Last updated on August 17th, 2016 at 11:26 am
Content marketing is a growing field that’s becoming indispensable for any business. Good content marketers can boost your sales and raise brand awareness. Providing your customers with a constant stream of quality content can be just what you need to give you an edge over your competitors.
What do content marketers do?
Broadly speaking, content marketers provide your customers with information and updates regarding your business. They do this by relying on all sorts of media, from written articles, to infographics and videos, and combinations of these.
Content marketers provided your company with a story. They are the voice which mediates between you and your clients. They pick up the complicated, and often technical details of your business, and adapt them to suit the needs of a broader audience.
What do you need?
In general, you’ll need someone who can provide you with creative content, and has an in-depth knowledge of social media, and other communication platforms.
But, more importantly, you have to consider the particularities of your own field. Ideally, the person you hire has to have at least a basic knowledge of what your business does, and what all of that complicated technical jargon means.
Finding someone who’s good at all of these things is not going to be easy. Depending on the audience you want to address, you may want to hire someone based on their knowledge of your field, rather than their creative prowess. If you are looking to reach a broader audience, then it would be wiser to leave out some of the more complex aspects of your business, and find someone who can produce content with a mass appeal.
And, most importantly, you have to have a strategy. Content marketing can’t do much if you are unclear about what you want from your content. The content marketing department can only help you make your strategy intelligible to your customers.
What are your options?
When deciding to hire someone to handle content marketing, you have a few options. Each option has certain benefits, and disadvantages. Deciding which one is best depends on size of your company, your requirements, and how much you’re willing to invest in content marketing.
Hiring freelancers is a good idea if you’re not looking to invest too much in content marketing. The downside here is that it’s very difficult to find real professionals amongst the hundreds of applicants.
If you are more interested in someone who has in-depth knowledge of your field, you can start by advertising the content marketer position in the field your business is in, rather than as a creative writing, or marketing opening.
- In-house content marketers
If your budget allows it, you can hire your own staff of people to handle the content marketing department. The great advantage to having your own content writing team is that you can make certain that they understand how your business operates, and they can maintain a consistent output of content, in keeping with your business brand.
For smaller business, in-house content marketers might be a bit too much, since there’s no real need to keep a content writing department fully staffed at all times. A much more profitable option is to outsource.
- Content marketing agency
Working with someone from a content writing agency gets the best of both worlds. While it may slightly pricier than working with a freelancer, you can be certain of their professionalism, and the consistent quality of their work.
As long as you provide them with information regarding your business, and constructive feedback after assignments, working with an agency is the most cost effective way to handle all your content marketing needs.
Why it’s difficult to find top-notch content marketers
One of the greatest challenges is finding the right person for the job. Highly-qualified content marketers are in short supply because the field has developed so rapidly.
Another issue is the lack of clarity when it comes to the assessment of their skills. Creativity is difficult to measure, and what works for certain audiences, might not work for others. Finding someone who can relate to an audience, and have a good grasp of the technical aspects related to a specific field is incredibly hard to do.
There are no specific courses that teach good content writing skills. Creative writing classes are often focused in creating more high-brow literary work, rather than short articles that are fun, and engaging. Otherwise, a good content marketer has to have at least a cursory knowledge of all sorts of domains related to humanities, to be able to understand their target audience, and cater to their needs.
And, last but not least, companies often lack a clear strategy when it comes to content marketing. Not having a clear strategy makes the whole endeavor pointless. Even if you find the best talent for the job, the whole department is going to be utterly ineffective.
How you can avoid issues
First thing’s first, it is essential that you develop a solid plan before you start hiring anyone. That way, you’ll know exactly what your budget for content marketing is, and what you want from it.
When assessing the candidates, or choosing an agency to work with, make sure they provide you with a portfolio. In creative fields, experts are often much more comfortable with some things, rather than others. Forcing them to do things that don’t come naturally will make them more inefficient, not matter how good they are.
And most importantly, if you have to see if you can communicate well. Communication is of the utmost importance, since ultimately, content marketers are just intermediaries between you and your customers. This might be one of the most important criteria when choosing a person to handle your content.
Hiring a person who is going to provide you with quality content marketing service doesn’t have to be a difficult process as long as you plan ahead, and have a pretty solid idea of what you’re looking for.
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