Sep 24, 2018

Digital Career Journeys: Content Marketing

by Digital Marketing Institute

In this hyper-connected, digitally driven and increasingly mobile age, the consumer is very much in the driving seat – and to engage, inspire and earn the long-term loyalty of your target audience, producing and delivering the right content to the right people at the right time and though the right channels is essential.

While it may once have been considered an industry buzz phrase, now more than ever content is king. This is why the ability to conjure, create, produce, edit and deliver engaging, inspiring, personalized content offers great professional rewards.

To put the power and importance of content marketing into perspective, here are some key insights to take note of:

  • On average, businesses that blog earn 434% more indexed pages than companies without blogs, or a blogging content strategy in place.
  • Almost 50% of individuals aged between 18 and 49 get the majority of their news online, turning to value-driven content for knowledge and information.
  • 47% of buyers view at least three to five pieces of content before they consider contacting a sales representative.
  • 96% of B2B buyers research information from industry thought leaders before committing to a purchase.
  •  82% of consumers have a more positive outlook on a company after reading custom, personalized content. Moreover, 70% of people feel closer to a business after engaging with their content.
  • 53% of marketers consider content marketing as their top inbound strategy.

Content marketing is a pivotal part of any modern business’s promotional arsenal, and if you have the skillset, passion, creativity and niche expertise, a content-based career path can prove to be particularly rewarding, both in a personal and financial sense.

We’ve previously offered you an insight into the career path for search marketing and social media marketing. Now we’re going to explain how to tread the interesting, fast-paced and continually evolving career path of a content marketer. We’ll take you through the various roles, beginning with that of content editor.

Content Editor

Any brand worth its salt has a recognizable tone of voice, a unique style and consistently produces the kind of content that its target audience craves. Content should be inspiring, innovative, thought-leading and digestible in order to be effective and successful. It should also be free from formatting issues, grammatical errors or typos. This is all largely down to the content editor.

As a content editor, your role is demanding, all-encompassing and comes with a very steep learning curve. Not only will you be responsible for helping your team create content ideas, write and produce the content and proofread various pieces of content to implement style, tone, professionalism and consistency, you will also need to understand how to use data to your advantage.

Much like any role within the digital marketing sphere, this role can change and shift according to new industry trends and technologies, but here are some of the core responsibilities of a content editor:

  • Ensuring the smooth production and delivery of content in a variety of formats including blog posts, guest articles, eBooks, white papers, video scripts, infographics and print promotions. This involves compiling these various assets in line with company style guidelines, formatting, proofreading and editing for consistency, tone and style.
  • Helping the content manager to create and schedule ideas for content, from one-off pieces to specific marketing campaigns.
  • Writing content for blogs, whitepapers, eBooks and other materials, with the guidance and supervision of the content manager.
  • Researching competitor content, industry trends, news and current affairs and feeding it back to the department to assist with the company’s ongoing content marketing activities.
  • Collaborating with various internal departments, as well as external entities, including guest bloggers and influencers to ensure the smooth delivery of promotional materials and brand messaging across the organization.
  • Using analytical tools, collecting data and producing reports on the performance, engagement and return on investment (ROI) of various content marketing efforts to help drive the brand’s overall strategy forward.


The Skills

  • As a content editor, you must possess strong communication and interpersonal skills due to the collaborative nature of the role.
  • Qualifications or credentials in digital marketing, journalism, copywriting or English.
  • The ability to use Microsoft Office software, as well as photo-editing software and content management systems (CMSs) such as WordPress with confidence.
  • Analytical skills and proven experience in using data-driven platforms such as Google Analytics.
  • Creativity and the ability to develop a host of content ideas for a range of campaigns and projects.
  • Great attention to detail and the ability to proofread large volumes of content across a range of formats.
  • Basic search engine optimization (SEO) knowledge regarding best practice and keyword research.


Stepping Up

Taking that next step up the content marketing ladder often takes between two and three years, as there are many skills, methods and processes to master with confidence.

During your time as a content editor, playing an active, collaborative role concerning content creation and making your voice heard in campaign meetings will help your creativity to shine through. Moreover, conducting all of your activities with due diligence, remaining consistent and taking the time to research emerging industry trends will also help to accelerate your progress.

Content Manager

As a content manager, not only will you need to continue developing the core skills you’ve acquired as a content editor, you’ll also be responsible for adopting a strong leadership role.

