How to Keep the Best Talent in Content

A client I worked with last year told me a fascinating statistic their research had uncovered: 80% of the senior-level professionals that make up their audience are so unsatisfied in their jobs that they’d be willing to change companies if an equal offer came along.

Think about that. How miserable must these eight out of ten professionals be that they would rather do what they do for someone else?

But here’s the kicker. I asked my client the inevitable question: “If they’re so miserable, why don’t they leave?” The answer floored me. My client told me that it’s because so many of them believe it won’t be any better than where they are.

Boy, is that a profession ready for disruption.

I see a familiar pattern in the marketing groups of the businesses I work with. It’s the end of 2018, and in many businesses, content strategy and content marketing have come far enough that fatigue is beginning to show. In many instances, we doubt our ability to make our strategies work. In fact, CMI’s recently released research found that only 27% of B2B marketers feel like their organizations are “extremely committed” to the practice of content marketing. 

Marketing leaders often fret about our inability to measure success in content because it’s difficult to prove how much the content contributed to solving a business challenge.

We should also consider how that inability to measure is discouraging our teams from being motivated to stay.

One of the challenges I see is that there is no clear career path for the content creator, the managing editor, the blog manager, or the content strategist in today’s environment. A client who is a director of content strategy at a technology company told me she will have to move to either product marketing or IT to have a clear career path at her company.

To advance in their careers, content practitioners may have to branch out into other more established areas (such as a classic marketing role), switch companies, or break out on their own. To do those things, they may have to leave behind the parts of their job they find most exciting. 

In short, our businesses are building up content practitioners as powerful, skilled communication experts only to provide them with dead-end careers.

I suspect that before long (if we’re not already there), 80% of content practitioners, like the executives my client told me about, will be willing to switch companies but don’t. Why? Because they, too, will believe that it won’t be any better than where they are now.

If you’re among those who hire these amazing professionals, a low level of job satisfaction could represent an opportunity for you. One of the questions I’m asked most these days is “How can we acquire the best talent in content?” Implicit in that question is “How do we keep these people once we have them?

I answer both questions the same way: Show people that the company values their contribution. Build strong content teams. Provide clear advancement paths. The best content practitioners don’t doubt their ability to advance the business. Their companies shouldn’t either.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Robert Rose
Chief Strategy Officer at The Content Advisory
As the Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory, the exclusive education and consulting group of The Content Marketing Institute, Robert develops content and customer experience strategies for large enterprises such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Oracle, McCormick Spices, Capital One, and UPS.

Robert’s book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing was called “a call to arms and a self-help guide for creating the experiences that consumers will fall in love with.” For the last three years, he’s co-hosted the podcast This Old Marketing, with Joe Pulizzi. It’s frequently a top 20 marketing podcast on iTunes and is downloaded more than a million times every year, in 100 countries around the world.
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Author: Robert Rose
As the Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory, the exclusive education and consulting group of The Content Marketing Institute, Robert develops content and customer experience strategies for large enterprises such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Oracle, McCormick Spices, Capital One, and UPS. Robert’s book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing was called “a call to arms and a self-help guide for creating the experiences that consumers will fall in love with.” For the last three years, he’s co-hosted the podcast This Old Marketing, with Joe Pulizzi. It’s frequently a top 20 marketing podcast on iTunes and is downloaded more than a million times every year, in 100 countries around the world.