If you desire to become a sought-after content strategist, you need to understand that it takes time and dedication.
It’s about continually honing your skills, staying informed, and delivering outstanding results for clients or employers.
Content developers and content creators are well known, but only a few people know who content strategists are.
A content strategist is someone who works with business owners or corporate organizations to research, plan, and execute content that aligns with the goals and values of the business.
The main goal of a content strategist is to create valuable and strategic content that will turn the audience into paying customers.
These days, investing in content marketing is the way to go for businesses. With content marketing, you can create awareness for your business and drive profitable results.
You can build brand authority and ultimately increase sales of your products and services.
As a result of this, there’s a high demand for content strategists, individuals who can plan, oversee, and deliver amazing content for a business.
In this blog post, we’ll be talking about how to become a sought-after content strategist.
But before we do so, let’s look at the differences between a content strategist and a content creator.
Although the roles of a content strategist and a content creator are distinct, they complement each other within the realm of content marketing and digital content creation.
1.) Big Picture Planning
Content strategists focus more on the high-level planning and creating strategies for content. They define the overarching goals and objectives of the content, aligning it with the overall business or marketing strategy.
They are typically responsible for the strategic planning, coordination, and measurement of content efforts for a brand or business.
A content strategist is constantly thinking of creative ways to showcase a company’s products through pictures, videos, copies, and every other form of content.
They also identify opportunities for strategic brand development and ensure that every content planned and executed ultimately adds to the business’ bottom line.
2.) Audience Research
Content strategist conduct in-depth research on their audience in order to understand the pain points, the needs, and preferences of the audience. This research then forms the basis of their content decisions.
Conducting audience research will enable them get a better understanding of the target audience they choose to serve, which in turn will help them connect with their customers, communicate better with them and help the company grow.
Content strategists who do real audience research are more customer-centric and put people first instead of being product or results-led.
3.) Create Content Calendar
Content strategist are responsible for creating content calendars that the content creators and every other stakeholder will use for their respective duties.
They create content calendars that will outline what content should be created, when it should be published, what platforms it should be published on too.
Creating a content calendar helps them plan for long-term and short-term content needs.
A content calendar is important to keep the brand’s content marketing well-organized and on track.
It helps the strategist with initial brainstorming so that they can save time and produce content consistently.
4.) Keyword Research
It is important to infuse keywords into any kind of content that is created. Content strategist ensure that they do keyword research and come up with a good SEO strategy for the brands that they manage.
Any content they create (especially on the brand’s platforms) must rank well on search engines so that it can attract organic traffic.
Keyword research helps a content strategist find which keywords are best to target and provides valuable insight into the queries that the target audience is actually searching on Google.
At the end of the day, they’ll track and analyze the performance of content using metrics like engagement, conversions, and ROI. They use these insights to refine the content strategy.
5.) Content Distribution
Content strategists decide how content should be distributed across various channels.
These channels may include the company’s website, the blog, social media pages, email, and any other platforms they are showing up on.
Distributing content on many platforms, if planned properly, will help to maximize the reach and the impact of the content.
The responsibilities of a content creator can vary greatly. But it’s mostly characterized by creating materials like videos, articles, designs, etc. for different platforms.
1.) Content Production
The job of a content creator involves producing the actual content, that is, after much of the brainstorming and strategizing has been done.
A content creator is responsible for creating videos, writing blog posts, crafting copies, designing graphics, etc. depending on the task given to them.
Content creators ensure that the content planned by a content strategist gets created. The purpose of a content creator is to create content that informs, educates, and entertains the audience.
2.) Content Optimization
Content creators are mostly focused on creating content, they also need to have basic understanding of SEO principles so that they can incorporate relevant keywords and make content search-friendly.
They ensure that content is written in such a way that it has the potential to reach the largest possible audience and meet their needs. They too have an understanding of the target audience that consumes the content they create.
This process will include making sure associated keywords are present, adding meta and title tags, and relevant links.
3.) Content Editing
It is important that the content is as high-quality as can be, so a content creator takes content through series of editing or proofreading as the case may be.
The content has to be well-written and well produced, optimized for search, and is consistent with the brand voice.
They understand that high-quality content is essential for credibility.
4.) Creativity Check
Content creators focus on creating content that is engaging, informative, and valuable to the target audience.
They understand that creativity and storytelling skills are crucial in order to make the content well-received by the target audience.
They maintain consistency in the brand’s voice, style, and messaging across all content.
In summary, content strategists are responsible for the strategic planning, coordination, and measurement of content efforts, while content creators are responsible for the hands-on creation of content.
The two roles work closely together, with content strategists providing the guidance and direction for what content to create and content creators bringing that vision to life through their creative work.
How can you become a sought-after content strategist?
1. Build a Diverse Set of Skills
If you want to be a sought-after content strategist, you need to build diverse set of skills.
It takes time to become a well-paid and in-demand content strategist. But, first, you will need to invest in yourself to obtain the essential qualifications, which will allow you to land clients that respect your work and pay you well.
You need to develop skills like empathy, so that you can adequately comprehend your target audience’s difficulties, interests, requirements, and so on.
You’ll also need to develop communication skills. As a content strategist, you’ll be working with well over a large number of other stakeholders. Like copywriters, graphic designers, etc. You must be able to provide a clear creative brief to anyone with whom you work.
It is critical to communicate what you precisely want and when required to keep things on track.
As a content strategist, you should have exceptional writing and communication skills.
