If content marketing is a ship, then the content marketing manager is its captain.
For any content marketing endeavor to sail, this leadership role is vital.
The content marketing manager steers the ship, directs the crew, and manages/tracks/measures how that ship reaches its destination.
It’s a multi-faceted, fast-paced, interesting, and creative job that is in high demand right now.
Just look at the average salary for a content manager in the U.S., via Glassdoor:
The average base pay as of June 2018 was over $66K across all industries and levels of experience.
Even if you’re just jumping into this field, you can expect great pay at the entry-level, too.
According to Payscale, those starting out as content managers earn a median pay of over $49K per year.
Added to that, most report high job satisfaction and enjoyable work – huge incentives for anyone in any career.
Now that your interest is piqued, your next question about this role probably has to do with the basics:
What is a content marketing manager? What kind of work do they do?
Let’s take a look.
What Is a Content Marketing Manager?
If you want a definition, a content marketing manager is the person at the helm of all content marketing initiatives for a business.
What does a content marketing manager do? Here are the most common tasks and processes they take in hand:
- Create and implement a content strategy (often with the help of a content strategist)
- Direct SEO-optimized content creation and publication that aligns with the brand’s voice, goals and audience
- Manage all content distribution and promotion channels, including a blog and social media accounts
- Manage content planning and preparation with an editorial calendar
- Measure each content initiative, track progress, and report those results to higher-ups
- Collaborate with other company departments, such as advertising and sales, to tie in content with brand promotion
- Manage a creative content team, including writers, graphic designers, social media specialists, and more
As you can see, a content marketing manager juggles many projects and wears many hats – sometimes all at the same time.
So, what skills do you need to keep all those balls in the air?
3 Skills You Need to Be a Successful Content Marketing Manager
Success in managing any content marketing initiative depends on the skills in your arsenal.
Overwhelmingly, content marketing managers need these top skills to be desirable and hirable candidates:
1. Strong Writer and Communicator
Above all, a content marketing manager must have strong, solid writing and communication skills.
That’s because nearly every level of the job requires competent communication at some level – whether you’re collaborating with your team, conveying ideas to bosses, or speaking to an audience through content.
Writing, especially, serves as the foundational skill for any content marketing manager. According to leading content marketing experts, the ability to tell stories through your content and having a journalist’s mindset fall under this umbrella.
Search Engine Journal takes it one step further, saying you need to write better than the average marketer if you want to reach the height of success. Here’s what that entails:
Technology is changing constantly, faster than you can blink.
To make it as a content marketing manager, you need to be able to keep up.
Because you have to be able to deliver content the way your audience is consuming it.
Today, that means making your site and blog mobile-friendly, focusing on usability, and implementing SEO that first and foremost helps your ideal reader. To all that, add a healthy dose of social-media-savvy and being nimble enough to create and maintain accounts on the most popular platforms.
Creativity is huge in content marketing. However, if you can’t quantify the success of your creative endeavors (that content you painstakingly put together), you are missing a huge piece of what it takes to be a top content marketing manager.
In other words, you need to be able to track and measure the effect your content campaigns have on your audience. You have to be able to prove your content marketing works to get buy-in from your bosses.
Most of all, if you can’t quantify whether or not your content is working, you also won’t know how to improve and change up your game plan. You’ll keep posting and publishing the same sort of stuff.
In other words, you’ll be beating a dead horse.
According to Convince and Convert, you have to be able to measure three metrics that influence your content success (also called key performance indicators, or KPIs):
- Traffic – Who is finding your content? How big is this audience? Where are they coming from?
- Engagement – What type of interactions does your content invite? Who is interacting?
- Conversions – Did your content inspire your audience to act? Who acted, and what did they do?
You also need to be able to tie your goals to your metrics. Here’s a chart from Heidi Cohen that illustrates that:
It’s All About Keeping Up with Industry Demands
HubSpot echoes the 3 traits above as top skills – take a look at their sample job listing for a content marketing manager. They stipulate this role requires a “dual-minded approach,” a mix of excellent writing skills with a reliance on data to drive creativity.
Other Abilities You’ll Need
Along with these various skillsets, you’ll need abilities that tie into best-practices for content creation.
For example, our guide on the top 5 content strategy skills adds a few more abilities to the list of skills you should have. You need to be able to:
- Create comprehensive, long-form content
- Stay ROI-driven
- Build content around long tail keywords
- Promote content effectively
Luckily, these are abilities you can develop with training and experience, no problem.
Broader skills are harder to hone and take more time. But, if you’re thinking about managing content marketing, you’re probably a skilled communicator, a tech-savvy internet user, or a data-driven inbound marketer – or all three.
What Does the Job Market Look Like for a Content Marketing Manager?
If you’re worried about being able to find a job in content marketing, don’t.
The market is wide open, and opportunities are out there for the taking.
Just a quick search of top job sites like Indeed.com, Monster.com, and LinkedIn Jobs reveal incredible opportunities all over the United States.
Here’s a peek at the plethora of results from Indeed.com:
Salaries range from $40k to $110k, and jobs are available in cities from New York to Chicago, to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and everything in-between.
On LinkedIn Jobs, you will find roles as a content marketing manager in various industries, like agriculture, education, technology, and even automobiles.
And, on Monster.com, work is available from Iowa to Amsterdam:
Excited Yet? It’s Time to Dive into Content Marketing Management
If content marketing management sounds like an incredible career for you, it’s time to take action.
There’s no better time to dive into this industry and get to work.
You’ll use your creativity, leadership, analytical thinking, and tech/internet savvy to tell compelling stories to the masses. You’ll join the inbound marketing movement and focus on providing true value to audiences all over the world.
To get started on the path to becoming a content marketing manager, invest in the right training that will give you the tools to succeed! My Content Strategy & Marketing Course was built to offer you that path. Learn more about the course here, or join our free 60-minute masterclass below for an intensive preview.