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Content Managers and Strategists Sum Up 2021: New Habits, Skills, and Lessons You Can Learn From

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Content Managers and Strategists Sum Up 2021 New Habits, Skills, and Lessons You Can Learn From

Content Managers and Strategists Sum Up 2021 New Habits, Skills, and Lessons You Can Learn From

As we say goodbye to the Year of the Metal Ox and get ready to welcome the Year of the Water Tiger, we are also summing up 2021.

Our team at Outranking.io connected with content managers, strategists, and founders from different companies and discussed the past year. Particularly, we asked about the new habits they have adopted, skills they plan to strengthen, and the best lesson they’d like to share with their peers.

If you lead a content team and want to know how other managers plan, communicate, and implement, keep on reading.

#1 Inna Ptitsyna, PR Manager at Lawrina

Inna Ptitsyna

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better?

I think that the knowledge of what environment I need for different tasks is key. For instance, I know that some tasks I can only do in complete silence, and some of them I can do without minding the noise around. This helps me to plan everything effectively. Also, keep deadlines in mind and prioritize the tasks. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers?

I will totally emphasize creativity and trends analysis. Also, I think that a great skill for a content strategist is analytics. It doesn’t matter that it’s not your core job. You should still study how the words or visuals you use influence your target audience. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021?

My lesson is that content writers don’t work for me or my company; we work in collaboration. When I had a lot of tasks with tight deadlines, I was very anxious that I wouldn’t finish everything on time. But I was honest with the writers, explaining how important it was to me, and they helped me out. I think that honest communication is a tip for every profession, but still, I feel that we need to learn it anyway.

#2 Melissa Macalinao, Operations Manager at The SEO Mama Agency

Melissa Macalinao

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better?

I’ve adopted a more strengths-based approach in managing my team. I’ve focused on what they’re good at and what they can be even better at. This approach has made people on my team happier and more productive and helped me become a stronger leader. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers?

Content managers will continue to be the glue that holds an organization together in 2022. It’s their job to make sure people from different departments are working together towards a common goal. Or at least not against each other. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021?

In the past, I was a doer. I would work on projects, create content, and run the show. But I realized that it’s inefficient to do everything. The best way is to divide and conquer. It’s smart to let go of some tasks to others so you can focus on bigger things. For example, instead of managing social media, someone else can do it while you focus on writing content or sending emails to influencers.

#3 Nikita Chen, Founder at LegitGrails

nikita chen

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better?

In recent times, I have taken up the habit of exchanging feedback on a more regular basis. The move to remote work impacted us quite a lot. I had to juggle multiple time zones while onboarding new employees, so this habit helped me to keep up with everyone better. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers? 

Resourcefulness. Staying motivated and not letting what you can’t do interfere with what you can do. Don’t let emotions drive your decisions, but see the currently available possibilities, rather than worrying and throwing yourself against issues that can’t be changed. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021? 

The web today has fallen victim to overly generalized, abstract content with minimal creativity that rarely teaches us something new. This is a serious content bottleneck, so a tip to optimize your content creation and publishing efforts is to use content redistribution. Create loads of long-form content, then sort and chop it into bite-sized pieces to redistribute for social media, ads, etc.

#4 Meryl D’Sa-Wilson, Content Marketing Manager at United World Telecom

Meryl D’Sa-Wilson

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better?

For my content marketing team, creating and sticking to a content calendar proved really helpful. We could keep track of everyone’s progress and also note down other ideas and strategies to pay attention to in the future. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers?

It is important to multitask and keep track of all different projects and tasks. For this, you will need to be comfortable with spreadsheets, project management systems, analytics, and data. Working with data is an important skill that content strategists need to learn. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021?

Revisit old content every 6 months to update and optimize it. Old content can easily become outdated, so it is important to bring it up to your current quality and SEO standards.

10x your content production

Empowering writers, not replacing them.

#5 Alexandra Shestopalova, Chief Marketing Officer at Contenteam

Alexandra Shestopalova

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better? 

My main habit was always to make sure that writers and editors from my team didn’t overwork or burn out. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers? 

I want to try to incorporate weekly round-robin brainstorming games based on data and strategy into the team’s work to generate fresh content ideas more quickly.

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021? 

Don’t procrastinate with article production, and don’t plan your content strategy further than months in advance. In February 2021, we planned and started developing a huge expert piece about Clubhouse influencers. But in May, everyone had already forgotten about this app, and our article lost relevance forever.

#6 Chirayu Akotiya, Director, Product & Growth at Leena AI

Chirayu Akotiya

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better? 

2) Keeping the content writers close to customer conversations so that they know the target audience well

1) Having a content marketing strategy in place with clear goals and objectives

3) Making them understand every aspect of the product

4) Sharing thought leadership content with them

5) Giving them enough space for creativity and new initiatives

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers? 

