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Marketing Strategy
min read
February 20, 2024

5 Traits of Best Performing Content Marketing Teams

Keelyn Hart
Content Writer at Letterdrop

At Letterdrop, we’ve had over 1,000 conversations with content marketing teams. We've realized that the best-performing content teams have five traits in common:

  1. They understand and are super in tune with company goals.
  2. They have defined and measurable KPIs.
  3. Their process is streamlined and scalable.
  4. They're up-to-date with industry trends.
  5. They understand distribution for maximum engagement.

When you break it down, it's not so difficult to follow their example. Effective communication is also a key trait of successful content teams. They are able to clearly communicate their goals, strategies, and progress to stakeholders and team members. This helps everyone stay on the same page and work towards the same objectives. This guide can shed some light on how to go about it.

What Do We Mean by Best-Performing Content Teams?

These marketers are completely in sync with company goals.

They have a KPI in place and figure out the strategy, quality, volume, and distribution channels needed to hit it. They then use content to drive tangible results, be it traffic goals or content-influenced revenue.

In general, they tend to create more content while maintaining a high quality bar. 20% of content drives 80% of results. A high publishing and distribution volume usually helps them figure out that 20% and improve what works.

Let's break down the traits that help them hit their milestones so effectively.

#1 Top Content Teams Understand Overall Company Objectives

Let's say the company's goal is to drop CAC on ads. A successful content team would know to use SEO or talk to the demand gen manager about running ads against content to achieve that.

They know what kind of content and which content channels will move the needle.

Content has loads of potential to help a business. It can:

  • Accelerate sales with assets like decks and demo videos.
  • Improve fundraising chances or close enterprise deals with thought leadership on LinkedIn.
  • Increase top, middle or bottom-of-funnel awareness through social media and SEO.
  • Generate demand creation through social media.
  • Generate demand capture through SEO.

Which one you want to pursue depends on what your business is trying to achieve. It's never as simple as "invest in SEO," but rather a thoughtful decision to pick the content and channels that meet your needs.

#2 Top Content Teams Have Defined Goals

The most successful marketers we talk to track metrics like content-influenced revenue (with GA4), monthly sign-ups, and monthly output.

On the other end of the spectrum, out of 254 of our sales calls with Seed to Series D startups, a whopping 43% of content marketers didn't have concrete KPIs around content. We got back answers like "brand awareness" and "traffic."

While these are also extremely important, we do recommend measurable metrics. When the chips are down, it's dangerous for a marketing team to be unable to tie content to the top line.

A Real-World Example of Tracking Defined Content Goals

One of our customers, Scribe, invests in SEO as an acquisition channel and publishes around 100 pages per month. These are the metrics they track:

  • Monthly Traffic
  • Signups from Content
  • Activated Signups from Content
  • Paid Signups from Content

At the end of each month, this is what they report on the above metrics:

  • % difference between actual value and projection
  • % change from the prior month

#3 Top Content Teams Have a Scalable Process

It's easy to procrastinate when it comes to content by getting tangled up in operations and technicalities. Inaction is the creeping, silent killer of companies.

As our CEO, Parthi, says, "Content is important but never urgent." Successful content marketers standardize their process in order to spend more time on strategy and creativity.

They have a streamlined process to collect ideas for, plan, write, review, publish and distribute content.

They also have a content monitoring process to understand results and how to improve.

How We Streamline and Scale Our Content Workflow at Letterdrop

Here's how we tackle each stage of the content production process and speed up our content workflow by 32%:

1. Ideation: We integrate with Gong.io to extract marketing insights from sales calls, and our team drops ideas into Slack in seconds with our Slack integration.

2. Content calendar and project management: Our content calendar and project board are synced with content. Each project card is tied to artifacts like drafts and move in real-time according to gated approvals.

3. Publishing: We can do things like final SEO checks and formatting with code embeds in one click. It's also easy to schedule content and socials from the publishing page.

4. Distribution: The AI can help us draft socials in 20 seconds. We can also automate employee amplification on sites like LinkedIn.

5. Monitoring: Letterdrop automates content refresh monitoring.

#4: Top Content Teams Stay on Top of Industry Changes

The only thing that's certain in marketing? Change.

Successful content marketers make an effort to track, understand and adapt to these changes.

Take the shifting search environment in the wake of generative AI, for example. SEO isn't dead — you just need to work smarter to get your content ranking.

Things like Google's new SGE announcement demand an equal shift in approach to SEO. Here's how marketers are staying competitive:

  • They're avoiding low-value content stuffed with keywords.
  • They're focusing on sharing new ideas and perspectives.
  • They're diversifying their distribution channels, turning themselves and employees into creators.
  • They're continuing to follow EEAT guidelines.

The same can be said after Google released its information gain patent in 2020.

Google prioritizes content that differentiates itself from other resources on the same topic through new and valuable information. Marketers get that high score through original research.

Ways You Can Stay In The Industry Loop

Here's how to keep on top of trends:

  • Do competitive research and learn from what other companies are doing right.
  • Subscribe to newsletters from companies like Clout Monster and Letterdrop.
  • Follow industry leaders.
  • Meet up with fellow marketers, which we at Letterdrop love to do.

#5: Top Content Teams Prioritize Distribution

"Distribution is half the battle," Parthi says. And he's right. You could have an excellent piece of content that just sits on your website and does absolutely nothing for your business.

Publishing and forgetting about content is not enough. You need to repurpose and redistribute content repeatedly across many channels so that it gets as much engagement as possible.

Otherwise, it's a "when a tree falls in a silent wood" situation — nobody sees it, and your company is not getting leads.

How Content Marketers Nail Distribution

Here's how top-notch companies are getting their content out there:

  • An active "#go-viral" or "#social-boost" channel on Slack that encourages employees to like and re-share content.
  • At Letterdrop, we have a feature that automates employee advocacy and distribution across socials. You can automate likes, comments, and even posts from employee accounts to reach multiple networks.

You Can Be One of the Greats in Content Marketing, Too

On-brand, original, relevant, streamlined, and metric-driven. These are the things that can set you apart in the ever-shifting marketing world.

Hopefully, this guide has given you some ideas about how to take your content team from good to great.

We talk to thousands of content marketers like you and are always willing to chat and learn together. If you want to take your content ops to the next level, you can always talk to us.

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