Managing a content marketing team can be challenging as it requires coordinating different skill sets, ensuring consistency in messaging, tracking ROI, and keeping up with evolving trends and algorithms. Here are 13 questions you can ask your content team in order to gauge how things are going.

How are you monitoring the overall health and engagement of your content marketing team? As a manager, it is important to always have the pulse of how things are going and simply waiting for feebdack to “bubble up” to you is not always the best way to do this. When feedback bubbles up to a manager by itself, it has usually been a while since the problem has been rampant in the team.

As a team manager, it is crucial to have an open and proactive approach towards managing your team. Asking questions not only helps you stay informed about the current state of affairs but also shows that you are invested in the team’s success. It creates a culture of open communication and transparency, which is essential for building trust and fostering collaboration within the team.

Furthermore, waiting for feedback to “bubble up” can lead to problems going unnoticed or unaddressed for too long. By asking targeted questions, you can identify potential issues early on and take proactive steps to mitigate them before they become bigger problems. This approach can help improve overall productivity and ensure that the team is working efficiently towards achieving its content goals.

Overall, asking questions is an important tool for managers to stay engaged with their teams, understand their needs and concerns, and create a positive work environment that fosters growth and success.

Wether you are leading a content team of 50 people, or a solo team of one, there are many questions to be asked. So as a content marketing leader (also sometime called a Chief Content Officer), we’ve outlined 13 questions you could be asking your team.

But first, how should these questions be asked?

How to implement a continuous improvement culture in a content marketing team?

One way a project manager can listen to their team is by holding regular one-on-one meetings with each team member. During these meetings, the project manager can ask open-ended questions to encourage discussion and gather feedback on how to improve processes or address any challenges the team may be facing.

Another approach is to hold regular team meetings where everyone has an opportunity to share updates on their work, discuss progress towards goals, and brainstorm solutions for any issues that arise. The project manager can facilitate these discussions by encouraging everyone to participate and making sure that all voices are heard.

It’s also important for the project manager to create a culture of continuous improvement, where everyone is encouraged to provide feedback on how things are going and suggest ways to make things better. This can be done through regular surveys or anonymous suggestion boxes, which allow team members to share their thoughts without fear of judgement or reprisal.

By actively listening to their team and taking action based on their feedback, a project manager can improve overall productivity by addressing any bottlenecks in the workflow, improving communication.

So without further ado, here are 13 questions you can ask your content marketing team today!

1. Are we working with a content strategy that aligns with business goals and objectives?

Having a clear and documented content strategy can have a significant impact on a content marketing team and its leader. It ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals, with a shared understanding of the target audience, messaging, and desired outcomes.

A well-defined strategy helps to prioritize efforts and allocate resources effectively, ensuring that the team is focused on producing content that aligns with business objectives. It also enables the team to measure content marketing success accurately, by providing clear benchmarks for performance and tracking progress over time.

Also, having a documented strategy promotes transparency and accountability within the team. Everyone knows what they are expected to deliver, when they need to deliver it by, and what metrics will be used to evaluate their work. This clarity helps to reduce confusion and misunderstandings while promoting collaboration and teamwork.

For a content marketing manager, having a clear strategy in place provides valuable guidance for managing their team effectively. They can use it as a framework for setting marketing goals, prioritizing tasks, allocating resources, and measuring success. It also helps them identify potential issues early on so they can take proactive steps to address them before they become bigger problems.

Without a clear strategy aligned with business objectives, content marketing efforts may be unfocused or misguided, resulting in wasted time and resources.

(You can read more about our framework at Toast for building a strong content strategy)

2. Are we creating quality content consistently?

A content marketing team may not be creating content consistently due to a number of reasons, such as limited resources or lack of inspiration. It is important to identify and address any roadblocks that may be hindering consistent production of quality content.

In a content marketing strategy, it is important to have quality content consistently because it helps to build trust and credibility with the target audience. When a brand consistently produces high-quality content that is valuable, informative, and engaging, it establishes itself as an authority in its industry.

This can lead to increased brand awareness, customer loyalty, and ultimately drive more conversions. On the other hand, inconsistent or low-quality content can damage a brand’s reputation and turn off potential customers.

Moreover, search engines like Google value fresh and relevant content on websites. Consistently producing quality content not only attracts more traffic but also improves website rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Creating quality content consistently can have a positive impact on team morale. When a content marketing team is able to consistently produce high-quality content that resonates with the target audience, it can be a source of pride and accomplishment for team members.

Knowing that their work is making a difference and contributing to the success of the business can motivate team members to continue producing quality work.

Consistent production of quality content can also improve team dynamics. When everyone is working towards a common goal and seeing results, there is a sense of camaraderie and teamwork that develops.

On the other hand, if the team is struggling to create quality content consistently, it can lead to frustration and demotivation. This could result in decreased productivity and even turnover within the team.

