- What is content marketing?
- Content marketing as a career
- What does a content marketer do?
- Skills you need to be a content marketer
- How to get started?
- How to find content marketing jobs?
If you are wondering about ways to explore a career in content marketing, you are at the right place as we have got you covered! But before we jump onto the skills and tips to help you build a career in content marketing, let’s talk about how content marketing is gaining momentum.
With the expansion of digital media, marketing strategies have evolved immensely. Traditional marketing and advertising no more lure the customers as much. Due to this reason, marketing tactics are being adapted to the changing needs and demands of consumers. Every business, be it small or large, is trying its best to keep up with the rapid transformations in the digital domain.
It is important to understand that most part of the digital communication relies on content marketing. This is one of the major reasons why content has been regarded as King. Content is certainly the backbone of every business.
What is content marketing?
Simply put, content marketing is a less intrusive approach, as compared to traditional marketing, to reach and interact with your customers. The motive of content marketing is to attract customers by providing them with content that is useful, informative, interesting, entertaining, and engaging. HubSpot rightly defines content marketing as:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing and business process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
If you take a closer look, we are actually surrounded by such content from companies all over. Most commonly, this content comes in forms such as blogs, social media content, videos, imagery, newsletters, whitepapers, emails, webinars, live streaming, etc.
Content marketing as a career
Content marketing is undoubtedly one of the hottest and fastest growing careers in the marketing and advertising space today. As per LinkedIn’s recent research, job openings for content marketers have outnumbered other popular openings in the marketing domain. There is no doubt that these figures are only going to expand further in the coming years.
As per the 2018 data by Indeed, the average salary of a content marketer in India is close to Rs. 5,42,000 per year. The salary range varies as per individual's experience and background and may go upto Rs. 11,08,000 per year.
While most of the content creation entails creativity, a great content marketer is someone who has the ability to utilize the creative content in data-driven space. Content ideation, a creative process of finding a subject, title, angle, etc. actually begins with analytics. It involves understanding the audience or the buyer’s persona, keyword research, competitor’s content audit, creating catchy titles, etc. Thus, along with exceptional writing skills, good knowledge of SEO, analytics, basic coding, and metrics make a complete package for a great content marketer.
What does a content marketer do?
The role of a content marketer involves 3 essential things:
1. Content creation:
Content creation is not about writing on a random topic. It entails the creation of well-defined content for a target audience, keeping in line with the company voice. The idea is to visualize the end result. Before a content is written, it is crucial to understand what the marketer wants the readers to walk away with, and what action, if any, they want them to take.
It goes without saying that in the digital age, content goes hand in hand with SEO or search engine optimization. All the web content is SEO-oriented so as to ensure that it generates traffic via search engines. Content can be textual such as blog posts, news articles, press releases, case studies, etc. or visual such as videos, infographics, illustrations, podcasts, etc.
2. Content distribution:
What is the point of creating content if it cannot reach the audience? Content distribution is crucial to make the right content reach the right audience through the right platform. Content distribution is commonly done through social media channels, forums, Q&A sites, etc.
Renowned Management Consultant and Author, Peter Drucker rightly puts it:
You can’t manage, what you can’t measure.
Measuring and tracking is a vital aspect of marketing and content marketing is no different.
Weekly/monthly reports and constant tracking through analytic tools is an important aspect to review the current scenario and draw conclusions for future actions.
Skills you need to be a content marketer
Here are some of the most important skills to make it as a content marketer in 2018:
1. Research skills:
Content can be of multiple nature such as marketing content, technical content, academic content, etc. Creating a piece of content almost always requires a certain level of knowledge that can be acquired through research and interview. To research any given topic, one needs to find good sources of information, identify key data points, note them down and plan the content around them.
2. Writing skills and grammar:
No prizes for guessing! Writing is the essence of the content. In order to thrive as a content marketer, you must be super comfortable with words.
However, when it comes to writing for the web, only possessing exceptional grammatical skills and vocabulary is not enough. It is vital to understand the target audience and their needs, the purpose of the content, and the tone of the brand.
Furthermore, it is necessary to be comfortable with different writing styles. Every writing copy is different than the other, for example, a blog post is generally personal and opinionated, whereas an ad copy is short and persuasive.
Tools to check out:
For content ideation and idea generation: Buzzsumo, Feedly, Quora, HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator, Google Trends
For worthy content, trends, and influencers:EpicBeat
For writing and grammar:Hemingway, Grammarly
For content promotion: Hootsuite, SproutSocial, Buffer
3. SEO and other technical skills:
As discussed above, when you are writing for the web, SEO is inevitable. Optimising content for the search engine is as important as writing the content itself. Some of the factors that play an important role in SEO are- Keyword research skills, relevant use of keywords, optimising page title, meta-description optimisation, optimising images, etc.
