Though content marketing arose in the 1990s with the advent of the internet, it didn’t gain steam until after 2010. As the practice proliferated globally, corporate marketing organizations began introducing content-centric staff with a dedicated content marketing manager.
According to Google Trends, the term “content marketing manager” was rarely searched until around 2011. By 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a total of 347,000 people employed in the field, with a faster-than-average growth rate of 10% expected between 2021 and 2031.
Source: Google Trends
Any marketing team employing content marketing, or considering it, may benefit from adding this position. But what does a content marketing manager do within the context of a company’s content marketing efforts? We examine the job functions to help businesses decide whether their teams need someone to fill this role.
What Does a Content Marketing Manager Do?
These specialized managers coordinate content marketing operations, determining how to utilize content to meet company and target audience goals. The scope of their positions includes:
- Facilitating the content marketing strategy
- Overseeing ongoing content planning
- Managing day-to-day content production processes and promotion
- Reporting results for content marketing initiatives
- Conducting content audits
Ultimately, content marketing managers are responsible for the overall success of their team’s initiatives.
What Education, Skills, and Experience Does a Content Marketing Manager Need?
In a recent study, researchers scoured more than 300 “content marketing manager” job listings from Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn to examine the qualifications that companies require. This infographic by Sarah Robles clearly sums up their findings.
Source: NR Media Group
What Are a Content Marketing Manager’s Responsibilities?
The content manager’s main aim is to successfully publish and promote content that achieves the goals identified in the business’ content marketing strategy. They ensure their teams generate messaging that adheres to their brand’s voice and is relevant and helpful to their target audiences.
What a marketing manager actually does in content marketing can vary with the company and team size. However, most perform nine critical responsibilities related to the content production process. Though they might not perform all these jobs themselves, they are in charge of delegation and making sure the team completes assigned tasks efficiently and effectively.
1. Research and Competitor Analysis
Creating an effective content marketing strategy and plan is impossible without initial research. This research helps the content manager and creators better understand their target audience and competitors and decide which content formats to create and topics to cover.
Research might involve:
- Analyzing competitors’ content, messaging, and distribution tactics
- Identifying target audiences and their key demographics, interests, and online behavior
- Surveying current customers to understand and validate strategic and tactical decisions (template below)
- Facilitating internal stakeholder interviews to identify business objectives and subject matter experts
- Researching trending keywords
- Investigating appropriate subjects and topics
- Looking into content tools and software that can help them create and promote content
The research process also helps the team identify gaps or niches that their competitors aren’t addressing but that meet target audience needs.
What does a marketing manager do for the research and competitor analysis stage of content production? They may either participate in this step themselves or manage the team members responsible, ensuring the outcomes are helpful and satisfactory.
2. Content Marketing Planning
After an initial research phase, the content marketing manager can start working on one or several content marketing plans. Depending on the size of the company and the scope of its offering, multiple content marketing plans are often necessary to define strategy and tactical execution for individual brands, business units, or channels.
For example, a bank might have one content marketing plan for its consumer offerings and another for its commercial offerings. In another instance, a software company might have an external content marketing plan to generate new business and a separate one designed to retain and up-sell existing customers.
Each content marketing plan should be informed by the overall content marketing strategy, usually created with the help of the wider marketing team. Plans should define the goals for each initiative and identify how the content marketing manager and team will achieve these goals using content.
What does a content marketing manager do to generate a content marketing plan? They ensure the plans include (at minimum):
- Specific, measurable goals with a timeline in which to meet them
- A general budget, with estimates for staff, creative resources, and paid promotion
- The types of content that will be created (i.e. blog posts, ebooks, white papers, infographics, etc.)
- The topics that will be covered and reasons for choosing them
- The content channels that will be used to distribute the content
- A plan for paid promotions
- An execution plan outlining the publishing frequency, production workflow (creation, reviews, and approvals), and ongoing maintenance of the content
A content marketing manager may also create individual content marketing plans for specific campaigns, a specific time period (such as the next quarter or year), or a combination of the two.
3. Content Publishing Schedule
What does a content marketing manager do to maintain a steady and consistent flow of content? Once teams flesh out the content marketing plan, content marketing managers plot deadlines for creation, publication, and promotion on a content calendar, ensuring the entire marketing team can see at a glance what content is planned for the coming weeks and months.
A visual editorial calendar helps the content manager align content publication and promotion with key dates important to your business and other marketing campaigns. It’s also important to build slack time into the schedule to allow for delays in content production and last-minute, real-time marketing opportunities.
The content marketing manager should also handle the production workflow, establishing deadlines for each step in the process and assigning team members to complete each task. Therefore, the manager also has project and people management responsibilities, which may include using relevant digital software.
