Discover more from Content Captains
Here's What a Traditional Content Marketing Career Path Looks Like
Discover what a traditional content marketing career path looks like, and how to rise through the ranks
At ease, Captain!
Welcome to a free edition of the Content Captains Newsletter where I answer your questions about creating content, generating traction, and becoming a full-stack content marketer.
Here's What a Traditional Content Marketing Career Path Looks Like
A content marketing career path includes three job experience levels: entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level.
The average salaries for content marketing jobs range from $60,000/year to more than $180,000/year.
From a high-level perspective, a traditional content marketing career path includes these three titles:
Content marketing specialist (entry-level)
Manager, content marketing (mid-level)
VP, content marketing (senior-level)
The most exciting part about navigating your own content marketing career path is that no two look the same. Content marketing is a dynamic marketing function, and there are many paths you can take to ascend up the startup ladder.
Today's post will not only cover what a traditional content marketing career path looks like, but also cover what non-traditional roles (and skills) can help you get higher paying roles. Hint: By becoming a full-stack content marketer.
What is the best content marketing career path?
The best content marketing career path is one that's specific to your goals.
For example, you may prefer copywriting over video production, so instead of applying to content marketing roles that lean heavily on the video content side, you could instead focus on seeking jobs where copywriting is more of a focus.
Every content marketer gets the opportunity to develop their career in content marketing however they see fit. And there are many tangential roles available to you across the marketing spectrum that can also empower you to develop your content marketing career path.
Here's a more comprehensive content marketing career path (with salaries):
These are content marketing jobs for content marketers with 0-5 years of experience.
Content marketing associate
Content marketing specialist
Content marketing manager
Senior content marketing manager
Principal content marketing manager
Average salaries: $50,000 - $115,000
These are content marketing jobs for content marketers with 5-10 years of experience.
Manager, content marketing
Senior manager, content marketing
Director, content marketing
Senior director, content marketing
Average salaries: $90,000 - $150,000
These are content marketing jobs for content marketers with 10+ years of experience.
Head of content*
VP, content marketing
SVP, content marketing
Chief content officer**
Average salaries: $150,000 - +$200,000
*Head of content roles can fit into any of the three job experience levels, they will vary depending on years of experience required.
**Chief content officer roles are extremely rare for now.
It's important to remember that these roles and titles are ever-evolving since content marketing is a relatively new, and changing, marketing function.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: If you’re reading this newsletter, you’re hopefully interested in joining B2B tech startups as a full-stack content marketer—meaning you can easily secure the top half of each salary range above. More on that later.
How much do full-stack content marketers make?
Full-stack content marketers get paid 1.5-3x more than content marketers.
A rule of thumb to follow here is whatever salary range the content marketing role you’re seeking is offering, you can bet on landing somewhere in the top half (or even more than what’s posted if you negotiate effectively).
For example, let’s say you’re looking for your first content marketing job, and you’re applying for “content marketing specialist” roles—content marketing specialists make anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 a year. But if you’re a full-stack content marketer, you’ll be able to secure an entry level content marketing job in the $70,000 to $100,000 range because you’ll come in with the multimedia content creation skills B2B tech startups need to grow.
How do I know this? Because I’ve lived it.
When I got hired to my first content marketing job at a tech startup, my compensation package exceeded the original range because I was able to showcase my full-stack content marketing skills and how they’d add value.
Today, I’m a content marketing leader in that same startup, and know the ins and outs of the hiring process and what marketing leaders look for in candidates.
If you’re ready to 3x your content marketing salary as a full-stack content marketer, start here:
What content marketing skills do you need to get high paying jobs?
If you're to effectively navigate your content marketing career path, you'll have to pick up many skills along the way.
At the end of the day, the best content marketers are ones who understand content strategies, content creation, and target audience insights. And then executing those content strategies while managing a content team or a group of content creators that can ensure each piece of content generates results.
A content marketer is expected to know a lot.
From copywriting and search engine optimization (SEO) to video production and brand design, it can all seem out of reach. But if you break it down by job experience level, you'll get a better understanding of what may be expected of you.Here's the content marketing skills you'll need per job experience level:
Entry-level content marketing skills
These are the minimum skills you need to secure entry-level content marketing jobs.
Content creation (portfolio)
At this level, you’ll want to show a basic understanding of copywriting and content creation with a small portfolio highlighting a few social posts, blogs, and emails. You want to show short- and long-form range here, and the ability to manage multiple projects at once.
Mid-level content marketing skills
These are the minimum skills you need to secure mid-level content marketing jobs.
Entry-level skills +
Content marketing strategy
At this level, you’ll want to showcase your ability to create multimedia content—if you’re interested in securing high-paying content marketing jobs. Furthermore, you’ll need to highlight how you project manage, prioritize, and collaborate with various stakeholders to execute on a content strategy or projects.
Senior-level content marketing skills
These are the minimum skills you need to secure senior-level content marketing jobs.
Entry-level and mid-level skills +
Positioning & messaging
Cross-functional marketing knowledge
High-impact stats and business-relevant projects
At this level, you’ll need time in seat—meaning years of experience will be a huge factor here—however, time in seat only matters if you’ve developed the necessary content marketing and leadership skills you need to thrive
Here are three reasons you should consider a career in content marketing:
It's a growing industry.
The content marketing market is expected to grow by 16% from 2020 to 2025. And businesses will spend nearly $700 billion dollars on content marketing by 2025.
It's an important marketing function.
Digital content continues to grow in importance as more businesses realize the impact of investing in their content marketing efforts. Content marketing today is more that social media posts, it directly impacts revenue.
It's both a science and art-form.
The first two points are around financial opportunity. This point is about fulfillment. If you're a creative and methodical content marketing professional, you will have a blast in this field of work.
Thanks for reading,