Emails, newsletters, social media posts and infographics are all useful ways to engage your audience, attract new prospects and grow your business.

However, these inbound marketing tactics need to be planned and delivered by an experienced content strategist that understands your industry.

While many marketer’s finally documented their editorial calendars in 2016, in 2017 it will be even more important to avoid hiring a content strategist poorly-suited for your business.

Valuable content strategists are emerging from media and marketing workforces but you need to locate those that walk the walk.

Know how to hire the right content strategist to effectively share your vision with your audience.


What is Your 2017 Content Strategy?

Ask yourself several integral questions to clarify your business needs and what you are expecting from your hired content strategist.

  1. Look at your workflow and decide which tasks you would like to allocate to the content strategist. Is it pure ideation, some execution, or total outsourcing of the process? No content strategist enjoys scope creep. Agree upon roles and expectations from the start or risk going through the hiring process again in a few months.
  2. How much can you allocate per month for strategy alone → this will help decide the level of strategist you can afford and more specifically, the hours they are allotted each week.
  3. Do you know the quality and style of content you need consistently delivered? Gather 1 – 3 samples of blog posts, white papers, and more that you consider to be the gold standard. This will make it much easier for you to communicate the preferred type, voice and style of needed content.
  4. Do you have an existing style guide or has yours been recently updated? This style guide was written for the U.S. Energy Information Administration, but B2B and B2C businesses need some set of guidelines in place to create consistent content for any person writing and publishing content. Review additional examples of “house style” for a range of purposes and industries.

Be able to show, as well as tell, what you will require from any new hire.

What to Ask Your Strategist

You have picked a few applicants that look good on paper. Know here is what you ask to see how their experience aligns with your needs.

  1. What is your ideation process? If you’re relying on your strategist to help you find engaging topics and attention grabbing blog post titles, it’s important to know how they go about the process.
  2. What KPI’s have you used to measure previous success using this process? What are some wins they have previously captured using the previously mentioned strategy and is it significant enough to entice you to hire them? How long did it take for them to capture them?
  3. What tools are you using for ideation and optimization? Every strategist will use different tools throughout the various planning, creation, optimization, and measurement processes. You will want to be sure the most important tools are on par with the ones you’re currently or planning to use internally. Did you invest in the HubSpot COS to drive your blog, yet this strategist has little or no experience using it?
  4. What is your experience within my industry? You want your strategist to understand how content applies specifically to your industry and what types will resonate best with your target audience.

Before you wrap up your introductory call, remember to define and agree upon deliverables, timelines and the hours necessary for specified tasks.

Get clear on your needs and expectations today, and if you’re ready to begin the process, WriterAccess provides access to the best U.S. based content strategists hailing from top agencies, Fortune 1000’s, and more.

Get excited; the 2017 Content Marketing Conference will be providing the biggest and brightest stars in content marketing and content strategy.