A few years ago I was hired as a content marketer at a small web design company.
At the time, I thought one skill – and only one skill – would serve me well enough to be successful: the ability to write.
I was a proud English graduate who had no idea how to make it a success as a content marketer.
Fortunately, over the years I have acquired some key skills that have allowed me to grow as a content marketer. Most of these skills have nothing to do with writing.
Whether you’ve been a content marketer for years or want to be hired for your first content marketing role, you’re in luck. Here, let’s examine the skills you need to distinguish yourself as a content marketer in 2021 and beyond.
Content Marketing Skills
Most likely, the vast majority of your role as a content marketer will require you to create content that will convert leads and increase sales. To do this successfully, you need to be a good copywriter.
However, it is important to note that writing copywriting for marketing purposes requires different skills than writing for non-business purposes.
For one, copywriting for a company requires a consistent commitment to writing with the unique voice of a brand.
This can get especially tricky if you’re a freelance content marketer creating content for various companies and industries. However, it is important that you develop the ability to write in different styles depending on a company’s needs.
For example, a sales blog may require you to write short, concise, and straightforward sentences because sales reps often have time and need immediate answers.
Marketers, on the other hand, have a little more time to appreciate writing for writing’s sake, so you can take the time to use more creative long-form sentences.
Additionally, the way you write a video script for an insurance company is very different from the way you write a social copy for an e-commerce company.
Developing a brand voice – and knowing how to change your writing style based on business needs and audience personality – is an important skill in content marketing.
2. Edit skills
Similar to copywriting, becoming a skilled editor is essential if you are to succeed as a content marketer.
Good, clear writing can be strong enough to convince hesitant prospective buyers. And on the flip side, messy, error-prone writing can lead to new visitors and prospects leaving your website entirely.
In short, the ability to edit is the difference between mediocre writing and compelling, engaging, and highly converting content.
No pressure, right?
Learning to create content quickly is an important skill of any content marketer, especially if you are responsible for creating content for your business across a variety of channels. Editing is therefore a mandatory step in order to clean up this copy and make it sound as professional and polished as possible.
3. SEO skills
This skill has been difficult for me to master, but it’s important to making sure my content is online and reaching the right audience when they need it most.
As a content marketer, your job isn’t just about creating quality content. It’s also about creating content that will turn readers, listeners, or observers into customers.
And to do this, you need a basic understanding of SEO.
For example, if you’re a content marketer in charge of your company’s YouTube page, you’d want to know how to do keyword research to see what people are looking for on YouTube, and then compelling, SEO-optimized titles and Titles write video descriptions to attract viewers to those videos.
Alternatively, as a blogger, you need to know how to create SEO-optimized content – including using appropriate alt text in your images, using relevant keywords in your section headings, and carefully incorporating keywords into your content (instead of keywords). Filling).
Ultimately, SEO makes sure that the content you work hard to create is delivered to the right audience at the right time. Without a foundation in SEO, it will then be difficult to be successful as a content marketer.
4. A talent for interviews
As a content marketer, you often need to create content on unfamiliar or complex topics.
It can be daunting to do the research necessary to produce informative, helpful content on a topic that you are, at best, a novice at. This is where you can advance as a content marketer through interviews.
For example, when I had to write about Google’s rel = nofollow announcement last year, I knew I would have a hard time figuring out why it matters to our audience if I don’t speak to an SEO strategist. Because of this, I interviewed my colleague Victor Pan to add expert advice and help my audience understand the topic on a deeper level.
5. Time management and organization skills
One of the most important skills any content marketer can cultivate is the ability to stay organized even under tight deadlines.
As a content marketer, you need to publish content on a consistent and effective basis to ensure that you are reaching audiences for your sales team and converting them into leads every month. Therefore, organizing and maintaining a content calendar that aligns with your company’s goals is a critical aspect of your role.
In addition, writing can be exhausting. Therefore time management is important to avoid burnout. For example, if you have to write four blog posts per week, it helps if you can block the time on your calendar for “write time” during your peak productivity hours. If you write these four blog posts the night before the posts are due, you will not be successful as a content marketer.
Use project management software to make sure your content stays organized as your team scales.
6. Data and analysis skills
If you don’t have the skills to analyze the performance of your content, it will be difficult – if not impossible – to repeat your strategy over time and reach new levels of growth.
A content marketer’s roles include the ability to analyze industry trends, keep track of your audience’s preferences and behaviors, and use all of that information to make strategic decisions and expand your brand’s reach.
When I first started creating content for HubSpot’s blog, I was vehemently against data. I enjoyed the creativity in content creation, and data felt like the exact opposite of all of that.
Over time, however, I realized that it didn’t matter how creative or unique my content was if no one read it.
This is where data came in. It helped me review the types of content I wrote, pick new topics that I knew my audience would like best, and stay ahead of industry trends to make sure my content was getting with the conversions match that are taking place with marketers around the world.
Ultimately, data is critical to making sure you have a strong and effective content strategy.
These are just a few skills you need to master as you move up as a content marketer. Ultimately, the ability to stay flexible and figure out the needs of your own company’s unique goals is critical to long-term success as a content marketer.