Being a t-shaped marketer is all about how marketers can broaden their marketing skillset. If you’re a content marketer, you might be thinking about expanding your marketing knowledge to other areas so you can become a more well-rounded marketer.

In this article, we’ll take you through the basics of what a t-shaped marketer is, the skills needed to be a t-shaped content marketer, and how content impacts other facets of marketing.

How to leverage blog content to generate leads
Writing engaging content to draw an audience is just the tip of the iceberg; once you capture their attention you need to capture their information through something we call ‘lead generation’.

What is a t-shaped marketer?

Being t-shaped marketer means developing an understanding of all the components needed to be a well-rounded marketer, alongside your specialty.

The horizontal bar of the “T” represents the different skill sets of a marketer, like content, SEO, social media, etc., and the vertical bar demonstrates the depth of experience a marketer has in each skill set. T-shaped marketers have extensive knowledge in one facet of marketing, but with sufficient experience in other areas.

For a more in-depth look at what a t-shaped marketer is and how you can develop the skills needed to become one, you can check out our general t-shaped marketer article.

Skills needed to be a t-shaped content marketer

Content marketing requires a wealth of skills. It’s all about creating a strategic approach that’s focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant content on a regular basis to attract and retain a specific audience.

The ultimate goal of content is to drive sales by either encouraging current customers to continue to use a company’s services, or driving new customers to your site and piquing their interest.

Here are just some of the skills required to be a successful content marketer.

Copywriting

Perhaps the most crucial skill you can develop as a content marketer is copywriting. Writing amazing copy helps your brand build a rapport with your audience. Producing compelling articles and whitepapers not only helps sell your products and organization, but engaging with trending topics and the latest innovations positions your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

Some people will naturally have more of a knack for writing than others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t develop your ability and improve over time, just like with any other skill. Here’s how you can develop your copywriting skills:

  • Read about your industry

They say to be a great writer you also need to be a great reader, and the same is true for copywriters. Subscribe to blogs in your industry and read a wide variety of relevant content to deepen your knowledge and get inspired by other content marketers.

  • Write for your reader

Your brand likely has a buyer persona, and it’s this hypothetical person you’re writing for. The industry you write in and the demographics you’re writing for (such as the role they might have in their organization) can have a big impact on the kind of language you use and the tone of your writing. You need to learn how to get into the head of your ideal reader and write for them. It’s a skill that will serve you well in any content marketing role.

  • Get feedback

Writing is a solitary activity most of the time, but you shouldn’t work in a vacuum. When you’re done with the piece, get some feedback from your colleagues (aside from the usual spelling and grammar check). Find a coworker who’s willing to check your work and offer constructive feedback so you can improve.

  • Practice makes perfect  

Like learning to play the piano, you’re going to have to start with basic scales and build your way up to Beethoven. All the reading and writing courses in the world can’t compete with good old-fashioned practice. The more you write, the better your skills will develop. So to boost your copywriting skills, produce as much content as feasibly possible and apply any feedback that comes your way.

How to create content for “boring” industries
Everyone has an interesting story to tell, even if they don’t know it. I’ve found this to be especially true in working with leadership, colleagues, and even clients and brand partners. All it takes is a little reframing and digging.

Storytelling

Marketing is moving away from the hard sell, today it’s more about the story. Brands are more likely to be remembered when they tell a story, considering that 50% of B2B buyers are more likely to make a purchase if they connect emotionally with the company. So rather than trying to plug your products and services, think about how you can tell a good story with a piece of content to connect to your audience.

Editing

Self-editing is a crucial skill for any content marketer. Even though you’ll always want a second pair of eyes on your work before it gets published, being able to pick up on your own mistakes and make adjustments will make producing content much smoother. It’s also a valuable skill to have in general so you can lend your eyes to the work of other content marketers, or social media marketers creating social posts. Developing editing skills requires you to understand your company’s brand guidelines, tone of voice, and writing style in great detail.

Data analysis

Once your content is out there, you can’t just forget about it. Keeping up with analytics can help you proactively plan for future campaigns. Track how your content is performing, see which articles have the highest number of views, or which reports are getting the most downloads. You can also keep an eye on which pieces of content lead to the most conversions. By tracking the data, you can find out what content is working and what isn’t, and make data-informed decisions about future content output.

Finding the right tone of voice for your content marketing
Finding the right tone of voice is essential to communicate effectively, particularly when it comes to B2B marketing.

How content impacts other forms of marketing

Being a t-shaped content marketer is about more than developing your content skills. You need a working knowledge of all other areas of marketing, and how these skills relate to content and can be transferred over.

  • Email

Email and content go hand in hand, fueling each other by helping to expand your reach. They both share the goal of building loyalty and brand awareness through the sending and sharing of content. You need to develop an understanding of the types of content that will generate click-throughs and be able to communicate parts of your content to an email marketer so they can create an effective subject line and email copy.

  • Social media

Content is crucial for a social media strategy. A lot of your social media posts will involve promoting pieces of content, like blog posts and infographics. Social media is also a useful platform to receive feedback on your content in the form of comments, and you can even get input from your followers as to what kind of content you should be putting out. You can work with the social media marketer to ensure the tone of their social posts matches up with the tone of your content.

  • Video

Video is an incredibly effective marketing tool, with many people considering it to be the future of marketing. As a content marketer, you can craft the scripts used in your promotional videos, provide transcripts to make them more accessible to users, and provide effective video descriptions so they can be found on search engines.

  • SEO

SEO and content naturally complement each other, helping to fuel a successful digital marketing campaign. By using strong SEO techniques with search engines in mind, you can make your content more visible by getting it to show higher up in search results. You can help out your SEO team by ensuring your content is optimized with the appropriate keywords and phrases that are relevant to your audience.

  • UX

88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience, so poor UX is best avoided. Cohesion between content and UX can help build brand awareness and industry authority. A good internal linking system helps keep users engaged with your content, so they can jump through a stream of relevant articles, creating a seamless experience for them.

  • Paid media

Paid media fits into your overall content distribution strategy, helping to amplify its reach using media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook to boost your overall brand awareness. It encourages people to engage with your content, leave comments or share it.

What content works for boosting your customer retention?
Content marketing: great for generating and nurturing leads. But what about customer retention? That’s where a customer retention content strategy can come in.

Final thoughts

Marketers shouldn’t be limiting themselves to one single skill set. Developing your content marketing skills can mean you’re better placed to jump in and help in other marketing departments down the line, offering valuable insights from a content perspective, and fueling your overall marketing strategy.

Want to learn more about becoming a t-shaped marketer? Or honing your content marketing skills? Join the B2B Marketing Alliance Community!