Growing the Marketing Team

Posted February 26, 2021 in
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Blake Cormier

IT Nerd Turned Content Writer

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Hi IMPACTers!

I'm looking for some ideas or information on where to start with hiring some additional help for the marketing team.

The Background: I work for a regional IT company (managed service provider) based in Virginia. My title is "content manager", but I'm more of a one-man marketing department at this point. I work closely with the CEO to develop content and execute our inbound + TAYA strategy. Right now I do nearly all of the content writing, plus a lot of other tasks like updating the website, tweaking HubSpot, developing lead magnets, etc. I enjoy the work but the "one man circus" thing is limiting our publishing cadence for strictly TAYA content -- which I know is going to hurt us in the long run.

We also have an outside marketing company who built a new website for us back in September. We're under contract with them for about six more months for "SEO strategy" and "ongoing content development" -- but their content is pretty underwhelming especially by TAYA standards, and I'm not too sure about their SEO strategy either. We also get a quarterly marketing collateral project from them -- a short video or a glossy brochure. Again, they look nice but there's not much substance there from a TAYA or inbound standpoint.

So my boss and I got talking about it, and for what we're paying the marketing company, we could easily hire an additional internal marketing person and be in a better position content-wise. We are going to explore the idea for a while and make a decision by April 1 whether to hire or re-up with the marketing company.

My thought is to hire a junior-level person who can write well, has some technical aptitude, and perhaps do some design work as a bonus. We'd have them shoot for say two blog posts a week, plus train them on doing some of the fiddly bits in HubSpot and Wordpress like pulling reports, qualifying leads, and updating pages. And maybe make some pretty graphics too, if they're so inclined.

That would free up my time to focus on high-value content (white papers, case studies, pillar pages, etc.), strategy (designing funnels and sequences, setting up automation, etc.) and the more manager-y part of the content manager role (maintaining the calendar, wrangling SMEs, etc.)

So, I'd love to hear about your experiences in growing your team, or your thoughts on our situation. Does (further) insourcing make sense here? Do the roles I've outlined sound workable? Any ideas on job titles or descriptions for the new position?

And of course, content -- I'd love to read an article that answers all my questions if you have one to share! 

Thanks!
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Jack Nunziato
Huge, positive step and would like to keep updated on your dilemma here! I think hiring internally brings a ton of great value. Just have to ensure you're hitting the metrics and creating regular pieces. Working in tandem with a content partner can yield great results (we have two team members on our content marketing team a the moment!)

Nice work Blake
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Blake Cormier
Thanks Jack for the feedback!

We definitely see the value of in-house content vs. outsourced, especially with both right there on our site together.

I guess I just want to know if the content creation empire I'm envisioning is going to line up with reality -- making sure I'm not asking too much of myself or our potential hire.

Can I ask what the structure/roles of your marketing team look like right now?
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Connor DeLaney
John Becker seems like something you may be interested in here!

I'll tag in  Eric Dunn and  Chris Duprey to share a bit too! Does it sound like Blake Cormier  is on the right track in your eyes?
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Melissa Prickett
Blake Cormier

What a thoughtful post. I see you working hard and looking to do all the right things at your company. While we don't have ONE article that encompasses what you are asking, I did pull a few that I feel could be helpful.
On the positions
https://www.impactplus.com/blog/content-marketing-team-positions
And as you evaluate your website agency
https://www.impactplus.com/blog/inbound-marketing-agencies-fail

I guess it really comes down to what are you trying to achieve. Video might be the next step for your organization if you have a good cadence for your written content. Is the sales team using all the content that is being produced because maybe you want to focus more time on assignment selling. Check out those articles above and if you'd like to chat more, feel free to schedule 30 minutes with me. I'm happy to help.
https://app.hubspot.com/meetings/mprickett

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Blake Cormier
Thank you Melissa!

The first article is exactly what I was looking for but couldn't find for some reason. And the second one is very helpful too -- I will share both with our CEO.

Video is definitely on the roadmap, and we're already making some progress there with some short explainer-type videos and 1-on-1 with Vidyard. But we definitely want to get the overall strategy locked down before committing "real" resources to it.

We've also made some progress with assignment selling. We've had good success using email templates to introduce content to prospects. But here too we would benefit from an increased volume of content that would help further down the sales pipeline.

We're also going to hold a TAYA+inbound workshop/training with our account management team this month, and our service team soon after that. We want to start using content creation and the concept of assignment selling in those areas to reduce redundant work and offer a more consistent voice to our existing clients.

Even as I'm typing all this, I think the answer is becoming even more clear: we're gonna need more content, and we're gonna need someone to write that content!
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Leah Hovland
Hi there Blake! Man you are doing a lot and a great job!! We are a small company in Norway so can really relate to the «try to do it all with what we have got» Agree with Melissa about video production since you have so much good content already, you could use for that. One of the things we are doing right now is using an intern. He is at a marketing school in India and is a friend of our daughter. Internship means we can see how well he writes and works with us and applying TAYA and then we might hire him down the road. Could that be an option? We work mostly with IT suppliers and Microsoft partners in Scandinavia so just caught my eye that you are an IT supplier. Will look you up on LinkedIn and we can connect there too! //Leah @KOGGER #BTCT
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Blake Cormier
Hi Leah! Always nice to connect with others in the IT space. Lots of people think it's boring, but it's not if you explain it the right way :)

Bringing on an intern is an option for sure. Our service team has had good success with that strategy, as a number of our interns have grown into highly skilled technicians. One of them even became our service desk team lead!

The only reservation I have about an internship is that I'm not sure if I'd be in a position to offer that level of mentorship right now. Of course anyone we bring on is going to need training and coaching, but I would prefer to find someone who has at least some real-world experience and can quickly start to work independently once onboarded. Once that's done I think we'd be in a better position to help someone grow in an intern role.

Thanks for your insights!
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Blake Cormier
Update on this: I spoke with my boss again, and he is ready to move forward with the plan as I've outlined. He gave me the green light to basically conduct the entire hiring process myself, from developing the job description to screening candidates to conducting interviews, bringing him on for the final interview and offer.

We should also have enough budget left to bring in a freelance or part-time designer to help with graphics and layouts for our content. I think that will give us a big boost with developing premium content.

We'll wind down our engagement with the marketing agency into just hosting and support for the website. That was one big unknown -- we didn't want to have to try to migrate the website (or rebuild it, eek!) at the same time, but they offer a hosting-only package for a reasonable fee. Plus their web devs will remain available on an hourly basis for any projects that we can't handle on our own.

All in all, I'm pretty excited about the direction that this will take us! I'll keep everyone updated on the hiring process and how everything works out during the coming months.
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Leah Hovland
Thats great to hear! Will be exciting to see how this works out for you and your company:)
Connor DeLaney
Fantastic to hear Blake Cormier ! Will you need any help writing up the job description? I know we have some resources around the role you are looking to fill!
Blake Cormier
Thanks  Connor DeLaney ! Please share any resources you have -- I'll take all the help I can get :)
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Connor DeLaney
Here's what I got Blake Cormier


I think those capture what you are looking for if I recall all the details correctly. They should give you a good head start! 
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