Chelsey Church

Copywriter. Editor. Videographer. Illustrator. Designer.

All of these roles are major pieces of the content marketing puzzle.

But who’s putting these pieces together in a strategic, methodical way? A content marketing manager, of course.

Beyond having a grasp on campaign creation, lead generation and thought leadership, content marketing managers must understand how to properly manage a creative team and devise a plan to use their assets in one seamless, successful strategy.

So what does it take to lead a marketing team?

Below, we’ve highlighted the role of a content marketing manager, including the skills, responsibilities and requirements that come with this career path.

What is a content marketing manager?

A content marketing manager is an individual who manages the creative team members who design, write and orchestrate content. This person understands what it takes to create strong email and social marketing campaigns alongside general assets and long-form content like blogs, infographics and videos. In each content marketing strategy, there’s always a far-reaching goal or bottom line in mind, and it’s up to the content marketing manager to keep things moving toward it.

How do you become a content marketing manager?

Before you can lead a group of creatives, there are certain requirements needed to make your mark in the world of content marketing management.

Years of experience in the industry is a great place to start, but there are other necessities. Some of those include:

  • A bachelor’s degree. A degree in marketing is a plus, but a related field such as communications is also acceptable in content marketing.
  • An eye for content optimization. Knowing what tools are necessary to make a piece of work shine and understanding content creation best practices.
  • Social media analytics experience. Understanding how to measure ROI of social media across all channels.
  • Google Analytics proficiency. General analytics skills are helpful; Google Analytics certification ensures you know how to collect and analyze data to grow a brand.
  • Proven time management skills. Content marketing managers are constantly tackling and managing tasks with shifting deadlines; without time management skills, it can be difficult to achieve multiple goals.
  • Experience in project management. There’s value in having management experience of some sort, whether that’s overseeing a group of individuals or maintaining a high-scale project in a prior position.

What are the top skills needed to become a content marketing manager?

There are various skills required to successfully maintain the operations of a content marketing team.

Some of those include:

Management: When a creative team continuously generates blog copy and other assets, there needs to be someone who can keep everyone’s work on schedule and on brief. Besides maintaining content flow, content marketing managers must assess content strategies and make decisions based on the success of a campaign.

Leadership: As with any managerial position, a content marketing manager must have authority over his or her team. Creatives should have respect for this person and trust that he or she can lead the creative process from start to finish.

Analytics: Search engine optimization skills are essential as a content marketing manager. Understanding how keywords work and resonate within a piece of content ensures all content creation is informed by hard data.

Writing and editing: Speaking of respect, there’s something valuable about working under someone who can relate to the effort and passion you put into your own work. As a content marketing manager, having writing and editing experience allows you to thoroughly understand the copy you’re delivering to your clients. These skills are also useful when proofreading content before it goes live, enabling you to catch any last minute mistakes the naked eye may have missed during the editing process.

Social media: According to Hootsuite, 90% of brands utilize social media as a means to increase brand awareness. Additionally, most businesses have between four and 10 different social media platforms. While you’ll have a social media strategist under your wing, it’s still wise to understand social media and how it works in your content strategy.

Communication: Whether you’re handling a dispute with a client or you’re helping a content creator who’s going through writer’s block, communication skills come in handy. Generally speaking, content is all about conveying a message that resonates with an audience and creates brand awareness. Without the appropriate communication skill set, this message could flop. Both oral and written communication skills are vital as a content marketing manager.

What are the responsibilities of a content marketing manager?

Behind every solid piece of content – whether it’s a blog, infographic, animated video or social media post – there was a manager in the background devising the plan.

Responsibilities of a content marketing manager can vary from one company to the next, but the general duties include:

  • Understanding your audience. Among the different industries your clients operate in, there will be various audiences to target. Understand their interests, preferences and expectations before you embark on a formal marketing campaign.
  • Preparing a content strategy. Based on your client’s preferences and the information gathered about audiences, devise a content plan. This includes the type of assets you’ll create in your strategy and how you plan on distributing the content.
  • Creating an editorial calendar. Organization is a must as a content marketing manager. Give your clients easy access to the strategy by creating a content calendar that provides insight into when and how often they can expect content.
  • Managing content. Once your writers, designers, illustrators and other creatives have generated their assets, it’s time to publish and promote the content.
  • Proofing content. Just because you have editors on your team, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t proofread content before it reaches your client. Being the second or third set of eyes on an asset makes you valuable during content creation.
  • Coordinating creation. There’s a reason it’s called a content creation team. These individuals work together to meet the goals of each client. Streamlined communication throughout the team ensures everyone has the same bottom line in mind during the content creation process, so they can complement each other’s work.
  • Keeping track of marketing trends. Without insight into current industry trends, you’ll have a difficult time helping your clients become thought leaders. It’s your responsibility to keep track of what’s going on in their world, as well as what trends are occurring in content, design and marketing so you can leverage the greatest deliverables under best marketing practices.
  • Analyzing content performance. Do you understand what kind of content is resonating with your clients’ target audiences? Analyzing your marketing materials and understanding their impact helps you readjust your content marketing strategy and maintain what’s working.

How to hire your next content marketing manager

If you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum and you’re searching for a content marketing manager, remember there’s always value in going the extra mile and looking for a professional who exceeds the necessary skills.

Consider the following during the recruiting and interview process:

Search for someone with content creation experience. It’s difficult for a content marketing manager to gain the authority over a creative team when he or she has limited experience in content creation. Find someone who dabbled on the creative side of content marketing, or at least has experience in copywriting. An ability to write, edit and comprehend copy from the beginning of the brainstorming process to the moment it goes live makes a strong manager who can help creative team members along the strategy.

Find someone with can network. Communication is one of the strongest elements of a content marketing manager. This individual must understand how to connect with other business professionals; it’s what drives the ability to resonate with an audience, as well as current and potential clients. Make sure this person has networking experience and feels comfortable collaborating with professionals with high authority in the industry.

Make sure your content marketing manager is passionate. There’s little to no value in hiring someone who isn’t enthusiastic about the industry, business or content. Your content marketing manager is seen as the face of the strategy during client meetings, and lack of passion and drive can come off very quickly in communication with a client who’s excited or unhappy with content. Your content marketing manager must be enthusiastic throughout each marketing campaign.

Why worry about managing a creative team on your own when there’s a specialist who can get the job done? A content strategy is only as strong as its leader; filling this position with a highly skilled professional with years of experience gives your content the chance to become king.