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How to build a career in content marketing

Content marketing is a specialism that’s becoming increasingly popular with ambitious marketers. Content marketing delves far deeper into online presence and audience acquisition and retention than traditional marketing. With focus on the strategic creation and distribution of valuable, informative, relevant and consistent content, content marketing encompasses everything from blogging to v-logging with all of the writing, designing, tweeting, gramming, posting, tik toking, pinteresting and boosting in-between.

To build a career in content marketing first understand that competition can be fierce in this fast-moving industry. You will be expected to not only command a wide range of skills such as copywriting, data analysis, graphic design and website maintenance but also demonstrate your ambition to continually drive your skill development as new technology and trends emerge.

Content marketing is a hugely rewarding and exciting career with a broad spectrum of opportunities that will build your thirst for knowledge and challenge your ability to bring a new approach or perspective to your campaigns.

While a marketing or marketing related degree such as creative design, business or journalism can be a requirement for some roles, in the creative arena of content marketing, a genuine interest in digital marketing and a strong personal profile or portfolio can be just as effective. So, for both graduates and non-graduates alike, what can you do to get a head start and jump a few rungs on the content marketing career ladder?

Develop your knowledge

If your current employer has a training budget, make the most of it. Sign up for any opportunity to learn a new skill. Also seek out free online courses to develop your skills, some of the biggest brands including Google, Facebook and Wordpress all offer training courses for skills that will become invaluable to you.

For excellent insights, the most up-to-date developments and industry tips and tricks, attend external content marketing events and follow content marketing blogs like the CMI blog, HubSpot or Digiday.

Use your knowledge

Employers know that knowledge is difficult to consolidate if it’s not applied in a real-life situation so they will want to know how you’ve used your knowledge effectively.

Apply new insights at work as quickly as possible. Testing should be a well-established practice at your company anyway, so trial what you’ve learnt on an existing project or campaign. If you this is not possible then apply them to a personal project instead. Add the specifics to your CV and portfolio so you have evidence of applying your new skills, rather than just claims.

Be open-minded and adaptable

Content marketing is challenging because of the sheer pace at which it changes. So, while you must be diligent about learning as many tools, techniques and skills as possible, you must also be prepared for that knowledge to be disrupted and even disproved soon afterwards. Herein lies the challenge of content marketing: little of what you learn is finite.

A willingness to test and measure is essential, as is a willingness to adapt and open your mind to new theories. In content marketing this is known as A & B testing, different techniques work for different audiences, businesses and contexts. To build a career in content marketing, you must prepare for a lot of trial and error and sometimes, unpredictable results.

Put your audience first

There’s very little room for self-indulgence or speculation in content marketing. Your first consideration should always be your audience: who they are, where they are and what they need. This requires detailed knowledge and research to drill into an audiences’ digital habits; not simply where they go online, but how many steps they take before a decisive action.

Make a point of researching, understanding and reporting on audience demographics and behaviour. The ability to carry out detailed, evidence backed audience profiling will be a great help in many aspects of a content marketing career from copywriting right through to digital advertising.

Market yourself

Don’t forget to show off your content marketing skills by actively marketing yourself:

  • Maintain a digital presence, either through a blog, social media or your own website to showcase your skills or provide content marketing insights
  • Write guest posts for other content marketing websites and build your profile as an industry thought leader.
  • Use social media to share content and network with relevant individuals, you are increasingly likely to find opportunities through networking, rather than simply searching and applying generically.
  • Charities will always be grateful for any marketing and brand awareness assistance you can provide.

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