how to get into content marketing

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Are you a burgeoning content marketer and want to learn how to get into content marketing and be successful? You’re in the right spot!

Lately, content marketing has become a popular career choice for many marketers as it’s an industry in which you can really thrive.

However, starting a content marketing career can seem daunting especially if you have no experience at all.

Don’t worry though!

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No matter what your level of experience is, this ultimate guide, full of actionable content marketing tips, will help you set your plan into motion and get into the content marketing world.

In fact, content marketers are in huge demand since the content marketing market share is predicted to increase by USD 487.24 billion from 2021 to 2026, according to a study made by Technavio.

With companies realizing the power of digital content, there’s no better time than now to take up this career option if you really want to become a content marketer.

Read on for the straight talk on how to become a successful content marketer!

Interesting Stats About Content Marketing & Content Marketers

What are the Different Content Marketing Jobs?

The roles and job responsibilities of content marketers vary depending on their experience, education, and industry.

Knowing the different roles or jobs that a content marketer engages in can help you determine which one most fits your interests and strengths.

Below are some different roles and responsibilities of a content marketer. I’ll list them in a hierarchical way so you can see how they relate to each other.

  • Content Strategist
  • Content Creators/Contributors
  • Editorial Assistants
  • Content Promotion Specialists
  • Content Analytics Specialists
  • Content Marketing Manager
  • Director of Content Marketing

1. Content Strategist

At the top of the hierarchy is the content strategist, who is responsible for developing content marketing strategies for the needs of the business.

Some content marketers identify themselves more as content strategists simply because to be able to market effectively, you need to know the core of your brand and have a strategy in mind.

Content strategists come from various backgrounds including marketing, communications, management, business school, or design.

As a content strategist, you will be responsible for what I call “Big Ideas” in your business.

You’ll be collaborating with other members of the organization to determine how you’ll meet strategic objectives via content marketing.

2. Content Creators/Contributors

The next level down is the content creators and contributors.

This is where most of the content writers and editors will be found.

This role involves the foundation of content marketing, i.e, content production.

And content production is everything from creating compelling content such as new blog posts, articles, and videos, to managing social media accounts and optimizing existing content.

3. Editorial Assistants

At the bottom of the pyramid are the editorial assistants.

In many cases, these individuals are working under the supervision of senior content strategists and content creators but work independently to perform “tasks”, such as copy-editing, fact-checking, and proofreading documents created by other members of the organization.

The main purpose of this role is to ensure that all written material meets quality standards.

4. Content Promotion Specialists

This layer is a bit more specialized.

These content specialists focus on promoting content to increase its visibility and encourage engagement with the target online audiences.

Depending upon the needs of your company, there are many different ways you can go about doing this:

  • Social Media Specialist: YouTube specialist, Twitter specialist, Facebook specialist, etc.
  • SEO Specialist: Keyword research specialist, SEO auditors, link building specialists etc…
  • Blogging Specialist: Blog management, blog post creation, and optimization, social media influencer management, etc.

5. Content Analytics Specialist

This is the Google Analytics guy or girl!

Content analysts keep track of the performance and success of the content you create.

Through data analysis, they help you determine what’s working and what’s not so that you can improve your content strategies over time.

They are the ones responsible for finding anomalies, gaps, and issues in the content marketing strategy.

And after monitoring the data analytics, they normally report to the content strategist who will then come up with ideas.

6. Content Marketing Manager

Another layer of the pyramid is the content marketing manager, who is responsible for ensuring that content is consistent with the overall brand strategy.

A content marketing manager is the one that ensures that the content strategy has been executed effectively and meets the needs of the business.

The role of a content marketing manager is also geared toward the good running of the content marketing team.

He ensures that each person on the team collaborates in a productive manner and that all deliverables are to the necessary standards.

7. Director of Content Marketing

The last position on this list, however, is typically found in larger corporations and the director of content marketing is usually the one that deals with other executives of the company in order to ensure that content marketing is a realistic and sustainable part of the company’s strategy.

Because of this, the director must always be able to demonstrate that content marketing is being implemented effectively and that it is being managed well.

Is Content Marketing in Demand?

Content marketing is a legitimate and all-powerful way of promoting a product or service and is, in fact, more important than ever to companies looking to grow their business.

