It’s been 3 years working in this industry and this question still perplexes me. It’s not the answer so much. As a matter of fact, the answer is pretty straightforward. It’s the existence of this question that needs some diagnosis.
Like many puzzles, the key to reach an effective solution to this one is understanding the basics and asking the right questions.
The most important fact to be fully acquainted with is –
Content Marketing is not same as Content Writing. Content Writing is one part of Content Marketing.
Content Marketing is a vast subject that involves listening, strategizing, writing, editing, proofreading, optimising, designing and distributing valuable and relevant content consistently, with focus towards a well-defined purpose and a selected audience.
With so many verbs involved, it’s clear that there are as many, if not more, roles involved in content marketing.
Starting with Content Officer (the one who defines content mission, purpose and target audience) to Content Listener (the one who listens to audience’s interests and tastes) to Content Writer (the one who writes the content) to Content Designer (the one who visualises the content for different platforms) to Content Optimiser (the one who makes the content platform sensitive and search engine discoverable) to Content Distributor (the one who is responsible for publishing the content on all relevant platforms) , everyone has various responsibilities to take care of.
In case you missed, content marketing thrives on the practice of consistency.
The roles, indeed, can overlap and in most cases do overlap, especially in case of new ventures or small businesses. However, it is quite clear that content marketing needs a well-built team.
The real question is how soon can you hire a full-time person/team for content marketing. This again depends on a lot of factors including – brand’s vision, marketing budget and brand’s readiness.
In a CMO survey from Gartner, more than 70% of respondents agreed they could demonstrate, with metrics, how content marketing had increased audience engagement and their number of leads.
The role of content marketing in a brand’s success is evident and inevitable. However, a lot of times, instead of hiring, companies/brands simply allocate existing resources to this function. This calls for a cost-benefit analysis from hiring perspective.
- What is the effort estimate of your existing team working on content marketing? In case, you are responsible for doing it all on your own, dedicate a number to your time.
- What is the opportunity cost (what else could your existing team be doing if not content marketing and how much revenue will it be generating)?
- How much a new team or a new hiree would cost for 3/6/9/12 months?
- What is the total cost estimated for content marketing purpose?
- How soon and how much can content marketing lead to business?
The last question is rather rhetorical in the beginning. It’s impractical to put any number to it. But with estimated figures to all other questions, you will be able to get some clarity on the hiring decision.