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The Do's and Don'ts for Hiring a Content Marketer

Updated: Apr 4

Content Research & Development
Do's and Don'ts for Hiring a Content Marketer

The Internet is brimming with success stories revolving around content marketing. It has become an essential part of marketing strategies for companies to reach a broader audience, generate higher sales, and expand their business prospects.

Why Content Marketing?

Consider this: over 91 percent of B2B marketers and 86 percent of B2C marketers are using content marketing. This shows how effective content marketing is for getting the word out about your brand. And this isn’t just one-sided. About 82 percent of consumers build a positive brand image and 70 percent feel more connected to a company after reading relevant, custom content.

In this digital age, customer satisfaction can make or break your business. You want your target audience to get good vibes from your brand – content marketing is the best way to achieve that. That’s why over 70 percent of companieshave ramped up their content creation effort, according to CMI’s 2017 benchmark survey.

However, creating and implementing a sound content marketing strategy – and getting the most out of it – requires professional content marketers.

You want a team that meticulously understands your business and target audience, produces high-quality, SEO-based content, and uses the right set of tools and techniques to foster engagement. Unfortunately, according to the 2016 B2B report by Content Marketing Institute, the number one challenge that organizations face is producing engaging content, followed by measuring content effectiveness and consistent content creation.

Choosing the ideal content marketing partner can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. So, what should you look for when hiring content marketers for your business? Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind for your next content marketing hire.

The Do’s

1. First Things First – Determine your Content Goals

Before you start looking for your A-team, you need to have a full picture of your content marketing goals. Do you plan to market your products and services or establish yourself as a market leader? Do you want research-oriented, informative pieces or fun, lighthearted blog posts?

Ask yourself such questions to devise a content strategy. This will help you get a clear idea of what characteristics your content marketing team must have. You can even establish criteria based on this information, allowing you to further streamline the hiring process.

2. Communicate your Vision and Expectations

For successful content marketing, it is important for your team to understand your company’s vision and expectations. Most businesses hire digital marketing firms for content creation and provide them with single-line project descriptions to explain what they are looking for. Due to lack of detail, you are likely to end up with generic, mundane content that may not add value to your blog.

A good way is to share your favorite content marketing examples or previously written content pieces. They will serve as a baseline or point of reference, and provide a gist of the kind of content you expect the content marketer to produce for your audience. However, don’t provide too many details as that can cause confusion. Be as explicit as possible.

3. Look for Analytical Mindset

Search for content marketers who are comfortable with metrics and numbers. They must be proficient with different analytical tools, like Google Analytics, SEMrush, Kissmetrics, and others, and understand the importance of gauging the effectiveness of your content strategy to drive results. Being analytics-savvy will ensure whether your content marketing strategy resonates with your brand’s voice, and more importantly, your audience.

4. Ask Them to Pitch Fresh Ideas

Before you can hire a content marketer, you need to determine how well they understand your business and target audience. You can request a content plan comprising of fresh ideas about articles, blogs, emails, social media, and other content marketing elements. Have them include short descriptions, as well.

Additionally, get their input on your existing content strategy and suggestions for improving its effectiveness. Doing so will show initiative, responsiveness, and expertise in terms of research, writing, and deliverability.

The Don’ts

1. Don’t Rely Only on the Samples

Writing samples are great and necessary to gauge the content creation capabilities of a prospective content marketer. However, it shouldn’t be the only criterion for selection – it would be similar to judging a book by its cover.

You can use the writing sample for screening and for short listing potential candidates. If possible, have them write a piece on a topic of your choice. However, be sure to offer compensation, as it allows you to forge trust and start your working relationship on the right foot.

2. Never, Ever Settle. Ever!

The content published on your website or blog is a reflection of your business – your brand image heavily depends on it. Don’t simply hire anyone from freelancing platforms. Take your time and look for the perfect, or at least near-perfect, match for your business’s content marketing requirements. Don’t settle for anything less.

Consider recommendations from trusted people, clients’ ratings and reviews, and work portfolio to evaluate whether a content marketer is a good fit for your company.

3. Don’t Hire Just for the Sake of Content Creation

Arguably, one of the biggest mistakes companies make is hiring a content marketer who doesn’t know how to provide value to your readers. You can publish your content in a number of ways with the help of videos, images, authoritative links, and what not. However, from a consumer’s perspective, visuals are great, but they won’t create any impact. If your content is not solving any problems – it’s practically useless for them.

Your business exists to provide a solution to problems and the frustrations of your target audience – content marketers must be able to craft content that delivers exactly what your consumers are looking for.

4. Don’t be Shy to Give Feedback

It’s absurd to expect a content marketer to produce content that is 100 percent on spot with your expectations. If you find a content marketing team that closely matches your writing standards and requirements, give them a chance, and communicate where you think they failed to deliver the desired result. Give them proper feedback so that they can develop a better understanding of the kind of work you expect from them.

Hiring the most suitable content marketers for your business is never easy. Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind during the hiring process to ensure that you assemble the best team for your content marketing campaign.

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Do's and Don'ts for Hiring a Content Marketer

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