They say that content is king.
In fact, content marketing is widely regarded as one of the most crucial aspects of any digital marketing strategy.
But who works to make that happen and why is it such a big deal?
After all, it seems simple enough to create a blog post or article and post it up on a website, right?
The answer is that there is more to it than just jotting down whatever you feel like saying.
And that’s the reason why content marketing specialists are highly in demand.
These skilled individuals understand the way consumers think and know how to create content that sparks engagement.
Keep reading to learn about what a content marketing specialist does and what it takes to become one.
What is a Content Marketing Specialist?
Simply put, a content marketing specialist is someone who is in charge of writing and editing content for digital marketing campaigns.
In some cases, they might also be part of developing a bigger content marketing strategy, as well.
These individuals are an important part of any marketing team.
Not everyone is cut out or even likes writing content, which means finding a content marketing specialist that has a knack for creating stellar blog posts, articles, and social media pieces is crucial.
Furthermore, most content marketing specialists also go on to add specialized skills to their resumes.
Many SEO specialists, digital marketing strategists, and website designers have worked as content creators.
What Skills Should a Content Marketing Specialist Have?
While it seems like a simple enough job, creating tons and tons of written content without running out of ideas isn’t always easy.
That’s why there are certain skills that are necessary to become a content marketing specialist.
The vast majority of what a content marketing specialist does involves writing.
Thus, it is important to have somewhat decent writing skills and a love for the craft.
Do you have to be perfect? No.
Most web copy these days wouldn’t even meet the requirements to get a good grade in a high school English class.
But a strong understanding of sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation is important.
Keyword research skills
Generally, the content strategist provides the writer with the right keywords to include in the marketing copy.
However, this isn’t always the case in some marketing agencies or in-house departments.
That means you’ll need a basic understanding of how to do keyword research and why it matters.
Content marketing specialists should also have a firm understanding of how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works.
A good portion of the job involves creating copy to improve the brand’s SERPs and knowing the best practices is important.
In addition, understanding various bits of off-page SEO can be helpful for those who write guest posts on behalf of their employer.
Knowing how to use basic SEO tools
There are tons of great digital marketing and SEO tools out on the market.
Moz, SEMrush, Google Analytics, and Google Keyword planner are a few of the more widely known, but there are still tons of others out there.
Before deciding on a career as a content marketing specialist, it is important to at least try demos of these items to see what they are like.
Some even offer free training or certification programs, which can really stand out on your resume as part of your overall credentials.
A good chunk of a content marketing specialist’s job is working with other team members to decide what campaigns are working well and which are not.
In order to be more effective, this means ensuring that you have some skills looking at website traffic data, like Google Analytics or Moz.
By being able to interpret this type of information, you can easily craft better content to help improve response.
Consumer behavior & Basic human psychology
The key difference between marketing copy that works and just text is an understanding of how to write like people think.
Words are powerful, and having a background in consumer behavior and basic human psychology makes it easier to find the winning recipe for content creation that strikes a chord with your buyer persona.
What Does a Content Marketing Specialist Do?
A content marketing specialist does exactly what you might think they do — they specialize in creating content for marketing purposes.
This can be something as simple as a blog post, social media post, or article.
Most companies tend to utilize their in-house content team for elements such as proofreading business letters, so be ready to handle any one of these tasks on a given day.
And, as the switch to more Artificial Intelligence usage and interactive content becomes common, content marketing specialists are likely going to be expected to help create scripts or other material for these types of multimedia experiences.
Staying up-to-date with the latest Google algorithm and content marketing trends is also important.
This can vary from just knowing the right way to internally link content to how to use a specific keyword within a given piece.
After a few months or years, content marketing specialists have the option to move up to become a content marketing manager.
This person oversees a team of content specialists, often handling more intensive strategy work and planning with the rest of the digital marketing team.
What is the Salary of a Content Marketing Specialist?
