Wondering what it takes to become a content marketing manager?
You’ve come to the right place.
Leading a business’s content strategy can be an extremely rewarding career path. It’s also a rising field with plenty of opportunity for growth.
In this article, we’ll give you an overview of content marketing and what it takes to become a content marketing manager.
Let’s start by looking at what content marketing is and what the job entails.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the process of creating relevant and informational content. Often in the form of blog posts, white papers, articles, and email newsletters.
It includes distributing such content online to attract readers and engage a defined audience.
And the goal of content marketing?
It’s to attract and retain customers by creating and curating relevant and valuable content.
With that in mind, content marketing managers play a critical role in driving content marketing strategies.
Why you should become a content marketing manager
Content management is an in-demand field with plenty of opportunities for growth.
After all, the phrase ‘content is king’ has never been more true than it is today.
In a world where we’re bombarded with content from all sides, businesses need content that cuts through the noise and speaks to their target audience.
Enter content marketing managers.
Here are a few facts about the state of content marketing in 2022 according to a report by SEMrush:
- 47% of businesses are going to grow their content teams this year – indicating that they will ramp up their content creation efforts
- Businesses that create ‘Guides’ get 3x more organic traffic
- Ones that write ‘how-tos’ get 1.5x more organic traffic
- Content marketing leaders experience 7.8x more growth compared to companies that don’t leverage content (Neil Patel)
- Content creates 3x as many leads as traditional marketing
- And it’s 62% less expensive than non-digital content
- 73% of businesses plan to hire a person to oversee their content marketing strategy
As you can see, content marketing is already a hot topic it’s only going to become more popular in the coming years.
If you love writing and have a knack for content strategy, then a career in content marketing is right for you.
What content marketing managers do
As you go through the following details, you’ll know what to look for in content marketing manager job descriptions.
Let’s break down what a manager does:
- A content marketing manager is responsible for planning the content strategy of a company. They’re responsible for thinking of ways to connect content to meet the larger goals of a business.
- You need to specify exactly the content you want to produce and how it will be disseminated.
- You have to come up with topics for content creators to write about. All of this content must be aligned with the larger goals of the company.
- The content marketing manager also develops an editorial calendar or plan that content creators use to produce content.
- This position also requires content curation and using the right tools to generate high-quality and valuable to the reader.
- Often, content managers need to step in and write content themselves.
- You have to edit and proofread content.
- Set up KPIs to track content engagement and analyze data to make decisions on content strategy.
- Selecting content formats and types of writing which are the different ways you can package your content (e.g., blog posts, infographics, videos, etc.)
- Choosing content distribution channels which are the places where you’ll share your content (e.g., social media, email, etc.)
- Hiring and managing a marketing team that may include writers, designers, and videographers
- Hiring, training, and managing freelancers to create content
- Creating an editorial calendar which is a schedule of content that’s published and where it’s distributed
- You have to create and present reports to your senior marketing manager. And work with them to meet goals.
- And lastly, you also need to be able to pitch content ideas to clients.
As a content marketing manager, you’ll need to be a strategic thinker, a strong leader, and have excellent writing and editing skills.
You have to wear many hats and have a keen understanding of a company’s target audience, content distribution channels, and content goals.
Skills a content marketing manager needs
From the job description we covered, you already have a good idea of the skills a content marketer and manager needs.
It isn’t enough to be a good writer, you also need to think and plan at a higher level. And this means having other skills than content creation and writing.
The following set of skills is comprehensive and you should build your knowledge and experience in them as much as possible.
1. Understanding the customer journey and mapping it to the sales funnel
What differentiates a content writer from a manager?
It’s understanding the customer’s journey and creating content that maps it to a business’s marketing or sales funnel.
The customer journey refers to the process customers go through when they interact with a company. This journey starts with awareness, then interest, followed by a decision, and finally, action.
For example, a customer might become aware of a product through a blog. Then, they visit the company’s website to learn more and read reviews. After that, they compare prices with competitors. And finally, they make a purchase.
The customer journey is important for content managers because they need to create content for each stage of the journey.
2. Leveraging Google Analytics
There are many reasons why a content marketer needs to know how to use Google Analytics:
- To understand who the audience is
- To see what content is popular with the audience
- To track conversions
Google Analytics is a free tool that shows you data about your website traffic.
You can use it to see how people found your website, what pages they visited, and how long they stayed on each page.
You can also see what devices they were using, what country they’re from, and other useful information.
This data is important because it helps content managers understand their audience and what content resonates with them. And it’s critical to help create and execute a content marketing strategy.
