For businesses to truly succeed, marketers must reach and engage customers online using text, graphics and video. For businesses to win audiences, their online content must be brilliant. Competition is intense.
It’s unlikely you’ll find a general content strategist with all these skills, experience and aptitude listed below. Accept this as a general guide to a job description for the content strategist which you might be developing right now.
Rise of the Content Strategist
The primacy of content has given rise to the Content Strategist, a key figure in the digital publishing sphere. The role involve deep audits and analysis, then organization and implementation of an effective content strategy. But the CS doesn’t do it all, they work as part of a team.
“Content marketing continues to gain traction as a lead generation tool amongst companies of all sizes. Agencies and in-house teams seek experienced content strategists who can create, curate and syndicate content to increase brand awareness and conversation rates.” says Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group in Robert Half report.
Content strategists build content designed to achieve a goal — engagement and sales. Yet, job descriptions for content strategist positions might be based on inappropriate assumptions. With little thought put into it, recruiters and job boards like Indeed.com and Monsterjobs.com might get it all wrong.
Instead of focusing on the real tasks and creative results, descriptions feed into corporate credentialism. Often the best strategists aren’t found via university mills. The best are multitalented and can get the best out of tools and content creators and are very profit focused.
While software knowledge is helpful, especially analytics software, increasingly, the issue is the strategists willing to use new software, including AI marketing software that’s essential. Given the variety of software used, it’s more important to focus on strategy, not software certifications, as you might see on payscale.com.
Although Google analytics certification is handy, these software apps are becoming so complicated that only tech experts can program them. It’s best to outsource additional tasks to qualified experts and let the strategist focus on big picture strategy. Learning all the tools can waste time.
Capturing a talented CS can result in presenting a much better value proposition, powerful marketing and market leadership. How you write your CS job description will determine whether you acquire their services. So let’s look at how to build one that creates impact, is informative and persuasive, and helps attract only ones with skills that suit your unique situation.
Big Expectations Yet Resources Must be There Too
The average business manager might not realize how much is expected of a content strategist. The job description they draw up might draw a lot of mediocre talent. That may not attract a brilliant content strategist who can lift your company’s success.
The challenge of this job is due to the difficulty of reaching audiences, making an impact, getting the value proposition across, dealing with competitor noise, and creating content that is a great brand experience. To compete well, resources such as PPC funding and AI marketing software might be necessary now.
The strategist role draws on numerous talents and experience, some not appreciated nor even understood. Yet if we discuss them now, you can build an appreciation for real talent, the ones who will achieve your business goals.
Talent is valuable, yet funding, outsourcing and software are vital. That’s why AI marketing software is so valuable. Hire your strategist in combination with subscriptions to the new apps/platforms. You’ll have the ultimate solution and learning will be ideal. Alternatively, you could hire a content strategy agency, but most companies are bringing CS in house instead given how demanding this project is.
Key Mission Critical CS Tasks
Whether via other marketing specialists or themselves, CS’s have a lot on their plate as you’ll see below, yet 4 tasks stand out:
- understand what will make customers buy their product/service
- build engaging content that converts visitors into customers
- create content that will rank well on Google/Bing and create shares/visits from Facebook
- optimize the content funnel pathway touchpoints to raise conversion rates
Let’s explore the role further.
Online Marketing Strategy
The CS’s role is all about achieving online marketing success.
A marketing strategy is a business’s game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services. Marketing strategies should revolve around a company’s value proposition. — definition from Investopedia.
The Online Content Strategist
The Web content strategist role in particular can have a tremendous impact on brand visibility, customer engagement, loyalty, and sales revenue. Web content is customer facing and when designed well, it can create impressive impact, reach, engagement, brand value and sales revenue via online channels.
Whether via Google, Bing, Facebook, PPC ads, email or other referral sources, the content strategy is all about creating customers, informing, serving, and keeping them loyal.
This role or job is much more than copywriting, SEO, social media posting, and landing page design. The right media and type of content has to be researched and published.
The web content strategist is responsible for creating a customer experience starting with the listing on Google or a Facebook post, to entertaining return visitors who may not be ready to buy, to a final pushing of visitors to commit to a purchase.
The strategist designs a publishing regimen to present the value proposition to visitors in a compelling and action-generating way. For high involvement purchases, strategy can be complicated and content sophisticated. Understanding which content works and how it speaks to visitors is key. There are specific things that have the most impact.
Big Picture Thinking
Content strategists begin with the big picture and the overall goals expected to be achieved. Often goals, tasks, skills, and kpis are uncertain. Because of that, companies might not hire the person with the right skill mix. Sometimes managers don’t ask for advice about why the role had been unsuccessful and what’s really needed now. They repeat their mistakes.
Often, education, experience, buzzwords, and software use take precedence while real creativity and innovation are overlooked. It must be remembered that the CS doesn’t control the company’s product or value proposition. It is what it is, and they must work with they’ve got.
The content strategist job title might cite a job description with any mix of responsibilities within many staffing environments. Often the title Content Strategist is a catch all for anything that involves content both online or off. Department managers may overestimate specific skills when hiring.
Different departments and marketing campaign components have unique content elements, goals and interests. It can easily confuse and overwhelm and their objectives don’t get met. The CS has to be aware of this common problem.
Types of Content Strategists
The true content strategist role is to creatively build and manage any content that creates a customer or sale. This means working with technical, researchers, copywriters, videographers, graphic designers, product experts, social media specialists, digital marketing specialists and clients. The strategist has to be well informed, collect assets, and then build content that succeeds.
