Most jobs are relatively easy to prepare for. You go to school, get a relevant degree, and you are almost ready for it.
Content marketing is different.
First, there is not a program that is specifically prepared for content marketers. Second, content marketing does not rely on just one skill. It is an amalgamation of many different skills without which a content marketer cannot be successful. If you want to become an expert content marketer, you will have to be reasonably well-versed in several different skills.
In this blog post, we list down the important skills that you will need to acquire to become a good content marketing specialist.
As a content marketer, you will have to create content on a variety of topics. Understandably, you won’t be an expert in many of them.
That’s where research comes in.
How far are you willing to dig to find a piece of information? That would define your effectiveness in the content marketing world.
Moreover, research won’t be just limited to the topic you’re writing about. You will also need to research to understand your customers, identify their problems, the solutions they are looking for, and to fully understand the features and scope of your own product.
You won’t have to be an exceptional writer to succeed as a content marketing specialist, but you will still need to have basic writing ability.
Writing for the web is slightly different than what most of us have been conditioned to in schools.
Great online content is simple, easy-to-understand, and informative. You use shorter sentences and paragraphs than usual. One of the most important things is the clear expression of ideas.
Second, you will also need to develop some persuasive writing skills — just like copywriters. When you create calls-to-action, ads, headlines, etc. you need your writing to be engaging, catchy, and persuasive.
The ability to write clear yet powerful sentences while being concise is greatly revered in the online content marketing world.
3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
While good web content serves many purposes, acquiring a constant stream of free organic traffic from the SERPs is usually at the top.
For that, content marketers need to have a basic understanding of how search engine optimisation works, and how they can optimise their web content to have the best possible chance of higher rankings in the SERPs.
As a content marketer, if you rely heavily on organic traffic, you will also have to keep an eye on SEO trends, the ever-changing algorithms, and the best SEO practices.
4. Data analysis
A good and successful content marketer is result-oriented. He loves data; he measures almost everything, and he optimises his strategy and the content marketing plan accordingly.
As a content marketer, you’d be using a few tools for data analysis. Google Analytics is often the most common one. Completely understanding how Google Analytics works requires a lot of time and efforts. However, you will be expected to successfully track, measure, and analyse a few important metrics, such as:
- Page on time
- Bounce rate
- Exit rate
- Total number of visitors you receive via different channels
- Conversion rate
5. Critical thinking
The online content marketing world has now become extremely competitive. If you try outdated tactics, you will fail. Similarly, if you try random tactics without a specific strategy, you will fail.
That’s why you need to be able to think critically and creatively.
You will have to successfully analyse and identify:
- What niches would work
- What keywords to go after
- Specific tactics that are more likely to work
- What your audience is looking for
- The weaknesses of your direct competitors
- Different ways to make your content more appealing, interesting, and informative
- Different ways to test numerous variables and elements in your content
Eventually, every business needs to sell something in order to survive. Therefore, a content marketer must also be able to sell successfully.
The art of grabbing someone’s attention and encouraging them to take the action you want them to take is valuable for content marketers.
Once you have mastered the art of persuasive communication, you can use it to have a higher conversion rate on your landing pages, get more responses when running an email outreach campaign for building back-links, get more attention for influencers in your niche, and have a higher open rate for your email marketing campaigns.
As we mentioned in the beginning, content marketing is a mix of several different skills. It can be tough to master all of them, but we all start from somewhere.
Keep developing your skills in these 6 aspects, and you’d continue to become a better content marketer.