Online content is a key part of any business’s marketing strategy, but any business will find it hard to achieve their marketing goals without a clear content strategy. According to Marketing Profs and the Content Marketing Institute, 63 percent of businesses don’t have a documented content strategy.
This is where a content strategist comes in. With only 42 percent of companies having a designated content strategist, brands that choose to have one on their team can gain a competitive advantage.
What is a Content Strategist?
A content strategist can be thought of as the architect of a business’s content marketing plan. Their job is to ensure the efficient delivery of useful and engaging online content to potential and existing customers. To develop a successful content strategy, they need to understand a business, its marketing goals, and the needs of its target audience.
What Are the Main Tasks of a Content Strategist?
The duties of a content strategist will vary from one business to the next, but there are some common tasks they’ll be responsible for:
Assessing Existing Content
A content strategist will identify where content is located, how it’s designed, how it functions, and where improvements can be made. They’ll determine whether the content is designed with the target audience and search engines in mind, and ensure it is consistent across all online channels.
The role will also involve meeting team members across different departments to develop promotional strategies, find content gaps, and look at how to refresh older content.
Related Reading: How to Perform a Complete SEO Content Audit
They’ll ensure that all team members are aware of a brand’s editorial strategy. This involves creating and maintaining an editorial calendar and giving team members a content style guide:
• Clarifies the style and tone of all brand content.
• Identifies audience demographics and personas.
• Highlights common customer pain points.
• Gives details on preferred content formats and delivery channels.
Each type of content needs to be presented appropriately, based on research and experience. A content strategist will determine the best content distribution channels, understand how to tailor content to each channel, and will know when and how often to publish content. A content strategist may not write on a daily basis, but they may have to jump in and create content when necessary.
Editing is more than cutting words and optimizing phrases. It’s about understanding what should be rewritten or discarded according to analytics data and content performance.
Analyzing Content Performance
Content strategists must be able to use analytics tools to measure content performance according to marketing goals. They will spot weaknesses in specific areas and plan new strategies where appropriate.
As well as knowing how to improve content marketing ROI by focusing on the right organic channels, a content strategist will be familiar with paid content strategies. These include search engine marketing, social media ads, display advertising, and native advertising.
Related Reading: A Guide to Paid Content Promotion
What Makes Someone a Good Content Strategist?
The best content strategists will possess certain qualities that enable them to achieve greater content marketing success. Look out for someone who has the following:
A good candidate will have years of content marketing experience. They’ll be familiar with planning and executing content campaigns, and will, therefore, have a more instinctive feel for what will and won’t work.
Having a background in your specific industry is a bonus. They’re more likely to care about your business and understand your target market.
Multitasking and Organizational Skills
A brand’s content marketing success depends on a clear strategy. You need someone who can plan effectively, lead projects, and keep projects on track without compromising quality.
An Eye for Detail
A content strategist needs to be constantly aware of content performance. What are people engaging with? Which pieces of content drive conversions? This requires knowledge of analytics tools and how to interpret data.
Not everyone will appreciate the importance of content marketing. Content strategists need to be able to demonstrate to others the power of content marketing and also promote team collaboration.
An Ability to Remain Calm Under Pressure
Managing tight schedules isn’t always easy, so a strategist needs to keep their composure when deadlines are tight and conflicts emerge. They should also be able to adapt quickly to unpredictable events. Remaining in control doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t take risks; the best content strategists are always willing to test exciting new strategies to maximize results.
Being able to craft engaging content is key to effective content marketing, so having great copywriting skills is a major advantage. Knowing how to tell a great story and persuade readers through colourful language is a valuable skill.
Is It Time to Hire a Content Strategist?
Only 35 percent of B2C marketers believe their content marketing strategy is very effective. A content strategist will map out a content plan that delivers the right content to your existing audience and potential customers. They’ll strengthen your content strategy by defining your marketing objectives, competitive advantages, and unique brand voice.
If you want to ensure all the ingredients of your digital content work together, you should definitely consider hiring a content strategist. It will strengthen your brand’s online presence for years to come.