Last month we talked about how important it is to have a solid content strategy (see Is it really all about that base? Hint: it’s about content). Good content should support and strengthen your brand and leave readers with a clear vision of who you are and what you stand for as a company.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “in this new era of marketing, unique, impactful, differentiating content-driven experiences will become as important as product development. Successful marketers will adapt and change in a constantly evolving media operation that focuses on creating delightful experiences to inform, entertain, engage, and evolve the customer.”
Forrester Research predicts that unstructured enterprise content volume is growing at a rate of 200% annually. As companies expand their use of content across an ever-growing array of channels a new set of skills is needed to bring your content strategy to life.
Peter Roetzer says in The Marketing Agency Blueprint, that hybrid marketers are becoming the standard and that successful marketers can no longer focus on a single specialty. Whether you have an in-house content staff or hire outside talent, content professionals must be able to deliver an integrated strategic solution across search, mobile, social, content, analytics, web, PR and email marketing. Remember, content marketing is how brands interact with buyers across every stage of engagement.
Your writers should have a deep understanding of your strategy, your business challenges, and your goals. They should be able to tap into your brand voice and translate it across multiple platforms. They should be able to get into the shoes of your customers (see Throw away those old marketing books: The era of selfless marketing) and walk a mile.
As businesses ramp up to support increased content demands new skills and more resources are required. Hiring content creators requires an understanding of the type of writers needed. Copyblogger.com offers a few tips on what to look for:
- A strong, confident writing voice: Copyblogger says that “strategy, marketing, and persuasion techniques can be taught. Voice, on the other hand, develops over time and needs to come from within a creative, intelligent, sensitive human being.” They recommend looking for a writer who is interesting, funny, smart, perceptive, and convincing.
- Solid spelling, grammar, and usage: Look for someone who winces when they see someone use it’s for its.
- Finds the intriguing angle: Someone who thinks about topics in an interesting way with an unusual angle will capture and engage people’s attention.
- Understands the elements of content that sells: A professional content writer lives and breathes strategy. They can hook your readers and take them down the path from interest to engagement.
A writer who tells your story, says something of substance, writes with imaginative emotion and passion is worth their weight in gold. Think about the blogs and posts you like to read. What draws your attention and makes you want to read more or take action?