There’s just no question that the internet has drastically changed the face of marketing. A few decades ago, job postings at an ad agency looked drastically different than they do at organizations today. While content marketing as we know it isn’t a new concept, the idea of brands as publishers has created a need for individuals who can develop deep expertise within specific capabilities.
Researchers have found that the average B2B content marketer uses 12 different tactics, which can range from visual content to blogging, social media to Slideshare, and more. It’s rare for organizations of any size to find individuals who are truly experts at each and every content platform. As the amount of content on the web continues to increase at a meteoric rate, the need for organizations to publish incredibly high-quality materials continues to increase. Mediocrity just doesn’t rank well in search, or stand out in a busy Facebook feed. While this list of emerging content marketing specialties is by no means a comprehensive snapshot of the teams we’ll see in the future, it’s certainly a start:
1. Chief Content Officer
Brand’s voices have shifted online. While conversations around a company’s product, services, and customer service used to be controlled, they now occur in real time. This fact has lead to the rise of a Chief Content Officer, something that David Edelman of Forbes says has “snuck up” on companies as they increasingly engage in a war over top digital talent. This content marketer likely does little content creation on a day-to-day basis, instead focusing on marrying the organization’s business strategy with their digital outreach.
2. Content Planning Strategist
At companies of any size, editorial calendar creation and management is a pretty big job. At the time of writing, there were 574 content planning specialist positions posted on digital job board Indeed.com; a strong indicator that companies increasingly need strategists who can look into the future. This individual may specialize in traditional keyword research or the use of affinity data, and will often work closely with Senior management to direct publishing, particularly in times of crisis, re-branding or product launches.
3. Data Specialist
Did you know that 90% of the world’s data was created in the last 2 years? You can thank social media for giving everyone with an internet connection the ability to publish. This fact is what’s created all the buzz around big data - the truth is, companies now have open access to information that’s way too abundant to be tidily held in an Excel spreadsheet, and many of them don’t know exactly what to do with it. Data specialists will work closely to transform Tweets, Facebook posts, and search insights into actionable information which can be used to shape a content strategy.
4. Visual Content Specialist
The average human attention span has dropped from 12 to just 5 minutes. You can blame it on social media, but the truth is marketers are already having to work a lot harder to catch consumers’ eyes. We’re increasingly hungry for visual content, and the wisest brands are producing a lot more videos, memes, images and Slideshows in response. There’s an abundance of micro-specialties within the framework of visual content, from video editor to photographer, and the need for people who display these skillsets has no where to go but up.
5. Audience Manager
Targeted content matters a great deal, which is why companies will likely need an individual who focuses on making sure their content’s tailored to the right audience. A great audience manager knows how to listen, perform research, and isn’t afraid to ask questions. They’ll serve as the gatekeeper to the organization’s buyer persona profiles, and focus on relaying key characteristics to the rest of the content team through regular training sessions.
6. The Sprinter
Great content is relevant - and moments that beg for outstanding content don’t always come between the hours of 9 and 5. Remember that image that Oreo Tweeted during the 2013 Super Bowl? They had someone on staff who’s job was to respond to important moments. Sprinters will need to be quick-on-their-feet, news junkies and multi-talented enough to fire off the right piece of content at the right time.
7. Digital Influencer Outreach
While content marketing teams may sway towards the introverted end of the spectrum, agencies and organizations in the future are going to need a diehard extrovert. Brands from MTV to Subway are discovering the power of leveraging digital influencers in their marketing campaigns. Marketing teams are going to need someone with the guys and charm to reach out to thought leaders and celebrities, and win them over to the idea of sharing a sponsored Tweet.
There’s a lot more to content marketing than just writing and editing - but there’s no question that these factors are at the core of current marketing best practices. Build your company around multi-talented content creators, keep a close eye on trends, and you’ll have nothing to fear from the future of marketing.