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How-to 16 min read October 16, 2019

Who is a content manager and what do they do

Author of Serpstat Advanced Tools
Mary Rotar
Co-Founder of IAMPM
A content manager is a person who is responsible for all the information that is published on the Internet on behalf of a brand. That is, for the creation, publication, updating content, and content analytics. At the same time, the content manager can both create materials independently and delegate tasks to the team and contractees.
Coverage and site errors in the Google Search Console
— Ok, Google, I am good at copywriting, but freelance customers often pay not for the meaning, but for the share of useless characters in the whole text. I also understand a bit about SMM. How do I combine everything that I know and develop in several directions at once?

— Try working as a content manager.

— Ok, Google. I have a feeling that employers generate job requirements with the help of a randomizer: one company hires people to work on their strategy, another one hires people to write articles, the third one only hires a content manager to fill out product cards on a website. Is it possible to have an adequate list of competencies of a content manager in order to finally understand whether it is worth spending my time in this industry?

— I have picked up an excellent article for you upon your request. Reading time: 12 minutes.

Who is a content manager

A content manager is responsible for all the information that is published on the Internet on behalf of a brand. That is, a content manager is responsible for the creation, publication, updating content, and content analytics. At the same time, the content manager can both create materials independently and delegate tasks to the team and contractees.

It is a content manager who decides what, where, when, and in what order will be published. The content manager is also called a content producer, content editor, content designer, content creator, and even a content project editor.
Search for content manager vacancies
To work effectively, this specialist needs a content strategy, so he often works in a tandem with a content marketer, but at the same time, he is not a content marketer himself. We will talk about the difference between these concepts below.
Content Manager and Content Marketer: What is the Difference Between Them

Why anyone can be called a content manager

Requirements for the position of a content manager on job search websites are very different: from adding product items to the database to copywriting SEO texts, working with paid search advertising and SMM.
Responsibilities of the content manager and his tasks
Responsibilities of the content manager and his tasks
Responsibilities of the content manager and his tasks
The fact is that the list of responsibilities of a content manager in a particular company depends on the tasks and scale of the company itself. If a small online store needs a person who will update and add product cards to a website, this position also matches to the position of a content manager.

By the way, filling out product cards is a necessary and important job for online stores. It also requires basic knowledge of SEO and principles of working with images. So such tasks can allow you to grasp the industry from scratch, figure out what is what, and then grow into a content manager in the broadest sense of the word.

What is the work of a content manager

A content manager is a person who turns a content strategy into "content reality". He controls that the development concept conceived by the marketer turns into daily processes: posts are timely published, articles are being written, emails are configured, and the brand is presented at the necessary websites.

All these processes drive traffic, which, as a result, should be converted into new leads and sales for the business.

Three areas of responsibility of a content manager

The number and format of the tasks of a content manager can vary, but cannot go beyond the three main areas of responsibility.
Task
What is the job
Content planning
To create a content plan that meets the selected content strategy.
Content production
To control contractors (designers, copywriters, SMM and SEO specialists) or create content yourself. Make sure that the content you've produced attracts your target audience.
Analytics
To analyze the effectiveness of the published content, make conclusions and adjust the content plan to improve performance.
Content Manager Responsibility Areas

What does a content manager do during the week

Daily tasks of a content manager are related to content production, but during the week they should also cover analytics and planning issues. We will tell you a little more about how this works.

Before you start writing texts and preparing visual materials, you need a plan. You need a content plan. Therefore, the primary task of a content manager from the planning side is to write down topics, headings, and subjects that need to be disclosed in the near future. The content plan is compiled according to the selected strategy.

With the plan on your hands, let's move on to content production.

The list of the content production manager tasks looks like this:
  • to produce content according to the content plan independently or involving other people;
  • to prepare technical requirement specifications for contractors and monitor the implementation of SEO, SMM, PPC and other tasks related to the content promotion (if a content manager manages the team and does not do it all independently);
  • to supplement and update successful old articles on the website;
  • to look for websites for seeding content (publications, forums) and publish interesting information there, share opinions, start threads, that is, do everything to verify the company's expertise;
  • to communicate with customers in the comments, respond to their reviews;
  • to handle negative feedback (if any);
  • to build brand image.

Web analytics tools help you to measure performance and report on the work done.

The list of the content analytics manager tasks looks like this:
  • to monitor the effectiveness of the work done: what touched your audience, in what topics your business has subsided;
  • to track how articles on your website and external websites provide an increase in traffic and generate leads (using Google Analytics);
  • to keep track of trends and competitors in your industry.

When the content is produced, promoted and analyzed, the content manager sends the report to the marketer so that in the future they can adjust the strategy.

Goals and KPIs of a content manager

In order to do the job well, the content specialist should be ready to answer the following questions in any uncertain situation: "Why do it right now?", "What result do I want to achieve?" and "How does this help brand development?". Clear goals defined in the content strategy help to understand how efficiently the work is done.

Here are some examples of goals:
  • to increase website traffic;
  • to increase brand awareness and audience reach;
  • to emphasize expertise and increase user loyalty;
  • to generate more leads and sales.

If the created content does not help to achieve the goals, you need to change the content plan or the entire content strategy.

Despite the fact that the content goals may differ in various niches and at various stages of business development, the performance of a content manager can always be measured in numerical terms to move from meaningless "like/dislike" dialogs to more constructive "working/not working" ones.

