How to hire a content marketer for your business – complete introduction to content marketers

12 minutes to read • Last updated 10 June 2021 • Published 17 May 2021 • Content strategy, Marketing

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    Content marketing is a must for every modern business. Understanding what it is, and hiring the right person to do it, therefore, is essential. On the surface, content marketing can look and feel simple but, like the elegant swan gliding across the lake, there is a lot more happening beneath the surface.

    Content marketing has been around for more than a hundred of years, in one shape or another. Today, content marketing is considered to be the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content, designed to attract a key audience. Its aim, amongst many, is to drive what the Content Marketing Institute call profitable customer action.

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    In other words, it is the blogs posts that draw comments, the social media posts that boost engagement and the downloadable e-book that convinces a customer to buy your products or invest in your services. 

    Finding a content marketer to do all this so that every word and graphic has intrinsic value is a journey many companies find themselves on.

    Content marketer guide

    What is a content marketer?

    A content marketer is a person who creates the content your followers, fans and customers want to consume. They create a range of content from blog posts to social media captions, to video and more.

    What makes a good content marketer?

    Some of the qualities that make a good content marketer are: experience, price, and an understanding of your industry and audience.

    Why hire a content marketer?

    Your team may not have the time nor the skill set to deliver the content you need. Content marketing is a specialist skillset that requires knowledge and experience.

    What types of content marketer are there?

    The three main types of content marketer are in-house, freelance, or content marketing agency.

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    How to choose: freelance content marketer, or content marketing agency?

    Both have pros and cons, as well as different price points, but the right approach for your business depends on many factors such as your budget, your requirements, and how hands-on you want to be with your content marketing.

    How much does a content marketer cost?

    The cost of a content marketer depends on what you need them to do (broad strategic work, or hands-on creating content, or both), and how much work you need them to do. Expect to pay £50 an hour or £500 per day for a competent content marketer.

    Hiring a content marketer for the first time: what mistakes do you need to avoid?

    There are many mistakes you can make when hiring a content marketer, from hiring someone with the wrong skills, to hiring someone with the wrong experience.

    How to hire a content marketer?

    Follow our 4-step guide to hire a content marketer successfully.

    What is a content marketer? And what do content marketers do?

    A content marketer is a person who creates the content your followers, fans and customers want to consume. They create a range of content from blog posts to social media captions, to video and more.

    Before they do any of this, they will create a detailed content strategy. In this document, your audience is identified, the type of content they want, the medium that is best used to reach existing and new customers. 

    They bring many skills to your team, whether they are onboarded as permanent members of your team or whether you choose to work with a freelance content marketer. 

    Content marketer skills – what makes a good content marketer?

    On the surface, it can look ‘easy’ to create content. With a bit of technical know-how, the ability to string together words into a sentence and the use of a graphic design package, anyone can claim to be a content marketer.

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    According to Neil Patel, there are four key qualities to look for in a content marketer:

    Great writing capabilities – a content marketer should have a ‘nuts and bolts’ knowledge of excellent writing. Blogs are still popular, with 77% of internet users regularly reading blogs, Poorly written ones are not just a turn off for readers, but search engines too. There are also podcast scripts to create, as well as scripts for YouTube videos, captions and much more. Copy needs to be more than just good. It needs to intrigue, entice and inform, a very different genre to sales copy.
    Research skills – the world doesn’t stand still and neither does your market space. Customer wants and needs change all the time. You need to be confident that you are not only keeping pace but staying ahead in terms of trends and changes. A content marketer needs to have a strong finger on the pulse of your industry, as well as a great understanding of the world in which you operate. A content marketer needs to have high-quality research skills that understand your customer.
    Datadriven posts – content marketers work with words, not numbers and although the digits are not the only indicator of success, they are an important metric. Anyone in this kind of role needs to understand what the metrics are telling them, understand where traffic is coming from and how effective content channels are.
    Consistency – publishing material to your blog, YouTube channel and other platforms should be consistent. Without consistency, you lose your audience. This publishing plan needs creating and managing, with the content marketer delivering on these key publishing dates. They need to define success by measuring against the goals they set for content as a whole, as well as for individual pieces. 
    Content marketer skills

    Why hire a content marketer?

    On the face of it, someone in your team could do this. After all, you may think, it’s not that much work. Or is it?

    It can be if you invest time, budget and effort into creating content that snags the engagement of customers. The truth is your team may not have the time nor the skill set to deliver the content you need. Plus, they may not be interested in writing blogs or narrating videos for YouTube.

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    Hiring a content marketer will mean:

    • High-quality pieces of content and not just fluff posts that say nothing or worse still, keyword-stuffed captions that say and deliver nothing.
    • Consistent content creation is the essential ingredient. Content creation is a marathon, not a spring but when there are other pressing things to do in the business, making time to write a blog post or post a video is not an option.
    • A cohesive brand message, something that is only achieved with joined-up thinking informed by a content creation strategy. 
    • A strategic approach, another factor in content delivering the results you want and need from it.

    What types of content marketer are there?

    When it comes to hiring a content marketer for your business, there are several options.

