Content marketing opportunities and paychecks are on the rise. This content marketing salary survey and expert advice round-up will give you a better understanding of the content marketing job market, average content marketing salary, and how to get a raise.
Job Market Overview
Image from marketingland.com
Content marketing jobs have grown over 350 percent since 2011. The highest concentration of content marketing jobs are in Massachusetts, New York, and California. While some say the forecast for content marketing roles is bleak, others predict content marketing roles will grow and responsibilities will shift to include changing technologies and story-consuming preferences.
Examples of content marketing skills expected as a requirement in the next fives years include augmented and virtual reality, chatbot marketing, and live video. As responsibilities and skill sets grow for content marketers, so do their salaries.
Content Marketing Salary Survey
Picture from Robert Half Creative Group
Creative salaries are increasing. When determining your content marketing salary, consider years of experience, location, and industry. Top resources for calculating average salary include:
- Robert Half Creative Group Salary Guide: A personal calculator supplements this guide. Enter your experience, industry, and location to receive a custom salary range. According to Robert Half, the national average content marketing salary for managers in 2017 is $70,000 to $103,000.
- Glassdoor: Glassdoor gives national and location-specific content marketing salary information. Glassdoor also provides data on company-specific compensation. According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for content marketing managers is $68,348.
- PayScale: PayScale breaks content marketing salary into subcategories including commission and bonus and can produce a custom salary report based on your experience and skills. According to PayScale, the national average salary for content marketing managers is $64,776.
Quick tip: Want a nice pay bump? Change your title to content strategist. They made between 81k and 104k in 2017.
How to Get a Raise
Asking for a raise requires courage and preparation. Though the average content marketing salary is increasing and the interest in content marketing is growing, many teams are choosing to hire contractors instead of full-time employees or try their hand at supplementing with technology rather than full-time hires. Here are a few things top-content marketers think you should do to help impress your boss and get a raise.
Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler | @scottabel
“Quit your job. Get another. The salary bump at the new gig will likely be more than your current boss will be able to raise your salary. Just ask any manager!”
Work Outside of Work
If you’re new to the content marketing space and trying to break in, the best thing you can do to get hired with a competitive starting salary is do content marketing as part of a passion project. Interested in tap-dancing animals? Create a website and grow an audience. We also suggest practicing answers to these questions.
Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute Founder | @JoePulizzi
“To anyone looking to get into content marketing, I always tell them to grow their own audience. It could be around their hobby or something they are interested in…could be anything really. If you go out and create consistent, regular content and build even a small audience over time, literally anyone will hire you.”
In a similar vein, create notoriety for yourself prior to interviewing. Here’s why:
Mark W. Schaefer, author, consultant and author of KNOWN | @markwschaefer
“The only permanent, sustainable and transferrable advantage an individual has today is be ‘known’ in their industry. Somebody who is known will command more opportunities than somebody who is not. This means being mindful about creating the online presence, authority and reputation to give yourself the best opportunity to succeed.”
Mark W. Schaefer’s book is here!
Develop More Skills
Another challenge in advancing your content marketing career is developing the variety of skills required to succeed. Expanding on these will help in getting a raise.
Arnie Kuenn, CEO of Vertical Measures | @ArnieK
“There are many different roles in content marketing, all requiring different skill sets. But there is one thing I recommend anyone involved in content marketing do to make themselves more valuable to their organization; that is to truly understand your brand’s customer journey so that you can build a strategy that puts the right (optimized) content in front of your customer at the right time. If you become an expert at that, you will be unique within your organization.”
Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group | @BrennerMichael
“The best thing a content marketer can do to increase their value is to move beyond just being a marketer. And become a content creator. Write articles, create videos, test new ideas, build a social presence and share your content with them. Look at the data to understand what works and identify the insights that lead to better content. Then share those insights with your entire organization. Content marketing is simply the by-product of a customer-centric culture. Those insights have value across the entire organization.”
Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing at InsightSquared | @JChernov
“The best thing a content marketer can do to bump their salary is to be a multi-sport athlete. Be able to write and design; be able to design and code; be able to … you get the idea. Be two hires in one.”
Skills required for content marketers outside writing include html, Google Analytics, programming, marketing strategy, content strategy, thought leadership and brand development.
Many experts agree one of the best things you can do for a salary bump is prove you’re returning the investment the company is making on you.
Jay Baer, President of Convince and Convert, NY Times Best-selling Author | @jaybaer
“Learn how to measure content effectiveness very, very well.”
Rebecca Lieb, Analyst, Speaker, Author | @lieblink
“Prove results that contribute to company goals and ROI. Where most content marketers drop the ball is in assuming that only sales count. Yet content marketing can speed up product development, create organizational efficiency, create savings in customer service and hit many other benchmark that can be quantified with actual dollars and cents. All this is an essential part of content strategy. Proving business results on content campaigns won’t just help marketers to snag a bigger paycheck, it could pay off in bigger budgets, too. Win-win!”
