Much like there’s no “wrong” size free pizza or dog to cuddle with, there’s no “wrong” size content marketing team. In fact, just as literally any size free pizza or cute doggo is great, a content team of any size can be great, too.
Take Influence & Co. as an example: Our content marketing agency is powered entirely by small content teams. Our internal content marketing team is about four or five people strong, and over the years, we’ve achieved impressive results: generating tens of thousands of leads, nurturing and closing millions in revenue, establishing our company’s industry leadership, and earning major accolades and awards.
And we take the same approach with our clients. Every Influence & Co. client has a dedicated content marketing team, which we call a pod, comprised of three core team members who strategize, create, and manage the content that works toward that client’s goals.
Small content teams power our company. Not only do we find them essential for achieving our goals — and our clients’ — but we find small teams offer their own unique benefits that make them perfectly suited for effective content marketing.
Unique Advantages of a Small Content Marketing TeamIn addition to making it easier to present a case to your boss for team lunches every once in a while, small content teams offer several unique benefits:
- Agility: Smaller content teams aren’t weighed down by layers of traditional processes and red tape in the same way large departments can be. This makes it much easier for these teams to adapt to new information, data, and content marketing trends — which enables them to focus on more of what works and makes their content impactful.
- Collaboration: Content marketing requires teamwork. And while some might argue that bigger teams offer more opportunity for teamwork, I’d counter that smaller teams provide deeper and more valuable opportunities for hands-on collaboration. With a small, close-knit team, you’re able to exchange, develop, and nurture content ideas in a thoughtful way, which can lead to more personable (and effective) content.
- Ownership: On a small team, each person has a bigger impact, and it’s easier to clearly see how every action makes a difference. That kind of ownership of projects and goals is powerful, and it often leads to greater engagement on your team. When you can see exactly how what you do leads to success, you’re better able to home in on it and push your content forward.
1. Recruit the right team members.
You could have a small content team of two smart, creative people, but if all either of them ever did was write email copy, you probably wouldn’t be that much closer to your goals. How many people you have on your team matters less than who those people are and what their roles are.
We recommend that content marketing teams include a writer/editor, a content strategist, and a distribution and publication specialist. These roles ensure that content is not only created and distributed professionally, but that it actually works to accomplish what you want it to.
But if you can truly only have one, consider prioritizing a strategist. She’ll keep her eyes on the big picture and management of your content, and the details of writing and distributing can be outsourced to freelancers and managed with the right tools.
2. Document your strategy, and set expectations.
With a team ready, it’s time to outline and document your content marketing strategy. If your company already has one in place, now is the time to revisit it. Your strategy and your team must be aligned, so whether you’re creating your first strategy or updating an existing one, it’s important to bring everyone together to set expectations and define responsibilities.
Create a documented content marketing strategy that works for your team and your goals by downloading an .
Remember, a strategy is only as good as your ability to execute it — and you only know what to execute when your strategy is documented and accessible. Ensure you’re set on both fronts before you move forward.
3. Develop and stick to an editorial workflow.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Workflows may not be as fun or as cool as other elements of your strategy, but that doesn’t make them any less vital to your success.
An editorial workflow benefits both your team and the actual content you produce. It does so by simplifying your entire content process and allowing the members of your team to focus on the tasks and responsibilities they are best at and enjoy most — which results in happier, more productive content teams and higher-quality content.
4. Leverage tools and technology to fuel growth.
Pairing your team with the right tools is kind of like adding more people to your team (without actually having to hire and train new people every time you need something). The right tools streamline, complement, and even automate certain steps of your content strategy and editorial workflow. When tech can take over smaller tasks, your team members have more capacity to do the work they love and accomplish more for your company.
Content distribution tools are especially valuable here because distribution itself is especially valuable for a small team. A smaller team that produces less content or produces it less frequently needs to be sure the content it’s creating is working as hard as it can, and that requires active, strategic distribution. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to distribute content that your team can take advantage of; pair those unique and creative methods with tools to help you execute it, and you’re on your way.
Small content marketing teams aren’t set up to fail based solely on their size, just like large teams aren’t destined for success. There’s no inherently right or wrong size team; there are just teams that are maximized — and teams that aren’t. With these four steps, you’ll be poised to take advantage of all the benefits of content marketing, no matter the size of your squad.