Blog posts, emails, ebooks, webinars, case studies, website copy: each of the above represents a step forward in your buyer’s journey.
And you want to make sure they all point in one direction: your product.
Coherence and consistency are key, and if you’re taking content marketing seriously, your team needs someone able to turn knowledge into content and use it to turn visitors into opportunities and opportunities into customers.
You need a content manager.
what exactly does a content manager do?
A lot has been written on the topic, and to help you wrap things up, we combined experts’ advice with our own experience and laid out the 7 key responsibilities of the full-stack content manager.
Enjoy the read.
AN OLD JOB REVOLUTIONISED BY NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Content managers and business have been walking together for a while.
From around 1895 to be exact: below you can see the 1931 cover of The Furrow, started publishing in 1895.
However the introduction of new technologies (social media), marketing techniques (marketing automation, email nurturing) and content forms (webinars, podcasts, live streaming, infographics…) revolutionised the content marketing world and, in turn, the content manager role.
Back in 2011, Joe Pulizzi (founder of the CMI) nailed down the first definition of content manager.
“The content leader is someone who “oversees all marketing-related content initiatives, both internal and external, across multiple platforms and formats to drive brand awareness, engagement, sales, retention, and other positive customer behaviours.”
The definition may look cryptic at first sights, but it gets easier once broken down into smaller pieces:
The content leader is …
“someone who oversees all marketing-related content initiatives” = the production of any piece of content aimed to generating marketing results.
“both internal” = blog posts, guides, homepage copy, social posts.
“and external” = guest posting, user generated content, co-marketings.
“across multiple platforms” = blog, forums, social media, communities.
“and formats” = ebooks, blog posts, guides, infographics, video, podcast.
“to drive brand awarenesses, engagement, sales” = to engage visitors, turning them into opportunities and then customers.
This is what a content manager does. Let’s now see how that translates into practice.
7 KEY RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FULL STACK CONTENT MANAGER
Below you can find a list with the 7 key areas of action of your content manager.
Disclaimer: this list is not meant to be used as “the ultimate check list” to use when hiring or evaluating your content manager.
We put it together to give you an idea of how broad the role of content manager can get and how it can evolve over time.
Keep in mind that, as with every other role, responsibilities and duties of a content manager heavily depend on the structure, goals and sophistication of each business.Responsibilities of a content manager depend on the structure, goals and sophistication of each business. Click To Tweet
Accordingly, don’t expect all of the activities below to be performed simultaneously. They build upon each other and happen over time.
With that in mind, let’s get the list started:
1 – Develop and document the content marketing strategy:
This includes defining:
- the audience personas: “who our content is for”
- content mission: “how our content will help our readers”
- marketing objectives for content: “results we want to achieve with content”
- business objectives for content: “how content OKRs aligns company OKRs.”
Quick note: your content manager will need your collaboration to frame a great content strategy, no one knows your audience, vision and mission better that you and your team.
Check out this interactive content strategy builder: a quick tool that will help you understand what a content strategy is and how to develop a great one.
2 – Outline a channel plan:
- Defining the channels the organization will use to reach its audience and customers: social media, communities, forums, paid acquisition.
- Develop and execute a plan for how the business will tell its story on each channel (including tone and voice).
3 – Establish standards, technology and tools, best practices and workflows to manage the content marketing life cycle
- what will we write about?
- what are our benchmarks?
- what content formats will we use?
- who takes part to content production?
- what workflows will we follow?
- what will we deliver at each step?
- what tools / technologies will we use to manage production?
- what channels will we distribute our content on?
- what tools will we use to distribute our content?
- what metrics will prove we are producing good content?
- what metrics will prove we are producing effectively?
- what metrics will prove the distribution strategy is working?
- what tools will we use to keep track of those metrics?
4 – Manage and maintain the content inventories:
- organize the editorial calendar for the organization
- organize and store all the content assets to make them easily accessible and usable for the whole team.
Quick note: Content is useful only if easily accessible by your team. Check out the content library, a content repository that will help your content manager centralise and organise all your content assets in one place.Content is useful only if easily accessible by your team. #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet
5 – Work with IT / technical team to implement efficient content management systems (wordpress, joomla), content marketing platforms (contentools, percolate, newscred, coschedule) and content distribution platforms.
6 – Collaborate and coordinate team members from other departments to:
- spot new content opportunities,
- turn technical knowledge into content,
- help everyone improve writing skills to build an in-house content team.
Quick note: to collaborate with team members outside of the marketing department, processes and tools are key. Learn more here: The One Secret To Building A Content Machine (and 5 tools to help you).
7 – Hire and manage in house and outsourced content creators:
CONCLUSIONS AND FINAL ADVICE
At this point it should be clear that content marketing is much, much more than creating great content.
From story telling to management, to marketing, intellectual curiosity and data analysis, many are the skills and personality traits content managers need to run the show.
Still, make sure to keep in mind what I’m about to tell you:
1) Don’t expect your content manager to be good at everything.
Unless you’re hiring a content rock star (paying a ton of money for her) you probably won’t find someone able to get all of the above done from the get go.
a) This is partly because content marketing as we know it today is fairly new, and we are the generation of marketing professional who’s living the revolution on its skin.
Content marketing playbooks are being developed, and there still a lot to discover and learn, so:
Give your content manager time to grow and focus on the long term gain instead of the short term fix.
b) Also, this is due to the broader principle: no one is good at everything.
Sure, practice makes perfect, and t-shaped professionals are on the rise, but still. we all have our strengths and weaknesses and it would be naive not to take that into account.
Accordingly, be smart and Make the core of what your content manger does be what they are best at. #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet
2) Stay involved in content creation.
The only kind of content that will drive real business results is content that resonates with your audience, and for that to happen, it has to be written by someone who lives and breaths your market, product, customer, business.
And when it comes to your business, no one know is better than you and your team, that’s why everyone should always be involved in content creation.
The information, knowledge and insights that every member of your team possesses are a gold mine that can be turned into outstanding content.
And the secret to successful content organizations is making sure that information don’t get lost.The secret to successful content organizations: making sure information don’t get lost. Click To Tweet
Sure, over time the content manager will get up to speed, but that doesn’t mean you and your team can afford to stop collaborating.
We’re not talking about micromanaging, but If you are serious about content marketing, let your content manager know she has your full support and empower him to turn your company into a in-house content machine.
That’s the secret to an endless stream of unique, free high quality content tailored to your audience.
That’s all you need to know about what to expect from a content manager.
Over to you:
What does the content manager at your organization do?
Are you a content manager? What are the main duties and challenges of your job?
Let us know in the comments below.