The Content Marketing Playbook

Humans are natural storytellers. As historian Yuval Noah Harari notes, stories are a vital tool that we use to make sense of the world around us. What’s more, we often think of ourselves as the protagonists of our individual stories. We face challenges, overcome them, and learn valuable lessons along the way.

 

These stories used to involve harrowing tales of hunting in the Serengeti, escaping apex predators, and migrating across unknown continents. Today, they’re a bit more mundane by comparison. Running low on toothpaste. Wondering where to grab lunch. Staying on top of emails. Attracting ICPs with USPs to meet KPIs. You know, all that modern hunter-gatherer stuff.

This propensity for storytelling has significant implications for how businesses can attract and engage their customers. After all, every product or service solves some kind of problem. Whether that’s preventing cavities, organizing emails, or wrangling corporate acronyms. If you can weave a narrative around the problem your product solves, customers will more easily see themselves as the protagonist in that story. And, as a result, they’ll seek out your solution when they’re ready. 

 

Content marketing is what this approach to customer acquisition looks like in practice. Narrowing down the problems you solve for your customers, and then publishing content that tells relevant stories, speaks to those needs, and inspires action.

 

In this Content Marketing Strategy Playbook, we’ll share everything you need to know to develop and execute an effective content marketing strategy, so you can attract, engage, and convert more of the right audience.

1. What is Content Marketing

At its core, content marketing is exactly what it says on the tin: marketing through content. More specifically, content marketing is the planning, creation, publication, and distribution of content with the goal of attracting and converting prospective customers. This content should be relevant to the needs, aspirations, and interests of your ideal customer profile, or buyer persona, and convey information that is inherently valuable.


This notion of attracting rather than chasing new customers is in direct contrast to traditional marketing methods, such as cold calling or paid advertising. This is the difference between “
outbound” and “inbound” marketing. Outbound involves sending a promotional message to your prospects and interrupting their activities with the hopes that they’ll like what they see. If you’re looking for new recipes on YouTube and have to sit through an unskippable 15-second ad for life insurance, that’s an example of modern outbound marketing.

Let’s say you continue on your search for new recipes and find a channel with tasty dishes from around the world, which links to a website with detailed info. You find a great stir fry recipe, but realize that you don’t have the recommended wok. Turns out you’re in luck, as the recipe is actually a resource on a kitchenware brand’s website. And they just so happen to be running a special on Asian cookware.

That scenario is an example of inbound and content marketing. You arrived at the brand’s website of your volition, attracted by helpful content that was relevant to your needs, and then found a wok-sized solution to your newly realized problem.

Types of content marketing

There are many ways to frame, package, and share information. From short written messages, to feature-length motion pictures, to radio transmissions, and even smoke signals. This variety carries over to content and, as a result, to content marketing. There are many different approaches you can take to getting your valuable insights out into the world and in front of the people who matter.

 

Here are some common types of content marketing:

Blogging

A company blog is the bread and butter of most content marketing strategies, as it’s the perfect platform to share regular content. Not only is your brand in complete control over which articles are posted and when — so you can execute your strategy to perfection — it’s also a key entry point to the rest of your website. When a site visitor finishes reading your Top Tips For Looking Great During The Apocalypse, they’re already in the door and only a click away from your competitive deals on fingerless leather gloves.

Lead Magnets

A lead magnet is a high-quality content asset, such as an ebook or infographic, that combines depth of knowledge into a niche topic with the polished aesthetics of a well-designed poster. Lead magnets are typically available free of charge, albeit gated behind a form on a promotional landing page. Once you have a visitor’s email address (and they consent to marketing communication), they can be nurtured along their buyer’s journey with a series of automated emails that progressively drive conversion.

Email Newsletters

If someone lands on your website and likes what they see, but aren’t ready to commit to a purchase, they may want to sign up to a weekly or monthly newsletter. This is a great way to stay top of mind with prospective customers and to have a guaranteed audience for new content and promotions. Even if your email newsletter is simply a roundup of new blog posts, it’ll still add value to your business and readers.

Social Media

Social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok are effective places to share links to content on your blog and landing pages. But social media is often where your prospects spend most of their time online, so these platforms benefit from their own exclusive content marketing strategies.

 

For instance, a LinkedIn strategy may involve sharing posts to professional groups and engaging in discussions, while an Instagram strategy may revolve around visual content and short Reels. One of the best parts of content marketing on social media is that every post is inherently shareable — anyone who likes your post can share it with their followers with the click of a button.

