Next level unlocked: What is a content strategy consultant?

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Getting content to work – any content, really – has never been harder – even a content strategy consultant knows that. Everyone – including the competition – is now creating content in the form of website copy, articles, email campaigns, ads – you name it. Throw in some inefficient workflows and maybe team members that are learning, and it’s easy to say: “Oh, good content isn’t the answer.”

I hear you, but good content does drive results, and when teams are stuck, that’s where a content strategy consultant can come in. Let’s unpack what a content strategy consultant is and how they can help you. This article covers the following:

What is a content strategy consultant?

On the most basic level, these are (outside) experts that you can bring in for a project, training, or an ongoing basis to help with specific problems or learnings that need to be addressed. For example, let’s say the team is comprised of experienced writers, but they struggle with SEO. That team could benefit from the following:

  • an SEO writing workshop
  • ongoing coaching
  • strategy development with guidance on how to create and interlink that content

Let’s talk SEO and content

That’s just one example, and many other reasons exist why help should be on the way. In general, problems solved by content experts show up in one of these ways in a company:

Problem: The value of good content is unclear

There are still some executive leaders that don’t quite get the value of good content. But the reality is that consumers are in different parts of the marketing funnel, and there are different types of content for the varying stages of the customer journey.

It’s easy to overvalue bottom-of-the-funnel content – given that it’s usually the last touchpoint and gets the credit for the (close-to-a) sale conversion. But that’s like saying the only person on a soccer team to get the credit on an excellent play is the one that scored. Yes, the goal scorer matters! So does the person that dribbled the ball around five opponents and then passed it to another player who passed it to just the right spot for the scorer to put the ball into the net.

Getting help explaining the different areas of content can help a team be more successful. After all, any time spent on defending why content matters is taken away from actually creating content that will matter.

Read next: What does a content creator do?

Problem: Wrong content at the wrong time

Some teams have gaps in their workflow. They create content, but it’s not as strategic as it could be. Or it takes too long to create and approve. The content is too late to hop on a trend or an opportunity.

Other times, the perceived quality of the content is good – i.e., well-written article or good-looking design. But just because content passes the traditional quality assurance muster, that doesn’t mean it will perform.

A well-designed graphic served to the wrong audience or the right audience at the wrong time won’t get the job done. Well-written copy that doesn’t keep in mind how people actually read online is in the same sinking boat.

Read next: Podcast coaching for leaders: Do I need a podcast coach?

Problem: Content performance is lacking

Sometimes content just isn’t performing. There can be varying reasons for that.

In general, SEO content can take a bit to perform. Not always, but if you are early in your SEO content journey, it might take a few months or even a year to see results, perhaps longer for new websites with a low domain authority.

Sometimes, a step or expertise is missing. For example, yes, SEO traffic is one goal! But then how is that traffic converted further? Whether it’s a soft conversion to a newsletter subscription or a stronger conversion to a meeting, somebody has to set up those journeys and then measure them. As I discuss in “Is marketing a good career?” sometimes that’s a staffing problem – as in there’s no role who does those two tasks. Other times it might be a skillset problem.

Either way, a good content strategy consultant can help you work through what roles you need, why, and how to staff them.

Let’s talk SEO and content

Problem: Lacking cohesion

One problem can be that teams aren’t rowing in the same direction. One person has that goal and works toward it. Another one has a slightly different goal, and when they don’t jive, teams can quickly lack cohesion. They are still creating decent stuff on an individual level, but it’s not as strong for the overarching performance as it could be.

The different types of content strategy consultants

Think of doctors! You wouldn’t go to a foot and ankle specialist if you have a problem with your shoulder. The same holds true for when you get help from a content strategy consultant.

For example, on my LinkedIn, I state these areas of practice for me:

  • Content strategy development and evolution
  • Omni-channel strategies as part of a traditional marketing funnel or a full-circle marketing funnel
  • Podcast and livestream coaching, production, and strategy
  • SEO strategy and implementation
  • Team coaching
  • Website copy and conversion strategies

But, I don’t offer services in content design, for example.

Read next: What’s voice search SEO?

Gap analysis

It’s good to know what areas your content consultant specializes in and if that’s the area you actually need help in.

But also keep in mind that sometimes, you might not know what you don’t know. That’s another opportunity to work with a content expert. Perhaps they can take a look at the current state and make suggestions for improvements – even when the current state is pretty decent.

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