According to a 2021 HubSpot Blog Research survey, 19% of marketers believe finding the right candidate for a role will be more difficult in 2022. For nearly half of marketers surveyed, finding candidates with the right skill set is the biggest challenge.
2021 LinkedIn research shows that the top three in-demand marketing roles are digital marketing specialists, digital account executives, and social media managers. But some businesses struggle with knowing which roles to hire for and when it’s the right time to add to the team.
To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of the top marketing roles brands are investing in today.
Challenges Marketers are Facing
According to 2021 HubSpot Blog Research, the biggest challenge marketers face is training their team.
Large organizations often have the infrastructure set in place to ensure both managers and new employees have a smooth onboarding and training process which can last a few weeks to several months. Newer, smaller businesses can struggle in this aspect.
Training doesn’t only happen when an employee starts the job. In an ideal world, training happens at a regular interval based on business and/or team needs. However, that’s not always the case.
A recent study showed that 11% of UK workers say they’ve never received formal workplace training while 30% say they haven’t done it in the last five years. This can lead to larger issues relating to performance, career development, and job satisfaction.
Another challenge 28% of marketers admitted facing in the HubSpot Blog Research survey is measuring the ROI of their marketing activities. This is an age-old problem for marketing teams.
Teams develop elaborate campaigns but then when the results (i.e., data) come in, they’re not exactly sure how to measure its success.
As for 2022, 21% of marketers still anticipate training and ROI measuring being major challenges, along with traffic and lead generation.
Additionally, marketers are equally worried about hiring top talent. To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of the top marketing job titles and in the next section, we cover their roles.
You have a list of titles, but do you understand the skill sets and tasks associated with each? We can help there, too.
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 skill sets are critical to marketing today, and how their talents map to the titles above.
Marketing Job Titles and What They Do
1. Content Marketing Roles
Content marketing is on every brand’s mind.
LinkedIn says it’s the second-fastest-growing skill and according to HubSpot Blog Research, it’s the number one strategy marketing teams are hiring for this year and in 2022.
A few years ago, it was common to see "blogger" as a job title on Indeed and other job search websites. Today, brands are looking for candidates with more technical, brand-oriented skills as search engines get more competitive.
Content marketing has also expanded, which means brands are hiring candidates for every aspect, from ideation and strategy to production and promotion.
Lisa Toner, director of content at HubSpot, has some tips on this.
"In today's world, the publishing business is democratized, favouring creators across all content platforms," says Toner, "so I would encourage brands to start building their creator strategy for 2022 and not restrict their content efforts to what they can build with their internal team."
So, try one of these on for size:
- Content Creator (entry-level)
- Content Strategist (mid-level)
- Content Marketing Manager (management)
What They Do
Content marketing encompasses all the consumable media you publish to drive the conversation in your industry, often including but not limited to blog posts, newsletters, and podcasts.
Your content team is responsible for developing the strategy behind your content, producing the content and the lead-generating offers, and monitoring the results. They work across the entire funnel, creating content that will appeal to those who are newly introduced to the brand as well as those considering a purchase, or post-purchase.
The size of your team will determine how these tasks are divided. While a content creator will focus on producing marketing materials to attract the audience, your content strategist will be in charge of determining core editorial themes and devising how to approach SEO in each post (More on SEO later).
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. Brand Marketing Roles
This 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 Do
You'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 cross-functionally with design, marketing, and sales teams to create a vision for the products and/or services offered. They are also responsible for developing new ideas relating to ad campaigns, messaging, and branding.
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 are proficient in the tools you use to be successful.
3. Marketing Analyst Roles
How do you know if your marketing efforts are producing a return on investment, 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 Do
Although 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 then pursue the necessary technology to support it.
Digital marketing managers, on the other hand, 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. Social Media Marketing Roles
According to 2021 HubSpot Blog Research, 51% of marketers plan to increase their social media investments in 2022. Out of that group, 88% plan to continue investing the same amount or increase their investment in 2022.
Along with content marketing, social media is another buzzing department that businesses are prioritizing.
Similar to how "blogger" is often too narrow for your content folks, "Facebook manager" would have the same effect for social media. You want to pick a title that isn’t too restrictive and allows your candidate to expand and grow into other responsibilities.
Better options include:
- Social Media Coordinator (entry-level)
- Social Media Strategist (mid-level)
- Community Manager (management)
What They Do
Social media coordinators handle the day-to-day responsibilities of managing social media platforms. This includes scheduling posts, engaging with followers, and responding to inquiries. Social media strategists assess which social networks will offer the maximum reach and best ROI, then develop plans for each one.
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 about a community manager? They focus on the following:
- Helping your social media team manage its relationship with current and future followers of the brand.
- Engaging your audience by starting and monitoring conversations relating to your industry and brand.
- Answering queries, promoting positive reviews and other valuable audience contributions, and mitigating or de-escalating negative commentary.
5. SEO Marketing Roles
Any marketer can tell you how important it is to show up on the first page. Unfortunately, search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! Aren’t giving out handbooks on the formula you need to follow to land on that first page.
Their ranking algorithms also change regularly, making an SEO expert an incredibly valuable asset on your team. 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 Do
As 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 followed 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 particularly helpful if you're tracking SEO performance – also known as organic performance – of more than one blog or website.
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).
Which marketing roles will leaders invest in next year?
In 2021, marketers mostly invested in content marketing and social media, according to HubSpot Blog Research.
The top role marketers hired for this year was content creators, followed by content marketing managers. In 2022, 32% of marketers said content marketing managers will take priority in recruitment efforts, followed by content strategists then content creators.
Toner says it's no surprise to see companies investing in their content marketing initiatives next year.
"Media consumption is at an all-time high and brands are spending massive budgets to advertise on the most successful media publications, whether that's on podcasts, newsletters, YouTube, or websites," says Toner.
"But buying ad inventory is a short term play and smart companies are thinking about building their own media empires for long term success."
There are also some roles marketing teams will be recruiting for the first time in 2022.
"Creative assistant" takes the top spot, followed by "creative director." Interestingly enough, 22% of marketers surveyed say they’ll be recruiting content marketing managers for the first time.
Which marketing roles will be lower priority in 2022?
In 2022, only 2% of marketers plan to prioritize recruiting acquisition marketing managers, according to HubSpot Blog Research. Other roles that aren’t priority include:
- SEO Strategist
- SEO Marketing Manager
- Product Marketing Manager
- Growth Marketing Manager
This would suggest that marketers are focused on building out their organic channels beyond just websites and placing content before product, a great way to build brand loyalty and gain consumer trust.
With that said, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t recruit these roles. It just provides some insight into where the industry is headed and how marketers are navigating.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in Feb 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.