View the full Social Media Trends 2014 SlideShare summary here.
Social Media Trends 2014 (Part Four): Talent Shortage
We’re back with another instalment in our special Social Media Trends 2014 series.
Parts 1-3 touched on the expected rise of content promotion budgets, the rise of nice networks, and the increase in rewards long-time content creators will receive in 2014.
Part four looks at a trend which is causing some major headaches for brands, businesses and agencies alike: The significant shortage of content-savvy digital talent.
This post will explain why this shortage exists, the impact it is having and what can be done about it in the short and long term.
Let’s dive in!
Trend Four: The Shortage In Content-Savvy Digital Talent Get Worse Before It Gets Better
The term ‘digital’ is one of the most confusing and misunderstood terms in modern marketing.
As you can see by the graphic we’ve developed below, digital has four primary parts which each have their own sub-specialisms.
Finding digital talent that understands this complex landscape isn’t easy.
And, finding people that have solid levels of experiences in each of these areas is even more difficult.
This is one of the problems facing brands, businesses and agencies as the core digital marketing areas converge.
The area that is often that is often in the shortest supply is the content specialism as it requires understanding of the other areas in order to achieve success.
But won’t great content work wherever it is published and promoted?
Yes and no.
Great content gives you the best chance of success but you need people to see it, you need the experience to be up to scratch, and you need to extend the life of it via social media management.
You also need to participate in a way that develops enough advocates over time to promote your content for you.
Do you have people in your organisation that can do all of these things?
Kudos to you if you do as they will be your most valuable marketing and communications asset of the next few years.
Why content-savvy talent is hard to find
While that integrated specialist is an incredibly valuable resource, content-savvy talent will also be at a premium in 2014.
These people understand content strategy and can direct content production. Or, they are actual content producers.
We see a plethora of digital producers but their skill set is very different to a content producer.
While it is not a prerequisite, the best content strategists and producers have been bloggers in such shape or form (traditional, video, visual or a combination of all three).
They understand how to shape and optimise content based on the behaviour and needs of the people they are trying to engage.
Traditional creative talent can also be formidable digital content producers, but they are often asked to focus on campaign activity as opposed to ‘the always on’ element which has exploded in importance of late.
There are a lot more traditional creatives than contemporary content specialists out there as there hasn’t been the same need for them, until now.
Is this just a case of semantics?
No it isn’t.
Creating branded content that adds value to the people you are trying to reach is very different to crafting a creative message that takes the form of an advertisement.
The content that gets the most traction suits the world we now live in which is influenced by the passion we have for sharing via social media.
What can brands, business and agencies do about this talent shortage?
There are really only a few options:
- Track down an integrated specialist by any means possible and throw a truck load of money at them
- Train existing talent in the areas they are not as proficient in to augment their entire skill set
- Sit content strategists or content directors at the top of your marketing structure and allow them to be your organisation’s key communications influencer
- In the case of brands and business, develop a roster of agencies which can cover each competenc,y but most importantly ensure you have a robust content strategy in place
- In the case of agencies, take care of creative talent that naturally understand the contemporary digital landscape
This post has not been designed as a pre-emptive cautionary tale or to underestimate the existing talent pool, it is simply a result of the dramatic change we’re experiencing that has been instigated by the explosion of social media.
In time, every organisation will have the talent required to capitalise on this change, but in 2014 there will be more headaches than not.
Part five of our Social Media Trends 2014 series will be posted in the next few days.
Kamber is a specialist content marketing and social media agency based in Australia.
We help brands and businesses plan, produce, publish and promote digital content that people crave.