If you’re passionate about content creation and management, you might be interested in earning money through this passion by learning how to become a content strategist.
Becoming a high-paying and in-demand content strategist doesn’t happen overnight. You will need to invest in yourself to acquire the necessary qualifications that will, in turn, help you land clients who value your work and pay you well. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to become a big-shot content strategist.
What Is a Content Strategist?
A content strategist is an individual responsible for planning, drafting, and managing the content strategy of an organization. More often than not, they are also the ones who create the content and ensure that it aligns with the company’s mission, vision, and goals.
Content strategists are also tasked with leveraging fresh, unique, relevant, and engaging content to improve brand image, encourage patronage, and improve the company’s conversion rate. They work to position their organizations as industry experts through the strategies they create. The complexities of content strategy call for intensive training in the field.
Content Strategist Job Description
What a content strategist does on a daily basis varies from organization to organization. However, regardless of their area of focus, the role will always involve leveraging content and laying out strategies to improve the bottom line of a business. Specifically, they are often tasked with creating appropriate content according to the characteristics of the company’s target audience.
Their other tasks might include improving existing content, designing strategies for promotion and delivery, and championing effective content marketing across different digital platforms. They might also help define a company’s brand voice and develop a style guide for the content team.
Content Strategist Salary and Job Outlook
According to PayScale, the average content strategist makes about $62,350 per year. Your salary will vary, however, according to your level of experience. An entry-level content strategist can expect to earn around $48,259 per year while experienced content strategists make an average salary of around $84,402.
In terms of job outlook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 14 percent job growth for all media and communication occupations between 2020 and 2030. This level of growth suggests that the demand for content strategists is also high, since their editing, marketing, and research responsibilities play an essential role in achieving business goals.
Top Reasons to Become a Content Strategist in 2021
There is more than one reason why you should consider becoming a content strategist. The best reasons include the following.
- High pay. Not only is this a lucrative career path, but what you will earn as a novice in the field will quickly grow and potentially double as you gain more experience.
- High demand. As mentioned above, this is a growing field and the demand for this job is on the rise.
- Dynamic career prospects. The tastes, preferences, and choices of content consumers are changing constantly. As a content strategist, you have to keep up with these changes to stay relevant. If you enjoy being active and staying on your toes, this career is for you.
- Better learning opportunities. Since the preferences of the audience you serve constantly change, this also means that you’ll always be on the lookout for innovative approaches. You will be the one to implement these innovative changes, so learning will be a crucial part of your job.
Content Strategist Job Requirements
To make your way through the digital marketplace as a content strategist, you’ll need to have the skills and technical background to do your job correctly. Below are some of the requirements for the job.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Relevant degrees for content strategists include information management, technical writing, marketing, creative writing, communications, journalism, and English. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can take advantage of online learning platforms and bootcamps for digital marketers.
- Experience in a relevant field. Experience as a digital content manager or expertise as a content writer or web editor can prepare you for the rigors of the content strategist role.
- Analytical mind. While collecting data is now easier than ever, making sense of the raw information requires you to be analytical and critical, to spot trends and patterns that can inform your strategy.
- Experience in content monetization. If you can think of a great content strategy, aside from having stellar writing skills, you must also ensure that such a strategy would translate into money, patronage, or sales.
Types of Content Strategist Careers
The details of the job or a specific content strategy project may vary from company to company, but the overall role is pretty much the same. It entails planning, developing, executing, and auditing content strategies. If you’re interested in a career in this field, pay attention to the job description for each type of content strategist listed below.
Content Designer or UX Writer
If you want to venture into the tech industry, you can consider a career as a UX writer or content designer. While the latter utilizes user-centered design elements to improve the user’s experience of a piece of content, the former focuses on creating the copy used to populate apps or websites.
Experienced content strategists are often hired to become part of a company’s marketing department. A content marketing job makes sense for these professionals since content strategists help develop strategies to sell the brand and product through social media marketing and other methods.
Most streaming media and social media marketing companies are looking for content strategists to fill a data-focused role. This job entails the curation of content within the company’s interface. The strategist will need to analyze the content’s value and also strategize how it will be displayed.
