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.
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.
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.
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.
There is more than one reason why you should consider becoming a content strategist. The best reasons include the following.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below is a simple step-by-step guide you can follow if you wish to launch your career as a content strategist.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.