1) Repurposing content

2) Creating short-form and long-form videos

3) Podcasts

4) Virtual events

5) On-demand webinars

6) Collaboration with industry influencers 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021? 

One tip for content strategists and managers is that for content marketing to be successful, you should be very clear with your immediate goals. Have a clear idea about where you want to devote the most energy: lead generation, branding, etc. Also, no matter what changes in SEO, content quality will always hold the top priority.

#7 Corina Burri, Content Strategist & SEO Consultant

corina burri

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better?


I introduced a Trello board in Kanban style for content production. Each article is a ticket that moves through the following columns:

1) Idea: This is where we just jot down ideas on a hectic day.

2) Research: Here we do the keyword research, research the content, and decide whether it is worth pursuing the article idea.

3) Writing: Writing phase. Usually, a ticket sits in here for a week.

4) Review: The article is reviewed by a peer.

5) Published!

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers?

How to conduct insightful customer interviews. In my opinion, it is key for every content strategist to be customer-focused. By just speaking to your audience, you can publish unique content.

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021?

Focus on the user intent! I’ve learned it the hard way.

#8 Jessica Robinson, Content and Outreach Manager at The Speaking Polymath

Jessica Robinson

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better? 

The following are some habits that helped me manage content people better: 

1) Setting clear expectations for every project: It doesn’t matter how much trust you place in your team’s abilities. It is imperative to set clear expectations every time you hand over a new project. The content style guide, target audience brief, and goals of the post are some examples.

2) Keeping the communication lines open: The more questions content writers ask, the clearer answers you provide, and the better-managed your team becomes. Members of my team can knock at my door any moment they have a query. I give them all the time that they need, and this has helped me greatly. 

3) Staying out of the way: Once I have made the expectations clear to my team, I have consciously inculcated a habit of staying out of the way. I just set them free to pour in their talent and creativity to pen down pieces of content that reflect their style, not mine. I feel that autonomy has brought a significant increase in employee engagement, happiness, and morale. Everything gets done quickly and without any pressure. 

4) Being a little informal every now and then: A friendly and cordial manner creates gateways for team members to open up a little, voice their concerns, and get them addressed, which leads to better engagement and efficiency. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers? 

In 2022, one of my main targets will be to match strides with technological advancements. Content automation and AI-powered content are two fields that I have thought of mastering. I believe that mastering these technologies is the way forward, and soon a time will come when they’ll become necessary. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021?

Take an omnichannel approach. This doesn’t mean that you have to be present on all the channels available. Rather, you should leverage data to analyze which platforms your target audience utilizes the most. For, example, if you are targeting Generation Z, then you should publish content on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. You shouldn’t skip any of these platforms to attract, retain, and bond with your target audience.

#9 Samantha Moss, Editor & Content Ambassador at Romantific

samantha moss

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better? 

To manage your content team effectively, you need to establish clear goals and roles. Doing this will help ensure that everyone on your team knows what they have to do and keep your team on the same path. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers? 

Analytical skills can help content professionals determine what is working and what is not to better serve and connect with their audience. That is why it is crucial for content managers or strategists to develop or strengthen analytical skills. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021? 

One of my top tips is to acquire the right technology and tools for your content team. Having the right technology and tools will help make it easier for your team to collaborate effectively to create and publish quality content.

#10 Berenika Teter, Content Manager at Prowly PR Software

berenika teter

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better?

I finally started using Airtable for our blog editorial calendar! For a long time, I thought that Google Sheets was enough for content management. But as our content team grew a lot this year, more advanced software became necessary. Tools like Airtable can save you a lot of time since they make it much easier to manage content and the whole team behind it. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers? 

I’m going to explore pain point-driven SEO more—it’s a concept that I recently learned from Grow & Convert. I think it’s a real game-changer. Instead of starting with keyword research and targeting keywords, I try to think of our target audience and their pain points first. Once I have a topic idea, I then use keyword research tools to make sure we get the most out of it. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021?

Do have editorial guidelines written down. Trust me, even if you have one editor who does everything, it can truly help them do their job. We introduced such guidelines recently. We still have a lot of older content to update to follow the guidelines meticulously, but I can see the difference in the content we’ve started producing.

10x your content production

Empowering writers, not replacing them.

#11 Matiah Fischer, Founder at RetireBetterNow.com

matiah fischer

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better? 

I started organizing and scheduling all of the content they are working on in a project management tool, Monday.com. This provides a visual board for what got finished and what still needs to be completed. Now, we stay on schedule better and fewer things slip through the cracks. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers? 

