Content marketing is still one of the fastest growing fields in the world. We hear over and over that content is king, and it is extremely important. As long as Google looks at content to determine authority and expertise and continues to look at backlinks to your content, it will be.
However, the key is to understand that content is designed for web users and customers, and being a leader in content marketing means a lot more than just being able to write.
To be a content marketing leader in today’s world, you need to have a strong understanding of SEO, blogging, analytics, outreach and PPC campaigns and how to run them. How do you break into this lucrative field? Here are some tips and tricks.
1) Check Your Skills
We already mentioned some of the hard skills you need to have to make it in the digital marketing industry today. Your knowledge of those topics is vital, so let’s take a little closer look at each.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the use of on-page technical data such as title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords to help a post rank in search engines for a specific user search. This means industry knowledge and research skills are needed as well.
One of the essential parts of content marketing is content creation, and that means a specific kind of writing skill: blogging. This means knowing how to use headings, proper anchor text, and write at length on a deadline. If you need to learn more, there are many blogging classes available online, some programs that even offer certificates.
How do you tell if content marketing is working? There are metrics like organic traffic, bounce rates, referral traffic, and keyword rankings in search engines. You must know how to look at these things and determine what they mean so you can adjust content strategies accordingly.
This is a part of link building, a huge component of content marketing. Effectively outreaching to website owners for link placements is a key skill.
Often to drive traffic to your site, your landing pages, and your content, you will need to run PPC campaigns with Google and other search engines. You need to know how to run and manage these, something about A/B testing, and have a knowledge of PPC budgets and how they work.
These are not the only skills you need though. As important as these hard skills are, you will also need soft skills that many employers look for in content marketing leaders. Besides flexibility and problem-solving skills, you will also need to be able to collaborate with others, as content marketing is largely a team effort.
Fortunately, besides just blogging classes, there are also overall content marketing certificate programs that can not only help you get the skills you need but help you prove you have them. Even if you have a degree, these courses often help you stand out from other applicants.
2) Understand the Industry
The content marketing industry is different than many others even in the marketing field. There are many factors that go into good content marketing leadership, and one of these is an understanding of the industry itself. This includes knowledge of Google and even legal issues that sometimes arise with content.
There are three issues that often are involved with content creation and content marketing. They can be broken into a few categories:
This can be everything from using photos without permission or attribution to the copying of diagrams and other illustrations without permission. To know if a photo is royalty free and how it can be used, use a special Google search for photos labeled for reuse or subscribe to a photo service like Flickr. If you have any doubts, contact the copyright holder for permission or use a different photo.
When you copy someone’s work word for word or even idea for idea, it is plagiarism. Tools like Grammarly offer online plagiarism checkers, and you should use them just in case.
Google expects content to be written by experts, especially in certain fields like health and finance. If you are writing in these areas, be sure to back up your content with sources, and provide a disclaimer letting readers know to consult experts on sensitive matters. If your company writes in these areas, you may need liability insurance and other protections.
As a content marketing leader, you also need to understand your role in the larger industry picture. There are several parts to content teams including content management, maintenance, and marketing. Knowing where you fit and what your responsibilities will be from the start will make you a better leader.
3) Build Your CV
When you enter the content marketing leadership realm, you may be fascinated to find a variety of people you interact with. Some have marketing degrees, some business degrees, and some have neither. What they all have is some sort of related experience from the management side to marketing, blogging, and writing.
When you want to join their ranks, you need a CV that is rich with proof that you can do the job you want to be hired for. This might include things like a list of publishing credits, management experience with remote and onsite teams, certifications like those mentioned above, and other vital content marketing experience. How do you get that experience?
- Work at an SEO company for a while
- Do freelance work
- Participate in internships and apprenticeships
- Blog for yourself and build your own site
- Work on link building for your own brand
You can list publishing credits on LinkedIn along with other experience, along with adding them to your current resume and CV. There are also online content curation sites like Contently where you can show off your work.
The main thing to remember is to have something to show a prospective employer that demonstrates the skills you claim to have.
4) Get Recommended
Finally, get recommendations. You can ask for them from your LinkedIn connections, former employers, professors and teachers of classes you have attended, and more. A solid recommendation shows not only that others have faith in you, but you have confidence in yourself and are willing to ask for them.
In the content marketing world, you will need this confidence in yourself, your abilities, and those of the team that surrounds you.
Want to be a leader in the content marketing world? You’ll need the right skills, a solid understanding of the industry, a solid CV, and recommendations from others who have the same confidence in you that you have in yourself. With those things, your content marketing career will be off to a great start.