By Tyler Burchett, Media Relations Associate at Fractl
Content marketing is already having its moment. Some companies have recognized this and begun investing accordingly, while others are just now taking action. According to a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute, the percentage of total marketing budgets allocated to content marketing has increased from 13% in 2013 to 23% in 2015, and it’s expected to account for 33% by 2017.
The potential for content marketing to account for one-third of all marketing budgets is a reliable indicator that businesses will continue to invest more resources in the field. This means more opportunities, specifically when it comes to jobs.
What Are Employers Looking For?
Given these trends, our team at Fractl decided to look at what skills modern content marketers need in their arsenal to make themselves attractive to potential employers. We pulled all of the job listings from Indeed.com that included the exact phrase “content marketing.” The data set included material from May 3 to May 6, 2016, and included over 3,000 job postings.
One of the factors we analyzed was education level. Do employers require a master’s degree for career advancement in content marketing? As you can see from the chart below, over two-thirds of senior-level positions do not require an advanced degree.
While education level might not be the deciding factor, as with any job opportunity, certain skill sets can make a candidate stand out from the herd. Our analysis of job postings also included specific skill sets that were requested as part of the role.
It turns out, the modern content marketer is expected to be a sort of “renaissance marketer” – or a well-balanced professional, complete with technical precision and an artistic flair for the creative.
However, even though a candidate might meet all the listed requirements, there are still many other factors that go into a hiring decision; several of them can work against potential employees. A strong internal candidate might apply for the role, the interview might not go smoothly, or the company itself might not be a good fit. As anyone who has ever searched for a job can attest, the “one and done” interview scenario is extremely unlikely.
With this in mind, our analysis also took into account where these jobs were listed. Below is a map of the U.S. that breaks down content marketing jobs listed per capita. It also includes the top five states for content marketing positions.
3 Takeaways for Aspiring Content Marketers
Our project revealed some key takeaways for content marketers looking to make their mark in the industry. These most important points can help whether you are looking for an internship out of college or you are a savvy veteran looking to move into a senior role.
- School will only take you so far. Real-world experience is more desirable.
Going back to school is an expensive proposition. The average cost for a top 100 MBA program is just under $200,000. The good news is that a fancy degree isn’t required to advance content marketing. Forty-five percent of senior roles list zero to four years of schooling as a requirement, with an additional 33% requesting between five to 10 years.
If you are just starting out, content marketing offers plenty of opportunities for beginners. 90% of intern roles do not require any previous experience. Even 33% of junior positions don’t list experience as a requirement.
- One-trick ponies don’t cut it anymore. Employers want balanced “renaissance marketers.”
Our study revealed that over half of the content marketing positions listed both technical and creative abilities as job requirements. The top technical expertise requested was SEO while the top right-brained skill required was writing. Candidates can use this knowledge to leverage their strong suits and package them in the most appealing way possible.
- Stay away from the South. California and big cities offer the most job opportunities.
It doesn’t matter how well qualified a candidate is if there are no positions available. Opportunity is an important thing to keep in mind when beginning a career – or if you’re looking to make a significant advancement.
Massachusetts was the best state for content marketing positions, with Hawaii and California ranking second and third, respectively. New York and Washington, D.C., rounded out the top 5. Aspiring content marketers would do well to begin searching in those areas.
Candidates cannot directly control whether or not they earn a position – or whether employers have a role available. However, factoring in things like real-world experience and a willingness to follow opportunities can significantly increase the odds for potential applicants.
Finally, by paying attention to trends, such as what specific skills employers are looking for, and by updating their talents accordingly, marketers can help shift the odds to their favor. The first step in becoming a successful marketer is being able to market yourself.
Tyler Burchett is a Media Relations Associate at Fractl, a content marketing agency that specializes in the science behind viral content. He is a proud graduate of Washington and Lee University and an avid fan of the New Orleans Saints.