Study Reveals the Skills You Need to Get Hired in Content Marketing

Content marketing is a booming industry. In 2018, there were 23,846 job openings in the field.

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

More people are looking for content marketing positions, and more content marketing positions are being posted and made available.

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

But What Does A Content Marketer Actually Do?

A content marketer plans, creates and distributes information to a target audience. A content marketer will focus on creating valuable content that offers a benefit to the target audience that helps drive attention to the client they are creating content for.

To determine the skills, experience and abilities considered ideal by employers for different positions, ranging from intern, junior and senior, in a new content marketing job skills study, my team at Fractl analyzed 1,400 job posts from

Is content marketing as an industry growing or staying stagnant? What are the top skills that employers look for in content marketing candidates? How much can you expect to earn as a content marketer? Here’s what we learned.

Is There Room For Salary Growth?

The study found that most job postings (51 percent) were for junior level positions, followed by senior level positions (42 percent) and intern level positions (6 percent).

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

Salary ranges show a great deal of room for growth. Intern level position salaries ranged from $37,000 to $43,000 a year; from $50,000 to $67,000 for junior positions; and from $60,000 to almost $90,000 for senior positions.

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

Two to three years of experience was the most common expectation for all three position levels; however, for interns, the next most frequent duration of experience was a year or less, followed by four to five years of experience. For junior and senior positions, four to five years of experience was the second most common, followed by a year or less.

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

This is interesting because more than 43 percent of ads for interns – typically students or those with less experience than an entry-level employee – expect at least two to three years of industry experience.

The expectation of experience for an intern position puts a burden on students to have experience before they can gain experience. In today’s social climate, a good way to demonstrate experience and understanding is to have a strong online presence, whether that is through a website with a blog, through an interesting Twitter account or through a thoughtful LinkedIn profile. It is important to go beyond saying that you are able to communicate effectively, show that you can.

Junior and senior level positions both asked for the same level of experience.

What Skills Are Necessary?

There are two types of skill sets: hard skills (those that can easily be measured) and soft skills (those that are more interpersonal) that can be evaluated with content marketing job posts.

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

Social media, content creation and SEO are the most commonly asked-for skills. Considering more than half of the world’s population, almost 3.5 billion people as of 2018, are utilizing some type of social media, it seems that a solid familiarity with social media would be a logical skill that employers would look for in a content marketer.

So what hard skills differentiate what position a candidate would best fit into?

While junior and senior level positions are more balanced in the ideal skills sets, senior positions focus more on strategy and management.

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

All position levels focus heavily on content creation; however, based on seniority, there is a clear differentiation on emphasis for different skills within content creation.

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

In order of frequency, interns are expected to be skilled in social media content, blog posts, articles, video and infographics. Junior and senior content marketers are more balanced. Junior content marketers are expected to have skills in social media content, articles, blog posts, video and infographics. For senior content marketers, there is more emphasis placed on video, followed by blog posts, social media content, articles and then infographics.

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

Ideal soft skills for content marketers range from interpersonal to business development, with an emphasis (more than 45 percent) on interpersonal skills, followed by hard working, growth oriented, attention to detail and functional. Between the top five skills and the remaining eight, there is almost a 20 percent drop in frequency. Though these skills (thought leadership, data driven, manage, creative, time management, analytical, research and business development) offer an advantage, less emphasis is placed on them.

What Skills Do Employers Want?

To improve personal standing when looking for a content marketing position, showing your soft skills in interpersonal communication and relationships, ability to function as a good team member, attention to detail and dedication to working hard for growth offer the potential to make a candidate stand out from the crowd. Having a strong understanding of hard skills, measurable traits, will help make an impression on a potential employer. As we discovered, employers are looking for proficiency in different skills based on the seniority level of each posting.

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

What Are The Takeaways?

  • There is a great deal of potential growth in the content marketing industry. Understanding how the industry works and the different skill sets needed and utilized at different levels will help make a candidate more appealing to potential employers.
  • Most content marketing job postings ask for two to three years of experience.
  • The top three skills are social media, content creation and search engine optimization. Considering this field is based on communication, this should not be a surprise.
  • Intern level candidates are expected to be skilled at applications, content creation and email marketing. Junior level candidates are expected to be skilled at content creation, email marketing, and programs/applications. Senior level candidates are expected to be skilled at content creation as well as strategy, management and team skills.
  • Intern level candidates are expected to be primarily skilled at social media content and blog posts; junior level candidates are expected to be focused on a balance of social media content, articles, blog posts and video; senior candidates are expected to be skilled at video, blog posts and social media content.
  • Important soft skills for content marketers are interpersonal skills, being hard working, growth oriented, with a great attention to detail.

By focusing on self-improvement on the skills that employers are listing the most frequently on job postings, it is possible to grow as a content marketer.

During an interview, discussing examples of being hard working and working well with others will show strong soft skills.

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

Discussing your strengths in the appropriate soft skills for the role you are applying for will help reinforce that you are ready and able to take on the role.

Content Marketing Job Skills Study

The soft skills listed above show the convergence of skills and expectations for your years of experience. Combining your strengths from the seniority/role table with the years of experience will show you are a strong candidate.

Overall, there is a greater emphasis on social media, content creation and search engine optimization than account management, paid search, paid social and lead generation. They are important skills, and can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace; however, less emphasis is paid to those skills; polish them after you are experienced and well-versed with the in-demand skills.

Good luck in your job search, and let us know below how this helped you prepare for the position you are seeking!

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