Content marketing strategist guide – an executive introduction for businesses

Last checked and updated on January 25, 2022

In the modern age, content marketing is a critical component of any online business presence. Nobody in the 21st Century wants to be actively sold to – consumers prefer to find a product or service for themselves. 

To make this happen, an SME needs a clear and defined content marketing strategy. Relying on blind luck is unlikely to be a long-term, sustainable approach. By enlisting the services of a content marketing strategist, your business can flourish in the longer term and enjoy a steady flow of new customers.


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But what kind of content marketing strategy do you need? How do you come up with the right strategy for your business specifically? And how much should it all cost? A good content marketing strategist can help you answer these questions and more.

Contents

What is a content marketing strategist?

A content marketing strategist will create compelling content for your brand, carefully crafting it to appeal to maximise SEO appeal, while ensuring your content is relevant, timely and unlikely to be lost in the shuffle. As the name suggests, a content marketing strategist blends creativity with tactical, calculated thinking.

Do all businesses need a content marketing strategist?

It’s undoubtedly advisable, regardless of the niche of your business. 78% of consumers prefer to learn about a business offering, including products and services, through long-form blogs and articles. That makes SEO and content marketing a sounder investment model than PPC advertising.

What does a content marketing strategist do?

First and foremost, a marketing strategist creates content for a business website. This could come in the form of blogs, social media posts, videos, audio recordings such as podcasts, infographics, and data charts … whatever will benefit your business and its corporate brand identity.

What types of content marketing strategists are there?

Just as there are multiple different approaches to content marketing, there are a similar array of types of content marketing strategist. The most common variations that your business will encounter are: Blog strategists, infographic strategists, podcast strategists, and social media strategists.

How can a content marketing strategist help your business?

As intimated previously, a content marketing strategist will bring new visitors to your website. This means more traffic, more potential purchases, and greater awareness in the marketplace.

How much does it cost to hire a content marketing strategist?

The average salary for a full-time content marketing strategist is around £41,000. An entry-level strategist may be cheaper (though inexperience brings its own challenges), and you’ll pay more for experience and expertise.

How to become a content marketing strategist?

Perhaps you’ve taken a look at the numbers above and had a thought – could it be more cost-effective to train as a content marketing strategist yourself? Or, at the very least, arrange for an existing staff member to earn the relevant experience and qualifications? In theory, this is an option for many SMEs. 

How to find and hire the right content marketing strategist for you?

If this guide has convinced you that your business would benefit from a content marketing strategist (summary – it would), follow these four steps to find the perfect hire.

What is a content marketing strategist?

If you’re a regular reader of Creative.onl articles, you’ll be aware that we’re big fans of content marketing. Creating interesting articles, videos, and social media posts is a great way to increase the brand awareness of your business. Naturally, the more people know about your products and services, the more conversions you’ll likely enjoy.

Simply creating content alone is not enough, though. Every business under the sun, including your direct competitors, will have the same idea. This will leave multiple companies battling for limited oxygen and attention in the marketplace. What’s the point in pouring your heart and soul into content that the masses will never see, hear or read?

A content marketing strategist will help ensure this is not the case. An individual or agency that holds this role will create this compelling content for your brand, carefully crafting it to appeal to maximise SEO appeal, while ensuring your content is relevant, timely and unlikely to be lost in the shuffle. As the name suggests, a content marketing strategist blends creativity with tactical, calculated thinking.

Do all businesses need a content marketing strategist?

It’s undoubtedly advisable, regardless of the niche of your business. 78% of consumers prefer to learn about a business offering, including products and services, through long-form blogs and articles. That makes SEO and content marketing a sounder investment model than PPC advertising.

Inbound marketing benefits
To fully take advantage of this inbound marketing opportunity, though, you’ll need a specialist content marketing strategist. First and foremost, you’ll have an experienced, expert content creator working for your brand. SEO content can be a tightrope, as while it’s crucial to impress Google’s algorithms, you should always prioritise human readers. An experienced content marketing strategist understands this, and it’s reflected in their output.

