10 Content Marketing Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

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By Boris Dzhingarov

Content marketing is a crucial strategy for entrepreneurs and small business owners to build their brand, attract customers, and grow their business. Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing focuses on creating valuable, relevant, and compelling content to naturally attract and convert an audience.

Developing content marketing skills is essential for entrepreneurs who want to master this strategy. Here are 10 of the most important content marketing skills every entrepreneur needs.

1. Strategic Planning

Having a clearly defined strategic plan is the key to creating an effective and focused content marketing strategy. You need to set clear goals, thoroughly identify your target audience buyer personas, determine the best content formats and platforms you’ll use, and thoughtfully map out engaging topics and content types that align to your goals. A thoughtful, well-developed plan will ensure your content aligns with your core business objectives and deeply resonates with your ideal customers.

2. Audience Research

Taking the time to truly understand your target audience inside and out is vital for creating content that directly speaks to their pain points, challenges, interests, behavior patterns, and underlying motivations. Conduct in-depth audience research through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and analytics tools to gain comprehensive insights into who your ideal customers are and what they care about. Use these insights to assemble detailed buyer personas that will directly inform your content creation.

3. Copywriting

Excellent copywriting skills are the ability to write clear, compelling, persuasive, and engaging text content that grabs readers’ attention. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need top-notch copywriting skills to create blog posts, guides, emails, ad copy, social media posts, and all other types of content. Study the fundamentals and best practices of impactful copywriting like strong formatting, strategic word choice, enticing headlines, and conversational but persuasive tone.

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4. Storytelling

Human beings are inherently wired to respond emotionally and intellectually to compelling stories. Develop excellent storytelling skills to craft narratives around your brand, products, and content that educate, entertain, create meaning, and emotionally connect with your audience. Strategically use stories and anecdotes to humanize your brand, explain complex topics, and make abstract content more concrete, memorable, and impactful for readers. Master classic storytelling elements like character, conflict, plot, dramatic arc, and powerful figurative language.

5. Graphic Design

Having visually appealing design elements makes content more enticing, professional, and digestible for audiences. Even if you work with a designer, having basic graphic design skills allows entrepreneurs to easily create social media graphics, presentations, ads, infographics, and other visual content themselves. Learn fundamental design principles, color theory, and typography. Use Canva or other user-friendly DIY graphic design templates to create polished, branded visual content.

6. Video Production

Engaging video content reigns supreme in content marketing today, consistently driving high visibility, social engagement, and conversions. Entrepreneurs should learn basic video production skills like scriptwriting, visual storyboarding, filming, lighting, audio, editing, and more. Invest in decent video equipment and user-friendly editing software. Start by producing easy videos like behind-the-scenes footage, Q&As, tutorials, and branded content to hone your video skills over time.

7. SEO Best Practices

Optimizing content for search engine visibility helps more people find your content in Google and Bing. Become fluent in core SEO best practices like keyword research, metadata implementation, alt text, backlinks, site architecture, page speed, etc. Use SEO tools and checklists to analyze your content and identify opportunities for better on-page and off-page optimization. Having a solid grasp of SEO will maximize your content’s visibility and reach.

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8. Content Promotion

Even amazing content means little if no one sees it or engages with it. Savvy entrepreneurs must master creative content promotion across social media, email, PPC ads, influencer partnerships, organic blogging, and any other relevant channels. Set up an editorial content promotion schedule when you publish new content. Consistently promote your content in smaller doses over time. Track performance data to see which specific promotion tactics work well vs underperform.

9. Analytics and Reporting

Accurately measuring your overall content marketing performance through key metrics and analytics is crucial for optimizing your strategy and proving overall ROI. Develop strong analytics skills to gather data on metrics like website traffic, social engagement, email open rates, click-through rates, conversions, sales, and more. Use tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, email marketing reports, and others. Analyze the data to create professional reports that provide strategic insights.

10. Agility and Testing

The content marketing landscape evolves extremely quickly. Successful entrepreneurs stay agile, keeping up with new trends and constantly testing innovative content formats, platforms, styles, and distribution methods. Continuously experiment with different creative approaches and analyze the performance data to determine what content types and tactics resonate most with your audience and support your goals.

How to Measure the Success of a Content Marketing Strategy

  • Set specific goals and KPIs. Define goals like traffic, leads, sales, etc., and set quantifiable KPIs to track progress. This focuses your measurement.
  • Use UTM campaign tags. Tag your content with campaign parameters so you can track its performance in analytics. This helps attribute conversions to specific content.
  • Analyze traffic sources. See which sources like social, email, and organic search drive the most traffic. Focus efforts on high-value sources.
  • Track conversions. Install tracking pixels to monitor actions like email signups, downloads, and purchases. Tie conversions back to the referring content.
  • Calculate lead value. Determine the average value per lead based on sales revenue and lead volume. This estimates content’s contribution to the pipeline.
  • Analyze cost per lead. Add up content creation, promotion, and distribution costs. Divide by the number of leads to get cost per lead. Compare to lead value.
  • Focus on long-term value. Measure indirect ROI like brand building and customer loyalty. Content often provides value beyond short-term sales.
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With strategic measurement approaches, you can determine content marketing ROI and refine your strategy for maximum business impact.

Mastering these 10 expanded skills will empower entrepreneurs to create remarkable content that grows their brand, engages their audience, and drives key business goals forward. Dedicate time to sharpen your skills through online courses, books, mentoring, and diligent hands-on practice. Leverage tools and resources to improve the quality, creativity, and business impact of your content marketing. With strategic, skillful content marketing, entrepreneurs can build a loyal audience and thrive.