What skills do you need on your global content marketing team?

Top global content marketers on the skills you should recruit for

November 19, 2016

Global Content Marketing

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the EMEA Marketing Solutions blog.

Any marketer looking to plan and execute content across markets needs the right team behind them. Global content marketing is a unique challenge and it requires a unique set of skills: not just an understanding of how to create and distribute content – but how to bring local market teams together and make your global content organisation more than the sum of its parts.

As regional content marketers ourselves, I and my colleagues know all about the need to balance content generation, demand generation, field marketing and many other roles. We’ve learned a lot about the need for negotiation, humility and an entrepreneurial mindset as well. When we created The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Global Content Marketing, we explored in detail the hard and soft skills that global content marketers need on their team. As part of this, we reached out to some of the foremost thinkers on global content marketing strategy; the people who’ve helped to balance global and local approaches to content for some of the world’s most influential brands.

Here’s what our influencers had to say about the most important skills to recruit for and develop on your global content marketing team:

Doug Kessler, Creative Director and Co-founder, Velocity Partners:

Being a great change manager is a core skill that’s under-valued in global content operations. This is a massive change management exercise involving people, processes and technology, and companies that under-resource the change management part of this transformation will always struggle. The ones who fly are the ones who invest the time, money and effort in bringing people along to the new way of working.
On top of this, your global team also needs skills in strategy, analytics, SEO, social media – and a deep understanding of the company’s mission, markets, products and customers.

Pam Didner, Global Content Marketing Strategist:

Ability to understand the local audience’s needs. There is a lot of give-and-take when you work with local teams. You need to understand their needs and balance that with corporate objectives. There will be times when you need to say “no” and you need to be able to articulate why.

Alex Cheeseman, Global Head of Strategy, Newscred:

Honestly – it’s the ability to push back. Content marketers often have to manage multiple stakeholders with very different perceptions of what meaningful content is – both in terms of true customer value and business value. Having the ability to say ‘no’, that content doesn’t fit requirements or is outside of our standards, is critical in ensuring the effectiveness of the team and maintaining any meaningful governance.

Harry Wake, President EMEA, Group SJR:

There are so many, but one that really stands out is the need to be able to operate at a fast pace. Content marketing isn’t like traditional ad campaigns where there is a gradual build up to key episodic moments. It’s a living, breathing entity that needs nurturing in real time, yet which can’t afford a dip in quality. Great content marketers can plan, produce, analyse, and adjust at pace and without taking their eyes off quality — much like content producers and journalists in any publishing organisation.
It’s also important for everyone in a global content team to be a strategist at heart, regardless of their specific disciplines. This is what drives work forward through innovative thinking.

Aoife O’Mullane, Social Media Strategist, King Content:

Good communication skills are mandatory. Success depends on constant communication between our offices, sharing results and strategic initiatives. Our content marketers also need to be savvy when it comes to data and analytics, using performance metrics to look at what’s working and optimise the strategy at a local level.

Applying the right skills within a global content strategy that works

You’ll find a full discussion of the skills and attributes of successful global content marketers in The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Global Content Marketing. You’ll also be able to explore how LinkedIn Marketing Solutions and other businesses put those skills to work: how to balance global priorities and local initiative, elevate content that deserves a wider audience, and run your global content organisation in a way that makes full use of the talent at your disposal. The full guide is available to download for free now.