What is a Content Strategist? Ultimate Career Guide for 2024

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11 minute video

What is a Content Strategist? A Content Strategist is responsible for crafting content strategies based on the business objectives of an organization or client. They are the ones who help businesses develop and manage content to generate quality leads and meet their content marketing goals. Content marketing is essential to increase conversion rates and brand […]

Video Transcript

What is a Content Strategist?

A Content Strategist is responsible for crafting content strategies based on the business objectives of an organization or client.

They are the ones who help businesses develop and manage content to generate quality leads and meet their content marketing goals.

Content marketing is essential to increase conversion rates and brand awareness, but it will never be effective without a Content Strategist.

What is a Content Strategist?

A Content Strategist’s main responsibility is to create, curate, and syndicate content to build brand awareness and increase conversion rates with existing customers.

A Content Strategist’s job description may also include smaller key responsibilities, such as:

  • Overseeing the development and upkeep of editorial calendars.
  • Maintaining style guides.
  • Crafting metadata frameworks.
  • Developing content migration plans.
  • Analyzing content marketing data.
  • Managing teams of employees and freelancers.
  • Allocating budgets.
  • Providing technical support for the integration of content.
  • Overseeing writing tone and style for all content marketing.
  • Tracking content ROI.
  • Updating content marketing strategy as needed.
  • Conducting routine content audits on existing content.
  • Performing competitor research to identify opportunities.
  • Content planning.
  • Content creation.

And more.

Check out this video covering the content strategist job description:

What Are the Two Types of Content Strategists?

What falls into the content strategist’s job description depends on the type of content strategy the position calls for.

1. Content Marketing Strategist

A Content Marketing Strategist specializes in devising and implementing content strategies that aid companies in achieving their marketing objectives.

They collaborate closely with marketing teams to create content that attracts and engages the target audience, drives traffic, and generates leads.

2. UX (User Experience) Content Strategist

This position concentrates on creating and publishing relevant content based on that enhances the overall user experience on a website or digital product.

They work closely with UX designers, product managers, and developers to ensure the content is straightforward, concise, and fulfills user requirements.

Additionally, they develop content guidelines and governance policies to guarantee consistency and quality across all digital touchpoints.

What is the Difference Between a Content Strategist and a Copywriter?

Copywriters and content strategists play distinct, yet complementary, roles in the realm of content marketing.

Copywriters excel at crafting persuasive, concise, and attention-grabbing content like headlines and advertisements, aimed at driving immediate action.

On the other hand, content strategists take a more comprehensive approach, focusing on long-term planning, ensuring content aligns with brand goals and values, and maintaining consistency across various channels.

Copywriters focus on creating compelling content, while content strategists design the roadmap for content that resonates with the audience and serves broader business objectives.

Both roles are vital components of a successful content marketing strategy.

Want to learn more about how content strategists develop a brand’s story?

Check out the video below:

How Do I Become a Content Strategist?

1. Complete Higher Education

Content Strategists come from a variety of different educational backgrounds.

According to Zippia, roughly 79% of content strategists have a Bachelor’s degree.

Relevant degrees include:

  • Technical writing
  • Information management
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Journalism
  • Creative writing
  • English

If you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree, there are various online certifications and boot camps to earn relevant experience.

2. Gain Experience in Relevant Fields

Oftentimes content strategists are former copywriters, editors, journalists, marketing or communication specialists, UX/UI designers, digital marketers, social media managers, or web developers.

A background in project management experience is also common.

3. Develop an Analytical Mindset

An eye for analyzing content marketing data is important as a content strategist.

While data collection is now mostly automated, making sense of the raw data is an acquired skill that any great content strategist has come to master.

Besides, spotting trends and patterns in your data will inform your strategy.

4. Become a Team Player

Content strategists often work closely with other content strategists and those on a content strategy team including writers, editors, and designers to make their content marketing come to life.

Understanding the importance of collaboration and open communication is an impactful skill successful content strategists possess.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Content Strategist?

In addition to the basic educational and professional requirements for becoming a content strategist, several critical skills can add value to your content strategy resume.

1. Sales Psychology

As a content strategist, having a basic knowledge of sales psychology will be a great benefit for your content strategy.

Sales psychology allows you to offer more personalized content to your target audience’s needs, habits, and desires.

Knowledge of sales psychology can also simplify converting potential customers into purchasing ones.

2. Content Presentation Skills

Possessing strong content presentation skills is just one step.

Knowing how to convey your ideas clearly and concisely is the key to making your content strategy come to life.

