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The Ultimate Content Strategist
Playbook No. 3: 

Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program
2
Staffing and Launching 

Your Content Marketing Program
z
—Joe Lazauskas, Contently Editor-in-Chief
3
Webinar Agenda
z
1. How to craft your brand's voice
2. How to determine your content marketing mission statement
3. How ...
4
In February 2015, Contently's
flagship publication 

The Content Strategist (TCS)
broke the 200,000 reader mark for
the fi...
5
• Quantity: We published content with a steady cadence, 

so our returns grew quickly.
• Quality: We promised to create ...
6
“The first step is you have to say that you can.”
—Will Smith
Step 1: 

Crafting a Brand Voice
7
8
• Think about your brand voice more as a person, not as a company.
• The personality of your company should be a priorit...
9
Exercise: Who is your brand?
z
Are you:
• The gadget freak who snagged an iPhone 6 a week before they went
on sale?
• Th...
10
Contently's interpretation 

of other brand personalities:
z
The smart, inquisitive, clever science nerd 

who blows yo...
Step 2: Creating Your
Mission Statement
11
12
• Creating a mission statement is one of the most difficult yet enjoyable
stages of the content marketing journey.
• You...
13
“[Content is] part of our DNA. We believe in sharing and being transparent
in putting out there the things that we've l...
14
“Here we are. We're 130 years old. We were founded by Thomas Edison,
and guess what? We are still working on really har...
15
Brand Voice: 

Have a personality
Mission Statement: 

Include our passion and goals
What am I going to create???
Step 3: Identifying Story
Types and Topics
16
17
Contently Example: Our Story Types
z
• QUICK HITTER: 250–500 words to introduce breaking news, research, or a cool
visu...
18
• VIDEO: A story up to five minutes long about storytelling, including interviews
with thought leaders and/or brief news...
19
Tips for Better Story 

Types and Topics
z
1. Try a little bit of everything out—your audience is fickle.
2. Prioritize ...
20
Brand Voice: 

Have a personality
Mission Statement: 

Include our passion and goals
What am I going to create???

Dive...
Step 4: Building an
Editorial Calendar
21
22
z
An editorial calendar will give you a clear picture of what types of
stories you'll publish on a daily basis and who ...
23
Make sure you are tagging and tracking
the important details!
z
• Author
• Due date
• Publish date
• Intended audience
...
24
Brand Voice: 

Have a personality
Mission Statement: 

Include our passion and goals
What am I going to create???

Dive...
Step 5: Staffing Your
Content Team
25
26
z
The idea of staffing a content team and building a “brand
newsroom" is enough to give some marketers a panic attack.
B...
27
Best Practice: 

The Hybrid Content Team
z
Most successful brand publishers take a hybrid approach to their content
mar...
28
Contently's Hybrid Newsroom
z
29
Coca-Cola Journey uses a small core team of internal editors and
designers, complementing that through Contently with a...
30
Brand Voice: 

Have a personality
Mission Statement: 

Include our passion and goals
What am I going to create???

Dive...
Step 6: Creating an
Approval Workflow
31
32
Key questions to ask 

with approval workflows:
z
Whose job is it to generate story ideas?
• Who turns those story ideas...
33
Tips for streamlining your 

publishing infrastructure
z
Place only ONE key stakeholder in charge of final decisions to ...
34
“In the beginning, it was a difficult practice for me to learn. I didn't know
who these people were and how to get the c...
35
Staffing, launching, and coordinating a content marketing machine is hard
work, and it's a process that takes time to pe...
36
1. Craft a brand voice.
2. Determine your content marketing mission statement.
3. Identify your story types and require...
Want more insights into the state of content marketing?
For daily tips and trends, subscribe to our online magazine,

The ...
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How to Staff and Launch Your Content Marketing Program

The necessary steps to execute a content marketing program, developed from best practices learned from our own experiences as publishers and the work we’ve done launching the content marketing efforts of hundreds of companies around the globe:

1. Crafting a brand voice and content marketing mission statement.
2. Identifying your story types and requirements.
3. Building an editorial calendar.
4. Staffing your content team.
5. Creating an approval workflow.

