Some companies may have marketing teams of far more than 18. Here at HubSpot, for example, we have a team of nearly 100. Even so, we stick to a team structure quite similar to the structure an 18-person marketing team might use -- with one modification. Design is broken off of the Content Team, and relegated to a separate team. This might make sense for your organization, too, if you find that:
I love your voice. Thank you for your emails and all the knowledge you share. Sometimes I’m a bit suspicious and wonder why do freelancers share their knowledge and let others do and grow in the same field… Well, let me tell you that although I had never thought that I could write for money, six months ago I got my first freelance writing gig… and I was not looking for that. I used to be an export director but after having kids my life changed drammatically, so my last job was as an account manager in a company that builds websites for state agencies. I realised that most of my clients got blocked when I asked them to send me the copy for their brand new website. They didn’t know how to describe their services, how to talk about the team, etc and they sent the copy full of old-fashioned expressions that I don’t like myself to find anywhere. So I used to write the copy for them… for free! I just wanted to help them and have the job done, you know, I got paid when the website was finished. So one of these clients told to a friend that I wrote the whole copy of their new website for them, and this guy came to me asking if I would rewrite his company’s website (300 employees, that’s quite a big company in Spain). I did it (not for free, but I just counted the invested hours). Afterwards, he wanted me writing the weekly posts for the company’s blog. This time I’m getting paid not only for the invested hours but also for my creativeness. Last week another big company asked me for a quotation, we will start working on his blog after summer. I’m so happy with my new career! Now I’m part of my husband’s small company and I offer my services as a marketer and copywriter.
Step 3: Brainstorm, then create your content marketing plan. Planning and creating new content isn’t just about mapping and metrics. Brainstorming and asset planning can be one of the most challenging and important parts of content creation. To catch inspiration when it strikes, you need a receptive environment, and team-wide willingness to try new things. An editorial calendar is not only where you keep track of, coordinate, and share your upcoming content, it is a strategic tool that helps your team execute integrated programs that include your content. Keeping an editorial calendar ensures that you’re releasing your content at the best possible moment, and that your whole team is aligned around the release dates. 

Blog posts. Distill your content marketing strategy into your blog schedule or strategy. The company blog can and should be used to cross-promote other content, which will help keep posts on a consistent schedule. If you don’t have a marketing team member who is familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), this is one area where you might want to consult a professional. 
6. Write every day, without fail, no exceptions, no excuses. And don’t edit. Just write, and if you fess it up, find a way to fix it by adjusting the next sentence. Use this exercise to force yourself to write faster and generate ideas more quickly. Then, and only then, once you are done, can you go back to edit your piece. And for the record, this is the way I’ve written this post, and that’s why this last sentence wasn’t exactly the most elegant ever.

Usually, businesses don't completely cease all other marketing activities and switch to content marketing cold turkey. In fact, most veteran content marketing programs typically incorporate other marketing techniques to complement their content initiatives. But the impetus for most of the companies I've worked with to initiate a content marketing program has been the need for a more cost-effective, predictable, and scalable source of traffic and leads than what they've been receiving from their current marketing programs.
Great list, Sonia. Many of these are new to me. One blog that somewhat fits in this list, is Michael Hyatt’s blog. Since he is the former CEO of a publishing company, he has a lot of great insights about actually getting a book published and how the whole process works. If there is a book in your future, Michael’s blog may be a good place to start. (michaelhyatt.com)
To explain how content marketing works, we first have to agree on a definition. Unfortunately, I might've sent myself on a fool's errand -- I went through dozens of different iterations of a content marketing definition (including the somewhat flippant "content marketing is using content for marketing") and found none of them totally satisfactory. But I hate to let perfection get in the way of progress, so let's just get something down on paper so we have a basis for discussion:
There are as many types of content marketing as there are types of content--far too many to cover here. My intent is to give you an introduction to content marketing and get you thinking like a content marketer so you’ll see the opportunities all around you. Soon you’ll be coming up with 50 content marketing ideas every day. You won’t be able to stop seeing opportunities to create content. Here are five examples to help your mind start percolating.
Ask a ‘yes’ question – This is a little trick many copywriters use and is something many bloggers use too. Open your blog post with a question that has a ‘yes’ answer. This immediately makes your post more engaging and conversational. Secondly, when a person answers ‘yes’ to your question, this means they want to learn more about the topic, and they are more likely to read your post.