A writer who creates premium content is the first domino to fall in a successful content marketing strategy. Great content means more visitors to your website. More traffic means more potential conversions, as well as bolstering your Google quality score and keeping the traffic coming.  

What does a content marketing strategist do?

First and foremost, a marketing strategist creates content for a business website. This could come in the form of blogs, social media posts, videos, audio recordings such as podcasts, infographics, and data charts … whatever will benefit your business and its corporate brand identity.

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So, a content marketing strategist is basically a glorified copywriter, right? Not quite. Writers will pen sharp, compelling material, but that’s usually based upon a brief created by their employer. A content marketing strategist will discover what’s hot in your industry niche and build content around this – thus negating the need for a brief, or indeed any involvement from your business. Maximum reward for minimum effort.

Industry example
Take a restaurant, for example. A content marketing strategist would find holidays and celebrations relevant to the hospitality trade and build content around this. That means blogs, social media posts surrounding plant-based eating on World Vegan Day, a push toward promoting desserts on World Cupcake Day – you get the picture.

This requires strategic thought to avoid getting lost in the noise of your competitors. For example, a content marketing strategist will know what social media hashtags to piggyback off the back of, precisely what time to post content, what platforms will yield the greatest results … all manner of tactics that a less tactical thinker may not consider.

What types of content marketing strategists are there?

Just as there are multiple different approaches to content marketing, there are a similar array of types of content marketing strategist. The most common variations that your business will encounter are:

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Type of content marketing strategistWhat is it?
Blog strategistsBlogging is the most popular form of content marketing. Websites invariably attract more attention when they boast blogs, which can also be a great way to build SERPs. What’s more, well-written blogs that offer superior UX impress Google – especially the EAT algorithm, which is essential to positioning your business as a market expert – and build consumer trust
Infographic strategistsInfographics are often misunderstood, which can lead to infrequent use in content marketing. This is a mistake. An experienced content marketing strategist will be able to make good use of infographics, leaning into the adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” What’s more, infographics can be a great way to build high-authority backlinks
Podcast strategistsPodcasts are growing increasingly popular among businesses, having initially been more of a consumer movement. A strategist that knows how to make the most of podcast exposure could be worth their weight in gold – this is arguably the most cost-effective form of content marketing of all
Social media strategistsFew communication platforms have seemed so simple on the surface but grown so unwieldy and complicated as social media. In today’s world, a content marketing strategist is essential to understanding which platforms to target, what content to post, and when to post it for maximum exposure
Video strategistsCreating compelling video content requires a great deal of time, effort, money, and know-how. If you can get it right, though, video content and yield a considerable return on investment. All the same, it’s foolish to sink so much budget and work into a video project without the input of a specialist content marketing strategist to help it reach an audience

You may be happy with one of these specialists, or you may need a more blended approach. Discuss your needs with a content marketing strategist – whether that’s a salaried staff member, an external freelancer or a third-party agency. 

How can a content marketing strategist help your business?

As intimated previously, a content marketing strategist will bring new visitors to your website. This means more traffic, more potential purchases, and greater awareness in the marketplace.

In many respects, it’s the latter that is most helpful. There is no shortage of businesses and individuals vying for business, and to be blunt, an SME will lack the reputation and budget of some of them. A different approach will be required to be noticed.

There is nothing to say that a business needs to use the services of a content marketing strategist. You’re more than welcome to try to plough your own furrow, especially if you’re confident that your existing approach will see results. However, if you find that your business is struggling to attract attention, consider seeking strategic support.

How much does it cost to hire a content marketing strategist?

Cost depends on whether you want to add a full-time staff member to your payroll or seek third-party support from a freelancer or agency. There are pros and cons to both approaches.

The average salary for a full-time content marketing strategist is around £41,000. An entry-level strategist may be cheaper (though inexperience brings its own challenges), and you’ll pay more for experience and expertise. If you have a dedicated staff member, you’ll always have somebody on hand to enact strategic policies. Even at the lowest possible salary, though, this is a significant outlay for a small business. 