If you’re wondering what type of content marketing is best suited for your business, pay attention to what the biggest names in your industry are doing. Do they have an active social media presence? Are they publishing regular content to their blog? Can you sign up to a newsletter on their website? Take these cues as a starting point, then work to make your content that much better.

 

Learn more about Content Marketing Formats and When to Use Them in the Resource Center. 

2. Benefits of Content Marketing

While some of us need very little reason to cozy up to the fireplace and tell a story, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a successful businessperson who’ll throw money at a narrative just for the sake of it. For content marketing to be worth the investment, it needs to offer clear and tangible business benefits. Thankfully, it does so in reams. 

 

As we touched on earlier, the primary benefit of content marketing is that it attracts the right kind of buyer to your business, thereby improving lead generation, conversion rates, and bolstering the bottom line. 

 

However, it’s important to note that content marketing is a medium-to-long-term customer acquisition strategy. You’re relying on people out there in the world to find you. While you can get your content into the wider internet ecosystem, the ball is ultimately in the court of the person searching queries and clicking links. 

 

But if you’ve done your research and understand your target audience profile, or buyer persona, then you’ll have a stake in many, many courts. And once that ball starts rolling (to mix metaphors slightly), your content will only continue to build momentum and bring good-fit prospects to your door.

 

This calls for a more nuanced approach to understanding the benefits of content marketing, one that factors in the different types of positive impact it can have on your business, beyond “more content = more sales.” So let’s go over a few benefits of content marketing.

Generating brand awareness

If your content has intrinsic value and is shared across the internet, it’ll inevitably reach people who haven’t otherwise heard of your business. This can significantly drive brand awareness and establish your business as a key player in your niche and industry. It also gives your SEO a significant boost, which we’ll cover in more detail in a later section.

Building credibility and trust

Content that’s well written, well researched, and makes a thought-provoking point is more likely to resonate with readers. When that content comes from a company, the insight and credibility is associated with its products and services.

 

According to a recent Salsify Consumer Research Survey, 90% of consumers are willing to pay more for something if it comes from a brand they trust. Content marketing lays the foundation for that trust and, when executed tactfully, can position your brand as a thought leader in your industry and help you build a loyal community of followers.

Educating your audience

Your content is an opportunity to educate your audience on important topics related to your brand and service offering, and how your business can solve their problems.

 

If certain features or benefits require foundational knowledge to appreciate and utilize, you can transfer that knowledge to prospective and existing customers through the content you publish and share.

 

This also goes for tutorials that help customers get the most value from their engagement with your business, such as customer help guides. Happy, fulfilled customers are more likely to spread positive word of mouth and attract new good-fit prospects.

Nurture more leads

By having content that caters to leads at different stages of their buyer’s journey, you can engage far more potential customers. That’s why a content marketing ecosystem is a lead nurturing machine. Even people who are still some time away from making a purchasing decision will find value on your site or social channels, and have a reason to stick around along their journey.

While over 60% of marketers measure the success of their content marketing strategy through sales, there are other numbers and analytics that are worth paying attention to. A few metrics that can shine a light on the performance of your content marketing strategy include the sources of traffic to your website, the number of shares and impressions of social media posts, the click-through rate of your email marketing, and the rankings of your keywords and topic clusters.

 

For a deep dive into key content marketing metrics, check out this detailed guide from HubSpot.

3. B2B Content Marketing

The best approach to content marketing will depend on the type of customer you’re trying to attract and convert. Selling artisanal ice cream will require a very different content strategy to selling enterprise cybersecurity software. At a high level, it’ll help to understand the difference between content marketing directed at consumers (B2C), and content marketing directed at businesses (B2B). 

 

When selling to consumers, you’re typically appealing to the customer’s individual needs, wants, and aspirations. You’re looking to convince the consumer that they will look great in your fingerless leather gloves. They will love the taste of your artisanal ice cream. They will have whiter teeth if they use your toothpaste. 

 

This often leads to emotionally charged messaging intended to spur impulse purchases, which is often considered to be the realm of advertising. Catchy slogans like Coca-Cola’s “Taste The Feeling” or Nike’s “Just Do It.” So where does content marketing fit into the B2C mix? 

 

Any product that’s a considered purchase with a lengthy sales cycle, such as a car or laptop, will have enough time in its standard buying journey to benefit from content marketing. Common search terms like “best new laptop” or “fuel efficient cars” prove that there’s a place for informative content catering to these customers.

