The perfect content marketing team

The Perfect Content Marketing Team: Shrink + Journo + Geek!

What makes the perfect content marketing team? For many companies  – and event planners – content marketing ranks pretty high on the agenda. Content marketing is the new SEO, they say. But how should a team be composed to excel at content marketing? 

There was hardly a booth at the recent German eCommerce shows without references to content marketing. The new conference ContentWorld, staged by Management Forum of the Handelsblatt Publishing Group recently in Frankfurt, confirmed these impressions: It doesn’t matter if you’re an online shop, a sports club (interesting contribution by FC Barcelona Communications Director at ContentWorld), a brand or a trade show / conference organizer – you have to rely on informative, useful and entertaining content if you want to make it to the relevant set of your target groups.

Not just event planners are asking themselves how they should manage all this on top of their daily routines. There is a simple answer to this:

There will be no more daily routines without visibility in the online world!

Not only big brands like Coca Cola or Audi put their eggs in the content marketing basket. Just recently, Frankfurt Book Fair have expanded online reach and sparked enthusiasm with content-driven activities. On Instagram alone, you’ll find more than 6.100 pics tagged #fbm15. By launching FBM Countdown (running on RebelMouse), Frankfurt Book Fair have whetted the appetite of their audiences long before the opening of show gates.

That is a topic for one of the upcoming blog posts, though…

Let’s get back to our topic: Who should be part of the perfect content marketing team? Unfortunately, we won’t find a jack of all trades, so we have to come up with different solutions.

It seems to me there are three core competencies needed to succeed in online marketing. Big question is: Will you find all this in one person…?


The perfect content marketing team: The shrink

There is no content marketing without personas, no successful content strategy without a clear picture of what your audiences value.

Lukas Kircher, a German content marketing expert, came up with the interesting example of an insurance company at ContentWorld. Through focus groups, they found out what the five most important questions of their user were, related to their products. The results were pretty different from what the company assumed in the first place. Consequently, those questions became the center of the content strategy.

At this point, you need the shrink! On purpose, I am not asking for a market researcher, because you’re not just interested in current preferences, you need to sense what your customer will need in the future. It is all about empathy, about proximity to clients and target groups.


The perfect content marketing team: The journo

Interestingly, FC Barcelona employs a journalist as Global Director of Communications: Albert Montagut Martínez. Not everyone appreciated his session at ContentWorld, though (maybe slightly too many football videos…), but for me, there was one important learning: Journalists have a different approach towards stories than marketing guys.

FC Barcelona Communications Director at ContentWorld
Worldwide brand recognition: FC Barcelona

Journalists can see a story, while marketing guys still don’t have a clue. His message was: You need journalists and marketing guys in order to succeed in content marketing. That said, he showed a picture of the football boots of Neymar, Messi and Suárez. While his marketing colleagues were still shaking their heads, he saw the story behind that picture – and the thousands of shares and likes that the picture generated.

See what I mean…? A journalist’s way of storytelling is one of the core competencies for successful content marketing.


The perfect content marketing team: The geek!

Walking about Dmexco in Cologne, your head is buzzing. Can you really measure everything today?

Is it at all possible that the famous Henry Ford quote no longer holds true “I know at least half of my advertising budget works, I just don’t know which half”?

Well, possibly, taking into account conversion optimization, programmatic advertising, a/b testing, marketing automation and personalization based on usage patterns. It is an essential skill for content marketers to have a good grasp of those opportunities and to know how to navigate the data jungle.

You can no longer hide, saying no one would really know what the effects of content marketing would be. Online marketing CAN be measured. The geeks on your team are there to analyze unemotionally what results an activity has achieved – and to iterate as long as the desired output is there.

Shrink / Journo / Geek: You find all that in just one person?

Good question. I am not so sure. Especially when your content marketing is done half-heartedly by interns. No hard feelings towards interns, but there is this strategic role that content plays for companies that requires a deeper look into the optimum team structure.

There is hope, though. Some really seem to have it all, knowingly or unknowingly. One of them is Horst Lüning, The Whisky Store, who was one of the speakers at NEOCOM 2015. In this interview, he speaks about how to get more than 15 Mn Channel-Views on YouTube and sell Whisky by this (German language).

I had a similar impression of the German YouTube and Instagram Stars Bodykiss and DyedBlondPony. A former colleague of mine said after they were interviewed at ContentWorld „Those two guys know more about online marketing than all news publishers together.“

Authenticity is key, paired with proximity to your target group and the necessary tricks of the trade for each network.

In conclusion: The nice thing about content marketing is that the combination of psychological, journalistic and geeky skills will lead to success. None of the three is dispensable, they are closely tied to each other. 

It would be pretty deplorable, in fact, if only the geeks would decide about success or failure of marketing efforts, right?

When you’re based in Germany, let me recommend two workshops that I hold in Cologne and Stuttgart soon. They are focussed on content marketing for events, trade shows and conferences.

The workshops are tailored to the needs of event managers, project managers, PR and marketing managers that want to sell more tickets by implementing a content marketing strategy.

Please find more information and the registration link here:

26. November 2015, Köln

8. Dezember 2015, Esslingen bei Stuttgart

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