Most of the recent “Get ready for 2014!” posts included a section about content marketing and how important it will be this coming year. Google’s recent emphasis on long-form content and its dedication to shutting down article submission sites and penalizing other strategies marketers have used to make content directed at search engines, rather than the reader, means companies are taking notice of just how important good content is for their online presence.
Hiring Trends in 2014
Because of the cautionary tales that come with Google penalization, and the fact that 93% of B2B marketers are curently using content marketing in some form, and plan to step up their efforts (according to a study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs), there has been a dramatic increase in the number of brands and start-ups hiring content marketers because they want a stronger online presence and know that great content is going to take their web traffic to the next level.
Of course, many large companies have had an entire team of content marketers for years now, but the growth in start-ups and small to medium-sized companies hiring for this type of position is growing faster than ever before.
Many of the content marketer positions (also occasionally called Blog Editor or even Content Engineer) are the first position of their kind within the company, showing a new trend in hiring someone to focus solely on content.
Below are some of the top qualifications and duties of this new crop of job openings that I’ve seen in the last few months.
The primary responsibility in most of these new job openings is the company’s blog being the main focus. The blog starting point varies wildly. Some have no blog at all; others have one that could be better. The new content marketer is responsible for creating a strategy around the blog’s messaging, setting up goals for content (in terms of conversion, social shares, or another metric that’s important to the company), and writing the majority of the blog posts.
Besides creating a new strategy, because the person is being hired solely to write, many companies are expecting blog posts on almost a daily basis, with many wanting four to five posts per week. Additionally, the content marketer would also be responsible for organizing the editorial calendar for not only their own posts, but for any contributing guest bloggers.
Crafting an engaging and active blog is one of the easiest ways that content can benefit a company, both from a social and SEO standpoint.
Another newer responsibility that many small to medium-sized businesses have never implemented before they created the content marketer position was a focus on long-form content, like white papers, e-books, webinars, or tutorials.
As mentioned previously, Google’s inclusion of long-form content and PDFs in search results (which wasn’t always the case) has made companies realize that the longer the content, the more likely they are to receive traffic from it.
Regularly producing several different types of long-form content not only gives content variety, it makes the company a leading resource in their industry.
In the majority of the job openings, the new content marketer is also expected to regularly interface with all employees, especially those in marketing and advertising. By working together on strategy for each season or promotion, content can be a lot stronger and carry across different platforms, from social media to blog posts.
The content marketer may also help foster external marketing efforts, like guest blogging on other websites to raise awareness (and get inbound links) and writing copy for advertisements, brochures, or other promotional materials.
By allowing this new employee to be freely available across several departments, the benefit is two-fold. The content marketer will have a better feel for the company as a whole (as well as its products and mission statement) and other employees have a resource to work with on content-related projects.
Cross-working in several departments also helps all employees feel like they are working toward a common goal, something that is important to many of the hiring companies.
Flexibility and Benefits
Another noticeable aspect of the type of companies that are hiring content marketers is the outstanding employee benefits and perks. Many companies willing to add on a person whose sole focus is writing (without any guarantee of ROI), also usually have great perks, like telecommuting, paid insurance, three to four weeks of vacation, paid cell phone, new computer, and more.
This can’t be a coincidence, as companies that are progressive enough to realize that content marketing is crucial to their company is also progressive in other areas, such as company culture and working environment. Working for these growing companies are perfect for the ideal content marketers, as a more creative, independent environment usually leads to better content and strategy idea generation.
Why This Role is Important
Hiring a content marketer that has no set ROI guarantee may be one of the best acquisitions a company can make. More content equals more visibility, and by hiring someone focused solely on writing can help companies be seen as a resource in their industry, increase their chances of being found via search engines and other inbound links (great content links to great content!), and continue to grow an environment of creativity.
All images via Shutterstock