 

But what about products with a shorter purchase cycle, like fashion? Even though these B2C purchases are more emotional and impulse-driven, the buyer’s journey retains the familiar stages of Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.

 

Content that caters to the first two stages can prime a consumer to choose your brand “on the fly” when they suddenly need or want your type of product or service. But as there isn’t a clear-cut “problem” that’s being solved, the Awareness and Consideration pillars of your content will be more geared towards topics and ideas that are part of your target customer’s everyday lifestyle.  

 

Lifestyle content can cover almost anything: health and wellness, travel, sustainability, fashion, sports, tech, food — the list is practically endless. The best platforms for lifestyle content have a strong visual component, such as Instagram and TikTok, as videos and images can immediately convey defining lifestyle characteristics.

 

When developing a B2C content marketing strategy, just make sure to hire skilled writers that can craft authentic and compelling content. Consumers these days face an overwhelming number of choices and are highly sensitive to marketing content that’s inauthentic or overly salesly.

4. B2B Content Marketing

The world of B2B is often defined by lengthy sales cycles, dedicated buying committees, and more jargon than a textbook on constitutional law. This formula lends itself to content marketing, as content can be targeted towards specific functional roles in an organization, and there’s ample room to demonstrate a solid understanding of industry-specific concepts and terminology.

 

B2B products also tend to solve a very clear problem or group of problems. Accounting software helps a company manage its day-to-day financial operations. A negotiation training seminar helps salespeople negotiate better deals. Network monitoring tools help InfoSec professionals keep their company’s network secure. This kind of linear value proposition can be adapted into a content marketing narrative quite effectively. (And, in doing so, can add a sense of excitement and heroism to an otherwise mundane process.) 

 

The most effective B2B content marketing will differentiate between the key decision makers in an organization’s buying committee, as well as key influencers who will advocate your product to those decision-makers.

 

For example, if your business sells sales enablement tools for the real estate industry, you can have a content funnel targeting the CEO and procurement roles (key decision makers), as well as one that targets realtors and sales agents (influencers). While your content for the CEO may highlight the business benefits of your software, content for sales agents can focus on its features and ease of use.

Overcoming the challenges of selling content marketing as an agency

Many SEO, design, and marketing agencies offer content marketing services to their clients. While this can be rewarding, it’s not without significant challenges. The most common agency challenge involves building a capable in-house writing team that can meet the needs of your entire client portfolio.

 

Do you hire specialist writers that are limited to specific clients? Do you hire generalists who do an okay job all round, but leave niche clients feeling underwhelmed? Or do you hire both, and risk having more writers than needed at any given time?

 

At Draft, we’ve developed an offering that solves this conundrum once and for all, with tailor-made features for agency workflows. From a single intuitive dashboard, you can effortlessly source and manage white-labeled content for your clients, written by our world-class team of writers. 

We understand the fast-paced agency environment, where client requests come in at the last minute. That’s why you can request content in under 5 minutes. No lengthy timelines, no complicated project plans, and no missed deadlines. 

 

Learn more about Draft’s white label content for agencies.

5. Content Marketing for SEO

Content marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are two sides of the same coin. While both have distinct goals and tactics, each is far more impactful when paired with the other.

 

For example, your blog and landing page content should be optimized for specific keywords and phrases that lead to their appearance in relevant search results. Without this, you’re relying on social shares and direct traffic, which reduces content visibility, damages campaign performance, and makes it that much harder to know if your content is any good.

 

On the other side of the fence, SEO without content marketing limits the number of pages and topics your brand can rank for. When relying on standard website pages for traffic, like product or solution pages, there’s far less room for flexibility and experimentation. You’ll naturally also only rank for bottom-of-funnel terms and phrases, which neglects traffic from all prospective customers at earlier stages in their buyer’s journey.

 

With content marketing and SEO combined, it’s possible to craft strategic content that’s relevant for the entire sales and marketing funnel, and that actually reaches the people who matter. 

 

Thus it should come as no surprise that the best practices for each discipline share a lot of common ground. To improve their search rankings, businesses should create content that’s unique, in-depth, valuable, and sets them apart from the other companies vying for that top spot on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Blogging for SEO

Publishing regular blog content shows search engines that your website is actively being managed and updated. As such, the algorithm will view it as being more likely to provide users with valuable, up-to-date information and, as a result, reward it with a higher search ranking.

