Today all content marketing must be “buzz-worthy”—or so goes the conventional wisdom. Whether or not that’s true, it does take more than scintillating copy or the cutest of cats in mullet wigs to create lift-off. Often even the best content doesn’t get very far in the digital universe without taking a multi-disciplinary approach from the start.
That’s due, in large part, to the ways 18- to 34-year-olds consume content. Over half of this group is online for all or most of the day. Some 45% actively follow five or more news topics at a time, and 86% say they are flooded with diverse opinions on a number of social media platforms, according to the American Press Institute. In other words, they’re barraged with content constantly. Standing out requires a strategic, multichannel approach that leverages promotion using good old-fashioned word-of-mouth, contemporary delivery methods and collaboration across disciplines.
As a result, the creative process at companies is evolving—and it’s translating into new career opportunities for many. At Monster, for instance, we’ve transformed what “communications” means. For us, it’s all about the voice of the company. And, in radically reshaping how we approach this voice and what is says (aka content), we still maintain core pillars: content creators, social gurus, PR counselors, brand experts and event producers. Yet, even as we operate across functions, we’re seeing a wave of change in the how, why and what we create.
Here’s an example: When Kanye West recently announced he was $53 million in debt, our content team jumped on the “news” and quickly created a funny blog post that suggested jobs for him. At the same time, the social function implemented a strategy that emphasized ways to engage in the stream of conversation and amplify our reach, rather than just simply add our voice to the larger conversation. To give it a little extra “oomph,” we pushed the piece out via ongoing CRM campaigns. This cross-channel, multi-tiered promotional strategy delivered the desired snowball effect, building continuous impressions and traffic. The result: 72,000 page views and 430,000 social impressions for what was essentially a single, everyday post. The impressions on Facebook and Twitter were, respectively, 2,390% and 1,900% higher than normal for our accounts. To put it into perspective: We met our quarterly social KPIs two months early.
Our operation does this instinctively today, but as we continue to invest, it’s clear that adding the right members to the team will mean finding people with skills like trend awareness, fresh writing approaches, social listening, a general nimbleness and extensive creativity. As content continues to grow and shift in importance as a business strategy, we’ll see existing roles evolve and an ongoing unbundling of marketing, emphasizing content strategy and creation. What will these jobs look like?
Here are six possibilities, based on what we’re already seeing in Monster job listings:
- Trendjacking Specialist (code name—Trendjacker): When everyone is talking about something like the Kanye story, it takes creativity to break through the noise while maintaining an authentic brand voice. The Trendjacker is a “hybrid media” professional, who is always on and works quickly, but also knows when it’s necessary to involve other team members to produce quality content that does more than jump on the virtual bandwagon.
- Polymath Marketing Manager: The number and variety of consumer engagement channels are changing every minute, making it critical to have someone in-house focused on developing and executing strategies for driving measurable results. Multichannel expertise was behind the Kanye story’s success. This individual can focus on high-level planning but is also rolling up their sleeves on specific immediate deliverables.
- Full Content Stack Producer: Virtual reality is just one kind of technology that is creeping into the news world. The New York Times, for example, produces 360-degree videos that allow “readers” to immerse themselves in global stories. VR represents an exciting opportunity to produce creative content that humanizes a brand. Full content stack producers who put the multi- back in multimedia—from a tweet to VR to mobile to video—will be highly coveted creative talent.
- Creditorial Director: Punny, I know, but a great editorial director needs to focus on more than the end product. It’s about creating content that gets your brand the full credit of what it’s worth. At Monster we started by bringing back the in-house Editorial Director. This role serves to strategically identify what stories will resonate with the news and how to package them using the voice of the company, across platforms. It’s about making sure you have someone defining strategy for squeezing every last drop of value out of that content you create, starting with the original idea.
- Data Hunter-Gatherer: The power of data is no longer reserved for the finance and STEM industries. From big data to customer and consumer narratives, companies from nearly every industry have a vast amount of proof points right at their fingertips—if they have someone dedicated to finding them. The Data Hunter-Gatherer will possess in-depth story mining skills, but also be well versed in the brand narrative. They will be committed to proactively and retroactively finding, securing and cataloging examples to support the team’s storytelling efforts and identifying opportunities to cultivate new sources.
- Reputational Narrative Advisor: Producing a compelling, consistent thought leadership narrative in today’s crowded space is no easy feat, especially when many executives tend to shy away from media. Just as a business leader might have strategic council, a Reputational Narrative Advisor can serve as the command and control specialist for a brand or an executive’s priorities and voice, as well as a conduit between leadership and communications.
These kinds of jobs will undoubtedly present in a variety of forms and combinations, but the takeaway is the same: The content revolution is driving a transformation of communications roles and responsibilities. To be successful, brands will need to constantly evolve their approach to the creative process by bringing together collaborative teams with a wide variety of specialized skills—and encouraging fluid overlap between them. The most important part of results-driven content, after all, isn’t good copy—it’s the talented people creating it.