Restructuring is a part of every company's life cycle. Content teams grow and hire out, as well as contract and get lean.
Whether you're leading a content team that needs to grow or pare down, looking at real content team structures can inspire you and give you some guardrails. Studying content team structures can also give you an idea of the “why” behind the organization. For example, content teams that don’t provide content services to the rest of the organization can generally be leaner and focus more on their strategy for driving traffic and leads.
Below are real-life marketing team structures sourced from interviews on our podcast Content, Briefly, and our Slack group. Just a disclaimer that these org charts are accurate as of the publishing date but are of course subject to change.
Klaviyo is a marketing automation platform focused on email and SMS marketing with around 1,600 employees.
Tracey Wallace is the Director of Content Strategy and reports to the VP of Brand. She currently manages a team with two content marketers/strategists, two writers, and a case study writer.
In her podcast episode about operationalizing success, Tracey explains how when she first joined the team, content was seen as a service-only organization, measured primarily by their production. She advocated to run the content team as a strategy organization instead with KPIs such as “content-assisted MRR.”
Her team’s communication includes:
Klaviyo is a good example of a well-rounded content team whose output is tied to business growth.
Slite is a modern knowledge base with around 40 employees. We use Slite to house our Superpath Community Wiki, internal team documents, and more.
At the time of the podcast recording, Melanie Broder was the Content Lead at Slite. Unfortunately, Melanie was laid off along with several coworkers shortly after this episode was released.
Though she was originally brought on to write and optimize SEO posts in 2021, the growth team eventually took the lead on engineering those SEO templates and resources. Her role evolved to writing thought leadership and building the newsletter with another freelancer.
Since Melanie was a content team of one, she collaborated with other departments to source ideas for content. She shares the process for thought leadership ideation in her podcast episode.
“At first a lot of the ideas came from working with our CEO, Christophe Pasquier. He would talk about the ideas behind what we were building or the new roadmap, or why we were shifting to this different strategy.
“Now that we have a team, we do brainstorming live as a team. We also have docs that you can use to add ideas to the backlog. Last month I thought that it would be great to involve the whole team in kind of an open town hall format. So I recently recategorized our blog and sorted it into different verticals and I invited everybody on the team who wanted to participate to come and ideate on those verticals,” she explains.
Communication on the team included:
One of Melanie’s goals as the content lead was to increase brand awareness, which is clear from the witty, opinionated pieces on the On Your Own Time blog.
LaunchNotes is the “world’s first product success platform” and employs around 30 people. Like Superpath, they strive to be the best resource for product marketers with their LaunchAwesome Slack community.
They have a lean team that consists of two co-founders with product marketing backgrounds, Blake Thorne, the director of content strategy, a community lead, head of product marketing, and a sales lead. Blake works with freelancers to execute his content strategy.
He explains how their lean team came together on his podcast episode on creating content for a Series A startup.
“We're still in discovery mode, which is super exciting. One of our co-founders, Jake Brereton, was the lead product marketer at Jira for over a decade. So we have a lot more marketing muscle than you would typically see on a founding team. And at this stage of the company that gives us a little wiggle room at the top of the marketing chart.
“Jake oversees a lot of the marketing strategy himself. He brought me on to stand-up content, largely because he had seen Atlassian and Jira how powerful and efficient organic content marketing was, especially at scale.
“At the same time, someone else I had worked with, Steve Klein, jumped in and started building out our Slack community, Launch Awesome, with product leaders, product marketers, product managers, and product ops.
“We added Adam to stand-up product marketing shortly after Steve and I jumped on. So now we have Adam doing product marketing and working with our sales leader. We've got the rough shell of a marketing function right now.”
Since they’re a smaller team, communication is less structured with the following:
Blake shared his content strategy with Superpath, which shows how the “core content” (podcast episodes, AMAs, and long-form interviews) helps build LaunchNotes into a billion-dollar company.
Sprout Social is a publicly-traded software company that employs over 1,200 people. There are about 100 people on the marketing team, with 11 (including our contact Alicia Johnston) working on content.
Alicia manages the two main divisions within content: content strategy and operations and content development. On the strategy and operations side, there’s a manager, a senior content strategist, an editorial writer, SME contributors and a freelance SEO/content strategist.
On the content development side, there’s a manager, content strategist, four content specialists, as well as contracted freelance writers and a video agency. Independent of these two divisions, Alicia also manages a senior market research manager who drives research initiatives (e.g., reports, timely data pulls, etc.) and manages external partners/survey providers.
The team has grown significantly since December 2021, which you can see from Alicia’s former content structure from a course on team structure in Superpath Pro. At that time, she managed a content strategist and content specialist. Then and now her content team closely collaborates with the SEO and PR teams.
The team’s communication consists of
Alicia breaks down the “why” behind the team structure:
“The overarching goals of the content team are awareness and acquisition. Historically we’ve focused on written content supporting our inbound marketing strategy and were more oriented to revenue marketing metrics. Lots of emphasis on traffic, leads and trials (Sprout offers a 30-day free trial) and more of a practitioner/manager audience.
“This year we’ve refocused what our team specifically drives, with more priority on awareness for a decision-maker audience. Our main areas of investment are reaching decision-makers, search-driven video content, social-first content and research,” she explains.
Their KPIs include traffic to decision-maker content, content leads and content downloads, among other metrics.
The content team structures featured here demonstrate how teams can scale and structure their content teams to best meet their objectives.
Whether you are leading a content team that needs to expand or contract, there are many strategies to consider. By studying these examples, you can gain insights into the organization, communication, and measurement of content teams and apply them to your own.