 

Blogging also provides an opportunity to rank for a broad variety of topics and keywords that your customers will be interested in, in addition to those directly related to your product offering. And when a product or service is mentioned in a blog post, that text can link to the relevant product or solution page. The reverse is also true: your product pages can link to articles that go deeper into benefits or use cases.

Topic clusters and pillar pages

Building out “topic clusters” of content is a highly effective SEO strategy. This is because writing at length about a topic, with a detailed resource that links to related “cluster” content, shows search engines that your website is an authority on that subject. This structure makes it easy to address the different questions or concerns a prospective customer may have, while building a healthy network of internal links between content across your site.

For an in-depth look at all things SEO and how to build a high-performing SEO strategy, check out our SEO Playbook.

6. Overview of Content Marketing Formats

Blog Articles

Blog articles are the most common content marketing format. They’re versatile, low cost, and can be as detailed or surface-level as your heart (and content strategy) desires. A blog post typically comprises an H1 heading, an introduction, and sections of body copy organized under subheadings. A good blog post should close with a clear call to action (CTA) that encourages the reader to take the next step in their journey. That step can be anything from visiting a related post, to downloading an ebook, to scheduling a demo with your sales team.

 

Blog article best practices:

  • Have a specific buyer persona in mind for every blog post, even if the post caters to multiple personas. If it’s equally relevant to everyone, it’ll be useful to no one.
  • Ensure the tone and style of your writing is appropriate for your target audience and matches their level of technical proficiency.
  • Try not to do too much with a single blog post. If it’s an awareness-level piece, refrain from pitching your product too strongly. If it’s a decision-level piece, get straight into key information and the core value proposition. 
  • Conduct keyword and topic cluster research to see what words and phrases your target readers are searching for.
  • Always include an inspiring Call to Action.
  • Spend time coming up with a compelling title that sets an accurate expectation for the piece, while stoking curiosity to read more.
  • Invest in capable writers with a proven track record of producing engaging, search-optimized copy. Working with Draft, you’ll have this one nailed down.

Landing Page Copy

Landing pages are a vital component of any content marketing strategy. When someone takes a chance and clicks on one of your CTA buttons or a link in a social post, the landing page is where they end up. This is why the messaging and layout of landing pages is pivotal. It needs to deliver on the promise of the copy that attracted the user there in the first place, sustaining that momentum all the way through filling out the form and converting. 

 

The most common landing page layouts include a clear H1 header, a few paragraphs describing the value available in the promoted asset (whether it’s an ebook, a webinar, or personalized demo), and a form for the prospect to fill in their details. 

 

Landing page best practices:

  • Make sure your landing page messaging is consistent with the ads and social posts that visitors will have clicked on. Nothing will send a potential lead bouncing away faster than an incongruent, “bait-and-switch” landing page experience.
  • Use the form to not only acquire the lead’s email, but also to qualify and segment into their relevant persona category.
  • In light of the above, keep the form fields to a minimum. No one wants to spend their free time doing extra paperwork — the more they need to fill out, the more likely they’ll change their mind, close the tab, and do something that feels less like filing taxes.
  • If you’re targeting multiple buyer personas, experiment with a unique landing page for each. Your landing page copy should speak to specific needs and pain points, which is less effective if you’re generalizing or watering down the message with too many ideas.
  • Keep your landing page focused on a single goal: encouraging the visitor to fill out the form. Avoid any links that send them away from the page, like suggested blog posts or related offers. Keep those for the thank you page, once they’ve already converted. 
  • As with your blog content, work with writers who understand how to craft high-converting landing page copy. At Draft, our writers know their way around any copy requirements. Just share a template, desired word count, and key business information, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Newsletters and Email Campaigns

Email marketing and newsletters have a lot of potential, as they’re a direct line of access to qualified leads who’ve shown an interest in your brand. But if there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that we’re all swamped with too many emails. This means your email communication needs to earn your prospects’ attention and their clicks with compelling subject lines, relevant content, and clear value.

 

Newsletter and email marketing best practices:

  • Subject lines should have a strong hook that entices readers to click through and see what the email is all about. Get creative, but the tone should match your persona.
  • Use personalization where appropriate. Even if many internet users know how personalization tokens work, we’re more inclined to pay attention when addressed by name.
  • Make sure every email has a clear call to action.
  • For most email marketing, avoid lengthy emails over 500 words and keep the message focused around several key points.
  • Always make sure you have the recipient’s consent to receive marketing communications. This is especially the case if you’re targeting leads in countries with data protection laws, such as the EU’s GDPR legislation.

