Are you in search of an expert content marketer but finding it challenging to distinguish among the many who claim to possess exceptional writing skills? You’re not the only one who is struggling with this problem.
Many marketers have writing skills, but it’s crucial to highlight the significant distinction between a proficient copywriter and an adept content marketer, a distinction that often receives insufficient attention.
Copywriting is what frequently garners substantial followings on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter and it’s a focal point in many marketing educational programs.
So, what exactly is content marketing, and what specific skills should you be seeking in the individual you’re looking to hire? Let’s clarify that.
The difference between Content Marketing and Copywriting
|Role and Responsibility||Develops a content strategy for a brand, plans, and oversees execution, including content research, briefs, writing, editing, SEO optimization, graphic design, and distribution.||Primarily focuses on writing, often shorter form content, and may contribute to content distribution.|
|Skill Set||Requires a wide range of skills encompassing strategy, research, writing, editing, SEO, design, and distribution.||Concentrates on crafting compelling and engaging written content with a storytelling flair, suited for various platforms.|
|Purpose||Drives overall brand strategy through content, aiming for long-term engagement and audience growth.||Primarily aims to captivate and persuade the audience with persuasive and impactful writing, often for immediate response.|
|Crossover Potential||Many content marketers possess copywriting skills, and vice versa. However, they are distinct but complementary roles.||Some copywriters may excel at content distribution and storytelling, making them valuable contributors to content marketing.|
Mastered Skills of Expert Content Marketers
When seeking an accomplished content marketing professional, expertise in copywriting is just the beginning. A truly proficient content marketer possesses a range of essential skills that drive business growth.
Here are the eight key skills these professionals have mastered and how they contribute to your business’s success.
1. Content Strategy
An indispensable skill for expert content marketers is the capacity to formulate and articulate a coherent content strategy. While many content marketers excel in strategy execution, not all possess the ability to conduct the requisite research for crafting a long-term strategy, delineate the sequential execution method (thus creating a comprehensive plan), and effectively present this plan to founders or executives for approval.
This skill is typically honed by senior content marketers over time. When in the process of selecting an expert, it’s advisable to pose interview questions that help assess their successful track record in this crucial aspect of the role.
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2. Project Management Proficiency
The second most vital skill for an expert content marketer lies in their project management abilities. Many organizations prioritize content without always explicitly recognizing it. In essence, successful organizations frequently repurpose content from sources such as blogs and case studies for use in their advertisements, email marketing, sales enablement materials, and more.
This approach allows content to be assessed not only for its SEO performance, which is beneficial because SEO results can take six months or longer to manifest. Content-centric organizations require a robust content strategy that considers the entire sales funnel.
Moreover, they necessitate a proficient project manager who can provide clear timelines for content readiness and facilitate the autonomous creation of expert content across every stage of the sales funnel.
3. SEO basics
While possessing a well-defined content strategy and strong project management skills is essential, it’s equally crucial to grasp the fundamentals of SEO. A robust content marketing strategy contributes to the gradual growth of organic search traffic, which, in turn, aids in reducing Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) while enhancing brand awareness and trust.
Your expert content marketer need not delve into the technical intricacies of SEO or its implementation. However, they should possess a clear understanding of Google’s algorithm. This knowledge empowers them to develop a content strategy geared towards ranking for pertinent keywords and enables them to optimize content effectively before its publication.
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4. Creative production management
Every piece of content you generate, whether for your blog or sales team, demands graphic design. After all, presenting your content in the best possible light is essential, and exceptional design fosters brand consistency across all your assets.
Much like the project management expertise mentioned earlier, expert content marketers possess the proficiency to manage a creative production pipeline. This capability ensures timely delivery of blog hero images and the design of necessary PDFs for downstream funnel activities.
Copywriting remains a pivotal skill in the realm of content marketing. Exceptional copywriting accomplishes several critical objectives:
- Elevates click-through rates from organic search results to your website.
- Expands your branded audience on social media platforms.
- Enhances the appeal and likelihood of securing approvals for presentations.
Expert content marketers have refined this skill over time. However, it’s worth noting that not all expert content marketers necessarily boast extensive social media followings. Many have dedicated their efforts to activities such as A/B testing headlines on high-traffic pages to boost conversions or assisting email marketers with persuasive copywriting to improve customer retention.
Social media often represents the top of the funnel, and while valuable, it may not always be the most effective avenue for revenue growth.
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Expert content marketers also excel in the art of editing. This proficiency doesn’t necessarily revolve around adhering to a particular stylebook but centers on their ability to edit a narrative for clarity, readability, and alignment with the brand’s unique style.
Worry not—numerous content marketing tools are available to assist with spelling and grammar checks. While these tools are valuable for expert content marketers, the task of proofreading is increasingly being delegated to automated solutions.
7. Blog writing
Great content marketers often ascend to their positions by demonstrating outstanding writing and editing skills, particularly through their own blogs. While becoming an expert content marketer involves much more than simply having a blog and aspirations, the ability to consistently produce high-quality blog content remains a fundamental skill. This remains true even if they now oversee a team responsible for blog content creation.
When evaluating potential content marketing experts, review their previous work samples. Ensure they can craft, source, and appropriately credit content. Failing to do so poses a potential risk to your brand’s reputation.
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8. Analytics and tracking
In the realm of expert content marketing, success isn’t achieved through a mere “publish and pray” approach. Instead, it hinges on distribution and meticulous measurement. These content professionals go beyond monitoring website traffic; they possess the ability to comprehend website behavior intricacies, conduct content-specific Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) tests, and assess the impact of organic search traffic across the entire conversion funnel.
Expert content marketers do not merely deliver a blog post for publication; they construct comprehensive strategies, execution plans, and analytics dashboards. These resources ensure you stay informed about what is working, where it’s effective, and why, fostering a data-driven approach to content marketing.
In the quest to find an expert content marketer, it’s vital to discern the nuanced differences between skilled copywriters and adept content marketers.
While both excel in writing, an expert content marketer’s role extends to crafting comprehensive content strategies, project management, SEO understanding, creative production management, copywriting, editing, blog writing, and analytics proficiency.
These skills collectively drive success in executing holistic content strategies, ensuring brand reputation and business growth.