19 June 2024 |

A content career pathing rubric

By Tracey Wallace

Content marketing, like most marketing roles, is often a victim of scope creep. So many content marketers are also social media marketers, email marketers, ABM leaders, etc. This is no more evident to me than with social media marketing. 

For instance, I talk a lot about content repurposing, and when I talk about it on Twitter or LinkedIn, folks often tell me about how they repurpose their content now for Twitter threads or LinkedIn posts or Instagram carousels. And that’s great! 

But never in my career as a content marketer has it been my job to hand over repurposed content to my social team. I’ve tagged them in several drafts. They often attend content meetings to know what is coming up. I recommend pieces for them to repurpose. But I don’t do it for them. 

Now, I know that some of these content marketers repurpose this content to position themselves as creators on these platforms, and that’s genius. Without much extra effort, you can grow your audience, which increases distribution, and can help with overall career development. 

But, a lot of content marketers also manage social media for their companies––and I know this because they email me about it, asking how to do it right, how to do it well, how to not get overwhelmed. And let me tell you a secret: I don’t know if there is a way. 

I have been the head of marketing at two different early stage start-ups. I joined both when they were just hitting $1M in revenue, and within a year and half at each, I helped them scale to beyond $10M in revenue ($12M and $15M respectively). I do this through what I call a “content-first marketing strategy.” Repurposing is at the core of that strategy––for all channels, including social. 

But in my roles specifically in content marketing organizations, when I talk about content repurposing or content strategy, I am never talking about social media. I have found that most B2B social media feeds are frequented and followed by other brands and marketers in that industry, as well as partners. As a result, even when I can drive a lot of traffic from social media to my content, those folks rarely stay long on the page, don’t download content, don’t take much action at all. 

And I was raised as a content marketer on a growth marketing team, which meant if something didn’t convert, you didn’t spend time there. 

You know what did convert, what continues to convert for me? Repurposing content into new formats and assets for different parts of the customer journey and funnel––including account-based marketing outreach, sales outreach, various parts of the lifecycle funnel, and even content inclusion in trial flows, or in-product itself. 

This is how I get my content to produce revenue for the company––which is always my first priority anywhere I go, because revenue is what matters. Everything else is vanity. 

OK, so I say all of this because I have a rubric by which I measure content marketers / strategists ––and you won’t find any social media marketing expertise here. Instead, you’ll find the ability to collaborate well across internal disciplines really important. Or, the ability to strategically connect various business threads into a single campaign paramount to career development. 

These are the things important to me as a content marketer, and as a manager. So, if you’re looking to hire content marketers who focus on long-form, educational content that positions a company as a trusted thought leader in their space, this rubric will probably work for you, too

Oh, and “ibid” is the document just means, “same as before” –– meaning that the skill needs to be maintained.