Social Media Posts

Social media posts vary considerably depending on the platform and target audience. What drives the most engagement and conversions on Twitter, for instance, will likely fall flat on LinkedIn. Make the most of what you’re able to do on any given platform, within the parameters of your persona guidelines. Flex videos on TikTok. Tag celebrities and industry thought leaders on Twitter. Move conversations in your industry forward on LinkedIn.

 

Social media post best practices:

  • Develop a social media strategy and post consistently.
  • Ensure all social media posts are consistent with the style, tone, and voice of your brand. 
  • As social media posts are shorter, easier to produce, and go out more frequently than longer-form content, there’s plenty of room for experimentation and A/B testing.
  • Use striking visuals to stand out from other posts on social feeds. 
  • When sharing links to blog posts and other media, write descriptions explaining why followers should click through.
  • Use hashtags to attract viewers with specific interests.
  • For ideas and inspiration, follow popular social media accounts in your niche.

 

Draft writers are experienced at writing high-performing copy for all content marketing formats, including social media posts, blog articles, newsletters, and even video scripts. Learn more about our writing services and sign up for a risk-free trial.

7. Using Buyer Personas

As we touched on earlier, content that caters to everyone will be useful to no one. Any article that does this is often so watered down and generalized to account for all possible readers, that it loses practical relevance to any one customer segment.

 

Imagine if a lace-up shoe brand tried to find common ground among all possible customers and, in doing so, settled on an infographic detailing the Top 3 Reasons to Wear Shoes. Not exactly the most compelling read, even if “capable of wearing shoes” is a common denominator across all target audiences.

 

On the other side of the spectrum is content that tries to be relevant to everyone by addressing all possible use cases and benefits. The problem is, if someone has to read through hundreds of pages of irrelevant content before finding the two sentences relevant to them, they’ll likely take their attention (and dollars) elsewhere. 

 

So what’s the middle ground between these two extremes? Simple: content that caters to buyer personas.

 

A buyer persona, also known as a customer avatar, is a semi-fictional description of your ideal customer that includes key behavioral and motivational information, sometimes referred to as psychographics. A useful buyer persona will not only cover typical age, gender, profession, and hobbies, but also their short- and long-term objectives, aspirations, challenges, and research channels.

 

It will also address other people in that persona’s life who serve as key influencers and decision-makers. For example, if you’re selling cutting-edge kitchen equipment to mid-sized restaurants, your primary persona might be the restaurateur, while a key influencer might be the Head Chef.

 

Once you’ve created a few buyer personas to represent your target customers, you’ll want to factor them in whenever you’re putting together a new piece of content. Would the persona enjoy this content or find it valuable? Does it contribute to their personal or professional story, with your offering framed as the light at the end of the tunnel? Taking this approach will help you avoid putting out material that no one wants to consume or engage with.

 

When developing buyer personas, do as much research as possible. 

  • Speak to your experienced salespeople who have the most on-the-ground experience listening to and solving customers. 
  • Send out a survey or poll to existing customers to hear what attracted them to you in the first place.
  • Use tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Business Suite, and Twitter Analytics to see what kind of users are engaging with your website and social media presence.

 

With a buyer persona that clearly identifies what your target audience is most receptive to, you’ll be in a far better position to ideate and produce high-performing content.

 

For a comprehensive guide on creating detailed buyer personas, visit this HubSpot resource.

8. How to Build a Content Marketing Plan

Once you have clearly defined personas and a strategy for attracting their attention, the next step is to create a content plan. This will inform the different topics and types of content, as well as your timelines and promotional strategies.

 

Follow these steps to create a content marketing plan:

Audit your existing content

You don’t always have to create a content strategy from scratch. For many businesses, a good starting point is the content that already exists on your website, blog, and social media pages, as well as in sales collateral like brochures and product sheets.

 

During your content audit, take stock of all the content you have and consider each piece through the lens of your content marketing strategy. Which persona does it address? Which stage of the marketing or sales funnel is it most relevant to? Does it speak to a genuine pain point? Does it have a clear call to action that’s strategically aligned with the next step in their buyer’s journey?

 

Once you have a bird’s eye view of your existing content ecosystem, make a note of any key topic clusters or areas of the funnel that are underrepresented. If there are glaring persona questions that aren’t currently being answered, these will be a great starting point when brainstorming content ideas for your content calendar.

