Are you thinking of a career in content?
Content is everywhere. It’s the notifications that come through your phone to the taglines on your box of cornflakes. “Let’s make today Grrreat” who writes this stuff? Well, potentially you.
Unlike traditional marketing which talks *at* people, the aim of content marketing is to talk *with* them – a decidedly more difficult thing to master. But, when done right, can be incredibly rewarding.
As consumer needs become more personalised and complex, so do our requirements of content. More content is needed and, with it, more content writers.
Whether you’re switching careers later in life or have just graduated and looking to get started, there are a few things to consider before starting a career in content.
Who are you, as a person?
Do you get stressed out when working on more than one thing at once? Do you leave everything to the last minute or crumple under pressure?
Content creation can mean juggling multiple projects at once. It can also mean pressure, regular criticism and tight deadlines. If you’re someone who isn’t comfortable in this environment, think about whether this is a career path that would really be suited to you.
However, if you’re looking for that challenge and to be in a career where you get to learn about lots of new subjects and share them with the world – being a content creator is a rewarding and exciting career route.
Do you have a portfolio?
A portfolio is a must for any content marketer, new or established.
Marketing employers are looking for evidence that you can come up with engaging and informative blogs on a range of topics, as well as other forms of content. Extra points for graphics and video.
To build a portfolio, start writing and submitting content to sites and businesses with the aim of simply getting your name out there and building contacts. Ensure that your work is of a consistently high quality so potential employers see you at your best.
Master of one
Most content marketers use several different technologies throughout the course of their day: keyword research programmes, social scheduling tools, analytics, etc. Although you’ll need to demonstrate a proficiency in these if you want to be taken seriously as a content creator, don’t try to become an expert in all of them and end up with only a superficial knowledge.
A good way to stand out, and to demonstrate ability above and beyond a foundational understanding of the most common tools, is to develop a particular expertise in one. Not only will this set you apart to your potential employer, it’ll also tell them that you have the skillset so master other technologies.
What do you know about data?
Content creation isn’t all creativity. The best content marketing is blended with data, with guides and informs it.
Data analytics are how you can refine marketing campaigns and make investments go further. Beyond tracking the success of your content once it’s been published, data can also tell you exactly what your audience wants to read about, where they’re coming from and who they are.
As data becomes more complex, the ability of a content marketer to leverage it becomes more important. You should have a working knowledge of analytics and an awareness of the importance of your company’s research teams. This is the kind of knowledge today’s employers will really be on the lookout for.
Who’s in your network?
Every industry requires some degree of networking, but it’s especially important in a competitive industry like marketing. Content is all about messaging and presentation, so what better way to demonstrate your skills in that area than developing a ‘brand’ of your own. Using that reputation will help to develop connections with people who may be able to support you in your career.
“Tools are great, but content marketing success is about the wizard, not the wand.” – Jay Baer, Author, Youtility
If we know anything about the content of the future, it’s that people are wanting connections with people, not brands. Cookie cutter blog posts, even those packed with top notch SEO, are no longer delivering on long-term business goals.
The world continues to shift to digital, but the best content marketers will need to develop their creativity and retain that human touch so that they can deliver the messages people need to see.
By Rose Legg-Tero, Three Whiskey.
Three Whiskey are a performance marketing agency that specialise in paid media, search engine optimisation, creative, social media, UX, research and analytics. For more info, check out their website or member page.