Data is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy—have you made data a part of your career-planning toolkit? 

For our 2019 Inbound Marketing Job & Salary Guide, Conductor analyzed data from four major job sites to better understand the current market for SEOs and content marketers. No matter how you slice it, the results are clear—the demand for digital marketers is increasing, and marketing salaries are more competitive than ever. 

Our guide breaks down these trends, revealing key insights by salary and job title, and identifying the skills you’ll need for a range of roles. With the right approach, you can use this information to grow your career, whether you’re new to the field, angling for a promotion, or on the hunt for a new job. You’re already applying data-backed insights to your digital marketing campaigns; it’s time to apply the same thought process to your career. 

How much can I make in marketing? 

Our guide provides salary ranges for both SEO and content marketing roles, broken down by seniority and region. If you’re engaged in salary negotiations or thinking about your career trajectory over the long term, these figures can help you maintain realistic expectations, without selling yourself short. When you’re using these numbers to build a case, remember to keep them in context—marketing salaries vary by region, and two people with the same job title can have vastly different responsibilities—don’t assume you’re owed a certain amount just because it falls within the overall salary range for your role. 

With a little research of your own, you can put our salary numbers into perspective (and make them work for you). Keep in mind: 

  • Job descriptions are not standardized. An SEO manager at one company may have an entirely different role than an SEO manager elsewhere—one might be managing marketing campaigns, while the other might be managing a team of people. Or, two SEO managers with the exact same role may have different levels of experience. Job responsibilities and work experience both factor into salary, and you should keep them in mind as you formulate any salary ask. 
  • Job titles vary by company. As a content marketer, you may be called a content specialist, a content strategist, a content creator, a content manager, or something else entirely. You may not see your title reflected in our guide, but that doesn’t mean our data won’t be useful. Spend a bit of time on LinkedIn identifying the skills employed by people in certain roles, and you’ll be able to figure out where you fit in relation to them. You may be between two roles, or you may have a role that’s nearly identical to someone with an entirely different title.
  • Region matters. An SEO in San Francisco will likely be making more than an SEO in a smaller city, even if they have the exact same responsibilities and experience. Cost of living, competition, and industry are all factors that can be affected by where you’re located.
inbound marketing salary ranges

Is marketing a high paying career?

It can be, but you should still be realistic about your salary goals. If your research reveals that your target salary doesn’t represent a reasonable next step, don’t ask for the bump all at once — it will likely work against you. Instead, start thinking longer term. 

Put together a plan that will help you reach that salary goal, and include concrete steps that will help you get there, like acquiring a new skill or taking on additional responsibilities. And don’t forget, a salary only represents part of your compensation package. Benefits, equity, and bonuses are all part of the picture. If you’re having trouble building a case for a certain annual salary, you may want to ask for a few extra vacation days, or something else that might be of value to you. 

Once you settle on a reasonable ask, you’ll still need to make a case for yourself. Couple the insights you’ve gleaned from your research with examples of the impact you’ve made in your role, your relevant past experience, and the skills you bring to the team

How can I use skills data to grow my career? 

You’re never owed a certain title, role, or salary by virtue of your tenure at a particular company—you’ll need to demonstrate continued growth, particularly in an ever-changing industry like digital marketing. In addition to our salary research, the Salary Guide identifies the skills most commonly associated with a range of digital marketing roles. 

Supplement this with your own research, digging into the LinkedIn pages and professional bios of your peers or the people whose careers you’d like to emulate. Once you’ve determined which skills are most relevant to your personal goals, look for opportunities for development. Make the case for your company to invest in a training or conference by highlighting the skills you’ll bring back to the business—and providing evidence that they’ll give your business a competitive edge and real value in return.

marketing job skills

Making the case for a new salary 

Ideally, any negotiation will be the culmination of an ongoing conversation about your career development and the impact you’re having at the office, a conversation that’s taking place in one-on-ones and evaluations throughout the year. The information in our guide can help steer these conversations, helping you identify skills you’d like to cultivate, and benchmarks you’d like to reach. 

Whether or not you’re having periodic check-ins, be sure your salary ask includes information from our guide and relevant insights from your research. With data to back you up, you’ll be able to approach negotiations from a place of confidence. This can have a huge impact on the tenor of the proceeding, making it feel less like a battle of wills and more like a conversation between well-informed parties.

If you make a strong, evidence-based case for a number and it’s shot down, you may want to re-evaluate your position at your company. You don’t need to make a move, but it’s worth considering if your value at the company doesn’t align with your value on the market. 

What cities have the highest marketing salaries?

Our guide breaks down salary data by city, pinpointing the best places in the US for SEO, Content Marketing, and PPC jobs. Still, just because a city is “the best,” doesn’t mean it’s the best for you. 

Cities with the highest marketing salaries

Companies in high-demand areas may need to offer higher salaries to remain competitive, but those salaries may not go as far—in many cases, these high-demand areas also have higher costs of living. Marketing salaries may be lower in smaller cities, but your dollar may go farther, and you may find that there are fewer people competing for each open role.

If you do decide to pursue a new role, don’t feel like you have to be a 100% match for the job description. You may bring something unexpected to the position, and the company may be open to hiring someone who will grow into the job over time. 

The biggest takeaway from our research? Demand for digital marketers is higher than ever, and marketing salaries are rising as a result. 

If you’re an SEO or content marketer looking to take advantage of this opportunity to grow your career, download our indispensable Inbound Marketing Job & Salary Guide now.

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