What is the Role of a Content Strategist? What Skills Do You Need?
So you want to be a content strategist? Maybe you are looking to make a step forward in your current carrier or you heard someone talking about it and thought it is something you might try. Whatever the reason you want to jump into the role, it is important to first know what exactly does a content strategist do and what skills do you need to become one.
This is what I want to go through in this article, so if you’re interested in being a content strategist, stay and read.
The Elusive Meaning of “Content Strategy”
As you might have already guessed, a content strategist is the person responsible for content strategy in a company. We’ll get to the more accurate definition, but for now, let’s focus on content strategy and what it means for your business.
What is content strategy?
Content strategy is the process and art of planning, creating, structuring, delivering, promoting and managing relevant and valuable content for a defined target audience, which should then take a desired action (buy, subscribe, etc).
In other words, to develop a content strategy, you’ll need to know your:
- Target Audience
- Type of Content to Create
- Brainstorm Content Ideas
- Type of Content Management System (CMS) You Should Use
- How to Audit Your Content
- Finally, How to Create, Publish and Organize Your Content.
I won’t get into detail regarding the steps of content strategy here, but if you’re interested, check out the infographic I’ve made about it.
Of course, you can’t make an effective content strategy without someone to guide the content team, make the final decisions about it and take responsibility for the content strategy. You need someone to pioneer and to be the advocate of content marketing in your organization. That someone is the content strategist.
What is the Role of a Content Strategist?
A content strategist has a key role in making sure that the content a company presents to its audience brings desired results. In fact, out of the entire content marketing team, his role is arguably the most important one.
The duties of a content strategist will vary from one organization to another, but in general these are:
- Helps create content for a defined target audience
- Develops how the content will be delivered to the audience and improves content delivery
- Works on promoting content, maintaining current and finding new channels of promotion
- Ensures content consistency by creating a content editorial calendar
- Sets tone, voice and style guidelines
- Gathers information about the content the brand has created and analyzes what works and what doesn’t
But, perhaps the most important role of a content strategist is that he must be the person to lead the charge in defending the content strategy to the higher-ups in the company. If the content strategist isn’t the first in line in advocating for the content strategy, who else will believe in it?
What Skills Does a Content Strategist Need to be Successful?
Okay, now that you know what tasks you can expect as a content strategist, let’s take a look at the skills you’ll need.
- Team Skills
A content strategist may be the most important part of a content team, but it isn’t the only one. A general, no matter how good he is, cannot win the battles alone. Caesar didn’t, Hannibal didn’t, and neither did Napoleon. They all had their commanders and soldiers that helped them win battles and wars. The same goes for a content strategist. You need a good team, where everyone knows their roles and are good at them.
Of course, since teams often clash, you must be able to ensure that everyone works together. Without people skills,
- Project Management and Organizational Skills
Content strategist often need to manage many different projects. It’s hard enough to keep one project, even a small one, completely under control, let alone several. You have to track everything, communicate with the other departments and stakeholders and manage many small and big details. All to ensure that a project goes as planned. Fortunately, there are many online tools which can help you not get overwhelmed.
- Collaboration Skills
As a content strategist, you’ll need to be on good terms with the other departments in your company. You’ll need to work with graphic designers, web designers and developers, social media and SEO experts, UX, marketing and sales teams and together with them create the message that will communicate with the target audience in the best way.
- Copywriting and Editing Skills
You may not taking the “pen” too often, but you need to be able to look at what your content writers are making to know if it is good or not. Also, you will need solid editing skills and know what should be cut or added based on the tone, style and voice guidelines, audience and the historical performance of the content you already have.
- Presentation Skills
How will the content be presented to the audience? In what form is it best to show it to them? Experience will play an important part in knowing what type of content works best for what part of the buyer’s journey. There is no room for guesswork here. You should base the type of content on analytics and research.
- Delivery Skills
There is a right way and the wrong way for the content to reach your audience. As a content strategist, you are responsible for making sure the content gets to your consumers the right way. This means finding the ideal distribution channel. Are we talking about earned paid or owned media? Web properties such as your website and blog, advertising such as PPC, social media ads, retargeting, or social sharing like shares and mentions of your content? Each of these has its purpose and you can’t neglect either of them.
- Analytical Skills
Gathering data and information is made much easier today with many different apps and software at our disposal. The real work begins when its time to make something out of it. A content strategist needs to know what metrics to look at and based on this draw conclusions.
Now you know what you’d be doing as a content strategist and what skills you need to become one. Do you think you have what it takes? Let me know in the comments below and, of course, don’t forget to share this post if it was useful to you.