Thursday, August 13th, 2015 | 9 min read
There’s no denying the popularity of content marketing, both as a marketing tactic and a job category. Run a Google search for “content marketing agency” and you’ll receive over 153 million results. More than two times as many marketers cite inbound marketing (versus outbound) as their primary source for leads, and more than 70 percent of organizations plan to increase their spend on content marketing efforts in 2015.
Why is inbound such a big thing?
Consumers are over-saturated with marketing messages, and the effectiveness of traditional advertising has been on the decline for a while now. Meanwhile, inbound marketing tactics, especially content marketing, represent a more authentic and sincere way to connect with consumers.
They provide real value to the customer through entertainment and education – where and when they want it most. And that’s the essence of creating great customer experiences.
It’s no wonder, then, that companies are increasingly focusing their marketing hires around content and digital-centric positions. Diane Domeyer, Executive Director of the Creative Group, recently expanded on this idea:
“According to a recent survey by The Creative Group, the top areas that advertising and marketing executives plan to hire in the second half of the year are creative or art direction, account services and content marketing. Compared to a year ago, we’re seeing greater demand for content strategists, digital marketing managers and account managers.”
In order to gain a better understanding of the current landscape of digital marketing careers, Fractl teamed up with Moz to produce The Inbound Economy report. We scraped more than 75,000 job listings, revealing an increased demand for inbound marketing skills, including social media, blogging, SEO, and email.
I’ll walk you through two compelling insights from our study.
We began our study by looking at the popularity of five marketing-related keywords in LinkedIn user profiles – “inbound marketing”, “content marketing”, “SEO”, “social media”, and “Google Analytics” – over a two-year period. The number of profiles containing “content marketing” saw the largest growth, with a 170% increase since 2013.
We also learned that:
We then analyzed nearly 75,000 Indeed job listings that referenced these five keywords, along with “PPC”. Of the 20 most-popular job titles within the data set, the majority of job descriptions called for all six marketing skills, reflecting a need for marketers with a broad range of knowledge.
Note that even very specific job titles like SEO Specialist require skills beyond SEO, including PPC, Google Analytics, and content marketing.
One intriguing insight was the emphasis many job descriptions placed on having a background in social media.
Out of the data set, close to 50 percent of the job listings included “social media” in the description. Second was the more general search for “digital marketing”, which was found in less than 20 percent of available job listings. “Google Analytics”, “content marketing”, and “PPC” were the least popular – each keyword produced less than 10 percent of total job listings.
What’s the most probable explanation? Social media has become an expected skill for more generalist roles, even those unrelated to the marketing department. For example, when we took a closer look at the five most common job titles for each search query, “Social Media Manager” was associated with the keywords “social media marketing” and “content marketing.” When you narrow the focus to simply “social media marketing” keyword results, multiple, more general marketing roles – and even an HR role – require a background in social platforms.
After understanding which marketing skills are in demand for 2015, we took our research a step further to determine how this demand has changed over the past few years. We also investigated how salary correlates with the level of demand for each marketing skill set.
We began by scraping 10 keywords – “digital marketing”, “inbound marketing”, “social media marketing”, “social media management”, “content marketing”, “content strategy”, “SEO”, “search engine optimization”, “PPC”, and “Google Analytics” – from multiple job listings between 2006 and 2015, revealing which skills were on the rise and which were on the decline.
Our results confirmed that the demand for a background in social media continues to rise. Job listings containing “social media marketing” or “social media management” have grown significantly – a roughly 130 percent increase this year alone.
Digital marketing job listings – specifically those mentioning “digital marketing” or “inbound marketing” – have also seen substantial growth since 2009, when it accounted for less than 0.1 percent of Indeed.com search results. More specifically, between 2009 and 2015, total listings grew by more than 800 percent.
Job listings that include “content marketing” and “content strategy” have also seen a significant increase – roughly 350 percent over four years.
However, despite content marketing’s growth as a popular keyword, it’s still found in less job listings than SEO, a position that has seen decline in job listing mentions in recent years. More specifically, the number of job listings that include “SEO” peaked in 2011 and decreased more than 50 percent by January 2015.
The more interesting insight, though, came when we compared the salaries of positions listing keywords whose popularity is on the rise with those whose popularity is on the decline. It turns out that, when it comes to marketing chops, greater demand doesn’t necessarily correlate with higher pay.
For example, while the actual volume of job titles containing the word SEO has decreased, it’s still one of the most well-paid skills. Job titles that refer to “SEO” average more than $100,000 annually – nearly 70 percent more than a position focused on social media efforts.
This trend is also reflected in positions that require a background in Google Analytics. Demand for these jobs peaked in 2008 – when it was mentioned in nearly 1 percent of all job listings – but has since fallen significantly. However, it’s still the second-highest paying position when mentioned in a job title, and when we look at keywords in job listings, top salaries can reach $76,000 annually – nearly 30 percent more than social media positions.
We recommend that marketing professionals cultivate a general understanding of the five key areas – digital marketing, content marketing, SEO, social media, and Google Analytics – while also concentrating on developing a more thorough understanding of one or two specialities.
This is often referred to as a “T-Shaped” marketer, which is someone with a broad background in the field paired with a deeper understanding of one or two areas. Our data indicates that this is what companies look for in their new hires, and the decline in jobs focused purely on SEO or Google Analytics highlights this change.
Why are “T-Shaped” marketers so appealing? Nowadays, companies need marketers who understand that every touchpoint matters – marketers who can connect the dots between a broad range of channels and tactics to help execute on a larger vision.
Be sure to read the full study for additional data, including which states have the most inbound marketing job opportunities.
If you’re an employer hiring marketers, what are you looking for? If you’re a marketing professional, which skills do you believe to be most valuable? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
About the Author: Andrea Lehr is a brand relations specialist at Fractl, a creative digital agency specializing in high-quality content creation and placement. She works alongside a team of creative strategists to produce innovative and unique, data-driven campaigns about industry trends, and her work has been featured on HubSpot, Entrepreneur, Convince & Convert, and The Next Web.