Finding the Perfect Content Marketer | outbrain.com

CONTENT MARKETING & DISCOVERY

Finding the Perfect Content Marketer

| Sharon Hurley Hall

If you could engineer the perfect content marketer, he or she would probably be a weird cross between an octopus and a chameleon. That’s because the right person to handle your content marketing needs to be able to handle multiple roles and move seamlessly from one to the other — or blend them all. Don’t believe me? Here are the roles a great content marketer will fill.

Image Source: William Warby

Newshound

Before media went cross-media and reporters had to be all things to all men, reporters had beats. They didn’t have to know everything about everything, but they had to know a heck of a lot about the area they covered. The perfect content marketer must have some of this expertise. Not only does it include an encyclopedic knowledge of the business you are in, but the ability to sniff out relevant, timely information relating to your niche. Without that kind of info, your content marketing efforts will be doomed.

Curator

Finding the content is only the first step, as you then need to do something with it. The perfect content marketer must be like a museum curator. You know how you can go into two exhibitions covering the same topic and one will be exciting and the other will be blah? In content marketing, the context and commentary are what separate the good from the great. If you don’t want your content marketing efforts to flop, your content marketer must be great at telling a story with the content you collect, adding value with insightful commentary and giving your brand expert positioning within its niche.

Analyst

The perfect person to market your company with content will also have sound analytical skills. Not only will these help in the curation phase but in tracking and follow-up. There’s no point in marketing in a vacuum. Instead, effective content marketers keep an eye on the stats to see what kind of content is getting a response, whether it’s the response you want and if you are using the right channels to reach your audience. Constant tweaking is the name of the game, but you can only do that effectively if you know what’s happening.

Distributor

That leads to the next point — the importance of distribution. There are multiple channels where your customers can find and interact with you. How do you put the right content in front of their eyes? Perhaps you want to make sure your blog post shows up as a related item on a blog in your niche. Perhaps you want to create and share an infographic. Maybe you want to build interaction and trust by giving away valuable free information, as Hubspot does. A content marketing expert will have a handle on appropriate social media platforms and content discovery channels.

Analysis of the stats will feed into knowing where and how to best distribute your content — and that’s crucial to the success of any content marketing strategy.

Innovator

Then there’s that little something you can’t quite put your finger on — what the French call a “je ne sais quoi.” It’s little bit of extra brilliance when it comes to generating and using content. Just as professional bloggers can see a blog post in every experience, professional content marketers will take everything that’s happening in your company and see how you can turn it into a piece of content that’s working for you. This might mean creating videos, transcribing presentations, illustrating statistics, etc.

Brand Advocate

Brand advocates already feel passionate about the products and services you offer and are already sharing your stuff to their own committed and loyal following. Sometimes the best brand advocates aren’t on your staff — as Lisa Barone argues in this insightful Small Business Trends post — but they could be. Keep your brand advocate in the loop and your content will immediately have a wider reach — and that’s just what you need, isn’t it?

What would you add to this content marketer shopping list?

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional web copywriter and blogger. Her career has included stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer.

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Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon is a writing consultant, web content writer and professional blogger.

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  • Tea Silvestre| April 10, 2012 at 3:15PM

    Content marketers also have to be visually adept — they need to be able to see what looks good on screen and provide direction to the web master (or better yet, format things themselves) in a way that balances white space, headings and bullets. The content needs to be visually inviting before it ever gets consumed.

    • Anonymous| April 10, 2012 at 3:15PM

      Thanks for commenting, Tea! Do you have favorite content marketers whose work you happen to admire?

    • Sharon Hurley Hall| April 10, 2012 at 3:15PM

      Good point, Tea – eye candy is important.

  • Anne Wayman| April 10, 2012 at 7:19PM

    I might add flexibility or something that indicates the ability to respond the rapid change we seem to always be involved in.

    • Sharon Hurley Hall| April 10, 2012 at 7:19PM

      Good one, Anne. If I stick with the analogy, the perfect content marketer would also be a gymnast. 🙂

  • Annie Sisk| April 14, 2012 at 12:12PM

    Excellent list, Sharon. I’d add that they need to be equally adept at right-brain and left-brain tasks. They need to be able to feel intuitively what looks good, what will resonate, and they need to be organized and analytical  enough to manage the multiple tasks involved in getting that resonant piece before the right sets of eyeballs. And I can only say “ditto” to Tea’s “aesthetically adept” and Anne’s “flexibility.” All that. Great piece! 

    • Sharon Hurley Hall| April 14, 2012 at 4:16PM

      Yep, content marketing is a ‘whole-brain’ activity, Annie. Thanks for adding your views.

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