Melania Trump’s apparent plagiarism in her Republican National Convention speech yesterday dominated the news (and meme) cycle today.

And for good reason: she, and her speech writers, appeared to lift whole sections from Michele Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech.

Want to know how to end up with results (headaches) like these? Don’t have a clear content strategy.

Regardless of your resources, understanding the different roles required to produce smart, effective content and its distribution will keep self-inflicted hassles at bay. More important, this knowledge will maximize your content’s ability to spin your business forward.

Roles in a smart content strategy:

  • Strategists: These guys, in conjunction with your firm’s leaders, determine the business goals the content strategy should support. They work with the marketing department to hone in on the firm’s brand and voice, and help ensure content maps to it by building a style guide. They analyze audience: they know exactly who the content should reach, entice, speak to. With all of this, they create a game plan, up to six months out, with broad content topics, an editorial calendar, a distribution strategy. They also delineate goals, and ways to measure them, and timelines.
  • Brainstormers: These team members take the master content game plan and come up with compelling content topics that will support the content strategy’s business goals.
  • Creators: These are your workhorses. They are the writers, videographers, graphic designers who bring the strategy and brainstorms to life.
  • Editors: Editors ensure content maps to the game plan, is clear, on-brand and effective and that grammar is tight.
  • Distributors: Creation is one thing, distribution another. These pros blast out your content on the channels where your audience lives and breathes. This can include coordinating contributed posts on influential trade publications, coordinating influencer amplification and all-important email marketing.
  • Community managers: Responding to feedback on content, both in comments and through social media, these pros help build a band of brand fans. They address negative comments and keep the conversation moving forward.
  • Analysts: Analysts are a critical component of the content strategy playbook, and they’re often overlooked. They monitor content performance on Google Analytics and other tools to help optimize content topics, distribution and other factors that facilitate engagement and, more important, achievement of business goals.

You might be filling all of these roles, or most, and that’s ok. Whatever you do, make sure you’re giving each the attention it deserves. They’ll help you maximize your content efforts, which, given that quality is so critical to success (and so time-consuming), are significant.

Image credit: PBS News Hour