The Right Writing Skills
In some capacity, everybody can write. It’s a basic skill that is necessary to survive in today’s electronic world. But being a great content marketer requires a multitude of different writing skills that not everybody has.
First is a mastery of different voices. A single person might have a specific writing style that works for them, but content marketers need to be able to write in multiple styles. A brand’s voice is more than likely different from your personal writing style. For example, a food blog is going to have a more casual voice than a B2B software company.
Next is writing for online readers. Growing up, we learn how to write essays extensively, but writing online is very different from this. The most important part is being interesting. This is very different from the boring, 500 word essays we wrote in high school. If to accomplish this, you have to break some grammatical rules, then so be it.
Finally, you need to be able to research and write about things you might not be familiar with. This is especially true if you are part of an agency or marketing for a company you are unfamiliar with. Solid research leads to strong articles and helps your marketing come across as being an expert.
Image and Video Production
When people hear “content marketing,” many simply think of writing a blog for a site, but a great content marketer needs to be able to do more than that. Having a large and flexible toolbelt ensures being able to produce content that engages an audience in a variety of ways, hopeful in a format that they best engage with. More than likely, that includes things like infographics, Youtube videos and other multimedia content.
For working with images, the base level should be able to work with programs like Photoshop and Illustrator to produce content images. Even if you aren’t planning on creating large image based content as part of your strategy, being able to change and improve images can go a long way with your blog content. Great looking photos can help keep a visitor’s attention while giving their eyes a brief rest from reading.
Video production can be a bit more tricky with the wide variety of softwares available, along with all of the extra equipment needed to film. If you run a very casual vlog, than a smartphone camera and light editing will be enough, but if you want to make professional videos, you’ll need more. A good starting point, if you aren’t video editing savvy, is Windows Movie Maker or Adobe Premier.
If you’re part of a larger marketing team, looking at the data might not be part of your normal duties, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be familiar with it. Great business decisions are guided by numbers and content marketing is no exemption.
Learning and understanding Google Analytics is an essential for marketers because it can tell them how well or poorly their content is performing. Data sets like general traffic can tell how your site is growing and an overall sense of health. Other sets, like bounce rate, can inform whether the content you are producing is any good or if it’s capturing visitors attention. Finally, traffic flow can show how your content interacts with the rest of your site and where you are losing traffic from your site.
Another data related skill that content marketers need is to be able to show their ROI. Tracking your analytics and coupling it with sales not only shows if what you are doing is worth the costs, but also how effective it is bringing in new customers versus other marketing tactics.
Many consider content marketing the replacement to SEO, but the reality is that the two need to work together seamlessly. Having keyword and topic focuses in content can improve a site’s SEO while good SEO can help your content be seen when people search.
A comprehensive understanding of SEO tactics isn’t needed, but a firm knowledge of keywords and meta descriptions is. This includes things like how to identify important keywords, how often to include said keywords and where in the content, plus how to build effective meta descriptions.
Being Able To Sell
Far too often, businesses view the marketing and sales departments and processes as two separate entities, that are only connected by marketing providing leads to sales. Many content marketers know little about how to make a sale or what their sales team does with their leads.
Understanding sales can bring some much needed perspective to your marketing efforts and know how to properly set up leads to convert into customers. Good sales skills can also help when making a call to action and understanding what motivates your customers to become a lead and eventually buy your product.
Are there any skills you think are invaluable to content marketers? Is there a specific skill you specialize in that others don’t? Let us know in the comments below.
IMAGE CREDIT: StartupStockPhotos