss it!

Again, a job of many titles – this role essentially employs somebody to distribute content, so it gets in front of the target audience. In order to achieve that, they will have to know the audience in-depth, understand what they are interested to see and where they will be able to see it. Since everybody accumulates on social media right now, that’s where your content promoter will get them. Meaning this person is a pro at leveraging every aspect of main social media platforms. In addition, they will work through other channels as well, to get to the audience unreachable on social media. Yes, those exist. Basically, content promoter could be someone that’s social media expert and email marketer too, all-in-one. The best ones will be communicating with external publications, partnering organizations and influencers on social media, too. Whatever to get your content noticed and get people excited about it.

✔️ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • building awareness of brand, new content and new products
  • distributing and promoting final content via content distribution channels (owned, earned, paid)
  • distribution strategy for marketing campaigns
  • building and maintaining relationships with target audiences
  • building and maintaining business ties with business partners, third-party sites for guest-posting, publications, and influencers
  • finding fresh and trending opportunities for content promotion
  • presenting your brand in the best light on all media channels
  • delivering monthly statistics report representing growth of audience reach through used channels

🦾 TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • digital marketing automation platforms
  • social media business platforms 
  • email automation
  • web metrics analysis (Google Analytics)
  • content management systems

❤️ PERSONALITY TRAITS

  • exceptionally sociable 
  • friendly and effective communicator
  • strong negotiator
  • pleasing personality
  • good at reading people
  • analytical

💲 SALARY: $78,602 per year

Stage 5: Content Success Analysis

To round the content marketing cycle, here are the guys that’ll tell you how much of a great (or not?) job the team has been doing.

Analytics Expert

Ideally, every member of your team should understand the analytics in their own field to execute their responsibilities effectively. However, the truth is that your team will be working on whatever they are talented for, and numbers are just not everybody’s gift at birth. If you do find somebody that will help your whole team base their endeavors on tangible data findings, your road to success will get a bit less bumpy. Once data supports creative ideas, there’s a lot less chance they will flop. 

So, analytics expert should be someone that is able to take any kind of analytics and interpret them in a way that other team members will understand. But first to get some tangible data, they will conduct quantitative analysis from web metrics and qualitative analysis from your actual customers. Providing extremely valuable insights into the effectiveness of efforts your team made, they will be able to advise further direction that your company’s content marketing should take. 

In some companies the analytics expert is usually already there before they start thinking about the content marketing team. In case you already have one of those guys in your company, consider getting some advice from them first.

✔️ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • setting up tracking systems on every platform for measuring effectiveness of campaigns
  • determining tracking methods and ambitions
  • conducting quantitative statistical analysis from measured metrics
  • collecting qualitative data from internal and external sources regarding content
  • employing intelligence software, structuring dashboards for data reports
  • reporting KPIs in an understandable manner 
  • recognizing and fixing technical usability issues

🦾 TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • qualitative and quantitative analysis software
  • web analytics platforms
  • programming languages like SQL, Python, HTML, CSS
  • data visualization

❤️ PERSONALITY TRAITS

  • analytical
  • tech-savvy
  • curious
  • detail-oriented
  • able to convey statistics data in a comprehensible way for any layman

💲 SALARY: $72,798 per year

Chapter Two:

In-House Vs. Agency

Building In-House Team vs. Outsourcing to An Agency

Content marketing has shown itself to be cost-effective, but at what cost? Well, at the cost that you’re paying either to (1) hire an agency or to (2) build your own in-house content team. Two options right there. 

A lot of factors are defining the overall annual investment in content marketing, so comparing costs between the two options is not quite that simple. One or the other could be beneficial for you, but which one is that going to be depends on the size and the strategy objectives of your company. 

Content marketing requires expertise and resources that will take a dive in the budget. Carrying in-house team will be feasible and extremely beneficial for larger companies, however, for start-up or smaller companies that might not be the case. At the least, new full-time employees will need a working space, hardware and software equipment and salaries with benefits. They will give their full working day worth of content marketing efforts back to the company, which is of great value if your strategy requires high production volume. 

At the pure beginning of implementing content marketing, the production will not be as demanding, though. Meaning you won’t need a whole team right away, so you should check out the offerings of content marketing agencies. They’ll have experienced and skilled team members on hand and you will not be responsible for their office space, tools or benefits. Of course, your company’s content marketing will not be their only priority – there’s only so much time they can provide. But, working with many other players in the industry gives them competitive advantage and inside scoop that your in-house employees might miss.

To help your final decision, we’ve summed up the pros and cons of both – in-house team and outsourcing to an agency.

IN-HOUSE

✔️ PROS

  • full-time invested in your content marketing projects
  • emergencies and updates executed on short notice 
  • complete understanding of company’s objectives, voice, approaches and expectations

❌ CONS

  • having to provide physical working space, office equipment, software 
  • requires time and money to recruit, interview and onboard new hires
  • access to most talented employees is limited on office location proximity

💰 COSTS

$53,886 / month*

(+ recruitment costs + benefits + office costs + equipment + software)

*for a full team of mentioned roles

AGENCY

✔️ PROS

  • highly experienced professionals on hand 
  • having inside scoop from working with other industry players
  • staying on top of trending tactics
  • access to the newest technologies
  • access to a larger pool of skilled professionals around the world

❌ CONS

  • working with other clients – you are not the only priority
  • slower response on emergencies
  • not every agency is experienced in your niche, takes time to find the right one

💰 COSTS

$1,000 – $25,000 / month*

*depending on requirements – type, volume and quality of content

There’s also a third option: a mixed approach.

You get someone to create a strategy or write the content for you while you take care of what’s left. Which isn’t much 🙂

If you’re interested in getting help, click here to learn more about my content marketing consultant services.

Chapter Three:

Recruiting

Recruiting Content Marketing Team Members in Practice

Hunting for the best candidates can be a dread. The hunt itself is cost- and time-consuming, imagine how much worse it is if the catch is bad. We’ve shown you what you should look for in candidates, but where would you even begin? 

Say no more! 😀

Here are 5 practical tips to help you start building your content marketing team.

  1. Know exactly who you’re looking for. If you read this article, you’re already on the right track. We’ve condensed the characteristics of every essential content team member, now it’s on you to consider, who would be essential for your business purposes right now. In-depth research of job position descriptions will help you set budget and expectations for each new hire. Look out for extensive articles like this one to gain the most insight into the job positions.
  2. Get a word out you’re looking for new employees. As simple as it sounds – put it on the company’s bulletin board, social media, website, create targeted ads… Let the talent come to you.
  3. Check out the job marketplaces. That’s where people looking for a job accumulate, obviously. Job search websites, LinkedIn and freelancer marketplaces are crawling with people that would love a full-time or even just a one-time gig.
  4. Look for the hungry. Chances are somebody has already been in your business emails or DMs, extremely willing to show what they got. Or one of your employees knows someone that knows someone eager. Maybe take a student to practice under your wing. Talent might be just under your nose. 
  5. Prepare insightful interview questions. Once you’ve brought together a group of perfect on-paper candidates, you’ll have to sift through them one last time. Interview them thoroughly about their knowledge and experience, so you don’t get burned.

Don’t want to deal with the hassle of hiring a whole content marketing team? 

Don’t have the resources to build, onboard, and support all of them right now?

The least we can do is to get you started with the professionally built content strategy and then also create top-notch long-form content for you. 

Okay, that’s not the least. Our free 30-minute consulting is the least – really, you’re missing out on a great offer here. Don’t be shy, slide into our business email at [email protected] and we’ll see what we can help you with.

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