Cutting through the clutter with your brand messaging is increasingly harder as the online ecosystem continues to be saturated with new companies looking to launch and big brands dumping millions into content marketing. Many companies are simultaneously trying to manage their social media strategies, traditional marketing campaigns, and business development efforts but finding difficulty with message consistency. If you treat these things as separate, the message is going to be inconsistent and you are going to confuse your customers. They should all relate to and compliment each other.
The content strategist is going to play an important role this year and continuing into next. Content drives traffic, engagement and sales but when there is no strategy behind what you are posting and you don't define any measurable goals, you are destined for failure. Hiring a content strategist will help you align your content with actual business objectives so that everything you post has purpose. A content strategist will also help you identify the type of content you should be posting, based on the needs of your industry and customer segment. Unfortunately this is not a role that a copywriter can play, unless they have extensive business strategy experience. It is also not a role that any marketing executive can take on either. A content strategist is a hybrid role; part marketer, part writer, and part chief creative officer. They help you with content planning, defining your audience, measuring traction, creating unique content, and maintaining brand voice consistency.
Your content plan should always be tied to your business objectives and the type of content you post should reflect the personality and style of your brand. If you haven't hired a content strategist yet, perhaps it's time to start your search.
Writers, like many artists often get screwed when it comes to pay. There are so many inexperienced writers willing to work for peanuts that it actually cheapens the industry and is damaging to the profession as a whole. Writers must have standards, and must believe in what they are worth - especially experienced writers. Writing is a special skill that takes talent and time. Not just anybody can be a writer, and how well you communicate as a company or a brand is one of the most important factors of success in today's economy.
Personally, I try to avoid hourly rates because not all projects and clients are equal. Sometimes I will work hourly if the client requests it, but more often than not I will quote on a project as a whole. This allows me to think through all of the variables of the project like how much research is required, do I need to conduct interviews, are there reports and papers to sift through, and how demanding is the client? Every project is unique. There are of course certain standards that I like to adhere to and I very much rely on those when quoting out a project. So far the best resource I have found on how much to pay writers is from the Professional Writers Association of Canada. They have published a comprehensive guide detailing different types of projects and what the going rates are for professional writers. It's a great starting point. Of course there is always room to negotiate and be flexible, but writers must be careful not to undersell themselves and accept work that either doesn't pay or pays poorly. Clients can use this resource too as a guage for e
Click here to review the PWAC's guidelines.