Content Marketing Skills You’ll Need from Now Henceforth (After the AI outburst)

24 Content Marketing Skills You’ll Need from Now Henceforth (After the AI outburst) _ MediaOne Singapore

Let’s face it — AI is the new black. And the most scared of us can’t ignore it taking over the digital world. Content marketers must prepare for a future where AI is part of many of their work routines. We’ve already seen its effects on marketing automation, customer service platforms, and email writing.

Who would have predicted that ChatGPT and other generative AI models would be turned into mini-copywriters? 

Probably no one.

Things are changing fast, and content marketers must prepare for the AI onslaught. AI might not replace us entirely, but it will amplify our skills and help us become even more efficient. 

So, what skills do you need to stay ahead of the AI game? Here are 24 content marketing skills that will be invaluable in a future where AI is an integral part of your workflow:

#1. Differentiated Writing in Content Marketing

Content marketing is more than just churning out words. You must ensure your content stands out from the competition and resonates with your target audience. Differentiated writing requires you to develop unique ideas, angles, and stories that engage readers.

It’s time writers shored up their writing skills. Regardless of how many AI tools come to the market, the quality of your writing still rests on your shoulders. Unique content will always stick out in the sea of generic automated content.

#2. Content Curation

Content curation is the art of finding, organizing, and sharing content from various relevant sources with your target audience. It helps you keep up with industry trends while adding value to your readers.

Content curation can also help you discover new ideas for creating content or uncover stories that resonate with your target audience.

#3. Tagging for Audience Segments

A well-defined tagging system can help you organize your content and easily segment it for different audiences. We’ll no longer be able to rely on human intuition or label content as blog posts, webinars, or videos.

Instead, we want to consider more granular factors such as buyer personas, buyer’s journey stages, industry verticals, and more to ensure your content is tailored for your target audience.

#4. Data-Driven Storytelling

AI has allowed us to crunch data faster than ever before. It’s time writers start utilizing this information when creating stories. Data-driven storytelling takes advantage of insights from customer data sets to craft meaningful narratives that will resonate with readers.

Data-driven stories can help show your audience that you genuinely understand their needs and how the data impacts them.

#5. Content Automation/Optimization

Content automation is a great way to optimize your content for maximum reach. Investing in tools and technologies that automate content publishing, optimization, and management can save time while increasing efficiency.

Content automation can help you ensure that all your content is up-to-date, optimized for search engines, and tailored to specific audiences. Additionally, automated tools make it easier to repurpose existing content or create variations of the same piece of content in different formats.

#6. Strategy, Planning, and Execution

It’s time content marketers became more strategic with their content approach. That’s because only planners and thinkers will come out on top in the future. Planning ahead ensures you create content that resonates with your audience and serves your business goals.

Content marketers need to be able to develop strategies, plan content in advance, and execute the plans. It’s no longer enough just to write blog posts or create videos — you must learn to think beyond that.

#7. Communication and Collaboration

Communication and collaboration are key for content marketers. They should learn to communicate, share, and collaborate with other team members.

Silos have been a challenge for content marketers in the past, but they need to be broken down, and collaboration needs to be encouraged across departments.

Marketers should start enforcing, or even forcing, collaboration, conversation, and communication between different teams, departments, tactics, and strategies. The more your organization talks, collaborates, atomizes,  and supports each other’s efforts, the more successful your content efforts will be across channels. 

#8. Strategic Prioritization

Marketers must develop the skill of discernment and learn to prioritize strategically, or else they’ll end up burning out from continually responding to urgent requests or chasing the next new shiny objects. 

Knowing how to prioritize tasks, campaigns, projects, and initiatives will help marketers create content that aligns with their goals. This skill also helps them manage their time better by allocating resources to tasks and initiatives that are most important for the success of their campaigns.

#9. Audience Research

Content marketers must learn to get in the head of their target customers and understand their needs, wants, behaviour patterns, emotional triggers, and pain points.

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It helps to talk to your audience and extract every bit of insight you can get from conversations or surveys. Additionally, look into industry trends and the knowledge base of customers to create content that resonates with your target market.

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Sit in on calls and demos to learn and understand the customer’s journey, interests, and challenges. That’s not all, do social listening, scan reviews, create focus groups, or launch polls to stay up to date with customer needs and preferences.