Other times, the role is very tightly defined such as a specialized blogger who has no control or input over UX design, page and site structure, marketing pages, graphics, video, and other parts of the overall marketing effort. They create simple content that helps marketing staff reach customers and begin building a customer content experience leading to a sale. The marketing staff complete that sales process.
And finally, there is the content strategist who is responsible for all text, graphic, video content pieces and have them produced. This person may be the only writer, designer, researcher, and publisher. This role is very demanding and requires extensive knowledge of marketing, design, copywriting, and more.
A content strategist is not a content administrator, although managing it might be part of their duties. They are not technical specialists either, and instead lean to possessing diverse skills and experience.
For this post, we want to zero in on the role of web content strategist and the sales goals they need to achieve. They are typically not involved in the core brand or products, and instead work with what is created by the marketing team including graphic images and videos.
In this case, they must still understand the company’s products/services and unique value proposition. And they must be able to communicate the key brand message and be able to understand and compensate for its weaknesses.
Understanding the Goal and Key Drivers of Content Success
The content strategist must understand the target customer profile and how to reach them in each stage of the customer journey: pre-awareness, awareness, engagement, consideration, purchase, and retention.
The two key components of web content strategy are search engine optimization and conversion rate optimization. Conversion rate optimization is the top kpi for most strategists today. Search engines such as Google can deliver hundreds of thousands of visitors, however they must be relevant prospects and their interest must be converted to a sale.
That means understanding the marketing funnel and customer journey and how content can strategically support and impact engagement and sales.
Generally speaking the Web Content Strategist is a unique role that blends research, strategy, and creative know-how to create and deliver assets that generate ROI.
Key objectives are to grow new leads, including marketing-qualified leads, by converting site traffic through calls-to-action, landing pages, and lead generation content (including offers).
Here are major segments of a content strategists work:
- develops and takes ownership of critical paths and uses a disciplined approach to meet creation and publishing timelines
- plan, write, edit, and measure content for online posting serving a variety of digital channels and products, ensuring the tone and writing style represents the voice of the brand
- research keywords, content topics, content assets, and find content gaps for creating high traffic SEO efforts
- research popular social media content and create pieces that will get attention on social media and create shares and clickthroughs
- create strategic roadmaps and content outlines that support the delivery of thought leadership and demand generation campaigns
- prepare content proposals that support B2B demand-generation campaigns
- conduct comprehensive digital market audits
- prepare actionable content recommendations
- use social listening, insights and instinct to develop new creative ideas for impacting, engaging, entertaining, and converting audiences
Strategists rely on analytics too, to develop SEO-natured content initiatives to drive brand visibility and website traffic. Standard analytics solutions can’t deliver the insight needed however, so they must push management to adopt leading edge analytics solution. This would include AI prescriptive analytics solutions to generate the most informative guidance for content development and deployment.
- pulls various analytics reports and generate actionable insights and recommendations
- analyzes data to improve content strategies for content campaigns
- performs industry analysis, trend analysis, competitor analysis, and market research to inform marketing strategies
- conducts A/B test initiatives with a focus on continuously optimizing content on the web or social media
- focus on KPIs and metrics to measure visibility, branding, leads and sales
Often content strategists are asked to manage content as well. This may involve managing and and maintaining copy decks from start to finish (including internal client revisions, legal/compliance feedback, technical updates, accessibility copy). Blogs, email and social media posts must be controlled as well.
Content strategist will often oversee and execute the day-to-day operations for clients’ content marketing initiatives, via website accounts, content management software and publishing calendars.
The canned job description doesn’t cover al that’s required. Strategists must:
- look beyond obstacles and brand deficiencies to create an edge for the client
- think outside of the box and find new ways to achieve goals
- reworking and repurposing aging content for engagement and SEO ranking gains
Clients recognize the growing insight and expertise of the content strategists and begin to look to them for guidance on how much to spend and how to spend it, as well as how to strengthen products and brands.
- make recommendations for enhancing effectiveness and improving marketing KPIs such as click rates, conversions, and engagement
- provide tactical and strategic recommendations to enhance performance
- be a trusted advisor to clients, partners and vendors, developing positive relationships that reflect a true partnership in achieving the objectives of the client’s business
- listening to staff and clients for critique work and feedback
- collaborate across different departments and disciplines
It’s important for management to choose a talented and capable strategist who can do more than strategy.
The position doesn’t require that the content strategist be able to do all of this by themselves, but rather understand it well and work with designers, marketers, brand managers, social media specialists, and others.
If the content strategist needs power and influence to capture insight, create the assets needed, and publish as necessary to create a successful campaign. Any inability to carry out each of the functions above can render campaigns impotent.
Use the above to assemble a better job description to attract candidates with the right drive, creativity, skills, experience, and focus and interest to lead your industry. Don’t forget that a love for your industry is what will create a sincere effort from them.
Market leaders have market leading content strategists and content strategists create market leaders.
The Web content strategist can be one of the most important human resource assets a company has. Good luck finding a really good one!
A few more resources to help you define your ideal content strategist:
And websites listing content strategy jobs:
SEO Expert | SEO Strategy | SEO Content Strategy | Search Engine Optimization Techniques | Digital Marketing Audit Company | Engage Customers | Conversion Rate Optimization | CRO Tips | Content Strategy Agency | Keyword Research | Market Leader | Mountain Bike Marketing | Advanced SEO | Blogging | Digital Marketing Audits | Content Funnel Optimization | Start AI Marketing