Content Strategist Meaning: What Does a Content Strategist Do?
If you’re seriously considering a career as a content strategist, take note of these primary job responsibilities involved. Although the specifics of the role differ significantly across companies, the following are the basics.
Curates Content Strategies
The content strategist needs to have a deep understanding of both digital and traditional marketing channels. Apart from that, they also need to be familiar with consumer analytics, content distribution, analytics platforms, and social media platforms. Combined with organizational skills, these competencies will help them create efficient content strategies.
Defines the Brand’s Voice and Key Messages
If you assume the role of a content strategist, you’ll need to work with cross-functional departments to establish and articulate the company’s voice and guidelines for external and internal communication. Furthermore, you should also ensure that said content aligns with the company’s values.
Masters Digital Metrics
Your job as a content strategist doesn’t end with curating strategies that sell. After that, you must also monitor web traffic to check if your strategy worked. This requires a thorough understanding of usability best practices, information architecture, keyword research, and SEO.
Essential Content Strategist Skills
Below are the critical skills that will add value to your content strategist resume.
When you’re a content strategist or one of the social media managers for a brand, you need to sell an idea, brand, or product. Since you need to do this in writing, solid copywriting skills will help you manage and distribute your content.
Content Presentation Skills
Writing engaging content is one thing. Presenting it in a palatable, coherent, and effective manner is another. This is why creative professionals must also have extraordinary presentation skills to fulfill their roles as content strategists.
Marketing Campaign Skills
It would be challenging to implement a campaign if you don’t know how to design, plan, and execute one. Knowing the different stages of a campaign will help you and your team run a successful content strategy.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Content Strategist?
It takes two to four years to jumpstart a career in content marketing. It will highly depend, however, on your chosen education pathway. If you want to walk down the traditional path, you can pursue a university degree and expect to finish it in four years.
You can also enroll in a community college to complete an associate degree within two years. If you don’t have time for this, you can opt for trade schools that award you a certificate after about a year. In addition, you can join bootcamps and visit online learning platforms where you can learn relevant skills and earn a certificate after a few weeks or months.
Can a Bootcamp Help Me Become a Content Strategist?
Yes, you can enter the content marketing industry and land a content strategist job through bootcamps. Countless bootcamps offer courses on topics such as web content creation, project management, and content marketing. You can also opt for courses in advertising or data analytics.
The good thing about these bootcamps is that you don’t have to invest years just to be industry-ready. All you need to do is to find the right bootcamp and course. Despite the shorter training period, students graduate equipped with industry-relevant skills because of the intensive training sessions. They make up for the time with the intensity of the training.
Can I Become a Content Strategist from Home?
Yes, you can become a content strategist from home by enrolling in bootcamps or online learning platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, and Class Central. Although some bootcamps offer in-campus learning, they also have online options for those who require or prefer distance learning.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
In these online courses, you will be introduced to the different types of content and compelling content marketing strategies to make any campaign a success. You will also be taught how to use tools such as content calendars, content editor apps, and other technologies that will help guarantee your success in the field.
How to Become a Content Strategist: A Step-by-Step Guide
Below is a simple step-by-step guide you can follow if you wish to launch your career as a content strategist.
Step 1: Choose an Education Pathway
How much time and resources do you have? Your options include four-year university education, a two-year community college degree, one-year trade certification, three-to-six-month bootcamps, or self-paced online learning platforms.
Step 2: Build Your Portfolio
Yes, you can still land a job as a content strategist even if you’re new to the field. But if you want to build a career, you need to show that you can get the job done. Building up your portfolio with high-quality content and strategies to match will help you land better positions and higher-paying roles.
Step 3: Get Certified
Never stop at earning a degree, finishing an online course, and gaining work-related experience. You can always take certification exams to bolster your credibility and help you remain on top of your field.
Best Schools and Education for a Content Strategist Career
If you want to become a content strategist, there are different options available to you. University education is just one of these options. If you don’t have the time and money to start a new career, you can try shortened classes via bootcamps and online learning platforms. Here you can acquire editing skills, analytical skills, and other common skills essential for a seasoned content strategist.