 

If you have access to content analytics, and enough data for meaningful insights, pay extra attention to the types of content that have the highest engagement, click-through, and conversion rates. If there’s a certain format or tone that drives the most engagement, you can incorporate those elements into future content.

 

For a step-by-step guide to conducting a content audit, check out this useful resource from SEMRush.

Develop a content funnel for high-value topics

Armed with the insights of your personas and content audit, it’s time to put some meat on the bones of your content marketing plan with content funnels.

 

A content funnel is a framework of content ideas within a topic, organized according to the buyer’s journey of a given persona. We’ve mentioned terms like “top of funnel” and “bottom of funnel” throughout this guide, and this is what we’re referring to.

 

While you can be as broad or granular as you please, there are generally three stages of the content funnel: Top, Middle, and Bottom. These correspond to the Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stages of the buyer’s journey, respectively.

 

When developing a content marketing plan, build out a content funnel for each of your topic clusters. That way, a lead who’s in the awareness stage of their journey and interested in a particular topic will have a clear path through your content ecosystem as they progress towards being a paying customer.

 

Let’s consider what this might look like. Say you run an experimental commercial carpeting business launching a new line of fragrant carpets that (allegedly) boost productivity, raise employee morale, and decrease workplace hostility. You’re building a content plan targeting Human Resources professionals, and have settled on the topic cluster of “employee wellbeing”. 

 

  • Your top-of-funnel content should gain the persona’s attention and encourage them to think critically about whether employee wellbeing could be improved in their organization. High-level and topical content like “Employee Wellness Trends” and “3 Surprising Causes of The Great Resignation” would fit well into this stage of the funnel.
  • Your middle-of-funnel content should compare different ways the persona might improve employee wellbeing, such as through new benefits programs, expanding perks like remote working, or recarpeting the office with mind-altering scented fibers — framing that last one as the most sensible option.
  • Your bottom-of-funnel content will position your company as the best choice to deliver that solution: customer testimonials, product showcases, and interviews with key figures in the organization.

 

When building out your content funnels, don’t hold back on ideas. Any that aren’t used in one content plan can easily be repurposed for another, or provide inspiration when creative juices are running dry.

 

If you’re looking for content ideas on a certain topic, try our Article Idea Generator.

 

Once you have enough content ideas to work with, conduct keyword research to see what people are searching for in and around that topic category. Not only will this help validate any assumptions made in the planning process, it’ll also yield specific keywords and phrases to include in your content.

 

For more on SEO and keyword research, visit our SEO Playbook.

Create a Content Calendar

A content calendar brings order and predictability to the chaos of your brainstorms and content funnels. This is where you narrow down your list of content ideas and build a timeline for their creation, publication, and distribution.

 

For instance, if you’re looking to post a new article every week for the next 6 months, your content calendar might include key information for 24 articles: the title, key points of discussion, primary and secondary keywords, the call to action, as well as the date of writing and scheduling.

 

A content calendar takes the guesswork out of your content marketing strategy, as anyone on your team can see which articles are coming up, the status on their delivery, and where each post will be shared.

 

HubSpot offers a great content calendar template that can be customized to your needs. Check it out here.

9. Content Marketing Roles and Responsibilities

While the core principles of content marketing tend to stay the same, what it looks like from an operational and organizational point of view will vary depending on the size of the company, as well as its type.

 

For instance, startups and SMEs might have a single unicorn of a person planning and executing the entire content marketing strategy, while large enterprises may have large teams with specialized roles. In the agency world, some exclusively offer content marketing services, while others offer it as one of many other offerings.

 

Whether they’re spread across separate positions, many hats on a single person, or outsourced to third parties, the roles and responsibilities of content marketing can be grouped into several categories. These include:

Content Strategist

This is the person who guides the content strategy, from building personas and content funnels, to deciding on formats and content themes. Their knowledge of the buyer’s journey needs to be impeccable, along with their understanding of customer needs, pain points, and aspirations. The Content Strategist usually compiles a brief for the writers.

Content Writers

The Writer is responsible for translating briefs into engaging, compelling content. Writers are a pivotal role, as the entire strategy relies on high-quality content that leads will seek out and spend time reading. This is why it’s important to find the right team of writers; skilled professionals who can write convincingly in your niche and bring the entire strategy to life. Writers at Draft have a proven track record of producing engaging, search-optimized copy that does just that.