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How to Staff and Launch Your Content Marketing Program

  1. 1. The Ultimate Content Strategist Playbook No. 3: 
 Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program
  2. 2. 2 Staffing and Launching 
 Your Content Marketing Program z —Joe Lazauskas, Contently Editor-in-Chief
  3. 3. 3 Webinar Agenda z 1. How to craft your brand's voice 2. How to determine your content marketing mission statement 3. How to identify your story types and requirements 4. How to build an editorial calendar with accountability 
 and consistency 5. How to think about staffing your content team 6. How to design approval workflows that newsrooms would envy
  4. 4. 4 In February 2015, Contently's flagship publication 
 The Content Strategist (TCS) broke the 200,000 reader mark for the first time. We must have done something great, right? Nope. By and large, it was 
 the result of work we'd done months before. But first, a story about us. z
  5. 5. 5 • Quantity: We published content with a steady cadence, 
 so our returns grew quickly. • Quality: We promised to create content good enough to 
 stand out against the sea of crappy posts that pollute the web. • Constant improvement: Since our competition is getting 
 fiercer every day, we need to continuously improve and 
 evolve to stand out. 3 Keys to the Compounding 
 Returns of TCS z
  6. 6. 6 “The first step is you have to say that you can.” —Will Smith
  7. 7. Step 1: 
 Crafting a Brand Voice 7
  8. 8. 8 • Think about your brand voice more as a person, not as a company. • The personality of your company should be a prioritized set of traits that make up your identity to your target audience.
  9. 9. 9 Exercise: Who is your brand? z Are you: • The gadget freak who snagged an iPhone 6 a week before they went on sale? • The honest and kind friend you'd consult while getting dressed for a date? • The mad scientist determined to find a way to make fuel out 
 of pencil shavings?
  10. 10. 10 Contently's interpretation 
 of other brand personalities: z The smart, inquisitive, clever science nerd 
 who blows your mind. The death-defying rock star you want to 
 hang out with. The inbound marketing genius who wants 
 to help you get that promotion. The wizard of SEO with secrets that will fundamentally change the way people discover your company.
  11. 11. Step 2: Creating Your Mission Statement 11
  12. 12. 12 • Creating a mission statement is one of the most difficult yet enjoyable stages of the content marketing journey. • Your mission statement will be your guiding light, the document that keeps you in check, inspires you, and protects your content from marketing's shadow.
  13. 13. 13 “[Content is] part of our DNA. We believe in sharing and being transparent in putting out there the things that we've learned. … We want to try and help marketers first. That's our underlying goal. We really don't think about content marketing as being part of our funnel. It's part of our mission." —Rand Fishkin, founder, MOZ
  14. 14. 14 “Here we are. We're 130 years old. We were founded by Thomas Edison, and guess what? We are still working on really hard problems that the entire planet has to be dealing with, whether it’s the future of energy or whether it's the future of electricity or whether it's new propulsion for planes that will get you from New York to Tokyo in four hours." —Tomas Kellner, Managing Editor, GE Reports
  15. 15. 15 Brand Voice: 
 Have a personality Mission Statement: 
 Include our passion and goals What am I going to create???
  16. 16. Step 3: Identifying Story Types and Topics 16
  17. 17. 17 Contently Example: Our Story Types z • QUICK HITTER: 250–500 words to introduce breaking news, research, or a cool visual component like an infographic or video. • WEB-SOURCED IN-DEPTH: 500–1,200 words based on web sources; includes a complex level of analysis. • BASIC REPORTED STORY: 400–800 words with between one and 
 three sources. • LONGFORM FEATURE STORY: 1,000+ words with a compelling narrative focus and multiple primary sources. • INFOGRAPHIC: Graphic visual representation of information, data, or knowledge that communicates key industry topics.
  18. 18. 18 • VIDEO: A story up to five minutes long about storytelling, including interviews with thought leaders and/or brief news updates. • COMIC: Illustrations lampooning the content marketing industry. • E-BOOK: 3,000–10,000-word guides and industry reports, usually downloadable in exchange for an email address. • BRANDS: News, trends, and analysis of the branded content movement. • MEDIA: Journalism, native advertising, and the future of the 
 media business. • ROI: Best practices for tying content to business results. • SOCIAL: Strategies, tools, and tips for spreading content through the social web. • VOICES: Thought leadership, opinions, and perspectives on the 
 future of content.
  19. 19. 19 Tips for Better Story 
 Types and Topics z 1. Try a little bit of everything out—your audience is fickle. 2. Prioritize quality over quantity—your audience will thank you. 3. Describe your story types in detail—your content team can execute with much more impact.
  20. 20. 20 Brand Voice: 
 Have a personality Mission Statement: 
 Include our passion and goals What am I going to create???
