In the world of marketing, we toss around the terms “content writer” and “content marketing” quite often. You may be thinking, “Well, hey! Those sure are snappy words! But, what is a content writer, anyway?” We have the answer for you, my friend.
First of all, think of content as information. Because, that is what it is. This information can come in a variety of different forms, but some of the most prevalent include info through blogs, social media, videos, and audios (say, in a podcast). This content is what marketers base their entire campaigns on sometimes, so it needs to be spectacular. And, that is where a content writer would step in.
What is a content writer?
Essentially, a content writer is someone who writes really well and uses your marketing angles to create punchy pieces of writing. This may look like a blog post, letter of transmittal, email marketing copy, etc. And, that brings us to the first point…
A content writer is a jack of all trades.
Different content calls for different styles
If you are looking to hire a content writer, or you want to give someone in your office more responsibility in the area of content writing, be sure that the individual is prepared to write in a number of different styles. You’ll likely want your content writers to be able to create persuasive letters, personal and conversational blog posts, and short/direct press releases. So, you’re going to need to find someone who can crossover from writing style to writing style. Aaaaand, someone who can write to a number of different target audiences.
Related: Guide to Writing Clickable Headlines
Whether you loved or despised your high school English writing courses no longer matters. What matters today is that your grammar is correct. Shall I throw in the cliche “let’s eat Grandma!” vs “let’s eat, Grandma!” example? Too late! See, grammar matters. In the professional world, poor grammar can be detrimental for your business’s reputation and can speak mounds for work ethic. If you have ever received an email where your name was spelled wrong even though your email name is your real name, you probably understand the frustration here. Just a few minutes can change someone’s opinion of your work ethic. Maybe someone won’t call you out for having amazing grammar, but s/he will certainly notice if you don’t.
Research changes everything
A content writer has to be an excellent researcher. Today, there is so much information flying around that getting a foot in someone’s door in marketing is not always easy. So, your content writer has to be really good at knowing who s/he is writing to, how to craft a message for that audience, what platforms work best for that target audience, etc. etc. etc. And, those answers come through research.
Originality sets your work apart
Let’s have a moment to just realize how much content there is on the Internet. Take the moment. Ok. If you type, “What is a content writer?” into a search engine, you’ll probably end up with a couple thousand results. So, you really need to be creating content that stands out and has punch to it. One way you can do that is through style, but the other way is through originality. If you have content that is not as “mainstream” it will likely be shared more because it is new and different. So, to tie this all together, a good content writer is someone who can do the research and find the necessary content, but then can also add originality and creativity to that content as well.
Bonus Skills of a Content Writer
Knowledge of SEO
Besides writing, there is a lot that goes into content writing. Yes, you have to be an interesting writer with good grammar and mechanics, but it also helps if you can have other skills as well. Working knowledge of SEO is one of those things that can really go a long way.
(If you are unfamiliar with SEO (search engine optimization), check out: Beginner’s Guide to SEO. If you want a deeper look into the breakdown of what goes into SEO, we really like Neil Patel’s “SEO Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide.”)
Knowing what keywords to choose (shout-out to doing research!) and how to create the best content for users and the “bugs” that read your content is extremely beneficial to your company. With every piece of content that you write (especially blogs), they are like little stairsteps up the ladder of the search engine world. Yes, SEO is a slow-going process, but it is worth it when clients/customers find your website through an Internet search. So, don’t discount the work that a content writer has to do. It is vitally important!
A Mind for Social Media
Your content writer is one step ahead of the game if s/he has skill when it comes to social media marketing. If you want eyes on your content (and you likely do), social media is going to be a #gamechanger. Knowing how to use what platform, which hashtags generate the most views, and what kinds of captions work most effectively are little things that make a huge difference in the world of social media. Be sure that your content writers have abilities in these areas or have a place they can go for this information because that is really going to help your business grow.
Our resources for you: Improve Your Company’s Social Media by Being Social, How to Get More Followers on Social Media
Good luck to you as you work on finding a content writer or becoming a content writer yourself! Reach out to us with questions, and have a great day!