Content Strategist Bootcamps
You can take advantage of bootcamp programs that will teach you about content management, content strategy, digital marketing, data analytics, web development, and more. You can earn your certificate after a few weeks or months.
The best digital marketing bootcamps also forge partnerships with companies like Google, Amazon, Uber, and LinkedIn to help their students land digital marketing jobs after graduation.
If you think a two-year or four-year education is too long, you can earn a certificate or diploma from a trade school. Aside from that, your stay at a vocational school could also prepare you for an apprenticeship or licensing exam.
Education from a community college is cheaper than a traditional university. While the yearly tuition charged by a university could be as high as $10,000 or more, the tuition in a community college is somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000. At the end of the program, you can expect to earn a diploma, certificate, or associate degree.
Content Strategist Degrees
A content strategist role is fit for people with degrees in fields such as information management, technical writing, marketing, creative writing, communications, journalism, and English. If you choose the university education path, courses in these areas will prepare you for a job as a content strategist.
The Most Important Content Strategist Certifications
Learning marketing strategy, earning a degree, landing a job, and gaining industry-relevant experience is not enough if you want to be successful as a professional content marketing strategist. Although it is not required, certifications can help you climb the corporate ladder and reach your career goals.
Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) | American Marketing Association
You can obtain this certification by passing the PCM comprehensive exam in various areas of marketing. You can choose between their Digital Marketing Pro and Digital Marketing Expert programs. The former is a professional certification that requires 30 hours of online learning, while the latter is an advanced certification requiring 120 hours of online education.
Content Analysis + Certification | Content Science Academy
Getting this certification means you have acquired essential skills and knowledge that will enable you to develop various content strategies for social media, mobile applications, websites, and other different digital experiences.
Blueprint Certification | Facebook
This digital marketing certification program is ideal for individuals who wish to attain professional status in a particular digital marketing area. This certification includes product development, media buying, marketing science, media planning, creative strategy, and Facebook advertising.
How to Prepare for Your Content Strategist Job Interview
Once you’ve earned the relevant degree, certification, or skills, it’s time to practice all you’ve learned by joining the industry. But, before you head out for a job interview, you need to prepare. With thorough preparation, you can highlight your core competencies, soft skills, and experience in an interview setting.
When possible, highlight skills like knowledge of SEO content, experience in using content strategy tools, ability to make competitive analyses, and expertise in various digital channels. However, if you’re new to the field, you can use your on-the-job training from marketing teams or advertising agencies as leverage.
Apart from these, below are some interview questions you should also get ready to answer.
Content Strategist Job Interview Practice Questions
- Tell us about the best and most successful content marketing campaign you worked on in the past. What made it successful? What was your role in that project?
- What was the worst and least successful content marketing campaign you worked on? Why was it unsuccessful? How could it have been improved?
- How do you measure the success of a content strategy? Share with us some best practices you’ve learned through the years.
- How do you feel about the collaboration with a marketing team on your content workflow? How would you deal with an unprofessional team member?
Should I Become a Content Strategist in 2021?
Yes, there are many good reasons to become a content strategist. If you’re passionate about creating effective strategies to promote a company’s products and services, you enjoy keeping up with the most recent trends in marketing, and you have a knack for planning and executing campaigns, then a career in content strategy is a great fit for you.
Content Strategist FAQ
Yes, you can still become a content strategist by attending a trade school, through online learning platforms, or by joining bootcamps. These alternative education pathways will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to navigate this field.
The answer to this question depends on your level of commitment. If you’re truly committed, and if you have an eye for design and solid copywriting skills, you will succeed no matter what challenges might come your way. However, if you’re half-hearted about your journey, even the simplest task will prove to be unbearable.
Certifications are useful to prove your competence and skill level in a particular area. However, they are not mandatory. You can take them when you want, but you can still land a job without them.
However, if you want to increase your competency in any of the skills involved in content strategy, taking the time and investing in certifications can help propel your career forward, whether you’re learning about SEO, customer service, or content writing.
Yes, you can become a digital content creator and strategist even if you don’t have a background in tech, since you can access different education pathways that will teach you the necessary skills.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.