How To Get An Exciting Career in Content Marketing
Content marketing has grown exponentially over the past few years.
That’s because companies are finally getting the message that great content is the key to business success along the entire customer journey.
A career in content marketing is now one of the hottest jobs on the planet.
Content Marketing spend is projected to grow $269 billion or so by 2024, to over $600 billion in 2024. 75% of that budget is spent on outsourced content creation with agencies like ours. But we need champions like you who know how to sell in the business case for content marketing and drive the strategy.
That’s why 78% of companies want to hire 1 to 3 team members for their content teams in the near future. Finding and hiring talented content marketers and strategists are major priorities for marketing teams throughout the world.
So if you’re looking for a career in content marketing, here are some tips to help you beef up your creative and technical chops. Learn what prospective employers look for in a content professional and strengthen your resume accordingly.
- Identify what employers are looking for in various positions in content marketing.
- Look at the possibilities and choose which content marketing career best fits your skillset.
- Shore up your skills so that you can compete successfully with other candidates and advance your career.
For Prospective Content Writers
Content writers remain the number one hiring priority for employers.
Blog posting, writing email copy, posting on social media, writing ad copy, and refreshing static website content are all essential parts of a content writer’s job. In general, you’ll need to have a broad background, an innate sense of curiosity, and an ability to see things through a prospective customer’s eyes.
A bachelor’s degree or minor in a related field helps, too. However, you don’t necessarily need a degree in English or journalism. Any discipline that requires a lot of writing to obtain your degree, such as philosophy, social science, marketing, business, or pre-law, gives you insight into how to write persuasive copy.
Alternatively, some employers will accept a non-degreed candidate with a robust track record of producing effective copy for marketing and advertising. You’ll likely need to show evidence of previous work in the field for employers to consider you.
Meanwhile, shore up your chances of finding your dream job by:
- Improving your writing skills: If you’re unemployed, treat writing as your full-time job. If you already have a day job, devote as much time as you can to honing your skills. If you can, start up a personal blog. You’ll use it as an online portfolio of your work, so make sure it’s laser-focused on the type of writing you’ll be doing as a content creator. Take various angles on the same topic to sharpen your persuasive skills. Enroll in a content marketing course, especially if you’re new to content writing. But, even if you’re an experienced writer, you can always learn something new.
- Studying the work of top-ranked content writers: Google “content marketing” and look at the content on the highest-ranking companies’ websites and social media platforms. If they have a list of their clients, also study the content these marketing companies have produced for their clients. Use their work as the standard you aspire to without losing your unique voice.
- Keeping your LinkedIn profile current: Employers search LinkedIn daily when they’re on the hunt for talented prospects. If you’re an expert on subject matter that might interest employers in a specific niche, write articles on that topic and publish them on the platform.
- Posting on social media platforms: Since social media posts and emails are a must-have for today’s content marketers, use social media to position yourself as someone with a valuable perspective on issues that businesses face. Use a professional tone. Employers often look at your social media profile to see if you would make a good fit for their corporate image.
- Putting your best face forward on your portfolio: In addition to writing samples, note how they performed online and off. Check your social media and blog analytics to see how they performed. Showcase social media and other posts that created online buzz, such as comments and shares, especially from thought leaders and influencers. If you’ve worked professionally or on a volunteer basis creating content for businesses and non-profits, list links to those pieces, as well as how they performed with your target audience.
- Networking with successful content writers and potential employers: You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” While what you know – and can produce – certainly matters, it’s true that people often base their hiring and recommendation on how well they know a person and their work. The Content Marketing Institute is a great resource, as are LinkedIn and local businesses. Look for opportunities to meet people who have had success in content marketing.
- Updating your knowledge of SEO best practices: What got you to the top of the search heap last year might not cut it today. Keep abreast of all the trends, algorithm changes, and other happenings in the SEO industry to help you write the type of high-quality, optimized content that grabs the attention of both search bots and prospective customers.
For Graphic Design and Video Creatives
With 65 percent of the world’s population composed of visual learners, content creators with talent in videography and design are increasing in importance for content marketing. Here’s why:
97 percent of marketers now realize that video is a highly effective tool to help prospects learn about their products. Additionally, eighty percent of all businesses use video in their marketing campaigns. Your talent is a highly profitable skill, so hone it and promote it.
- Keep your portfolio fresh: Create an eye-catching portfolio of your work on YouTube and your personal blog. Also, post your work on other popular channels, such as Vimeo, Instagram, and TikTok.
- Network with industry professionals: As with writers, LinkedIn can be a great place to network and showcase links to your work. Also, attend events where you’ll rub shoulders with video producers who have experienced success, as well as ones where you’ll encounter potential employers.
- Hone your craft: Never pass up a chance to learn how to improve your skills. Study the work of talented videographers and apply their techniques to improve your own. Take a class or two, even if you’re experienced. In this business – or any other, for that matter – you can never learn too much.
Designers and Photographers
Forbes’ TJ McCue put it best: Infographics rule. Seeing mathematical relationships or statistics in an attractive infographic helps visually oriented people understand what you’re trying to communicate.
But so do images, colors, and design features. Design and photography professionals, therefore, are worth their weight in gold to content teams.
Whether it’s a website with a unique visual impact that drives the brand’s image home or the emotional pop of an image in a blog post, visuals speak volumes without a word. Combined with brand-forward copy, they create an impact that exceeds any single element on the page.
Similar to other creatives, designers and photographers should maintain an updated portfolio to showcase their work, network with design professionals and potential employers, and take every opportunity they can get to learn more about their life’s work.
For Content Marketing Strategists
You don’t have to be a writer or creative to be an excellent content strategist, but it does help. What you absolutely must have, however, is a keen appreciation for the talents of both your creative team and the number-crunchers that measure their impact.
- Leadership mindset: Above all, you need a leadership mindset and an ability to see the big picture. Experience in project management, then, would be a great asset when you’re trying to forge a content strategy that covers everything from ideation to analyzing the final result.
- People skills: And, you’ll need the kinds of people skills that can help you inspire your teams to achieve even better results in future campaigns. In today’s marketing agency, you’ll need the ability to coordinate across departmental silos to produce a seamless approach that galvanizes sales and marketing as a single voice.
- Analytic capabilities: You’ll also need to utilize analytics to measure your content’s performance. Although you don’t need to be a mathematician, you do need to be comfortable with analytics and testing tools (both A/B and multivariate) to optimize your results.
- Persuasive writing and speaking abilities: Content strategists often must demonstrate the results of their team’s work to C-suite executives in board meetings or written presentations. If they’re working in an agency, they’ll need to know how to sell potential clients on their agency’s services.
- Strategic vision and the ability to carry it through to fruition: To see the big picture and put all the pieces together to make it come to life is a major part of your work as a content strategist. Similarly, being agile enough to switch gears on the fly when something isn’t working is essential to your success as a content strategist.
In other words, you’ll be a miracle worker. So, if you don’t have these skills, find ways to incorporate them into your current position or take courses on the side to get the knowledge and experience that will make you marketable as a content strategist.
A career in content marketing is well worth all the effort you put into pursuing it. So, start down that path now, and you’ll have a career that fulfills you both personally and professionally. As the head of an agency myself, I can’t think of any other career field that’s as rewarding as this one.
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