With the increased use of the internet for almost everything, be it on search engines or social media, content marketing has become a must-have marketing tool for businesses.

So, yes the demand for content marketing specialists is on the rise.

According to a study made by Semrush, they surveyed 1500 businesses in various niches and 97% of them confirmed that content marketing is an important part of their overall marketing strategy.

In addition, 48% of these 1500 companies plan to bump up the size of their content marketing team in 2022.

A lot of companies have realized that content equals conversion and when done right, can bring in sales leads and keep customers coming back over and over again.

With a thought-out strategy, business owners can effectively achieve higher sales by creating and publishing valuable content in the right place at the right time, i.e., this allows them to increase sales through new customers and repeat customers.

Is Content Marketing a Good Career?

Content marketing is a very good career with attractive salary offers and career growth opportunities.

According to Payscale, the average salary for a content marketer is $56,150 per year.

  • Content Management: $58,727/yr
  • Senior Copywriter – $78,106/yr
  • Content Marketing Manager: $70,409/yr
  • Copywriting- $51,592/yr
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) -$58,397/yr
  • Social Media Marketing – $49,459/yr
  • Blogging – $54,943/yr

However, there’s another route you can take to make much more than these salary ranges listed above; freelancing or building your own content marketing agency.

To be able to work on your own terms, there’s a whole lot of things you should do such as:

  • Learning the ins and outs of writing
  • Creating great content
  • Perfecting your writing style
  • Landing clients
  • Developing non-technical and technical skills

What is The Content Marketing Career Path?

The content marketing career path is illustrated below.

How to Get Into Content Marketing | The Roadmap to Becoming A Content Marketer

  1. Understand What is Content Marketing & How it Works
  2. Build Your Skillset
  3. Learn SEO
  4. Learn Keyword Research
  5. Learn How to Create A Content Marketing Strategy
  6. Build Your Portfolio
  7. Build Your Online Presence
  8. Start A Personal Blog Sell Your Content Marketing Services

Regardless of your role within a content marketing team, there are certain skills that you must possess if you wish to be successful at raising awareness of your business’ products and services.

1. Understand What is Content Marketing & How it Works

To start a career in content marketing, you first need to understand the foundation of it all.

Content marketing is a branch of inbound marketing which businesses use to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer actions.

Content marketing is a type of digital marketing or advertising technique that uses educational and entertaining content to attract customers, promote brands and grow business.

Content marketing also helps companies develop and grow their social media presence.

Examples of content marketing include:

  • Written articles
  • Video content
  • Podcasts
  • Email marketing
  • Social media posts
  • Paid advertising
  • Infographics
  • White papers
  • eBooks

Since content marketing is a form of advertising, its main goal is to generate conversions such as leads and sales.

But in order to meet these goals, you should go through a series of fundamental steps, which include:

  • Content planning
  • Perform keyword research
  • Curate and create content
  • Promote & Distribute content
  • Analyze content performance

As an aspiring content marketer, it is crucial that you understand the basics of how exactly content marketing works.

The way content marketing works is that businesses create relevant content for the target market.

When people consume the content, either by reading an article or an email, listening to a podcast, or watching a video, they connect with the brand and then take a specific action.

However, for the visitors to take action, they must be taken through a content marketing funnel and the business should accompany them in their buyer’s journey through valuable content.

2. Build Your Skillset

So how does one become a successful content marketer? What are the content marketing skills required before starting your content marketing career? Are there any technical skills needed to become a content marketer?

Well, to become a content marketer that businesses will want to hire, one of the main important things to do is to know your skills.

If you lack certain skills, learn and build them. Businesses love working with skillful people.

#1 Planning Skills

Every content marketing campaign starts with a strategic plan and it is essential to come up with one as early as possible.

Your strategic plan will help you to define the goal of your content marketing campaign, it will also allow you to put together a list of objectives that you aim to achieve over the next few months, and finally, it will provide a content framework for your overall campaign.

#2 Research & Analysis Skills

It is extremely important for any campaign to start with a thorough analysis of your industry, competitors, and trends.

Remember that content marketing is not about creating online content only, but it’s about writing online content that will outrank your competitors.

While creating content for your business, you should always keep your end consumer in mind.

You should make sure that your content will answer their questions and provide them with the necessary information needed to solve their problems.

In order to be able to do this well, you need strong research skills that can help you find topics and ideas that can be the foundation of a great piece of content.

