Are you ready to build and develop your content operations team in 2019? Kapost just released its Content Operations and Strategy Hiring Handbook, which offers statistics about what B2B companies look for when hiring content operations talent and tips for building out your team.
For the report, Kapost surveyed 506 U.S. marketers and filtered responses to include only B2B-focused companies with dedicated content teams or employees.
Here are eight major trends covered in the report that you need to be aware as you head into the new year.
1. Most Companies Are Hiring Specifically for Content Teams
Kapost notes that five years ago, very few organizations hired specifically for content operations. They cite a 2013 report from Altimeter that found very few of the companies had content divisions or staff with the word “content” in their titles.
Today, things look much different — 67 percent of respondents told Kapost that their organizations would hire specifically for content teams in the coming year. Three out of four organizations interviewed have dedicated content teams, and most also have content operations roles to manage the strategy and process behind their content. This demonstrates that company leadership increasingly views content as a legitimate aspect of business strategy that deserved a dedicated team.
Even including the organizations that don’t focus on content, more than half have dedicated content teams. Just over 20 percent focus on managing content for marketing but don’t have dedicated content teams or employees, while 27.3 percent don’t focus on marketing content at all.
2. Content Budgets Are Increasing
Another sign of increased executive buy-in for content operations is the trend toward higher content budgets. Today’s content teams now have more resources available to them, and most content budgets are expected to increase in 2019.
Of the companies included in Kapost’s survey, 56.2 percent said their content budgets would increase in the next year, 42.3 percent said it would remain the same and just 1.5 percent said it would decline. Overall, that means 98.5 percent of content budgets will be either increasing or staying the same this year. This demonstrates an overwhelming consensus that content is valued in today’s organizations and worth investing in.
If your content budget is one that isn’t increasing, you may be interested in the advice Kapost offers in the report for increasing buy-in. They recommend focusing on current missed opportunities rather than requesting increased funding and provide formulas to help you justify a budget increase.
3. Customer Experience Reigns Supreme for Content Marketing Teams
In 2019, content will continue to play an essential role in customer experience — 97 percent of marketers told Kapost they believe this year content will be as important or more important as last year for creating positive customer experiences. Good customer experience is, of course, crucial for business success. Because of this, delivering the best customer experience possible should be the top goal of content operations teams in 2019.
4. Content Marketing Teams Are Increasingly Responsible for Strategy and Operations
In the early days of content marketing, the content team was responsible mainly for creating the content, mostly in the form of writing and editing. Increasingly, the content team is also in charge of the strategy and operations behind the content. This aspect of the job has become more important in recent years and will continue to play a more central role this year.
About 35 percent of hiring managers interviewed said they look for knowledge of strategy and operations when hiring for their content teams. Kapost didn’t have data on this for 2014 as it did for the other qualities it asked hiring managers. Kapost also found that many hiring managers look for employees who can effectively collaborate across departments. This shows just how much content marketing has matured over the years. It now requires a more well-rounded set of skills and strategic thinking abilities.
5. Content Teams Increasingly Work With Multimedia
The skills that content teams possess have also changed in another major way. Content operations has moved away from its heavy focus on writing to also include other forms of media, including video, graphic design and web design. The skills hiring managers look for have shifted accordingly.
In 2014, more than 90 percent of hiring managers said writing and editing was one of the main qualities they looked for in candidates. For 2019, that number is 57 percent. Conservely, just over 10 percent of hiring managers cited video production skills in 2014, while 30 percent did in 2019. The percentage of hiring managers looking for graphic and web design skills jumped from around 25 percent to 47 percent over the same period.
Among the top most popular roles on content teams, Web/Graphic Designer was number two, while Videographer was number five. Managing Editor came in at number four.
6. Marketing/Advertising Is Now the Most Desired Major for Content Marketing Talent
As the skills hiring managers look for changed over the years, so did the educational backgrounds they preferred their candidates to have.
In 2014, most hiring managers looked for three to five years of content marketing experience, rather than a specific major. That took the number one spot on the list of most-wanted educational backgrounds, while English/Journalism took second and Marketing/Advertising took third.
In 2018, Marketing/Advertising was the most popular major, followed by Graphic/Web Design followed by content marketing experience rather than a major.
7. Content Marketing Manager Is the Most Popular Position
According to Kapost’s survey, Content Manager was the most popular role for content teams. That was followed by Web/Graphic Designer, Content Operations, Managing Editor and Videographer.
Kapost noted that the content operations now spans every touchpoint with customers, leads and prospects — not just the top of the funnel. You can find content operations across teams such as marketing operations, content marketing, product marketing and design. They also listed some of the most critical content team members, along with how each of them contributes to the content operations, their daily responsibilities and their key characteristics.
The positions Kapost listed included Head of Content Operations, Content Strategist, Product Messaging Strategist, Customer Advocacy Strategist, Marketing Technologist, Web Designer and Developer, Visual Designer and Videographer.
Content operations is continually changing, and hiring managers need to be aware of the latest trends to ensure they can build a team that will succeed in today’s environment. For more details and tips for hiring content marketing talent in 2019, you can download Kapost’s full report here.