If your goal is to become a content marketer, you’re probably already aware that you’ll need to know how to write, edit and assess content for value and relevance. You’ll also need to become familiar with SEO best practices and how to rank content.
But there are a few less obvious skills and qualities that hiring managers are delighted to come across in content marketing candidates. If you’re relatively new to content marketing, you might have had the opportunity to develop some of these skills in prior jobs. If so, don’t be afraid to emphasize them during your job interview, even if they don’t seem overtly relevant to marketing.
1. Relationship Building
If you thought relationship building only pertained to sales, think again. A content marketer is constantly cranking out new blog posts, infographics and other materials to share across various mediums. The thing is, good content isn’t created in a silo. Establishing strong relationships with bloggers, industry experts, and peers within your network can be a boon to your content.
Stuck for an idea or want a fresh perspective? Reach out to relevant industry folks for a guest post on your blog, a link, or even some idea inspiration. While guest blogging is mutually beneficial, it is time-consuming and someone is more likely to provide you with a great guest post if you’ve already established a strong relationship. Maybe you just need a great quote from someone in the know? It’s much easier to reach out to someone in your network for quality insight rather than a casual acquaintance.
2. Project Management
Content marketers juggle many tasks at once including writing, research, analytics, content promotion, and more. Most likely, they’re creating multiple pieces of content simultaneously as well as managing outsourced content from a freelancer or agency. The point is, you need to be organized enough to prioritize and coordinate a number of different factors to get good content created, polished and out the door in a timely manner.
Companies are increasingly expecting their marketers to have a basic understanding of design principles. More of a nice-to-have than a necessity, design is especially helpful if you plan to work for a startup company or a smaller team. You aren’t expected to be an expert, but your manager will be thankful if you’re able to produce that custom image without the help of a freelancer or other team member. From UX design to graphic design, let it be known on your resume if you're hiding coveted design talent.
4. Analytical Thinking
This may or may not come as a surprise, but one of the major factors that sets content marketing apart from writing is data analysis. That might not sound like so much fun if you’re into the creative side of content, but it’s an absolute necessity. Creating exceptional content is just as much about strong writing skills as it is knowing what to write, how to present a topic and how to promote it.
That’s where analytical skills come in. Google Analytics is a great tool for learning how much traffic you’re getting, where it’s coming from and if it’s converting. If you’re not used to making data-driven decisions, taking a training course or workshop in Google Analytics is a great way to begin.
While data analysis is an essential step in content marketing there's a softer skill, empathy, that plays an important role as well. Marketing is essentially about presenting a product or service to your customer in a way that is relatable and meaningful; in order to do that, you must understand your audience beyond the data. Explore their pain points, goals, and even feelings. A content marketer who has the ability to see beyond her marketing scope and step into the shoes of her target audience is one major step ahead of the competition.
Not unlike a journalist or reporter, a good content marketer should have a natural curiosity for news, industry-relevant trends, and customer feedback. Finding an angle for your next great piece of content can simply come from asking the right questions.
Luckily for those new to a career in marketing, many of the skills you need to become a successful content marketer are transferable. As for design skills and analytics, technical skills can be learned, and with a little coaching and practice, you’ll own a well-rounded roster of hireable skills.