Despite the trials and tribulations of the pandemic, producing relevant and informative content to connect with their audiences remains a top priority for organisations across all sectors. The appetite for good content remains as strong as ever with the vast majority of digital agencies reporting an increase in demand and expecting revenue from content marketing to increase over the next 12 months.
The 2021 digital survey carried out by US blog and content provider Verblio also revealed that blog posts (61%), landing pages (42%) and social media posts (35%) were ranked as the top three most profitable content types followed by video (28%) and custom graphics (23%). As for the content they want to invest in for the future, blogs and landing pages continue to rule the roost, followed by video, which remains important as an effective tool to boost customer engagement.
Although 2 in 3 digital marketing agencies hired during the pandemic, around half were still struggling to find either permanent employees or contractors with the right skills; almost 4 in 10 (39%) concerned about the growing skills gaps. Finding people with the right background and skills in content creation and optimisation is proving to be a challenge.
SEO and SEM expertise
So what are the most desirable skills and expertise being sought? Given the importance of landing or authority pages, it is not surprising to find search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) at the top followed by creative thinking/ideation (65%) and copywriting (58%). Data analysis (42%) and social media (27%) rounded off the top five, indicating the importance of data to inform decision making. Digital PR and mobile marketing (both 8%) were the two lowest ranked desirable skills.
Benoît Perrotin, SEO Director of SEO agency Eskimoz, said, “We’ve seen a continued strong demand for SEO services throughout the pandemic, as organisations have increasingly become reliant on their websites to generate traffic and boost sales. SEO, SEM and analytics all play a vital role in any digital marketing strategy.”
By far the best two ways of promotion were social media (79%) and email newsletters (65%) followed by outreach to publications (both manual and automated). Although 29% said that they don’t rely on any particular tools, among the top 10 tools were SEO and web optimisation tools Semrush, Ahrefs and Crazy Egg as well as project management tools such as Asana and Trello.
The digital marketing industry has been thriving over the past 18 months with content marketing expertise very much in demand. Whether it’s SEO or SEM, blogs and copywriting, landing pages or video, content remains at the heart of most organisations’ marketing strategy. However, it is also evident from the findings that organisations are struggling to find people with the right combination of skills and industry knowledge and that those skills gaps need to be closed either by upskilling or by attracting more individuals into the sector.
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