Editor's note: This article was originally published by HubSpot and curated by Closer Spot. Please subscribe to get actionable news and advice delivered to your inbox each week.
There are some weird job titles cropping up across the globe, and I bet you'll never guess what the most popular one was in the U.S. last year for that category.
It was "rockstar" -- followed closely by "guru" and "ninja." You read that right. Ninja.
Contrary to the images they conjure, these titles weren't written to attract musicians and covert assassins. They were intended to appeal to experts in their respective industries. A "customer experience ninja," for example, finds ways to improve how clients engage with the brand. S/he's just so good at it, you don't even know s/he's there, "killing" it at every point in the buyer's journey.
An "SEO guru" might own all tasks related to search engine optimization, and, as a callback to the teacher origins of "guru," educate the marketing department on the latest Google best practices.
This doesn't mean you need to (or should) fill your careers page with flashy marketing job titles to reach the talent you want. It does, however, show how quickly the naming conventions are changing along with the practices that help a business grow. You need to compete for talented marketers' attention, and they're looking for job titles in marketing that denote their specific value to the market, and help their careers grow, too.
"Marketing coordinator," "digital specialist," and similarly generic terms often don't encompass the responsibilities of today's marketer -- even those who might be coming to your company right from college.
And many marketing leaders are feeling the effects of this shift -- 95% of them say their organizations are struggling in some way because they aren't reaching the right candidates, according to a TEKsystems survey.
It's hard to know exactly what title your ideal employee expects when researching new opportunities, especially if you're hiring a certain role for the first time. But don't worry -- we've got you covered. The list below contains some of the most important job titles with which to populate your marketing team this year.
The marketing job titles to consider this year:
- Content Creator
- Content Strategist
- Content Marketing Manager
- Creative Assistant
- Digital Brand Manager
- Creative Director
- Marketing Data Analyst
- Marketing Technologist
- Digital Marketing Manager
- Social Media Coordinator
- Social Media Strategist
- Community Manager
- SEO Specialist
- SEO Strategist
- SEO/Marketing Manager
These titles mean nothing if you don't know how they support the initiatives your company wants to tackle. With that in mind, here are five types of people whose skillsets are critical to marketing today, and how their talents map to the titles above.
5 Critical Skills and the Marketing Job Titles They're Perfect For
1. The BloggerOpening a job requisition under the title "blogger" seems logical -- this person's primary duty will be to write for the company blog, after all. Keep in mind that anyone can launch a blog, though, and not just for business reasons. It's important that your title conveys the more technical, brand-oriented skills you require.
Instead of blogger, try one of these on for size, in order of experience level:
- Content Creator (entry-level)
Content Strategist (mid-level)
Content Marketing Manager (management)
What They Do"Content" is the operative word here. "Content creation/management" is the #3 digital marketing skill of 2018, according to a survey of 250 marketing leaders by IT solutions provider TEKsystems.
Content marketing encompasses all the consumable media you publish to drive the conversation in your industry -- often including but not limited to blog posts. Your content team enforces your blog and offers' tone, topic selection, editorial calendar, email campaigns, and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy -- all of which ensure you're connecting with the right type of readers whom you can convert into customers.
Does this seem like a lot of varied skills that might be hard to find in one person? It's up to you how you'd like to spread out these duties across the team's hierarchy. While the content creator might be your chief writer, for example, you might put the content strategist in charge of determining core editorial themes and devising how to approach SEO in each post (we'll talk more about SEO jobs in a couple of minutes).
The content marketing manager can then oversee the editorial calendar and package content into newsletters to subscribers, helping you grow your contact list and generate leads from all your content creator's hard work.
2. The Multimedia PersonThis role can be tougher to define, but it's just as important to your content strategy. Although "videographer" and "graphic designer" can suffice for freelancers and those who specialize in a certain medium, these titles don't hold much weight for full-time candidates who are increasingly "doing it all."
Here are some suggestions:
Creative Assistant (entry-level)
Digital Brand Manager (mid-level)
Creative Director (management)
What They DoYou've likely noticed a pattern forming: Just as writers associate with "content," your visual content and multimedia folks are fond of marketing job titles rooted in "creative" and "brand." These keywords help bundle the many types of marketing collateral your creatives may tackle under one umbrella.
Breaking down the specific tasks associated with each role, creative assistants and digital brand managers produce photos, videos, logos, infographics, and similar visual content that give your brand style and storytelling power. Creative directors, on the other hand, "work with designers, artists, copywriters, sales teams and marketers to create a vision for products sold," according to Snagajob. Further, "they invent new ideas for branding, advertising campaigns, and marketing messages."
