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Content Candidates Are King

This week we caught up with Pippa McMahon – our content and social Guru – and uncovered a bit more of what’s happening in the Australian content marketing sector. Bill Gates once said that ‘content is king’ (and we couldn’t agree more!) but, in today’s world, the true kings are the new, holistic marketers. Well worth a read! 


Four years ago, I moved to Sydney from the UK and I’ve witnessed digital evolve from a small separated entity to being ingrained in every aspect of a brand’s marketing and communication strategy, on both sides of the world.

As Diageo’s CEO, Ivan Menezes, said: “It’s now not about doing ‘digital marketing’, it’s about marketing effectively in a digital world.”

Sydney’s New Demand For Digital Talent

To meet this global shift, there’s a new demand in Sydney for digital talent, and especially in my area of content and social. However, there are pitfalls to navigate, including the fact that the candidate pool is a lot smaller here, and brands don’t always have the resources to take on board a separate team of people with separate digital specialisms. So we’ve seen the demand for a new breed of ‘holistic marketer’.

Businesses now are looking for experienced digital talent who can work with them to grow their brand and develop innovative online engagement strategies. But they don’t have the resources to take on a team of specialists like we often see in the UK, and instead need someone with a broad spectrum of skills. Someone who demonstrates excellent social media knowledge and content creation skills, as these two areas of expertise have become interchangeable.

It’s no longer enough just to post a ‘quick and dirty’ social media competition, or schedule a handful of posts just to count likes. Clients need content specialists who can do a range of things; come up with social strategy, create written and visual content suitable for multiple channels – and then analyse their efforts.

For example, I was recently approached by a client who was looking for a paid social specialist for a short contract period, I quickly placed a great candidate with them who had a much broader skill set than paid social. Very quickly she became an integral part of the team as she demonstrated her ability to consult clients and make strategic recommendations.

She created content, led on paid strategies, reporting and optimising on everything,  and was also able to deliver smart content strategies to clients across social, write long form and short form content as well as edit images and video, which the client also used across other channels such as eDM newsletters and their website. Within four weeks they offered her a permanent job! And this is not a stand-alone story.

Recruit, Retain, Nurture

Businesses that remain ahead of the curve are the ones who invest and understand that the future success of their brand will be built on customer-centric digital service and communications. That is why it’s so important to recruit, retain and nurture the individuals who are able to cross multiple disciplines within digital media and content umbrellas.

Now, in fast-moving environments with pressured budgets, brands need to do this quickly and in-house. That’s why those who can create content that maximises the customer experience, creating an engaging and consistent journey through multiple platforms are in high demand.

Due to the ‘always-on’ nature of social, it’s more about getting it up and out there, then playing around and optimising after. Video content needs to be much shorter; images need to be turned around in 30 minutes – not the three days as more traditional creatives would prefer. This means that candidates who can jump on creative tools like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro are increasingly popular.

Those that can communicate the same brand message through web, social, editorial and above the line advertising, reporting back and analising on performance are the current content kings.

Broad Skill Set = Bright Future

That’s why those that have a broad range of skills here in Australia are setting themselves up for a bright future.

This is resulting in the new job titles ‘digital manager’ and ‘social media or content producer’, which encompass a plethora of blended skills as social becomes part of content and online brand messaging. I would encourage both candidates and clients to embrace this terminology.

That person who has had exposure to a range of systems including analytics tools, CMS systems, and creative software, as well a strong understanding of the paid and digital media space, and the ability to write compelling copy, is in a great position for future employment.

In addition, they also need to demonstrate strategic thinking, have a good head for numbers, account management skills and be commercially savvy with an entrepreneurial outlook. Sounds too good to be true?

Many believed that you had to look to internationals with these skill sets, which means paying for sponsorship visas, however the landscape in Australia is fast changing, and over recent years I’ve seen a massive rise in juniors coming up with really strong analytical and creative skills, armed with degrees in technology and communications giving them the perfect grounding to springboard to success!

Deloitte’s recent Digital Pulse Survey forecasted a highly ambitious recommendation of an additional 495,000 digital specialists in Australia by 2020 to meet demand within the digital and tech sectors.

I’m anticipating that 2017 will be even more exciting, as many brands particularly in the corporate sector, look to broaden their horizons and seek out skilled social and content specialists, rather than investing huge sums in their roster agencies.

Social commerce is still expanding at a rapid rate, with retailers looking to capitalise through all the major platforms, and monetise their user-base.

I think we can expect to see paid social advertising increase and become more targeted. Facebook is still the most popular social site in Australia, and brands are a lot more confident experimenting with it, however the changes happening to Snapchat and Instagram Stories are worth monitoring.

Video content continues to grow, incorporating video content in an email can increase click-through rates by up to 300% (Forrester Research), so candidates that can find new and exciting ways to utilise this are on to a winner.

This year I’m looking forward to working with a number of businesses who understand the true value of smart content and taking on board the person who best demonstrates the skills to deliver it. These are the people who will directly impact the bottom line.

Want to know more about what’s happening in the content and social media space? Get in touch with Pippa.

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