Hiring a content marketer for your startup is crucial to your traffic. In today’s competitive world, it isn’t enough to just find a content marketer, but to hire the best one! However, don’t expect it to be easy. As we saw with SEO professionals, there are a bunch of self-proclaimed content marketers nowadays who isn’t truly adept in the field. Worse, you wouldn’t probably call their bluff.
In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 Benchmark Report, 55% of people who involved content marketing in their work are unsure about an effective content marketing, and only 30% can say for certain that their work is effective.
These numbers matter. Your site’s content plays a major role in the growth of user acquisition. Meaning, it’s one of the leading factors behind how and why your product or service sells. The problem is, there are misconceptions about what a content marketer is, and his roles. To hire the best content marketer, the only way to do it is to learn what content marketer’s job entails, and how to pick the best person for the job — that’s the goal of this post.
Responsibilities of a content marketer
People frequently confuse content marketers with writers. Though they have similar responsibilities, these two jobs differ greatly from one another. Content marketers are typically more competitive than writers, and they wear multiple hats. Though writers create content, too, and content marketers also write, the latter mainly develops a vision for content.
Here are the responsibilities of a content marketer:
- Content marketers are the people behind the planning, researching, execution, and result analysis of the site’s content. In other words, they drive the company’s content efforts.
- They develop content strategies to achieve the company’s goals.
- They plan and study the entire content strategy.
- They work and liaise with other shareholders in the execution of content strategy.
- They deal with writers, designers, product marketers, sales teams and external content sources in content production based on the strategy.
- They edit all the produce content.
- They proofread and prepare all content prior to publication.
It’s important to have a clear conception of the responsibilities of content marketers, and what they can do. This way you will know what to expect, and what to look for a person who is a content marketer candidate for your startup.
Qualities and characteristics of a good content marketer:
Someone who understands and uses data
Content marketers make decisions based on data. They rely on numbers, and statistics when developing strategies to deliver results based on their organization’s goals. According to a research from OMI, content marketers who can perform analytics are what 27% of companies seek for.
Someone who is a people person
The age of content marketers hiding behind their desks is done. These people who are good with their work are usually seen in front. They work and connect with people, but still devise and implement successful campaigns. Interacting with different teams and departments is part of their job. Therefore, content marketers must be a people person. They must be good at interacting with audiences, influencers and other people to be able to achieve results.
Someone who is always online
Content marketers rarely go offline. With all the work they have on their shoulders, it’s justifiable, why one statistic says ‘60% of marketers have delayed going to the bathroom to meet a work deadline,’ and ‘90% check email at night or on weekends.’
Content marketers are always facing their computer screens because they are always engaging with the community even outside office hours. They respond and comment to audience’s in other time-zones, while also creating content.
How to find the best content marketer?
Now that you know the characteristics of a good content marketer, you now have better odds of finding the best one. Successful companies are keen with hiring employees that they make sure to implement a rigorous process prior employment. This allows them to weed out poor applicants, even before they set an interview. Here’s how they do it:
Write a solid job ad
Creating a prequalifying job ad, doesn’t only inform potential employees about your job vacancy, it will also reduce the poor resumes you receive. When writing a solid job ad, you must include details about your company, your culture, and environment. You must accurately spell out an idea about how to work at your company. The job ad must reflect your expectations for the candidate, and the requirements they have to reach. When looking for a content marketer, you should at least ask to provide the following:
Looking at the candidate’s resume will allow you to learn about his dedication to work. You will be able to identify your candidate’s character and traits. Their records must reflect a strong bond with the company they worked for, and you can learn about it with the duration of their jobs. If they received awards and recognition, it would signal motivation, determination and their ability to work under pressure.
Work Sample Links
Asking for a couple of links will reveal the content marketers writing style, and other content-related activities. Notice if the content marketer can write in an engaging style, or if they have their own voice when communicating with the audience. Can they deliver thoughts in a concise, and clear way? Is the audience in favor of the candidate’s writing? Generally, looking into the work sample links will give you an idea of the content marketer’s strengths and weaknesses. You will know if his style fits what you’re looking for.
Recruiting a content marketer
After gathering a good amount of sparkling resumes, next is the recruitment process. It is highly suggested that you provide a (paid) writing exercise for this step.
Pick the top candidates, and ask them to write a sample piece. When choosing the topic for your writing exercise, make sure you know a lot about it. Ask the candidates to create a draft about a subject you are knowledgeable to be able to assess the quality of their piece, and if you share the same views. This exercise will let your candidates know how to work with you, and how you give instructions. On your side as an employer, you will discover how they work on a piece with you when you ask for revisions. After the writing exercise, you will be able to shortlist candidates who will proceed to the interview.
As Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ explains:
“The typical job interview process fixates on ensuring that new hires are technically competent. But coachability, emotional intelligence, motivation and temperament are much more predictive of a new hires success or failure. Do technical skills really matter if the employee isn’t open to improving, alienates their coworkers, lacks emotional intelligence and has the wrong personality for the job?”
The interview is a vital part of the recruitment process as it allows you to discover the candidate’s competence, and the qualities you’re looking for. Learn more about their experience, and see if there’s a personal fit with you.
Your content marketers’ onboarding
Many companies miss out the importance of the onboarding process. This is an essential step as it reflects the candidate’s ability to smoothly integrate with the team. Furthermore, multiple companies who do nothing for their new employees’ onboarding end up losing a quarter of new hires within a year. Resulting in an additional cost of about $65000 for replacing the people they lost. To help you develop an effective process to onboard new hires, here are some ideas:
Creating their first week tasks
Once you have chosen your new content marketers, make sure you will clearly communicate what you expect with them. Assign someone who will collaborate with the new hires for a better introduction.
Arranging their workstation
Setting up the new hires’ work station will save you time, and will make them more efficient. If you can, provide them the hardware and software they use for work. You may also need to connect them to the softwares that the company uses (e.g.. Slack, Trello). Teach them how to use this software if they haven’t used it before.
Get to know the new hires
It is important that your new hires will feel welcomed and comfortable in their new work environment. You can help them by scheduling an office lunch or downtime for everyone to get to know the new hires. You may want to do it on their first day, so they could get acquainted with everyone. This helps develop strong bonds with their new teams.
Teach all the processes
Never leave all the learnings to the new employees. Help the new hires learn about your startup, the internal processes, responsibilities and workflow. Teaching them everything they need to know about their work and the company will help you save a lot of time and cost.