Hiring online freelancers for marketing roles and projects is a trend that has experienced significant growth over the last year.

We’ve seen a 106% increase in digital marketing jobs posted on Elance for the 12 months leading up to March 2012. And, the increase from UK businesses was even greater (124%).

There has also been a 215% increase in marketing jobs completed and a 188% increase in client spend.

In the first of a series of monthly posts, I’ll look at more trends in digital marketing jobs…

UK marketers are using digital marketing freelancers more than other countries. In March 2012, the UK became the second biggest hirer of digital marketing talent, up from fourth in March 2011, just behind the US. The UK is also the fifth biggest country when it comes to supplying digital marketing freelancers.

Video is on the up

When we drill down and look at the types of jobs that are increasingly being outsourced, it is interesting to note that video is the big mover year-on-year. Videography was the second fastest growing skill in the last year (272% increase), followed by Video Production (253%) and Video Editing (233%).

Requirements for infographics spiralled in the last 12 months too with a monumental 552% increase. However that growth has slowed recently and there was no change in demand from February to March this year.

The only skill to see a drop in demand over the last year was Newsletters (-12%). Though in the month from February to March we saw less demand for SEM (-39%), Newsletters (-15%), eBooks (-9%) and Affiliate Marketing (-9%). 

Job Post Count by Skills

MOM % change

YOY% change

Internet Marketing

17.2%

186.0%

Blogs

-4.1%

138.7%

Social Media Marketing

15.9%

105.8%

SEO

3.5%

105.7%

SEM

-39.0%

89.6%

Video Production

6.1%

253.3%

Video Editing

5.1%

232.5%

Banner Ads

-5.0%

231.3%

Facebook

8.5%

31.5%

Email Marketing

10.9%

57.4%

eBooks

-8.9%

62.8%

Affiliate Marketing

-8.8%

7.9%

Videography

39.9%

272.3%

Infographics

0.0%

552.0%

Newsletters

-14.5%

-11.8%

Twitter

18.5%

0.8%

Google+

17.7%

 

Three reasons for increased demand

A common reaction to this growth in demand would be to question why this is happening. For me, when it comes to digital marketing, there are three key reasons:

  • Economy.
    There is no doubt that the difficult economic conditions over the last few years has put strain on marketing budgets. Using freelancers is a good way to control costs, especially when there are freezes on hiring additional full time headcount.
     
  • Flexibility. Marketing disciplines and campaigns are far more varied in this digital age. It is often hard for marketing teams and agencies to predict what skills will be needed from one month to the next.
     
  • Specialisms. Following on from this last point, it is often necessary to have a specific specialist for a specific task. Hiring a freelancer who has the necessary skills that might be missing in the agency or in-house department is a much more effective way to manage this.

We’ll continue to chart these trends, identify areas where there is significant change and will include these in future monthly posts.