10 Make-or-Break Skills a Content Marketing Professional Needs to Succeed. When you’re looking at job applications, pay attention to the candidates’ writing. Creativity is what makes your business stand out in the crowd of competitive content you see every day. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination and finish with education. Now, how does this relate to finding a content marketing professional for your business? Content marketing means being organized in these ways (among many others): Filing system both on and offline 3rd-party tools – their settings especially The content calendar The content strategy The blog and social media scheduling systems 8) Research A content marketing professional is always researching to create high-quality content. Research skills are a must for content marketing to work for your business. 9) Communication Content marketers represent your business in the content they produce. Written communication skills are probably one of the most important skills in this list. A content marketing professional needs to communicate how and why they’re doing something for your business, and they’ll need to demonstrate how their work is bringing in results (ROI).
When you have a content marketing professional vacancy, it can be difficult to narrow down the hundreds upon hundreds of applicants. Job listings online and word-of-mouth can produce unmanageable numbers of applications. So many of the applicants have a great resume and fit with the job requirements.
How do you narrow down this list of qualified candidates to a manageable number?
Consider these 10 critical skills to make it easier to select the right candidate for your open position. This collection can help you take a list of 100s of applicants down to 5-10 truly qualified candidates, giving you that manageable number you seek for the interview stage.
1) Writing expertise
Content marketing is, by definition, about creating a wide variety of valuable resources for your audience. This can include videos and infographics, but it also comes in standard writing form. Without writing expertise and experience, a content marketing professional would be missing an essential part of his or her career.
Take a moment to consider the words of Stephen King, one of the world’s most powerful writers. Smart Blogger’s Jon Morrow created a compilation of King’s inspirational quotes about writing from his book “On Writing.” If you want to take it a step further, grab a copy of King’s book on Amazon. Any legit writing professional will have read this book.
When you’re looking at job applications, pay attention to the candidates’ writing. This includes grammar and spelling, but it also includes the way they express themselves. A cover letter is great for this.
Ask for a cover letter, and check to see how the candidate formats their writing. Does it align well with what you want to see in your business’ content? Check the tone they use to see if it’s either too formal or too casual for your business’ content guidelines.
Another good way to evaluate a candidate’s writing skills is to see whether he or she can express a point clearly and quickly all while offering high value. Longer explanations can bore your audience, so a candidate needs to demonstrate a strong ability to inform at a to-the-point level. Remember, rumor has it that humans now have an attention span that’s shorter than the goldfish!
2) Trend savvy
When content creators are in action, they’re always keeping an eye out for new trends and techniques in their industry. This allows them to create fully optimized and popular content for your business.
Along the same lines, a content marketing professional should be on the lookout for mainstream trends that may benefit a business’ reach and popularity. For example, a blog headline that mentions a relevant, current trend can bring more traffic to your site. You’ll often see blog posts that incorporate celebrity news to increase traffic. People will be talking about that celebrity or searching for that topic on social media and Google Search, so it would be to your benefit to have a content writer who uses that to your advantage.
Also, a content marketer can use their trend-savvy skills to promote their content in the best ways for appeal and click-throughs. The next step is simply to keep the visitors sticking around on your website, but that’s where some of the other skills come into play, such as…
Content marketing is all about being creative. Without this absolutely essential skill, your content marketer will not be able to take your business ahead. Creativity is what makes your business stand out in the crowd of competitive content you see every day. Without it, your content won’t likely attract and retain visitors to your social media, site, and blog. They’ll go to your competition.
What is considered creative in content marketing? Well, these are some of the ways:
- Using a catchy or even provocative headline in your article is a great way to use your creative mind to get click-throughs.
- Creating infographics and images with your own graphics instead of stock imagery demonstrates a creative touch.
- Also, video is now a huge element to any content marketing strategy, and it, too, requires an extensive amount of creativity to stand out.
When you’re evaluating a candidate’s creative nature, see whether he or she has samples of their work to share with you. They don’t have to be work-related if the candidate has a side hobby. Use these samples to judge whether that candidate is worth pursuing further. In short, make sure that the candidate’s samples align well with what you want to see them make for your own business.
4) Commitment to continuous education
Marketing of any kind is never static. It changes every day. Content marketers need to know how to stay informed and why they should do so. A commitment to learning even past formal education is a must if they want to give your business an advantage. Learning means growing, and this growth will give marketers what they need to do their job effectively over time.
If a content marketing professional chooses to stick with the status quo, it will damage your business results. Just like with being trend-savvy, content marketers must know the best practices and recommended approaches that develop with time. This skill of continuous education will give a candidate the upper hand over those who stay in the…