Part of transitioning to a media publishing mindset requires a change in structure and process to create content at the speed of culture. The old model you see on shows like Mad Men is too slow and cumbersome. By the time an idea becomes an ad, it is out of date. Marketers are increasingly co-locating insights, creative, production, legal approval, and placement to increase interaction and speed in producing and distributing content. Marketing content production is transforming from an advertising agency model to a newsroom model.[23]

I won't pull any punches: I started, and it took a while to stop. That is to say you're about to dive into a pretty in-depth post (that's a nice way of saying "long") about content marketing, one which you may want to bookmark to read later. But I think it covers most of the aspects of content marketing that modern inbound marketers need to consider, beyond the basics of simply writing content optimized for the web.
Books. Like movies, people often think of books as selling themselves, but savvy marketers don’t sell books just to sell books, they sell books as marketing tools. Michael Port’s sales manual Book Yourself Solid is a great read for entrepreneurs, salespeople, and marketers, and while I’m sure Port enjoys selling his book, the book is a tool for driving customers to his coaching and speaking services. Although with self-publishing it’s easier than ever to publish a book, there is still the perception that it’s difficult and that only reputable professionals can publish a business book. Publish your own, and even if people don’t read it you can still use it as a form of content marketing every time you’re introduced as “Author of…”

It’s that, for most of us, the idea of selling something is already unnerving. Who wants to come across as a slimy salesperson? Plus, with writing, there’s a delay between copy being created and the other person reading it. You’re vulnerable without the luxury of self-correcting based on that person’s body language. You have to release your words into the ether and hope that someone receives it and acts upon it.
When the marketing team starts to grow, who leads content marketing gets more interesting. With a team of three marketers, you can approach content marketing a couple ways. Either one person can own content marketing activities, while the other two own activities that align more with the middle- and bottom-of the funnel. Or, two people can own content marketing activities, while the third owns the rest.

We have the team. We have the technology. Now we have to actually start "doing" the content marketing. In this blog post, we can't cover every manner of sin when it comes to creating content, but we can go over 1) the types of content assets a content marketing team could be creating to demonstrate the breadth of the opportunities available to the content marketing team, and 2) who should be involved in creating those assets.
Predictably, blog posts are typically written by the bloggers. However, if your team is large enough to have someone dedicated to creating gated assets and premium content -- things like ebooks and tools -- they should also write blog posts to help promote those assets. SEO specialists will also work closely with bloggers, as blog posts are often a company's best opportunity to improve organic search rankings. As such, bloggers should be writing posts that help improve the site's SEO, and drive organic traffic and leads. Their editorial should be informed by keyword research, and optimized for SEO.
There are many firms that offer content marketing services, often paired with SEO or PR. If you’re simply too busy to do it yourself and aren’t ready to manage it in-house, then hiring a firm may be your best option. But if you want to jump in and do your own content marketing the easiest way is to start blogging. It will likely be hard at first, but the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Following tips from websites like Copyblogger you’ll quickly learn how to craft content for your website or blog that will engage readers and turn them into customers or clients. But while technically good writing and the right headlines can help, it’s not the key to creating great content that is the best form of content marketing.
You always loved my examples and featured my writing in klass discussions. Another student in the klass was the owner of an established software company. He needed help using content marketing to promote a new app they were launching. He said he was in the klass to learn more about what a good nurture series should look like so he could guide his team to doing them correctly.
I write copy for the things around my house (my fridge, car, bed, the more boring the better) and try to sell them by their most unique characteristic. I’ll add in some storytelling and emotional appeal and see how many responses (conversions) I get. I’ll even do split testing by advertising in different cities. Whenever someone calls I say I already sold it. It’s a great way to see what people respond to!
Blog posts. Distill your content marketing strategy into your blog schedule or strategy. The company blog can and should be used to cross-promote other content, which will help keep posts on a consistent schedule. If you don’t have a marketing team member who is familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), this is one area where you might want to consult a professional. 
I guess I’ve never had a real gig yet… I’ve written website content for clients many, many times. I’ve also had gigs writing SEO content. But I’ve never really truly had a copywriting gig yet. Thanks for this article. To be honest, I’ve only buzzed through it quickly just now (#MeWantsTShirt), but it actually looks really good and I plan to re-read it carefully, following all the helpful links (especially the ones on the copywriting resources… I really want to be good, no… GOODER, at the art of written persuasion), and bookmarking it. (By the way, offering a paid service to rewrite websites is brilliant. I’ve offered to review and improve websites from a CRO perspective… but I never thought of offering a “better copy” only approach. Nice!
And to think I was trying to make my first $10,000 by this summer. Reality check. I just finished reading your suggested books by Halbert & Sugarman in 3 days. No long story here but on my blog this month, I will be thanking you and noting Sugarman’s advice. Just get ’em to read the first line of your copy. I am AWAI trained & needed to see what else was out there in the universe. I will follow you on facebook…….
The short answer is that she found me and cold emailed me. The long answer is that she was Googling for copywriting tips and stumbled across an article I wrote a few years ago with a list of copywriting resources. (This makes me cringe a bit to share, since it’s so old, but here’s the blog post: http://skillcrush.com/2014/09/18/write-better-copy/) The interesting thing here is that when she read the article, she looked at the author name and recognized me from Instagram, where she already followed my account all about vegan food (http://instagram.com/randlebrowning). Since she’s launching a vegan health supplements company, she thought I’d be a great fit to write copy for her…and I am! It has been a really fun first project to work on.

