Explore content writing as a career

How to build your career as a content specialist

Content is everywhere. Every piece of media, be it online or in print, created by an individual or a brand, is content. Words, videos, images are all considered forms of content. This is why content specialists are in demand worldwide, particularly in the digital marketing field.

Research shows that, after the pandemic, companies are outsourcing digital marketing functions, with content creation foremost among them. In 2022 in fact, 75% of surveyed respondents said they outsourced content marketing.1

And that’s just the start.

What does a content specialist do?

The role involves more than just being able to string a sentence together. Without good-quality, well-researched content, businesses and brands would find it impossible to stand out amid the competition, make a name for themselves, or even educate their customers about what problems they solve.

So, a content specialist would be involved in creating:

  • Website content
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Interviews
  • Video scripts
  • Speechwriting
  • Reports
  • Manuals
  • Whitepapers
  • Social media posts

And the list goes on. This is also why a content specialist must have some knowledge of nearly all aspects of marketing: from copywriting to design to social media and more. After all, you need to be able to create content that stirs customers’ passions – but is also capable of generating ROI for your company or your client.

What every good content specialist has in common

To become a content specialist, you must first have a passion for good-quality content – you must love the act of writing and the act of reading, you must be able to appreciate a cleverly put-together slogan or tagline, and you must be able to figure out how to represent various pieces of information so that the reader is engaged, not bored.

You need to also be able to visualise how your content will live on different media and platforms: is it going on a billboard? Will it become a 30-second video? Will it become a speech someone gives during a seminar or webinar? You need to tailor that content accordingly.

How you can become a content specialist

Start honing your skills. If you are just starting out, you can seek internships or entry-level positions with digital marketing agencies – especially ones that specialise in content marketing.

Take time to learn about the entire marketing domain – soak up as much as you can about web design, creative design, SEO and more – because chances are, your content will be worked on by someone in these fields. So the more you understand them, the more effective your content will be.

Be patient. This is a world where anyone can create content – and most of us do, every day, even if it is not for public consumption. But quality always triumphs, and it takes time to develop that quality. Keep learning and keep honing your skills.

Will AI make my job obsolete?

A lot of humans seem to anticipate a several-industry-wide AI takeover. This is not an empty fear: some 400,000 jobs have already been automated between 1990 to 2007, and research shows millions more jobs may follow.2 There are already platforms out there that provide AI-generated content for marketing – but they’re all good only up to a point.

Even though it is true that AI is revolutionising many aspects of the technological and business industries, the beautiful thing about content creation is its human origin and point of view.

Though there are many fears that AI will replace the job of content writers, the field is still far too nascent for us to be worried about that. Among the various problems AI still cannot solve3:

  • It can’t use ‘common sense’ – everything has to be taught beforehand and it will follow based on certain algorithms or predictive analytics
  • It can’t learn ‘on the fly’ – unlike humans, AI still struggles to pick up a skill just as it’s needed, but a content writer needs to be able to do this
  • Understand morals and ethics – this is probably best exemplified by all those ‘Who will you save: baby or old lady?’ scenarios researchers were experimenting with for the machine learning systems that would govern autonomous vehicles. There’s still no clear answer.

AI cannot feel emotions, keep up with trends, understand jokes, or use imagination the way humans can. Everything that AI knows has been fed to it, churned, and regurgitated in a slightly different way.

While some may think that technology is growing to be more intelligent than humans, humans are much more aware of content, and much more emotionally intelligent to the point that a person can tell if a text was generated by AI.

This is true especially when it comes to creating something as dynamic and personified as content. Content is created to affect humans emotionally and intellectually, when it comes to writing and creating media, one of the biggest points of persuasion that should be included is an attempt to appeal for the emotional side, something artificial intelligence struggles to recreate.

It will be a long time until AI can grasp the creative and emotional intelligence a real person holds.

The bottom line: good human-created content will always be in demand

There is need for content every day, and with the level of demand it has in the market today, there’s always a reason to get into content creation. There are few fields that rely in this way on the human brain and its creativity and understanding of the world, which makes content creation and specialisation one of the most engaging professions.

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References:

1. Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing Insights for 2022

2. VentureBeat, AI is quietly eating up the world’s workforce with job automation

3. Forbes, What Artificial Intelligence Still Can’t Do

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