We’re living in an age where buyers’ journeys look significantly different than they did a few short years ago. For example, in 2018, buying habits look dramatically different from 2020 and beyond. A chart compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) dives into this a bit more deeply, where you can see expenditure increases in six categories and decreases in seven categories:
Why are these statistics essential to content marketing?
I’m glad you asked – because customer journeys look different, that has a significant effect on content marketing strategies and how they play out. Consumers no longer use computers exclusively at work – and “homeschooling” is becoming the norm in many communities. These realities mean consumers are online more than ever.
While we could always count on consumers researching products and services online before making a buying decision, they’re also logging on to:
- Attend meetings and classroom sessions
- Speak to physicians, psychiatrists, and other healthcare professionals
- Connect with loved ones via email, video chat, social media, and more
- Find entertainment beyond looking up movie times
- Share their shopping, customer service, and product experiences
- Shop for their every need – not for just gifts, impulse purchases, or something they can’t find in their community
- Read news and stay up-to-date on current events
So, as your customer’s needs evolve, content marketing also does. Let’s look specifically at how the roles of writers, editors, and strategists are evolving in 2022.
Content Marketing Role #1: Strategists
A content strategy is an excellent tool for creating a clear path between marketing and sales. Target audiences spend time online differently – beyond that of their buying habits. Your content strategist understands these changes, how they’re constantly evolving, what they mean for your business, and shapes strategies to meet their needs.
Strategists create your brand’s content strategy and ensure it includes:
- Brand guidelines
- Brand messaging
- Buyer personas
- Buyer journey
- Editorial (content) calendar
- Keyword research
- Marketing objectives
- Market research
This punch list is not exhaustive or set in a particular order. Strategists are responsible for shaping strategies, ensuring the strategy’s messaging aligns with the brand’s objectives and identifying content that meets customers as they work their way through the funnel.
Content Marketing Role #2: Writers and Content Creators
While writing and content creation sound similar, there are notable differences. Content creation involves much more than just writing – it involves creating infographics, podcasts, videos, webinars, and more. Additional examples of what content creators and writers produce include:
- Case studies
- Guides and other lead magnets
- Landing pages
- Long-form articles
- Opinion pieces and essays
- Short-form blog posts
- Social campaigns
- White papers
People are using the internet differently – for example, up to 82% of consumer internet traffic involves online videos. So, if you don’t include videos (streaming, live, on-demand, and the like), then you’re missing out on a substantial piece of the pie. The same is true for podcasting – research indicates that, in 2006, 22% of American adults knew what podcasting was. However, by 2021, that number grew to 78%, and researchers believe that, by 2023, we can expect over 160 podcast listeners in the United States.
Content Marketing Role #3: Editors
A brand’s editors do much more than check content for grammar and spelling mistakes. Yes, when writers and content creators submit work, editors must ensure its flow, grammar, punctuation, and style are correct. However, they’re also responsible for ensuring writers nail your brand’s tone of voice (ToV), follow your style guide, and meet the requirements outlined in your content brief.
If you don’t have a separate SEO editor specializing in search engine optimization, you’ll also depend on your brand’s editor to check content for SEO characteristics. Examples of characteristics SEO experts use to help content rank include:
- Paragraph density
- Sentence length
- Title structures
There are also differences between content editing and copy-editing:
- Content editing: Reviewing content for ease of understanding, flow, and readability
- Copy editing: (Also: Line editing) Line-by-line editing checking for capitalization, grammar, punctuation, spelling, style, target audience (for example, if the brand wants British English instead of American), and more.
Embracing the Evolving Roles of Content Marketing
In our ever-evolving digital age, marketing and online marketing are the same. Your brand’s content marketing efforts feed search engines and social media platforms with the information consumers want – answers to their questions, options available, reviews, support, and more – before making a buying decision. Internet usage habits are also very different from a little over five years ago, with three out of ten users remaining online almost constantly.
Contact nDash today to learn more about how we help marketing teams of all sizes scale content with access to elite writers, personalized support, and simplified team management.