Staffing Up: Who’s Going to Run Your Content Factory?

April 2, 2013

If you think building a content factory is as simple as hiring a writer to crank out a series of articles or eBooks, you’ve got another thing coming.

content factoryThe truth is that it takes a diverse team of talented professionals to produce the kind of high-quality content that will help drive your business forward.
Admittedly, that’s not exactly what resource-constrained CEOs want to hear. After all, adding a bunch of new employees to your payroll is almost always going to be a tough sell. The good news, however, is that you don’t actually have to hire a big team. Most expansion-stage companies can get by with just one or two full-time employees, provided they are able to leverage a network of freelancers and other vendors.
So let’s take a look at what roles you need to fill to create a successful content factory, which ones you absolutely have to have on staff, and which ones can be outsourced (which will ultimately save you time and money).
Just like every sports team needs a coach, every content factory needs a managing editor. This is the one role you absolutely need to have in-house as this person is responsible for coordinating everything else. A managing editor will execute against your editorial calendar, oversee all of your content creation and distribution efforts, and manage all of the other resources it takes to do so. Essentially, his or her job is to make sure that all of the trains run on time. In companies that have more advanced content marketing programs, you may find a more senior version of this role called a director of content strategy.
Once you have a managing editor / director of content strategy in place, the additional team members you will need generally fall into three main buckets:

Editorial Team Members — These are essentially your content creators, i.e., the writers, editors, and proofreaders who will help you produce and ensure the quality of all of your content. Sometimes you may find that it makes sense to have a writer in-house, particularly in cases where you’re creating content that requires a lot of institutional or technical knowledge. In most cases, however, you can outsource all of these (at least on some level) to freelancers.

Creative Team Members — When it comes to content marketing, the written word can only take you so far. You also need graphic designers, videographers, Web designers, and others to bring your words to life in the form of visually compelling infographics, eBooks, videos, and landing pages. These types of roles are ideal for outsourcing because you likely won’t need any one of them full time.

Distribution Team Members Lastly, you are going to need someone who can help you get your content out to your target audience. This might be a social media specialist who is in charge of pushing your content out through social channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+, or it could be a marketing coordinator who gets your content up on content sharing sites such as SlideShare or Scribd. While these roles work best when they are brought in house, they can sometimes be filled (at least in part) by savvy interns, which makes them a budget-friendly options.

The bottom line is that building and operating a content factory is a big undertaking that can’t be done by just one person. However, that doesn’t mean you need to hire a huge staff. A good managing editor can augment your content factory team with one or two key hires and by leveraging freelance resources to meet you company’s editorial and creative needs. Doing so will allow you to create a wide array of compelling content without blowing your budget.

Content Marketing Director

<strong>Kevin Cain</strong> is the Content Marketing Director for <a href="">BlueChip Communication</a>, Australia's leading financial services communication firm. Before joining BlueChip, Kevin was the Director of Content Strategy for OpenView.