Content marketing is the process of creating valuable, relevant content to attract, acquire, and engage your audience. Buyers and customers today are inundated by more marketing messages than ever before—more than 2,900 per day, by current estimations. This creates an environment of attention scarcity, challenging marketers with the task of producing engaging content that won’t get lost in the static. A well-crafted content marketing strategy places your business in the position of a thought leader, building brand preference as you inform and educate buyers. Providing helpful and entertaining content can form a strong bond between your brand and customers that continues to grow and strengthen over time.

Read Joe Pulizzi's excellent book Epic Content Marketing. I started reading it after I wrote this post and it confirmed and expanded what I already knew about content marketing, with much more detail than I could ever go into here. Something Pulizzi emphasizes which I originally left out was the importance of focusing on producing mobile-friendly content, since smartphones are becoming the dominant way in which most of our customers access content. Also read Michael Hyatt's Platform, mentioned above. Frequent websites like those of Content Marketing Institute, Ragan, Copyblogger, Michael Hyatt, and Gary Vaynerchuk and sign up for their email newsletters. It won't take you long to become not just familiar with content marketing, but an expert.


When the marketing team starts to grow, who leads content marketing gets more interesting. With a team of three marketers, you can approach content marketing a couple ways. Either one person can own content marketing activities, while the other two own activities that align more with the middle- and bottom-of the funnel. Or, two people can own content marketing activities, while the third owns the rest.

6. Write every day, without fail, no exceptions, no excuses. And don’t edit. Just write, and if you fess it up, find a way to fix it by adjusting the next sentence. Use this exercise to force yourself to write faster and generate ideas more quickly. Then, and only then, once you are done, can you go back to edit your piece. And for the record, this is the way I’ve written this post, and that’s why this last sentence wasn’t exactly the most elegant ever.

Because we live in an over-stimulated world, those in advertising copywriting must employ both creativity and uniqueness in order to successfully draw in the consumer. The challenge is to produce creative copy while also remaining factual. Creative advertising copy that is based on client or market research and works well with the visual portion of a campaign can be invaluable to the marketing of a particular product.
You create a few sample infographics and share them on social media so people see what the tool is capable of doing, and between that and the traffic coming from organic search, you start to get a few hundred people using it every month. A few of them like it so much they provide their name and email address so they can continue using it. Now that you have their contact information, you're able to identify some people that would be a good customer fit and keep in touch with them, nurturing them into customers.
Everywhere, there are people / small businesses trying to create their own website who get stuck and need help. As a copywriter, you are the ideal person to help them, because you don’t just give them “a website”. With copywriting skills you can give them something which delivers their message powerfully. (The technical side of creating a website can be easily learned – just sign up for free accounts with Blogger, Wix, Weebly…and play around with them to get familiar.)
Usually, businesses don't completely cease all other marketing activities and switch to content marketing cold turkey. In fact, most veteran content marketing programs typically incorporate other marketing techniques to complement their content initiatives. But the impetus for most of the companies I've worked with to initiate a content marketing program has been the need for a more cost-effective, predictable, and scalable source of traffic and leads than what they've been receiving from their current marketing programs.

Ricardo specializes in content marketing for real estate professionals, and he’s got lots of resources for using blogs, social media, and content to create effective marketing for that market. I love this example of a content marketer working within a well-defined niche. (If you’re a writer struggling to stand out, think about the niche you could be serving.)
Great list, Sonia. Many of these are new to me. One blog that somewhat fits in this list, is Michael Hyatt’s blog. Since he is the former CEO of a publishing company, he has a lot of great insights about actually getting a book published and how the whole process works. If there is a book in your future, Michael’s blog may be a good place to start. (michaelhyatt.com)
Predictably, blog posts are typically written by the bloggers. However, if your team is large enough to have someone dedicated to creating gated assets and premium content -- things like ebooks and tools -- they should also write blog posts to help promote those assets. SEO specialists will also work closely with bloggers, as blog posts are often a company's best opportunity to improve organic search rankings. As such, bloggers should be writing posts that help improve the site's SEO, and drive organic traffic and leads. Their editorial should be informed by keyword research, and optimized for SEO.
After all, if you don’t really understand the product and why it’s so good, what makes you think you can write compelling copy for others to read? In advertising, they stress that you need to sell benefits, not features. Features are what the product has, but benefits are what the product will do for you. In other words, sell the sizzle, not the steak.
Theory #1: The mere act of publishing content on a regular basis does a lot of the "distribution" work for you -- if you consider search engines a distribution channel. (Which I do, considering how often people use them to find content.) If you create content on a regular basis that's informed by keyword research and optimized for search, Google takes care of the rest of your content distribution plan.
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