In the information age it’s no surprise content creation and management is a crucial consideration for businesses.
But all the snappy content in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t get it to the right people in a timely and effective manner.
That’s where the content strategist comes in.
A Content Strategist in Your Organization
A talented content strategist will help you plan, create, guide, and manage useful, usable content that helps you grow your market share.
Content strategists wear many hats and use a diverse constellation of skills. If you’re ready to bring on a content strategist, make sure you know what you’re looking for and how to interview for the spot.
These are five qualities of a good strategist you can’t do without — and how to spot them.
A Keen Understanding of the Written Word
A content strategist doesn’t have to be an amazing writer, but they do need to recognize amazing writing.
A solid grasp of what makes content readable, sharable, and engaging is crucial.
They need to be able to look at a sea of content and sort the masterpieces from the amateur pursuits.
Like a curator for a museum, the content strategist selects and displays the right pieces for maximum impact.” — Content marketing specialist Derek Kirby of Adobe.
Skillsets: Editing, writing, blogging, social media, policy development
Any job requiring strategy needs an analytical brain behind it. But a content strategist can’t be a pure engineer that deals only in data; they need to intimately understand the audience as well. — Content strategist Sarah Finn of BestSatelliteProviders.com.
They need to predict what will create emotional engagement and then use the data to analyze what is working and where improvements are needed.
Skillsets: Accounting, project management, strategic management, market analysis, consumer behavior
To use the word “multitasking” is to diminish the abilities of a successful content strategist.
They are truly talented jugglers of the first order—we’re talking flaming batons and chainsaws.
They need to keep their eye on all media and marketing channels, watch how each performs, know trends, and always be prepared to make it better.
Skillsets: Detail-oriented, big picture thinker, long-term strategy, account management, client relations, marketing, prioritizin
A Silver Tongue
Content strategists interface with shareholders, collaborators, contributors, and users—so a knack for understanding who their present audience is and framing communications to match is imperative.
A successful content strategist builds trust, gains credibility, and sells ideas, no matter the audience. They need to be able to give a polished analysis to a board of directors as well as offer constructive, encouraging feedback to a writer. — Lisa Fowler, a content strategist at one of Salt Lake City’s top digital agencies,
Skillsets: Diplomacy, verbal communication, presenting, instructing, mentoring, sales, public speaking, networking, training, event organizer
A Cool Head Under Pressure
The content strategist is usually on the front lines, which means they need to be able to anticipate problems and come prepared with a pocketful of solutions to any unexpected flare-ups.
They must balance the needs of the company, the clients, and the audience.
No matter what happens, they need to be reassuring and act fast to counter potential problems before they take root.
Skillsets: Problem-solving, conflict resolution, customer service, deadline-driven, team player
Finding the right person for the right job is never easy, but knowing the skills and abilities you simply can’t do without will help make the process of selecting the perfect candidate a little less painful.
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