Other things that Google Analytics helps with:
- Defining personas which are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer
- Finding out the top pages of your website
- Identifying content gaps which are topics that your audience is interested in but you don’t have content for
- Understand which keywords lead to more traffic and clicks
- How long people stay on a website and more
3. Strategic thinking and planning
As a content manager, you have to create a content strategy for your business.
It’s the plan that outlines what content you’ll create, when you’ll publish it, and where you’ll distribute it.
You have to set up content marketing objectives i.e. the goals you hope to achieve with your content strategy.
And to realize both the content strategy and your goals, you need to develop a content calendar.
Finally, you have to track your content performance and refine your strategy over time.
To do all of this, you need to be a strategic thinker. You have to be able to see the big picture and understand how all the pieces fit together.
Content marketers and managers need to be able to lead a team of content creators.
This means being able to give clear instructions, provide feedback, and manage deadlines.
It also means being able to motivate content creators to do their best work.
5. Marketing skills
Finally, content marketing managers need to have a good understanding of marketing principles.
This includes things like SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and lead generation.
It’s also important to know how to achieve higher-level goals like creating thought leadership, branding, product marketing, and more.
You need to be able to integrate content into the overall marketing strategy of the business.
6. Analytical skills
Content managers need to analyze content performance and make data-driven decisions on what content to create.
They need to be able to use Analytics and other content marketing tools to track content engagement.
And they need to be able to analyze this data to understand what content is resonating with the audience and what content isn’t.
It’s useful to know how to work with spreadsheets and draw insights from data.
7. Writing skills
Content managers need to be able to write well. They need to be able to create clear and engaging content.
And they need to be able to edit content for clarity, conciseness, and grammar.
That isn’t all, in this job, it’s important to create a brand voice and keep it consistent across all written content.
8. Project management skills
Content managers need to be able to manage projects from start to finish.
This includes things like creating content calendars, assigning tasks to content creators, and setting deadlines.
It’s also helpful to have an understanding of project management software like Trello and Asana.
9. Communication skills
You need to communicate clearly and effectively. Do this by giving clear instructions, providing feedback, and managing expectations.
Also, know how to create different content formats and how to use them for effective internal and external communication.
You won’t have to create videos, infographics, social media posts, and other things yourself. But you do need to know how to optimize them and what their focus should be.
10. SEO skills
Content marketing managers need to have a good understanding of SEO.
This includes things like keyword research, link building, blog post and on-page optimization.
You should have a general understanding of search engine algorithms and how to create high-quality content so that your brand is more visible.
11. Hiring, training, and managing freelancers
It’s very common for content marketers to work with freelancers when they need an extra pair of hands. You have to be familiar with hiring freelancers, training them on your content style guide, and providing feedback.
12. Knowledge of multiple content marketing tools
Content marketing managers need to know how to use different content marketing tools.
Including things like social media scheduling tools, content management systems, and email marketing platforms.
You’ll have to not only use them individually but also integrate them and ensure they work together to grow your business.
13. Knowledge of content management systems (CMS)
If you want to be a content marketing manager, you need to have a good understanding of CMS tools.
These are the tools that content creators use to create, publish, and manage content.
Some of the most popular CMS tools include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Each CMS platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to understand how they work.
However, you should focus on WordPress since it is the most popular CMS out there.
14. Ability to use HTML and CSS
Content marketing managers don’t need to be coding experts. But, it’s helpful to have some knowledge of HTML and CSS.
You don’t need to be able to build a website from scratch. But, being able to understand how websites are built will help you when you’re working with content creators.
And, if you ever need to debug a website issue, having some coding knowledge will come in handy.
15. Reporting Skills (Using Spreadsheets and Charts)
Content managers need to have an understanding of how to create reports that will help them make decisions on topics such as how to optimize content and identify growth opportunities.
They also need to be able to read data from various sources, analyze it effectively, and present the results in a meaningful way.
It’s helpful to know how to use spreadsheets, create charts, and to have good presentation skills.
Furthermore, successful content managers must always take the bigger picture into account when making decisions – linking their content activities and decisions back to larger business objectives.
This helps ensure that these activities are contributing positively to the bottom line of the organization they represent.
There you have it. These are the major skills you need to manage an effective content marketing strategy and fulfill the needs of your business.
The content marketing manager job is a high-level position that requires a mix of content creation, strategy, project management, and leadership skills.
While it’s possible to learn some of these skills on the job, it’s always better to have knowledge and experience in as many of these areas as possible before you apply for content marketing manager jobs.
