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stocksy_txpf13349e7svc100_small_612576Writing well is an enviable skill, and any strong marketing team needs top-notch writers. But even the best writers don’t always generate ready-to-publish copy the first time, no matter how skilled they are.

So, yes: Your blog needs an editor.

We think editors are the most important part of any content marketing team.

Whether you outsource the job or hire an in-house editor, this extra set of eyes and new perspective can help your writers shape their work more effectively, cut back on wordy text and spot errors before they make it out into the world. But more than that: Top-notch editors are refiners, says Noel McCann, a marketing analyst at HomeSuite, which helps people find furnished rental properties. They may suggest better keywords or other revisions to make a message more focused or targeted, as well as look at whether the whole piece fits into the organization’s strategic message.

“High-quality content requires paying close attention to detail, and using an editor midway through the production cycle helps marketers make a great impression on their target audiences,” McCann says.

Read on to learn more about what editors can do for your content — and what to look for when you decide to bring one on your team.

The Role of the Editor

You’re probably already familiar with some of an editor’s responsibilities: correcting spelling and grammar, reading copy to make sure it’s clear and informative, maybe even checking facts in your content. Sometimes maligned as sticklers who are always harping about misplaced commas, they set a high standard for your copy.

But good editors can do even more: They can serve as an audience advocate, reading your content from the perspective of your audience and telling you whether the content hits its goal or not.

A good editor is an audience advocate, reading your content from the perspective of your audience. Click To Tweet

“It’s highly important that they are in tune with your target customer and communicate in a way that is in line with your brand reputation and marketing strategy,” says Rachel Stephens, a marketer and SEO strategist with Totally Promotional, an online resource for custom printed promotional products. “A marketer tends to knows what needs to be said; a good editor can take that message to the next level.”

Where Do Editors Fit in the Content Process?

Editors need something to edit, so they do much of their work after writers. But don’t tack editing on at the end of your process. To create killer content, you’ll need to include editors in the content planning stage, too. A great editor will help you spot gaps in your editorial calendar, themes missing from your outlines or opportunities to answer your audience’s questions.

One a piece is written and is ready to be edited, plan for a little back-and-forth between the writer and editor. At Rep Cap, we encourage our editors to ask questions and suggest revisions — but not to do significant rewriting themselves. It’s helpful for writers to see and respond to an editor’s suggestions and have a chance to rework their piece themselves.

How to Hire an Editor

When you’re hiring an editor, look for someone with experience editing the kind of content you produce. If you write for sophisticated buyers in finance, you’ll want editors (and writers!) who speak that industry’s language.

Beyond industry experience, look for an editor who’s a stickler for accuracy, works quickly without sacrificing quality and who understands the importance of building a brand through content.

Learn how editors can help you build a content marketing engine. Download the ebook for stories of how great marketing teams work together.

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Reputation Capital Media Services is a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, marketing agency that helps B2B companies and their marketing agencies produce high-quality digital content, including blog posts, e-mail newsletters, white papers and multimedia. Our editors and writers are experts in their fields, which include HR technology, employee benefits, and financial services and accounting. Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how great content can help you attract and retain your customers.