Communicating effectively with your marketing team is part of fulfilling your role as a content strategist.

3. Marketing Campaign Skills

Implementing a campaign would be a difficult challenge if you didn’t know how to properly design, plan, and execute one.

Understanding each marketing campaign stage will help you and your team run a successful content strategy.

Is Content Strategist a Good Career?

If you’re digital savvy, a natural storyteller at heart, and a strong communicator, a career in content strategy is a good choice.

Being a Content Strategist can be a fascinating and fulfilling career path for many.

Content strategy can be a rewarding career.
Content strategy can be a rewarding and lucrative career.

The role of a Content Strategist involves crafting and overseeing content for a diverse range of platforms and channels to achieve specific business objectives.

If you enjoy writing and researching and thrive in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, this could be your perfect job.

It’s also a highly lucrative field, with ample opportunities for growth and advancement.

As with any profession, there are pros and cons to consider, but overall, it’s a worthwhile investment if you’re interested in exploring the world of Content Strategy.

What is the Average Salary of a Content Strategist?

A Content Strategist’s salary varies.

According to Zip Recruiter, the nationwide average salary for a Content Strategist is $90,463/year, ranging from $32,000 to $164,000.

Your salary as a content strategist can be influenced by various factors, such as your experience and education level, the industry you work in, and the scale of your company.

Moreover, your overall ability to create and implement content strategies that align with business objectives can also significantly impact your earnings.

The content strategy relies heavily on results, so a proven track record of delivering solid results can only help when it comes to negotiating your salary.

What is the Job Outlook for Content Strategy?

The career outlook for a content strategist is favorable.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 14% job growth for all media and communication occupations over the next decade.

As content marketing grows, content strategists will be at the forefront of that growth.

So if you’re wondering, “Are content strategists in demand?” you’re in luck.

Pursuing a career as a content strategist can prove to be a fulfilling and profitable decision, with ample opportunities for professional advancement.

Why Should You Become a Content Strategist?

There are several reasons why someone would consider a career as a content strategist. The best reasons include the following.

1. Content Strategists Are in High Demand

Content strategy is a growing career field, and the demand for content strategists is high.

Roughly 537,000 people on LinkedIn have Content Strategist as their job title.

This is only expected to grow.

2. This Position Often Receives High pay

Since this is a growing field, what you earn as a beginner will quickly grow and potentially double as you advance in your career.

3. It’s Exciting and Offers an Everchanging Environment

The preferences and choices of content consumers are constantly changing and evolving.

These changes make for a career that will keep you active and on your toes.

As a content strategist, you must adapt to those changes as you create content.

4. You’ll Have Several Opportunities to Learn and Develop Your Skills

Since your audience’s preferences change constantly, you must always develop innovative ideas and approaches.

As a content strategist, you must implement those innovations and execute content strategies, so being open to learning new things is important.

5. You’ll Build Meaningful Work Relationships

A content strategist’s responsibilities include working closely with a team to make their strategies come to life.

Working near others will give you plenty of networking opportunities.

6. The Work is Rewarding

Developing a successful content strategy is rewarding. Luckily, measuring success as a content strategist is quite simple.

It lies in the data.

The better you get at your content delivery skills, the more you will see the wins you worked so hard for!

How Long Does It Take to Become a Content Strategist?

It takes 2 to 4 years to begin a career as a content strategist.

However, a lot will depend on the educational path you choose. If you take the conventional route, you can enroll in college and anticipate finishing your degree in 4 years.

You can also enroll at a community college to earn an associate degree in 2 years.

If you don’t have the time for this, consider attending a trade school where you’ll receive a certificate after roughly 1 year.

Additionally, you can enroll in boot camps and visit online learning resources to pick up valuable skills and receive a certificate after a few weeks or months.

The main thing to remember is that each content strategist’s big break into the industry looks different.

The versatility in skills and backgrounds within the content strategy community makes content strategy such a rewarding career path.

What Education Do You Need to Be a Content Strategist?

If you desire to have a job as a content strategist, then you’ll need to get the proper training.

A university education is just one of many options available.

If you don’t have the time to start a new career or the means to fund a new degree, you can try a professional boot camp or online course, instead.

With those programs, you can learn editing techniques, analytical techniques, and other abilities typical for an experienced content strategist.

1. Content Strategy Bootcamps

You can benefit from boot camp programs instructing you in content strategy, digital marketing, data analytics, web development, and more.

You can pass and receive a certificate within a few weeks or months.

After completing the boot camp, many programs will assist students with finding positions as content strategists.

