When the head of a global advertising agency leaves his post to join a content marketing firm, it’s a sure sign a major shift is underway. Content marketing jobs are popping up all over the place. Robert J. Murray probably didn’t see his new position at Skyword advertised on LinkedIn, but the average job seeker can find dozens of new listings for content marketers there.
Many of these posts will be filled by former journalists; Sam Slaughter points out in a recent Mashable article that three writers are now working full time for consumer brands: Dan Roth, with bylines in Fortune, Wired and LinkedIn, Melissa Wall, late of Newsweek, The New York Times and How About We and Rod Kurtz, formerly of Inc. and The Huffington Post.
A recently open (and now closed) position at Goldman Sachs for a social media community manager inspired all kinds of rumors, including one that put the annual salary at a quarter million. There does not seem to be any proof of that astronomical figure, but it’s a sign of the hype around content marketing.
So what kinds of jobs are available? There are two avenues: in-house and outsourced. About half of B2B businesses use an in-house team, according to the Content Marketing Institute. The rest rely on agencies.
For those organizations that wish to create a new internal marketing department with a focus on content, there are a raft of new job titles: Chief Content Officer, Managing Editor, Chief Listening Officer, Content Creators and Producers, with a salary range of $50,000 to 150,000, depending on stature and company location (AKA offices in New York City or in the rest of the country). Do the math: if a business is paying an agency anywhere from $2000 to 10,000 per month to execute content, it will be a fraction of the cost, time and effort of setting up an in house content shop.
On the other side of the equation are those, like Robert Murray, who are making career moves to content marketing, a field that has existed in one form or another for as long as there’s been advertising. The choice is similar: work for an agency or become part of an in house content creation team. Former journalists and ad agency staff make up the great majority of content specialists these days as both specialties shrink.
The walls are coming down between previously partitioned segments of journalism and marketing. The debate continues but loses steam every day as pageviews become the goal and do good, eat your vegetables reporting can be sustained only through foundation grants. Is there a right or a wrong way to go about telling stories? Is it ethical to remove the barrier between narrative and sponsorship? Let us know what you think.