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The Digital Marketing Career Path for SEOs & Content Marketers

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There is opportunity everywhere for SEOs and content marketers right now. Find out what skills you need to develop to make progress in your digital marketing career.

We’ve updated our data for Digital Marketing and SEO salaries to help inform marketers and hiring managers. See the new 2023 Digital Marketing Jobs Salary Guide.

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Content marketing is a marketing discipline with the goal of increasing awareness and scope for products and brands in the desired target group with content published on the web and offline.
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job opportunities are exploding and there are more SEO job openings than ever, so it’s especially important to consider what these relatively new digital marketing career paths look like in 2018.

What marketing job titles are out there for SEOs and content marketers, and how do you set yourself up for success as you look to develop the right marketing skills to move forward in your digital marketing career?

2 digital marketing career trajectories, for SEOs and content marketers.

SEOs and content marketers are requiring more and more compatible skill sets and gaining access to more senior positions in organizations. So we decided to take a look at eight marketing job titles to get an idea of what today’s digital marketing career path might look like:

  • SEO Specialist
  • Content Specialist
  • SEO Strategist
  • Content Strategist
  • SEO Manager
  • Content Manager
  • SEO Director
  • Content Director

For each marketing job title, we examined 50 professionals from a diverse group of cities across the country, took note of several characteristics, and congregated their most prevalent skills. We were looking for patterns that indicated how digital marketing careers are being built from entry-level positions to leadership opportunities.

Marketing Titles: SEO Specialist & Content Specialist

Let’s start with our SEO and content specialists. This is a title that actually covers a wide array of experience levels, which we also saw reflected in our salary data. But they aligned with the most entry-level SEO- and content-specific titles in the digital marketing career path.

Data for marketing titles: SEO specialist and content specialist

These specialist marketing titles are not usually the first jobs out of college for people starting down the digital marketing career path, but digging into their skills and experience gives us a little more insight. Many marketing internships and entry-level marketing jobs include stints in social media and copywriting; from there, we see the path of the SEO and content marketer start to diverge.

The SEO starts focusing on more quantitative, data-based skills, while our content marketer is developing a more qualitative set of competencies, like research, editing, and blogging. But over a third of our SEO specialists still list content marketing as a skill, and a little under a third of our content marketers list SEO.

Even as our specialists start to, well, specialize in their digital marketing careers, they are part of the movement that is un-siloing all elements of digital marketing.

Marketing Titles: SEO Manager & Content Manager

Skipping forward on the digital marketing career path to our SEO and content managers, a more senior position, we see many of the patterns we noted in our entry-level specialist marketing titles deepen.

Data for marketing titles: SEO manager and content manager

Marketing managers, both SEO and content marketers, are around 10 years out of college, and around half have developed skills that transcend the traditional marketing silos: 54% of SEO managers list content marketing as a skill (up from 34% for SEO specialists), and 48% of content managers list SEO (up from 30% for content specialists).

For SEO managers, traditional key skills like SEO, Google Analytics, and web analytics are obviously prevalent, but so is experience with paid search. And content managers display both their wheelhouse skills (writing, blogging, editing), while also developing some broader, more tactical expertise in marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing Career Paths Are Wide Open

Organizations are investing more in organic, customer-first marketing, including personnel, and that means there are plenty of opportunities for growing your career.

Whether you are an SEO or a content marketer, being able to leverage data and insights to create compelling, easily findable content that brings measurable value to your customers is the way of the future, so developing the skills and finding the right tools to succeed is essential.

We’ve updated our data for Digital Marketing and SEO salaries to help inform marketers and hiring managers. See the new 2023 Digital Marketing Jobs Salary Guide.

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