Lee Odden, CEO at Top Rank Marketing | @leeodden
“The smartest thing a content marketer can do to increase their salary is to make a clear connection between content marketing strategy, tactics implemented and increased ROI. Marketers are an investment and there’s no better reason to increase that investment than a proven increase in return.”
Quick tips for making the ROI argument to your manager:
- Use numbers: you’re asking for a numerical increase in your content marketing salary. It only makes sense to use numerical reasons to support that increase.
- Track against larger marketing and company goals. Your company is looking to increase revenue, prove your content is helping with this.
Barry Feldman, Author of 'The Road to Recognition' | @FeldmanCreative
“Prove you’ve earned it by help the person that’s responsible for deciding what your salary is find the money. Do everything you can to demonstrate how your work drives the traffic, leads and sales that affects the top line and/or decreases the marketing costs that affect the bottom line.”
Pam Didner, B2B Marketing Consultant | @PamDidner
“Make an effort to demonstrate the value you add to the company and other marketing teams. Then, be strategic and articulate the benefits of content marketing to upper management. It’s Do, Show and Tell!”
Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder of Orbit Media | @crestodina
“Your boss wants to measure ROI, so the skill that has the biggest impact on your perceived value (and therefore your ability to command higher pay) is Analytics. Be the person who can show which actions drive results and which investments are a waste of money. You’ll hold the key to marketing insights …and to a bigger paycheck.”
Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich and author of Spin Sucks | @ginidietrich
“Show results! While we certainly can prove attribution, if you can show how your content marketing efforts tie to business results, you can ask for that raise. Start with attribution. Move to lead nurturing. And then to the jackpot at the end of the rainbow—a boost in revenue. While content marketing works in tandem with other sales and marketing efforts, if you set up your reporting to show how your efforts brought the lead in, nurtured them, and helped them make a decision to buy, attribution goes to you. Use it the next time you ask for a bump in your salary.”
If you aren’t sure if you’re generating ROI for your organization, you’re not alone. Before asking for a raise, take some time to develop an ROI measurement process your manager supports. Also start getting feedback from the sales team or customer success. If other teams can anecdotally support your claims that your content is helping them close and retain revenue, all the better.
Bernie Borges, Podcaster, CMO of Vengreso | @bernieborges
“A content marketer who directly and indisputably helps the sales team create more qualified sales conversations has the best chance of earning more compensation.”
Ann Handley, Head of Content at MarketingProfs | @MarketingProfs
“Stay curious and keep your skills current. ABS (Always be sharpening!) your content knowledge and skills.”
Todd Wheatland, Author and Speaker, Global Strategy at King Content | @ToddWheatland
“Most people avoid recognising what it is that motivates them, and asking for what they want. It doesn’t matter if you’re an outstanding performer; if you don’t make it clear to your employer what’s important to you, then you are going to lose out comparatively to those that do. Once you’ve found the courage to do that – and let’s face it, most people never will – it’s important to have a sense of both the external market value of your capability, and the reality within your current organization. In my experience, avoid at all costs making it about ‘I could be earning more money somewhere else.’ Stay focused on your current role, the work you’re delivering and the impact you’re having. Make it easy for someone to say Yes – show clearly that you understand what’s important to the overall organization, and how you’re quantifiably driving towards that metric.”
Carla Johnson, Keynote Speaker, Author, Storyteller | @CarlaJohnson
“The best thing a content marketer can do to bump up their salary is to get curious. There are lots of skills a person can learn, but that’s a reactionary approach. That’s seeing where they may get behind the curve and then catching up. Curious people find opportunities everywhere. They dig into the world around them, understand why ideas and experiences work or inspire the, connect that back to their work and generate great ideas one after the other. Ideas that work within the constraints of the working world. This is how people contribute ideas that excite others and help brands stand out from the crowd. Bosses are strapped for time and have a ton on their plate. But deep down, they always want to deliver the best, most creative work possible. When you consistently make your boss’s job easier and look great at the same time, you become the golden child. And that will always bump up your salary.”
No matter your location, years’ experience or the content marketing salary you’re trying to reach, there are a few things you can do to help get you there.
Improve your marketability by showing off your marketing chops both on and off the court, in and out of the office. Create and grow an audience in your free time.
Make yourself a “multi-sport” athlete. Expand your expertise beyond just writing and into SEO, coding, design, email, paid marketing and more.
Exceed your numbers. If you’re lucky enough to be part of a content marketing team that already has an understanding of how to measure content marketing, then do your best to assure you’re exceeding expectations when it comes to achieving ROI. If your team doesn’t measure ROI for content marketing efforts, create and install a process.
To find out more on how to take the next step in your marketing career, download Curata and LinkedIn’s eBook: The Ultimate Guide to a Content Marketing Career.