Content marketing is not just posting blogs, adding content to web pages or social media posting. All these things mentioned, should work in conjunction with the business goals. For managing and marketing business, what you need is quality content and its social outreach.
Before you leap into the career of content marketing, you first need to know the pre-requisites of a successful content marketing strategy. In this article, we are going to focus on some of the key aspects of becoming an effective content marketer.
Understanding content marketing
Content marketing is a more effective way as compared to the traditional way of marketing. It is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to driving profitable customer action.
Things that content marketers do
1. Content creation:
Content creation is not about writing on a random topic. It entails the creation of well-defined content for a target audience, keeping in line with the company’s voice.
The idea is to visualise the results. Before the content is written, it is crucial to understand what the marketer wants the readers to walk away with.
It goes without saying that in the digital age, content goes hand in hand with SEO or search engine optimisation.
All the web content is SEO-oriented to ensure that it generates traffic via search engines. Content can be textual, such as blog posts, news articles, press releases, case studies, etc. or visuals such as videos, infographics, illustrations, podcasts, etc.
If you wish to make it as a content marketer, it is a good idea to get yourself acquainted with SEO via the free online guide, SEO for beginners by Moz.
2. Content distribution:
What is the point of creating content if it does not reach the audience?
Content distribution is crucial to make the right content to reach the right audience through the right platform. Content distribution is commonly done through social media channels, forums, Q&A sites, etc.
Renowned management consultant and author, Peter Drucker rightly puts it:
“You can’t manage, what you can’t measure.”
Measuring and tracking is a vital aspect of marketing and content marketing is no different. Weekly/monthly reports and constant tracking through analytic tools is an important aspect to review the current scenario and draw conclusions for future actions.
Skills required to become a content marketer
Here are some of the most important skills to make you a content marketer:
1. Research skills:
- Content can be of multiple natures such as marketing content, technical content, academic content, etc.
- Creating a piece of content requires a certain level of knowledge that can be acquired through research and interview.
- To research on any given topic, one needs to find good sources of information, identify key data points, note them down and plan the content around them.
2. Writing skills and grammar
- No prizes for guessing! Writing is the essence of the content.
- In order to thrive as a content marketer, you must be super comfortable with words.
- However, when it comes to writing for the web, only possessing exceptional grammatical skills and vocabulary is not enough.
- It is vital to understand the target audience and their needs, the purpose of the content, and the tone of the brand.
- It is crucial to be comfortable with different writing styles.
- Every writing copy is different than the other. For example, a blog post is generally personal and opinionated, whereas an ad copy is short and persuasive.
Tools to check out:
- For content ideation and idea generation: Buzzsumo, Feedly, Quora, HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator, Google Trends
- For worthy content, trends, and influencers: EpicBeat
- For writing and grammar: Hemingway, Grammarly
- For content promotion: Hootsuite, SproutSocial, Buffer
3. SEO and other technical skills:
Now you know that SEO is inevitable when writing for the web. Optimising content for the search engine is as important as writing the content itself. Some important factors of SEO include keyword research skills, relevant use of keywords, optimising page title, meta-description optimisation, optimising images, etc. Technical skills, such as HTML, CSS, and analytics are highly appreciated by companies. Having command over these skills will give you an edge over other candidates.
As a content marketer, you will often work with content management systems like WordPress, etc. Thus, it is a good idea to get comfortable with CMS.
Tools/online certifications to check out:
- For keyword research and planning: Google Keyword Planner
- For HTML and CSS skills: HTML & CSS by Codecademy
- For Analytics: Google Analytics Certification
- For WordPress: Utilise WordPress forum and official website.
- You can also take up a free online course on Udemy.
4. Design and creative skills:
- As a content marketer, you will often work with images and visual content such as infographics, data visualisation, and creating/editing videos.
- Thus, it is crucial to have a basic knowledge of design tools.
- Not only will such skills save you time but they will also help you better optimise your content.
Tools to check out:
- For graphic design: Canva, Snappa, Crello, GIFmaker.me
- For creating videos: Biteable, Powtoon
- For free images: Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels
5. Project and content management skills:
A content marketer looks after several things. For common operations like maintaining the editorial calendar, keeping up with social media postings, assigning tasks, managing the blog, tracking the relevant metrics, etc.
Knowledge of project software tools becomes important. These tools help in sharing and managing content.
Tools to check out:
- Hootsuite, Buffer, Asana
6. Social media optimisation
- Your content needs to show where your audience is.
- As mentioned above, content production is not enough. Content distribution is as important.
- With digitalisation, social media has become an indispensable platform when it comes to communicating with your audience.
- Thus, knowledge of multiple social media platforms is highly crucial.
- Every day millions of blog posts and other content forms are generated on the internet.
- To cut through, content the marketer needs to be creative, analytical, and consistent.
- A mix of strong creative skills, a keen eye for the metrics, and utilisation of the right tools that will ensure a place for you in the content marketing domain.
Ways to kick start your content marketing career
- Start by building your writing skills
- Learn from the experts
- Develop your tech skills
- Get creative
- Brush up your research skills
- Spruce up your personal brand
- Enrol in courses that help you succeed
How to find the job for a content marketer
- Start your own blog
- Freelancing opportunities
- Free certification in content marketing