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A digital marketing campaign without a content strategist is like a galleon without a navigator. Great content strategists don’t grow on trees, however, and a poor one could put you on a collision course with digital marketing disaster. The right content strategist for your team will have a certain set of skills – skills that help you create the most impactful digital content possible. Below are some the rules that a marketer should be aware of to succeed in this digital era.
What does a content strategist do?
To find a fantastic content strategist, you need to first have a good sense of what their role entails and what tasks and responsibilities will fall under their purview.
Broadly speaking, they are the ones who create an overarching plan of attack for your digital marketing efforts. That means analysing your target audience, breaking them down into distinct demographics and personas, determining what their business and career goals are, identifying their biggest pain points and how your messaging should address that.
Deep understanding of your audience
If your strategist doesn’t get your audience and what drives them, they will never be able to put together an effective content plan. Understanding your target audience starts with having a solid comprehension of their specific market and industry. A healthcare professional has much different pressing concerns than someone in the financial services or retail field. Ideally, your candidate will either have a background in these industries or experience creating content strategies geared toward them. Knowing your target audience like the back of your hand is essential to devising a clear, effective content strategy.
Go beyond Google Analytics
“A lot of our clients come to us because they have a need for a strengthened organic strategy, but we have to remember there are other very important channels to be active on to have a high-performing, holistic strategy.” – Miinfotech says.
Data should drive just about every aspect of your content strategy. If you really want to find those number-crunching, analytics obsessives, you must dig a little deeper past Google Analytics proficiency and consider platforms like Google AdWords, Google DoubleClick and AdRoll. That’s to say nothing of the many popular social media platforms out there like Twitter and LinkedIn. The bottom line is that data should dictate all decisions that we make for content strategy.
Run content audits like nobody’s business
Data drives the creation of content strategies, but it also needs to continue guiding your efforts once your initial round of blogs, infographics, nurture emails, eBooks and any other material is completed. Content audits are a core responsibility of any strategist, and they should be run frequently to get a good idea of where your execution gaps are both from broad campaign view and at a deep level.
It might be tempting to wash your hands of content as soon as it goes live, but that’s just not how it works in the content marketing game. Think of your website as a living, breathing entity that’s constantly evolving. And those changes, as innocuous as they may appear, could negatively impact your search ranking.
A hungry mind
There’s one thing you can count on in the digital marketing world: Change is constant. Whether it’s new SEO updates, shifts in brand messaging or new audience opportunities, things move pretty fast in content marketing. The best content strategists are those who are never satisfied with their results and are always on the hunt for some piece of insight that will push their digital marketing efforts further. Sometimes that means pushing clients out of their own complacency.
Good strategists always have their eyes on the future, looking for the latest in SEO and content marketing trends. They consume content marketing think pieces and industry news daily. When they’re riding the train into the office, they’re browsing their phones for bits of wisdom from marketing gurus and the latest updates in SEO.