Since content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads, it’s no wonder that content marketers are in high demand. With good reason too. Content marketing is a great way for brands to cut through the barrage of information users are constantly inundated with every second of every day.
But we can’t look to traditional methods to ascertain whether someone is a good content marketer. There’s not one degree that one can attain to mold oneself into the perfect candidate. In fact, a good content marketer must possess an array of qualities and skills to be good at their job.
1. Excellent Writer
The absolute most important asset of a great content marketer is the ability to write great content. No brainer? Try sifting through 500+ writers applications from ‘professional’ freelance writers to find the golden gem. It’s an embarrassing task to say the least. Embarrassing for those who think they can write.
Point of admission: I was once told by a grad school professor that she was shocked to see that I even made it past high school with my writing level. That I should ‘re-take’ her Sociology class (remember those bird courses?) in order to improve my writing. Uh, sure thing buttercup! Sign me up.
What that was, was a slap in the face. Do I really suck? I looked back at my work and realized I was mediocre at best. But knowing, admitting and then correcting are three different things altogether. There are a lot of people who claim to be great, but their work all too often falls short of even being worthy of a tweet.
How do you spot a great writer? Surely it’s someone that not only follows instruction very well, gets the voice spot on, edits their work intensely before submitting a draft, but is also one who makes sure there is little to NOTHING left to edit upon submitting their final draft. There is a lot of onboarding (aka, hand holding) at first, but a great writer leaves less work for you in the end.
A content marketer needs to know how to navigate different kinds of content. It’s okay to have a specialty, but in order to keep a brand on top of its game and attract more readers and users, producing multiple kinds of content is a must.
Depending on the work, content marketers often have to write in various tones and styles different than their own. This allows you to utilise them for different content that requires varying tones and styles, from press releases to infographics. If you have a hire a content marketer that can only write one kind of content in a singular tone and style, then you have to hire more people to make up where they are lacking. A content marketer that is adaptable saves you time and money.
There’s a whole lot of content out there. And in order for brands to keep up and produce content that people won’t glance over, content marketers need to be constantly coming up with fresh ideas fast.
Not everyone is wired or conditioned for that kind of creativity and brainstorming. So in addition to knowing how to string a sentence together in a comprehensible way, they need to be creative with how they structure their content. This is especially important when you consider that emotion beats reason when it comes to reaching buyers and consumers.
4. Always Learning
Thought leadership is a must-have quality for any content marketer. If they have no knowledge of industry happenings, how can they write with authority? But they should also be curious about areas of knowledge outside of the industry. Getting inspiration from outside sources is another way to add depth and freshen a brand’s content.
Good content marketers are allergic to the status quo. They are constantly taking risks and testing new strategies to ensure that the content they produce is alluring. Although it may mean that they and the CEO might butt heads sometimes, this is a necessary quality to keep a brand’s content relevant and novel.
Without passion, the content that will be produced will reflect that lack of passion. The content will come across stale and generic. The best content marketers live for their content and believe in the overall mission of the brand they’re representing.
Like a great actor who studies, practices, and completely submerges themselves into the lives of the character they are playing, so too does a content marketer. They need to obsessively understand and appreciate the context of the content for which they are publishing. Without that passion and dedication, their content can quickly become stale and just-another-shiny-object.
7. Organized and Dependable
As overseer of the content marketing strategy and schedule, a content marketer must possess some project management skills. Even if one has all of the above skills, does it matter if they can never make a deadline? The answer is no.
Did we miss any qualities? Let us know in the comments below.
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