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What is a content strategist? The Ultimate Guide

content strategist
By James Rose. Last Updated June 17, 2024
Content strategist

Did you know that the demand for content strategists is at an all-time high? We live in an age where the creation of online content is one of the top marketing platforms that a company can invest in which clearly drives the need for a position such as a content strategist. Let’s dive into what this position actually is, what a content strategist can do for you, and how you can become one yourself.

What is Content?

Before we get too far into what a content strategist does, let’s talk about content. Online content is the information you are coming to a website or an app to see. It can be any number of things, including blog posts, eBooks, White Papers, audio recordings, videos, social media posts, memes, infographics, or statistics, just to name a few.

Content strategy, then, is a plan or a guide for putting this content into action to get a desirable result for the company and for the visitor.

What is a content strategist?

The role of a content strategist sounds fairly straight forward – they listen to a client or company’s needs, working to understand their business and marketing goals. Once they have collected the information that they need, they can then come up with a clear, content-driven plan to make the company’s goals a reality.

Not only is a content strategist’s job to focus on their client’s wants and needs but they also work to understand their target audience. A content strategist has to understand the target audience’s needs to build quality content to bring them to the website. This comes down to a variety of different things including keywords as well as suggestions on design, layout, photos, and anything else they deem relevant.

What can a content strategist do for my business?

 A content strategist’s job is to attract quality inbound traffic to their client’s website which hopefully result in conversions. This is the whole point of creating content for your website and why you would hire a content strategist.

Content is created to attract visitors to your website. Unless you run a personal blog or website with no real end goal in mind, the goal of creating content is more than just having something for people to read. If you’re a business with a product or service, your goal is to turn a search for content into a sale. There are other types of conversation, too, like getting people to sign up for a newsletter or clicking on a referral link in the content.

What steps are involved?

A content strategist takes you through four steps to create content for your business.

Step 1: Planning the content

Planning the content

A content strategist helps you plan content by doing their own extensive research and asking you a variety of questions. They need to know your business and marketing goals, your competitors, your current online marketing techniques, and website statistics. Most importantly, they need a list of keywords that you feel best describe your business, products, or services. From there, they conduct research using search engine optimization (SEO) tools and techniques as well as their own keyword research.

Keyword research is integral in creating content because these are the main words your content is created around. Your content strategist analyzes keywords on your behalf, making strategic decisions on where to start. These decisions are made according to your domain authority and backlink analysis, among other factors.

Step 2: Creating the content

The next step is taking these keywords and creating the content. Whether you choose to write the content yourself or your content strategist assigns their team to write content for you, everyone needs to be on the same page. You work together to decide on a tone for your content as well as how long the content to be, how much you require, and how often you wish to post something new.

Step 3: Publishing the content

This isn’t as simple as uploading a file and clicking “publish”. A lot more that goes into publishing content before it’s released onto the internet. Your content strategist makes necessary edits to the content itself, including style and format, and checks its SEO. This can mean a variety of things, such as readability, keyword inclusion, word count, and the potential for backlinks. Once they are confident that your content is the best it can be, it’s ready for publishing.

Step 4: Maintaining the content

Your content strategist follows up on how your content performed after it was published. This could mean analyzing the number of quality hits it received, where the hits were coming from, and if any conversions were achieved. The client’s wants and needs determine whether or not the content was successful or whether a different strategy needs to be implemented. A content strategist’s work is never done and all content strategy needs to be tweaked and followed up on.

How do you become a content strategist?

So, you think you want to become a content strategist? We don’t blame you, it’s a pretty awesome job. Although job requirements aren’t set in stone, you generally need a good five years of experience as a digital content manager or in a related field. Communication and copywriting skills are beneficial and a bachelor’s degree in a field such as journalism, English, communications or marketing is also a huge asset.

A content strategist is game-changing for your company’s digital marketing strategy. Years of experience and results back up a content strategist’s methods. They will listen to your marketing needs and do everything in their power to make them a reality.


James Rose

James is the co-founder of Content Snare - a software platform that helps professionals collect content & files from clients.

Once an automation engineer, his new priority is to help business owners regain their lives, be more productive and get more done in less time.