8 Essential Content Marketing Skills You Need
Content marketing, an evergreen type of marketing that is very important. Developing essential skills for content marketing is what you required to succeed in this “content world”.
To stand out from the competitors in online marketing, the number one factor you should take into consideration is content. As you all know, we consume information or content in 3 different formats.
In business, the objective of producing content is to attract prospects. That is why it is very important to know how to create good content that will be able to attract people and ultimately make money.
What is content marketing?
According to contentmarketinginstitute.com, Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Examples of actions which falls under content marketing are:
- Making sales/promotion videos
- Creating infographics
- Persuasive writing, etc
It is not easy to acquired the essential skills required to succeed in content marketing.
It takes years of experience and practice to master this. However, do you have these kinds of skills which every content marketing specialist has? Let’s find out.
8 Essential Content Marketing Skills
1. In-Depth Research
The most important skill and the first you should develop is to be able to do in-depth research regarding the topic or businesses you are going to produce content for.
This skill is not only important for content marketing but online marketing as a whole. Whether you do SEO, SEM or any kind of marketing – you need to be able to do in-depth research.
The research here includes every aspect of the topic, whether its
- Target audience interests and pain points
- Your prospects desire
- What problems your ideal customers are facing
- Market research and analysis
- Product trends, etc.
Every aspect related to your business needs to be thoroughly understood, clarified and segmented.
It does not matter whether you are just a local business owner or a big organization, without clearly understand your niche can refrain you back from standing out from the crowd.
How to effectively do research?
- Understand your topic – Know the objective and what is required of the given topic
- Frame a question, by using what, where, when, why and how.
- Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and ask, “If I were my prospect, will I like or get attracted to this” – as an example.
- Dig out your competitors – See what works for your competitors, through which type of contents your ideal prospects are getting attracted to etc.
- See what is trending in your niche
2. Develop writing skills
Copywriting is perhaps the most important action in content marketing. This is because it utilizes the most common tool for communication – language and text.
It is also very important because we consume information mainly through text. This skill requires experience and years of practice. Some people may naturally acquire it while many do not.
“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” David Ogilvy
When writing for your ads or creating a blog article, make sure your writing is creative, attractive and able to convey the outcome or result your target audience will get.
Remember, human beings, by nature, are selfish in nature. In the end, we all care about the benefits we are going to get. Make sure the writing is able to paint the pleasant image of the objective in your prospects’ mind.
Besides attractive writings, you should able to come up with writing content fast. Remember, the world is changing every second and if you act late, someone else will do.
Moz’s take on writing 10x content should be the minimum standard you aspire to set for your content output.
3. Understand basic marketing psychologies
The core concept of content marketing is to attract people and turn them into customers.
You can only go far enough by creating the most visuals, unique content out there, but you will never truly reach that goal if you do not understand some basic marketing psychologies.
Marketing psychology to that branch of psychology which is related to human market consumption behavior.
Influencing people is also one of the categories in marketing psychology. Some other examples include:
- Social proof
- Scarcity, etc.
The most important are trust, social proof, and scarcity. Let me explain to you with the help of an example.
The first and foremost thing in online marketing is you need to establish trust among your prospects.
The strategy used here is by providing values. For example Free trial, free training course, etc. – what you usually see on any sale website, in exchange for an email, etc. – what you usually see on any sale website, in exchange for an email.
In content marketing, this is done through persuasive copywriting or videos, luring in prospects and give values (free stuff), then the seller build trust through the sequence of follow up emails.
Nowadays, you hardly see any copywriting or advertisements without some reviews or proofs from customers.
The strategy used is simple but very effective. Social proof is also another form of trust, called social trust. It is also known as mass following. This is because we know that if it works well for other people, it could and has a chance to work with us as well.
The most effective type of social proof is a video review. If you cannot afford it, a testimonial would be just fine.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you quickly book a hotel when you see that “1 room left” situation? That is the scarcity effect in action.
This psychology is effective when we already have pre-desire or mindset that we want something and that we come across it that it is going to finish or run out soon.
This psychology is deeply rooted in our brain as it can be dated back to the ancient times when there exists a scarcity of food, and we had to act out quickly in order to seize the opportunity.
To learn more about other marketing psychologies, check out this article here.
4. Analytics and understand data
There is a saying in online marketing, “let the data guide you”. This is very true and nothing can be as valuable as statistical data.
Just like SEO, content marketing is all about the continuous process of testing and development. To know what is working and what is not, you need to keep track of the results and understand the trend.
Analyze why your copy does not work out or why there is no sale. Maybe all you need to change is just a word or two.
