Knowledge content really is a fantastic way to show your company’s best sides and convert visitors to leads and customers. Every company is full of hidden knowledge, and if you as a marketer can reveal it and bring it to your audience, the company’s perceived levels of trust and expertise will go through the roof.
However, producing great knowledge content isn’t easy. It requires input and work from experts, writers and content coordinators, as well as continuous reviewing and rounds of feedback. In other words, it’s a team effort.
The way you run your knowledge content creation process is just as important as how your write the content. At Zooma, we’ve been producing knowledge content for a while, and over time we’ve built a content team with well-defined roles that allows for a consistent output of high-quality knowledge content. In this article, I’ll explain why you should have a content team and what the team should look like – in the second part, I’ll dive deeper into the actual content creation process the team follows.
Why you should have a content team
The purpose of the content team is to make the process of creating knowledge content easier. Knowledge content is probably the most important type of content you can use in your communication, but it’s also the hardest to do well. As opposed to commercial content, like a sales brochure, or educational content, like a how-to guide, knowledge content focuses on conveying the knowledge and expertise that exists in your company. It not only helps your audience rationally understand the strengths of your products and solutions, but also makes your company appear as an authoritative and trustworthy expert partner.
The difficult part is that this knowledge is hard to uncover. Your company may have some great marketers, but they’re generally not experts in the details of your products and solutions. In order to create knowledge content, marketing and these experts need to collaborate, which requires time and buy-in from both sides and their managers. Knowledge content can really increase your audience’s trust, but this trust can be lost if the finished content is poor-quality – so you need to review the content carefully. And to get the best effect, you need to be publishing the content consistently and distributing it widely. It’s hard for a single person to do all of this well – but with a content team, you can split up the work and become a well-oiled knowledge content-creating machine.
What your organisation needs first
Even if you take the initiative and set up a content team, it can still fail due to circumstances outside of your control. It’s always good to simply start working on new ideas rather than spending too much time in the planning phase, but for your content team to reach its full potential, you need:
Content creation and knowledge content to be valued and priortised by your company at large.
Buy-in and an understanding of why you are taking this approach from management.
Getting to this stage is the hardest part of the whole process – but if you have this in place (or if you’re nearly there), the rest of the journey will be easier.
The content board – an essential group
The content board is separated from your core content creation team, but it’s still a vital part of the process. The board is a group made up of a number of people from different parts of the company – like sales, marketing, R&D, service, management and so on. Their purpose is to give direction to the content manager and discuss how the company’s content can support the business and meet the needs of customers and prospects. You may have great content creators, but they probably won’t know too much about industry trends, new products and changing customer demands. Regular content board meetings, possibly once a month, are a great way for the core content team to get input and feedback and ensure that they’re providing value for the company.
Who should be in your content team
Now we can look at the different individuals who will make up your content team. Before we do, it’s important to note that these roles within the team aren’t necessarily job titles – for a lot of companies, it’s simply not realistic to employ multiple people who can work full-time with content creation, especially not in the B2B world. Instead, these are descriptions of roles for different people within the content team – it’s likely that their actual positions at the company may be something else.
The content manager – The content manager’s role isn’t necessarily creating content, although they may do from time to time. Instead, they work with the more administrative side. Examples of their typical tasks are content editing, scheduling and publishing finished articles, promoting them externally and internally, and planning future articles and the general direction of the content. The content manager is the content team’s link to the content board, as well as to the company’s experts and other departments.
The content creator – The content creator creates content based on feedback and direction from the content manager. They’re also responsible for interviewing experts and ghostwriting articles for them. The content creator deals with less co-ordinating, organising and planning than the content manager, but they should still have a wide set of skills – aside from being a good writer, your content will benefit if they can also shoot and edit pictures and video, research keywords and optimise content for search.
The content board members – The members of the content board don’t need to be content experts, but they should have an understanding of what the process is and what benefits it can bring. It’s also important they understand the philosophy behind the process and the importance of focusing on the customer. Members of the content board could be from marketing, but they should also come from sales, product development, upper management, and so on.
Once you have assembled your team, it’s then just a case of creating content together. The content board gives direction to the content manager, who directs the work of the content creators, who work together with the experts to create content, which is later edited by the content manager… it may seem complex, but it’s quite simple, and its tight structure really helps you consistently create high-quality content.
We’ll discuss the content creation process that your content team should follow in part 2. In the meantime, you can get more knowledge and guidance on content creation with our in-depth content creation guide.
The guide is also available as a downloadable presentation - click the button below to get it.