Fractional Marketing: Insights with Red Basket’s Fractional Head of Content

Fractional Marketing

Fractional, part-time, freelance, consultant. There’s so many titles floating around now for independent workers, and so little time to sort out what they all mean. 

No worries: we can help. 

A Fractional Content Team serves the exact same role as an in-house Content Team would. 

The main difference? A fractional team isn’t employed full-time by your company, allowing you access to an entire team of experienced content experts at only the level you need to scale. 

We wanted to break down the nitty-gritty of fractional Content Teams and services, giving you a primer on: 

  • why your startup needs a Fractional Content Team
  • what the difference between a Fractional Head of Content and a Content Team is 
  • what to consider before you hire fractionally 
  • and more!

So we figured, what better way to break down all the elements of fractional content support than by talking to our own Fractional Head of Content himself, David Miller? Read on to hear his insights and expert perspective. 

What are some of the key benefits of hiring a fractional Head of Content? 

There are so many benefits of hiring fractionally, especially for growing startups who want to scale quickly without growing their team faster than they can really manage. 

David outlined a number of key benefits of hiring a Fractional Head of Content or Content Team: 

  • Hiring fractionally is more affordable than hiring in-house. (Full-time positions are typically 50-100% more expensive than fractional teams.) 
  • You can hire sooner without needing to justify a full-time position.
  • You get an external expert who can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current team. 
  • You get exactly the support you need, for the amount of time you need it. 
  • Fractional leaders and often more productive and effective with less time and fewer resources. 

Think about it this way: 

“With a Fractional Head of Content, or Content Team, you get a wealth of expertise that more easily fits within your marketing budget. 

With fractional hiring, you get the benefit of someone who is a real expert in their field and is currently working with all kinds of teams and companies. They’re going to naturally bring all of that experience and all of those learnings into your business, so you end up getting a wider swath of experience.” 

Are there benefits to hiring a fractional Content Team as well? 

Of course, when you add a Fractional Content Team into the mix, you get all of these benefits spread across an entire team, not just one position. 

Though not all Content Teams work this way, with Red Basket, you can bring in an established and successful team that’s already working together and creating successful content for other companies. The ramp-up and onboarding periods are much shorter, and you get to start creating and benefitting from effective content right away. 

A Fractional Content Team also can help you fill in the gaps with existing, in-house staff. For example, maybe you have a junior copywriter, but not an experienced researcher. Or maybe you have an in-house social media expert, but not a long-form content writer. 

David’s hands-on approach means you can use a fractional team to combine existing and fractional staff into a coherent team: 

“I can bring a team in with me for content support or I can train junior content folks who are already working in-house, or both. The goal is really to go in and build on what’s already working, bring up any junior employees with us, and help companies excel from a content perspective.” 

With a fractional team, you can get the expertise you need without hiring and staffing a full-time team, plus a Head of Content to provide the leadership and direction for your team. 

When should you consider a fractional Content Team and when is a fractional Head of Content enough? 

There are no hard-and-fast rules here, David points out. The key thing to consider is the difference between them. 

“Generally, companies want to bring on a Fractional Head of Content when they start seeing some growth. Their business is growing and they may have a junior copywriter or some other junior roles in-house. 

At that point, there’s a need for building out a proper strategy, understanding what’s working and what’s not, and expanding on what’s working. Things are going well—but you want to double-down and bring in experts that have already been there (multiple times).

That’s the right time to bring in a Fractional Content Team, or a Fractional Head of Content, or both.” 

What’s the difference? 

“A Fractional Head of Content provides leadership and strategy to a team—either fractionally or in-house—who’s executing on the strategy and creating content. 

A Fractional Content Team can help you double-down on what’s working by giving you more resources to execute on an existing strategy. So the question is, do you need leadership or do you need someone to execute, or both? And if you need someone to execute, then you need to identify who’s driving the content strategy internally.”

What are the factors to consider before hiring a fractional Head of Content or Content team? 