    Type of content marketerGood to know…ProsCons
    In-house employed content marketerEmploying someone to be part of your team makes sense. Many people have the skills and the experience to take on this kind of role✓ Part of your teamImmersed in the brand
    ✓ Their sole responsibility
    Can give great returns on the investment
     Can feel like an expense too far for smaller companies
     The role can be subsumed into another, meaning the business doesn’t fully realise the full potential of the content marketer role
    Freelance content marketerHiring someone on a freelance basis is an affordable means of bringing this important skill set to your team Scalable, ideal for a small business
     Depending on the contract, you can swap and change between one freelancer and another
     Great for starting your content strategy
     Can be difficult to sort through the ‘experts’ to find the person with the skills you need
     Unless you are confident in who and what you are looking for, you may end up with the wrong person 
    Content marketing agenciesWith all that knowledge under one roof, a marketing company with a strong team of content marketers can be an ideal choice Makes sense for larger companies
     Affordable packages can mean smaller companies get a bite of this cherry too 
     Can seem complicated and full of jargon
     The promises don’t always match up to the delivery and the results

    Freelance content marketer vs agencies: what’s the right choice for you?

    With the realisation that hiring a content marketing expert is key to better content and results, a business needs to make a decision. For most companies, there are two choices that make the most sense – either a freelance content marketer or hiring in a specialist agency.

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    Both have pros and cons, as well as different price points, but which is the right approach for your business?

    A content marketing agency should deliver several fold on the investment you make in their services. Within their team, they have a range of skillsets, something which you may not have. This also means that there is potential to scale your project too. And for strategic consultation, the skill set is certainly there to make the results happen.

    A note on rapport and relationships
    On the flip side, larger content agencies may not have the close working relationship you expected (or wanted) and they may also have ‘certain ways of doing things’ which can means a period of adjustment for you and your team. Likewise, if communication isn’t clear, things can get lost in translation.

    A freelance content marketer also offers plenty of potential to your business. To begin with, they are affordable with significant cost savings over employing someone and hiring an agency too. They can have a deep level of expertise and skill and can be flexible in their work with you too.

    But hiring a freelancer can be almost as much effort as hiring an employee. There will be contracts and agreements to discuss, as well as issues of failure in service to consider. There could be questions around quality control and who drives the project alongside the freelancer. 

    How much does a content marketer cost?

    Essentially, for many companies and business large and small, the hiring of content marketing services is based heavily on cost. How much can you expect to pay for a content marketer and their skilled services?

    Type of content marketerGood to know…Average costs
    Freelance content marketerYou will also need to consider the costs of the hiring process in terms of both time and the cost of the platform or service you use to advertise for a freelancer. Freelancer can charge by the hour, half-day or full day. £15 to £50 per hour 
    Content marketing agencies – PackagesMost charge in packages with the price varying depending on the number of ‘assets’ or content channels they will be creating for. There are several examples: 
    £159 per month and a promise to start ranking within 30 days 
    Daily rate: £725 per day
    Marketing strategy: £685+  
    Content marketing agencies – Build your own packageOther agencies offer a build your own approach, meaning you decided on the services that you think best meet your content strategy needs. £25 – £50 per blog post
    £100+ infographics
    £200+ basic video
    Costs to hire a content marketer

    Hiring a content marketer for the first time: what mistakes do you need to avoid?

    As with most hires, it’s important to understand who and what skills you are looking for:

    • Quality is king – it can be tempting to hit hard and fast with content published across channels in a short space of time but this can be just as damaging as not publishing at all. Focus on quality when talking to an agency or freelancer. A 1500 word blog post, for example, is better than 3 or 4 poorly written 500-word pieces
    • Building a relationship is key to a successful partnership – it’s tempting to hand over responsibility and ownership to someone who comes across as an expert. You still want to maintain control and be able to steer the strategy of your content in the direction you want to, and that means building a relationship with the freelancer or agency you opt for. 
    • Focus on marketing content, not just creating it – churning out blog after blog is great, but if no one is reading them, what’s the point? You need an all-rounder content marketer who is working just as hard on building an email marketing base as they are creating content. 
    • Listening to the data – you need a content marketer who understand the data behind every piece of content published. You also need someone who understands the market you operate in.
    • Writing for your audience – and that means understanding who they are and what they want in terms of content, as well as the right channel to reach them. Are you confident that the agency or freelancer you are working with has this knowledge at their fingertips?

    How to hire a content marketer – step by step

    Now that you are ready to hire someone or an agency, how do you do it so the story is a success?

    How to hire a content marketer

    1. Identify the gaps in your content marketing strategy

      By understanding what it is you are hiring someone to do, you have a better idea of who you are looking for. This is important when looking at large agencies that have packages to sell.

    2. Have a list of questions

      You are looking for an agency or a freelancer who:

      • Has experience and knowledge of your sector
      • A good track record with previous and existing clients
      • Is flexible in what they offer
      • Offers free consultations so that initial conversation is less pressured
      • How they communicate with their clients

    3. Qualifications and memberships

      Qualifications within content marketing and other areas of expertise are constantly evolving. Those that are keen to progress their career and skill set will have various qualifications.

    4. Price point

      Paying more doesn’t guarantee success but is an important consideration. Measure what you get for the price from both freelancers and agencies, making the final decision not just on cost but on who you think you’ll work with best.

    Hiring a content marketer is something that you might want to take some time over, after all, getting the right person will make a huge difference to your marketing strategy. If you’d like advice about content marketing, contact us for an informal conversation.

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