In a word, content strategy is the art of producing content and getting it out there in the right places at the right time for an audience. It’s helping your business succeed and bring its story across, consistently and through the hands of consumers. Some of the most challenging industries in the world need high-caliber content that it can’t produce by itself and can’t afford to develop its own. It needs the reliable partner of a content strategist to help it produce, curate and distribute the content that engages its audience and drives business growth.
Content strategists build on ideas and get them to fruition. If you never do this part, why even bother working with a creative agency? If you run a company, then you need to be ready to help your customers with the latest market research—but you have to make sure you come up with the best possible idea, with the required passion and gusto.
Content doesn’t need to come from the CMO, COO or CMO/CMO sub-unit. All four of these executives now have responsibilities for content production, so most companies employ their CMO or COO in charge of developing and distributing their content. This might mean writing the blog post, assembling and marketing video and photos or developing the next big video campaign.
It’s not difficult to take on this role, just make sure you understand your business and are willing to do the work when your company needs it. These leaders—well-trained and experienced in their fields—probably already understand content strategy and they might be able to walk a dozen others through it for them.
This is the hardest part. It’s already challenging to get a job by presenting a résumé with a solid background and work experience, but it is even more difficult to get a job by having great content ideas and showcasing them.
Content strategy is clearly a skill set that will make you stand out in a talent pool. You’ll need to know about audience research, how to create narrative that moves users emotionally, how to create copy, data, logos and design that is relevant for a target audience. You’ll need to know how to present content, when and where to reach them and how to develop the content throughout the output process, all the time explaining why this particular piece is important.
It’s possible that you have these things in your skill set already, but you need to work hard on cultivating your content strategy knowledge and skills. You might be better off starting small and focusing on some freelance content assignments than making a personal commitment to a full-time career in content. But it’s worth it if you can take on even a few marketing jobs to work with someone who can help hone your skill set. And if that person helps you, then you’re going to have to move on to a full-time job later, because your skill set will only get better with experience.
The Grover model is developed jointly by AI2 and the UW Allen School by the following authors: