By Heidi Cohen published June 29, 2011 Est Read Time: 4 min

Who Will Create Your Content? 10 Essential Content Creation Skills

With the expanded use of content marketing, the big question for most companies is “Who will create the content?” Like any other business initiative, a good starting point is to look at your goals and related strategies in developing a well-crafted editorial plan for content creation.

To produce the necessary content, it’s useful to assess the complete set of skills needed for robust content creation. You may well find that you need new employees, consultants, freelancers, agencies, or a combination of these options to meet your content creation and marketing strategy goals.

To help you determine the right mix of content creation skills for your business, these are top ten professional skills essential to your content creation goals. Keep in mind that newer content-related jobs may require a different mix of skills sets than past projects.

Researcher

Content development requires strong research proficiency to get the latest supporting information, complete with links. Think librarians. Not older women with their hair in tight buns, but rather knowledgeable information investigators who specialize in online research.

Search engine optimization (aka SEO) copywriter

Today’s content must support search optimization without regard for the content format or where it’s placed. This includes understanding keyword research and link building. This is a critical skill that calls for an SEO professional.

Editor

Think experienced magazine editor who’s good at planning and coordinating content with promotional marketing via an editorial calendar. The big difference is that you must be able to integrate content across media and platforms. Furthermore, it’s critical that you incorporate search optimization to support the purchase process and maximize sales. Your calendar also needs to be flexible to leverage breaking news and trending topics.

Writer

For text-based content, writers must able to create articles, columns, blog posts, white papers and e-books that are focused around a specific search keyword or keyphrase. It’s helpful if the writer has SEO copywriting skills and special product/service knowledge. This content should include internal and external links, and prompt readers to share it with their social graph via social sharing options.

Photographer and videographer

Whether it is to enhance text content or stand on its own, both photography and video are powerful for luring readers in and engaging them in real time. Bear in mind that it’s important to integrate branding into these presentations and to add text to ensure they’re search-friendly.

Social media communicator

While this position may have a variety of titles, such as social media community manager, the bottom line is that this is the professional who interacts across social media platforms in real time, responding to inquiries and/or creating unique content. Unlike other pros on your content creation and marketing team, the social media specialist often doesn’t answer to a copy editor. So it follows that you need to trust that the social media person understands your social media guidelines.

Copy editor

This is the gatekeeper of your online reputation who checks all content to ensure it’s in line with your content creation goals and brand. Besides checking for spelling errors and  grammar usage, the copy editor is fluent in Associated Press Style and web etiquette. The copy editior is also critical in maintaining consistent “voice” and correct links. The copy editor’s assurance of consistent quality is particularly important in easing fear and reducing risk when dealing with many individuals who contribute content.

Graphic artist

This person is focused on the content’s design, presence, look, and feel. This person is primarily concerned with the actual presentation of the content on the web and is the one who incorporates branding and other visual cues.

Project manager

This is the uber-organized communicator who monitors and connects the different people and resources both inside and outside of the organization to ensure that everything stays on track until the content is posted. As jobs go, this one requires a strong ability to engage and work with a wide range of people.

Technology geek

We’d all fail without this specialist. At a minimum, the beloved techie ensures that all of the text, photographs, video, audio, presentations and links are correct so that the post will render nicely on readers’ devices. Questions such as, “Does the content need to be adapted for more than a computer screen?” are designed for the techie. Think smart phones and tablets. Depending on your product, examine whether you need iTouch, gaming devices and GPS. Remember, the goal is to increase findability and usability. The techie is your go-to professional for just that.

The bottom line is that content marketing requires a variety of skills. For businesses, the challenge is finding the perfect elixir of professional skills that are most useful to your organization and its content needs.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? If so, please include them in the comment section below.

Want your audience to take notice and take action on your brand’s content? Our newest Guide to Essential Content Marketing Tactics has tips, insights, and ideas that can help increase your success with today’s top content marketing plays.

Author: Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen is an actionable marketing expert. As president of Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi works with online media companies and e-tailers to increase profitability with innovative marketing programs based on solid analytics. During the course of 20 years, Heidi has obtained deep experience in direct and digital marketing across a broad array of products including soft goods, financial services, entertainment, media entities and crafts-oriented goods. Heidi shares her actionable marketing insights on her blog. Find Heidi Cohen online at Twitter @heidicohen, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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