As a business, you want your content to shine and grab your audience’s attention. For that, you need to have the right content, with the right message that takes the reader through the buyer’s journey, converting them into customers. That said, it’s not easy achieving that goal. However, with a content consultant, they remove the pressure off of your shoulders by optimizing your content strategy.
Here’s your guide to hiring the right content consultant to accelerate your marketing performance and leads.
What Does a Content Consultant Do? A Day In The Life
The internet is full of content. Everywhere you look, you can read, watch or listen to a variety of resources. But there’s some content that stands out among the rest. Why? The difference lies in the talents of the content consultant.
There are specific skills that are necessary for a content consultant. Naturally, communication skills are essential, as they work across various departments such as marketing, analytics, engineering, and editorial.
That said, content consultants need a deep understanding of the various departments and their roles. With overall knowledge of the process, content consultants are highly efficient in getting the marketing strategy completed.
When it comes to technical skills, they must have experience with various platforms, including social media, content management, and publishing. Also, having a basic understanding of data analysis helps them track their content’s performance and see where they need to adjust the messaging.
Of course, these are the basic skills. Exceptional content consultants have a talent with words and are masters at brainstorming and content creation.
What Skills Does a Content Consultant Need?
The most valuable skill a content consultant needs to have are communication skills. A content consultant will be working with team members in various departments, whether it’s editorial, marketing, or analytics. Naturally, a good content consultant needs to be able to communicate with their team members.
However, there’s more to it than just communication. A content consultant also needs to understand the various roles and processes each department goes through. When you know how a system functions, you can communicate it clearly and impactfully and help the target audience understand your solution can solve their problems quickly.
Technical skills are a must, as content consultants need to have experience with online platforms for social media, content management, etc. Whether it’s Google Analytics or another data platform, data analysis is also an essential skill to track content performance.
Lastly, as someone dealing with content creation, you need to be skilled in writing, content creation and brainstorming. Content Consultants need to be able to understand your product or service and the target audience and create relevant content for each stage of the buyers journey.
Understanding what motivates the audience, using emotion and fear of missing out can be a very impactful skill to drive traffic and leads.
Who Does a Content Consultant Report to?
When it comes to creating a marketing strategy, many people are involved throughout the process. Content creation isn’t an individual job; rather, it comprises various roles to produce engaging and effective content.
Therefore, depending on the company and the project, a content consultant may report to various people. However, usually, the content consultant’s supervisor is the head of content or heading of marketing.
How to Become a Content Consultant? Top Tips to Excel
If you’re looking to hire a content strategy consultant, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. You want a content consultant who’s experienced—someone who understands the various marketing roles and knows how to work within a team-based environment.
Additionally, a good content consultant is someone who’s eager to evolve and grow throughout their position. Since marketing is constantly changing, a content consultant will need to flow with the changes, learn the latest technology, and stay up to date with content marketing trends.
10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Content Consultant
1. Do They Have Blog Posts You Can Read?
Before hiring a freelance consultant or marketing network, you want to make sure they do what they say they do. If they claim to specialize in certain areas of marketing such as search engine optimization (SEO), ask for examples and case studies proving their experience and success. You need to make sure you can trust them with your marketing strategy.
2. What’s Their Team Like?
You need to know how your potential consultant works. Are they on a team, or are they a one-man show? Do they have any specialties? If you’re placing a consultant in charge of your content marketing, you need to know what’s going on behind-the-scenes. This will help you better understand how they work and see how your project is being handled.
3. Do They Have Client Testimonials?
Client testimonials are vital. They give you an idea of what it’s actually like working with them. Go through their ratings and testimonials and see what other people are saying. You can find these on Linkedin or ask to speak with their other clients directly. It’s a small investment of time that can save you a lot of trouble in the future.
4. Are They One Step Ahead of the Trends?
Regardless of your budget size, you want to make sure it’s properly invested in the current market. When hiring a content marketing consultant, you want to see results. If they’re still using marketing trends from 2012, you’re probably not going to see the results you were hoping for. Don’t hesitate to ask them about their marketing approach and gain insight into their strategy.
