Content Professionals: Do Hiring Trends Match the Hype? [INFOGRAPHIC]

December 18, 2013

Armed with unprecedented access to information and opinions (thanks, social media!), consumers are more empowered than ever to make informed decisions, whether they are seeking professional wisdom to become more effective leaders at work or deciding where to roll over their 401K.

As consumers become accustomed to the centralization of information afforded by social platforms, it’s no surprise that they begin to expect continual creation and curation of new content. It’s also no surprise, then, that marketers are feeling the pressure to produce more -- and better -- content, especially as they start to see the fruits of their labor.

Recent research from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs found that nine in 10 marketers in North America currently incorporate content marketing into their strategy (93% among B2B, 90% among B2C):*

What’s happening as a result of this adoption?

  • B2B and B2C marketers alike are investing more heavily in content marketing: overall, three in five plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next year, on top of the 30% and 24% (of B2B and B2C marketing budgets, respectively) currently allocated toward content.*
  • Marketers already have a lot to show for their increased efforts: nearly three in four B2B and B2C marketers (73%, 72%) say their companies are producing more content than they were one year ago. With nearly all of this content being created at least partially in-house -- only one percent of B2B marketers and two percent of B2C marketers say their company fully outsources content.*

At LinkedIn, we started to wonder how these trends might be reflected in recent job creation.

We know that the social media professional, whose various roles at brands and agencies were once nonexistent, has since become a ubiquitous fixture on job boards as companies contend with the unrelenting rise and seemingly constant evolution of social media.

But what about the content professional – has this drive toward the “content era” actually created a new wave of content-focused roles? Or are distinct roles being eschewed in favor of absorbing content responsibilities into existing roles while companies test the waters?

To answer this, we decided to dig into our own data; more specifically, we looked for trends in the number of North American LinkedIn members whose current position is some type of content professional, as well as those who held such a position six, 12, 18 and 24 months ago.

We found that the number of content professionals on LinkedIn has increased steadily over the past two years, climbing 33% since October 2011.**

Who are content professionals?

The infographic below shares a look into who content professionals are, what roles they hold and where they located.

What does this mean for marketers?

When it comes to platforms used for content, across the board, marketers are finding success on LinkedIn, and as a result they have increasingly turned to the platform for distribution. Among B2B marketers in CMI’s study, 91% use LinkedIn to distribute content, more than any other social media platform, and the majority rate LinkedIn as the most effective social media platform for their efforts (62%). Additionally, 71% of B2C marketers are now using LinkedIn for content distribution, up from 51% in 2012, marking the most substantial year-over-year increase in B2C use of social media for content distribution.

As more companies find success with effective content strategies, it’s clear that the demand for content experts has begun an accompanying rise – whether in place of or in addition to tasking existing roles with content creation and distribution.

Marketers who rated their company’s content marketing as most effective in CMI’s study are very likely to have someone overseeing their content marketing strategy (86% of B2B, 85% of B2C), underscoring the need for a managed strategy regardless of the specific overseeing role.

However, as companies work to keep up with demand for fresh (and frequent) content, it will be worth checking back to see how this trend progresses: whether more content roles become absorbed into existing employee responsibilities and this growth of new roles levels off -- or, as we predict -- whether the trend will endure alongside continued success with content initiatives, and, in turn, continued increases in content budget allocation.

Tell us… who creates your company’s content? Are you planning to produce more content in the coming year? If so, do you plan to accommodate this increasing demand by adding new content role(s)? Why or why not? Tweet us with your thoughts @LinkedInMktg.

For some great examples of content marketing on LinkedIn, check out these articles:

How Auto Brands Are Driving Success with Content on LinkedIn
Adobe Influences Digital Marketers with LinkedIn Sponsored Updates
Why Content Marketing Matters More Than Ever

*Source: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs “B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” and “B2C Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends,” North America, October 2013.

**Source: LinkedIn internal data, October 2013.