How to Define Roles in Content Creation and Marketing

If you’re reviewing your content team roster as part of your departmental “spring cleaning,” you’re not alone. Defining content marketing roles is essential for successful content operations and governance.

Until the blogosphere went mainstream, many larger companies turned over most of their marketing activities to an ad agency. However, as they began to see how effective sharing value through informative content was on attracting and retaining customers, they started to consider hiring in-house content teams, an agency specializing in content marketing, or a team of freelancers.

But now, with content marketing taking on even a more critical role in today’s data-driven marketing environment, it pays to review your content roles regularly to see if you need to add a team member or better align each role’s responsibilities.

Use these content marketing role guidelines to determine the best way to organize your content marketing team according to their roles and your brand’s content strategy.

At the Top: The Chief Content Officer

chief content officer

Back in the Mad Men days, the top dog in the creative side of an agency or in-house marketing department would have been the creative director. However, in today’s world, there’s a lot more than creativity that goes into content production.

From the data that drive strategic decisions to SEO and everything in between, the chief content officer must have a solid grasp of the whole picture. For that reason, your content team needs someone with roots in both the technical and creative sides of content creation.

Unless your business is a content marketing agency, the chief content officer (some companies call this role the “director of content marketing”) isn’t usually a C-suite role, as Content Marketing Institute’s Robert Rose points out.

However, it should be, in our opinion – given how critical content marketing is for today’s leading brands. In the last two years, we’ve seen top brands toppled from the top spots in search results by upstart companies with content leadership that aligns strategy, data, and creative power to publish outstanding content relevant to their audiences.

The content chief must facilitate content collaboration at every level, coordinating SEO, analytics, creative, and subject matter expert teams to produce top-quality content and amplify its reach. And, they need to align your content with your company’s enterprise-wide goals, generating revenue and reaching new markets.

The Director of Content Strategy

Translating your content director’s overall goals into a cohesive governance strategy, the director of content strategy researches your target market, putting them into human form with customer personas. Then, they design content experiences that both delight your target audience and reach them where they’re at, both online and off.

Coordinating the entire content workflow from ideation to publication, the strategic point person needs to create a seamless flow throughout the process, constantly auditing and tweaking content assets to improve their relevancy and reach. With expertise in both SEO and user experience, this person takes responsibility for your day-to-day content management.

The Managing Editor

Starting with brand and style guidelines that put your company’s goals into concrete form, the managing editor works closely with content creators to polish content and ensure that every piece published is of the topmost quality.

Secondly, the managing editor works closely with your legal and compliance teams to ensure that your content adheres to not only brand guidelines but also to industry best standards and government regulations.

The Creative Director

With the advent of video and podcast content, the creative director’s workload requires that whoever fulfills this role needs to have a broad range of expertise that spans not only written copy, photography, and graphic design but also the more dynamic forms of creative work.

To ensure excellence in both sight and sound, the creative director will supervise and coordinate all the cross-team collaboration that needs to take place to turn raw data into captivating brand stories. For example, to produce a video, you need a storyboard, a script, a videographer, and an artistic director who can set up each scene for more effective visuals.

That goes for practically every piece of content your team puts out. Even a blog post requires coordination between your design and writing teams. The creative director sets the vision and supervises the various teams to deliver top-quality content that reaches your audience’s hearts and minds.

The Communications Manager

Identifying your target audience is one thing. Engaging them in conversations is essential to building the kind of trust that turns them into customers – and ultimately, brand ambassadors. The communications manager’s role today goes beyond that of a social media manager, engaging prospects in conversations through email and AI-driven chat scripts as well.

Coordinating with your sales and customer support teams, the communications manager’s role also includes anticipating pre-sale objections and post-sale issues, as the Search Engine Journal’s Amanda DiSilvestro advises (She calls this role the “community manager”).

Content Technology Manager

Today’s content production demands a wealth of technology to support all the processes involved in creation, publication, promotion, and analysis.

It pays to have a go-to person with a solid grasp of both technology and content marketing to develop and troubleshoot your content analytics software, content asset management system, editorial calendar, predictive analytics, or any other technologies your teams regularly use.

Director of SEO

Even though most of your content creators have a good grasp of on-page SEO, there’s a need for a consistent approach to getting your content to the top of your target audience’s searches. Your SEO director puts that approach into action by contributing SEO requirements to creative briefs.

And, on-page SEO is only one aspect of this ever-evolving specialty. Technical SEO, as Forbes’ Karan Sharma points out, is just as critical to content success.

Using backend elements such as metadata and tags effectively, as well as having a well-organized sitemap, makes it easier for search engines to categorize and “understand” your content. Your SEO director delegates tasks to the rest of the team to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

SEO best practices don’t stop at search engines, though. Getting these elements right also enhances your audience’s on-page experience, making it more likely that they’ll read all the way through your content and share it with their colleagues and friends. Having someone who can coordinate both the creative and technical aspects of SEO is essential to maximizing your content’s impact.

Content Creators

Your creative teams, like your content leadership, have expanded their reach since the glory days of advertising in mid-century Madison Avenue. Today’s teams still include content writers, photographers, and designers, but now often encompass videographers, sound engineers, podcast hosts, and, if you’re a global company, translators.

podcast host

Many larger companies include freelancers or contract workers among their creative teams. Others outsource all – or at least part – of their content creation to a content marketing agency. Doing so helps them save money on the benefits and salaries they’d need to pay in-house teams.

Editorial Teams

It always pays to have an extra pair of eyes or ears to go over a piece of content before you go to publication. Editors do more than revise grammatical errors and typos.

They also check that content adheres to the brand and style guidelines your managing editor set forth and make sure that no cringeworthy content embarrasses your company. Remember, the internet is forever. Make sure that your first impression is a good one.

Support Staff

The larger your team, the more you’ll need a support staff to take care of repetitive tasks so that your creative and editorial teams can concentrate on what they do best.

Your support staff can arrange collaboration sessions with your creatives and subject matter experts, upload content for publication, resize images, and send out reminders to creatives and editors about deadlines and other time-sensitive issues.

Content Analytics Teams

Some larger companies employ data analysts and data scientists to analyze how well your content performs with its target audience.

However, with a content marketing platform that incorporates an easy-to-understand analytics component, you might not need these brainiacs. With data-savvy content leadership, your teams can easily interpret the results, identify poorly performing content, and revise it to better achieve your goals.

DivvyHQ’s content platform provides a robust analytics solution among its other benefits. And, it facilitates collaboration among all your teams to reduce redundancy and streamline your content workflow from ideation to publication and everything in between.

Even better news – you can try it free with no obligation for 14 days. Start your free trial today!