From blog posts, articles and website content through to social media posts, press releases and whitepapers, content is an expansive sector that is rapidly growing and innovating. It wasn’t that long ago that gaming content (advergaming), promotion through AR and VR, and voice search hit the scene, and these are avenues that are growing at an impressive pace. For example – and according to Statista (2019), 45% of U.S. millennials use voice-assistance when shopping online, making search queries and related content all the more important for targeting that audience. And if you’d like to work in content – whether as a Copywriter, Content Executive, Content Manager or even as a Head of Content – then you’re not alone. Content marketing has grown in leaps and bounds, with 70% of marketers actively investing in content marketing, resulting in jobs being created all the time. In fact, in the space of 3 short years, the content team here at Embryo has grown from 1-7, and I couldn’t be happier and more excited to see where we go next. At the time of writing, we even have a vacancy available. If you’d like to know more about working in content marketing, and how to make your application stand out from the crowd, then I recommend reading this blog. If you’re talented, creative and have the determination to always put your best foot forward, then I have no doubt you’ll be working in a great role soon enough.
Content Marketing Skills – What Every Writer Should Have
The exact content skills you need will vary from job to job, but in general, if you’d like to be a writer in some capacity, the following skills are required:
- Writing ability: Talk about stating the obvious haha. If you don’t know how to write engaging copy that positions your clients as the experts in the subjects you are writing about, then you’re going to have a tough time producing outstanding work that builds your credibility and portfolio. A good place to start is to choose industries you’d like to work with, look at the leaders’ websites, and consider how the way in which they write content is a cut above the rest. Look at how they promote USP’s, brand values and how they provide solutions to issues their clients face on a daily basis. Look at what qualifies them to do the job properly – they likely have testimonials, reviews and accreditations that cement their status. And then consider the brands that you like and what keeps your customer loyalty strong. What messaging and brand ethics instill faith in you, and how does this come across in the content? By researching what makes these companies stand out from the crowd, you can take this forward into your own content too.
- Grammar and editing skills: A management secret – If I see a typo on a CV, regardless of how great the candidate may seem, I will not progress them to a task or interview. Every piece of content you write should be a reflection of your abilities and should be gone through with a fine toothed comb. And when it comes to creating content for clients, you need to realise that any spelling mistakes that go online poorly reflects their companies, and ultimately the care you’re providing them with. Using tools such as Grammarly and spell checker are always advised, and if you can communicate a stringent proofreading process within a content interview, the interviewer will undoubtedly be impressed.
- Developing a portfolio: If you’ve been fortunate enough to already work in a content marketing position, then you’ll likely have a great collection of content pieces to showcase your new employer. If you haven’t, then get writing. Start a personal blog that showcases your knowledge of varied subjects, or your passion for one topic that hones your skill. Find those essays you worked on during education, and consider how you could rewrite them with a modern spin. Or why not start writing that book you always wanted (I know a few of you will have a fantastic idea in the works), and add passages to your portfolio. I genuinely love the variety of content pieces I get sent across from content candidates, and the creativity and hard work that has clearly gone into them.
- A good understanding of SEO: Being able to write well is only half the battle. The other half is writing in a way that boosts visibility in the search engine results pages for the terms and phrases you’re trying to appear and rank for. Basics of SEO include carrying out keyword research, good linking practices and heading structures, along with metas, alt tags and url structures. There are plenty of great online courses that can get you up to speed with the SEO knowledge you need to write effectively, and believe me, having this insight will impress many a hiring manager or Head of Content looking to take on a new team member.
- Research ability: Having written about everything from pet care and psychics through to property, dentistry and aesthetics, I’ve had to learn a lot of complex topics pretty quickly and ensure that the content reflects the quality of the businesses I’m writing about. This requires having a good grasp of the industries and topics themselves, and this means lots and lots of research. Whenever it comes to a new topic, look into the top ranking blogs and website pages on them, and see how they’re writing about them. Using tools such as Ahrefs can help you find industry experts to reach out to as well, to gain their insight into where the industries are heading next. The more you know about a topic, the better your writing becomes, and the greater your chances of converting audiences along key performance indicators.
- Get to grips with the data: Because the impact of content marketing can be tough to quantify, it’s important to understand the measures you can track, such as page views, impressions, time spent on the page and conversions, to help gauge success of a piece of work. Knowing this can help determine what’s working, what isn’t and future strategy to account for this. If you can directly show the impact of your campaign or work in an interview, and the results of your endeavours, then this is always a plus.
To Work In Content & Finding A Job – Further Guidance
Depending on where you are in your career, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s always room for improvement, development and growth. Those who reach the top of their game never stop learning, and stay on top of industry trends and what’s coming. They seek mentorship from industry experts and those who have been through the high and lows of the industry, so that they can get through them with greater ease. They collaborate with other departments for greater insight and put plans together for how content can benefit everyone. What follows are some top tips for your possible career status, and should you require any further guidance, then I’d be more than happy to assist:
- Fresh out of college/university and looking for a role, with little experience: Start a blog; Volunteer your abilities to a charity (I did so with FourGoods).
- Fresh out of college/university and have some experience, perhaps through an internship or apprenticeship: On your CV, detail projects, campaigns and your work experience, and the impact you made.
- Currently a content writer looking for a promotion: Get involved with projects outside of your remit; Showcase your willingness to get involved and work beyond your assigned duties; Bring fresh ideas to the fore, and make recommendations for the future of the department.
- Currently a content manager looking for a promotion: Take on more of a supportive role within the department, offering guidance and help to other team members as and when required. Assist with content strategy and help to develop processes that keep the team moving forward.
Wherever you may be in your content career, I hope you’ve found this blog helpful and that it’s provided insight into the skills you need to succeed. The content sector is a fast-paced and exciting place to be – especially when you get to work on a variety of clients that not only advance your knowledge, but provides you with an opportunity to showcase your talent. The content team at Embryo never ceases to amaze me with their writing ability, contribution and desire to achieve. If you’d like to be part of it, why not apply for our role? If you’ve been looking to work with a content team for your own business, why not give us a call today on 0161 0161 327 2635? With other fantastic services including SEO, Digital PR and paid social to work with, we’ve got everything you need for a great campaign. Thanks for reading and I look forward to working with you soon.