Content marketers need a variety of skills to be successful. They have to be solid writers, communicators, and researchers, creatively executive projects, know how to navigate digital technology and see the big picture, and be able to get to the core of why their work matters.
When content is text-based, the person in charge of it should know how to write. That is why Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion says that companies should hire journalists to run marketing campaigns.
“Other than that though,” he says, “you want people that have a very creative mind, that push thought outside of the normal ‘box’ most are encapsulated by, and that are willing to make mistakes in order to achieve big.”
Just think back to the Old Spice viral video campaign where the spokesman, Isaiah Mustafa, personally responded to internet comments and bloggers. The highly successful campaign certainly required a marketer at the company to “think outside the box.”
Sheridan’s point about hiring journalists applies to their innate ability to ask questions in addition to their writing skills.
“Content marketers need to think like investigative reporters, always looking beyond the obvious and continually asking ‘why,’” says Content Marketing Institute consultant Carla Johnson. “Internal groups naturally have their agendas for the content they want to produce, but generally the reason they believe is important is a derivative of why something matters to a customer. Content marketers have to be comfortable asking why these reasons matter, and sometimes that takes five to seven iterations of hearing an explanation.”
Marketers, she says, need to think beyond using a platform to simply increase sales. They need to see the bigger picture and story and be able to communicate them to customers.
Just because someone is a good writer and storyteller doesn’t make them a good content marketer. In this digital age, it’s also crucial that marketers know how to use the technology.
CMI consultants Jay Baer and Ardath Albee both agree that being familiar with software and technology are key. “Publishing to the blog should not require content to wait in an IT queue,” Albee says.
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