Ok, so you’ve developed a product or service that your audience cannot live without. You’ve conducted your customer surveys, spent time analyzing the data, and have a better understanding of your customer behaviors and the journey they’re on.
You’re now almost ready to put your growth marketing initiative into motion and there are some critical needs you must plan for. One aspect that requires special attention as you are setting up a growth marketing framework in your company, is the digital content team who will be visually representing and running your experiments.
Need help building your content team?
Just what is a digital content team?
A digital content team is a group of creative professionals that should be dedicated to a growth marketing strategy. The group’s mindset is different, the workflows are different and the pace of production is faster than that of traditional creative teams. While there are many definitions for a content team, in this context it’s a team that develops ideation, creation, distribution, analysis, and optimization of information and experiences directed towards an audience of one or of many target personas.
Where to begin when establishing a digital content team?
First start with hiring a Content Strategist. This person is part strategic marketing thinker, part creative operational minded, part behavioral insights and media data analyst and all entrepreneur. The Content Strategist will help you decide the purpose behind your content, the content types you should (and shouldn’t) produce and who you need on your content team.
While the responsibilities of this role may vary, the Content Strategist will ultimately help you figure out how to achieve your marketing objectives (and if needed, help you develop those objectives). While the main idea of this is to start with a small first step, it is most important to simply begin with an initiative. Building any team is an experiment, much like the ones you’ll be running with your content, so accept this fact as well as a healthy level of uncertainty and start looking for that Content Strategist who can bring a vision to life.
Next up, are the Content Creators. The best Content Creators are those who enjoy experimentation, tolerate failure and are skilled at delivering quick iterations of a creative tactic. These team members are likely to hold hybrid roles, and while this practice is prevalent in digital content teams, be careful to ensure you’re not combining too many roles into one. Yes, we all engage in variety of activities and tasks in our day to day, but make sure you’re setting your creators up for success by not combining more than four roles into their scope.
Keep in mind that before you make a hiring decision as to who should be on your team, you will need to understand what types of content and channels will work best for your marketing goals and target personas. While it is possible to evolve parts of your current in-house creative team into a digital content team to deliver the rapid experimental deliverables, remember that these content team members will need to learn to work differently, think differently, and follow different processes than a traditional creative agency that works off of complete creative briefs and not experiments.
Where should your digital content team live?
That said, the digital content team can live within the greater umbrella of an in-house agency. Due to the analytical and iterative nature of the work, however, they most likely should be their own vertical, following workflows specific to their delivery methods and requirements. Lastly, the content needs to be served and displayed somewhere. While this function may not fit within the digital content team, it is important to partner the content team with a media team who also understands experimentation and can dedicate themselves to this way of thinking, partnering and delivery.
What are some best practices associated with a digital content team?
There are some best practices to put in place when establishing your digital content team. As noted, it’s important to keep in mind that the process and deliverables of a digital content team are different than how traditional creative executional teams operate as well as the tactics they produce and that will impact how the digital content team and its processes are designed.
- A digital content team should be a dedicated team. The mindset is different from a traditional agency content team and the speed that content needs to be produced is quicker, resulting in the recommendation of a dedicated team (it’s inefficient and counterproductive to keep pulling people off projects to create urgently needed experiments).
- Develop personas before hiring content creators. Teams should first understand who they are creating content for and how they interact with content. Once you have a holistic view of the persona and their behaviors, you’ll then know what type of content creators to hire.
- The media team and digital content team should be aligned and in discussions further upstream than in traditional marketing relationships.
- The digital content team should be included in data analysis discussions so they can better understand the effect the creative had on the audience, which will better inform their future creative development.
- Creative data analysis should be explained as a story to best convey the findings.
- Successful rapid experimentation deliverables and results rely on solid communication and partnership practices between Product Development, Business Intelligence, Marketing and Creative teams.
It should be clear from this post that there is a lot to consider when standing up a digital content team. Immerse yourself in articles around growth marketing, explore content teams producing micro-interactions, sign up for webinars around these topics and talk to anyone who has started this journey. You get to decide how simple or complex this journey will be. But above all, stay relevant and start the journey.