Today's digital age creates a new world where fresh, creative, human talent and new digital skills are in demand.

For example, Google fills over 6,000 roles in one year alone. (You get over 1 million applications – and hire less than 1%.)

But traditional education may not properly prepare our next generation for what is really necessary to be successful.

A recent study at Kaplan University led by QuestResearch Group and published in Forbes found this

“There are very few who believe in college graduates' willingness to work. Only 13% of US adults, 11% of C-level executives, and 6% of college and university trustees strongly disagree with what graduates say about willingness to work. "

Therefore, self-built skills are becoming more and more necessary.

The good news?

If you're new to our amazing content marketing industry – which will be valued at over $ 400 billion this year – or even marketing in general, a college degree isn't always a requirement for success.

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In fact, Google doesn't even require a degree – and they've been open about it online, suggesting career certificates instead. Apple, Tesla, IBM and even Whole Foods, Costco, Hilton and Bank of America are following suit and do not require a degree either.

This is how you can get a great job with no college degree or debt.

But how?

The answer lies in building real, market-ready skills.

5 Skills To Build A Market-Ready Position In The Content Marketing Industry

1. An understanding of brand strategy

You can't get by in any content marketing job if you don't understand the mechanics that go under the hood.

This is called content strategy, an industry that is barely 10 years old, although the fundamentals of the techniques go back hundreds of years.

If you are new to branding strategy development, there are six cores.

6 brand content strategy cores

  • Basic knowledge: Know how to define a content strategy and what the different parts are.
  • Actionable knowledge: Know your audience and build a brand differentiator.
  • Actionable knowledge: Know how to find and put together great keywords.
  • Actionable knowledge: Know how to build authority over time with a dedicated branded website.
  • Actionable knowledge: Know how to create amazing, streamlined content consistently.
  • Actionable knowledge: Have a process and a system for managing this content (editorial calendar, advertising strategy) and for ongoing maintenance.

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These steps don't sound easy because honestly they are not.

If you are new but want to be taken seriously in this market and get a job based on your skills, consider finding a mentor and investing in a course to develop a content strategy led by an industry practitioner .

Another good idea is to do an internship in a job that allows you to learn in real time how to build those skills.

2. An understanding of SEO

Just a few reasons why more marketers and brands are turning to search engine optimization:

  • Over 90% of US traffic comes from Google: Google Search, Google Images, and Google Maps.
  • SEO drives almost 11 times as much traffic as organic social media.
  • 68% of all online experiences start with a search engine.

Inbound SEO content is a win in this day and age when Google search has skyrocketed double per day in a month in 2020.

During the pandemic (March 2020 – current), Google search traffic increased from 3.6 billion searches per day to 6 billion searches per day.

In short, the number of Google users looking for answers to their questions has never been higher.

SEO as a skillset is about a few things, including knowing how to write and optimize content for search, maintain and update older content, track content, and use tools (e.g. Google Analytics, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Yoast).

Companies hiring content marketers are looking for an understanding of SEO.

Build up your knowledge in this area.

Find and follow SEO experts, take an SEO course, and build your knowledge.

It will be worth it.

3. An understanding of great online content

What does great online content look like?

Can you identify it quickly?

You can't get along in the content marketing industry for long if you haven't sharpened yours Content recognition skills.

Brands are not lenient when it comes to the quality of content they expect from their content marketing team.

So, do you know how to identify good content in these formats:

  • Social media posts.
  • Web pages.
  • Product description.
  • Meta content.
  • Blogs.
  • Headlines.
  • Emails.
  • Case studies.
  • Ebooks.
  • Lead magnets.
  • White papers.
  • Video scripts.

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All of this is used in a wide variety of content marketing campaigns, regardless of the industry.

If you don't have good content recognition skills, build them up by doing an internship with a content agency, doing a low-paying gig in exchange for content creation skills, or investing in a course that teaches online Content (not essay or AP English) being written is a main topic.

4. The ability to explore deeply

It is no longer enough to compile statistics.

You should know how to find the original study and also make sure you never link to outdated content.

For example, if your source is a blog that links to a 2018 study depending on your industry, it might be out of date and not give authority to the content.

To find great stats and sources for the content you create or manage in a content marketing campaign, you just need to do a little more research than the average person.

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Statistics and facts are important at a time when trust is one of the most important buying factors consumers consider when buying from a brand today.

(See how I linked directly to a study, found the original PDF, and made sure the study was done in 12 months or less?)

5. The ability to persevere

This is a simple quality that I also like to call tenacity.

It's the easy ability to stick with it.

Above all, content marketing must be an obligation of the person running the campaign.

Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and largest content marketing conference in the world, said it takes 12 to 18 months for content to be successful.

A big reason why content marketing failed, according to Pulizzi, is simply that the company has no patience and ends the campaign too early.

when marketing programs fail

Crazy right?

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It sounds so simple, but when you get into the content marketing industry you need to know and be aware of it.

Be an advocate of one of the biggest reasons content marketing is successful – the length of time a company sticks with them and produces content that over time builds their brand and trust factor.

Conclusion

This includes many other skills.

However, I believe these are the top 5 unexpected – but hugely important – content marketing skills to master.

They cut out your skill building work for you.

Go out and prosper!

More resources:

Photo credit

In-post picture 1: contentstrategycourse.com
In-post picture 2: Content Marketing Institute

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