It’s a question I hear all the time: “I want to hire a content marketer, but I’m in B2B (or B2C). Do I need someone with experience in my industry?”

Great question, and one we asked ourselves when creating the content the Content Marketing Hiring Handbook. Really, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no.

What you need to ask is whether a candidate has the main qualities of great content marketers, and if they have the ability to understand your customers’ path to purchase. I try to answer this key question in the video below (transcript below). But let us know what you think!

Hi, my name is Jesse Noyes, and I’m the Senior Director of Content Marketing at Kapost. Today, I want to talk about a question I’m hearing a lot, lately. Namely, “Hey, I’m hiring a content marketer. Does it matter if they have B2B or B2C experience?”

Well, first, let’s talk about what B2B or B2C means. For B2Bs, that means businesses selling primarily to other businesses, much like the business I work for. Or, you have B2C, where the business is selling directly to the consumer.

But before we answer the question, “does it matter that the content marketer has previous experience in my industry?,” let’s talk about the qualities of every great content marketer, regardless of the industry they work in.

I can think of three.

1. Do they have writing and editing experience? And I don’t just mean that they keep a good blog or they’ve written for some national publications. What I mean is, do they have the editing experience to help elevate the stories you tell at your organization?

2. Do they have an eye for visuals? Do they understand how the packaging, the design, influences how one enjoys or digests the content that you’re going to put out there?

3. Do they have a commitment to buyer or consumer interest? What do I mean by that? Well, I mean they’re not just interested in pumping your product. What they really want to get at is informing, educating, and entertaining the buyers or consumers that interact with your content.

Those are the three great qualities of great content marketers. But getting back to that B2B or B2C question. Well, when you’re asking me, “Hey, does it matter if they have that experience?” What you’re really asking is, “Do they have the ability to understand my path to purchase or the path of my buyers to purchase?”

Now, if you’re in a B2C, this might look a little more linear. For many B2Cs, the path to purchase might not involve many different touches or lots of different content. It might follow a pretty simple path.

For a lot of B2Bs, that path might look a little more tough. Right? It could be like scaling a mountain. There’s a lot of key decision makers to talk to. There’s many stages to reach. A lot of different conversations have to happen. A lot of content gets consumed along the way. And this could take months. It could even take years.

So, when you’re asking, “Hey, should this person have experience in B2B or B2C?,” what you’re really trying to get at is, “Do they have the experience or at least, the aptitude and interest, to understand how my buyers progress through content towards an actual purchase?”

I hope that address this big question. And I really want to thank you for checking out this video.