Healthcare marketing teams are asked to do more with less these days. You’re battling all the well-worn woes: there is never enough time, your lean team is understaffed, competing priorities sap your productivity and a flat budget leaves you deflated. There may even be a hint of burnout in the air. How can you build a productive content marketing team in these circumstances?
First, it helps to know where you’re going. What does a content team do? According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” The hope is that by providing your audience with valuable information, they will want to do business with you.
Here are some tips to help you build a small-yet-effective content team.
Create value, not just noise
We surveyed our clients and asked, “What do you see as the biggest marketing challenge facing your team in 2022?” The same theme bubbled to the top: doing more with less. The “less” refers to limited staff, time and budget. But maybe it’s time to examine the request to “do more.”
It’s easy to give in to the endless call for more content. But there’s a fine line between delivering content on a consistent basis and creating a chaotic cacophony. Is your content adding value or just noise? Because it sure is loud out there. Every day, Facebook users alone post over one billion stories, and WordPress blogs create around 70 million posts each month.
The flood of content has prompted some organizations to embrace slow content. It’s favoring the homemade meal over fast food. It advocates for quality over quantity – and proposes positive marketing results. Your goal shifts from simply stuffing a content calendar to developing thoughtful pieces designed to make lasting impressions on your audience.
Think outside the role
Do you need a dedicated writer? What about an editor? Project manager? Specialists for social media, blog and email? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Your content team structure will depend on your business needs, budget and team design. And many content marketing teams might not have the luxury of dedicated team members for each function. So, think about skills over roles. What does your team need to do?
- Lead content strategy. Someone needs to set the vision for content strategy and make sure it aligns with your business goals. This is often done by a Chief Content Officer, content director, content manager, marketing director or marketing manager – but the title isn’t important. Start with strategy.
- Plan and create content. People from many different areas can help create content. You might have full-time employees or hire outside help to create articles, videos, graphics, photographs and audio. Get creative by reaching out to subject matter experts that might make good contributors. You might also have an employee who has developed photography skills on their own and is interested in bringing their talent to the job.
- Edit content. Editors are essential. They maintain high standards, catch errors and ensure content fits your brand and voice. Implementing an editing process adds professional polish and removes obstacles, so your audience doesn’t stumble through your content.
- Distribute and promote content. Someone has to hit send. Depending on your content channels (per your content marketing strategy), that someone could post on social media, publish to your blog or send an email. You’ll also want to promote your content using best practices on each platform. It’s not enough to just put content out there; you must position it in the right way, so the right audience sees it in the right place at the right time.
- Have conversations with your audience. Many digital channels provide opportunities for two-way conversations. If you’re putting content out, respect your audience by embracing the conversation. Someone should respond to comments, monitor feedback and engage with your online community.
- Interpret data and analytics. To know if your content is achieving its goal, you need to track how it performs. But data on its own isn’t very helpful. You need someone who can analyze and interpret the results so the team can turn them into meaningful action. Are your topics interesting to your audience? Are they being published at optimal times? Does your audience want to engage with your content? Do they take the desired action after interacting with your content?
Channel your creativity
Once you’ve mapped out the skills and functions your content team needs, be creative with the roles. You may not have a dedicated role for each function, and each team member might not be a part of your immediate team. Consider some creative ways to build your content marketing team, such as:
- Solicit volunteers with marketing experience
- Hire interns with an interest in a marketing career
- Look at the other skills of current employees (like a photography hobby or past career in writing)
- Reskill or upskill your employees
- Partner with parallel teams that provide a skill you need
- Hire resources as needed from companies like WriterGirl
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Consider WriterGirl as an extension of your content team
WriterGirl provides custom content that fits your strategy and budget. The WriterGirl team can become a seamless extension of your own and fill in the content gaps.
Ron Shaull has worked with WriterGirl to expand his team’s capacity. As the former senior director of content strategy for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Ron partnered with WriterGirl for various projects, including launching a new website. “They become an extension of your staff, really. We were in constant contact with them.”
While he had a team of writers on staff, the website project demanded more. “When you’ve got a staff that’s already fully committed to clients and existing work in the organization, you just can’t take on such a large project,” recalled Ron. “WriterGirl helped us strategize the website content. They took entire sections of the site, wrote and developed them.”
But WriterGirl can do more than just relieve the workload burden; we bring expertise to make your projects go smoothly. “What was great about working with WriterGirl was they had already done other website projects. They had templates that were great for us to follow.”
Ron’s advice on doing more with less can be summed up in one word: “brand, brand, brand.” He emphasized that his team didn’t chase every story or hop on each trend. “We’re an academic medical center. We believe in evidence-based medicine; we do research; we educate. We stayed true to our brand and who we are.”
Are you building a content team? Contact us to talk about your unique needs—we’re ready to join your team.