After you determine what level of expertise you need, be sure to research the design and editing software that best fits your company's needs and include it in the job description. This ensures you're reaching candidates who depend on the same equipment you do to be successful.
3. The Audience-ReacherHow do you know if your marketing efforts are producing a return on investment (ROI), or even being seen by the right people? Information related to page views, how users found your content, how long they stayed, and other consumption metrics can help you determine value and discover opportunities for optimization, but the roles that manage this data are a bit more complicated than the above two.
Here are three great titles for your more analytical marketers:
Marketing Data Analyst (entry-level)
Marketing Technologist (mid-level)
Digital Marketing Manager (management)
What They DoAlthough each of these people should be well-versed in content analytics, they actually specialize in different things. While marketing data analysts study industry conditions to refine product positioning, marketing technologists develop an operational strategy for executing on these conditions -- and pursue the necessary technology to support it. Digital marketing managers oversee the analytics related to your content so you can optimize your existing assets and create smarter campaigns in the future.
This personnel is very helpful to companies that outsource their writing needs to freelancers and need to analyze the ROI on their content spend. Or maybe they have a less-technical content team in-house, and prefer to hire a designated analytics team to work alongside them.
If you don't have the budget or inclination to hire two separate teams, however, it's common to build analytics into the daily duties of the content strategist or content marketing manager.
Keep in mind not every data-focused job title relates to marketing, so be careful when recruiting an analytics buff. A broad title like "data analyst," for example, may attract operations generalists who design systems to help the business itself become more efficient, instead of your marketing campaigns specifically.
4. The Handler of Facebook and TwitterFor starters, "Facebook Manager" is not your best bet here. Similar to how "blogger" is often too narrow for your content folks, this type of employee merits a title that reflects how they're using this medium -- not just what specific channel they're using. Here's a hint: TEKsystems ranked "social media management" the #10 digital marketing skill of 2018.
And without further ado:
Social Media Coordinator (entry-level)
Social Media Strategist (mid-level)
Community Manager (management)
What They DoSocial media coordinators often handle the day-to-day posting responsibilities on various social networks, including management of a posting schedule similar to the content creator's editorial calendar. Social media strategists help you decide which social networks to keep accounts on, which content to post, and where, for maximum reach and ROI.
Strategies for each network can vary wildly depending on where your audience hangs out and what content they consume -- insights your marketing data analyst may help you uncover.
So, what the heck is a community manager? While you may hire for a social media manager in addition, the community manager has a special focus on the public that's worth investing in as your social media presence grows. This employee usually performs one or both of two overarching responsibilities:
First is helping your social media team manage its relationship with current and future followers of the brand, especially if these followers are highly responsive to your posts. It's the community manager's job to engage these people and ensure the brand is responding to its most vocal listeners.
Other community managers, however, are moderators,governing social platforms where your followers speak up regularly. This could be Facebook, but it could also be your blog's comment section or community forum websites run by your company. These community managers answer queries, promote compliments and other valuable audience contributions, and mitigate negative commentary.
5. The One Who Gets You on GoogleThis is where SEO gets its purpose. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! don't publish a formula for what gets content to rank highly in their results (if only!), and any marketer can tell you how important it is to show up on the first page. Their ranking algorithms also change regularly, making your Google guru (don't make that your job listing) an incredibly valuable individual.
Here are three marketing job titles that'll resonate with the search crowd:
SEO Specialist (entry-level)
SEO Strategist (mid-level)
SEO/Marketing Manager (management)
What They DoAs you can see, there's a pretty obvious pattern here. And just like your social media team, the difference between each role is in strategy versus execution.
SEO specialists coordinate with content creators to ensure the SEO tactics you've agreed to are being practiced in your content. Strategists work with your analytics buffs to refine your approach to SEO as Google's algorithm, or your own content strategy, changes.
SEO/marketing managers are the most common SEO job title out there, according to content optimization service Conductor, and are particularly helpful if you're tracking the SEO performance -- also known as "organic" performance -- of more than one blog or website page.
Keep in mind not every marketing position you see here is critical to an effective growth strategy. Some titles may be most useful to incorporate in the job description of another role you're hiring for, rather than its own position (for example, putting "coordinates social media" in the description for a "content marketing manager" title).
Use these as opportunities to define the titles and marketing job descriptions of the positions that are critical to your growth, and you may well find the content strategist who also fancies him or herself an SEO ninja (hey, maybe post it and see what you get).