Columnist Kerry Jones shares the state of the content marketing job market based on new research and insights from recruitment professionals.
If you’re looking for a content marketing job, you’re in luck. But if you’re trying to hire for content roles, you may find there’s a lot of competition for talent.
A recent study by Fractl (my employer) and Moz confirmed there is growing demand for content marketing skills. “The Inbound Marketing Economy” analyzed more than 75,000 job listings on Indeed.com containing digital marketing keywords, including content marketing terms.
To get a pulse on the current state of content marketing careers, I’ve compiled the study’s most compelling stats and gathered input from recruitment professionals. Read on to see how much content marketing has grown as a career field in recent years, how much content marketers are being paid, which states have the most job prospects, and more.
The Number Of Content Marketing Job Listings Has Grown Nearly 350% Since 2011
Between January 2011 and January 2015, the number of job listings on Indeed containing “content marketing” or “content strategy” grew by about 350%. This uptick in the number of job listings coincides with Google’s Panda update in February 2011, which shifted online marketers’ focus from quantity to quality content.
And the upward trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down…
26% Of Marketing Executives Expect To Hire Content Marketing Roles This Year
“Compared to a year ago, we’re seeing greater demand for content strategists,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group (TCG). According to TCG’s recent study on the hiring climate for creatives, 26% of marketing executives reported they expect to hire for content marketing roles in the second half of 2015. This was the third most common response, right after creative art direction and account services (27% each).
While this kind of growth is great news for content marketing job seekers, overall the volume of available content marketing jobs is still low compared to other inbound marketing jobs such as social media, digital marketing and SEO. This suggests that despite its surge in popularity in recent years, content marketing has yet to hit the same level of ubiquity as SEO and social media in an organization.
Additionally, a lack of hiring budget may be limiting the number of content marketing jobs. More than half of marketers surveyed in a recent study by Contently reported that a quarter or less of their 2015 marketing budget was dedicated to content marketing. We can expect more content marketing job growth if these budgets increase in the coming years.
Content Marketing Roles Have An Average Salary Range Between $60,000 And $74,000
According to “The Inbound Marketing Economy,” the average salary for job listings containing “content marketing” or “content strategy” is $61,000. (When content marketing is part of the job title, that amount jumps to $74,000.)
While this is lower compared to some of the other keywords in the study, it’s not exactly pauper’s pay. Other sources on content marketing salary data report similar findings in this range:
LinkedIn Profiles Containing “Content Marketing” Have Grown 168% Since 2013
Between June 2013 and June 2015, the number of LinkedIn profiles in the U.S. containing “content marketing” has increased by 168%. This is the largest growth among all of the terms analyzed in the study. However, as you can see in the graph below, content marketing still lacks the volume of other keywords.
Massachusetts And New York Have The Highest Concentration Of Content Marketing Jobs
Content marketers have the greatest number of opportunities in the Northeast, with the highest concentration of jobs in Massachusetts (3.8 per capita) and New York (3.3 per capita). California is third on the list, with 2.8 content marketing job listings per capita. Many of the other states on the list have large metropolitan areas where corporate headquarters and marketing agencies are likely to be based.
Keep in mind, the study only looked at jobs containing the words “content marketing” and “content strategy.” In other words, this study didn’t account for every job opportunity for online content producers. If the map above shows your state is a content marketing desert, it may just be due to job listings using different terminology.
Plenty of job listings describe content marketing tasks without any mention of the phrase “content marketing.” If you’re using online job boards to find content marketing roles, include searches for phrases such as “online content” or even “content” to ensure you don’t overlook potential content marketing opportunities.
Soft Skills Still Have A Lot Of Value
While it’s important to showcase content marketing skills, recruiters also recommend that job seekers should show off the soft skills that make them a well-rounded employee. The three recruitment professionals I spoke with all mentioned that soft skills still have weight despite the increasingly technical nature of digital marketing roles.
“In addition to having the requisite technical skills for a job, employers are also placing greater emphasis on soft skills such as the ability to lead a team, solve problems, or negotiate,” said Domeyer. “Companies have to work harder to attract and retain professionals with these in-demand skills. Some are even hiring junior talent that they can train if the candidates have strong soft skills and fit in with the workplace culture.”
“In addition to having the requisite technical skills for a job, employers are also placing greater emphasis on soft skills such as the ability to lead a team, solve problems, or negotiate.”
TopSpot Internet Marketing agrees that technical marketing skills can be acquired with enough training; instead, their team focuses on soft skills during the talent search. Their Talent Retention Specialist, Abby Frizzell, says she looks for candidates with “great communication skills, a positive attitude and the desire to learn, which can’t be taught.”
Perhaps the most obvious skill you should display in an interview was pointed out by Ilene Bauer, senior recruiter at SapientNitro. She says not only do you need a solid portfolio for any creative role, but you also need the ability to talk about your samples of work.
To learn more, be sure to check out the full results from the study, which include data on other digital marketing career fields.
Do you have experience hiring for content marketing roles, or are you seeking a content marketing role? I’d love to hear how your experience aligns with what I’ve shared — please leave a comment below.