6 Skills to Give Content Creators the Edge
As more brands embrace content marketing, finding the right person to create and coordinate what could be a very complex content strategy is key to maintaining a successful relationship between brand and content agency. Narrative Chief Content Officer Jane Smith explains.
Ten years ago, content marketing barely existed in South Africa. There were a handful of brand-owned print magazines produced very much within the consumer publishing framework. There were journalists and writers, editors and subeditors, all working in defined roles in traditional media businesses such as magazines and newspapers. As consumer media has shrunk and the field of content marketing has grown, traditional editorial types have found themselves drawn into this exciting new world.
Not every hack can cut it in content marketing, so what skills and personality traits are integral for success? In most cases, the person needs to be an all-rounder, with the ability to create great content as well as manage it across the platforms. In the multi-faceted content marketing world, the position of editor isn’t as all-encompassing as content manager, a title which we’ll use for the purposes of this article.
Each brand will have different requirements for their content message – and, as a result, will want to use different channels to communicate with their customers and clients. So, the content manager needs to have a wide range of skills to be able to create and curate content for anything from video and print magazines through emails, social media, website, SMS and more.
Bring in the experts
Good content managers, however, will also be aware of their own limitations and call in the experts when there’s a gap in their knowledge. The aim is always to create the best possible content for a client; so this will likely mean reaching out to those with in-depth skills in certain areas, ie video, social media, print etc. This is also a great way for content managers to improve their knowledge.
Often a brand will have multiple projects on the go at the same time – and if the content is not ready on time, this can have a major impact on the rest of the creative team and the successful completion of the project. So, having a structured approach to content creation, solid time management and an attention to detail are crucial.
Understand the brand
Successful content managers immerse themselves fully in the brand. They should understand how the company works, know all the products and benefits, and be aware of customer demographics, brand message and more. Effectively, they should become the ‘go-to’ person for questions about that brand on the team.
Clients are very much part of the content marketing package. And they will have final approval on any project. Occasionally this will result in situations where a client’s opinion comes into conflict with the ideas of the content manager and the content creation team. A content manager worth his/her salt will know when to push back and know when to be flexible and work with the client to reach the desired outcome.
At the heart of content marketing is the ability to tell a story for your brand. So a content manager should have creativity, passion and experience to bring those stories to life.