Three tips for content marketing trainees

As a content marketing trainee at Paper Planes, I got to write about many subjects ranging from information technology to city cottages. Fluent writing is the most important aspect of content work, but there’s no harm in getting to know some terms and processes of the industry before starting a traineeship.

As a content trainee, you get to do a lot of journalistic work: research new and challenging topics, interview experts of various fields, and write interesting texts based on the information you’ve gathered. For a curious journalism student with a passion for storytelling, the months working as a trainee at Paper Planes were rewarding. They also got me a permanent job as part of the team.

When I started my traineeship, I was worried whether I’d get the hang of content marketing as someone coming from the field of journalism. Fortunately, writing skills and curiosity went a long way. In this blog post I have collected three tips for those interested in the industry.

1. Content strategy works as a guide for the trainee, too

Content strategy is a long-term content marketing plan, the strategic grand plan of things. In a content strategy, you define the goals of the content – whether they are texts, videos, or podcasts. The goal can be, for instance, increasing sales or brand awareness. In addition to defining the goals, there’s a lot more to a good content strategy. It defines the company’s tone of voice and the target audience for the content.

In the daily work of a trainee, this has meant getting to know our clients, going through their existing content and having discussions with my mentor. Luckily, in addition to the briefings, the rest of the content team always gives you valuable information and a good overview of the strategic goals of different companies. Every company and brand is different, so a trainee gets to learn to adapt.

Read more about the Paper Planes way of doing content strategy work.

2. Spice up your content production with data

Understanding the basics of Google and social media tools is beneficial for a content trainee. During my traineeship, I’ve become familiar with Google’s features. SEO is taken into account in all content production. It has seen me improve a lot at meta descriptions and titles, which are text types I had no prior experience in. I even feel a little pride seeing well-optimized texts rank high in Google searches.

Google Analytics is undisputedly the most commonly used web analytics tool. At client meetings, I’ve been amazed by the enormous data masses it generates. Analytics can be used to create content performance reports which reveal what kind of content works and what doesn’t. This makes it very useful for planning future content. Going through Facebook analytics, I’ve also learned what kind of texts, pictures, and videos work on social media.

Both Google and Facebook offer a lot of free learning material that makes it easy to get to know their tools.

3. Creative thinking generates vivid content

It requires creativity to analyze a topic, identify the key points, and combine the information into an interesting and tangible story. Creating these stories is also the best part of the job. It’s highly rewarding to see things finally fall into place after carefully perfecting the text.

Even though learning and writing about new topics is interesting and fun, sometimes the creative process takes some time to start. It’s useful to come up with a strategy for yourself for overcoming the fear of a blank page. Churning out a rough draft with no quality standards works for me. Then, little by little the draft evolves to a fascinating text. Also, it’s worth being brave and showing your drafts to your mentor or other members of the team.