Major KPIs of a content manager:
1
Timely publication of posts/newsletters/articles in accordance with the approved content plan.
2
Increasing traffic to a website/blog.
3
Increasing the average website session duration.
4
Increasing the website visibility in organic search results (we publish relevant interesting content -> visitors read the material longer -> Google considers the article useful and increases our ranking in search results).
5
Engagement (likes, reposts, activity in the comments, target queries). It is important to remember that without any content promotion (content seeding), there will be no sharp increase in organic traffic.
6
Leads and, as a result, sales. Good strategy + useful content + skillful promotion = the effective funnel of lead generation. If something goes wrong, check and improve each link in this chain one by one.

How to become a content manager

Copywriters, SMM, PPC, and SEO specialists usually come to content management, but in order to grow, you often need to improve your knowledge in related fields. Here is a checklist that will help you to understand what skills you lack.

Working with a content plan

  • to create a content plan according to the previously agreed content strategy;
  • to be ready to deeply dive into a niche (content only sells if it is interesting, and writing interesting things about what you do not know is difficult);
  • to understand that the content is not only blog articles, but also videos, emails, reviews, infographics, reviews, webinars, lectures, and much more.

Content production

  • to write, rewrite, and copywrite (no, these are not synonyms);
  • to be able to edit other people's texts;
  • to have the basic skills of the text search engine optimization (writing titles, descriptions, h1, keywords; internal linking of pages, preparing the semantic kernel of a website);
  • to work with graphic editors (ideally this is Photoshop, but at least Canva and Crello will be enough in the beginning);
  • to edit videos (Movavi, Adobe Premier);
  • to work with CMS (WordPress, Joomla, landing pages on Tilda and other popular engines);
  • to supervise or perform SMM tasks (if there is no specially trained person for this position in the company).

Content analytics

  • to analyze already created content, understand what touches your target audience and what does not, and in this regard, adjust the brand strategy together with the marketer;
  • to be aware of the ultimate goal of content marketing (for example, in commercial projects: selling company products, not directly, but through your expertise; as for infotainment portals and websites, it is selling advertising posts);
  • to control the work of other employees/contractors/freelancers.

Content manager and content marketer: is there a difference

A strategy is something without which it is impossible to imagine brand development. A content marketer is responsible for the creation and design of the strategy, while the content manager draws up a content plan and other activities in accordance with the chosen direction.

In other words, the customer says what they want their brand to be in a year; the marketer thinks what needs to be done for this, the content manager decides how to do this and is engaged in the implementation of what is aligned.
During the interaction of the content manager and content marketer, the former specialist monitors and regulates their work in accordance with the information from the latter and vice versa. The marketer receives analytical insights from the manager, and the manager receives an adjusted development strategy.
For a fruitful partnership, it is enough for the marketer to understand whether the team's actions correspond to the aligned strategy, and the manager needs to understand marketing a little to fulfill the tasks assigned to them.

To resolve marketing and content issues, small start-ups first hire content marketers who perform all the functions and, if necessary, address contractors; but the larger the project, the less the content marketer grasps the strategy implementation, and for these goals, start-ups hire content managers.
The structure of the marketing department in the company

How to find a job in the sphere of content management

First, make sure that you have at least some of the skills that we talked about at the beginning of the article. If so, you can and should master the rest.

Try to choose a company where you understand the most what is required of a content manager. We have prepared 2 effective job search methods to help you to find your dream team.

The Basic method

1
Look for the "content manager", "SMM manager", "assistant SMM manager", and "content marketer" positions on job search websites: indeed.com, glassdoor.com, eurojobs.com. Pay attention to the job description, that is, what exactly is required of you.
2
Update your LinkedIn profile.
3
If you can write a cover letter, always do it as it gives more chances that your CV will be read.
4
Dedicate time to adapting your resume to the job opportunity and a company; summary and your skills must match the job description. If a company is looking for a person with at least an Intermediate level of English, prepare a resume in English!
5
Get ready to grow from other jobs. You may often be hired for a lower job position and then offered a promotion to make sure that you are competent enough.

The PRO method

Social media are key. Facebook is a great tool for finding a full-time job or at least a part-time job.

What you need to do:
  • find and join all communities related to job opportunities (Content writing jobs, Digital Marketing, Social Media Jobs and Internships, and many others);
  • follow posts and updates, while upgrading professional skills and studying cases of your colleagues;
  • write on your page that you are looking for a job and tell about yourself;
  • respond to interesting job opportunities.

Alternative method:
  • find companies you would like to work for;
  • contact them personally, list your capabilities and skills; it may happen that a job is just opening up in a company, but the job opportunity is not public yet;
  • subscribe to them and follow their updates. Companies often close job vacancies thanks to Facebook posts. Do not miss the opportunity.

Your Facebook page serves as your indirect resume. It's very good if you post something related to your profession.

Conclusion

1
The requirements for content managers, as well as salary expectations, are very different in the market: they start from filling out cards on the website to curating a team of specialists. Therefore, during each interview, grasp the essence of what company managers expect of you.
2
Be prepared to be responsible for all contractors and their fuck-ups. You are hired exactly to turn the content strategy into the "content reality", and not to listen to the reasons why the post was not published on time.
3
Dive deep into content marketing even at a basic level, especially since the profession of a content marketer may be the next step on your career path.

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