#10. Behavioural-science-backed Messaging

Marketers must leverage psychology to create messaging that accounts for how people think and make decisions. The information must be presented to resonate with the customers’ minds and create an emotional connection between their needs, wants, and your products or services.

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Most of the time, customers don’t even know why they buy things. They might think they do, but the real reason is that those products solve a deep-rooted problem or satisfy an emotional need. Some of these factors are hardwired in their human psyche, so marketers need to tap into them if they want to succeed with their campaigns.

They must understand how people process information and how emotions, social norms, and external motivations influence their choices. Only then can you craft content that resonates with your target market.

#11. Visual Storytelling

Visual storytelling is an integral part of content marketing. Images, videos, infographics, and other visuals can be used to engage customers in a way that words alone cannot. 

Visuals help to paint a picture for the customer and provide context around problem/solution scenarios or use cases. They break up text-heavy pieces of content and make them easier to digest and understand at a glance. Additionally, visuals can be used to evoke emotions and create an emotional connection with the customer, which is key to effective content marketing.

In today’s world of AI-driven recommendations and a saturated market, marketers must focus on visual storytelling to stand out and create an impact. It’s no longer enough to produce words — visuals are the key to connection.

#12. Constant Exploration and Upskilling

Learning is a never-ending process. There is always something new to learn, try, or test out. New technologies and tools are constantly being released, so marketers must keep up with the changing trends and continuously explore new ideas and possibilities. 

Additionally, upskilling yourself on various aspects of content marketing, such as SEO, social media management, analytics, and more, can help marketers stay ahead of the competition and remain competitive. 

Marketers should also continuously look for new opportunities to reach their target market. As new channels emerge, they must learn to adapt and leverage these platforms to reach their target audience. That requires marketers to think outside the box and develop innovative solutions to engage customers on different levels.

#13. Hard Work and Networking 

Content marketing is not for the faint of heart. It requires dedication, hard work, and a lot of trial and error. You must never shy away from challenges and be willing to put in the extra effort required to stand out. 

If you don’t get out there and engage with the industry, you’ll miss out on invaluable networking opportunities. Building relationships and connecting with key players in your field can help you find new ideas, trends, and insights that will prove to be valuable for your content marketing strategy. 

Having a solid network will also open up possibilities for collaborations and partnerships – something that could have a massive impact on your success and growth.

#14. Deib Advocacy

Marketers must amplify their competencies in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) to find, connect, and drive long-term loyalty with modern audiences. 

That includes understanding how to be mindful of potential biases, creating content tailored to their audience’s needs, and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. 

Marketers should also be aware of the ethical implications associated with their campaigns and strive to create meaningful content that seeks to make a positive difference in society. That will help them build trust and loyalty with their consumers while promoting a culture of inclusivity.

#15. Relationship and Project Management

Content marketing is undergoing massive changes. What worked before may not work now, and you’ll need to remain agile to keep up with the trends. 

From now on, marketers may need to focus on things that AI can’t do, like developing relationships, managing projects, cross-team collaborations, human connection, strategy and vision, and more. 

Boiled down, marketing is all about relationships. Building and managing internal and external relationships will become key in the future of content marketing. 

Marketers must understand how to manage stakeholder relationships, optimize workflow and processes, and collaborate effectively across teams. That could include cultivating healthy relationships with influencers, optimizing campaigns for better ROI, or managing budgets. 

The strength of AI tools like ChatGPT isn’t in what they generate but in their ability to help marketers connect with customers and drive greater engagement. Content marketing is no longer just about creating content; it’s about using the technology available to create meaningful connections with your audience.

#16. Outcome-driven Analysis

Content marketers must understand how attribution works. It all narrows down to the ability to track performance, measure success and identify areas of improvement. 

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In this age of economic turmoil, marketers must be able to tell that each dollar they invest in content marketing yields, say, $3 in return. It’s impossible to establish the ROI of content marketing without understanding its impact on a brand’s overall performance. 

Data-driven decision-making will be critical for effectively measuring and optimizing content campaigns. Content marketers must be able to track customer behaviour patterns, analyze data points and pull insights from various sources to make informed decisions.

