How to become a content marketing specialist

Right now, content marketing is one of the most in-demand career paths across nearly every industry. The ability to strategize and produce content that not only supports a brand’s unique image but helps it connect with its target audience is invaluable for today’s companies. What’s more, professionally produced content that’s backed with a sharp eye on marketing trends and emerging approaches is bringing increasing returns on investment across the board.

According to statistics from Marketing Insider Group, the content marketing industry is on track to reach a value $300 billion by the end of 2019, translating to more than double its value just four years ago. Many companies — including those that already have a mature content marketing strategy in place — are planning on upping their spending on these services in the near future. Overall, 38% of companies will increase their content marketing budget this year.

This means there’s ample opportunity for students and marketing professionals in content marketing. One of the best ways to enter this sector on strong footing is to back your skills with a robust marketing degree, like the online Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at the content marketing career path, what skills it takes to earn a role in this industry, and how a marketing degree can help pave the road to success.

Content marketer role: An overview

It’s important to understand the content marketer role, what tasks and responsibilities these individuals handle, and the compensation they receive. Content marketing, while certainly rooted in marketing practices and processes, also demands creativity and the ability to plan and create written and sometimes visual content according to the overarching marketing strategy.

According to PayScale, content marketers, depending on the environment and industry in which they work, are responsible for researching, planning, creating, and managing content, including to support a brand’s website, blog, social media, and other channels. This includes working with other departments in an organization, including the sales and marketing teams, to create both internally facing and external, customer- or client-facing collateral that is informed by the business’s mission, goals, and marketing approaches.

Young, savvy-looking woman sitting near a laptop, while using a cell phone.

Currently, content marketers make $48,135 annually on average, with the higher end of the compensation spectrum topping out around $78,000 annually, according to PayScale. Content marketers work in nearly every industry today, including organizations that provide business-to-consumer and business-to-business services.

What skills do content marketers need?

To achieve a role in content marketing and earn the type of compensation described above, there are certain skills that professionals must have, including:

  • Ideation and brainstorming: This role is not just about writing the content itself — it is also up to content marketers to come up with the creative ideas behind campaigns, including the overarching theme, content topics, headlines and titles, and more, Digital Marketing Institute points out. Professionals must be able to creatively brainstorm and come up with several ideas and options for their clients that speak to the company’s target audience.
  • Planning and scheduling: Content marketing is also about execution, and those seeking these types of roles should have strong time management, planning, and scheduling capabilities. Often, a marketing campaign will stick to a rigid schedule, and release certain content according to a specific cadence. This is done on purpose — by putting introductory materials out first and then offering up more in-depth content, marketers can help lead prospects through the sales funnel and support a conversation. However, these capabilities all rest on content marketers’ planning, project management, and scheduling abilities.
  • Research: When creating content, particularly within written assets like blogs, white papers, and e-books, content marketers must include robust and thoroughly researched sources to support their point. What’s more, linking to these strong sources within content can help bolster search engine optimization through backlinking. In this way, comprehensive research skills are critical. “But research serves another purpose. It teaches you how other people will be seeking the info you are providing,” Digital Marketing Institute explains. “Every search you do for your own content is a lesson learned in SEO.”
  • Grammatically correct storytelling: Professionals must not only have a comprehensive understanding and command of language and grammatical rules, but must create copy that is compelling and interesting to the audience as well, marketing expert Neil Patel notes.

Where a degree in marketing comes in

All of the work a content marketer does aims to further the success of the brand. This includes providing content that engages the business’s audience, aligns with its brand image and feel, and serves to enable the company’s other marketing initiatives.

This is why supporting the role of content marketing with strong knowledge of marketing, sales, and business strategies is critical. Students can learn all of these skills and more through the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business online Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Students will not only gain skills in market analysis, social media, and other tech tools, but will learn best practices for promoting products and services and providing valuable information to potential customers.

To find out more about how the online Bachelor of Science in Marketing can help prepare you for a career as a content marketer, connect with one of our expert enrollment advisors for more information today.


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Marketing Insider Group

Neil Patel

Digital Marketing Institute