Got content marketing skills? I sure hope you do, because your work in content marketing will probably require all of them—and maybe even a few you don’t already have. Whatever skills you don’t have now, you can learn over time.
The skills I’d recommend a content marketer to have are:
1. The ability to learn (and learn fast)
Content marketing moves fast. If you don’t like change and can’t adapt quickly, you may never be happy as a content marketer. On the upside, if you like learning new things, you’ll find your curiosity to be a major competitive advantage. It’s a good idea to try to learn a new skill, or a new software project, or a new content marketing tactic every few months. Smart marketers are always evolving.
2. Writing skills
If you could pick just one skill to succeed as a content marketer, becoming a better writer might be it. Even if you’re able to hire content creators, you’ll still need editing skills, or the skills to write a strategy document or a press release. You also may need to write emails, job descriptions, or even captions in a pinch.
The following graph comes from a study of technology marketers, but look at how high writing skills are rated—they’re even above content marketing skills.
3. Project management skills
Content marketing has a lot of moving parts. There’s the analytics, the content creation, the content promotion, the content reformatting, the coordinating with other departments, the coordinating with influencers and outside experts and freelancers . . . you get the idea.
4. People skills
“It’s all computer-based now.” Ever heard that?
Bupkes. People are still the alpha and omega of business—from the people you manage, the people who manage you, to customers, vendors, and everyone else you encounter. Being able to communicate and perhaps even persuade people is an essential skill. And if you’re managing people, being able to get everybody to play nice is a critical asset, too. You’re going to need it in your content marketing work.
5. Analytics skills
You don’t need to be a data scientist to run a content marketing department. But you do need to be able to look at detailed reports and see what’s really important amongst all those stats and numbers. And if you work in a small team, you may end up being the one who prepares those reports. According to research from Parse.ly and Ceros, “Digital media professionals are expected to have a facility with data.”
6. Search engine optimization
Many content marketers often struggle with their search engine optimization skills. They know they need them, but the technical aspect of SEO can make people think it’s harder than it really is.
7. Speaking and presentation skills
You don’t necessarily need in-person presentation skills (though they certainly do help), but it is important to be well-spoken in a webinar or podcast interview, especially if you’re in B2B. It’s great to be able to say, “I’d love to do a webinar” or to be able to say yes to a podcast invite.