In addition to writing, producing and developing content, proofreading and editing the work of others and using analytical tools to make data-driven strategic decisions, you’ll be largely responsible for leading campaign strategy while helping to enhance the skills of those within your team.

To give you a clearer indication of what will be expected of you as a content manager, here are the key responsibilities explained:

  • Developing content strategies that are aligned with short-term and long-term marketing targets.
  • Creating and publishing engaging content on a consistent basis.
  • Taking responsibility for updating the company’s content style guidelines as necessary.
  • Editing, proofreading and improving writers’ content, both internally and externally, and helping to develop their skills.
  • Liaising with other content producers within the business to ensure brand tone and consistency.
  • Helping to optimize content according to SEO best practices.
  • Leveraging digital tools to analyze website traffic and user engagement metrics.
  • Developing and updating an editorial calendar to ensure your team is consistently producing and publishing high-quality content.
  • Heading up major content campaigns with guidance from the head of content, and collaborating with other relevant departments to ensure the successful delivery of various assets and initiatives.
  • Ensuring compliance in areas such as copyright law and data protection.
  • Researching industry news and trends, and communicating these findings with your team on a regular basis.


The Skills

  • At least two years of proven experience as a content editor.
  • A fundamental technical knowledge of web publishing platforms and CMSs.
  • A working understanding of SEO and web traffic metrics.
  • Familiarity with social media processes, platforms and methodologies.
  • Excellent organizational and time-management skills.
  • A proficiency in content marketing theory and application.
  • Excellent copywriting skills.
  • The ability to work successfully and deliver positive results under pressure.
  • Strong communicative and leadership skills, with the ability to speak confidently, inspire others and communicate key information concisely and clearly.


Stepping Up

Not all great content managers will progress to the head of the department, but with a winning mindset as well as a big work ethic and an endless supply of creativity (and energy), it’s a tangible possibility.

To give yourself a competitive edge over others and accelerate your career, you should aim to lead a consistent string of demonstrably successful content marketing campaigns while showcasing your creativity on a regular basis. Moreover, if you can get yourself some high-profile guest writing spots, writing on marketing topics, you could establish yourself as a thought leader, meaning that you will be a more desirable candidate for head of content.

Head of Content

Making it to the head of content is no easy feat, but providing you have the passion, the experience, the confidence and the skillset, the rewards can be great.

As head of the department, the evolution, growth and health of the company’s content marketing efforts will rest on your shoulders. Colleagues will look to you, your creativity and your ability to look at the bigger picture to establish long-term success for your company or brand.

That said, you will work closely with your content manager, or managers, to develop your strategic direction and initiatives, while leading the business’s various content marketing campaigns, strategies and overall content from an executive level.

You’ll be in charge of formulating strategies that optimize the organization’s content marketing communications, while working with other heads of departments to deliver key campaigns, while allocating data-driven targets and marketing budgets to your content managers.

As the content director, your main area of focus will be leadership, collaboration, communication and driving innovation based on emerging technologies and industry trends. You will need to scale, evolve, develop and boost the brand’s content marketing initiatives, success and ROI. It’s a very important role with a big level of responsibility.


The Skills

On top of the plethora of skills you will have acquired as a content editor and manager, here are some of the other skills you’ll need to succeed as the head of content:

  • The astute ability to inspire, lead, motivate and guide your department to success.
  • Superb organizational and interdepartmental communication skills from a senior perspective.
  • An ability to set KPI-driven goals and set budgets for a host of content marketing pursuits.
  • Executive-level leadership skills, with an ability to speak publicly with confidence and clarity, communicating critical messages to stakeholders company-wide.
  • An endless supply of creativity and a willingness to be held accountable for the ongoing success of the organization’s content marketing efforts.


Being the head of content marketing work is a stressful, demanding role that comes with a great deal of responsibility, but if you’re passionate about content marketing, you’re creative and you’ve gained the experience you need from your career journey, you can rise to the challenge.


Stepping Up

If you become the head of content and you want to progress even further, you can go one more step and set your sights on the head of digital marketing position.

Key Takeaways

  • Being a successful content editor is a steep learning curve, but it will give you with the core skills you need for a successful career in the field.
  • Nurturing your creativity and remaining abreast of industry trends will accelerate your career as a content marketer.
  • Becoming head of the department will depend on your collaborative and communicative abilities, your confidence to lead, as well as your creative skills and adaptability concerning new trends and emerging technologies.

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