The right content strategist can help you meet your business goals. For example, if you work with a strategist who knows B2B marketing strategies, you can get more business customers. Many people use the content strategist title, so how do you make the right choice? Use the questions in this post to make an informed decision.
Content Strategist: Start With Business Goals First
Before you talk to a content strategist, it is wise to give your business goals some thought. For example, your goal might be to launch a new product to the market. A new product launch will require one type of content. In contrast, growing organic traffic to your website will require different methods (e.g., content audits).
1 What does a content strategist do?
A content strategist uses several marketing skills to bring more leads to your business. Generally, a content strategist focuses on big picture business strategy questions first. That means asking questions about sales, profits, target market, and more. It might feel awkward to answer these questions, but it is vital.
Once a content strategist understands your business strategy, they can develop customized content strategies suited to your business situation.
2 What does a content strategy include?
It depends on your business’s size, the strategist’s skills, and the degree of competition you face in the market. In general, a helpful content strategy includes the following areas:
- Business strategy: explain the product or service you’re focused on selling and describe the target market.
- Competitive analysis. Analyze the market presence of the company’s main competitors. For example, review the content marketing published by competitors using a tool like SEMrush. It is also worthwhile to find out where competitors are active on social media platforms. In addition, use tools like Google Search Console to understand the search terms that bring in customers
- Customer Interviews. There’s nothing like gathering insights directly from customers. A content strategy should consider the specific questions, complaints, and desires raised by your customers. In these interviews, ask how customers use social media platforms and
- Set content objectives. Using a content calendar, determine how often the business will publish content to address each part of the customer journey. Your objectives should also include measures of inbound traffic (e.g., increase monthly organic traffic by 5% each month)
- Content distribution. Publishing on your website is not enough. Instead, use social platforms to republish your content and encourage people to come back to your website.
3 What are the qualifications of a content specialist?
The answer depends on your situation. Let’s assume you are a potential client and want to work with a content strategist to grow your business by attracting more potential customers.
A qualified content specialist can only help you to grow your business if they have the following skills:
- Focused on business objectives. The best writing skills in the world are only valuable if they bring in more customers. A content specialist should always focus their efforts on key performance indicators such as lead generation.
- Writing skills. A content specialist needs to know how to write content that generates inbound traffic from search engines on the one hand. Creating content to make Google happy is just one part of the equation. You also need an understanding of psychology and solid copywriting skills. That means knowing when to ask for the sale, such as asking a business owner to contact you to request a free marketing review.
- Thinks in terms of marketing campaigns. Sometimes clients tell me that they want to “one article” or one piece of content. I understand why they say this – they want to see results before investing. There’s just one problem. It is nearly impossible to connect with a target audience the right way. Instead, you need to take a marketing campaign approach where a content creator creates multiple types of content over a period of time. By taking this approach, you
- Understanding of Multiple Traffic Sources. Most content specialists and content strategists know social media platforms and SEO guidelines to drive traffic. Drawing potential customers from several digital marketing channels, you stand a better chance of reaching your goals.
4 What makes a good strategist?
A good strategist can develop a strategy and guide it to success. Some strategists are content to develop a plan, hand it off to the client and leave. There are some cases where that approach makes sense (e.g., the business has a strong internal marketing team lacking strategic direction). In most cases, a strategist will also need to help a business owner with execution by organizing content creation, copywriting, and related tasks.
A good content strategist is also concerned with business objectives rather than vanity metrics. In digital marketing, it is far too easy to become fixated on metrics like page views. Such metrics have some value in assessing whether or not you are making progress toward your goals. However, a 100% increase in page views is not valuable on its own.
5 What is a content strategy framework?
A content strategy framework defines how a specific business will approach content marketing. It matters because general principles developed by organizations like the Content Marketing Institute need to be customized.
Common elements of a content strategy framework include answers to the following questions:
- What is our cost of customer acquisition?
- Who is going to consume our content?
- What problem can we solve for the audience with our content?
- What makes our business unique?
- What content formats (e.g., blog posts, video, audio, etc.) will we focus on?
- What channels (e.g., blog, Facebook, Linkedin, Medium) will we use?
- How will we manage content creation? (e.g., outsourcing to a content marketing agency)
6 What is the difference between content strategy and content marketing?
Content strategists develop a content strategy, but they don’t always play a role in execution.
Let’s imagine you are building a house. The architect creates the blueprint that describes the size and layout of each room. The blueprint keeps the building process organized and focused. In this analogy, content strategists are like the architect who sets out the vision for the project.
Back to our house…. Now you have a blueprint! Fantastic. That’s not the end of the job, however. You also need to build the house. The actual building of the house may involve multiple specialists. Likewise, putting content marketing into action will involve search engine optimization, copywriting, and analytics. All of these skills are needed to achieve success.
7 What makes a good content strategy?
A good content strategy helps you to achieve business goals like obtaining more leads. If the strategy doesn’t move the needle on leads and customers, it needs to be revised.
Now, what about all of these “secondary” marketing metrics? Is it a bad thing if your content strategy brings in more website traffic? On its own, increased website traffic has minimal value. Let’s say you’re competing against Oracle in the enterprise software market. In that case, increased website traffic from college students would be useless. Those students are not able to buy your enterprise software.
Grow Faster With A Content Strategist Today
There are plenty of ways your business can grow faster by working with a content strategist. If your customers are businesses, contact me today. I’ve helped B2B companies to grow leads and become thought leaders. Contact me today to request a free consultation about your content strategy.