5. Have They Done Work With Similar Companies to Yours?
You want a content consultant that has some experience in your industry. This is specifically important for niche or technical sectors. Your content needs to match its audience. For example, if you’re in the fintech industry, look at their previous work and see if the language and style match what you’re looking for.
6. What Are Standard Services in a Regular Contract?
It’s crucial you understand what’s in your contract and how it’ll affect you if there are changes during the project, for example, if there’s an hourly charge for extra time spent on your project or if extra edits are made. That way, you’re not in shock when the bill comes.
7. Do They Provide Content?
Not all content consultants provide content. Some consultants simply provide you with a strategy, where then you need to create the content yourself. Marketing networks, for example, have a team to produce the required content for your website. By understanding the consultant’s services, you’ll be able to select the right consultant for your needs.
8. Do They Fit With Your Company?
You’re going to be working with a consultant or outsourced marketing team, most likely it’ll be on a long-term basis. It’s important that you align with their values and get along personality-wise. Since they’re the voice of your business, they need to be on the same page as you.
9. Do They Do Reporting and Analysis?
Creating content is only half of the job. The other half is making sure the strategy is effective and produces the results you’re looking for. Ask your content consultant if they do reporting and analysis to understand how your marketing strategy is working. More importantly, focus on conversion rates and leads, rather than vanity metrics such as page views and social media likes.
10. What Questions Are They Asking You?
Of course, you’ll have questions for them, but more importantly, they should have questions for you. They need to get to know your business, understand your marketing goals, and your buyer persona. If they’re not asking you questions, that’s a red flag.
Remember, Content Marketing Is a Long-term Commitment
Like anyone today, we’ve become comfortable with instant gratification. However, when it comes to content marketing, your business isn’t going to see immediate results. Rather, content marketing is a long-term process that usually takes between 3 to 6 months until you start seeing results.
So, it’s important to understand when hiring a content consultant, it’ll take time for the content to bring in the results you’re looking for. But the patience will pay off!
The Importance of Search-Focused Content
When people go on Google, they’re looking for an answer to their question. This is why it’s crucial to create the best content for a specific keyword. Many companies make the mistake of creating mediocre content; however, that’s not what gets views or shares.
Google wants to show the best content for the keyword that’s being searched. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to invest in high-quality content that is well researched and answers the question being asked.
How to Succeed by Producing the Best Quality Content?
If there’s one thing we have enough of, it’s mediocre content. The internet is full of content that never sees the light of day. But you don’t want your content to get lost on the internet. This is why producing quality content is an absolute must.
More importantly, your content must be link-worthy, which will lead to higher rankings on Google. Include case studies, data, and infographics in your content to increase traffic and leads.
Content Consulting Process
Goals: Identify the goals of your content.
Metrics: Establish the metrics you want to track and measure to make the most out of your content.
Content funnel: Create a content marketing plan (the funnel) for your target audience using information and solution-based content.
Keywords: Identify the keywords with high volume and low competition, using these keywords for the content funnel.
Analysis: Research existing content and create an action plan.
Optimization: Go through your existing content, and optimize it by editing or deleting content to fit your content funnel.
Production: Create content inline with your funnel and keywords.
Automation: Create marketing emails that get sent to your target audience and move them through the buyers journey automatically.
Review: Every 3 months, review and analyze your metrics to see what changes need to be made.
Content Consulting vs Content Writing: What’s the Difference?
You may be wondering if a content consultant and content writer are the same, but they’re not. A content consultant is when the individual studies your industry and business, researches your competitors, and comes up with a list of subjects you should cover on your blog or website.
In contrast, a content writer is someone who is provided titles and keywords to prepare the necessary content. A content writer does not analyze your website or suggest topics, they simply write.
Content Consulting Salaries
You may be considering hiring a freelance content marketing consultant and are unsure about the average hourly salary one charges. It really does depend on experience, and the task at hand.
There’s a lot to consider when hiring a content consultant, and it can be overwhelming when choosing a freelance content consultant. But a marketing network can help you relieve that stress as they have an experienced team that understands your business’s needs and can deliver the right results.