There’s plenty of folks out there who offer fractional services or fractional teams, but not all of them are going to be the right ones for your brand.

Here’s what you need to consider to find a good match: 

  • Are they working with brands and businesses that are parallel with yours? 
  • Is their experience well-aligned with what your needs are? 
  • Do they have proven success with companies who have similar backgrounds to yours? 

For example, at Red Basket, we focus on content for B2B SaaS companies. 

We’re not trying to branch out into hospitality or engineering or B2C technology, because our experience and content strategy that works isn’t necessarily going to translate to those other industries. 

So you really want to look for a Content Team or fractional leader who really gets your industry, and has a history of successes within it. 

Is there anyone who shouldn’t hire a fractional head of content or Content Team? 

The answer: actually, yes. Of course, if you already have an in-house team and a lot of people who are doing things and figuring things out, you probably have no need for a fractional team. 

But what about a business on the other end of the spectrum? 

Generally, super early-stage startup founders aren’t yet ready for a Fractional Content Team, David says. 

“If you’re still in the early stages of figuring out your go-to-market strategy and you don’t have a clear definition of who your ICP is, what problem you’re actually solving, how to communicate that, and so on, it might be too early to bring on a fractional Content Team. 

A Fractional Head Of Content might be able to help you figure out some of those things, but there needs to be some understanding of your product-market fit and how to communicate that across the funnel before a Fractional Content Team really makes sense.” 

Also, David mentioned, a Fractional Head Of Content and Content Team sits best underneath a CMO, not a CEO. Having a CMO driving a marketing strategy that is already aligned to your business strategy provides a better bridge for your fractional head of content than expecting them to work directly with the CEO. Although in some specific cases, reporting to the CEO can be effective.

For teams that are looking to scale quickly, a Fractional CMO can provide that necessary bridge. And there are some great ones out there. 

What should you expect when hiring a fractional head of content or Content Team? 

If you’ve never hired fractionally before, the concept can seem a bit foreign. 

Is a part-time employee really going to help? How hard is it to coordinate schedules? Does having a fractional leader feel, well… fractional? 

David broke down the three main things you can expect when working with a fractional leader: tangible results, expert advice, and frequent communication. Here’s what that looks like within our team: 

So, first of all, you should expect results. A Fractional Head Of Content should have the ability to identify areas of weakness and let leadership know, for example, this person isn’t in the right role, this strategy isn’t cutting it, there’s no ROI here. 

Second, you can expect better direction for your company and more experience behind your communication and strategy. Fractional roles are more dynamic and often perform at higher levels because the relationship between fractional leaders is more at-will than with a full-time employee.  

Finally, you can expect frequent communication. Fractional shouldn’t feel fractional, or at least, it doesn’t with Red Basket’s customers.” 

Can you talk a bit more about how Red Basket works with clients and what that relationship looks like? How do you ensure that fractional doesn’t feel fractional? 

“So personally, there’s nothing fractional about my role,” David says. “It’s very hands-on. I’m down in the weeds getting dirty and getting stuff done with the digital marketers, with the CMO, with the people on whatever team I’m working with.” 

David further breaks down his role and his work with our clients as a fractional content lead: 

“I meet daily with CEOs, CROs, CMOs or whomever I’m working with, and then my job is to ensure that information and leadership trickles down to their team. I love being everywhere all at once for each of our customers. I’m in Slack, I’m there to respond whenever they need, and I’m really just fully integrated into their team. 

I love working across multiple teams and I learn something new every single day from each team. All the solutions, all of the problems that their customers face, the dynamics of marketing and how this all meets with content—how all of this triggers what you need to say and leveraging it back into all of the businesses that we work with—I love it.”

Considering a fractional Content Team? 

At Red Basket, we pride ourselves on creating a fractional content experience that never feels fractional for our clients. 
If you’re a B2B SaaS company looking to develop your content strategy, scale up content creation, increase conversions and build long-term customer loyalty—we’re here to help. Just reach out and we’ll show you how we can help support your business goals.


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