hand-pointing What is a content strategist?

Content strategists work with subject matter experts or technical practitioners within a company to create compelling content.

Let’s start with defining marketing and adding a focus - the tech industry:


Marketing in the tech industry is focused on reaching the target audience for the product by getting their attention and telling a compelling story about how it can solve their problem or service a need. 

I like to think of a tech business as having two sides of the house: the engineering team and the growth team. The marketing team usually sits inside the growth team, as do public and customer relations, community management, and sales.

Right off the bat, you may notice some names for things you aren’t used to or that you call by a different name. The truth is that people have different preferences for how they like to think of and label marketing-related roles and teams, and that’s okay. This is how I do it.

Now, most tech businesses sell technical products to developers. And most of the time, the buyer is not the developer but a manager or executive. So, marketing’s role is to understand the market, industry, and product in order to define (and redefine as needed) the target audience. In doing so they identify several things:

  • Where this cohort or persona hangs out online
  • Where they hang out in real life
  • What kind of content they’re looking for including topics, formats, and tone of voice
  • Who they want to hear it from (I wouldn’t put all of your eggs in the ChatGPT basket)

Content strategy

A content strategist sits inside the growth side of the house - usually on the marketing team, but sometimes on the product team. Content strategists like to focus on creating content, engaging with customers, and promoting it on the right channels. Social media strategists often team up with content strategists to write the social copy, choose the appropriate channels, and queue it all up in a calendar for posting.

As a content strategist, my expertise is in working with subject matter experts or technical practitioners within a company to create compelling content like reports, blog posts, CFPs, newsletters, web pages, and more. 

Note the emphasis on compelling content, here. Compelling content actually compels the target audience to take action. This is content that holds information that your audience immediately identifies as highly relevant and valuable because it's written by a peer, someone who understands their challenge, the intimate details of a concept, and the many facets of a solution in a way that AI or a general writer cannot. 

Not only that, but when your content is written by a subject matter expert (SME), it takes less time from creation to publication because they are deeply familiar with the subject, the problem, and the solution. The key here is that these SMEs are busy. Most of them have a full time job that involves creating and testing the technical product. They may be a developer or they may be the CTO. Either way, convincing them to take the time to share and tell about the product and help the customer or potential customer solve a problem may take some doing.

Next, the interview process is an art you’ll want an artist for. The right questions at the right time can make all of the difference for how compelling (or flat) your result is (the blog post or web page, for instance).

Content strategists bring expertise

Content strategists all have areas of expertise, just like developers. Some like to do their own research and writing. Some can nail a speaker proposal for a big conference. Others understand communities of practice over customers. All have their place and value in the system. Deciding what you need is where the fun is.

If you’d like to reach out to Jen for a complimentary consultation to learn how she can help you and your team bring your organization's expertise to light, set it up here.