Great content marketers understand how to build high value content, distribute it to the masses, then repurpose it for redistribution.
At the core of content marketing is the ability to plan, create, and publish content that will attract the company’s ideal customer and turn them into a lead and then into a paying customer.
Content marketing has been around for years, basically since the Internet started booming in the early 2000’s.
It spans across many different aspects of marketing and it highly defines who the company’s brand is to the outside world.
Think of a brand that you love. Then think of how you interact with that brand most often.
Chances are that it’s through their content somehow. It could be their tv ads, their social media posts, their blog articles, their founder’s social media posts, etc.
The right content speaks directly to the company’s ideal customer and makes them feel connected to the brand and purpose.
When that magical “connection” happens, the brand benefits (by gaining a new loyal follower and possibly customer) and the customer benefits (by finding a new brand that they truly relate to and believe in).
In this article, I want to talk about Content Marketers and 7 characteristics that can make them truly great at what they do.
Here are the 7 characteristics that we’ll cover:
(1) They are omni-channel marketers
(2) They understand SEO at a high level
(3) They are great copywriters themselves
(4) They are organized and consistent
(5) They are great at delegating and motivating
(6) They are always testing and measuring results
(7) They understand their end customer
Who are Content Marketers?
Content marketers are SEOs, Writers, Digital Marketers, CMOs, and other roles within companies that are focused on driving new customers to the business through content online.
They are behind-the-scenes marketers that drive the content marketing machine to success.
They identify the best topics to create content about. They write content themselves. They recruit other talented writers into their teams. They delegate writing to their teams. They publish the content with the help of other marketing teams. And they measure how well the content performs so they can replicate success and find other areas of opportunity.
When you interact with brands that you love and the content speaks to you, you’re witnessing the work of content marketers at that company.
What is Content Marketing?
As mentioned above, Content Marketing is the act of the planning, creating, publishing, and redistributing content to a company’s ideal customer audience.
Content Marketing can be a major growth strategy for a business by deeply connecting with their ideal audience every single day through different channels and with different pieces of content.
Or, it can be a wasteful marketing strategy that doesn’t have much impact and doesn’t help the brand to better connect with their customers.
What determines how effective your content marketing strategy will be? The Content Marketers!
I’ve always had a passion for writing and I’ve been able to tie it directly into my role as a Content Marketer for all of these companies.
With each of them, I’ve developed a well thought out plan of how we’d consistently publish content over time that would speak to our target audience, teach them, address problems they’re having, and ultimately interest them in the product/service that we were offering.
Without going into too much detail, I can tell you that it’s an extremely powerful marketing tool that every CMO and marketer should have in their Marketing Tool Belt.
How does content marketing help your business?
Content Marketing helps your business in a multitude of ways. Here’s just a few:
(1) It defines your brand to your target audience and assures them that they are in the right place
(2) It increases your SEO ranking which can lead to increased organic traffic from search engines like Google
(3) It provides you with opportunities to interact with partners and others in your space (who you’re not competing with) to share content between each other and benefit one another’s communities
(4) It educates potential customers about your industry and how you fit into it
(5) It addresses core problems that your ideal customer is having and debunks them or provides ways that they can be solved (by using your company’s products/services)
(6) It keeps you top of mind for potential customers as they are researching and thinking about how they’ll solve a particular problem
(7) It gives you shareable content that you can use on social media to build a presence and community around your brand
(8) It defines your brand for who you are, what your mission is, what you care about, and why you exist as a company.
7 Characteristics of Great Content Marketers
Now that we know what content marketing is and how it can help your business grow, let’s dive into the 7 characteristics of great content marketers.
If you’re a CMO or marketer yourself, take inventory of your own skills and improve in areas where you’re currently lacking.
If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner looking to improve your content marketing game, take note on these characteristics so that when you’re hiring for the role, you can ask questions about all of these.
Let’s get into it!
1. They are omni-channel marketers
Great content marketers are also omni-channel marketers.
What’s this mean?
Omni-channel marketing is the marketing practice of promoting your business across a variety of different channels and means of reaching your ideal customer.
An omni-channel brand understands that potential customers are all over the Internet and that it’s important to have a presence in as many high opportunity places as possible.
Here’s a quick example:
One of my companies, EcomBalance, is a monthly bookkeeping service for the eCommerce industry.
We target eCommerce entrepreneurs, Amazon sellers, Shopify stores, D2C brands, Walmart sellers, and anyone selling products online in some capacity.
Our ideal customers are all over the place online and we want to be able to reach them in all of those places. That’s why we have an omni-channel marketing strategy to have a presence everywhere.
We are active on social media channels. We are regularly interviewed on leading eCommerce podcasts. We have partnerships with 100+ eCommerce companies. We are listed in eCommerce directories online. We are active in specific eCommerce private communities and events. We create content that caters to the niche for organic search results. We have an affiliate network with hundreds of people in eCommerce sharing our service. The list goes on, but I think you get the point.
Great content marketers are not only thinking about the content…they’re thinking about how they distribute that content out to your ideal customer.
