6 important skills your content marketer will need this year

Putting up a 500 word article no longer works. You need to hire content marketer who can create a long form copy, distribute and promote it to your audience and analyse its performance

Priyanka Desai
Updated: Jun 9, 2017 09:57:20 AM UTC
60 percent marketers say that producing engaging content is their biggest challenge (Image: Shutterstock - for illustrative purposes only)

These statistics show the importance of content marketing: • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3X times more leads. (DemandMetric)
• Conversion rates are nearly 6X higher for content marketing adopters than for non-adopters. (Aberdeen)
• The most effective B2B marketers spend 39% of their budget on content marketing. (TopRank)
• 78% consumers will trust you and your brand if you create more customized content. (KEYDifference Media)

Gone are the days when to rank higher on the search landscape all you needed was a boost in your online visibility with a good writer. A few topics written targeting some keywords and some blogs was all you needed to get going.

Today, the content space has become so crowded that companies pay to social media and publishers to get a greater reach and more readers. This has led to “Content Shock” where the content supply is exponentially exploding while the content demand is flat.

How difficult is it to create high quality content?
60% marketers say that producing engaging content is their biggest challenge. 21% respondents reported finding skilled content marketers as their sixth biggest problem. (Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 B2B report)

Putting up a 500 word article no longer works. You need to hire content marketer who can create a long form copy, distribute and promote it to your audience and analyze its performance. Here are the 6 important skills your content marketer will need in 2017.

#1. A master copywriter – A master copywriter writes persuasive copy capable of triggering the right emotions to induce the reader to buy your service or product. He should have an expert understanding of grammar, punctuations and spellings.

Additional skills include keyword research, documenting your content strategy and knowing a bunch of tools and software. He should be well-versed in:
• Crafting attractive headline, subheading and CTA.
• Talking to readers in a conversational tone
• Writing in an easily understandable language
• Picking the right subjects to write on
•Creating content for every stage of the sales funnel

Use tools such as Gramar.ly and Hemingway Editor to check grammar. Brainstorm on headline options with Portent’s Content Idea Generator and HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator.

#2. Research skillsSays Neil Patel, the co-founder of KISSmetrics, “Longer posts usually perform better on every level. They add immense value to your audience by going beyond just scratching the surface”. You need to research in-depth into a subject to create long form content.

Infact, research is needed at every step of the content marketing campaign. It’s the center stone of every kind of marketing. The basic things your content marketer will have to research on are:
• Identify the customer’s interests, demographics, pain points to create a customer persona and to craft engaging and relevant content
• Identify your competitors, the gaps in their strategy and come up with copy’s that address those shortcomings
• Understand the company products, their uniqueness and create content around it
• Dig out statistics to validate claims
The role of the content marketer is to constantly and subtly convert the lead into a customer and move him to the buying stage of the sales funnel. If content creator hasn’t researched about the values benefits to be presented and ways to drive conversion, you’ll be left with a poorly driven strategy. You’ll get the top-of-the-funnel leads who wouldn’t reach the bottom of the sales funnel.

Remember that there is no specific way of researching on a topic. The content marketer might have to interview your customers, go through the comments posted on your competitors’ blog and find out the gaps, use tools such as BuzzSumo and or by searching on Reddit and Quora.

#3. Monitoring analytics – A skilled content marketer is able to understand the different types of metrics (sales, lead generation, consumption and social) and tie them together to give a complete view of the company’s content marketing performance against the business goals.

His role is to guide your business in terms of measuring the performance of the content across various platforms. It is essential for him to know the ins and outs of content marketing metrics to judge the meaningful ones for your business.
For example, to drive traffic to your website and drive sales, being able to trace the traffic and conversions to the channel and the certain posts that bring in this traffic will help you to understand the type of content that helps to achieve your goals.
Your content marketer should know the metrics to be tracked and how to read and interpret that data.

#4. Specialization in your industry – Sure I’ve known some skilled writers and content marketers who can quickly learn about a new industry and create insightful value driven content. However, that’s not always the case.

Today, your content has to be 10X better than what is out there. To identify, research, understand, create and promote the 10X content requires the content marketer to be an expert in one or some parts to become an expert.

For example, to create high quality articles about the SAAS industry, the content marketer must know about metrics such as monthly recurring revenue, churn, cost per acquisition, average revenue per customer and lifetime value. In absence of this knowledge, you’re limiting the value of your content and your audience will see through it.

You can leverage the expertise and experience of a skilled content marketer.

#5. Dabble with design – Creating content doesn’t just include writing. It includes curating relevant graphics or designing images from scratch.

Blog Pros analyzed 100 of their high ranking posts to conclude that each article had an average of 3.2 images for an average of 1150 word article.

(Image courtesy: Blog Pros)

(Image courtesy: Blog Pros)

Creating images is easy for a professional designer. However, the content marketer might have to play with tools such as Canva and Buffer’s Pablo to create his own graphic designs.

#6. Community engagement – The primary aim of building a community is to gain the trust of your prospective customers. SAAS business Moz understood the importance of a community for boosting customer acquisition and retention. The tight-knight community is filled with brand ambassadors contributing in the growth of the Moz platform.

The role of the content marketer is to build a community that brings people together and improves their life by helping them. The work includes seeding discussions, asking relevant thought provoking questions and engaging with the members. Another part is to set up the tone of the community, being ever present, creating community guidelines and making sure that everyone follows them.

The skills of the content marketer required to build a community include resourcefulness, ability to connect to people, to stimulate a discussion and be firm but empathetic. If your followers get value out of your community, they’ll recommend it to others, thereby leading to greater exposure. Also, increased engagement on community sites can result in upto 25% increase in revenues according to a study by the Marketing Science Institute.

Over to you: Your content marketer might not be an expert at all of these skills. Being good at some of them will prove to be a great asset for your business.

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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