Technical skills such as HTML, CSS, and analytics are highly appreciated by companies. Having a command over these skills will give you an edge over other candidates.
As a content marketer, you will also often work with content management systems as Wordpress, etc. Thus, it is a good idea to get comfortable with CMS.
Tools/online certifications to check out:
For keyword research and planning: Google Keyword Planner
For brushing up HTML and CSS skills: HTML & CSS by Codecademy
For Analytics: Google Analytics Certification
For WordPress: Utilise WordPress forum and official website. You can also take up free online course on Udemy.
4. Design and creative skills:
As a content marketer, you will often work with images and visual content such as infographics, data visualisation, and creating/editing videos. Thus, it is crucial to have basic knowledge of design tools. Not only will such skills save you time but they will also help you better optimise your content.
5. Project and content management skills:
A content marketer looks after a number of things. For common operations like maintaining the editorial calendar, keeping up with social media postings, assigning tasks, managing the blog, tracking the relevant metrics, etc. knowledge of project software tools becomes important. These tools help in sharing and managing of content.
6. Social media optimisation
Your content needs to show where your audience is. As we mentioned above, content production is not enough. Content distribution is as important. With digitalisation, social media has become an indispensable platform when it comes to communicating with your audience. Thus, knowledge of multiple social media platforms is highly crucial.
Every day millions of blog posts and other content forms are generated on the internet. In order to cut through, a content marketer needs to be creative, analytical, and consistent. A mix of strong creative skills, a keen eye for the metrics, and utilisation of the right tools will ensure a place for you in the content marketing domain.
How to get started?
1. Start your own blog
Find your niche and start writing by building your own blog. Building an online presence is essential for branding yourself and marketing your writing skills. Ideally, you should find a way to set up a personal website or blog to post content and showcase your abilities. Popular blogging platforms such as Wordpress help you create your own blog in a matter of few minutes.
However, if creating a blog website seems a bit overwhelming, you can simply start by building a personal portfolio on free content publishing websites like Medium or Quora. You may also begin by sharing your creations on personal social media handles like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. This will help you learn how engaging your content is and the kind of the audience it manages to attract.
The idea is to let potential clients evaluate your writing and presentation skills before they hire you. Make sure the content you post on your portfolio is professional, creative, fresh, effective and original.
2. Freelancing opportunities
If you're just starting out, you can consider building a portfolio by working as a freelancer. It might help to get your content published through freelance jobs on Upwork and Fiverr. Your best bet would be to play dirty and outbid other writers for work that is low-paying but will help you build a strong portfolio. Be prepared for rejection though and having to write and rewrite articles for clients.
As soon as you've built a portfolio worth showcasing, leverage the connections you've made on the platforms to independently find freelancing jobs or to get hired full-time.
Another good option to consider when starting out is applying for internships. Many companies are on a look-out for freshers and recent graduates for various assignments. Even though the pay might be low or non-existent, you will be working under professionals who will critique your work, and ultimately help you raise the standard of your content. Another benefit of working in a professional setting includes building connections with other writers, editors, and potential future clients.
4. Free certification in content marketing
Boost your skill set in content marketing by taking up free online courses. Such courses will add immense credibility to your profile. Some popular free content marketing certifications are by Hubspot, Udemy and Google Garage.
How to find content marketing jobs?
Now that you know quite a bit about building a career in content marketing, it is time you learn how to find jobs that are ideal for you.
1. Study the market
The key to finding a good job is to build a winning resume. But that's just the first step — to get the job you want, you must study the market and understand what's in demand. Once you've shortlisted a handful of sectors or niches you would like to get a job in, write articles on what's trending in those sectors to get the attention of employers.
2. Make guest contributions
Find key publications, write to them sharing your previous work and ask for opportunities to make guest contributions. This will help you gain exposure and build influential connections.
Keeping a byline in the contributions to introduce yourself and your portfolio will get you noticed by top employers in the various sectors that the publications addresses.
3. Leverage connections
Leverage connections to get references and recommendations to your dream job. You'd be surprised how easier it is to get hired when someone is vouching for you. You can use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to find connections that might be beneficial for you.
As long as you've built your network through freelance work, internships, and guest contributions, it should be fairly easy for you to find a source of reference in the organizations you apply at.
3. Use job portals and online platforms
The job market has plenty of content writing and content marketing jobs. The simplest and often the most effective way to discover jobs and receive offers is to use online job portals. You can find over 1600 content marketing jobs on Naukri.com itself. All you need to do is a simple keyword search - content marketing, and you can view and apply for as many content marketing jobs as you like.
As you apply and respond to the offers you receive, do a little bit of research on the employers. You can look for company reviews on websites like AmbitionBox for numerous organisations. This will help you evaluate which organisations are the right fit for you.
Once you've submitted applications for the jobs you feel are right for you, it is only a matter of letting employers review your portfolio, work history, and content writing skills to get that job offer you've been working so hard for.