You read their work on websites – from articles to blog posts, down to the tiny bits of written content. Each time you find yourself reading online material from end to end or find yourself drawn to particular product or service advertisements, then you are most likely under the spell of a master wordsmith. Such an artist falls under the title of a content marketing specialist.
An effective content marketing specialist is a creative visionary. Their job is to write engaging and relevant content to ensnare online visitors to choose and read their work over their competitors. This responsibility often entails close collaboration with several other creative professionals such as:
- Art Directors
- Web Content Editors
- Digital Content Managers
Together, they brainstorm ideas for their website’s current and potential readers based on marketing trends and data. In the process of creating content, they do extensive research on a specific topic. With this information, they develop unique and exciting angles to present the data to drive traffic to the website. They often use attention-grabbing headlines and write their content in a fashion that makes you confident that they are masters in the subject matter.
Aside from their natural knack for creativity and interest in the topics they write about, one could liken content marketing specialists to magicians. With their capable writing style and extensive knowledge of grammar, punctuation, syntax, and more, they can generate leads and conversions for the brand/s they advocate.
Magicians never usually reveal their cards. But here, we divulge the 15 secrets on what makes these creatives successful at what they do. You will learn how to create great content or find out the benefits of having a content marketing specialist working with you and your business.
Secret 1: A Content Marketing Specialist Possess the Skills and Qualifications Necessary for Content Production
Specialty content marketing is not as simple as it looks (as you will discover throughout this article). Qualifying for such a position requires formal education to understand the context and theories behind successful marketing strategies.
To become a content marketing specialist, many will first earn their degrees in marketing or journalism. But since this form of marketing is relatively diverse and ever-evolving, those who excel in this field go the extra mile by applying for extensive classes and certifications.
They also make sure that their writing skills are always on par with their industry’s standards. Some particular online courses and guides help them refine and polish their technique. Editing tools such as word and character counters are necessary to make sure their posts match the word limit and target requirements. And let us not forget about essential content marketing tools. These are the successful specialist’s top-secret arsenal.
Secret 2: They Know How to Provide Valuable Content
Some content writers may have all the tools at their disposal to produce content and yet not know what kind of content will create an impact.
There is so much information that is always competing for your audience’s attention in today’s digital age. Cutting through all that noise and clutter requires precise and engaging content that adds value to your customers. Such content should be able to address the frequently asked questions your potential clients may have.
More than the usual FAQs, a content marketing specialist will go beyond by creating compelling content their audience would be willing to read or view. Such content includes:
- How-to Guides
- Resource-based Posts
These content types can go a long way to help create traffic, authority, and trust in your brand, especially from consumers (most notably those who own businesses as well or B2B) who are actively seeking solutions to their problems.
Secret 3: A Content Marketing Specialist Knows Who They are Writing Content For
For a successful content marketing specialist, it is not enough to know who they are writing for. They also strive to understand what their audience is like. While having a general idea of your reader or customer is a start, sticking to that information alone will only produce mediocre results.
The goal is not to produce a ton of content but to produce quality content consistently. Otherwise, you are wasting your time, effort, and resources. Content that makes a difference is content that profoundly resonates with the intended audience. If your business targets multiple groups, you can segment your content to sell to each group specifically rather than just creating general content to fit the whole audience. You need to think of them as the unique individuals that they are.
One tip is to create a picture of your reader. Think of your audience as one person. Give them a name. Imagine what they are like in terms of work and income, lifestyle, and spending habits. This profiling method allows content marketing specialists to personally touch base with their readers to curate content that will appeal to the persona.
Secret 4: They Know Where to Place Their Content Production
Once you establish who your readers are, it is equally important to know where you can reach them. Stellar content becomes useless if it is not accessible to its intended audience. Find out where your readers often hangout, digitally speaking.
“Content is King, but Distribution is Queen.”
-A Very Smart Person
Besides writing on your business website, you need to create content suitable for various social media platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.). Depending on your market’s digital whereabouts, you’ll have to adjust your content accordingly. Unfortunately, there is no universal format you can use across all channels. Each one offers unique features you need to study to be able to take advantage of fully.
There is also no point in creating content for all channels. Once you identify the places your market frequents, you can focus on promoting your content there. By this time, you will probably start to realize that content marketing is not as straightforward as it seems.
Secret 5: Hero Content Starts With a Hero Headline
Great content will not ever see the light of day if the headline is dull. Hardly anyone would spare a second glance at information if its headline fails to spark their curiosity. A headline’s job is to seduce its readers to find out more about your content. They set the tone and expectations and give the readers an idea of what the content is about.
A successful content marketing specialist never starts writing about the content without coming up with a great headline first.
Secret 6: A Content Marketing Specialist Knows How to Utilize Long-Form Content
While it is true that people have shorter attention spans in recent years, evidence points out that long-form content still outperforms short-form. The reasons for this are simple:
- Longer content satisfies a reader’s need for information and solutions.
- Long-form content creates room for Search Engine Optimization practices, making it easier for potential readers to see the post.
It may take considerably more effort to churn out than short-form content, but the results are worth it. And you can promote a few excellent long-form content (over several short-form posts) to last your business for months and years to come.
Secret 7: Writing Good Content Requires Images, Too
The workaround to getting your audience to read your content is to use images. According to a 2015 report by Microsoft, it only takes an average of eight seconds for people to decide whether they want to consume your content or not.
