But what exactly can and should you expect them to do?
Content marketing is no small feat, and it involves a lot of moving pieces. You’re hiring someone to own it, as you should, but what does that responsibility entail? What does a content manager job description look like?
These may be questions many of you or your decision-makers are asking, especially if you have no content experience yourself.
Here at IMPACT, we’ve seen the incredible results an in-house content team can have when bringing a content strategy to fruition. But none of those results would have been possible if there wasn’t a single, central, dedicated person to organize, standardize, and prioritize all your content strategy.
As you might have guessed, this person is what we and They Ask, You Answer call a content manager.
The content manager job is the most key position in ensuring your content strategy is successful. And as such, there’s a number of tasks they’ll be responsible for.
Over the years, IMPACT has hired several brilliant content managers of its own, as well as helped hundreds of companies find the right matches for them, so we’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to be successful.
That said, in this article, we will discuss the nine essential content marketing duties you need to hire for and include in your job description:
Working closely with sales, leadership, and subject matter experts
Planning your editorial calendar
Writing and editing blog articles
Optimizing your content for search
Creating premium content
Promoting your content
Refreshing your existing content
Obsessing over metrics
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9 Duties That Should Be In Your Content Manager Job Description
Whether your organization is large or small, your content manager is someone you’re going to turn to for new ideas, guidance, and execution of your marketing content initiatives, but in addition to these big picture responsibilities, there are nine key duties you should expect.
1. Work closely with sales, leadership, and subject matter experts
One of the most important aspects of the content manager job description is being able to develop and nurture relationships with sales, leadership, and any subject matter experts.
It’s the job of the content manager to learn as much as possible about the problems, struggles, and most common questions customers have so the company can, in turn, produce valuable content to soothe these concerns, make marketing more effective, and speed up the sales process.
The content manager is only successful at this if they’re able to bridge the gap between the marketing department and customer-facing employees in other departments in the organization. They especially need to have a close working relationship with the sales team.
It can’t be said enough: Nobody knows the customers better than the sales team. So your content manager needs to have strong relationship-building and verbal communication skills to effectively work with and get this information out of others.
What kinds of content is your company going to produce? What blog article topics will you be covering? On what schedule can you expect drafts and revisions? What days do you plan to publish blog content, post to social media platforms, or send emails?
All of these questions can be answered with a clear, documented editorial calendar.
For smaller organizations, the content manager may be responsible for not only a cross-platform content strategy, but also writing, editing, and publishing all of the content.
For larger organizations with a larger marketing or content team, however, the content manager acts as the central figure in charge of organizing all the content and making sure that others adhere to deadlines to execute your content strategy smoothly.
Without someone owning your editorial calendar and ensuring content is created and published on time, things can easily get missed.
3. Write and edit blog articles
Even if you have multiple writers for your web content, your content manager should be willing and able to produce high-quality blog articles that address the most important questions your prospects are asking.
These should be the foundation of your content strategy, and your content manager needs to be able to keep them moving, even when others cannot.
With this in mind, it’s imperative that a content manager’s strongest skills are researching, writing, editing, and proofreading content. You also need someone with a deep understanding of your company’s voice and how to connect with your audience effectively.
This is ultimately how you maintain brand consistency, creative writing, and content quality.
Here are a few resources to help your content manager sharpen their writing skills:
While they are writing or reviewing your content, your content manager should also be able to optimize it so it can be easily found in search engines. Organic website traffic is your most valuable traffic, as it’s the traffic you don’t pay for.
The best way to ensure you’re getting it is to have a content manager who can adjust both on-page and off-page elements to help the article appear higher in search engine result pages.
This includes, but is not limited to:
Optimizing for target keywords
Adding image alt text to make them accessible
Resizing images to load faster
Formatting with headers to make the article easier for search engines to crawl and visitors to skim
In addition to writing blog articles aimed at attracting new visitors to your website, your content manager will need to create some premium content to help convert those visitors into leads.
As I've shared previously, “we call this ‘premium’ content because these offers go beyond basics and provide some advanced knowledge or engagement with your organization. They also, typically, take more time and dedication to consume.
These pieces also offer higher value to your audience than blog articles and showcase greater expertise in your industry.”
Premium content can be as simple as checklists, tip-sheets, and infographics, or longer, more detailed offerings like ebooks and whitepapers, or multimedia content like courses.
Getting a new visitor to come to your website in search of an answer to a specific question is great, but getting them to share information about themselves in exchange for a premium offer will help you get more leads into your funnel and give you the opportunity to nurture them toward a purchase.
When you publish new web content, it can take a lot of time for those pieces to start bringing in organic traffic. In fact, it can take several months to a year to get to the first page for your targeted keywords.
To help get eyes on the content earlier, you’ll have to promote the content through email and social media platforms, among other mediums.
Determining where your audience is will help you decide which social media channels to promote your content on. If you’ve got an active Facebook community, Twitter followers, Instagram followers, or LinkedIn contacts, you’ll want to promote your content on those channels.
It’s never a best practice to use the same messaging across all the platforms, so your content manager should be able to tailor posts with platform-specific behaviors and language in mind.
Content managers should also promote your content through email as well. Whenever you’ve got a new blog article or premium piece of content available, send emails to the people who are already subscribed to your notifications.
You can promote one piece at a time or do a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly email roundup of the most important pieces of content you’ve created since the last notification. This can be automated or manual, but either way, your content manager should own the execution.
Depending on your audience, a content manager may even need to become an active member in forums that have solid followings.
Reddit can be a great place to find questions people have that you have answers to, but make sure the answer is more than just a link to the article and that your response to the query provides a comprehensive answer.
Another great source for getting eyes on your content is Quora.
A great content manager will identify top-performing pieces of content and repackage them into other formats to reach further and expand your audience.
For example, a blog article could be a great subject for a video, podcast, or infographic. A series of blog articles can be turned into an ebook or vice versa. Even a sentence or paragraph in an article can be turned into a tweet or meme.
Your content manager should always be looking for ways to reach new audiences by catering to their varied learning preferences.
Some people prefer reading long content; others short.
Some want to watch content on YouTube. Others want to listen while driving or doing chores.
Knowing your audience’s preferences will help you reach more people in the ways they appreciate, and repurposing is a quick way to do that.
8. Refreshing existing content
Speaking of getting your content to go further, one mistake businesses often make with their content marketing is they solely focus on new content creation.
I’m sure if you look closely at your metrics, there are a bunch of articles a year or older that now have outdated information, but are driving a ton of web traffic and possibly even leads.
Rather than create a brand new article on that topic, your content manager should regularly review existing content and update it with the latest information and search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. We call this historic optimization.
It’s only natural that if you’re creating content, you’ll want to know how efficiently it’s working, right?
Of course it is, and your content manager should be obsessed with this.
Your mind probably immediately goes to monitoring web traffic, and while that’s important, it’s not the only metric to keep your eye on.
Your content manager should be regularly tracking and measuring the performance of all of the content you’ve created, from a high-level view down to the granular. This will help you finetune your content creation and understand what you need to be talking about more or less to accomplish your goals.
Some important metrics your content manager will want to look at may include:
Website traffic sources
Website traffic demographics
First page rankings
Time on page
Form submission rates
Contact list growth
There are a ton of metrics to review, and your content manager should be familiar with and engrossed by all of them.
With great power comes great content manager responsibilities
So what are a content manager’s duties?
A better question would be, what does a content manager not do?
In addition to these nine responsibilities, your content manager is the embodiment of your content marketing. They’re the person responsible for and obsessed with ensuring your business succeeds in the digital world.