I had a client in which we were trying to rank a particular page, for a particular keyword on Google. The situation was that this page had been sitting on the second page of Google for quite some time then.
It was not that our SEO was not right or we did not have good content. After going through the Google analytics report, we noticed that this particular page’s click-through rate was not that good.
So I decided to just change two words in the heading tag and guess what, within a month, the click-through rate shot up to 125%, and finally this page ranked on the first page.
Always keep track of the data and see what actions you need to perform next.
5. Able to create multimedia content
We live in a multimedia world where there is a blend of a content type. Most of the blogs nowadays include various types of content in an article – video, podcast, text, images, etc.
If you want to be a good content marketer, you need to be able to have this skill. You should know how to use tools like video editor, image editor or any other tools required for multimedia.
The easiest tool to use for image and graphic tool is Canva, which is free to use. You can do all sorts of things like custom image creation, custom fonts, small graphic elements, etc.
In fact, I have used Canva for all of my articles’ custom images. It hardly takes more than 5 minutes to create a beautiful image.
If you think editing videos or audio files seem difficult, you can try outsourcing the work to freelancing sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
But be careful when hiring freelancers. Make sure you choose the one with lots of positive reviews or higher level freelancers.
6.Verbal and presentation skills
Verbal and presentation skills are other important skills in content marketing. This is because nowadays, most of the type of media consumed by people are videos.
Video is a versatile and engaging content format that not only gives us a real-life picture of what is going on; it’s also easy to share across multiple platforms.
Consumers like it because it’s easy to digest, entertaining and engaging, and marketers like it because it can give a potentially huge return on investment (ROI) through many channels.
Check out my full guide on video marketing for 2019 and beyond to learn more.
Apart from videos, there other types of content like webinars which requires your communication skill to effectively convey out information.
Some of you might be an introvert but there is no other option if you want to be a good content marketer. Me too, I am an introvert and I am used to be shy in front of a camera.
But trust me, you do not have that kind of perfect look or background view. Just a basic of communication skills, marketing psychologies and you are good to go.
7. Be a good storyteller
People love stories and all professional content marketers are good at storytelling.
I cannot stress enough how a story can really help you boost your content marketing skills. This is because 60% of marketers struggle to produce engaging content for their audiences.
If you can stand out from the crowd and able to be among that 40 %, I am sure your content marketing skills will skyrocket.
There are numerous ways you can tell stories, the most famous beings blogs, and videos. Ever wonder why some of the posts on social media are doing better than another? If you observe carefully, these posts are the ones that contain storytelling images, infographics or videos.
Another example would be Miles Beckler, a famous internet entrepreneur (my favorite marketer and inspiration). He is able to attract so many leads through his valuable YouTube videos and story of how he became a full time internet entrepreneur.
Telling a good story alone will not help if you do not keep the customer engaged. Make sure you ask questions or request people or prospects to engage from time to time to keep the flow going.
Life, success, and failure stories are the three types of stories people are most addicted to.
8. Be unique and have your own strategies
Being unique and having your own strategies are the skills that you ultimately would want to acquire.
This does not come after night but it takes years of experience, practices, and ability to understand the market.
Being a good content marketer, you should be able to adapt quickly and formulate different strategies based on the situation or topic.
Sure, every market or topic can have the same or similar fundamentals but to really get deep, you ultimately need to formulate your own strategies.
People are tired of seeing the same types of ads over and over again. Find out the loopholes in the market and identify what can you do to make it more unique.
Recently, I came across a blog which asked users to play a three questions quiz. After answering, you will be prompt to enter your email address to see the result.
If you are able to answer all three questions correctly, you get a free online marketing tips e-book.
Identify your uniqueness and see how can you implement it in your content marketing.
That’s all for the all essential skills you need for content marketing. The first seven skills are what you can call the fundamentals that every good content marketers should have.
The eighth one is what you ultimately would like to acquire. The ability to adapt, formulate your own strategies and use your uniqueness as a tool for content marketing is what separates “good marketers” from “great marketers”.
However, these skills are not easy to acquire. All you need is hard work, practice, and practice. Remember, you can never achieve anything without real-world experience. Keep in mind the 80-20 rule (80% doing – 20% learning).
Content marketing is an art that requires lots of real-world experience. So do not give up if initially, it does not work out. Keep on trying until you succeed.
Remember, sometimes, changing just a word or two can make a difference 😉
Besides being equipped with the necessary skills, you need to have effective content marketing strategies to really see the results.
So are you equipped with any of the above skills? Is there any skill you need to practice more? Let me know in the comment.