According to recent survey data from Semrush, 97% of respondents agreed that content marketing was an important part of their company’s overall marketing strategy. But what is content marketing—and who does it work best for? More to the point, how can you become an effective content marketer so you can land a job with a company who needs your skills?

OnRamp exists to bridge the gap between traditional marketing skills and those needed for a career in the tech industry—so we’re extremely familiar with content marketing and what it takes to do it right. Keep reading to learn more about this essential type of marketing, and discover how to make it work for you.

What is content marketing?

Simply put, content marketing involves creating online material to make people interested in using a brand’s products or services. This content might include:

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Social media posts

Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing rarely (if ever) promotes a brand directly. Instead, most content is value driven—it identifies problems for potential customers, and offers information or tools that can help solve them.

Solving problems builds trust in your brand, generating leads and improving your relationships with them. In turn, this improves your conversion rate—people who have found your content useful in the past will be more likely to seek out your company’s products and services. For this reason, content should be a part of every company’s digital marketing strategy—in fact over 90% of businesses currently use content marketing this way.

What companies use content marketing?

B2C brands both large and small use content marketing to their advantages. One excellent example is SkipTheDishes, whose #CompeteToEat Twitter videos help them engage with customers by showing some of their favourite CFL athletes playing trivia games about different takeout foods.

B2B companies use content marketing, too. Shopify, for example, publishes guides on their website to help their clients set up successful e-commerce shops. These guides don’t explicitly sell Shopify’s services, but they reinforce Shopify’s expertise and usefulness indirectly while giving useful advice to readers.

What are the essential parts of a content marketing strategy?

As we can see above, everyone’s getting in on content marketing. So the question isn’t whether content marketing is a good fit for your brand—the question is, when and how should you approach it?

The resources a small business has for content marketing will obviously be different from those of a large brand. But the bones of every successful content marketing strategy are essentially the same. You’ll need to have the following info before you start:

  1. Your goals (attracting website traffic? Increasing brand awareness? Boosting conversion?)
  2. Your KPIs (what data will tell you whether your strategy is working?)
  3. Your audience (who is the content for?)
  4. Where your audience is (what channels will reach them most effectively?)
  5. The type of content you’ll produce (blogs for your website? Videos for your TikTok?)
  6. Your budget for content marketing (how much can you spend?)
  7. A calendar for producing your content (when and how often will you publish?)

Two of your most important KPIs will likely be the amount of leads your content marketing produces for each dollar you spend on it. On average, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing—but produces 3x as many leads.

Is content marketing a full-time position?

Some content marketers are self-employed, attracting mom-and-pop brands as clients through platforms like Fivver and Upwork—while others work for agencies or major brands.

However, content marketing jobs for many tech companies are full-time positions that come with salaries and benefits. Often, these companies search for t-shaped marketers—content marketing professionals with in-depth knowledge of one or two specific areas (such as blogging and SEO) but functional knowledge of many others (UX, video, email, social media, etc.).

How much does it pay?

According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for a content marketer is $60,398. However, salaries for content marketers can vary greatly. The lowest-paid content marketers make just over $32,000 per year, while the highest-paid can make as much as $116,000 annually.

What skills do you need?

Whether you plan to produce content for a brand of your own or get a job in content marketing, you’ll need the following skills to be successful:

  • Creativity: arguably the most important skill for any content marketer is the ability to create original and effective content. You’ll need to be a strong writer (even if your content is primarily visual) who understands what information your audience needs and knows how to deliver it in unique, engaging ways.
  • Organizational skills: From researching your brand’s products to planning a content calendar and sticking to deadlines, you’ll have to be an efficient and reliable multitasker who can keep the big picture in focus while taking care of little details.
  • Data analysis skills: To be a successful content marketer, you’ll need to learn all about KPIs—what they are, how to identify the ones that matter, and how to understand what they’re telling you about the success (or lack thereof) of your efforts.
  • Knowledge of sales funnels: When does a person become a lead? When does a lead become qualified? When does a qualified lead become a customer? And how can you guide them along that journey.
  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) increases your organic traffic—i.e., how many people are finding you through Google and other search engines. To be a successful content marketer, you’ll need to understand how to optimize the content you make so major search engines rank it highly and people see it.

Want to learn more?

Want to know more about how to become an effective content marketer? OnRamp provides education and training for marketers entering the tech industry, including content marketing and more. Reach out today and speak with someone on our team who can answer your questions about content marketing in detail and tell you more about what makes it such a promising career.