3. How often do we have to work with tight deadlines for publication?

Working with tight deadlines in a content marketing team can have a significant impact on the results, quality of content and overall team morale. When deadlines are constantly tight, and content calendars are never up-to-date, it can create stress and pressure that can lead to mistakes or rushed work.

This can result in lower quality content that may not meet the brand’s standards or resonate with the target audience. Poor-quality content can hurt the brand’s reputation and damage its relationship with customers.

Working under constant pressure and stress negatively affects team morale. It can lead to burnout, low job satisfaction, and even turnover within the team. When team members are constantly working under tight deadlines, they may feel like they don’t have enough time to produce quality work or collaborate effectively with their colleagues.

However, working with tight deadlines is sometimes necessary in a fast-paced industry like content marketing. In these situations, it is important for the team leader to communicate clearly and provide support where needed.

The job of the leader is to maintain a proper balance between the team’s capabilities at planning, but while also remaining agile enough to be able to respond to those unavoidable last-minute requests.

4. Does your day-to-day allow you to keep up with new trends, algorithm changes and other best practices in the industry?

Content marketing has evolved significantly over the last decade, with brands recognizing the importance of creating high-quality content to engage with their target audience. The focus has shifted from solely promoting products and services to providing valuable and informative content that resonates with consumers.

The rise of social media platforms and search engines like Google has made it necessary for brands to adapt their content marketing strategies to stay relevant and visible. This means keeping up with new trends, algorithm changes, and other best practices in the industry.

To maintain a high level of quality and make a dent in a brand’s market, it is important for content marketing teams to be agile and adaptable. They must be able to identify emerging trends and adjust their strategies accordingly while maintaining a consistent level of quality.

This requires staying up-to-date with industry news, attending conferences and workshops, networking with peers, and continuously learning new skills. Content marketing teams must also be willing to experiment with different formats and approaches to find what works best for their brand.

A content marketing team lead thus has the responsibility to make sure their team can evolve, that they have time to keep an eye out for new opportunities to seize.

5. How good are we at managing the diverse writers, content creators and other talent we work with?

Managing a diverse group of writers, content creators, and other talent can be a challenging task for content marketing teams. These individuals may come from different backgrounds, have varying levels of experience, and require different types of guidance and direction.

Internal team members may have different specialties or areas of expertise that need to be leveraged effectively. Meanwhile, external content partners such as freelancers, agencies or influencers require close collaboration to ensure their work aligns with the brand’s standards.

Managing multiple content creators also requires effective communication and project management skills. Deadlines must be clearly communicated, feedback must be given constructively, and expectations must be set in advance.

Managing diverse talent requires careful consideration of each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Team leads must identify each person’s unique talents and create opportunities for them to shine while providing support where needed.

In the end, managing a diverse group of content creators requires a great deal of organization and flexibility. It is crucial for content marketing managers to establish clear processes and workflows that allow everyone to work efficiently while ensuring the quality of the final product remains consistent.

6. Do you think we are properly monitoring and analyzing content performance metrics to track ROI?

Measuring content marketing performance is crucial to understanding the impact of your efforts and demonstrating ROI. By tracking key metrics such as website traffic, engagement rates, lead generation, and conversion rates, content teams can identify what’s working well and where improvements can be made.

This data not only helps content teams refine their strategies but also provides valuable insights for executive stakeholders who may need convincing of the value of investing in content marketing. Demonstrating tangible results and ROI is essential for garnering support from higher-ups in the organization.

However, measuring content marketing success isn’t just about collecting data – it requires having a structured approach to analyzing and interpreting that data. Content teams must establish clear KPIs that align with business objectives and regularly track progress against these benchmarks.

Additionally, they must have ways of working that support the importance of measuring success.

Content team leaders need to make sure to have proper prioritization of measurement and analysis within their workflows, so that their content teams can demonstrate the impact of their efforts on business outcomes, secure buy-in from key decision-makers, and continuously improve their strategies over time.

7. Are we developing engaging campaigns to promote our content?

Producing high-quality content is only half the battle in content marketing. The other half involves socializing that content internally and promoting it externally to drive results.

Socializing content internally means making sure that everyone within the organization is aware of the content being produced and understands its value. This can be done through regular communication, such as email newsletters or internal messaging platforms, as well as through training sessions or workshops.

Promoting content externally means leveraging various channels to reach your target audience, such as social media, email marketing, influencer outreach, and paid advertising. By promoting content effectively, you can increase its visibility, engagement rates, traffic, and ultimately conversions.

It’s important to note that promoting content isn’t a one-time event – it’s an ongoing process that requires constant attention and optimization. Content teams must be willing to experiment with different promotion strategies and track their effectiveness over time.

8. When looking at all the work we are putting out and the work other marketing teams are doing, are we globally maintaining brand consistency across all channels and platforms?

Brand consistency is crucial for a content marketing team to integrate with other departments and make a bigger impact on its audience. When all teams across the organization maintain brand consistency, it ensures that the brand voice, messaging, and visual elements are aligned and cohesive across all channels and platforms.

