One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make is to hire someone as part of its content team without considering whether that person is equipped to execute within the company’s larger marketing strategy.
But looking elsewhere for the right creative and strategic talent can be a real challenge. Do you hire a team of marketers and hope they double-majored in communications and English? Do you hire writers who don’t know much about lead generation but built impressive journalism careers?
If you’re running a multifaceted team with specialized parts, here’s what to look for.
Avoid the temptation of plucking a marketer from his department and forcing him to write. There are plenty of budding and seasoned journalists willing to produce bylines for brands. The ideal writer will have experience in reporting and data-driven storytelling, and be able to complete high-quality projects under tight deadlines.
The ideal brand editor has great storytelling instinct, demonstrates a keen understanding of the brand’s audience, and knows how to use content to help the brand reach its overall goals.
“Like all good editors, brand editors know that brands have to give their audiences content worth consuming. What’s more, they have to have the spine and the latitude to provide a balance against the marketing team’s urge to push products. That’s a fine line to walk, but if they don’t, a brand’s content efforts will be over before they start.”
Editors can potentially work as freelancers if your company isn’t ready yet for a full-time hire.
Multimedia creators within brands come from diverse backgrounds.
“The transition from public television to corporate isn’t necessarily obvious; The fact that we are all here is … partly because we have freedom in terms of how we do things creatively.”
Content strategists need strong communication skills to handle the frequently conflicting demands of editorial and marketing leaders.
“The role of the content strategist is to be bilingual; They can’t be too editorial or they won’t be able to have conversations with the people who control the budget. At the same time, they have to understand the levers that impact a piece of content and how to measure and optimize the success of the editorial calendar.”
Strategists must also be able to perform an audit of the entire content system, using a wide range of SEO, content analysis, and social media tools. This includes a competitive analysis and distillation of market trends.