Content marketing is white hot in the world of digital marketing, and so content marketers and content strategists are one of the hottest job titles in marketing.
And with the shift away from paid promotion, through attempts at earned social media and into “owned” media approaches that require content marketing strategists, the demand for content marketing skills is far exceeding the supply.
Once people move beyond the need for content strategy, one of the questions asked a lot includes “what skills should I look for when hiring a content marketing director or content strategist?”
“84% of companies have a content marketing strategy. Moreover, the Content Marketing Institute also reports that 30% of marketers plan to increase their content budgets.”
Here’s a quick brush-up on content marketing from Ahrefs to get accustomed to the general concepts of content marketing;:
- Companies spend A LOT (sometimes too much) on advertising
- Content marketing is the easiest way to reduce spending and increase traffic on your site
- Providing content people seek out to read is the most crucial part of the puzzle
So if whether you are looking to build a new content marketing team or work on your current one, here are 7 content marketing skills your team needs to have.
Digital Strategy: Experience and ideally management of the resources responsible for the publication of a brand’s content through social channels. More than just a community manager, you need someone who understands the channels your audience is using, knows the nuances and context for each, and knows how to maximize your company resources to drive impact across digital channels.
The first step in content marketing is planning out your content (content planning) based on your SEO research.The more you get into a rhythm with content creation the quicker you’ll get a read on how often to post. Typically you want to be pumping out this new content daily. The effectiveness of your blogging increases exponentially when you go from publishing 1x per week to 4x.
Project management: Editors are project managers with a deep understanding of what your brand should be saying and how it should be saying it. I think you can teach editorial skills and you can train someone on your brand voice. But they need to have the ability to manage a plan and define a continuous publishing schedule (vs. campaign-based mentality).
Analytics: Content marketing requires a deep knowledge of common analytic tools (Google Analytics, Omniture, etc.) and optimization approaches (A/B testing, multivariate tools). Often websites will show you on the backend how many customers you have are repeat customers. Diving deep into the extra layer to see how many came from your digital media efforts is a good step in hitting your KPIs.
Business Acumen: You need your content marketing leader to have the ability to translate what you are doing, why you are doing it and to be able to present the business value of content marketing to business people. This means showing both the volume of content marketing KPIs (pageviews, social shares, etc) and also the business value of your efforts.
Examples of KPIs include:
- Content marketing campaign’s impact on your sales team’s productivity
- Percentage of business earned from content marketing vs marketing-generated customers
- Amount of money put into ad spending vs time spent working on content marketing
Content Strategy: Your content marketing strategist has to understand how to make magic with limited resources! This means having a point of view on how to combine original content creation with curated, licensed and syndicated content to maximize the reach and potential of your own media properties.
Think about what your target audience is asking themselves on a daily basis. Put yourself in your client’s shoes. What article would catch your attention? What kinds of information are you researching before a purchase? Get on their level, and the answers will become clearer.
Inbound marketing mindset: Maybe we should have made this number 1. Inbound marketing and content marketing are a mindset. You need someone with demonstrated proficiency in earning audience attention through classic inbound techniques (search, social). This includes a solid understanding of SEO and the way to create content that attracts attention.
One of the reasons inbound marketing works is that the internet has evolved to become a conversation superhighway. People desire interactive communication when online, and a more personalized relationship with the companies they partner with.
They’re spot on! Being marketed to in a way specific to each of your prospects greatly improves your chances of converting them to a lead, and then the final goal – customer. It’s not just about distracting ads, it’s about establishing connections to get them to your site and keep coming back.
Social Proof: Many companies require everyone on their team to contribute to their content marketing efforts. You don’t need to be a great writer or have a huge social following, but look for people interested in learning how to create consistent content and grow their personal brands through content and social.
Look to see if they understand how to use content on social personally themselves (Twitter following, publishes regularly on a blog, active on Facebook or Instagram, etc). Or, if they are not active, gain an understanding of what brands or people they want to emulate if they were active.
(Bonus) A Sense of Humor: Life is short and we all work hard. One of the best ways to reach your audience is though funny, entertaining and lighter content that breaks up the day. Hire folks who can bring a sense of humor or some creativity to your brand’s content strategy.
It’s not rocket science! Regardless of if you’re bringing on new people to your team or restructuring your content strategy, good, smart people are the difference maker to your bottom line. So either go get hiring or set up a meeting to discuss the future of your content marketing strategy!
Do you want to use some of the marketing strategies seen here on MIG’s site but need some help or advice? Marketing Insider Group has a team of 35+ experienced writers ready to produce content for YOUR business. Check out our weekly blog content service or schedule a free consultation.