26 April 2023 |

Content marketing is a team sport

By Tracey Wallace

The first couple years of my content marketing career were spent researching and writing content as though I was an educator. My mom was a teacher, after all, and it was a field I was always interested in pursuing. Still am, in fact, but the state of public schools and the way teachers are treated in the U.S. scares me away. Womp womp. 

That content was fine, and it even won me an award from Google back in 2015. But that content didn’t produce an incredible amount of ROI for the companies I worked for. 

And, while it made me feel irreplaceable on those teams, educational content based on the POV on one individual (me at the time) is not scalable. Indeed, I burned out. 

If you do things that way, like I did, it means you’ll struggle to: 

  • Take a vacation. 
  • Bring on new team-members and appropriately delegate tasks. 
  • Scale yourself and your career. 

I know things are different now than they were in 2015. After all, you can start a newsletter and build an audience that way––and likely build an entire personal brand off of your educational content. 

It’s been done before, and predictions are that it will be done again and again until some algorithm change or audience preference shift (which will likely take at least a decade). 

But, being “a creator” is hard work. It’s why companies like WorkWeek (the parent company of Contentment) even exist. They help to take some of the work off of creators so that folks, like me, can still write newsletters and share expertise without having to make it our full-time job. 

And this is because content marketing, or content business in general, is a team sport. Rarely can only one person run the entire team, strategy, or organization

You can be good at all of these things as a team of one and burn yourself out, OR you can shift your thinking into project management territory, and leverage these different teams and expertise to grow your content faster (without burning out, woohoo!!).

And because content is a team sport, one of the most crucial skills for you to build as a content marketing expert (esp. In the age of AI!) is project management and people management skills. 

Diving deep into these disciplines has been the key to unlocking career growth (and less stress!) for me. Here is how I’ve built it out––and explained it to teams beyond my own:

It starts with defining how you creating content, and making sure teams outside of content are involved. Here is how my team at Klaviyo determines what to make, and it includes roadmapping, roadshowing, keyword research, and go-to-market plans to make sure everyone in on the same pager prior to production. 

Then, once production does start, there is still a lot of project management that needs to take place. 

  • Who does what, when, and why? 
  • Which tasks can overlap? 
  • Where are the potential bottlenecks? 
  • Are we overloading anyone? 
  • Does everyone feel like they understand the process, and can have a say in the content? 

Here is what ours looks like at Klaviyo: 

In my work at Klaviyo, the content marketing teams works closely with:

  • SEO
  • Web
  • Creative
  • Performance
  • Lifecycle 
  • Sales
  • Customer advocacy 
  • Customer education / support 
  • Partner marketing 
  • Investor relations
  • Legal
  • The company leadership team (CEO, CFO, etc)

It takes time to build these relationships. You won’t be perfect at it all the time. But get to know the folks who work in all of these departments, and figure out how your work can help them do their own jobs better. From there, fit them into your process so that your content work can lift the entire company––and so that everyone wants to be involved. 

It will make go-to-market and distribution easier. It will make content ideation easier. It will make it easier, too, to get the resources and support you need so that you aren’t doing all of this on your own. 

Good luck!