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7+ Skills Every Content Marketer Needs To Be Great



7+ Skills Every Content Marketer Needs To Be Great

Content marketing’s importance rose again in 2022.

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of content marketers say content marketing has become more important to their organization in the last year, according to the latest Content Marketing Institute research.

That means companies will need to hire and train content marketers for the foreseeable future.

“There’s a greater emphasis now on people in content roles,” says Nick Lake, senior director of global content marketing at Pega. Nick based his observation on research his company conducted for its Future of Marketing report (registration required). “CMOs are going to have more content creators. The salaries for content creators will increase because they see it as a more strategic role in the organization.”

What skills should those content pros have?

We know which skills frontline content marketers believe are important: SEO, data analytics, working with technologies, audience development, and writing and editing topped the list of desired training in another recent CMI study.

Content Marketers Interested in Learning These Skills

But are these the same skills the people who hire content marketers, lead content programs, and consult with brands care about?

At Content Marketing World this year, we asked several content leaders what skills and backgrounds they think are most important for a content marketer.

Read what they told us (lightly edited for clarity), or watch the video for the highlights.

Writing, editing, SEO, data analytics top the list of desired training by #Content marketers, according to @CMIContent #Research via @KMoutsos. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Get curious

Be curious – I would say that’s one of the skills you should refine. Curiosity is going to fuel you to want to understand your audiences. What matters is what you ought to be creating. – Deanna Ransom, president and executive director of Women in Revenue

Develop a journalistic viewpoint

Ultimately, we’re all telling stories. When you’re in journalism, you’re learning about interviewing skills, writing skills, and really telling people’s stories. I think that’s a great place to start. – Amy Fair, content marketing manager at SpyCloud

The core tenets of journalism are so important for content marketing. Understanding your audience – having a deep desire to answer all their questions, educate them, and be a helpful resource. Those principles are shared by journalism and content marketing.  – Monica Norton, head of content marketing at Yelp

#Content marketers need skills similar to journalists – a desire to answer the audience’s questions, says @monicalnorton via @KMoutsos @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Hone your strategic thinking and data analysis

Not neglecting the strategic point of view is important. Even if you’re in creator mode at a certain part of your career, understand why certain content works and others don’t, and make sure you have access to performance data so that you can dig in and really get that deeper understanding. Eventually, that’s going to be how you level up. It’s getting to a more strategic perspective. Even if you keep the creator hat for a while, get as quickly as you can to understanding the strategic perspective behind what we do. – Andrea Fryrear, CEO and co-founder of AgileSherpas

A broad understanding of marketing is needed. I’m not a data and analytics person. But you still have to understand how the content you create works in this specific digital platform. How is it being measured? How is it being promoted? How is it being promoted organically versus paid? What are the inputs that go into creating this content? Who do you need to work with to do it?

When you think, “Oh, I’m going to go work on creating content. I’m going to be a writer,” that’s what you think it is. That’s only a piece of it. You really have to understand the whole ecosystem of content marketing. ­­– Lukas Treu, content strategist at Swagelok

Learn to love numbers. Data and metrics are very important. What are the results? Make sure you’re spending time on the content that’s producing something that’s getting someone to take the next step, that you’re not just doing something for the sake of doing something. How does it fit in with the overall marketing strategy? How do you make sure you know what you’re doing is moving the needle and helping the business grow?

As content becomes more and more popular and more companies and brands are producing more, the ability to rise above the noise is getting harder. The metrics can show you what’s resonating, what people are engaging with, what they’re responding to, and how you can take them on the journey you want. – Jeremy Bednarski, content strategist at Salesforce

Practice (flexible) organizational skills

Project management – checking off things, staying organized, and planning ahead. Being fluid and flexible and able to change the content calendar if you need to. Being able to switch gears if you need to. – Asia Johnson, content marketing specialist at Express Employment International

Content marketers need to be able to switch gears if needed, says Asia Johnson of @ExpressPros via @KMoutsos @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Have a heart – and improve your improv game

I think what we’re missing is heart. I think we need people with empathy. I think we need people with improv skills. I’ve met some people in marketing. Y’all need some improv skills.

And I say that with love because “yes, and” is about life. It’s not just a business skill. It’s a way of looking at the world. And when the world throws itself off the script, like with COVID, how do we move forward? – Kathy Klotz-Guest, founder of Keeping It Human, Inc.
1668406504 85 7 Skills Every Content Marketer Needs To Be Great

Sharpen your writing, but don’t stop there

Writing skills. If you can’t write, you really want to go find a new thing to do. I would argue the essential role of any marketer needs to be extreme communication – the ability to communicate at a higher level. You have to use communication in words or video or whatever. You’re really presenting to your audience to get them to take some kind of action. And if you don’t have that skill set, you’re going to be extremely challenged.

