Today, content marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Demand Metric revealed that content marketing delivers 3 times more leads than traditional marketing and costs 62% less.
Considering this statistic, it’s, therefore, no surprise that 91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI).
In a nutshell, businesses are using content marketing as a strategy to reach and convert prospects. But are they getting the best results possible?
To achieve these results, you need to focus on improving these 9 most important content marketing skills.
1. Content creation skills
Even though it’s obvious, very few content marketers can create the type of content that will achieve great results for their business. First, content writing is important for your blogs and other important website pages.
To improve content writing skills and eliminate blunders, a marketer has to learn about grammar. Grammarly is a tool that can assist writers to proofread their written content.
Apart from this, writers need training on how to use their words to connect with their audience. How can they provoke action from their audience through written content? In addition, content marketers need to learn copywriting skills which will help them create copy that can sell your products.
Beyond content writing, visual content has also gained popularity over the years. For example, 54% of consumers expect video content from brands.
In light of this, marketers need training on how to create basic visual content such as images or videos. With tools like Canva to help you though, it becomes easier to create these types of content.
2. Editing skills
Every piece of writing needs to be polished through editing before it can come out great. Even for great writers, it’s rare to have a perfect copy at the first try.
This is why content marketers need to learn how to edit their content before it’s published. During the process of editing, marketers can check for grammatical blunders in their piece of content.
Furthermore, editing ensures a piece of content has been successful in passing across its message to the audience. Is it clear enough for the reader and does it connect to their situation? How readable is it?
If you have a big budget, you can hire a professional editor. However, you can also train your marketers on editing skills.
3. Deep understanding of sales funnels
Just like other marketing channels, the ultimate aim of content marketing is to turn your website visitors into leads and your leads into customers. To achieve this, content marketers use sales funnels which consist of different stages of the buyer journey. These include:
- Top of the sales funnel (TOFU)
- Middle of the sales funnel (MOFU)
- Bottom of the sales funnel (BOFU)
At different stages of the sales funnel, there are different requirements and audience needs. A content marketer needs training on how the sales funnel works and how content fits into each stage.
When content marketers have this skill, they can create pieces of content that will turn visitors into leads and leads into customers.
4. Planning skills
Achieving success with content marketing requires planning. Unlike some other forms of marketing, content marketing requires time and consistency before you get tangible results.
This means a content marketer needs to create pieces of content that fit into a strategy. To create an effective strategy, marketers have to understand their audience’s needs and how their pieces of content will meet them.
Furthermore, they need to create an editorial calendar that helps to publish content consistently. A tool like Trello can help marketers achieve this and collaborate with their team members.
By learning planning skills, your marketers can create pieces of content that will contribute positively to your overall marketing goals.
5. Research skills
Research comes into play at different stages of content marketing. First, a marketer has to carry out audience research. This will provide insights into their needs and the type of content that will provoke them to action.
Furthermore, content marketers need to research while creating a piece of content. As a result, they can find important pieces of information like studies, surveys, case studies that are available on that topic.
6. SEO skills
Search engines are one of the biggest sources of valuable traffic to websites. For instance, BrightEdge revealed that 51% of traffic to websites and 40% of revenue comes from organic traffic.
To capture more organic traffic, marketers need to optimize their content for search engines. And more importantly, optimize their content for keywords that potential buyers are likely to search for.
In light of these, marketers need SEO skills, especially as content marketing and SEO are so closely intertwined.
These include the ability to carry out tasks such as:
- keyword research
- Keyword placement in their content
- On-page SEO
- Competitor analysis
Businesses can hire SEO consultants or sponsor SEO courses to train their marketers.
7. Content promotion skills
Creating content is one part of the content marketing equation. But content promotion is the other part that few people pay attention to.
According to Derek Halpin, marketers should spend 20% of their time creating content and 80% of their time promoting it. Even if you disagree with that percentage, it’s obvious that content promotion is vital – after all, it doesn’t matter how great your content is if nobody is actually reading it or seeing it.
Common platforms to promote your content include social media, blogging communities, and email. By promoting your content to social media followers and email subscribers, you’ll increase traffic to your content.
Another promotion skill marketers need is outreach. This includes reaching out to influencers who can promote your content to their audience or for guest post opportunities.
8. Data analysis skills
Today, many numbers show how effective your content marketing effort is. But marketers need to find the right numbers to analyze their performance.
For different content marketing campaigns, marketers need to understand the key performance indicators (KPIs) and how to track them. For instance, what are the KPIs for brand awareness, lead acquisition, or customer acquisition campaigns?
A common tool that most businesses use is Google Analytics. Through this tool, marketers can find insights into how their audience behaves on their pages.
Apart from using numbers to track performance, content marketers also need the skills to track the ROI of their activities. How much are their efforts contributing to the business? Providing data analysis training to content marketers will help them track the effectiveness of their activities better.
9. Technical skills
To thrive in the present technological age, content marketers need technical skills. Because executing content creation and promotion effectively requires some important tools.
For instance, a content marketer might need to upload their content using a content management system like WordPress. Furthermore, they will have to draw insights from tools such as Google Analytics or other analytics tools.
Even more, some businesses now use personalization tools to personalize content for their visitors. In this case, a marketer needs to learn how to use those tools. It’s vital to train content marketers on how to use important tools for your business.
Content marketing is a growing channel to attract a bigger audience to your business and turn them to customers. Likewise, content marketers need to learn new skills to keep up with the changing marketing landscape.
And in order to achieve your content marketing targets in 2020, you need to train your content marketers to acquire these skills.