Salary Guide: US Career Path, Content Strategist / Content Marketing Strategist

Content strategists typically have at least a bachelor’s degree or related certifications and three or more years experience in fields like SEO, technical writing, and content marketing.
In order to outline the career path for a content strategist, the research team analyzed at least 30 “content strategist,” “content marketing strategist,” and “web strategist” job postings across LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed. We also leveraged studies done on content strategists in the US.

Career Trajectory

  • The US job growth rate of content strategy is 13%. On average, content strategists in the US earn $75,616 annually.
  • The top careers previously held by content strategists are editor (11.5%), writer & editor (8.5%), marketing internship (7.1%), content manager (6.4%), senior copywriter (6.1%), managing editor (5.4%), writer (4.8%), project manager (4.5%), and technical writer (4.2%).
  • The main careers content strategies in the US move on to or hold in the future are writer & editor (13.7%), content manager (8.7%), senior copywriter (7.2%), freelance copywriter (6.7%), editor (6.5%), senior content manager (4.7%), technical writer (4.7%), director of strategy (4.5%), and consultant (4%).
  • The best paying cities for content strategists in the US are San Francisco ($96,499), Seattle, Alexandria, Boston, Cherry Hill, Austin, Minneapolis, Columbia, Alpharetta, Philadelphia, and New York ($71,272).

Top Skills

  • Based on a 2019 study by SEMRush that analyzed company requirements mentioned in job offers, the top skills required in the content marketing industry are marketing (81%), social media (50%), strategy (42%), SEO (38%), research (37%), analytics (29%), editing (25%), metrics (17%), and email marketing (11%).
  • The top soft skills in the content marketing industry per the aforementioned study are leadership (19%), respect for deadlines (16%), and written communication (8%). Zippia did a similar study and found that the soft skills listed by content strategists in a lot of resumes are analytical skills, critical-thinking skills and creativity.
  • According to Zippia, the most important skills for content strategists based on resumes and job postings are content marketing (20.8%), web content (13.6%), project management (8.3%), user interface (6.5%), and content development (3.5%).
    • Content Marketing: Content strategy is a subset of content marketing. Content strategists need to have excellent content presentation and delivery skills. They should have “content that’s both long-form and short-form, with interesting headlines and stand-out images, no matter the format.” They should also be able to work with digital marketing experts to figure out what distribution strategy or channel work best.
    • Web Content: Content strategists typically plan, develop, and manage web content in a way that is easy to read and find.
    • Project Management: The key to content strategy is project management. Content strategists need to have strong project management skills as they often have to simultaneously handle different projects and administer project plans.
    • User Interface: Of the 30+ job postings examined, at least 50% listed user experience or user interface. Content strategy is user centered. A critical part of that experience is the “ease with which a consumer can find, access, review or buy products and services.”
    • Content Development: At most companies, content strategies are in charge of publishing images, video, infographics or similar digital content. They typically have to select design elements like fonts that make content “visually appealing and drive engagement.”
    • SEO: Content strategists need to know how to design content in a way that maximizes brand visibility organically and “appeals to both human users and search engine web crawlers.” SEO skills like keyword research and search intent analysis are particularly important for this role.

Average Requirements

  • Almost 65% of content strategists have a bachelor’s degree, while 29% have a master’s degree. Based on an analysis of over 30 job postings across LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor, less than 40% listed a degree as a primary requirement.
  • While job postings by larger companies like Amazon require a bachelor’s degree in communication, marketing, public relations, business, or content production, it appears most companies only require 3+ experience in fields like copywriting, SEO, content marketing, and similar.
  • The majors on the resumes of content strategists in the US are English (16.4%), Journalism (14.1%), Communication (12.5%), Marketing (9.8%), Writing (8.7%), Business (6.6%), and Public Relations (4.1%).

Additional Insights

  • The main industries content strategists work in are technology (27.4%), education (19.3%), agency/consulting (16.3%), government (7%), finance (6.3%), finance (6.3%), and healthcare (5.4%).
  • At most US companies, content strategies tend to be part of the marketing, UX/design, communications, support, and/or the product team.
  • The main types of content these professionals manage are digital/print marketing content, email content, intranet/internal communications, user support documentation & communications, software/product/UX copy, and external training/implementation.
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