The top digital marketing boot camps for content strategists also form alliances with organizations like Google, Amazon, Uber, and LinkedIn.

2. Content Strategist Degrees

The field of content strategy is diverse.

People with degrees in information management, technical writing, marketing, creative writing, communications, journalism, and English will do well as content strategists.

These courses will prepare you for a job as a content strategist if you decide to pursue a university education.

3. Vocational School

For those who believe a 2 or 4-year degree would be too lengthy or costly, you can obtain a diploma or certificate from a trade school.

In addition, attending a vocational school could help you prepare for a license test or an apprenticeship.

4. Community College

Traditionally, community college is cheaper than attending a university.

Community college tuition can be as low as $3,500/year, while university tuition can run upwards of $35,000 for students who are out of state.

You can expect to receive a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree at the end of your program.

5. Hands-On Learning

Learning on the job with your current position is also an option.

You can start by asking your supervisor for projects that align with the responsibilities of a content strategist or even sit in on meetings with content strategists within your company.

Sometimes, hands-on learning on the job is a nice way to get your foot in the door.

What Should You Know About Content Strategy?

Content Strategy is a plan for the content your business distributes and includes audio, visual, and/or written content to meet your business goals.

A successful content strategy will easily attract your target audience at all funnel stages and keep them engaged even after a purchase.

A content strategy team works diligently to:

  • Generate leads.
  • Raise brand awareness.
  • Position your company as an authoritative source.
  • Complement other marketing initiatives.
  • Engage prospects and current customers.

Say your business goal for this quarter is to increase brand awareness on all social media platforms.

To achieve this goal, you may implement a content strategy to double the content posted to your social media channels and offer weekly product giveaways.

Some business owners may see a content strategy as nice to have, but it’s much more than that.

Having a content strategy in place can be invaluable in building trust and authority with your target audience.

It’s also the foundation of your “Attract and Delight stage,” an important part of the buyer’s journey within the inbound marketing framework.

Improving your content planning starts with a Content Strategist.

What Is the Importance of Content Strategy in Digital Marketing?

A content marketing strategy helps you define your marketing goals and set priorities.

It allows you to create goal-driven marketing content to ensure each piece of content your team creates can yield tangible results.

Content strategies give your content a purpose. Therefore, as you track your results, your content strategy will also be a gateway to new content opportunities.

A good content strategy should outline all possible avenues for a content marketer to follow the latest news and trends and find inspiration.

With a proven content strategy already in place, your marketing team can produce content that converts consistently.

To do this successfully, your content must contain the right guidelines, such as:

  • A target audience to create content that your followers want to consume.
  • A tone that is consistent throughout your branding.
  • Specific style and format guidelines per content type.
  • A plan for distribution and promotional channels to leverage.

With these guidelines, your marketing team will have the foundational tools to manage content marketing campaigns effectively.

Creating a content strategy requires a high level of detail, which is why content strategists play a vital role in marketing.

What Are The Best Content Strategy Tools?

You can use several tools as a content strategist to develop and maintain your organization’s content management system and creation strategy.

Let’s go through some of our favorites.

1. Dia Creative’s Content Strategists

At Dia Creative, we work closely with our clients to develop content strategies that help them generate leads and do smarter, more strategic marketing.

Our content strategists support our client’s content marketing strategies with several services, including:

a. Managing Content Marketing Campaigns

A Dia Creative Content Strategist will implement and maintain your marketing campaigns.

We can assist you with:

  • Defining your goals
  • Researching competitors
  • Developing your content

And much more!

b. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Our Content Strategists will optimize your content for search engines by conducting keyword research.

We’ll then optimize your website’s content so that your content ranks on Google and builds authority. 

c. Social Media Marketing

A Dia Creative Content Strategist can deliver top-quality content for your social media platforms.

We’ll assist through all stages from creation to planning and ensure it’s clear, compelling, and shareable.

We also assist clients with:

  • Tracking engagement efforts.
  • Organizing content management systems.
  • Identifying new content strategies.
  • Tracking content marketing data.

Contact us to get working toward your content marketing goals today!

What We Like:

  • Free Strategy Session. Dia Creative provides a free strategy session to help determine the right solution for your business and how to best make your business future-proof.
  • Customization. Dia Creative focuses on understanding your personal brand, then analyzes the current market, competition, trends, and figures to gather as much data as they can to create a custom marketing strategy.
  • One-Stop Shop. Dia Creative provides support with website design and development, press and public relations, Facebook/Instagram ads, Google ads, Content marketing, white papers and case studies, Influencers, and affiliates.
  • Report Transparency. Every month, Dia Creative provides full reports on what’s working and where there can be growth. Adaptability is the name of the game.

