Effective content marketers pull from a variety of skill sets and functions in order to regularly create content that's interesting and informative, and ultimately benefits the business.Here are five job functions that content marketing teams should draw upon and have a solid understanding of to take their content to a new level.
Building, growing, and nurturing an online community requires a deep understanding of customers and what they care about. Similarly, content marketing is about adding value by creating information that is relevant to your audience. Content marketers can take inspiration from community managers by thinking about creating a conversation that engages users and encourages them to participate via comments, sharing, or "likes" on social media.
The main concept here is to listen to your audience to better understand their preferences, so that you can tailor your content to fit their needs. In addition, a big part of being involved in a broader conversation is curating existing content that your users might find useful even if you didn't necessarily create the content yourself. Being able to utilize user-generated content is a useful tactic to remember as well.
Public relations professionals think about creating an interesting angle for news, conveying a sense of urgency, and shaping a message for various audiences. It's important for content marketers to have a knowledge of this skill set. As PR has evolved to include social media in many cases, having a public relations lens also encourages content marketers to think about how to craft bite-sized content that promotes sharing and creates buzz about the company.
The main output of content marketers is creating written content, so having a strong foundation in communications is key. Content marketers should wear a journalist hat when thinking about catchy headlines, storytelling, and presenting information in a way that makes readers want more. Often, the best content marketing pieces offer a strong perspective, so being able to craft an argument and inform readers will go a long way.
Beyond the content itself, journalists must think about how a distribution channel influences topics. What kind of tone and material would be most appropriate for social media versus a brand's website? Should the information be bite-sized or long-form? Would photos be better for a particular medium? These are all considerations that journalists think about that content marketers should take into account too.
It's important to think critically about user segmentation when it comes to creating content. Product managers are accustomed to creating user profiles to know that the product will solve a specific set of problems for a specific type of user. Thinking like a product manager forces content marketers to think about how the content fits into the broader picture and supports business objectives and category growth.
Product management also involves knowledge of the industry and competitors. It is helpful for content marketers to know what types of content competitors are producing, and what customers are gravitating towards, as this could provide insight into consumer behavior that shapes future content choices.
When done well, content marketing increases qualified leads for your business and offers valuable information about user pain points. Knowing this information can make a sales conversation more productive because you will be able to tailor your pitch to address the issues that your lead considers most important, thereby helping to close business. Content marketers should think about how their content can address customer needs or proactively answer questions that users might have. Doing so positions your company as a thought-leader and provides credibility that prospects look for when selecting experts to work with.