If you want to grow your audience, build online relationships, increase brand awareness, and drive sales, you need to focus on content marketing. This can be a problem for a small service business with limited resources to put into its content marketing efforts. This blog post explains how hiring a Content Marketing Strategist can help, and lists the key skills and qualities necessary to succeed in this role.
What is a content marketing Strategist?
A Content Marketing Strategist helps businesses plan and execute a content marketing strategy to create content that gets results.
The strategist won’t implement the strategy, but they’ll guide and train the business on how to do it. This process is different from a content creator, who would work from a strategy and create the content from there.
A Content Marketing Strategist bridges the gap between a web designer, copywriter and business owner because of their in-depth understanding of content marketing and SEO. They are also known as a Content Marketing Consultant.
Your website is the tool, your content is the fuel
3 reasons to use a Content Marketing Strategist
#1 No in-house expertise
You might have a team, but not the in-house expertise to plan and create the content.
#2 Lower costs
You might outsource it to a digital agency, but probably reconsider when you realise how much it’ll cost.
#3 You don’t know what you want
You might already have a copywriter but can’t brief them because you don’t know what you want or what the strategy is.
TRUTH BOMB: A strategy is figured out before any content is created. People usually miss this step and create content on the fly. This approach can work for a while. But in the long run, it won’t help a business achieve its goals.
So it would make sense to work with a content marketing strategist for a while.
A content marketing strategy should be figured out before any content is created
What does a content marketing Strategist do?
In the end, they make a detailed content plan to be executed. But first, there’s a lot to do. Here’s what the consultant will do:
#1 Profile your business
They will profile the business to get a clear view of where it is and extract key information. This means doing a website audit to figure out how the business is doing and what its main goals are.
#2 Identify your target audience
They will identify the target audience and consider if there are multiple stakeholders. Their purpose is to develop content that meets the needs of the ideal customers. They ensure the business’ solution aligns with the problems it solves.
#3 Go deeper with market research
The strategist will recommend doing some market research to better understand the behaviour, struggles, desires and needs of the target audience. They’ll guide you on conducting Voice of Customer Data – a method that helps you understand the customer better so that the business can serve and communicate with them more effectively.
#4 Research the competition
Research the competition – they will identify and research the competition so they can compare their online efforts and results. Every business has competitors somewhere, and a consultant will help find them.
#4 Find the right keywords
Do some keyword research – they’ll check how a website performs for certain keywords and compare it to the competition. Then they’ll do some keyword research to find new opportunities where gaps exist.
#5 Create a content strategy and campaigns to promote
They help businesses create a content strategy that aligns with their marketing goals. They’ll review all existing content and restructure it alongside any new content needed to fill the gaps. The strategy will involve reusing existing content and creating new content. Plan content campaigns to promote – campaign set up to help businesses promote their blog content on social media, email marketing and paid advertising. But it first starts with the website channel.
#6 Map out content to be created
They will map out content to be created that is relevant, and engaging content for their target audience. This can be things like blog posts, videos, infographics, social media posts, and more. They will teach how to make content more relatable through storytelling. They’ll teach you how to map and structure a blog that goes deep on a topic (not wide).
#7 Optimise content for SEO
Optimise content for SEO – they teach how to optimise content for the search engines so that it appears higher on the search engine results page (SERPS), which leads to more organic traffic coming to the website.
#8 Set up the right SEO tools
Tools to track progress – they help businesses keep track of how well their campaigns are doing and how to improve them. They know how to track progress and measure ROI from content campaigns.
The output of working with a Content Marketing Strategist is a detailed plan
The difference between a Digital Agency and a Content Marketing Strategist
An agency will do everything and leave a business with a more successful website. But the business won’t know how to run it as the agency did.
A strategist won’t do everything, but when they leave, the business knows how to successfully run the website and promotional campaigns.
For a small business, it’s more valuable to pay for the teaching than the management, because it helps improve their skill set, and they can still have access to the strategists knowledge.