What We Don’t Like:

  • The cost is slightly higher pricing than some.

Price:

  • Retainers begin at $500/month, but custom pricing is available.

2. SEMrush

Semrush

SEMrush connects your search engine marketing and team to an integrated platform. The tool combines Google Analytics and Search Console data to offer insightful information.

Based on this information, SEMrush carries out the entirety of your content generation workflow, from conception and visualization to planning and writing, optimization, analysis, and review.

Once you have that workflow, you can design a content strategy based on the requirements of your audience.

Based on this strategy, you may manage a workflow calendar and produce content summaries with integrated search engine optimization (SEO) and comprehensive step-by-step optimization advice.

The tool’s platform then offers a unified conversation area where your marketing team can communicate while working remotely.

What We Like:

  • Keyword Research. It offers in-depth keyword research tools to help you find valuable keywords for your content and advertising campaigns.
  • Site Auditing. SEMrush can perform site audits to identify technical SEO issues that may be affecting your site’s performance in search engines.
  • Backlink Analysis. You can analyze your backlink profile and discover opportunities for building high-quality backlinks.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Costly. SEMrush can be expensive for small businesses and individuals, especially if you want access to all of its features.
  • Limited Local SEO Features. SEMrush’s local SEO features could be more robust.

Price:

  • Starting at $129.99/month.

3. Market Muse

MarketMuse

MarketMuse is a tool that automates your content auditing and inventory process.

Completing content audits and accounting for inventory requires lots of labor when done independently.

Because content audits occur infrequently, many businesses need more personnel with the requisite auditing skills.

However, evaluating your content provides answers to several possible issues, including:

  • What do you currently have?
  • Does this content need to be updated?
  • How is it performing?
  • Where do changes need to occur?
  • Can any gaps be filled?

What We Like:

  • Content Planning. MarketMuse can help you create content plans and editorial calendars based on data-driven insights, ensuring that your content aligns with your goals and audience needs.
  • Content Performance Tracking. You can track the performance of your content over time, including SEO metrics like rankings and organic traffic.
  • Customizable Content Briefs. MarketMuse can generate content briefs that provide detailed guidance to writers, helping them create high-quality, relevant content.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not a Complete Content Solution. MarketMuse is a content optimization tool, but it doesn’t replace the need for creativity and human input. Writers still need to craft compelling and engaging content.
  • Content Quality vs. Quantity. Relying solely on data-driven insights can sometimes lead to a focus on quantity over quality. It’s crucial to maintain a balance.

Price:

  • Starting at $1,500/annually.

4. HubSpot

HubSpot

With HubSpot, you can manage content creation across different users, track the return on investment of specific content marketing, and improve your content strategy.

The analysis tools allow you to easily track the various stages of your sales pipeline and discover which marketing tactics result in the most impactful customer interactions.

For example, you can figure out which forms of content perform highly and continuously generate leads.

This will push you to scale up successful content and optimize underperforming ones.

What We Like:

  • Inbound Marketing Tools. HubSpot is built around the principles of inbound marketing, which focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting customers. It provides tools for content creation, SEO, email marketing, and social media management.
  • Analytics and Reporting. The platform offers robust analytics and reporting tools that provide insights into the performance of your marketing campaigns and sales efforts.
  • HubSpot Academy. HubSpot offers extensive training resources through the HubSpot Academy, which includes free courses and certifications to help users get the most out of the platform.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Limited Customization. Some users may find that HubSpot’s templates and customization options are somewhat limiting, especially if they have specific design or functionality requirements.
  • Integration Limitations. While HubSpot does offer integrations with many third-party apps and services, some users might require more extensive integrations that are available with other platforms.

Price:

  • Starting at $800/month.

5. Airtable

Airtable

Airtable is commonly used for storing massive volumes of data and sorting it using unique data filters.

Although project managers frequently use this tool, it also has many uses in content marketing, including managing influencers, tracking marketing campaigns, and creating and maintaining editorial calendars.

The user interface is simple, colorful, friendly, and easy to learn.

What We Like:

  • Flexibility. The ability to create custom databases and adapt them to your specific needs is one of Airtable’s major strengths.
  • Collaboration. Real-time collaboration features make it easy for teams to work together, regardless of their physical location.
  • Automation. You can automate repetitive tasks using “automations” to streamline workflows and save time.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Limited Reporting. While you can filter and sort data, generating complex reports and visualizations might require exporting data to other tools.
  • Data Security. Depending on your data security requirements, you may need to evaluate whether Airtable meets your organization’s compliance standards.