How to find content marketing manager jobs
Let’s look at how you can find content marketing manager jobs. There are several ways you can go about this.
Try to grow in your current company
The first way to become a content marketing manager is to try to grow in your current company.
If you’re already working in content marketing, then you have a head start. Talk to a senior executive and let them know that you’re interested in content marketing management.
Show them that you’re capable of more by taking on additional responsibilities and doing a great job with the content you create.
If your boss sees that you have what it takes to be a content marketing manager, they may promote you to the position.
Use job boards
An obvious step is to use job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn Jobs, and Glassdoor.
These job boards are a great way to see what jobs are out there and see what companies are hiring.
Make sure to personalize your application, resume, and cover letter to each content marketing manager job you apply for.
Leverage your network
Your network is a valuable resource when looking for content marketing manager jobs.
If you know anyone who works in content marketing, reach out to them and see if they know of any job openings.
Search for jobs with similar roles and terms
Not all companies use the title ‘content marketing manager’ for their content marketing leadership positions.
That’s why it’s also a good idea to search for jobs with similar roles and terms.
Some examples include ‘digital marketing manager’, ‘marketing communications manager’, and ‘ content strategy manager’.
You should look for roles like ‘content marketing specialist and ‘content coordinator’ too.
It can be confusing but I recommend searching job descriptions rather than job titles. Search for ‘manage content’ and you’ll get more relevant results.
Send cold emails to potential businesses
This tactic requires researching skills and a bit of courage but it can be effective.
Find businesses that you’re interested in working for and reach out to them directly.
You should do some background search and find out if there a content manager role already exists. Also, look at their current content.
Do they lack content or produce content that isn’t very good? If so, reach out and let them know that you could help content-wise. But do so tactfully.
This is a more creative way of job hunting and it can help you stand out from the rest of the applicants.
Work as an independent consultant
Working as a consultant is similar to working within a company – except you work for fixed projects and can choose your clients.
This also means that you have to actively generate leads and look for projects to work on.
As a content marketing consultant, you would offer your content services to businesses on a project basis.
Once you land a project, you help drive their marketing campaigns through content, set up content marketing initiatives, and work with multiple stakeholders.
Use an AI resume writing tool
When you’re drafting your resume and cover letter, it’s important to use the right keywords.
If you don’t, your resume may not even make it past the applicant tracking system (ATS).
An AI resume writing tool can help with this by optimizing your resume for the content marketing manager role you’re applying for.
There are several great resume writing tools powered by AI out there. And most of them offer similar features.
All you have to do is upload your resume, fill out a form that includes your job title and a link to the job you want to apply to. Then, the AI tool will match the content of your resume with the content of the job posting.
This will ensure that your resume is properly optimized and has a good chance of getting through the ATS.
AI resume writing tools can be very helpful but they’re not perfect. I recommend using one as a starting point for your resume but then editing it yourself to make sure it’s error-free and sounds like you.
Do you need to have a degree to become a content marketing manager?
Strictly speaking, no.
You don’t need a degree to become a content marketing manager.
However, having a Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or another related field will give you a leg up on the competition.
Additionally, if you want to move into content marketing from another field, a degree may become necessary to prove that you have sufficient knowledge or expertise.
If going to college for a degree isn’t possible, don’t worry. You can showcase your qualifications by doing valid and up-to-date certifications in content marketing tools and platforms.
Can you become a content marketing manager without experience?
Experience is always going to be a big factor in content marketing manager roles.
However, it is possible to enter this role without a lot of experience.
What’s important is that you have a strong understanding of content marketing and can demonstrate your skills and knowledge.
You should be able to link a company’s content strategy to its overall business objectives and drive traffic, sales, and build a strong brand image.
One of the best ways to appear qualified to do a content marketing manager’s duties is to work on your own blog or business.
Start your own content marketing agency or work as a freelance content marketer for client companies. This will give you first-hand experience in managing content, working with a team, and other content marketing manager skills.
Also, make sure you’re active on social platforms. Create social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other places. And share posts regularly.
You’ll set yourself up as a thought leader and create a strong personal brand.
Lead a business with an effective content marketing strategy
Becoming a content marketing manager requires content creation, strategy, project management, and leadership skills.
Use job boards, your network, and other resources to find content marketing manager jobs.
You can also try to grow in your current company or send cold emails to potential businesses.
Do some research and tailor your resume and cover letter to each content marketing manager job you apply for.
With the right skills, knowledge, and experience, you can land the content marketing manager job you want.