content marketing industry hiring research

Content Marketers: What’s Happening in Hiring

content-marketing-industry-hiring-researchHiring a new member for your content marketing team seems like a great thing. After all, whether you’re expanding the team or replacing a departing employee, you’ll have more resources to execute a successful content marketing program.

But finding and attracting quality creative content team members is a job unto itself. It’s a challenge faced by 45% of advertising and marketing executives, according to a survey of 400 U.S. industry leaders by The Creative Group.

45% of ad & marketing execs are challenged by finding quality content team members. @CreativeGroup Click To Tweet

In this post, we dive deeper into the data about content marketing hiring. We will explore talent costs, regions with highest demand, and how companies work to retain employees.

Hot markets

Which U.S. cities have the greatest number of content marketing jobs? Here are the top 20 with the greatest number of content marketing jobs, according to Conductor’s Inbound Marketing Jobs Salary Guide 2017:

  1. New York
  2. San Francisco
  3. Chicago
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Boston
  6. Seattle
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Atlanta
  9. Austin
  10. Dallas
  11. San Diego
  12. Houston
  13. Philadelphia
  14. Denver
  15. San Jose
  16. Miami
  17. Phoenix
  18. Minneapolis
  19. Charlotte
  20. Orlando

Compensation figures

Starting salaries for content jobs are on the rise, as reflected in The Creative Group 2017 Marketing Jobs Salary Guide:

Starting salaries for #contentmarketing roles are on the rise, says @CreativeGroup research. Click To Tweet

Screenshot 2017-06-19 21.42.50

Content skills in highest demand

Data analysis, and content writing and editing are the most important skills companies are looking to hire this year, according to 2016 Digital Content Survey, Altimeter, a Prophet company.

Data analysis & #content writing/editing are most important skills to hire for. @AltimeterGroup #research Click To Tweet

Here’s how respondents who were asked the four most important skills they were looking to hire in 2017 listed priorities:

  • Data analysis – 67%
  • Content editing and writing – 59%
  • Program/project management – 53%
  • Graphic design – 50%
  • Coding/development – 50%
  • Video production and editing – 47%
  • Marketing automation/software expertise – 42%
  • Social media expertise – 18%

Multiple talents needed in one role

Roles in content marketing blend creative, technology, and analytics so companies seek individuals with more than one area of expertise.

As the authors of The Creative Group 2017 Salary Guide wrote:

Hybrid professionals are in demand. Creatives with skills outside their specialty are highly marketable. In addition, digital proficiency is becoming a prerequisite for many traditional roles. For example, graphic designers now need to be familiar with web layouts or social media, and copywriters must have knowledge of search engine optimization. Expect this pattern to persist as cross-departmental collaboration becomes the norm.”

That insight is mirrored in Conductor’s Inbound Marketing Jobs Salary Guide 2017, which reveals almost one in two content jobs (46.7%) requires SEO skills. These roles include content marketing specialists, content managers, content directors, and marketing manager positions.

One in two #content jobs requires #SEO skills, according to @Conductor research. #hiring Click To Tweet

The New Era of the Hybrid Marketer

Employee retention

With content marketing talent in high demand, companies seek to reduce turnover. The Creative Group survey revealed that more than half of advertising and marketing executives (52%) said they are concerned about retaining their current creative staff in the next 12 months.

They also shared their talent-retention activities. Here are ones cited by at least half of the group:

  • Regularly evaluate performance and discuss career development – 78%
  • Regularly check in with employees to ensure that they are happy in their roles – 74%
  • Regularly benchmark compensation and benefits to ensure that you stay competitive – 71%
  • Have a formal retention strategy – 51%

Key content marketing roles

The Creative Group, an employment agency, reports that the following positions are fast becoming crucial assets on the marketing team.

Concept and Implementation

Creative technologist: Serves as a liaison between design and development teams; scopes digital projects

Digital project manager: Oversees the implementation of multimedia projects

Digital strategist: Develops user-experience (UX) strategies, including information design, online content strategy and lead generation tactics for web, mobile, email, social, and digital advertising media


Content strategist: Develops content strategy based on a company’s business objectives and end user’s needs

Writer: Composes clear, concise, and grammatically correct content using different writing styles that appeal to various target audiences


Digital/interactive marketing manager: Oversees the daily operation of a company’s website and email marketing program, and provides analytics review

Email marketing specialist: Runs email campaigns, including managing and segmenting contact lists using marketing automation software

Social media manager: Implements an organization’s social media strategy — developing brand awareness, generating inbound traffic, and encouraging product adoption


As you can well know, hiring and retaining creative talent is not an easy task. It requires a keen understanding of the marketplace – geographic, industry, skills – and a strategic approach to ensuring that you not only pick great talent but you also keep them engaged.

Research in this article is reprinted with permission of The Creative Group, Conductor, and Altimeter.

Want to learn more about these roles and others? See The Creative Group’s 2017 Salary Guide, available here.

A version of this article originally appeared in the June issue of Chief Content Officer. Sign up to receive your free subscription to our bimonthly, print magazine.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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