Price:

  • Starting at $20 per seat/month.

6. Survey Monkey

SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey was first created to organize large groups, but it has since evolved into a tool that can meet any marketing team’s needs for content generation.

As the name implies, you can find out the pain points of your audience and their needs and how your product can directly solve them.

You can create detailed surveys to interact with your audience and develop that business-consumer relationship.

You can understand how the public perceives your brand, the steps in your buyer’s online experience, and customer challenges from customer responses.

What We Like:

  • Ease of Use. SurveyMonkey is known for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise.
  • Distribution Options. You can choose from multiple distribution methods to reach your target audience effectively.
  • Scalability. It can be used for both small-scale surveys and large-scale research projects.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Data Export. Exporting survey data can be cumbersome in the free plan, and certain export options may require a paid subscription.
  • Data Privacy. Depending on your data privacy and security requirements, you may need to consider whether SurveyMonkey meets your organization’s compliance standards.

Price:

  • Starting at $25 per user/month.

7. Mailchimp

mailchimp

Reaching the correct audience and fostering brand loyalty can be accomplished with planning and methodical content marketing.

Mailchimp allows you to produce content suitable for social media, your website, and email marketing campaigns, which can help you advance your digital marketing strategy.

Through Mailchimp, you can create branded content, such as landing pages and paid advertisements, to educate your existing and prospective clients about your products and services.

They even let you store a brand style guide, allowing you to create a brand identity and showcase your company’s unique personality to customers.

What We Like:

  • Free Plan. Mailchimp offers a free plan with basic features, making it a good choice for small businesses and startups with limited budgets.
  • Marketing Automation. The platform’s marketing automation capabilities help businesses engage with their audience and nurture leads effectively.
  • Integration. Mailchimp integrates with numerous third-party applications and services, enabling users to streamline their marketing efforts.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Complex Automation. Setting up complex automation workflows may be challenging for some users.
  • Deliverability. The deliverability of email campaigns can vary based on factors such as list quality and email content.

Pricing:

  • Starting at $13/month.

What is an Internal Style Guide?

Regardless of the type of content you produce, every blog post, webpage, and social media post needs to be consistent.

This consistency solidifies your brand’s identity and makes it simpler for your target and traditional market research to recognize your product.

As a content strategist, it’s essential to have a style guide for creating content that offers general, writing style and formatting guidelines to the numerous people who produce content for your company.

Your specific content creation guide provides guidelines for developing your brand’s tone, voice, and personality, similar to a grammatical style guide (such as Chicago, APA, or MLA).

The best approach to developing an internal style guide is to have your marketing team work with your company’s production team.

How Do You Create an Internal Style Guide?

To create an internal style guide, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Define Your Purpose and Objectives

Identify the main objectives and determine the scope of the style guide. Will it cover all types of content or focus on specific channels or materials?

Step 2. Research and Gather Information

Conduct thorough research to understand your audience and their viewpoints, behaviors, and opinions related to your brand, products, and services.

Step 3. Draft Multiple Versions

Begin by creating multiple draft versions of your style guide. Involve key stakeholders in the review and feedback process.

This may include marketing teams, content creators, editors, and designers.

Step 4. Provide Examples and Illustrations

Include practical examples and illustrations to demonstrate how the guidelines should be applied. Use real-life scenarios to showcase the appropriate voice, tone, and style in different contexts.

Step 5. Document Usage Guidelines

Define the roles and responsibilities of individuals or teams responsible for enforcing the guidelines.

Step 6. Review and Revise Regularly

A style guide is not static; it should evolve with your organization’s changing needs, industry trends, and customer preferences.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Content Strategists Do?

A content strategist plans and guides an organization’s content efforts to align with its goals, audience, and brand identity. They oversee content creation, ensure consistency, optimize content for search engines, and analyze performance.

What Are a Content Strategist’s Responsibilities?

A top content strategist job’s responsibilities include developing content strategies, analyzing the target audience, planning content creation and distribution, maintaining brand consistency, optimizing for SEO and UX, managing editorial calendars, analyzing content performance, and establishing content policies.


Conclusion

In the dynamic landscape of digital communication, the role of a Content Strategist stands as a linchpin, weaving together business objectives, audience insights, and creativity to create engaging content.

Aspiring to be a Content Strategist means embracing the art of not just crafting content, but orchestrating the meaningful connections that empower brands to resonate with their audiences and achieve their goals.

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