 Diversified quality content at scale When and how often should I create content?
  21. 21. Step 4: Building an Editorial Calendar 21
  22. 22. 22 z An editorial calendar will give you a clear picture of what types of stories you'll publish on a daily basis and who you may need to add to your team.
  23. 23. 23 Make sure you are tagging and tracking the important details! z • Author • Due date • Publish date • Intended audience • Format or type • Topic • URL • Target keywords (optional) • These tags will be critical to analyze what content works and what doesn't. For Contently, tags like CMO, ROI, Social, Joe Lazauskas, and Shane Snow RULE.
  24. 24. 24 Brand Voice: 
 Have a personality Mission Statement: 
 Include our passion and goals What am I going to create???
 Diversified quality content at scale When and how often should I create content? 
 Errrday and ASAP Who should be on my team to produce great content?
  25. 25. Step 5: Staffing Your Content Team 25
  26. 26. 26 z The idea of staffing a content team and building a “brand newsroom" is enough to give some marketers a panic attack. But it's less complex than you think.
  27. 27. 27 Best Practice: 
 The Hybrid Content Team z Most successful brand publishers take a hybrid approach to their content marketing efforts: • A: A core in-house team serves as the protector of the brand voice, distributes and measures content, and optimizes editorial strategy. • B: Freelancers add subject matter expertise, scale, storytelling firepower, and timeliness to the mix.
  28. 28. 28 Contently's Hybrid Newsroom z
  29. 29. 29 Coca-Cola Journey uses a small core team of internal editors and designers, complementing that through Contently with a staff of freelance storytellers to publish 12–15 pieces per week. “We've really tried to carve out a beat system with our Contently writers. It's nice to know who we can go to for certain stories." —Jay Moye, Managing Editor, Coca-Cola Journey
  30. 30. 30 Brand Voice: 
 Have a personality Mission Statement: 
 Include our passion and goals What am I going to create???
 Diversified quality content at scale When and how often should I create content? 
 Errrday and ASAP Who should be on my team to produce great content?
 A hybrid team of internal content marketers 
 and external freelancers Who should approve all of this great content? How should they do it?
  31. 31. Step 6: Creating an Approval Workflow 31
  32. 32. 32 Key questions to ask 
 with approval workflows: z Whose job is it to generate story ideas? • Who turns those story ideas into assignments, so that you don't blow your entire budget on 50 cat listicles? • Who edits those stories? • Who presses publish?
  33. 33. 33 Tips for streamlining your 
 publishing infrastructure z Place only ONE key stakeholder in charge of final decisions to ensure editorial quality and avoid “too many chefs in the kitchen.” Get lawyers and superfluous brand managers out of the approval process as much as possible by setting and documenting clear legal and compliance guidelines.
  34. 34. 34 “In the beginning, it was a difficult practice for me to learn. I didn't know who these people were and how to get the copy through efficiently. It often got stuck. It's like building a house. You have to put in the plumbing. Once you know who these people are, you don't have to go through the various gatekeepers—you can go directly to them and check on your story and see how it’s moving." —Tomas Kellner, Managing Editor, GE Reports
  35. 35. 35 Staffing, launching, and coordinating a content marketing machine is hard work, and it's a process that takes time to perfect. You should start now. Once your team is in a groove, it's a beautiful thing to behold. You make each other better, and it’s a foregone conclusion that your success will keep building over time. Conclusion z
  36. 36. 36 1. Craft a brand voice. 2. Determine your content marketing mission statement. 3. Identify your story types and requirements so you know what to create. 4. Build an editorial calendar to hold yourself accountable to a consistent publishing schedule. 5. Staff your content team so you can begin creating awesome content. 6. Build the approval workflows that streamline content publishing efforts. 7. Make The New York Times worry. Checklist z
  37. 37. Want more insights into the state of content marketing? For daily tips and trends, subscribe to our online magazine,
 The Content Strategist. If you’d like to talk to someone abut Contently’s services,
 please reach out to us at sales@contently.com or visit contently.com. contently.com

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  • mehdisinnaour

    Oct. 28, 2015
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    Jul. 12, 2016
  • AnhAshleyCao

    May. 15, 2019

The necessary steps to execute a content marketing program, developed from best practices learned from our own experiences as publishers and the work we’ve done launching the content marketing efforts of hundreds of companies around the globe: 1. Crafting a brand voice and content marketing mission statement. 2. Identifying your story types and requirements. 3. Building an editorial calendar. 4. Staffing your content team. 5. Creating an approval workflow.

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