If there’s one thing we learned in 2013, it’s that content marketing is not a fad. It’s estimated that marketers spent an average of $118.4 billion on content marketing, video marketing and social media in 2013. Marketers now spend 25% of their marketing budget on content marketing. This shift in budget spending is a direct result of the 68% of consumers that spend time reading content from brands they are interested in before making a purchase. Clearly, content has a huge impact on how consumers view and interact with companies.
With so much demand for content, and the ever-growing need to evolve processes and people to meet the needs of brands today, marketing agencies have begun drafting new roles for content marketing specialties. While content marketing isn’t a new concept, the idea of brands as publishers has created a need for individuals who can develop deep expertise within specific capabilities. No organization, no matter the size, can find personnel who are experts at each and every content platform. Especially since the amount of high-quality content on the web will only continue to increase!
2014 will bring new content marketing specialties to the field as a result of new demands. While this list most certainly isn’t complete, it is a decent start to what we could be hiring for in the near future:
1. Content Planning and Audience Strategist
Anyone that has managed an editorial calendar knows it’s more than a pretty spreadsheet with multiple tabs. Overall, keeping control of a content schedule is a pretty hefty task! With more content in demand, we can take that as a strong indicator that companies will need strategists who can look into the future. This type of content marketer would benefit from keyword research skills and social listening to know what’s the buzz on the web. Someone that can manage audiences knows how to listen, perform research and isn’t afraid to ask questions. Learning to use software that spits out affinity data would be a huge bonus. This person is key during product launches, rebranding or times of crisis.
2. Content Officer
Conversations surrounding a company’s product, services and customer service are now entirely online. A mere 10 years ago this was something we controlled; only recently did it shift to real time. A Content Officer could be the controller, so to speak, lassoing business strategy with digital outreach with less of a focus on day-to-day content creation. The war for top digital talent continues to heat up as well as for a strong “officer” to hold down objectives, able to marry content with outcomes.
3. Data Specialist
Let’s start with a stat that will blow your socks off: 90% of the world’s data was created in the last 2 years. We’ve seen self-publishers skyrocket thanks to social media. This fact alone is what drives the buzz around ‘big data’. As we discussed in an earlier blog post, companies now have open access to information that is too much for Excel spreadsheets to handle. So what will they do? Data specialists will work closely to transform optimized web content, Facebook posts and search insights into digestible information, which can then be used to shape content strategy.
4. Digital Influencer Outreach
Most content production is created behind the scenes with specialized teams of editorial experts. But lately we’re seeing an increasingly extroverted approach to marketing high quality content. Brands are tapping into the power of digital influencers to leverage their marketing campaigns. There is a growing need for talent that can charm thought leaders and celebrities—winning them over to share a sponsored tweet or become a guest blogger.
5. Visual Content Specialist
Did we forget to mention that visual content is sweeping the marketing industry? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, visual content has exploded onto the scene in recent years thanks to viral videos, Instagram and Pinterest. A report from 2012 found that 44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media. It’s also interesting to note that the average human attention span has dropped from 12 to just 5 minutes. It’s no surprise that marketers have to work a lot harder to catch a consumer’s eye. We’re increasingly hungry for visual content—and agencies need specialists who like to get their hands dirty with videos, memes, images and whatever new visual platform surfaces.
The content marketing industry is on a roll and there’s no doubt we will continue to see a need for writers, editors and client account managers. Needless to say, these factors are at the core of current marketing best practices. But it’s also wise to supply your agency with multi-talented content creators and keep a close watch on trends to stay on top of your game. You never know when you might need to carve out a new specialized role for the benefit of the company and your clients.
Tell us about new roles you’ve added to your agency in the past year in the comments below. What types of specialties do you see increasing in the next year?