Practice writing in different formats (blog posts, social media, emails) and work on clarity and conciseness.
Content creation is a creative discipline, but as a content strategist, you must also have organizational skills and the capacity to multitask.
As the strategist, you’re in charge of any kind of content that is published on a brand’s online platform, so it’s important to create a timetable and manage content development by your deadline.
You also need to develop technical skills like proficiency in content management systems (CMS), data analytics, social media management, email marketing, and more.
2.) Stay Updated
One of the habits of successful creatives is that they stay updated about their fields.
The field of content strategy is continuously evolving and staying up to date with the latest trends, tools and tech related to it is what will make you a sought-after content strategist.
They subscribe to industry newsletters, they attend webinars, and they follow industry news all to ensure that they are informed about what is happening in the digital space.
They invest heavily in their craft by setting a budget for their personal and professional development.
One of the most important habits of a content strategist is to read widely and critically.
You should not only follow the leading blogs, podcasts, newsletters, and books on content strategy, but also explore other topics and perspectives that can enrich your knowledge and skills.
How else do they stay updated about their industry? By following industry leaders, attending digital marketing conferences, tech events and so on.
They also collaborate with other professionals and work with diverse brands, not limiting their knowledge to a particular field.
Experiment with new marketing techniques and technologies.
3.) Develop your Portfolio
You need to create a portfolio of your work, and in order to be able to do that, you need to have something you have worked on or are working on.
The issue there is that it is usually difficult for a newbie to find gigs so that they can have a robust body of work.
Nobody wants to hire a novice, no one will be willing to give their businesses or projects to someone who has no body of work in their portfolio.
What I usually advice newbies is that instead of waiting for someone to give you a chance, take a chance on yourself.
When I started my online business, of course I didn’t get a great project to work on right off the bat.
In fact, I lacked the confidence to work on other people’s projects, so I normally would not even prospect.
But what I started to do was to use my skills for myself. I created my social media pages, I created my website, I started email marketing and blogging.
And then as I got better, I started to prospect for jobs little by little.
Make yourself your very first client. If you want to become a sought after content strategist, create a content strategy for yourself and start showing up online.
When anyone asks for your portfolio, show them your social media platforms, show them the work you are doing for yourself.
If they see the kind of result you are getting for yourself, they will be willing to work with you.
So showcase your ability to plan, execute, and measure successful content campaigns.
4. Create a Personal Brand
As you are developing your skills to become a sought-after content strategist, you need to also work on developing your personal brand.
It doesn’t matter how skilled you are, you need to put yourself in places where you can be visible.
You need to establish yourself as a thought leader by creating a brand and as someone who wants to become a sought-after content strategist, you can start by creating a blog.
With a blog, you can create content that demonstrates your expertise and consistently share valuable tips on content strategy topics.
Also, focus on building relationships with your audience, your clients, and people in general.
Build trust, and build a good reputation by constantly showing up to share value, and being genuinely concerned about people.
Here are a few unpopular personal branding tips that’ll help you stand out.
5. Understand Digital Marketing and SEO
Understand in depth the principles of digital marketing if you want to become a sought-after content strategist.
Digital marketing is a broad and multifaceted field that encompasses a wide range of strategies and techniques for promoting products, services, or brands through digital channels.
If you want to delve into the in-depth aspects of digital marketing, you must understand the key components and strategies involved.
Some of those key components include SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, pay per click advertising, and so on.
Remember what I said about being your first client, use all these components of digital marketing as you work on your portfolio.
The in-depth understanding of digital marketing involves knowing when and how to use these strategies effectively, tracking their performance, adapting to industry trends and technological advancements, and aligning your digital marketing efforts with your overall business goals.
It’s a dynamic field that requires continuous learning and adaptation to stay competitive in the digital landscape.
So gain a deep understanding of digital marketing principles and SEO techniques.
This knowledge will help you create content that not only resonates with your target audience but also rank well on search engines.
6. Know Your Audience
Conduct audience research so that you can know who you are going to be showing up for.
Also, create user personas representing different segments of your audience. These personas should include information about their goals, pain points, and preferences.
If you already have a website, social media, and other platforms to gain insights into your audience behaviour, content engagement, and preferences.
Then study your competitors’ content and audience. This can provide insights into what works and what doesn’t in your niche.
Finally, stay updated, keep up with industry trends and changes in your audience’s behaviour and preferences.
The field of content strategy is continuously evolving. So stay updated with the latest industry trends, tools, and technologies related to content creation and distribution.
7. Prioritize Networking and Collaborations
It is important that you build a strong professional network in the content marketing and digital marketing fields.
Attend industry events and meet with like minds. Join relevant communities, engage with other people. Networking can lead to opportunities and collaborations.
Collaborate with content creators, designers, developers, and other professionals in related fields. Effective teamwork is essential in content strategy.
Look, one of the easiest ways to become a sought-after content strategist is to prioritize networking and to collaborate with other people across industries.
Leverage social media by actively engaging on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and other industry-specific platforms.
Share valuable and meaningful content on those platforms and be professional always.
Seek out opportunities for collaborative projects or guest posting on industry websites and blogs.
Collaborations can expand your reach and expertise.
Becoming a sought-after content strategist takes time and dedication.
It’s about continually honing your skills, staying informed, and delivering outstanding results for clients or employers.
As you build a reputation for excellence in the field, opportunities to work on exciting projects and with prominent brands will likely come your way.
By providing value and fostering genuine relationships, you’ll be creating a long-term investment in your professional growth and success as a content strategist.