Humans are visual creatures. A post on Hubspot mentions that 90% of the information we transmit to our brain is visual and that the processing of these visuals is 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
Look into creating a library of images you can use to help paint a pretty picture for your audience. Make use of these great visuals to capture your readers’ attention. Here are some cool sites where you can get free stock photos:
Once you incorporate the images, your awesome written content should readers go through your post from start to finish.
Secret 8: And Do Not Forget to Use CTAs
CTA is a marketing term that stands for call-to-action. This string of words or phrases functions to prompt an immediate response or encourage a direct sale. After all, you cannot give away free content without getting something in return.
There are many reasons why you should use a CTA. Some of these reasons include:
- Lead generation
- Form submission
- Product or service discovery
- Event promotion
- Closing sales
CTAs are the conversion tools your content needs. They are most beneficial at the very end of your post, with a few shorter ones, like links or texts, across the main body of your content.
Secret 9: For Hero Content to Stand Out, They Use the 30/30/30/10 Rule
A capable content marketing specialist already knows that they are competing for readers’ time and attention. Creating compelling content becomes mandatory, without sacrificing the company’s value and personality they are writing about.
Lauren Clemett, a branding specialist, advises using the 30/30/30/10 rule when creating content. This method is especially helpful when writing content for social media and newsletters. Here is how the rule divides the tone and style of your overall content.
A healthy mix of content establishes your authority and builds trust among your audience.
Secret 10: Video content
Hubspot’s marketing statistics report finds that videos on a website’s landing page can boost conversions up to 80%. Furthermore, the report concludes that users are 64% more likely to buy something online after seeing a video about it. Video is a winner in content marketing! Here are some reasons why this format is valuable:
- Video does well whether they are short (from GIFs to six second Vine or TicTok style videos) or long (such as advertisements to full-length feature films).
- They can be timely standalone pieces or a series of videos you uncover over time.
- Videos can serve as the appetizer to your feature or be the main course of your content.
- They work well in a variety of platforms such as your website, blog, emails, or third-party video sites (like YouTube)
- Video content can reach your audience, whether they are using a desktop or mobile.
- You can repackage, repurpose, and republish their content for other posts.
- They are shareable on social media networks (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat).
Insert video content as a complement to your blog posts to drive those conversions further. To know whether creating video content is necessary, consider your content objectives first. This also helps determine whether your content would do well or not without the benefits of visuals and sounds.
Secret 11: Valuable Content Also Relies On Relationships
Even a content marketing specialist needs to build a network of people who will value the content they provide. Creating relationships can involve face to face interactions or virtual interactions such as commenting on another’s blog or social media post.
Networking helps drive a consistent traffic flow to your site and may even encourage your posts’ sharing. The more relationships you establish, the better off your brand and content.
Secret 12: They Create a Content Plan and Stick to It
Writing content does not start and end with publishing one after another. You need to take a step back and look at the whole picture. Build your overall content around the core assets of your business. Each one should have the capacity to lead readers to your products, services, and campaigns.
For every content you publish, you need to think of your next step. A smooth and integrated set of posts will help generate leads. Content calendars come in handy for creating your content plan. They make sure you stay organized and stay on track with your content goals.
Secret 13: A Content Marketing Specialist Makes Their Readers Look Good
Your content aims to help your audience while convincing them to share the content with their social contacts. The content becomes shareable if the reader feels that the post enables them to look or sound better to their audience. In other words, good content marketing specialists build their readers up so that they can be more credible to their following.
To make effective content that will help your reader stand out, you need to create ones that trigger an emotional response. Take advantage of feelings such as fear, anger, humor, or awe. Such content will make the reader unable to resist sharing it with their circle and make your content go viral. You can try the other route by providing solutions or answers to your reader’s problems or questions. They will feel the urge to share it as it presents them as helpful and intelligent.
Secret 14: Great Content Production Involves Timing and Relevance
If you find yourself drawing a blank on what content to post next, you are not alone. The simple solution lies within your industry’s news and checking out the latest social media hashtags.
Hashtags are a form of metadata tag that is prefaced by the hash symbol, #. You will often find them on microblogging and photo-sharing services (like Twitter or Instagram) to cross-reference content sharing of a particular subject or theme. Think of these as trending topics that will help you get ideas for your next content. And bonus, those who follow such hashtags can see updates and content under them.
Hashtags are just highly-followed labels for topics. You can look to hashtags to get ideas for timely content that will immediately engage readers, plus every user who follows the updates under that hashtag.
You should also consider checking AnswerThePublic.com and Quora to help you collect content marketing ideas relevant to users’ most frequently asked questions.
Secret 15: A Content Marketing Specialist Understands That Audience Are More Important than Metrics
Do not misunderstand, though. Metrics are indeed crucial to help you determine if you are achieving the results you seek. But writing content is first and foremost about your audience.
Keywords are extremely useful but do not obsess over them. You need to work on vital topics that address your reader’s pain points that drive engagement and increase traffic to your products and services. Conversions happen when there is trust and connection between you and your audience. Everything else is secondary.
A successful content marketing specialist does not just churn out words. They create content that is timely, relevant, and that focuses on their audience’s needs. It involves numerous considerations which answer the who, what, where, when, and how of each great content. Their job is no easy feat, which makes them highly invaluable assets to a brand or business.
If you need such talented specialists for your company, get in touch with us to help you jump start on great content.