In 2010, I accepted a position as the first social media strategist for a nonprofit organization based in Nashville. In the beginning, I felt really lucky to be able to define the position at a time when many brands, businesses, or causes were just starting to dip their toe in the gigantic wave pool that has become social media marketing.
However, one of the biggest challenges I faced during the first few months was explaining my role to friends, family, and even some of my co-workers. I mean, how was I supposed to take my job as a social media marketer seriously when my grandmother tells all of her friends that her grandson has a job using “Tweeter…”? At the same time, it seemed like thousands of people were claiming to be “social media gurus” on their Twitter profiles every day.
Fast-forward to 2014…
… and the infatuation over social media has now moved to content marketing.
It seems as if everyone has an idea of what content marketing is in their heads, but very few people can really provide a comprehensive definition. Organizations are hiring content strategists, but aren’t really sure about the qualifications or responsibilities of the position.
If there’s anything I learned during my time as a “social media strategist” in 2010, it’s that defining the goals I was working to accomplish and how my position fit in to the overall strategy of the organization was critical to achieving success and earning a seat at the table with decision-makers.
3 things to know before you call yourself a content strategist
- Content strategists know how to define success and measure ROI. While the benefits of content marketing are evident, identifying ways that your efforts are impacting the bottom line is what really matters. An effective content strategy defines success first.
- Content strategists can’t succeed without a process. In order for your content marketing strategy to be effective, there needs to be a system for it to be managed, monitored, and measured. Creating a system for your content marketing is one of the most important things you can do to achieve success.
- Content strategists understand that their job is to earn the audience’s attention. We live in a world that’s noisier than ever. Content marketing is not about shouting louder than your competitors; it’s about earning the attention and trust of your audience.
In a world where anyone who has a blog can call himself or herself a content strategist, these are the things that set real content strategists apart. They’re equally important ideas to know for brands, businesses, or causes who are trying to weed through the pretenders. The only way to succeed as a content strategist is to define success, establish a process, and focus everything you do on earning the attention of your audience.
What are some other key responsibilities you would include in a content strategist role?