I’m going to ensure our team is more purposeful with the content they produce. Instead of going for the number of articles, we will focus on the quality and the keywords they’re targeting. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021? 

Don’t get overwhelmed by the feeling of needing to get everything done in one month. Content and SEO are long-term strategies that require organization and a steady workflow. Plan out your content, be reasonable with timelines, and never stop publishing!

#12 Felly Day, Virtual Assistant and Mentor

felly day

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better? 

This year, I got intentional about tracking metrics across all platforms. While I do think there is too much emphasis on vanity metrics, being aware of which pieces of content are connecting and converting your audience helps improve your overall content strategy. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers? 

I’m deepening my understanding of SEO. I’ve spent a lot of time learning Pinterest and TikTok strategies, as well as experimenting with Instagram. But the algorithms are always changing. I think to truly master content strategies, you need to become an expert in the parts that never change. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021? 

Everything is an experiment: the content you create, the platforms you’re using. From hashtags to graphics to short-form videos, the algorithm is always changing. What makes content strategists so valuable is our ability to experiment and adjust to the changes that come up.

#13 Jonathan Tian, Co-Founder at Mobitrix

jonathan

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better? 

Before I manage content, I always analyze the benefits and motivations resulting from implementing the content strategy I have created. I evaluate the reasons and needs to adapt to a strategy, put forth the company’s weaknesses, and determine how the implementation would bring changes to it. This has helped me manage content better, as I have a definite plan here. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers? 

I make recommendations to my team with my understanding of the website. But, there are possible issues if I don’t have a good understanding of the website UI. So, I am looking forward to understanding UI design much better in 2022. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021? 

Make use of an editorial calendar to help keep your team organized, especially in this pandemic situation. The editorial calendar can be used to analyze the types of content you want to produce and spot the gaps rapidly and efficiently.

#14 Nate Torres, Founder at Imaginated

nate torres

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better? * *Make content that draws people in.

Scheduling. Content writing can be your worst nightmare or a walk in the park, depending on how writers manage their time. Content writers often work multiple jobs simultaneously and might miss deadlines or compromise on content. Effective scheduling and rotation of writers have allowed me to produce good quality content on time. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers?

SEO knowledge. I cannot help but emphasize the importance of keeping up with SEO trends as a content writer. Despite being quite adept at SEO practices, I believe all businesses stand to benefit from learning and relearning SEO trends and techniques. Consumer patterns are constantly changing, and adapting to them is key to getting your content noticed. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021?

Adapt. Adapting to trends and consumer needs is a huge part of content writing. Whether it is your writing style, the content you are producing, or the marketing strategies you are employing, it is crucial to be ahead of the latest trends. Content production is a highly competitive field, and the only way to come out on top is to be prompt in adapting to the newest technology or the latest trends.

#15 Bernice Quek, Content Strategy Lead at M&P International Freights

bernice quek

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better?

I adopted a more organized workflow process for myself so that everyone in the team can be involved at certain stages seamlessly. First, I understood my company’s goals and objectives for the year (i.e., increasing phone calls, increasing conversions, etc.). Then, I came up with a strategy using content marketing funnels. And once a strategy was outlined, I gathered the team to brainstorm on content topics together. This improved efficiency in the team and the effectiveness of our strategy. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers?

Further understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each of my team members so that I can assign them to the right projects. This will allow us to offer high-quality content that adds value to our readers. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021?

Outsource content writing to freelance writers so that content creation is scalable. In 2021, we broke down our content creation process into 4 main steps: research and outline planning, content writing, editing, and uploading. To streamline the process, we prepared a proper outline with a detailed content brief and handed it to freelance writers to do the writing. This has increased our content output by at least 20%.

#16 Kyle MacDonald, Director of Operations at Force by Mojio

klye

1. What new habits did you adopt that helped you manage content people better?

I started employing more of an Agile methodology to develop and launch marketing campaigns. We really tried to stay on top of turning out new campaigns and revamping old ones to stay on top of current trends. 

2. What skills are you going to strengthen or acquire in 2022 that are essential for content strategists or managers?

I am going to work on diving deeper into analytics and data-driven approaches to marketing. Our team currently tracks our campaigns with Google Analytics and pays attention to our set KPIs. But I’d like to go a lot more in-depth with how we’re gathering and analyzing our data. 

3. What’s the one tip, lesson, or story you’d like to share with other content strategists or managers from 2021?

Don’t settle with what works. Aim for something that works better.

Conclusion

You probably noticed that many authors emphasize the critical importance of tools in the content management process. Outranking.io is already in the toolkit of thousands of companies, agencies, and freelancers, and it helps them research, build outlines, and create content with AI. Create your account today and start 2022 with an advanced AI-driven SEO writing assistant.

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