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The Six Skills You Need to Be a Content Strategy Heavyweight

The Six Skills You Need to Be a Content Strategy Heavyweight

To turn into a content material strategist, there are a number of expertise to grasp past content material creation. Content strategists have to be adept when it comes to duties comparable to group, multi-tasking, analyzing and deciphering knowledge, and strong writing expertise. Nevertheless, one of the best content material strategists even have strong interpersonal expertise… and a few superpowers.

In a world saturated by digital every thing, it’s protected to say we’ve all develop into content material creators. We snap, we publish, we go stay. The future the place extra individuals will submit tales to Instagram and Fb than will learn them on-line or in print is, nicely, close to.

“Content” used to fall into extra predictable buckets making it simpler to strategize round, however in a world fueled by social media, plotting content material technique is something however an evergreen artwork type greatest left to the spread-sheet loving fits in account administration.

Sure, the content material technique roadmap is paved with extra instructions than a Select Your Personal Journey guide. However in a fluid state of affairs that morphs in complexity by the day (typically with a dog-year impact), we’ve to ask: How has the position of content material strategist modified and who’s greatest to fill these footwear? In any case, what qualifies content material as a “success” could be exhausting to outline… and predict. Particularly at a time when the reactions to what manufacturers put on the market can itself be referred to as content material. The memes. The retweets. The issues of trolls. Attempt strategizing what’s utterly outdoors of your management and I’ll introduce you to an train in abject futility.

Advertising and communications are poised for brand spanking new superheroes to emerge within the ever-changing world of content material technique: 

  • Who’s greatest outfitted to assist these merchandise, shoppers and types land with impression, in unexpected methods?
  • Do they arrive from media and advertising as presumed?
  • Or might they hail from different artistic fields and/or probably even industries you wouldn’t anticipate?

All good questions. And precisely why we picked you to learn this story.

There’s an argument to be made that these individuals ought to come from the artistic aspect of the enterprise versus the account aspect. The writers, the editors, the producers. The individuals who perceive design, UX, how to create and have digital savvy to boot. In a world the place bulls**t meters are at an all-time excessive, consideration is extra divided than ever, whereas endurance and tolerance for issues not of curiosity are at an all-time low. So it takes an skilled litmus to perceive what shoppers need to see; what they gravitate to; and what attracts them in to lead the cost round how content material will get created, deployed and promoted. The extra seasoned and savvy this new content material strategist is at understanding what audiences reply to, the higher probability they’ll keep away from the errors others make.

Genuine interplay, transparency and social impression are being demanded like by no means earlier than within the content material recreation. Not simply by millennials and the early comers of Gen Z, however by the underside strains of massive manufacturers looking for which means in an ever-crowded media panorama, as they continually jockey for consideration throughout “feeding time.” (Word: That’s what I name it when individuals scroll by means of their social feeds gravitating to the *brightest* messages like moths to flames.)

So, who’s greatest positioned to reply the decision of the brand new content material strategist?

And what superpowers will they want to succeed?

Listed here are six of them…

Listed here are the six superpowers you will want to harvest if you would like to be a #content material #strategist heavyweight ASAP. #contentmarketing Click on To Tweet

Superpower #1: Understanding what makes content material GREAT*

(Notice:  I’m absolutely conscious “great” is a subjective phrase, however for the needs of this argument, I’m defining it by content material that has impactfully moved a model ahead, went viral and/or lead to spikes in gross sales, robust social buzz and significant engagement. Three holy grails.) 

Crushing the content material technique recreation isn’t nearly assembling the best stakeholders in a room with a whiteboard and a marker to elicit nice concepts. I imply that’s all the time an choice, nevertheless it helps to know the best hits within the content material world and to possess the power to see content material via the eyes of the viewers that may eat it. This requires not simply being a scholar and possessing a robust litmus over what’s labored nicely up to now, however to additionally perceive that what resonated yesterday might not resonate tomorrow. Actually, it in all probability has much less of a probability of performing by advantage of the truth that one thing comparable’s been accomplished.

