“There’s never been a better time to be a content marketer” – so says the recent Ultimate Guide to a Content Marketing Career from LinkedIn and Curata. And the numbers support it…89 percent of B2B organizations are doing some form of content marketing, 43 percent are hiring for content marketers, and there are nearly 10x more content marketing jobs on LinkedIn compared to demand-gen jobs.

That’s great news for marketers, not so great news for the organizations who are trying to figure out how to hire genuine content marketers. Let’s face facts. Marketers are good at, well, marketing. Knowing “content marketing” is in high demand nowadays, you can bet any marketer worth his or her title is going to find a way to take advantage of that. “Sure, I do content,” says the guy who wrote a mediocre blog post that one time. Just like anyone who ever logged in to Google Analytics calls themselves a data scientist, so too will marketers grab on to the content marketing moniker and run with it.

Right now, everyone is jumping on the content marketing bandwagon, but so few are doing it well. According to the same report from LinkedIn and Curata, 60 to 70 percent of B2B content marketing goes unread.

What’s the problem?

1025-graph-2There’s no one leading the charge on these efforts and figuring out the strategy. Nearly 60 percent of organizations do not have a chief content officer, VP or director of content, and that trend is only improving slightly next year. No matter how many junior writers you hire, even if they are good writers (and that’s a big if given how many people are trying to capitalize on the content marketing trend), your content marketing program won’t work if there’s no one at the helm setting the strategy. It’s like pimping out your car to make it faster and forgetting the steering wheel – just hit the gas and hope for the best.

The right content mix matters

Curata’s best practices guide suggests a content mix of 65 percent created, 25 percent curated and 10 percent syndicated. Of the content you’re creating, earmark about 30 percent to be outsourced.

That sounds about right in an ideal situation, but most organizations still struggle to create enough content. Forty-one percent of the marketers surveyed said “content creation” is their biggest pain point. So the goal of creating the lion’s share of content yourself may not be realistic for most B2B organizations.

So what’s a CMO to do?

Yes, you should have a chief content officer.

In a perfect world you’d have the budget and time to hire your content marketing dream team, including a CCO. In the real world, you have a few options. You can roll up your sleeves and write it yourself, but ain’t nobody got time for that. You could throw more junior writers and freelancers at the project and hope for the best. But again, without a strategy, that’s destined to fail.

It’s helpful to put together a team that can provide multiple points of view; don’t hire five people who all have the same background and experience. And don’t just only hire staff, or only outsource the entire project. You want to find a balance between internal organizational expertise and external content marketing expertise.

Outsourcing can help you find this balance, and I’d suggest that you bump up the percentage of outsourced content creation higher than the 30 percent Curata suggests. Just be aware that because of the current popularity of “content marketing” in the marketplace, all outsourcing options are not equal. You’ll bump into a lot of hacks, sadly, among agencies claiming they’re “getting into content.”

Make sure you do your due diligence and hire the right agency for outsourced content work – one that understands both content creation and the importance of a well crafted strategy that will keep the car on the road.