For the last several years it’s been said that content is king. But the truth is it’s not that simple. The days when content strategy boiled down to indiscriminately sharing content, regardless of its quality, usefulness, or appeal, have long since passed. Purposeful, useful, well-produced content, which solves problems, answers questions, and reaches a target audience, in other words, helpful content is king. First and foremast a content marketing team should focus on being helpful.

Where to Start

Target Audience

The place to start isn’t hiring personnel or creating job descriptions – it’s knowing what you want to achieve. Before developing a strategy or hiring staff you must know the end game. And that begins by identifying who you want to reach, and then what you want them to do. For example, if your business is a residential HVAC provider, your target audience could be people who own homes 15 years old or older. The bottom line is you want these homeowners to remember you when they need service, repair, or replacement.

Strategy

The next step is to strategize how to reach your target audience. What problems do they have? What interests do they have in common, and how can they be reached? Using the HVAC example, problems could include maintenance and repair of heating and cooling units. If a furnace goes out in the middle of winter here in central Indiana – that’s a problem. But it could also be understanding how and when to inspect units. The plan could include content that isn’t directly about the product. For example, homeowners of 15-year-old homes might be interested in decorating, gardening, and remodeling.

At TKO our primary target audience is fleet owners, managers, and marketers. We put out a lot of content about vehicle graphics, such as this eBook, The Fleet Manager’s Guide to Vehicle Graphics. However, we also share content that isn’t about our product, yet should appeal to our audience.

Personnel

If you research building a content marketing team you’ll find post after post listing a dozen or so roles you’ll need to fill to develop a content marketing team, from VP of marketing to interns. However, if you’re like us, you don’t have the resources to hire ten people to build a team, and unless you’re a multinational conglomerate, you probably don’t need a ten-member team.

At TKO our marketing team has never been more than four people. Since we began content marketing in 2010, the personnel have changed, and the talents team members brought with them changed as well. For example, eight years ago we used a three-person copy editing team whereas today it’s one – me. However, I do use Grammarly and Yoast to assist me.

Another example is video. In 2010 we used 12 Stars Media to edit our videos. Later a member joined our team who had a background in video editing, here’s an example of his work, How much do vehicle graphics cost? Another time we had a professional photographer on our team, and yet another time a web developer. My point is our marketing team has been great at recognizing the talents of our members, utilizing them, and outsourcing what we were not good at.

It’s what has worked for us, and we’ve surpassed 150, 000 views on our YouTube channel and have more than 300,000 visits to our primary blog (we have two others) in the last three years.

The key to developing a great marketing team is to fit your plan to the talents of your team not the other way around, Fit Your Game Plan to Your Team.

Media

This is a tough one. Do you need to be on eight social media networks? Probably not. Should you publish copy, video, photos, and graphics? Probably. Do you need to blog, create case studies, and publish eBooks? Blog yes, case studies probably, and eBooks maybe. Keep in mind you want to reach your target audience so, first you need to determine where they are.

A bank asked for my advice on reaching the millennial generation. The bank had a two-person marketing team, and both had other responsibilities as well. The only social media network they were on was Facebook, and they wondered if they should be there or elsewhere. I advised them that unless they were ready to outsource SM to stick with Facebook. At the time, 87 % of their target audience used Facebook daily. The next step was to learn what they consumed. The top three topics were news, travel, and finances. We also discovered that the demographic wanted to see corporate responsibility – businesses giving back to the community.

I suggested they share any charitable action or event they were involved with, offer financial help and advice if it was compliant, and have some fun sharing about travel.

The Bottom Line

Here’s the bottom line, know what you want, who you want to reach, what they are looking for, and where they can be found. Use the talents of your team, be flexible, and don’t be afraid to outsource or use tools to assist your marketing team.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also find this interesting, Building a 21st Century in-house Marketing Team.

If you’d like to learn more about content creation, try this book, How to stay ahead of your business blog forever.

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