#3 Project Management Skills

As a content marketer, you will be working on multiple projects at the same time.

You will need to manage these projects effectively to get things done on time and make sure that your content marketing campaigns run smoothly.

Developing strong project management skills can help you in this process.

#4 Analytical Skills

As I mentioned above, content marketing is about analyzing your audience, competition, and current trends in your industry.

To be able to do this, you need strong analytical skills that allow you to make smart business decisions.

Analytical skills are vital for any type of job as they will help you make quick decisions regarding the future of your business.

#5 SEO Skills

If you want to be successful in your content marketing career, make it a priority to learn and master SEO.

More so, if you want to get hired by a company as a content marketer, you should have a thorough knowledge of SEO and its different dimensions.

In order to do this, you should first start with basic SEO skills and understand how SEO works, what it is all about and what it takes to drive traffic to your website.

Once you get this basic knowledge down, you can learn more advanced SEO strategies and develop the technical skills of search engine optimization.

#6 Copywriting Skills

Copywriting is the art of writing interesting and persuasive content.

Learning how to write compelling copy is not easy and it’s certainly not an overnight process.

To be good at it, there are a few essential elements you need to understand before jotting down any word:

  • Understand the industry/niche you’re writing for
  • Understand your audience, its needs, wants, pain points, etc…
  • Understand the lingo of the industry

If your goal is to turn the readers into website visitors, then you should know how to explain complex ideas in a simple manner and how to persuade them to take a specific action.

Developing strong writing skills is not an overnight process. It can take years of practice to get really good at it.

And remember that your writing skills should convey the message in your content in an engaging and interesting way.

#7 Marketing Skills

As a content marketer, working in digital marketing, you obviously need some marketing skills to fully realize your content marketing goals.

Make sure to have a keen eye for the information your audience needs and wants.

You need to have strong research skills and analyze your industry, competitors, and trends before creating content.

With experience, learning, and practice, your marketing skills will definitely improve and you will be able to have a better view of the market and make even more successful content marketing campaigns.

#8 Storytelling Skills

Another important skill that you need to master as a content marketer is storytelling.

Storytelling is taking ground in the world of content marketing and for good reasons. Humans are wired to trust stories more than they trust information on a whiteboard.

And it’s proven that people are more likely to develop a relationship with the author of a story than with the author of a piece of information.

#9 Communication Skills

Writing great content is only one part of the process.

The other part is communicating with your audience.

The key is to be able to communicate effectively with both online and offline audiences.

As a content marketer, you also need strong communication skills to interact with all the stakeholders in your company (managers, designers, writers, etc…)

#10 Multimedia Skills

Remember that content marketing is not about blog posts or social media photos but also about video content, podcasts, and infographics.

Developing skills like video or photo editing will be a plus in your content marketing career.

If you don’t want to get involved in video creation, then it’s not a problem, but you should at least try to get a basic knowledge of visual media like creating images, editing photos, and designing infographics.

Don’t forget that a perfect piece of content is not all text but contains captivating visual elements.

3. Learn SEO

One of the pillars of your content marketing career is SEO knowledge.

Writing a good article is not enough unfortunately to get in front of your target audience.

Your content should be found when your market is looking for your products or services on Google or other search engines.

In order to make that happen, you will have to implement SEO strategies to get on that first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Once your articles are in the top positions, you can expect tons of qualified leads and sales.

SEO is made up of 3 core strategical components:

  • On-Page Optimization: This refers to all the activities performed on a web page that determine its performance in the search engines (Title tag, meta description, internal linking, image optimization)
  • Off-Page Optimization: This is a collection of link building strategies used to improve your site’s rankings in the search engines.
  • Technical SEO: This is a set of strategies that provide guidance on how to optimize a site to meet the requirements of the search engines (crawling, indexing, speed optimization, web structure…)

4. Learn Keyword Research

Keyword research is the backbone of content creation.

Without it, it’s nearly impossible to rank in the search engines, let alone create content that will resonate with an audience.

Keyword research is simply the process of finding out what keywords your potential customers are using to look up information and products or services to buy.

In fact, every content marketing strategy starts with in-depth keyword research so as to get an understanding of what topics you should cover, what are your competitors doing, and what kind of content will resonate with your audience.