Creating content only does so much. It’s the great ones that find creative ways to get it in front of thousands of eyeballs in different channels around the Internet where your ideal customers are hanging out.
2. They understand SEO at a high level
If you run into a “content marketer” and they don’t geek out about SEO, I’d recommend looking for one that does.
Content marketers should understand all of the SEO concepts and have experience with them as well:
• High level SEO strategy
• Keyword research
• Competitor SEO research
• Creating content for search engine success
Ask them about their SEO process for content creation and they should mention all of these topics and how they personally implement them within their content creation process.
A great content marketer understands that it’s important to create high quality content that targets low competition, high volume keywords so that they not only impress your ideal customer base, but also appeals to search engines.
3. They are great copywriters themselves
I’d be weary of any content marketer that doesn’t have copywriting experience themselves.
At the core of a great content marketer is a passionate writer that loves connecting with others through their writing.
They love learning new copywriting tactics, looking at how other companies are doing it, and figuring out how to improve their own craft.
Great content marketers should have a portfolio of content that you can review that shows off their writing abilities.
Now, there is one caveat…
Writing is only one part of crushing content marketing so you need to consider all 7 qualities here.
You can be a great copywriter, but not the best content marketer. But the vice versa shouldn’t be the same.
4. They are organized and consistent
Content marketers need, need, need to be organized and thoughtful in how they plan and set up content creation for their company or their clients’ companies.
What does this mean?
Being a great planner when it comes to content marketing means having the following:
(1) A Keyword Research Plan: 1-3 strategies that you use for finding keywords within your brand’s niche that you want to target.
(2) A Content Calendar: A tool or spreadsheet where you can organize all of the upcoming keywords you want to target and then create titles for the articles.
(3) Article Templates: In WordPress or whatever website builder you’re using, templates for different types of articles that you can easily assign to a Writer to being writing on. This saves the writer tons of time and ensures optimization for all articles.
(4) Content Guidelines: All articles should meet specific guidelines so that they appeal to readers and search engines. This includes internal links, external links, images, use of the keyword, proper headings, word count, etc.
(5) Publishing Timelines: Once assigned, all articles need a due date so that they are published within the required timeline you set with your content calendar.
(6) A Task Manager for Writers: A tool to use when communicating new assignments to your writing team where you can track progress, communicate on articles, and push them through the content process.
There are more than these 6, but this is just an example of how organized a great content marketer should be.
5. They are great at delegating and motivating
When working to produce 30-100 new pieces of content for a brand each month, you can’t do it all yourself.
That’s why it’s critical that marketers are able to delegate and keep their team organized while creating all of the content each month.
While a CMO for their own company that’s only developing 5 new pieces of content per month may not need this skill set, it’s an important one when performing content marketing at scale.
Think about it…
You’re aiming to target 100+ keywords per month…
Maybe you are able to make the time to perform the keyword research and develop the content calendar, but all of the writing needs to be passed off to reliable writers that can do the grunt work of actually putting words down.
This may require 5 writers each writing 20 articles per month.
That requires strong organization, delegation, and leadership in order to make it happen at a high level.
Don’t look past this quality for content marketers.
6. They are always testing and measuring results
The best marketers know that you can’t just market without measuring the results.
I’m a huge proponent of tracking key metrics for all of my companies and my marketing efforts every month.
I have a spreadsheet “Key Metrics” where I take 1 hour each month to record the data, review Google Analytics and Google Search Console for traffic and SEO performance, and create new conclusions and steps forward.
In order to be a great marketer, you need to (1) have the insight to build the marketing campaign and (2) have the discipline to measure the results, make tweaks, and figure out how you can make it work better the next time around.
7. They understand their end customer
This final trait relates back to quality #1 of being an omnichannel marketer.
When creating content for a brand, you need to have a clear understanding of the company’s ideal customer profile. This is also called a Customer Avatar.
The Customer Avatar breaks down the ideal customer into more specific characteristics so that when you’re creating content, you can really speak directly to that person.
It makes your content more meaningful for your target customer when they read your content and can drive them more towards wanting to use your company.
Here’s an example:
Your customer avatar is an eCommerce business making and selling their own branded products online. They are located in the US. They have sales of $500,000 to $1,500,000 per year. They are bootstrapped. They sell on Amazon and their own Shopify store. They read the most popular eCommerce publications out there. They strive for wealth and freedom in their life and business. They are 30 to 45 years old.
When you know the granularities of your customer like that, you can build content that speaks directly to them and aligns with their values and ambitions.
Content marketing is a powerful strategy that all businesses should be tapping into for growth.
In order to execute it properly, you need a great content marketer on your team.
In some situations, that may be yourself or one of your co-founders.
In my situation, that person is me. I handle all of the content marketing with a team of Writers and marketers while my business partner handles other areas of the business.
Regardless of the set up, make sure that you look for these 7 characteristics in anyone that you hire for content marketing or in yourself if you’re the one handling it for your business.
Great content marketing can drive thousands of interested leads to your business online if you do it right.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll respond. Or reach out to me directly.
If you want my help with your content marketing, email me at Connor@ConnorGillivan.com and let’s have a chat.