#1 Share their knowledge
The strategist will educate the business and shares their knowledge. This ensures in-house learning and saving money. They will also give insight into what is working online right now, what tools to use and how to streamline processes.
#2 Tell a business what to do
Whilst they advice and guide a consultant is more straightforward than a coach and tells them exactly what to do and what not to do. But sometimes they just advise on the options and let the business decide the approach. By guiding the strategist will help the business learn how to carry out the content strategy.
#3 Teach the team
Facilitate – they’ll help the team communicate and work together to ensure the work is done right.
#4 Provide occasional support
Occasional support – after most of the work is done, a business may decide to keep the strategist around for advice and guidance. This makes sense because the consultant understands the business objectives and can act as a sounding board for the business.
A Content Marketing Consultant will help you to keep the knowledge inside of your business
The results to expect from working with a content marketing Strategist
An improved website optimised for search engines – they help businesses make their content more visible to search engines and attract more visitors.
Higher ranking in search engines – a good content marketer will also know how to optimise the content for search engines, so it appears higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
More brand awareness and traffic that’s more likely to convert – increasing brand awareness and getting a business in front of potential customers leads to more organic traffic coming to a website from pre-qualified leads.
More trust and more sales – helping customers make informed decisions will build trust and encourage them to buy from you.
A more engaged audience – content marketing will help you stay in touch with your customers and keep them engaged with your service by providing updates, special offers, and discounts.
Faster results – a strategist can save you time by doing things like researching and developing strategies. They’re experienced, so they can get things up and running quickly. This speeds up the progress of a business.
qualities and skills to look for in a Content Marketing Strategist
Content marketing strategists are both creative and technical, and love troubleshooting and solving problems.
There are a few qualities and skills to look for when choosing the right strategist.
- In-depth understanding of digital marketing.
- Being up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies and best practices.
- Lots of experience and a good track record.
- Being able to look at data and quickly make informed decisions.
- Creative problem-solving and innovative ideas to reach goals.
- Good communication skills – can work with people from all backgrounds / industries.
- Attention to detail.
- Flexibility because digital marketing changes.
They can also act as a mentor or coach for internal teams, teaching them about content creation and promotion, and how to measure performance.
Picking a content strategist that meets these standards will give you more confidence in achieving your desired objectives.
How Much Does Hiring A Content Marketing Strategist Cost? And how long should it take?
The cost of hiring a content marketing strategist depends on the project. Usually, content marketing consultant’s services cost around £100-£300 an hour, plus extra fees for any research or analysis needed.
But for a content strategy to be successful, you would likely enter into a retained arrangement.
You’ll probably need to work with a content marketing strategist for at least 6 months. SEO can take up to 6 months to start working, and there will be initial work to get you set up and making progress.
✅ NEXT STEPS – book a free discovery call to see if you are a good fit.
Hiring a Content Marketing Strategist is a great way to improve your content marketing efforts. Having the right strategist will help you reach key audiences and achieve results. It is more of an investment for a small business because of the learning and training.
What is the difference between a content strategist and marketing?
A content strategist plans and creates valuable, engaging content to inform the audience. They focus on storytelling as a way to deliver the message. Whereas marketing is more about promotion and selling services using tactics such as advertising and events to attract the right customers and get sales. However, there is a crossover in shaping the brand message, creating compelling content and engaging the audience to drive sales.
What is the difference between a content strategist and a copywriter?
A content strategist plans, manages and aligns content appeal to the right audience and to meet the company goals. Alternatively, a copywriter creates persuasive and engaging copy for marketing materials, with a focus on a call to action. Both are aligned in shaping the brand’s messaging.
What is an example of a content marketing strategy?
A content marketing strategy includes weekly blog articles, daily social media posts, videos, downloadable free guides and a weekly email newsletter. The effectiveness is monitored through website traffic, social media engagement, email metrics and lead conversions. The content strategist plans the landscape and distribution, but the copywriter creates and delivers the content.