11 Skills That Will Make You Successful In A Content #Marketing Career via @JulieNeidlingerClick To Tweet
Develop New Content Marketing Skills In 30 Minutes (Or Less)Want to learn a specific new skill like SEO, goal setting using Google Analytics, or writing better Facebook ads? Find the perfect course in the Actionable Marketing Institute. Actionable Marketing Institute features 25+ premium marketing courses packed with templates, resources, and video tutorials you won’t find anywhere else. View the entire course list - including two industry-recognized certifications in Marketing Strategy & Social Strategy.
Your Content Marketing Skills Add Up To A LotGetting your art degree, it turns out, doesn’t only make you a prime candidate for being a professional artist, but it also spawns the ability to defend your work in front of a room of critics. You know the skill of B.S. (yes, it’s a real skill) and can create something out of nothing.
As a content marketer, you're holding onto skill sets that go beyond “simply” being a content marketer.So, the next time someone asks you what you do as a content marketer, rest assured you have some solid answers.
1. You Write, Which Many People Cannot DoThis skill is huge. Don’t ever undersell yourself as a content marketer, because your ability to write is paramount. Oddly, writing every day makes me forget that not everyone is a writer. I assume everyone is writing constantly and am shocked when I come across someone struggling with their writing. Reading long posts and comments on Facebook, for example, is stunning at times. I’m not interested in correcting grammar or making people feel embarrassed (many bizarre words and typo errors can be blamed on type assist on mobile devices), but I am genuinely surprised.
In the past 5 years, the ability to write has noticeably declined among college students. #mindblownClick To Tweet
Good writers have to be able to analyze their own ideas and the ideas of others. Writing also involves communicating persuasively as well as clearly. Too often, good writing is seen as something that is clever rather than clear. Snappy and clever is fine, but not at the sake of clarity.
And, of course, good writing is done in a way where you inform people while making every reader, no matter their skill and knowledge level, feel welcome.The fact that content marketers, out of necessity, are constantly writing means they are always in a state of practice. The sheer amount of times you put pen to paper (or word to screen) means that you are exercising your writing muscles and brain cells. Perhaps this is why I am surprised by the lack of writing skills I come across in others: They simply do not write every day. Your ability to write puts you at an extreme advantage in this world.
2. You Create Under Pressure And With OthersIn a content marketing career, you're frequently at the mercy of the winds of trends, breaking news, and ever-changing technology. That means you get used to creating under some level of pressure. There’s no letting up, no break—because your audience is just one yawn away from leaving you (or so you think). You never know who will say what to you on social media, and you have to figure out a response in the moment that is both appropriate and genuine. Unless you’re a solo content marketer, you’re also pretty good at working with others. You delegate duties, plan timelines, and brainstorm. You have the ability to hit the ground running and think on your feet—with or without a team at any given moment.
3. You Handle Criticism And CritiqueCriticism and critique are not the same thing. Both can be valuable. As a content marketer, you know how to handle both criticism or critique, whether that means knowing how or when to respond, or if you should respond at all. You can identify what you should take seriously and which battles to fight. You know how to participate in amicable disagreement, or you knowing when to avoid it entirely.
Content marketing skill #3: Handling criticism and critiqueClick To Tweet
4. You Convince And Sell To PeopleConvincing someone that they ought to consider the idea you’re presenting, much less getting them to act on the idea, is tough. This goes beyond how great your writing is, and how well you can turn a word. Instead, it is about you understanding how people function. As a content marketer, you read and research what motivates people emotionally and psychologically. You are constantly reading the research from other marketers and are always developing a strong understanding of how people react in specific situations. You learn about the sales process, the sales funnel, and how to identify (and respond to) someone in different stages of the sales process. You have the ability to understand when someone is ready to buy, and what to do if they aren’t.
5. You Organize And PlanThis post is on the CoSchedule blog. Of course we’re going to point out your amazing planning skills! Planning is what we’re all about, and as a successful content marketer...so are you. The year I was a school teacher, I was repeatedly told by other teachers that the education sector built incredible organizational skills and I was lucky to be picking them up (though I saw a few teachers desks that suggested otherwise). If ever there were organized people (or people who at least were actively focused on getting organized), it’s you as a content marketer. With so many things to keep tabs on like engagement, social media, blogging, email, and ebooks, it seems to be, either you organize or die. If you’ve been a content marketer for over a year, you:
- Are organized.
- Are regimented.
- Have self-discipline.
- Know how to plan the actions that will get the job done.
6. You Understand Data And Trends, And You Act AccordinglyContent marketing is about marketing awareness. You have to know what is happening in your niche, and which trends are increasing or fading. Content marketers are definitely not “set it and forget it” people, known for constantly testing everything from button placement on a page to the headline of a blog post in order to find the better performer.
7. You Connect With PeopleContent marketing doesn’t work if you’re blowing smoke at people, and you know it. It’s all about connecting with people. Content marketers have to create content, but it’s not enough to just create content. It has to be helpful content that your audience actually wants. This means you’ve learned to listen to your audience (heck, you’ve actually found the audience that works best for you). You can interpret and read them, finding out what makes them tick. You take the time to understand their user experience. You put aside what you want and turn marketing into something they want. And in the end, you really connect with people and forge loyalty. You have the ability to inspire customer loyalty because you understand the importance of caring about real people.
8. You Think VisuallyThose who are in a content marketing career live in a visual realm. Social networks and websites are all about visuals. As a content marketer, you've learned to write well, interpret data, and use psychology. Content marketers are the ultimate repackagers, digging up complicated studies and turning them into palatable infographics. This isn’t just about making pretty pictures. You are actually creating a new content type from another. You have the ability to take complicated information and make it simple to understand, especially visually.
9. You Ask The Right QuestionsContent marketers are always in need of new ideas for blog posts and social campaigns. This means they are always in a state of asking questions. You do it all the time. “What does my reader want? Is that trend a sign of something bigger? How can I make this simpler? What are my customers telling me isn’t working? Why am I seeing blog posts on this topic all of a sudden?” You ask questions of beta test groups, data, customers, social followers, and of your team members. You know that the right solution is only found when you ask the right question. Otherwise, you’re wandering around blindly.
10. You Prove Your ValueContent marketers struggle with the idea of showing a return on investment (ROI) because they sometimes seem to think their work doesn’t have one. As we’ve already covered on this blog, that simply isn’t true. The work you do has real ROI, and you know both the need to prove it and the method for doing so.
After all, great content marketers aren’t going to keep doing what isn’t working, so they are always looking for the return. This is why you A/B test, this is why you measure, this is why you collect all of that data, and this is why you periodically make changes in your plan: You have an eye on getting the maximum return.You have the ability to identify what provides a ROI and what needs to be scrapped.