The digital marketing industry is buzzing in Africa, and so are the job opportunities it can provide. According to the World Bank and African Development Bank, there are now 650 million mobile users in Africa - more than the number of consumers with access to clean water, electricity or a bank account. As more businesses and consumers lean towards digital marketing, more focus is on digital marketing talents in Africa, particularly content marketing. Projected to hit an industry value of over US$412.8 billion, content marketing has redefined the way brands interact with consumers by giving brands a cost-effective way to connect with their target audience, and by giving consumers engaging and relevant content. With its growth, more content marketing firms and employment positions are opening up, creating a whole new career path for new African graduates or career switchers.
What Exactly Is Content Marketing?
Content is the future. This is a term often heard but rarely explained in the concept of business. Customers want engaging and relevant content. They want to feel connected to brands. In fact, more people are basing their purchasing decisions on their emotional connection, brand trust, and other secondary factors rather than just the quality or price of the product. This is where great content comes in. To connect with the right market and increase brand visibility and engagement, businesses need to produce advertorial and informational content that satisfies the needs of their target market. Content marketing helps businesses achieve this.
By creating original, high quality and appealing content, businesses can achieve several strategic objectives, including market penetration and new marketing expansion. With the content marketing industry still in its formative years in Africa, getting in on the ground floor can give you an upper hand when it comes to working with some of the leading multinational giants like Coca Cola and Colgate.
Brand Content Creator
For any business, telling their brand story is important in establishing their presence offline and online. Facts have shown that telling a story evokes a more powerful response than simply transmitting facts and figures - something brands can harness to their advantage. A brand content creator helps a brand tell its story and position its brand in the market. To succeed in such a position, showing skills like market research, copywriting and originality in your writing will help immensely.
While you do not necessarily need an educational background in journalism or marketing, professional certifications like The Power of Communication’s Brand and Brand Storytelling diploma can give you a great foundation for a career in branding content creation. In addition to professional certifications, having interpersonal and top-notch communication skills are key to this job.
Another job sector that is growing in the content marketing industry is copywriting. The good news is that getting into copywriting can take many routes. You can choose to work in house with a copywriting agency or set up your own copywriting business. You can even begin your copywriting career as a freelancer, making it a secondary income until you secure relevant experience and clientele to make the full time switch.
To get into the copywriting industry, you can either choose to pursue professional qualifications in copywriting like the copywriting course offered at SA Writers College, opt for online courses like the Copywriting for Online Marketing course offered by the University of Cape Town, or gain experience on the job. Employers also look for a background in writing, so having a degree or certification in English or Creative Writing can help. If you do choose to go freelance, the first step to establishing yourself as a copywriter is to set up a website and build a portfolio of copywriting samples for clients to peruse. Alternatively, you can pursue a career in content writing. Be careful not to confuse the two. By distinguishing information sharing from traffic conversion tactics, you are able to better tailor your training to skills employers want to see. Copywriters focus more on brand storytelling and converting content into customer traffic and sales. Content writers are expected to write both advertorial and informational content, including landing pages, blog content, and even press releases.
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, a content marketing strategist assists in the design and creation of content specifications for a brand by considering its intended target audience and business objectives. Content strategists also play an analytical role in a business’ content marketing strategy efforts. They are also responsible for examining the reaction to the company’s content marketing strategy and pointing out what works and what does not.
There is a huge opportunity for content specialists currently. Approximately 78 percent of companies have at least three content strategists on staff, and 24 percent plan on increasing their investment in content marketing in the future, including their recruitment budget. The skills required will vary according to the type of content you plan to focus on. For instance, content strategists focusing on social media should be adept with social media calendars and social analytics tools like Snaplytics and TapInfluence.
The content marketing industry is booming in Africa - and so are the job opportunities. There has never been a better time to consider a job in content marketing, whether it is your lifelong career ambition or a later life career switch. With an increasing range of job roles, the possibilities are endless once you secure the right skills.
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