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12 Skills You Need to Be a Content Marketer
How many times have you heard the phrase ‘content is king’? Perhaps too often, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
In fact, as the years go by, quality content is more important than ever, as are skilled, experienced content marketers. These are the people who will keep your blogs alive, who will get people excited about your products and services, and who will build up a dedicated community for your brand.
With content marketing becoming increasingly more popular in the world of digital marketing, there has never been a better time to knuckle down and get to grips with the fundamentals of content marketing to help get yourself ahead of the game. In this article, we'll be analysing twelve vital skills that will help take your content marketing to the next level - or help you begin your career in content marketing.
Before you even begin to craft your first piece of content, it's vital that you start to work on your research skills - although it is arguably the most arduous part of content marketing, good quality research can mean the difference between success and failure. It's not just about having the skills and patience to carry out research; it's also about knowing what and where to research in order to produce the best results.
You will need research skills to find the right keywords, to see what your competitors are producing, for fact checking and ultimately to create a piece of content that will rank higher and get shared more than any other competing content, simply because it’s so comprehensive and interesting.
Once you've carried out your research, it's time to start creating a strategy and put the data you've collected to good use. When creating your strategy, it's essential to start by looking at what goals and objectives you want to achieve and what metrics you will use to measure success. In addition, it's also a good idea to set KPIs (key performance indicators) to see if your content marketing campaign is on the right path once it has been launched.
You might already be a competent copywriter or video producer, but content marketing has many moving parts, and sometimes it's impossible to do it all by yourself, which is why it's important to delegate certain tasks to people within your team. Often this requires hiring freelancers and private contractors - whichever route you choose to go down, it's vital that you build a team that has a shared goal and knows what they have to do to achieve it.
Being a team player is key to being a successful content marketer. More often than not, a lack of collaborative skills amongst team members causes the failure of a content marketing campaign. This is particularly important today, where content teams are often working remotely and have to communicate digitally, where messages and intent can often come across differently than they would face-to-face. It's also worth remembering that content marketing is a creative process, and everyone works differently, so you need to bear that in mind if you're working in a project management role.
5. Storytelling ability
A great content marketer is one that can tell a story and engage their audience - while people want to know the nitty-gritty of what you're trying to market, they will likely lose interest early on if you simply bombard them with facts, especially at the early stages of the marketing funnel. So, regardless of the product or service you're marketing, it's important to infuse a narrative to help encourage your audience to maintain interest and take further action.
6. Video production skills
Although you might not be heading up video content production, it always helps to have a basic understanding of how it works, as video content is now one of the biggest facets of content marketing - with most people using sites like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok on a daily basis. If you're looking to get a basic grasp of video production fundamentals, there are a number of excellent tutorials on YouTube that will take you step-by-step through the basics.
Influencer Marketing Hub reports that when it comes to engagement rate, TikTok beats all other platforms across accounts of all sizes, making it a hugely valuable content marketing platform.
7. Graphic design basics
Good graphic design can be your best friend as a content marketer, as a high-quality graphic or infographic can present detailed information in an easy to consume piece of content. This is especially important if you're considering using social media as a part of your campaign, as most content on social media is image-based.
Used properly, infographics can boost web traffic by 12%
No matter what area of content marketing you choose to specialise in, knowing how to create good copy is essential! The beauty of copywriting is that we can all do it - we already know how to write; it just takes some time to practice and get to grips with the art of communicating an idea to an audience. Similar to video content production, there are many helpful tutorials on YouTube that will help you get to grips with copywriting fundamentals.
9. Editorial skills
As you'll spend most of your time as a content marketer working in a team, you're most likely going to have the task of editing someone else's work, as people often find it hard to spot their own mistakes. In addition to fixing errors, you'll also have to ensure that every piece of content that your team produces is in line with the brand tone of voice.
10. SEO fundamentals
SEO and content marketing are one and the same, which means that every time you produce a piece of content, you should have SEO at the forefront of your mind. You might be thinking that SEO is a waste of time and doesn't generate results unless you have a huge budget to put towards it, but this is simply not true. SEO can be one of the most effective content marketing strategies, and every content marketer must know the basics of SEO, including keyword research, where to place keywords, how and why to use internal links and anchor text and why it’s important to link to high-authority sources, to name just a few.
11. Competitor research and analysis
Not only will competitor research allow you to understand what you're going to be up against, but it will also give you insights into how you should be carrying out your content marketing campaigns to achieve the best results. It's important to remember that competitor research isn't just about what your competitors are doing well; it's also about learning what they're doing badly.
12. Stay patient
This is often the Achilles heel for most content marketers, as it's easy to become frustrated if the results don't appear right away. For although you might hear of campaigns going viral overnight, the truth is, most content marketing campaigns can take months before any quantifiable results - so remember - stay patient!
We hope this guide helps you on your journey to becoming a first-class content marketer that will tackle the new digital age head-on and achieve excellent results!
About the Author
Larry Kotch is the co-founder of The Brains, an award-winning digital marketing agency. Ranked #3 in B2B Marketing's Global 30 under 30, Larry leads a dedicated, remote team of talented digital marketing professionals.