This consistency creates a sense of trust and familiarity with the audience, making it easier for them to recognize and connect with the brand. It also helps to reinforce key messages and values, which can lead to greater brand loyalty over time.

For content marketing teams specifically, brand consistency ensures that all their content aligns with the overall brand identity and supports business objectives. This means using consistent messaging, tone of voice, branding elements (such as logos and colors), and visual design across all channels.

Managers also act as a conduit for collaboration between teams and their work, ensuring communication and a collaborative approach that maintains this consistency.

9. How well do we know our audiences? Have we recently listened to their latest needs and expectations?

It is crucial for a content marketing team to consistently learn about the needs and expectations of its audience segments to create relevant, engaging, and valuable content that resonates with them. By understanding the pain points, challenges, interests, preferences, and behaviors of their target audiences, content teams can tailor their content to meet those specific needs.

Learning about audience needs and expectations allows content teams to stay on top of industry trends and changes in consumer behavior that might impact their strategies. They can adjust their content or tactics accordingly to ensure that they are always providing the right information at the right time.

In short, a deep understanding of audience needs and expectations is foundational for effective content marketing. It helps teams create compelling content that drives business outcomes while fostering trust and long-term relationships with their audiences.

10. How well are our budget and overall capabilities aligned with our goal of producing high-quality content?

As a manager, it is essential to ensure that the content marketing team’s objectives align with their capabilities, including budget, team structure, and overall capacity. This means having a clear understanding of what the team can realistically achieve with the resources available.

Budget constraints are often a significant challenge for content marketing teams. Managers must work closely with the finance department to ensure that the team has access to sufficient funds to produce high-quality content. This may involve prioritizing certain projects over others or finding creative solutions for production content on a restricted budget.

In addition to budget considerations, managers must also evaluate the team’s structure and overall capacity. This involves assessing whether there are enough resources available to meet demand and whether team members have the necessary skills and expertise to tackle various content marketing initiatives.

By asking this question and listening to the answers, a manager may need to restructure the team or bring in additional resources if they find that their current capabilities do not align with their objectives. This could involve hiring new staff, outsourcing specific tasks or projects, or providing training and development opportunities for existing employees.

Ultimately, ensuring that objectives align with capabilities requires ongoing evaluation and adjustment. Managers must be willing to adapt their strategies as needed based on changing circumstances such as shifts in market conditions or changes in customer needs and expectations.1

11. Are we properly collaborating with other departments or external partners in order to identify opportunities?

Collaborating with other departments and external partners can bring a wealth of benefits to a content marketing team beyond building relationships with subject matter experts. By working closely with other teams, such as sales, customer service, or product development, content marketers can gain valuable insights into the needs and concerns of their target audience. They can also identify new opportunities for content creation and distribution that align with the goals of these departments.

In some organizations, building strong relationships with internal subject matter experts can be key in a content team’s success with adoption of their projects, initiatives and overall strategy.

For example, collaborating with the sales team can help content marketers understand the pain points of customers during different stages of the buying journey. This knowledge can be used to create targeted content that addresses these pain points and helps move prospects closer to making a purchase decision.

Similarly, working with customer service teams can provide valuable information on frequently asked questions or common problems customers encounter. Content marketers can use this information to create helpful resources that alleviate these issues and educate customers on how to use products or services effectively.

12. What are our most important challenges in regards to project management of our content initiatives?

Team leaders and project managers can improve overall productivity by actively listening to their team’s feedback and suggestions. This involves creating an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas, and where their contributions are valued.

With improved project management and streamlined processes, the team can complete tasks more quickly and with fewer errors, it can even augment its content production capability.

Improving productivity within a content marketing team can have significant positive impacts on both the team itself and the business it serves. This is why it is important, as a team leader, to get feedback on the smaller (and bigger) improvements the team can make in how it works.

It can lead to the integration of a new project management tool or platform, but it can also be simple improvements in how team members communicate.

There’s no such thing as a small improvement.

13. How good are our processes in relation to our workload? (legal, compliance, intellectual property, etc.)

Legal, compliance, intellectual property and similar processes are critical for any content marketing team. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in serious consequences such as legal action, hefty fines, and negative impact on brand reputation.

Optimizing these processes is therefore essential to ensure that the team is able to deliver high-quality content without any legal or ethical violations. This involves creating clear guidelines and procedures for all team members to follow when creating and distributing content.

By optimizing legal, compliance, and intellectual property processes, a content marketing team can minimize risks while maximizing opportunities for growth. This can help the team build trust with customers by demonstrating their commitment to ethical business practices.

Asking your team how these processes could be improved is a great way to gain feedback that can be brought to other departments involved.

Great leaders ask great questions

Of course, as content marketing managers and chief content officers, these are not the only questions you should ask your team, but they serve as a great starting kit to get a grasp on the overall health of your content marketing operation.

As I leave you with these 13 questions in mind, I wanted to end this article with a final thought:

“Good leaders ask great questions that inspire others to dream more, think more, learn more, do more, and become more.”
― John C. Maxwell, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership