If you run a business of any kind, but particularly one that’s primarily online, you may need to hire a content strategist if you’re at the point where you can no longer fill that role.
There are creative staffing agencies that can help connect you with the ideal content strategist, but before you jump in, it’s good to have an idea of exactly what the role entails so you can know what to look for.
A content strategist is likely to become an increasingly important role, as much of our lives center around the digital world.
Also, according to Marketing Profs and the Content Marketing Institute, 63% of businesses don’t have a formalized content strategy.
What Does a Content Strategist Do?
In the broadest sense, a content strategist develops a content strategy to meet the overall goals and objectives of a business. A content strategy should fit within a larger marketing strategy.
Some of the things a content strategist might do in the day-to-day:
– Creating and implementing a content schedule
– Monitoring the results of any content campaigns or strategies
– Content creation including writing whitepapers, blog posts, web copy, and marketing materials
– Working with multiple departments in the creation of content goals
– Assessing existing content to see where improvements can be made, with factors like search engines and targeted audiences in mind
– Creating guidelines for the entire editorial strategy of the brand—for example, defining tone and style for all content that’s produced
– Identifying the best distribution channels for specific types of content
– Looking at ROI for content and seeing where improvements could be made
A content strategist isn’t the same as a writer. If you work with a writer, you’re just creating the content, while a content strategist has to monitor the results of content and then change the approach if necessary.
With that being said, a content strategist should also be a strong writer and editor.
A content strategist is usually part of a team, and they may be under a marketing director or perhaps a digital marketing manager. Content strategists can also be under a social media specialist. In a smaller business, a content strategist may report directly to the owner.
What Skills Should a Content Strategist Have?
The skills you’re looking for in a content strategist may vary depending on your business and industry, but some of the general requirements for this role often include:
– A degree in journalism or English
– Being able to create content that tells a story—this can be what separates a content strategist from other people with a writing background
– A content strategist has to understand not just written content but all other forms of content creation such as video content, and visual content like infographics
– Social media is an integral part of a content strategist’s job because this is ultimately one of the main ways content is shared and disseminated once it’s created
How to Hire a Content Strategist
A content strategist role can often be done on a contract or freelance basis, particularly if you’re a small business. You might also bring someone on as a full-time employee but do so with that person working remotely. Again, a content strategist position can be conducive to remote work.
You, of course, can also have someone work in the office.
When you’re hiring a content strategist, you need to be clear on what you need from that person and what your goals are.
If you just want a writer, then you need to pinpoint that need so you can fulfill the role—again, a content strategist isn’t just a writer.
You might also need someone who’s an expert in analytics instead of a content strategist, or a social media strategist instead of a content strategist.
If you take the time to map out your needs and objectives, it will help ensure you’re really hiring who you need to be.
You also need to think about what level of expertise you need and are willing to pay for.
You’re not likely to get a highly experienced senior content strategist for $40,000 a year, so you have to be realistic.
If you do decide that remote work is good for what you need, you give yourself the chance to expand your talent pool around the country or even the world, which may be the ideal option, particularly if you are a smaller organization.
A content strategist can elevate your business in a lot of ways and is an increasingly necessary position for many organizations.