The salary of a content marketing specialist working at either an in-house brand or a digital marketing agency varies from:
- Around $32,000 annually for an entry-level position…
- …to $84,000 for an experienced content marketing manager.
However, it is important to note that these figures largely depend on the speed, skill, and experience of the individual.
Plus, they do take into account specialized training, such as someone who is Google Adwords certified making more money than those who aren’t.
In some cases, individuals with experience can choose to become a freelance content marketing specialist.
Since this is a self-employed position, it does not come with any additional benefits or guaranteed wages.
These individuals are generally paid by the finished piece or project, not by the hour or annually.
However, the sky is the limit on how much they can make, as they’re able to set their own goals and charge according to previous experience.
How to Become a Content Marketing Specialist
If you’re looking to become a content marketing specialist, there are several things you can do to ensure you’re on the right path in your new career.
By keeping these different elements in mind, you can easily decide if this type of occupation is right for you.
Here are a few tips.
Practice writing all the time
Writing is a skill that takes a lot of time to develop.
As a content marketing specialist, you could be writing the equivalent of several thousand words per day to fulfill your duties and project goals.
If you’re looking to dive into this career, you’ll need to learn how to get your thoughts down on a keyboard as quickly and accurately as possible.
In addition, you’ll need to learn to proofread quickly and have an eye for catching small mistakes along the way.
Create a portfolio
Having a formal portfolio that shows off your work is a must if you’re looking to start a career as a content marketing specialist.
After all, this is the tangible collection that allows you to show off your writing skills.
Create several types of content ranging from blog posts to articles, whitepapers, social media content, and more.
Not sure what to write about? Choose a few businesses in varying industries and see what their writers are coming up with.
Then research and write your own versions of the same topics.
Choose a niche
While content marketing specialists are expected to know a little bit about everything, most have specific industries and niches that they have a firm understanding about.
Whether that involves legal topics, home improvement, pets, families, manufacturing, medical, or whatever else doesn’t matter.
Choose something that the idea of writing about every single day truly interests you and start looking for jobs in those industries.
Study basics of marketing
Most in-house or agency positions require that you at least have a bachelor’s degree in business or some other field.
Taking marketing classes while you’re in college is a good way to learn the basics of consumer behavior and learn how to identify what your target market relates to.
As a side note, freelance positions don’t require a college degree, but having some sort of formal training can be beneficial to your overall career goals in digital marketing.
Decide what kind of content marketing specialist job you want
As we mentioned, there are different kinds of content marketing specialist jobs out there.
➤ Some people like the structure of a 9-to-5 job at an agency, where they collect a salary, have health benefits, and always have a steady stream of content to write.
➤ Likewise, many large corporations offer in-house content marketing positions as part of their sales and marketing teams.
➤ Others really prefer to work as a freelancer or as a consultant.
This career path means being self-employed, which isn’t always a good match for some.
The independent career often comes with more risk, less reliability, and some financial pitfalls that aren’t necessarily a good fit for the primary breadwinner in a household.
However, the hours are flexible, meaning there’s more opportunity to spend time with loved ones or simply work from home.
Look for job opportunities
The truth is that anyone with a website needs a content marketing specialist.
However, not everyone is ready to hire a full-time internal staff member to handle the job.
While some companies offer part-time or freelance remote positions, some simply look to major marketing agencies to fulfill their needs.
This is a good place to start if you’re looking to dip your toes in what a career as a content marketing specialist could be.
Wrap Up: Should you be a Content Marketing Specialist?
Content marketing is an industry that isn’t going away anytime soon.
As companies and brands become more dependent on written content for their digital marketing campaigns, someone is always going to have to be there to write and edit it.
This is why the career of content marketing specialist is one of the most exciting and recession-proof options out there these days.
Of course, learning as much as you can about content marketing is an absolute must in order to be successful in this type of job.
To make things easier, we’ve put together a blog post with the twelve biggest content marketing trends you’ll want to keep an eye on this year.