Marketers know that professional-level content (including white papers, email newsletters, videos, webinars, or a blog) engages website visitors and stimulates prospects to re-tell the brand’s story and promote that brand through viral efforts. By offering content that offers genuine value rather than just serving up sales promotions, marketers drive awareness, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales. Content is now at the forefront of the customer acquisition process thanks to the rise of online search and social media. This is particularly true for business-to-business companies that are engaged in longer sales cycles. This explosive growth of digital content has created the need for specialists to manage it and disseminate it efficiently. Whether the position is called Content Director, Vice President of Content Marketing, Director of Content Marketing Strategy, Content Marketing Manager or any number of other titles, this has become a distinct discipline inside many Fortune 500 companies.
Employers who are looking to hire their first Content Marketing Manager often admit that they’re not exactly sure what look for, so let me offer a few tips.
Content management is part science, part creative. The Content Marketing Manager needs to be able to interpret data and leverage analytics to adjust their strategies, and as such, they should have a good grasp of analytics platforms such as Google Analytics or Omniture. You want them to be well-grounded in the nuts and bolts of digital marketing, particularly SEO and social media, and geeky enough to be able to troubleshoot web-related technical issues. Knowing website structures and content management systems (CMS) is a given, and the best content managers I know are savvy lead generators. After all, the end game of generating content is to drive business. You want someone who has demonstrated ability to write copy that converts prospects into leads, leads into buyers, and buyers into repeat buyers. A good Content Marketing Manager can balance lively writing with keyword inclusion. And of course, you need someone who can lead and manage a team of in-house and/or outsourced writers, editors, data analysts, graphic designers, videographers and developers. One Fortune 500 company that Bernhart Associates Executive Search worked with recently hired our candidate, a former journalist, to create a sort of internal “newsroom” to provide content to their expansive field sales force, as well as customer service and corporate communications. It’s no accident that this former reporter had a strong knowledge of internet marketing and even some college-era programming experience. Turned out to be a fabulous career move!