Oh, Hello Branding Group
Content marketing is nothing new, but the skills required to excel in the field are only expanding as marketing evolves. Many people think that the only skill needed for content marketers is writing, which while important, is not the only skill that content marketers should have. Most of the following skills are not related to writing at all. Here are 6 essential content marketing skills for a successful marketing strategy:
While there are other skills that are needed to be a successful content marketer, copywriting is still an integral part of the job. Essentially, content marketers are there to create content that converts leads and drives sales. In order to do this successfully, you need to be a good copywriter. But many people think that copywriting and writing are the same thing, and this isn’t necessarily true. Copywriting requires specific skill sets depending on what type of company you are working for. For example, if you’re working for a retail company, you will be required to consistently write for that retail company in their unique brand voice. If you’re working at an agency working on multiple accounts, you might be required to understand and write for multiple companies using their unique brand voice, which can be an entirely different skill set.
It’s also important to write copy that is specific to the type of content you are creating, for example if you are writing a blog post for a sales blog, you would want to keep the copy short, concise, and straightforward, as salespeople are often on short timelines and need to get to the point quickly.
On the other hand, since writing is a big part of marketing, a marketing blog is the perfect place to flex your creative writing skills, and long form copy is just as effective here.
Another example would be a video script vs. social copy, as you have to keep the way in which the consumer will be hearing or reading your copy into consideration. Another critical skill in content marketing is being able to develop and stay consistent with a brand voice, and knowing how to adjust your writing style depending on the content and targeted buyer persona.
Similar to copywriting, editing is a big part of content marketing as well. Clear, concise copy can be very powerful in converting prospects to leads, however, unclear and rambly copy can also turn new customers away. The difference between effective and ineffective copy really comes down to editing. Content marketing sometimes requires a large amount of content to be made very quickly, which only stresses the importance of editing to clean up the copy and make it sound as professional and polished as possible.
The effectiveness of your copy and editing skills are only important if your content reaches the right audience when they are searching for it. Content marketing isn’t just about creating high quality content, it’s also about creating content that converts prospects into customers. And to do this, a basic understanding of best SEO practices is required.
For an in depth explanation on best SEO practices, check out our blog post here.
For example, if you are in charge of your company’s blog, you will want to know how to perform keyword research and create blog content based on those keywords. You’ll also want to make sure the blogs themselves are optimized for SEO, as well as the meta description and title, to attract readers. Or, if you are in charge of the company YouTube channel, you still need to know the basics of SEO, but for YouTube’s platform specifically. You’ll still need to do some keyword research so your videos match up with what people are searching for, as well as optimizing the video description, title, and thumbnail.
SEO is really the key to making sure the content that you worked so hard on is seen by your target audience at the right time. Without a good understanding of SEO, content marketing is just good content, served on a platform with no one reading or searching for it.
Content marketers often have to create content about topics they have little to no prior knowledge of, which is why interviewing is another important skill. You can also take the research route to understand unfamiliar or complex topics, but interviewing an expert will give your content an edge that similar pieces just don’t have. And don’t think that you have to talk to a CEO or other high up expert, if you are writing a piece on SEO and have a co-worker who is experienced with SEO, interview them! Just using an outside source with relevant expertise will set your content apart from the rest. It will also provide your audience a sense of authority from your content, as they know you’ve done the research and work to find an expert on a specific topic.
5. Time Management & Organization
Another important skill set in content marketing is time management and organization, as you may be required to create content under shortened timelines. Content marketing is publishing high quality content on a consistent basis to make sure you’re both reaching and converting your audience into leads for your sales team. As a result, being highly organized and following a content calendar is a very important part of the role.
Another thing to keep in mind is that writing so often can get tiring, so time management is important to avoid burning out. If you are required to write 6 blog posts per week, it would be helpful to block time on your calendar to make sure you have time set aside to focus on writing those posts, as our work days can often get changed around with meetings and other commitments. If you are more of a procrastinator, you’ll have to rush to create 6 high quality blog posts the night before they’re due, which leads to less effective writing and in turn, a lower conversion rate.
6. Data Analysis
Lastly, having data analysis skills is very important in content marketing. If you’ve got all the other skills down, your content is great, but you need to know how to identify and measure its success through data and analytics. You should also be able to interpret that data and identify content that is working, and content that is not working so you know how to create your next pieces of content. This will help your strategy improve over time and achieve new levels of growth for your organization. You also should be able to analyze industry trends, and create content that is personalized to your audience’s preferences and behavior, so you can make strategic decisions when creating content. Some marketers focus on the creativity of content rather than the data that results from it, and while creativity is always important, at the end of the day if your content isn’t performing well, the creativity behind it won’t matter.
Ultimately, all of the above skills are important for successful content marketing. Want more marketing tips?