One other key trait is knowing the second. The tradition. The political environment. And what has one of the best probability at working… now. Take Wieden + Kennedy’s push for Nike to use Colin Kaepernick because the face of its 30-year anniversary marketing campaign. It took a little bit of balls to danger alienating a respectable chunk of the nation through the use of the previous NFL quarterback because the centerpiece of this marketing campaign. As a end result, they impressed boycotts all through the social media world and the actual one. However additionally they confirmed the facility of taking a stance. A robust content material technique play that lead to on-line gross sales capturing up for Nike 31% within the week after marketing campaign dropped.

Whether or not you’re a fan of the marketing campaign or not, you could have to marvel on the chutzpah it took to execute it and perceive why this emotionally charged second in our society introduced a chance to do one thing significant, regardless of alienating the NFL and a few of its followers. This transfer was from a new playbook and far totally different than the time Nationwide insurance coverage scared the hell out of America throughout Tremendous Bowl 49 displaying a child speaking about his imminent demise. A content material technique that, nicely, backfired.

Superpower #2: Laser-sharp storytelling capabilities

If there’s something that the cultural impression of the aforementioned Nike marketing campaign taught us, it’s that the legion of individuals taking in content material in 2019 don’t need to be bought to, they need to be informed to. With which means. In video type. Tomorrow’s content material strategists perceive this and can sacrifice nothing in seek for the most effective concept to earn the nation and world’s consideration. To do that, it couldn’t harm to be well-versed in how to inform a nice story. (Are you listening, freelance writers?) What is going to make it stand out, to be embraced? What gained’t really feel like an outright advert that no one needs to see, or worse, might blow up inter faces? (See Nationwide.)

The extra storytelling chops you’ve, the higher off you’ll be. In case you can stroll the stroll creatively and perceive the nuances of how to inform a model and/or product’s story intelligently, you’re forward of the sport as a content material strategist. A few my favourite content material items of all-time are this New York Occasions branded piece for Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and this Human Limits episode about Wim Hof for Uproxx, which I wrote the accompanying article for. Each inform tales which might be about issues that would assist enhance humanity — with out being overt advertisements. Nice content material technique performs that contain not simply producing content material, however having a deep understanding about what might resonate on the time and repay consideration with fascinating or superb tales.

The Six Skills You Need to Be a Content Strategy Heavyweight: Possessing Great Digital Media and Social Savvy

Superpower #three: Possessing nice digital/social media savvy 

You’ve all heard the saying, If a tree falls within the forest and no one is round to hear it, does it make a sound? Nicely, there’s an argument to be made that within the period of social media, they don’t.

Content technique typically begins and ends with what works throughout social media channels. I solely point out it as a result of if you understand how to make nice content material, however don’t have a savvy means to put it on the market, there are some who would ask, why even hassle?

I’m a type of individuals.

Aside from understanding how to set up social objectives, understanding how to tailor content material particularly for every platform and staying accountable by monitoring/measuring what’s working (attain, sentiment, natural vs. paid likes, and so forth.), any content material strategist value their weight in Web gold will bake in social as a essential element to the content material technique to spur on engagement.

However who’s greatest certified candidate to do this? Somebody who stares at spreadsheets all day with a B.A. in advertising? Or a artistic, who’s truly concepted and/or curated social media campaigns for manufacturers with confirmed outcomes? Likelihood is it’s the latter, no offense to the previous. Which means? The subsequent huge wave of content material strategists may simply be social media managers and even influencers of their former lives. It might feasibly occur if/when the influencer gold rush dies down and other people want to discover trustworthy work.

Superpower #four: Creating massive image X-ray imaginative and prescient 

In a world the place individuals have a tendency to specialize, it takes talent to understand how to be a generalist as nicely; one who can see straight by means of a drawback and clear up it from all sides. It’s a high quality that not all have, however would behoove you to work on if you would like to thrive at what has turn into of content material technique within the yr 2018 (and past). Working collectively collaboratively, in a consensus-building nature is a talent set that producers have adopted to thrive in an more and more entrepreneur-friendly world. So freelancers ought to grasp that.

