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What talent do you need to create and execute your content strategy?

What talent do you need to create and execute your content strategy?

We all know that organisations love to get onboard with the latest craze which these days seems to be all things content. With content still a relatively new discipline, it is very common for organisations to struggle to define what they seek from their content strategy. Indeed sometimes the experts get confused. The second, often more difficult task, is identifying what skills to look for when recruiting content professionals. In this blog post, we will explore how to go about identifying what skills you need when hiring a content professional.

Scope it out

As with the kickoff of any project, ascertaining the scope of works and roles required is critical to project success or failure. To ensure that your project meets its objectives, it is important to define what tasks need to be completed and then look to hire a content professional with that requisite skill-set.

Are you looking for a complete content overhaul or is it just a one-off job? Do you need someone who is strategic rather than hands on, or both? Similarly the content strategy for large financial services corporation may look vastly different to that of small business. Sometimes it’s best to take stock and you may look at engaging the services of a content strategist to roadmap the way forward. An early adopter and groundbreaker in the world of content strategy, Kristina Halvorson, covers this in greater detail in her book ‘Content Strategy for the Web’.

Content strategy vs content production.

Make sure you’re not hiring a mechanic to fix your plumbing. 

It’s a pretty simple analogy, but it serves to illustrate the point that you need to be very sure that you are hiring the right skill-set for the job.

A key area of differentiation is that of content strategist vs content producer. Typically a content strategist will have a broad skill-set that will incorporate elements of strategic planning, design, and UX along with analytical and project management skills. Most content strategists will start life as a content producer and work their way up to content strategist.

By contrast, a content producer broadly takes accountability for managing the content mix, SEO, reporting, and schedule maintenance. Of course, each organisation is set up very differently and these skill-sets are not mutually exclusive. Matt Wesson, Content Marketing Manager at Salesforce gives some good advice when it come to hiring.

Creation vs. curation

Another common question that  frequently arises is the difference between content curation and content creation.

The creation of content is distinctly different to the curation of content much like an art curator would not necessarily have created the art they are curating in a gallery.

It’s also important to point out that content is so much more than words. Content producers need to be capable of creating and implementing engaging multimedia content using not just text but photography, video, animation, and infographics.

The marketplace for content marketing talent

With emerging professions, it is not unusual for people to take to creating their own titles. This is especially true when many unsuspecting hiring managers don’t really know what they are looking for. Anything from Information Architect to Online Web Editor and everything in between pops up when looking at the résumés of content professionals. Better to focus on the skills and project successes as a guide.

Most companies or organisations will seek the ‘Holy Grail’ when looking for content professionals, often wanting someone who can do it all. This is not a realistic proposition and can be an expensive exercise if you are paying a content strategist to procure content.

Another option is to outsource and use the services of a specialist content marketing agency for your content strategy or content marketing needs.

However if you want to hire in-house, ensure that you work with a talent agency that has a deep understanding of content marketing to ensure that you recruit the right talent for your business’ needs.

More reading:

20 ideas for content that people love to share on social media
Who is the digital marketer of tomorrow?
How to be an amazing digital marketer

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Award-winning Australian recruitment agency, Firebrand Talent, ignites the careers of digital, marketing, creative, communications, advertising, & media talent. If you are looking for your next career move, check out the jobs we currently have on in Sydney & Melbourne.

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