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Have you been considering a career change? Are you ready to take on something new, with huge potential for steady growth in the coming years? Why not a career as a content marketer? As the digital marketing industry becomes more specialized, the need for skilled content marketers is growing fast.
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics between 2016-2026, jobs in the print publishing industry will decline while jobs for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers are projected to grow by 10 per cent. This leaves plenty of room for those with marketing skills in print to transition to a role in content marketing. If you have a degree in the communications field, you may want to consider using it to become a content marketer.
What is Content Marketing?
Michelle Lin, a content marketing guru who writes extensively on the topic, pokes fun at the question in her article, “How to Explain Content Marketing to Anyone.” In it, she describes the difficulties she faces explaining to people what exactly she does and the “aha” moments that have helped her to explain it.
Content marketing is a specific niche within the field of digital marketing. It is a way that businesses connect with their audience outside of selling them their brand or service. There are several mediums through which they make these connections such as blog posts, social media posts, emails, gated content, and video.
Content marketing and creation is an art form that requires the ability to design creative and interesting content that connects with a targeted audience. It’s educational material that helps the reader, answers a question, or solves a problem in a way that is entertaining to read, watch, or listen to. Becoming known as an expert on a topic creates customer trust and loyalty, especially if you remain focused on content that provides value to your audience.
The purpose of content marketing is to persuade a person into taking action. Content should entice someone with valuable, engaging, and relevant information. The content marketer's job is to determine not only how to do that, but how to evaluate the efficacy of strategies employed by using metrics.
A content marketer needs to be both a storyteller and a data analyst. Ultimately, your goal as a content marketer is to work as a part of the company's overall digital marketing strategy by identifying and engaging with the target audience in a way that is meaningful to them.
Take a look below at the day-to-day responsibilities of a content marketer.
Written Content Creation
You will create a vision for blogs, emails, and social media posts. As a content marketer, you will work with a team of writer or freelancers and assign topics. Even still, a content marketer is able to write as well and will be expected to do so.
To create quality written content, you will need excellent writing skills and to be able to persuade your audience without selling overtly. You will do that by understanding the needs of your target audience.
- Researching trends related to your field
- Integrating keywords into your strategy and evaluating the effectiveness
- Knowing your audience and what you can do for them
- Creating engaging and original blog posts, emails, and social media posts targeted to your audience based on current trends
- Using tools like quora.com to find out what questions your audience is asking and develop content to answer those questions
- Repurposing popular content across multiple platforms
- Creating email campaigns targeted to users who sign up for gated content or opt-in to the mailing list
- Maintaining the company website
Video Content Creation
Using tools like YouTube and Vimeo as a way to promote brand awareness is becoming an increasingly integral part of a good content marketing strategy. There are a number of ways you can integrate video into your marketing strategy. You can repurpose a popular blog post, create helpful how-to videos, and even post your opinion on topics of interest to your target audience.
You will be responsible for creating relevant video content related to your brand and distributing it across multiple media platforms, or consulting with freelancers to create the content.
- Coordinate the use of video into the overall marketing strategy
- Create a vision for video content
- Consult with freelancers and creatives for video content
- Distribute video across multiple media platforms
Social Media Management
You will create, manage, and track content across platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat.
- Learn what platforms your target audience uses and when they use them, and post accordingly
- Engage with your audience, answer questions, and respond to comments
- Create a social media presence across all platforms and maintain a persona that's representative of the brand’s image and values
- Increase followers
- Increase brand awareness
Gated Content Generation
Users must fill out a form to access gated content, and it usually requires a name and an email address. It’s an exchange of high-value information like an eBook or a white paper for access to a user’s semi-personal information. The key is to provide something so valuable to the user that they want to give you their email address in order to get more valuable content from you. You will also take this content and repurpose it. You can condense it into an infographic, take one aspect of it and turn it into a blog, and so on.
Creative writing and storytelling skills are required for this job. You will need to be able to educate, enlighten, and keep your audience interested in the content they had to sign up to access.
- Research current trends
- Write or coordinate eBooks, how-to’s, and white papers with value-driven content
- Plan distribution
- Find ways to repurpose the content across other platforms
Editorial Calendars and Strategy
Content marketing is a long game. As such, it’s important to create a publishing strategy. You will be planning your content long before it comes out. For example, if you are creating content for an e-commerce store selling backpacks, you will have planned out well in advance how to take advantage of back-to-school shopping. In June, you might put out a blog post for parents with fun day trip ideas, in July, the top three beaches you must visit in the area, and then in August, the essential guide on back-to-school readiness.
As a content marketer, your job is to connect with your target audience by building a relationship and maintaining it. An editorial calendar is an essential tool that helps facilitate this connection. Once you gain your audience’s trust, they are relying on you for continued support.
This is a multifaceted aspect of the job and skills in leadership, delegation, organization, and an ability to meet deadlines are crucial.
- Set publishing timelines from idea generation to publication
- Coordinate with freelancers and team members
- Create and enforce deadlines according to the editorial calendar
- Plan when and how to repurpose content across media platforms
- Social media management
As a content marketer, you will take all of the above methods and then analyze which ones are working. What content is drawing your audience in? What actions are people taking on your website? You will be able to measure the success of your marketing campaigns using the top tools in the industry like Google Analytics. You must collect and interpret data and then use your findings to adjust plans for maximum effectiveness.
- Collect and interpret user data
- Define the target audience using metrics gathered by analytics software
- Adjust overall marketing strategy based on what is working
If you have strong leadership skills, a burning desire to create content that will provide value to your reader, and excellent writing skills, then a career in content marketing is an exciting possibility.