You may be better off looking for contracted help. This leaves you with the choice of freelancers or an agency. Freelancer writers and strategists are invariably cheaper, though it’s always a risk to place your content in the hands of one person. On the other hand, it’s much easier to terminate a working relationship with a solo freelancer than a contracted employee.

Alas, hiring a freelancer means that you’ll also still have a great deal of work to do yourself. A freelance copywriter will need detailed briefs and rely upon your marketing team to complete and provide any keyword research. That’s fine if this appeals to you and your business model, but it will end up being the worst of both worlds for some companies.

Consider paying a little more for the services of a full-service content marketing agency. Such a business will take care of everything connected to your content marketing, from seeking out pertinent themes and topics, writing the copy, and posting it in ideal locations at the perfect time.

So, back to our original question – how much will all this cost? On average …

Full-time content marketing strategistAround £3,5000 per month (plus benefits)
Freelance content marketing strategist£1,000 – £1,500 per month (writing and strategy)
Content marketing strategy agencyDiscuss packages – could be up to £10,000 monthly

Consider these sums and decide what approach will best meet your business needs, both strategically and financially.

How to become a content marketing strategist

Perhaps you’ve taken a look at the numbers above and had a thought – could it be more cost-effective to train as a content marketing strategist yourself? Or, at the very least, arrange for an existing staff member to earn the relevant experience and qualifications? In theory, this is an option for many SMEs. 

If you have an in-house copywriter, they’ll already boast many of the core skills required of a content marketing strategist. You may just need to improve their strategic thinking and technical nous, especially surrounding social media logistics. While most copywriters understand the fundamentals of SEO, writing such content is only half the battle. Thinking tactically about content and keywords is a skill that times time to master. 

This leaves business owners with a choice. Can you spare the time it would take for a copywriter to master content marketing strategy, especially if that involves robbing Peter to pay Paul? After all, we must consider that learning how to strategise may distract a writer from the bread and butter of other daily work of crafting copy. Weigh up the short- and long-term repercussions of this approach and decide how you’d like to proceed. 

How to find and hire the right content marketing strategist for you

If this guide has convinced you that your business would benefit from a content marketing strategist (summary – it would), follow these four steps to find the perfect hire.

How to hire a content marketing strategist

  1. Decide what kind of content marketing strategist would most benefit your business

    Refer back to our list of types of content marketing strategists above. Which of these is of greatest interest and benefit to your business? Consider your industry niche, what kind of content your target audience will respond best to, and perhaps most pertinently, what content your in-house team are least adept at creating. If you’re paying for external help, ensure you receive the most bang for your buck. 

  2. Interview potential content marketing strategists

    Once you have an idea of what kind of content marketing strategist you’d like to engage, research potential providers. A simple Google search will do – a freelancer or agency with experience in content marketing strategy will boast a hugely impactful online presence themselves.

    Do not make a hire based purely on a website and portfolio, though. Arrange an interview with potential strategists, asking them how they will maximise your brand’s exposure to your target audience. This will obviously be the time to discuss finance and expectations, too.

  3. Appoint a content marketing strategist and define the parameters of your working relationship

    Once you have a content marketing strategist in place, you must agree upon how your working relationship will work. Will you be looking to stay involved in the content creation process? How much content will you be expecting from your strategist? How will they report back on the results of the strategy? It’s critical to get these regulations in place.

  4. Regularly review the ROI of your content marketing strategy

    The purpose of bringing in a content marketing strategist is simple – to improve the fortunes of your business. Decide what you would consider success from this strategy – whether that’s increased web traffic, more conversions and income or cheaper PPC bids thanks to an improved Google quality score – and review the results. If you don’t feel that you’re receiving value for your outlay, it may be time to look for a new strategist. 

If you’re interested in discussing your content marketing strategy needs with Creative.onl, we would be delighted to hear from you. Just get in touch. One of our experienced team members will quickly arrange a chat to talk you through what we do and how we can take your content marketing to the next level.

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