Editor’s note: This is a guest post by James Daily, Content Manager at Flash Essay.
Being a content marketer means more than having Photoshop skills and staying up to date with news. It’s an entire philosophy that revolves around using content to market certain products, services or the content itself. In essence, this profession combines content creation and marketing expertise into one concoction.
Whether you are a content marketer yourself or not depends solely on your willingness and abilities to learn constantly and explore your own creativity. But how can you concretely develop a content marketing mindset in order to start creating quality content yourself?
Content First and Foremost
In order to develop a content “marketing” strategy, you need to think about content creation in general. What type of content are you trying to push to your audience and in what form? Did you do all the necessary research in order to understand your audience’s preferences?
Whether you are a content creator yourself or someone in charge of marketing it, there is always room for error if you are not careful enough. Quality content will always find an audience and attract interest while mediocre content serves very little purpose other than to drag your brand through the dirt.
Think Like a Viewer
Objectivity is important when talking about a content marketing mindset. You will effectively have to think as three different people while developing your content:
- Thinking like a content creator – the person in charge of creating content
- Thinking like a content marketer – the person in charge of distributing content to viewers
- Thinking like a viewer – the person consuming the above-mentioned content
Being able to think like the people you are developing content for is essential. The more you understand about their routines, habits, likes and dislikes, the easier it will be to create and market adequate content for them.
Even if the purpose of the content is to educate, inform or otherwise persuade the reader to see your point of view, you still need to put yourself in their shoes. The closer you get to the people you work for in your mind, the easier your job will become.
Understand Your Own Product
Content marketers are required to understand their own products and content. If a content marketer isn’t familiar with the material they are trying to push to the public, there is a good chance that the readers won’t react well to it.
The reason for this is simple – not knowing what you are working with but asking others to do so simply doesn’t work. Sites such as FlashEssay.com can help content marketers develop short synopses about their content before publishing them. This is a good idea for beginners and content marketers with a lot of work on their plates.
Analyze the content you are given, research the company behind it and ask for customer satisfaction data (if any is available). Make sure to understand the content you are working with fully before asking others to do so.
Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
The mindset of a content marketer often has to be open and flexible. You will sometimes be tasked to market seemingly unfamiliar, distasteful or low-quality content to your audience.
Finding ways in which to make mediocre content shine through can be a challenge. Good content marketers always look at these situations in a positive light and as a learning experience. Experiment with fictional content and brainstorm about delivery methods, target demographics, and content scheduling.
Practice working with tough content before being presented with actual projects that require improvisation on your part. This is one of the best ways to develop a content marketer’s mindset and not flop on your next project.
Investigate Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can give you a good indication of what your audience likes or dislikes. The same can be said about professional social platforms such as Behance or LinkedIn.
Focus on the platforms that would be used by your target audience and make your way through trending topics, hashtags, comments and popular topics. The more information you gather from the habits and movement of your audience on the internet, the easier it will be for you to develop scheduling patterns and titles for your content.
As a content marketer, your mindset should be focused on research, analysis and data implementation – not the content creation itself. While some content marketers are asked to develop content as well as publish it, you should make a clear distinction between the two.
Focus on Calls to Action
Lastly, when developing content marketing strategies, you should focus on actionable messages and statements. This means that any content you are about to publish should be accompanied by an adequate call to action. What this call to action contains is up to you. It can be anything from an urge to read/watch your content, comment on the content or even share it and support your client.
Calls to action are a great way to engage audience and animate them into doing something with your content. Posting content without context or indication as to what the audience should do often results in very little traffic or buzz generated by the content itself. If that happens, your task as a content marketer has failed and you should evaluate the data to find out what went wrong.
A good content marketer will always know how to formulate an adequate call to action that fits the bill perfectly. Practice creating these pitches for fake projects in order to develop the needed mindset for completing actual tasks with real stakes.
Content marketing is more about psychology and research than anything else. Developing the proper mindset for this profession requires hours upon hours of studying blogs, social media platforms as well as social psychology.
If you are ready to commit to life-long learning and a profession with space for personal development, consider chasing a content marketer’s calling. A mindset such as this will help you not only with your career but social interactions as well.
James Daily is a professional writer and content manager at Flash Essay. When he is not involved in career-related tasks, he follows his other many interests, including astronomy, psychology, and cinema. Feel free to contact him via his personal blog Brainished.