Hiring a content marketer? Here are the must-have skills to look for

We are living in times where demand for content marketers has increased as brands are heavily relying on content to engage with consumers. BuzzInContent.com talked to a few experts in the industry to compile a list of traits that makes a good content marketer

Akansha Srivastava
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From creating creatives, strategising communication plans, to delegating money across mediums, the pandemic has made everyone redesign their marketing strategies. While content marketing was still at a very nascent stage in India until six months ago, the global Covid-19 crisis took it to the centre stage of every brand's marketing plan.

The brands that had in the past not even begun their content marketing journeys are now trying their hands on it for the first time. Many who were doing it already are increasing their focus on this front. We saw, content marketing growing at a galloping pace.

To utilise content marketing to its full potential, one needs a team of people that understands the art and science of content marketing well. Either the traditional marketing professionals upgrade their skills or the brand team needs to hire new people who are expert content marketers. Even if a brand outsources content-related work to agencies with expertise, one still needs professionals in the brand team who understand content marketing well to remain at the forefront of the marketing play.

It's high time for every brand looking to up their content game, to have someone on board heading content.

BuzzInContent.com caught up with a few content experts in India to understand what they look for in people while hiring content marketers and what makes a good content marketer.

Gayatri Makhijani

Gayatri Makhijani, Lead, Media, Digital Marketing and Social Media, Intel India:

The content marketing professional must have a creative and strategic ability to develop content routes to market in line with brand and business objectives. Also, bring a contextual, creative and current edge to the content marketing approach. He/she should hone perfect grammar and sub-editing skills. They should have an understanding of picking up clutter-breaking and right formats. He/she should have the ability to create or even find the right partners to develop a content format that helps stand out within its space; formats that match the brief, whether it's a poll, infographic or podcast. The professional must know the art of finding the right set of partners to enable creation; be it a production house, publication, or independent artist. The understanding of the purpose of content marketing is of utmost importance. He/she must know how to marry content to the sales/business/marketing objective and not just an independent piece of content.

Hitesh Dhingra

Hitesh Dhingra, Founder and MD, The Man Company:

We are a startup and strategise most of our marketing activities around digital. There are a couple of things that one needs to keep in mind. The most important of all is the passion and dedication; not just towards the writing profession but also the brand and the startup culture. One must understand that a digitally native brand means you have to be agile and always on your toes. If you have the passion for the brand and what it stands for, what it's trying to achieve, then the rest can be taught and learnt over time. The passion and the eagerness to learn and adapt comes with the person inbuilt, and it cannot be taught.

Sajni Masturlal

Sajni Masturlal, Head of Content at Wakefit.co.:

We believe that each function has a different skillset and, hence, we hire for each skill set accordingly. We've structured the content marketing team at Wakefit in a way where one member leads initiatives on long-form content pieces, one member leads content on social handles, and one member helps us liaise in the best possible way to engage and interact with influencers. With dedicated team members to lead each initiative, it helps us grow aggressively on all fronts: Blog and SEO-rich content, social media presence in terms of campaigns and topical content and leading efforts to grow our partnerships with micro and macro-influencers.

Pragya Upadhyay

Pragya Upadhyay, Vice-President, Growth, Pee Safe:

While hiring members for our content marketing team, we emphasise upon certain attributes such as awareness of current trends and best practices of content marketing. The person should be well-versed with the languages spoken by the target audience. Apart from work-related skills, the resource should have a good ability to comprehend and align with the brand. It is imperative for our content marketing team members that they should have a thorough understanding of our products, vision and goals.

Darshan Bhatt

Darshan Bhatt, CEO, GoQuest Digital Studios:

Content marketing in today's times in a combination of understanding consumer insights + social media platform understanding + programming skills. Needless to say that the person also needs to be able to deliver measurable performances. The content marketing professional needs to wear multiple hats and while it is difficult to find people with all of the above — important is to prioritise. People need to work on any of the above traits that they do not have.

Madhura Ranade

Madhura Ranade, Head Branded Content and Partnerships, Isobar India:

In my opinion, content marketing is a broad space. From devising a content strategy to writing short and long-form content, thinking of content ideas from strong SEO point of view, to IP creation, finding the right integration opportunities basis platform and audience match for a brand – it all requires varied skillsets. It can't be one person doing everything under the sun that we feel falls under content. So identifying what we exactly need and finding people with that skill set is of utmost importance for the person to be the right hire.

Neena Dasgupta

Neena Dasgupta, CEO & Director at Zirca Digital Solutions:

In today's world, where data is the holy grail of digital marketing, it is most important the team is able to translate data to tell a story that the audience wants to hear. Another critical aspect is they need to be strategic thinkers; a trait often cannot be taught but cultivates over time. Content marketing is teamwork and in that it would be critical to have a person who can visualise content and is able to adapt it to various formats (read: articles, listicles, infographics, videos, etc.) to ensure it covers all formats for optimal amplification. Last, but not least, find someone who is curious and asks the right questions. He/she needs to be able to understand and relate to different mindsets and is able to bring into the fore various values and triggers that make up our heterogeneous world to facilitate a meaningful conversation.

Naila Patel

Naila Patel, Executive Creative Director of Mirum India:

The content marketing professional must have an impeccable command over the language and an understanding of how digital content is written. He/she should have the ability to deliver lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight content. Understanding of the popular platforms as platform-specific content is essential these days. For a senior position, we also see if the person understands how media works and can deliver CTA-based content ideas.

Hiring a content marketer