Content marketing has been around for decades at this point, and most companies understand how rich a digital strategy can be for their business. Currently, 88% of B2B marketers make content marketing part of their marketing strategy.

In order to connect with clients, drive higher conversion rates and increase brand awareness with content marketing, it’s wise to put the strategy in the hands of a professional. A content marketing specialist with a strong work ethic who can lead, design, and maintain your marketing campaigns and facilitate all aspects of content creation can be a valuable asset to your business.

Below, we’ve highlighted what defines a content marketing specialist, along with the tasks, skills and typical responsibilities that come with this vital role.

What is a content marketing specialist?

The role of a content marketing specialist doesn’t necessarily come with a cut and dry definition, but it always has the same motive: to provide businesses with the tools and resources needed to bring traffic to their site and ultimately drive conversion rates.

Content marketing specialists should have experience in marketing. They also usually hold a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a similar field such as English, journalism, public relations or communications.

When searching for a content marketing specialist, it’s important to find someone whose role aligns with your wants and needs as a business. Some prefer to hire one person who has a mixed bag of skills and can fit in many content marketing shoes. Others hire a team of individuals who make up the pieces of the content-marketing strategy puzzle.

Some example roles of a content marketing specialist include:

  • Chief content officer.
  • Director of editorial.
  • Managing editor.
  • SEO analyst.

The ideal content marketing specialist needs a combination of writing, storytelling and strategizing skills in order to create and manage marketing projects that resonate with an audience.

What are the typical responsibilities of a content marketing specialist?

Consider the content marketing specialist a creative idealist for a business.

Take a look at a company’s website and social media accounts and let your eyes wander; all of the blog posts, website copy, social media interaction and digital advertising came from someone who specializes in marketing campaigns and content strategy.

There was a professional in the background taking lead of various projects such as creating an editorial calendar, crafting an email marketing strategy and devising a search engine optimization plan.

Responsibilities of a content marketing specialist can vary depending on the specific role you’re hiring for.

Remember: A content marketing specialist refers to any professional who focuses on the strategic, technical or creative aspects of content marketing, so tasks can fluctuate.

Some of the typical duties and projects that fall under this umbrella term include:

  • Designing a content strategy.
  • Collaborating with other creatives to produce high quality content.
  • Writing, editing or refining digital copy.
  • Delivering strong, engaging content to clients.
  • Revising and optimizing dated content using information gathered in SEO research.
  • Analyzing web metrics.
  • Sharing content on social media and via email to boost brand awareness and engage with your audience.

The end goal should always include creative, effective storytelling that drives targeted traffic to the website and gets people talking about the brand.

What are the skills that make a great content marketing specialist?

A successful content marketing specialist has a certain set of skills that set him or her apart from the average joe with blogging experience.

Regardless of the specific role you’re hiring for, required skills include:

Grammar: When you’re trying to boost your brand’s reputation, the last thing you want to do is find a grammatical error in your copy. Your content marketing specialist should understand the in’s and out’s of spelling and grammar and understand how to avoid obvious mistakes.

Research: When you’re constantly putting valuable information about your brand out there, it’s critical that you can prove your copy to be nothing short of authentic. Research skills are a must, as they allow you to identify your competitors and get to the bottom of your readers’ interests and concerns.

Management: Content marketers are constantly producing copy and other assets, evaluating strategies, maintaining editorial calendars and talking with clients. Organizational or managerial skills are necessary to ensure everyone’s ducks remain in a row from the beginning of the brainstorming stage to the end of the marketing campaign.

Ideation: A content marketing specialist must be creative. Someone who can come up with ideas that are not only thought-provoking, but also gain traction across the internet. In this sense, ideation and research go hand-in-hand in content creation.

Promotion: Understanding how to effectively inform or persuade your target audience is a critical component of content marketing. The specialist should have a strong grasp on content promotion and what best influences readers.

Analytics: Understanding how to navigate the millions of posts wandering the internet is also essential. Search engine optimization skills are a must; knowing which keywords will get a blog post to rank and make it to the front page of a Google search is critical, but recognizing how to use this data to craft rank-worthy content is essential as well.

How to hire a content marketing specialist

Are you ready to build your content marketing team or hire a content marketing specialist?

Beyond the necessary skills and qualifications, we recommend the following tips during the hiring process:

Check out writing samples or examples of previous marketing work

As highlighted earlier, grammar and basic spelling skills are essential in the world of content marketing. It’s even more important that the person you hire can formulate a story with a solid introduction, body and conclusion. Writing samples and examples of previous work can help you navigate which specialists deserve an interview.

Ask the specialist to check out your existing content

Before the interview, share existing content and other projects from your brand so the content marketing specialist can get an idea of what you like to create. This gives him or her a head start on what to expect when working with your company, and it can give them leverage to get to know you before the interview takes place. Ask questions about how they perceive the content, how it can improve and more.

Did you know that content marketing costs 62% less than an outbound marketing strategy? It doesn’t only cost less; it also generates nearly three times as many leads than the latter.

Gone are the days of focusing on a traditional method; it’s time to consider the value that comes with hiring a content marketing specialist who can create a highly targeted and effective content delivery process that brings awareness to your brand in a cost-effective and customizable manner.

Chelsey Church is a senior writer and editor at Brafton. When she's not turning her thoughts into copy, she's enjoying a craft beer, playing with her dogs or listening to her favorite metal tunes. A Cleveland native, she'll never let you forget that the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead.