What is a Content Strategist?

The mythical, mysterious content strategist. This job title is becoming more and more popular in recent years. In 2010, there were 763 people using the title content strategist on LinkedIn. Now, in 2017, just a mere seven years later, there are 17,370 people using the title content strategist on LinkedIn. That’s some major growth. Of course some of that growth is natural, more people use LinkedIn today than in 2010. But growing by more than 15,000 members in under 10 years has to be considered practically explosive.

Image via LinkedIn

Now that we know how popular this field of work has become for so many people, let’s talk about what content strategists do and how they can benefit companies.

Content Strategist’s Role

A content strategist is someone who makes a strategy for creating and using content that makes a business more successful. Content strategy is not quite the same as, but is similar to, content marketing and a content plan.

There are many jobs that can fit under the title of content strategist and most content strategists have varied talents. Anything that has to do with content, a good content strategist should have their eye on. Some content strategists might focus on a company’s outgoing content and the customer relations, while other content strategists might focus on internal content and communication or figuring out what software and technology is needed to keep the content running. More often than not though, content strategists are hired to manage and create a plan for the content that will be seen by customers.

The Content

As you can imagine, the amount of content that is intended for customers is extensive. This type of content can include:

  • Website copy
  • Social Media posts
  • Hashtags
  • Advertising material
  • Email newsletters
  • E-books
  • Whitepapers
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Video conferences

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Content strategists have the big job of deciding what content will most benefit the company they are working with. And it’s not always just a blog.

Many businesses misunderstand the role of a content strategist. A business might hire a content strategist and think they’re hiring a writer. This isn’t the case. A content strategists does a lot more than write. Some of them do write, but others don’t do any writing.

The Strategy

Image via Flickr by sevenatoms1

It’s also important that a business doesn’t hire a content strategist and expect to see content immediately and simultaneously see growth. The job of a content strategist is to grow the business over time with great content and great strategy. This means that before any content can be produced, the content strategist must do a content audit.

A content audit means that the content strategist is going to want to look at all of the content produced by your business in the last few years. The content audit allows that content strategist to get an idea as to what content has already been produced and if it was successful. A content strategist might ask themselves:

  • Did people interact with the content on social media? Did they share it?
  • Did customers comment on the blog posts?
  • After the email newsletter was sent out announcing a new product, did sales increase?

Once a content strategist knows what content has worked in the past, they can begin designing the business’s content strategy.

Each business should have a unique content strategy, as their target customer or audience is unique. There are certain types of content that might be beneficial to all businesses, but the strategy in how to implement that content will be unique.

Once the content strategy is designed, there are two options. The content strategist can stay around to help implement the plan, making alterations when necessary, or the content strategist can leave, turning over the responsibility of implementation of the strategy to someone else. This choice depends on the company’s budget and preference as well as the preference of the content strategist.

Another very important task for content strategists is defining what goal needs to be achieved. It’s likely that the content strategist will work with high-level employees of the company to decide the goal of designing a content strategy. Without a goal, there’s no way to know if the content strategy was a success. Possible goals to consider when working with a content strategist:

  • Increase awareness of a problem or a product
  • Increase social media engagement in order to increase product sales
  • Increase website traffic
  • Increase sales
  • Decrease customer confusion
  • Provide valuable information for the customer

Each company should have a unique goal. Content strategy can be designed to work towards more than one goal, but make sure the goal is tailored to the company and is as specific as possible. Make goals achievable by providing numbers if possible. If the goal is to increase website traffic, decide by how much and when.

Some companies are also surprised after hiring a content strategist that the content strategist will need to work with many different teams. A content strategist might need to work with the IT department while working on the website, the social media department, the marketing or advertising department, and even high-level employees or managers when deciding company goals.

A content strategist can be very beneficial in helping a company to achieve it’s goals. That being said, a content strategist isn’t always necessary. You might be able to review content in-house or hire an agency for content marketing help. These smaller steps can help your company to improve the content produced and how it is used, without hiring a content strategist.

This is where CopyPress comes in. CopyPress helps businesses design their content marketing strategy and also provides access to content creators and other creatives to put the strategy in place. As mentioned in the beginning of the article, content marketing and content strategy aren’t quite the same, but they are similar. Content strategy is typically more in depth and focuses on the design of content. Content marketing on the other hand, focuses on content to achieve marketing goals.

Both content marketing and content strategy can help a business achieve it’s goals. Content is one of the easiest ways to reach more customers today, but good content and good strategy is key to getting those customers interested in the business.

About the author

Page Grossman

Freelance writer, banisher of Lorem Ipsum, grammar perfectionist, AP Style guru, SEO sensationalist and part-time world traveler. I've written for a wide-variety of clients, but always return to my passion of writing about business aspects of being a digital nomad such as budgeting, paying taxes, time management, being a female entrepreneur, and how to get from place to place. I love my job because I get to write every day, I can work from anywhere in the world, I'm always learning and I get to teach yoga on the side. What's not to love?