4. Content Creation
What does a marketing manager do after the team completes the content plan and relevant stakeholders approve it? They set the plan in action, either creating the content or pushing it out to the team’s creators. These creators may be in-house employees or freelancers.
In larger companies, content marketing managers dictate production workflows and oversee a team of creatives. However, the content manager must have excellent writing and editing skills as they are ultimately responsible for the completed product.
In addition to researching and writing content, content marketing managers may need to source photographs and illustrations to accompany written content, format content, and add meta information. Furthermore, writing isn’t the only form of content. The popularity of infographics and videos means that marketing managers also need video production and graphic design skills.
5. Implement Artificial Intelligence and Automation
Increasingly, marketing teams are using artificial intelligence and automation in the content production process. Tools such as Writer employ AI to aid in the writing process, and DivvyHQ’s platform incorporates automated workflows according to manager-defined rules.
DivvyHQ + Writer AI Integration
What does a marketing manager do with AI and automation tools? Content marketing managers take advantage of them in many ways to improve content team efficiency, streamline the production process, and simplify much of the content manager’s job.
However, incorporating these tools does require the content manager to develop the framework and rules for the content workflow, oversee the creators, and establish the style guide for each content type. They must be comfortable and proficient with computer programs and able to keep up with this rapidly evolving element of content marketing.
6. Quality Control
Content marketing managers handle or oversee quality control for all assets their team produces. Editing and proofreading skills are essential. They also need to feel comfortable and confident in providing constructive feedback.
Maintaining a consistent brand voice across all content is vital and often challenging when several creators are involved. A style guide helps everyone stay on the same page.
What does a marketing manager do when developing a style guide? They establish parameters for:
- Brand personality
- Writing styles
- Punctuation and grammar preferences
- SEO best practices
- Guidelines for image selections
In addition to proofreading and editing before publication, content managers also ensure each asset adheres to the style guide.
Specialized content marketing platforms and some AI writing platforms include the style guide in the sandbox, giving writers, editors, and proofreaders ready access. Content marketing managers maintain these style guides, updating them as needed.
7. Search Engine Optimization
It’s not enough these days for online content to read well and be free of spelling and grammar errors. Content marketing managers must also have search engine optimization skills to ensure that it gets in front of their audience’s eyes, appearing on the first page of Google and other search engines.
Businesses with an entire digital marketing team already on hand usually have an SEO specialist. Alternatively, they may outsource their SEO needs to a specialist agency.
What does a marketing manager do if the company outsources this aspect? Even when there is a dedicated outsourced team, content managers must still understand at least the basics of SEO to carry out an effective content marketing plan.
8. Publishing and Promotion
After an asset moves through the content creation process and receives final approval, content marketing managers send it to publication and promotion, ensuring it gets to the right people in the right place at the right time. They might do this themselves using manual processes or leverage technical staff to load content into a web CMS, email marketing, or social media automation tool.
Once published, the marketing team, under the manager’s direction, executes a pre-defined promotional strategy, often including automated social media posts or other tactics that fire off at times selected for the best engagement. This type of content automation is an effective way to speed up content production without having to grow a company’s marketing team.
Content marketing managers must also integrate the content strategy with the rest of the business’s marketing campaigns and identify other online and offline promotion channels.
9. Content Performance Monitoring and Analysis
What does a marketing manager do after the content is published? One of the most important parts of this role is ongoing monitoring and analysis of published content to see what is and isn’t working. These insights inform future marketing plans and provide intelligence for the overall marketing strategy.
Content analytics software can help to make this task a straightforward one. However, content managers need to invest time in interpreting the data, providing suggestions and drawing actionable conclusions based on the results.
Marketing managers also monitor content engagement, reply to comments and questions, and note suggestions for future content. They lead content audits to discover changes in engagement over time, new topic possibilities, and content repurposing opportunities.
Do You Need a Content Marketing Manager?
Certainly you could outsource or delegate many of the tasks outlined above to other team members, freelancers, or agency partners. It might be tempting to think that you don’t need to fill this role at all.
However, we don’t recommend that you forgo adding a content marketing manager to your team. This role is critical for ensuring your content marketing strategy succeeds. Without a passionate, talented person doing this job, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day grind of simply churning out content.
Content marketing managers tie together all the parts of your content strategy — writing, SEO, promotion, analysis, and optimization — with a clearly defined content workflow.
Hiring someone to manage your content marketing strategy might be a significant investment, but you may not get a return without it.
How To Streamline Content Marketing
A content marketing manager is vital for efficient and effective marketing in today’s environment, where consumers prefer to gather information about products or solve an issue before they purchase.
To that end, what does a content marketing manager do to streamline content production? They can employ a dedicated, content operations platform that provides all the tools they and their team members need to thrive in a centralized location. To put it simply, Divvy’s content operations platform simplifies a content manager’s job. Request a demo to learn more about the power of the DivvyHQ platform.