Equally important is the ability to understand technology and utilize technology. Know how to use things like Salesforce and how to hack it in the background. That’s how you’re going to be able to duct tape your own solutions and make things work in your organization. The reality is that your goal as a marketer is to be the world’s best marketer for your company. And to do that means you’re going to have to create a lot of bespoke solutions. – Vish Khanna, chief commercial officer at HealthPrize

A little bit of everything, all at once

Content marketers need to be pretty good at research and looking at the competitive set before creating something – or you’re more likely to make something that’s bland and undifferentiated.

Content marketers need to be highly empathetic and have a good sense of how this piece will land or be consumed when it hits that audience.

Content marketers need to be flexible and adapt to new channels and new trends because stuff is gradually changing all the time. Plus, there are production skills, there are writing skills, there are recording skills, and basic editing.

If you like using both halves of your brain all the time, content marketing is perfect for you. – Andy Crestodina, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Orbit Media Studios

If you like using both halves of your brain all the time, #ContentMarketing is perfect for you, says @crestodina via @CMIContent Click To Tweet

Investing in content skills should pay off

Not every content professional needs to excel in each skill mentioned. But if you’re looking for a job, looking for a new team member, or just want to keep your skills competitive, use this list as a starting point.

Need more guidance to hone your content marketing skills? Enroll in CMI University and get 12-month on-demand access to an extensive curriculum designed to help you do your job more effectively.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

Treasure Data 800x450

Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
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Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

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How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]



How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]

It’s no wonder that responsive search ads have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Through Google’s machine learning capabilities, RSAs provide a powerful way to automate the testing of multiple headlines and descriptions to ensure a closer match to user intent. The benefits are clear: RSAs mean broader reach, better engagement, and improved performance metrics.

However, all these benefits come at a significant (but reasonable) cost – they can be extremely difficult to manage, especially when it comes to updating ad copy to promote limited time offers.

I know this firsthand – I work with several ecommerce clients with promotions that constantly change. Not too long ago, I found myself going through the consistently tedious process of updating a client’s RSA headlines and copy. As I was making the changes, I thought to myself: “There must be a better way to update this ad copy. I shouldn’t have to use find and replace so many times while pausing and enabling my ad campaigns.”

After expressing this to my colleague, Jordan Stambaugh, the two of us agreed there must be a better way. But we’d have to make it happen. A few weeks later, we put that idea into action and created a more efficient process for updating RSA ad copy on a scheduled basis. If you want to try this process for yourself, just keep reading.

Responsive Search Ad Customizers 101: Basic Options & Execution

Before diving into the process of scheduling automatic updates for your RSA customizers, it’s essential to understand some key Responsive Search Ad fundamentals.

First, you can customize three main options within RSAs: the Attribute Name, the Data Type, and the Account Value. Each of these plays a vital role in personalizing your ads:

  • Attribute Name: This is essentially the identifier for the customizer. It is how you’ll reference the specific piece of information you’re customizing within the ad. For instance, if you’re running a promotion, you might name an attribute “Promotion.”
  • Data Type: This indicates the kind of data the attribute represents and it determines how the information can be formatted and used within the ad. Common data types include Text (for plain, non-numeric text), Percent (to represent percentage discounts), Price (to denote monetary values), and Number (for any numerical value).
  • Account Value: This is the default value for the attribute that you set at the account level. It acts as a fallback if more specific values aren’t provided at the campaign or ad group level.

For example, if you wanted to promote a 10% off discount using RSAs, you’d use the “Discount” attribute, a data type of “Percent,” and an account value of “10% off.” Then, when someone is searching for products, Google would test automatically inserting a copy regarding a 10% off promotion into your ad.

Once you’ve set up the right customization options, you can start to format your RSAs with customizers.

Here’s how:

  • Start by typing in {
  • Click on Ad Customizer then select your attribute
  • Google will populate your attributes that are already uploaded
  • For a simple offer, use the “Default text” attribute as a catch-all. This will ensure your ads run smoothly if Google can’t pull the right messaging from your RSA feed



How to Schedule Your Ad Customizers with a Feed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s cover how to schedule your ad customizers.

Just follow this three step process:

1. Create the feed

Start by creating two sheets: The Parent sheet, and the Child sheet. The “Parent” sheet will act as the primary data source, while the child sheet will pull data from the parent sheet.

We’ll start by building the parent sheet. After opening the sheet, start by renaming the active tab to “Promotions.” Don’t skip this step, it’s crucial for referencing this range in formulas later on.

