How To Build a Content Marketing Team

You recognize the need for quality content, and you’ve made a firm commitment to create, distribute and otherwise manage your content efforts in-house; now all you must do is staff appropriately.  But what does that mean?

Content Strategy is More than Just Writing

The answer to that question depends on:

  • your existing staff
  • your content expectations
  • your budget

But if your goal is to cultivate a solid content marketing team, then there are a few key roles that you’ll need to fill.  

Before we begin, let’s address a common myth that can bring your content aspirations crashing to the ground: you don’t need a content marketing team, you just need to add a quality copywriter on staff.  Wrong.

Honestly, there are probably some companies out there that squeak by employing a single writer to manage the entirety of their content marketing efforts. Unfortunately, those efforts are likely for not.  

The primary reason for failure, in this case, is because a content strategy is about far more than writing. Yes, a content writer is an essential piece of the puzzle, but quality writing skills don’t translate to analytic prowess, editorial mastery, or project management expertise.  All those competencies, however, are required for fruitful content creation and distribution.

How To Build a Content Marketing Team (Who and Why?)-more than just writing

Content creation, like other marketing efforts, is an elaborate and often complicated web of creation and distribution, one that requires the brains of several qualified employees. If you’re going to do it, then you need to do it right; otherwise, you’ll lose market share and leave dollars on that dreaded table. Want to shape the best content development team you can?  Try to find someone to fulfill each of these roles.

Content Creators

Though these individuals are often at the “bottom” of the hierarchy, their work is far from important.  Great writers produce great content. The same is true for the designers that will work on image-based content and content presentation.

Writer: Sometimes referred to as a copywriter, the right one will create unique and engaging content that gives a voice to your brand. They are often, but not always, classically trained, and bring to the table the skills and tools to turn abstract messages into concrete content. They are the verbal painters responsible for bridging the gap between your product and your customer’s needs.

As you interview writers, be sure to always get a sample of their work – preferably a portfolio – and make sure that they can produce content that fits the voice of your company. Good writers are flexible and can write in various voices, and it’s important that you find one that produces work that models the voice, values, and culture of your brand. It also helps if they have experience writing within your industry or a related field, though a great writer knows the importance of research and can typically adapt to the needs of most industries.  

How To Build a Content Marketing Team (Who and Why?)- writer and designer

Designer: Content isn’t solely about the words on the page. It’s also about how those words are presented.  Further, a good content strategy also incorporates various types of content, extending past articles and blog posts and bringing in infographics or video.

A good designer should have experience in major software programs, like the Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.), PowerPoint, and other video and design tools. They also should be familiar with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

You may already have a designer, or several, on staff.  If you plan on incorporating them into your content marketing strategy, then before that they can manage the new tasks in addition to those for which they’re already responsible.


You may be thinking, “If I have a quality writer, why do I need an editor?” I’m going to get painfully real here: writers can’t/shouldn’t edit their own work.  It’s a deep-rooted truth that infinitely annoys each of us, particularly when we run across a piece written years ago and find some embarrassingly obvious error.

It’s not that we’re careless, or at least most of us aren’t. We’re simply too close to the finished product and often lack the objectivity to spot lapses in messaging that an editor may be able to pick up on immediately.  It’s the same logic that governs the relationship between journalists and their editors. You need an extra set of eyes.

How To Build a Content Marketing Team (Who and Why?)-editors

A good editor is intimately familiar with your brand message and committed to making sure each and every piece, be it a video, blog post, or marketing brochure, hits the mark. To do that, they review each piece of content to identify voice inconsistencies, weak messaging, or gaps in delivery. That’s a job that becomes increasingly difficult when you work with several different writers or designers to create content.  

In addition, your editor can act as a project manager, overseeing deadlines, maintaining content calendars, and keeping designers and writers on track.  They’re so integral to the process that companies with robust content distribution plans often hire more than one editor to manage the job.

If the content creators are the patches of a finely crafted quilt, then editors are the thread that keeps everything in place to create a single, unified, cozy piece.


The writers and editors are integral to executing your content strategy, but when it comes to planning, it takes the diligent work of a content strategist.  A content strategist will be your planner in chief, using a mix of analytics, best practices, industry standards, and your company goals and values to create a converting strategy. It’s worth noting at this point that many employers leverage their strategist as a managing editor or the one who oversees all the editors and writers.

Obviously, your chief planner should be well versed in content writing, but the perfect candidate will also have general marketing skills and experience.  Because a successful content strategy includes various channels, the right content strategist will maintain a fundamental understanding of SEO, SEM, and Social Media, at a minimum.

How To Build a Content Marketing Team (Who and Why?)- strategist

In addition, because performance metrics play a pivotal role in crafting a plan and determining success, a content strategist should also have a working knowledge of reporting tools like Google Analytics as well as how to understand and manipulate those numbers to gain valuable insights.  

Ultimately, your strategist is the employee that embodies what is sometimes considered opposing forces – numbers, and words.  They need to have an intuitive understanding of what consumers or clients want and the ability to cultivate those desires through a mix of data analysis content creation.

Concluding Thoughts

Content will continue to play a vital role in your overall marketing strategy, not just as an isolated piece but as the binding force that will bring all channels together.  As such, a well-cultivated content marketing team is one that includes employees with different yet vital skills and talents. Though the structure of a team may differ from company to company, successful teams include talented writers, thoughtful and detail-oriented editors, and copy-minded analysts with a flair for all things marketing.

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