Do you know Google handles more than 9 billion searches daily? Google likes content. And people love to look up informational content on Google to make informed decisions. In today’s content-heavy landscape, creating valuable content alone is not enough. You must get it out to a large audience via different channels while simultaneously documenting and measuring results.
Or, you can hire a Content Marketer to get your business noticed without making people feel they are being sold.
According to a recent Semrush study, 78% of companies that employed content marketing had documented their strategies, and 73% of companies that spent most of their total marketing budget on content marketing witnessed a good ROI. In short, for every dollar you invest in content marketing, you get 3 dollars in return.
What is content marketing and what does a content marketer do?
As content marketing guru Robert Rose aptly says, “Traditional marketing is telling the world you’re a rockstar. Content marketing is showing the world you are one.”
But how? Content marketing is a business process that focuses on planning, creating, publishing, and distributing valuable content, consistently. It turns casual website visitors into loyal customers and promoters of your brand. This content can be anything ranging from blogs, social media posts, newsletters, emails, gated content and newsletters to videos.
A content marketer acts as a mediator between your business and target audience through content. With their in-depth understanding of your customer’s pain points and online habits, they create content that instantly connects. It establishes you as an industry leader and positions your brand in the market.
Can you go wrong while trying to hire a content marketer?
The first place you may go wrong while you hire content marketer is settling for a content writer. Of course, a content writer creates SEO-optimized content that makes your website rank on Google organically.
But is creating and publishing content everything? No. From indexing the content on Google, figuring out a promotion strategy to drive traffic and converting your website visitors to your customers, there’s a lot more. These are the skills only a content marketer will possess, and not a writer. This takes us to the next question.
What skills are important for a content marketer?
In addition to understanding your business and performing competitor research, a good content marketer must possess the following skills.
- User research – It helps identify behaviors, needs and pain points of your target customer and develop a buyer persona. User research can be done via online forums, in-person calls, interacting with a group of people or through ethnographic research.
- Keyword research – Educating your target audience on the Whys, Hows and Whats of your business along with the right keywords will help your website rank on Google.
- Project management, planning and publishing – In this stage, a content marketer turns the pain points and target keywords into content ideas. A content audit also helps identify content gaps. They create a content calendar to determine the type of content and platform to publish and schedule marketing campaigns.
- Content promotion – This gets the published content to as many people via multiple organic or paid channels or by reaching out to industry influencers.
- Measuring the results – A content marketer knows how to have fun with numbers. By carefully monitoring the numbers, a content marketer figures out what is working and what isn’t. The numbers also help refine and improve the current strategy.
These are the top skills required to implement a successful content marketing strategy. You can use this as a base to screen job applications and resumes.
How to hire a content marketer?
Phase 1 – Assessment of applicants
How do you identify a REAL Content Marketer from a pool of other creatives like journalists, content writers and creative writers who claim themselves as expert content marketers? As a busy hiring manager / business owner recruiting for multiple roles, it becomes a headache to assess people shortlisted by your ATS for their skills and test their genuineness, even when you have the perfect hiring plan.
Here’s where a talent assessment platform like Testlify comes into the picture. We help you find the best talent with an accurate, automated, and unbiased analysis. From a test library of 180+ tests covering a wide array of skills, you can choose among ‘Content Marketing Strategist’,’ SEO & Content Marketing Specialist’, ‘Head of Content Marketing’ tests or more.
You can conduct further assessment of content marketers by adding open-ended questions or asking for a recorded video answer that relates to the role. Trust us, it helps you to screen candidates efficiently.
Phase 2 – The shortlisting process
Looking for a content strategist with
- A minimum experience of 2 years
- Excellent writing skills and SEO knowledge
- The potential to lead a team of writers
- Working knowledge of CMS, preferably WordPress, along with Google Analytics
can go a long way.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketers must be great writers and editors, with a strong ability to tell a story. However, beyond that, they need to love what they do. “
With two years of experience, they are bound to have an online presence via blogs or guest posts. So, by asking for a writing sample with a byline, you can filter out chance-takers and first-timers. If their writing style matches your tone of voice, they move forward.
Phase 3 – Assign them a sample exercise
Now that you have filtered candidates based on their written and soft skills, it’s time for specifics. Ask them to create a content strategy for your website, along with a 400 to 500-word article. The topic of the article must fall within the scope of the strategy. But don’t expect free work. The money you agree to pay upfront will keep them committed and give their best. Since you are paying, you can even use a couple of good articles for your company’s site or clients’. Give it a couple of days, and once you scan through the received content strategies and articles, you will know whom to shortlist.
Pro tip: Throughout the process, check for red flags such as poor / delayed communication, lack of common courtesies or a bad attitude. If they don’t take the position seriously, you are better off without them.
Phase 4 – The face-to-face interview
According to Zippia, “An average corporate job opening receives 250 resumes, of which only 4 to 6 are called for an interview. An average interview runs between 30 to 90 minutes.”
Yes, multiple-level interviews are time-consuming. To ensure you hire the best talent, in addition to your standard questions, dive deep by asking role-specific questions to assess content marketers. For instance,
- Describe one greatest achievement and challenge you encountered in past roles.
- Explain an error you made in the past that made you a better content marketer.
- Names 3 companies you think are great at content marketing and why?
- What makes good content?
Run a quick employment history check on each finalist and get in touch with their business references to validate the information. There, you have found your ideal candidate. Congratulations!
Should you consider hiring a full-time or freelance content marketer?
When you have to fill in a content marketer on an urgent basis, a freelancer would be your best bet. According to the Content Marketing Institute, freelance content marketers may not be growing a startup but are running and expanding their business, no less an entrepreneur. They take minimum time to hire & onboard and are self-driven, competitive, & creative. With their extensive knowledge of working with multiple clients, it’s no surprise they have a recommendation-worthy professional reputation and social profiles. Should things go north, you also have the freedom to end the contract without any hassles or messy paperwork.
On the contrary, a full-timer can help your company with the silliest to most challenging internal tasks while keeping you, their only client, the priority. And yes, they will have a higher level of commitment that motivates them to add value consistently. They understand your brand inside out, an aspect a freelancer might lack.
In short, if you are just starting out and don’t have an extensive marketing budget, you can stick to a freelancer or part-timer. But if you have the financial resources, hire a full-timer.
Hiring a content marketer or a team who is the right fit for your business can be a daunting experience. But with a proper approach and the right set of tools, you can make the process hassle-free. And when you recruit the cream of the crop, they amplify your brand awareness, build trust, grow an online community of loyal fans, generate better conversions, and ultimately, drive more sales.
Join hands with Testlify, the finest talent assessment platform, and hire a content marketer 3X faster. Sign up for a free trail now.