SEO Specialist

The SEO specialist will step in to conduct keyword and topic cluster research, so the writers and editors know which terms and phrases should be included in the content. The SEO specialist can also add value in the persona development stage, as they have the best sightlines of what people are actually looking for online.

Subject Matter Experts

Depending on the technicality of your products, and the expectations of your personas, you might need to enlist the help of experts to explain key concepts to the writing team. Even if the Subject Matter Expert merely looks over and approves content in the editorial process, it can vastly improve the value and authenticity of your content in the eyes of a discerning audience.

Content Editor

The Editor safeguards content quality, from scouring for typos and grammatical errors, to ensuring messaging is on point and makes a compelling argument. The Content Editor will typically sign off on every piece of content before it’s scheduled and published.

At Draft, we can work with any type of content marketing team structure. Whether your business has a full-time in-house team and needs external support to pick up the occasional overflow, or you outsource all content production and need a reliable long-term partner, Draft can deliver the quality content you need — at scale. Learn more about Draft’s content services and start your risk-free trial.

Learn more about Content Marketing Roles and Responsibilities in the Resource Center. 

10. Content Marketing Tools and Software

A great thing about rolling out a successful content marketing strategy is that you don’t have to do it alone. There are countless tools and services out there that can support, improve, or guide key elements of your strategy and tactics.

Here’s our selection of the best content marketing tools and services:

Draft

No matter how comprehensive your strategic planning, your content still needs to be written. This can take a lot of time, energy, and focus — especially if you’re relying on internal team members who have other responsibilities to get to. And if your articles are rushed and poorly written, few people will engage with them. As the saying goes, you can lead a person to content, but you can’t make them read.

 

At Draft, we’ll take care of the production side of things, so you can spend more time thinking strategically and actually running your business. Our writers are highly vetted experts at their craft, with ample experience writing search-optimized marketing content for a variety of industries. Start your risk-free trial.

Zapier

Zapier is a workflow automation tool that can help professionals save time, reduce human error, and boost productivity. Thanks to our Draft integration, Zapier is especially useful for content marketers. The integration allows you to connect Draft with any other app in the Zapier marketplace, and then automate actions — or “zaps” — for set events. For example, you could use Zapier to update an existing task in Asana whenever content is delivered from Draft.

Hubspot

As an inbound marketing pioneer, HubSpot continues to be a content marketing powerhouse. Their Marketing Hub suite of tools includes everything from blog hosting and social scheduling, to email workflow automation, form building, content analytics, topic cluster mapping, and so much more.

Grammarly

Grammarly is an underrated tool that can seamlessly elevate anyone’s writing capabilities. From real-time error checking to suggestions around phrasing and word choice, this language tool can make your content clearer, bolder, and more convincing.

AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is a search listening tool that reveals exactly what internet users are searching for. This is a veritable goldmine of content ideas. All you need to do is enter a topic and you’ll see related search queries broken down into different question types, along with associated longtail keywords and phrases.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media marketing and management dashboard that allows you to automate social media publishing and integrates with a variety of apps, including MailChimp, Canva, and most social platforms.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is another social media management platform. This tool comes with an integrated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform, so you can stay in touch with your audience and monitor keywords, social media mentions, and more.

11. Achieve Content Marketing Success with Draft

High-quality content is the cornerstone of great content marketing. But building a high-performing plan and strategy can be a full-time job, even before a single word of content is written.

 

While it may seem easier to rely on freelance writers to fill the gaps and provide content when needed, this approach introduces significant risks and uncertainties.

 

For starters, finding a capable freelancer (that has enough capacity to do your brand justice) is a time-consuming and arduous process. Searching the web. Scrutinizing portfolios. Sending writing tests. Vetting skills and industry knowledge. Agreeing to timelines.

 

Managing a different process for every new freelance writer. And even when all these boxes are ticked, you’ll rarely have a quality guarantee or assurance that a key writer won’t go AWOL.

 

Luckily, Draft is here to help. 

 

Our on-demand content writing services can help you produce as much or as little content as you need. And usage-based pricing means you only pay for the words you need. We also offer a risk-free, money-back guarantee, so you can be the judge.

 

Our vetted, professional writers are on hand to write any types of content your brand needs: from blog posts and web copy, to social media posts, email newsletters, video scripts, and more.

 

Learn more about Draft and how our expert writers can help you achieve Content Marketing success.