There are solely wins when you possibly can perceive how to deal with a drawback from all sides: creatively, strategically, philosophically. Positive, you may be a dictator. However that’s a recipe for catastrophe. And a short-term gig.

In the event you’re a author, or editor, or producer wanting to sharpen their content material technique expertise, perceive that adopting a holistic viewpoint and seeing issues from all views is the place you’ll thrive. Having the eagerness, compassion and empathy to see and really feel issues from the multitude of views can raise a venture from good to sensible — if not reserve it. Don’t agree? The place have been the compassionate content material strategists when Kendall Jenner determined that Pepsi might remedy our nation’s racial divide with soda?

The Six Skills You Need to Be a Content Strategy Heavyweight: Be Able to Tackle Problems With One Powerful Brainstorm

Superpower #5: The potential to deal with giant issues in a single brainstorm

All through the course of any ideation or brainstorm, there are sure to be moments when concepts both achieve steam or fizzle out. As a content material strategist, it’s your job to hold issues constructive, on level and to be an concept fluffer expert at preserving issues at peek stimulation earlier than the power/enthusiasm within the room drifts to final night time’s episode of Strolling Lifeless, successfully killing your assembly.

It’s fairly attainable that as a content material creator, you’re far more snug as an occasional contributor to that dialog, versus being the chief of it. And that’s okay as a result of each key stakeholder has a position within the success of a marketing campaign. However if you’d like to morph your expertise into that of a top-notch content material strategist, you’ll want to understand how to stand in entrance of a whiteboard and small-to-large group of individuals and elevate good concepts above the mediocre ones, staying on level by addressing challenges introduced up in real-time whereas bringing it again to the artistic temporary… or no matter this assembly’s raison d’être was within the first place.

Moreover, a lot of what will get created and executed upon proper now’s pushed by knowledge and analytics, so that you’ll additionally need to develop a eager understanding of how to digest knowledge, interpret it and set reasonable objective posts in place so as to outline/decide:

1) What’s working

2) What’s not, and…

three) How to pivot accordingly.

The days of throwing a bunch of s**t towards a wall to see what sticks has died a sluggish, grueling demise.

R.I.P.

A fast second to bow our heads.

Superpower #6: Being unafraid to problem established order 

When it comes to finally constructing your content material roadmap, will probably be tempting to get caught up with “popular” decision-making and journey a acquainted street of what’s succeeded up to now. However, one of the best content material strategists are cautious of rehashing what’s been completed. Your job will probably be to problem any norms and to be unafraid to outline a new strategy — all of the whereas recognizing that typically the issues that take off the quickest are the issues that really feel the freshest to the hundreds of thousands of people that choose to eat it.

Oftentimes, there’s not a blueprint for what that is. Individuals’s minds have a approach of enjoying it protected if there’s a profitable case research to level to as a result of it’s simpler to promote by means of. At occasions, that could be okay. Nevertheless it’s the individuals who get uber-pumped to craft new artistic approaches (writers, editors, producers) and finally flip them into phenomenal executions that command probably the most respect. The diploma of problem behind hundreds of Kobe Bryant bounce photographs over a profession by no means certified as “good shots” within the typical sense of the basketball phrase. However with out him having taken them, we might’ve by no means been privy to photographs like these.

The greatest content material strategists take troublesome photographs. So in case you’re ever within the place to delegate these duties, encourage your group to do the identical. Likelihood is for those who come from a artistic background versus a non-creative one, you’ll begin off in a extra deferential place as a result of your groups know you’ve been there earlier than. Steer the dialog, however don’t dictate it. And all the time advocate the great concepts of others. In case your entire agenda is to push by way of your personal concepts, you can lose all credibility within the room. And quick.

The extra encouragement and help you give the workforce to be who they’re within the pursuit of making nice content material, the higher off everybody can be.

Now, go be the superhero.

Need to thrive at #contentstrategy? Faucet into these six superpower expertise for 2019 (and past). #contentmarketing Click on To Tweet

 

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