Today, content is the core of every marketing strategy, which means that having a reliable team of writers is critical to your success (and your sanity). It can take a long time to build a trusted content team that is consistent, flexible, and knowledgeable, but a solid group of writers is an essential investment. As you navigate the constantly changing world of digital marketing, here are six tips to keep in mind for hiring and managing a fantastic content team.
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Start by tapping your network. If you’re building a content team from scratch, start by thinking about content creators you’ve worked with before. Some of the best come by referral, and good marketers know talent. Don’t be afraid to ask your network.
Verify skills. When I first began hiring content writers, I gave too much credence to CVs, resumes, and writing samples. More than a few times, I was disappointed by actual performance. Sometimes, the writers I hired seemed unable to produce content as good as their samples, proving that behind every good writer is a great editor. While I still look at portfolios, I test out writers with a small, custom assignment to find out how they perform with a deadline or specific topic.
Be prepared for growth. It’s important to have a consistent, core team of talented writers and editors you work with every day. Sometimes, however, BFO’s work on specialized content or the rapid expansion of a successful content project creates the need for more writers on a short deadline. Keep a pre-qualified extended team in your arsenal so you don’t have to hire in panic mode. Having a backup team allows you to ramp up without missing a beat.
There’s a place for perfectionists. Part of managing a content team is making certain that you have a good fit between skills and roles. A perfectionist who writes too slowly to work out as a writer may turn out to be the best content editor you’ve ever worked with. A thorough editor allows you to have two sets of eyes on every piece of content you produce, ensuring consistent quality.
Give clear content briefs. Getting the most from your team requires clear, concise communication. Share with your writer the brand voice, editorial guide, and content strategy, including the purpose and target audience for the piece they’re writing. BFO has a process in place to ensure that writers get clear instructions and timely feedback. We especially like to use Teamwork to help keep our content projects flowing smoothly.
Remote doesn’t mean distant. It’s rare to have all your writers in one city. Having remote workers is the norm, but that doesn’t mean they’re distant. We use Zoom video conferencing, Slack, and Teamwork to stay in touch and manage projects together. We have a Facebook group just for our writers, giving us a place to share creative ideas, inspiring content, and personal happenings.
Building a content team from scratch can be a daunting task, especially considering the impact that good writers can have on your marketing strategy. It requires smart recruiting, clear briefs, and putting the perfectionists to work on the right tasks. In the end, using these tips to develop a team that’s talented and reliable can mean adding a vital asset to your marketing repertoire.
If you’re not sure where to get started or resources and time make content marketing a challenge for you and your organization, send us a message. Our skilled content experts help many companies create and execute content marketing plans.
In the meantime, check out our eBook, Blogging for Business!