In your “Promotions” tab, head to the top row and label columns A, B, and C with the headers of your ad customizer attributes. For example, you might have “BrandSaleHeadline” as your attribute in column A, “text” as the Data Type in column B, and “Shop the Collection” as the Account Value in column C.

Once your headers are in place, move to cell C2. Here, you’ll input the expression =lookup(today(),F:G,E:E). This formula will play a key role in dynamically updating your RSA customizer based on the current date.

Next, go to columns E, F, and G, which will be used to manage your scheduling. In these columns, you’ll list out the different values your chosen attribute might take, alongside their corresponding start and end dates. For example, under the “BrandSaleHeadline” attribute, you might schedule various promotional headlines to appear during different sale periods throughout the year.

Here’s how your sheet might look:

Now look back at the first 3 columns on your sheet. They should look like this:

Now create a second sheet. We’ll call this sheet the Child sheet. It’s going to automatically pull in data from the parent sheet you just created, and will be the one you link to Google Ads later on.

Columns A, B and C will be almost identical to the child sheet, but we will be using a special formula later so we can automatically populate this. So, start by labeling Row 1 Column A “Attribute,” then the next column as “Data type,” then column C as “Account value.” 

Then go to C2 and use this expression to populate the right account value from the parent document: =importrange(“[PARENT DOCUMENT URL HERE]”,”Promotions!C2″)

Your sheet should now look like this:

We recommend adding a date range with default text for any days you’re  not running a promotion. In the example above, we have “Shop Our Collection” appearing as default text.

2. Input attributes

Once you have your feed created, the next step involves inputting your attributes into the Google Ads platform. This can be done either manually or through a bulk upload.

For the manual approach, navigate to “Tools & Settings” in your Google Ads interface, then go to ‘Setup’ followed by “Business Data.” Here, you’ll find an option for “Ad Customizer Attributes.” Click the plus sign to add your attributes. It’s crucial to use the same attribute names that you’ve established in your Parent Google Sheet template to ensure consistency and proper data synchronization.



Alternatively, if you prefer the bulk upload method, again head to “Tools & Settings.” This time, select “Bulk Actions” and then “Uploads.” For this process, you only need to upload columns A to C from your template. 

Be aware that it might take some time for your uploaded attributes to be reflected in the business data section of Google Ads.

3. Set up an automatic schedule

At this point, you’ve almost finished scheduling your ad customizers. Navigate to Tools & Settings, then Bulk Actions, then Uploads, then click the Schedules tab at the top. Select your Child Google Sheet as the data source, and share your Google Sheet with the appropriate email.



And there you have it – Google will automatically pull in the data you populated in the sheets into your RSAs.

Common Challenges When Scheduling RSA Ad Customizers

When we test these sheets with our clients in the wild, we’ve uncovered five common challenges. Be on the lookout for these issues – solving them before they happen can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Not scheduling your upload when the site changes 

The first and most significant hurdle is the mismatch between the scheduled data upload and website content updates. For instance, if the Google Sheet is set to upload at 11 am, but the website changes occur at 3 pm, there’s going to be a discrepancy where the wrong message could be displayed for several hours, or new messaging could appear prematurely. Conversely, if the website updates happen before the scheduled sheet upload, outdated promotions might linger until the new data is imported. Synchronizing these schedules is crucial; it’s best to align them so updates occur simultaneously.

Skipping QA during a message change

Another pitfall is neglecting quality assurance (QA) during message updates. It’s vital to regularly check the business data section to verify that the correct values are in place post-update.

Issues with the IMPORTRANGE function

Then there’s the technical aspect of setting up the IMPORTRANGE function correctly in the Google Sheets template. The ‘child’ template must reliably pull data from the ‘parent’ sheet. If this function isn’t configured correctly, data won’t be imported as needed.

Not sharing access of the Google template for automatic uploads

Pay attention to your access permissions for the Google Sheets template. Google will prompt you with the email address that needs permission to access the ‘child’ sheet for automatic uploads. Overlooking the sharing of your sheet with this address will prevent the system from working.

Having date range gaps in your parent sheet

Lastly, a common oversight is leaving date range gaps in the ‘parent’ sheet. Every single date must be accounted for without overlaps. A practical tip is to have an ‘evergreen’ backup message ready, scheduled to run continuously, ideally through the end of the year, to cover any potential gaps.


Leveraging Google Sheets in conjunction with Google Ads to schedule RSA ad customizers is a game-changer for managing dynamic promotional content. This process not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures that your ads remain relevant and up-to-date, reflecting current promotions without the need for constant manual intervention. 

By adopting this method, you’ll save significant time and effort, allowing you to focus more on strategy and less on the minutiae of ad copy updates. Give it a try and experience a more efficient way to manage your RSAs, keeping your campaigns fresh and engaging with minimal hassle.

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