The best way to perform keyword research is by using a tool made for this purpose. I highly recommend an SEO tool like Ahrefs.

You can even follow their in-depth video tutorials on YouTube and you’ll become a pro at keyword research in no time.

Ahrefs YouTube Channel.

5. Learn How to Create A Content Marketing Strategy

Next, you need to learn how to plan a strategy for all content-related activities for your business.

A content marketing strategy is a blueprint that outlines all the tasks you need to accomplish to reach your objectives through the use of content marketing.

I have a dedicated article on how to develop a content marketing strategy. Read it here.

6. Build Your Portfolio

Just as a graphic designer or a web design needs to show off their artwork in order to attract potential clients, the same goes for a content marketer.

Whether you want to work in a digital marketing agency or you want to do it as a freelancer, you need a great portfolio to show off your skills.

This will not only help potential employers or clients get to know your expertise but also help them identify and evaluate whether you’re a high-quality candidate for their project.

If you’re just starting out, the only way to build your portfolio is to reach out to some friends or family and provide them with content marketing services.

You can do it for free if you want. Just know that the goal here is to get enough samples of work to build your portfolio.

Also, remember that your portfolio should include your greatest work. So, create amazing content even if it’s for your friends and family.

These high-quality content will be the keys that will open the doors to a profitable career in content marketing

7. Build Your Online Presence

Whether you want to get hired by a digital marketing agency or you want to work on your own terms as a freelance content marketer, you absolutely need to exist online.

With the rise of social media and the internet, it’s more important than ever to have a presence on the web.

This can be a blog, an e-commerce website, a portfolio site, or anything else you want to include in your online marketing efforts.

Your online presence should reflect your knowledge, expertise, and your past and best work.

Your digital presence may consist of your:

  • Website + blog
  • Social media profiles
  • Niche-related communities
  • Video channel

Make it a priority to be on a few social media platforms as this will increase your exposure in the industry, help you find your ideal clients, and promote your work to a wider audience.

One of the best ways to break into the content marketing industry is to get involved in active online communities where discussions are focused around any type of topic you’re interested in.

These communities are perfect places to meet people who share your interests and they are excellent resources for all kinds of information related or not to content marketing.

Also, online communities or forums are golden spots to find clients. As you actively start sharing your knowledge in a helpful and genuine way, people will notice you. This will make them want to work with you and this will help to grow in your content marketing career.

8. Start A Personal Blog Sell Your Content Marketing Services

Blogging is an effective avenue for generating leads, building your personal brand, and promoting your services.

Starting your own blog is a great way to start your career as a content marketer.

You can either build your website, create content for a target audience or sell your services online.

You can also choose to create a landing page that serves as a lead magnet in exchange for email addresses so as to market your services down the road via email marketing.

If you properly optimize your content for the search engines, your content itself will act as a salesman between you and your target audience.

And if they judge your content as valuable, they will surely want to work with you.

Who knows you can even build your own content team and work for large corporates.

Wrap Up

Choosing content marketing as a career can be very rewarding if you do things right.

It’s a very lucrative industry since every business that wants more leads, more sales, and more visibility online will always need content marketers.

So, by following these basic principles you can quickly become a content marketer and start your very lucrative career in this new and exciting industry:

  • Understand What is Content Marketing & How it Works
  • Build Your Content Marketing Skills
  • Learn SEO
  • Learn Keyword Research
  • Learn How to Create A Content Marketing Strategy
  • Build Your Portfolio
  • Build Your Online Presence
  • Start A Personal Blog Sell Your Content Marketing Services

After understanding all the steps mentioned above, you can start applying for a content marketing position or start your own freelancing career in the digital marketing world.

Entry level content marketers are in high demand and more and more businesses are looking to hire content writers, editors, and so on.

With so many job opportunities at digital marketing agencies, the sky is the limit for those who are willing to work hard.

Build a plan, learn and educate yourself and develop the necessary skills (both non-technical and technical skills) to become a content marketer.

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Nat Caesar is the Owner, Senior Editor & Head of Growth at Myndset. She is also the Founder of Caesar Media, a Digital Media Agency based in Mauritius. Since 2014 she has worked with more than 250 companies around the world including a few reputable brands like Adobe, Starbucks, Lacoste, and Pinterest Labs among others. Nat is also a seasoned SEO copywriter in the SaaS & B2B space. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected]