strategy chessAs an Authoritative Content publisher, you already publish high-quality content online, and you’ve probably already attracted at least a small audience. So why would you want to hire a content strategist? Things have been moving along nicely without the added expense, so paying for a content strategist might not seem necessary. However, if you truly want to take your content to the next level in terms of reach, revenue, and reputation growth, you need to consider hiring a content strategist.

First, you need to understand what a good content strategist is and does. In simplest terms, a good content strategist can marry three seemingly different sets of knowledge and skills into a single role.

1. The Content Strategist as an Editor

A good content strategist is an editor, which means they understand building audiences using content that resonates with that audience. However, they tend to pursue a silo strategy, which makes sense since most great editors spent many years editing for print before they shifted to the online space. They focus on the overall aesthetic by matching content to the audience and ensuring all of the disparate pieces of content work together seamlessly.

2. The Content Strategist as a Journalist

A good content strategist is a journalist who knows how to effectively communicate information and tell a story. They’re great at digging up stories, finding sources, and delivering content on a deadline. Most journalists spent years working for magazines or newspapers, so they understand how to capture people’s attention and provide all of the compelling details in a succinct way. However, they tend to pursue a silo strategy as well. They focus on the story first.

3. The Content Strategist as a Marketer

A good content strategist knows how to create messages that move people to action. They know how to find the right audience, deliver the right content to them, and get them to talk about you. However, many marketers lack the abilities that editors and journalists have. Marketers look at content from a different perspective than editors and journalists. They’re bottom-line and results driven while editors and journalists are story driven.

The Many Hats of a Content Strategist

The above descriptions provide an overview of the three hats that a good content strategist must wear every day. An amazing editor or marketer might not be a great content strategist. Instead, you need to find someone who has a broader set of skills that can translate into a good content strategist.

Jason Hirthler of Marketing Profs shared a great list of the essential traits of a content strategist that will help you understand the diverse skill set that a good content strategist should have. For more help, Joe Chernov published seven key steps to hire a content strategist on the HubSpot blog and Melissa Breker shared four tips for hiring a content strategist on the Content Marketing Institute blog that you can follow as you conduct your search.

Image: Tristan Martin licensed CC BY-SA 2.0