#17. Deep Organization Knowledge

Organizational longevity is rooted in the knowledge of its staff. Content marketers must be able to take on multiple roles and responsibilities, from managing teams and campaigns to developing strategies. They need a deep understanding of their company’s goals, target audience, and available resources. 

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Job hopping and the on-demand economy can make it difficult to acquire such knowledge. Content marketers must understand the value of staying in one place and investing long-term in their skills.

#18. A Creative Mindset

Content marketing requires creativity but also a certain level of discipline. Content marketers must be able to think outside the box while still adhering to brand guidelines, market trends, and audience preferences. 

They must develop original ideas to capture attention and engage audiences while staying true to their brand’s values and vision. Content marketers must understand the power of storytelling, visuals, multimedia elements, and other creative tools to create engaging content.

#19. Risk Tolerance and Bravery

Content marketing isn’t for the faint of heart. Content marketers need to be willing to take risks and try new things. They must stay abreast of industry trends, embrace innovation, and be brave enough to pivot when necessary. 

Milquetoast content will only get you so far. Content marketers must think big and push the envelope to maximize their reach and impact. They need to take risks without fear of failure and learn from mistakes to improve their output continuously. 

Some of the risks you can take as a content marketer include creating content that challenges the status quo, using data-driven insights to inform your strategy, and experimenting with different content formats.

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#20. Test-Learn-Adapt Mindset 

Content marketing should be seen as an ever-evolving process. Content marketers must continuously measure, analyze, and adjust their strategies to ensure maximum efficacy. They need to be able to track metrics such as engagement rate, website traffic, conversion rate, and ROI to identify what works and what doesn’t for the brand.

It’s also important for content marketers to learn from their own successes and failures when creating content. Test-learn-adapt should be the mantra for content marketing teams, as this approach allows them to optimize their output and prime themselves for success. 

#21. Data Privacy, Strategy, and Compliance

Content marketers need to be well-versed in data privacy laws and regulations. They must understand how data is collected, stored, used, and shared to comply with international regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.

Content marketers must also be able to develop an effective data privacy strategy that informs the use of personal data while respecting user privacy. That includes creating clear and concise consent forms, establishing comprehensive procedures for collecting, storing, and processing data, and ensuring all data handling is done per applicable laws.

Marketers must learn to look at the big picture and create content that fits within the larger strategy. That requires understanding the target audience, their motivations, and interests.

#22. Customer-centricity, Adaptability, and Resilience

As the marketing landscape becomes more competitive, content marketers must learn to think on their feet and adapt quickly to changes in the industry. They must learn to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to difficult problems. 

Content marketers must also be customer-centric, develop innovative solutions to customer problems, and be resilient in the face of failure. That requires a strong understanding of customer needs, feedback, and preferences. 

They must foster a creative mindset, embrace experimentation, and be willing to accelerate learning from their mistakes. Content marketers must also be resilient, stay focused on their goals even when faced with setbacks, and find creative ways to turn failure into success.

#23. A Test-learn-adapt Mindset

Versatility, transparency, and adaptability are critical to delivering high-quality work reliably and consistently. Content marketers must learn to adopt a test-learn-adapt mindset, develop an experimental approach, and use data-driven insights to shape their content strategies

That may involve setting up measurable goals, using analytics tools to track the performance of different channels and campaigns, and making adjustments based on the results. Content marketers must also be comfortable with failure, stay flexible, and continue to refine their approach to optimize performance.

It might mean moving away from working with an external team to creating content in-house, across internal teams, or leveraging the expertise available from external influencers and subject-matter experts. 

Content marketers must also be agile in responding to customer feedback and using it to shape their content strategies. They must recognize that valuable insights can come from unexpected sources and find ways to use this feedback to inform future marketing decisions.

#24. Keeping Calm and Carrying On

Content marketers must maintain a calm and professional demeanour, even when faced with challenges or criticism.

The world has become much harder to predict and more volatile than ever. That means that content marketers must stay on top of their game – they must remain focused, anticipate changes in customer needs, and be ready to adapt quickly. 

Content marketers must also balance the short-term demands of delivering quick wins with the long-term goal of setting up a data-driven process for building customer relationships.

They must learn to tweak their tactics to respond to the dynamic environment and find new ways to keep customers engaged with their content.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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