They say that content is king…the Yin to social media’s Yang. In today’s complex buyer landscape, you have to produce thought leadership content in order to draw your prospects in and prompt them to share your messaging across their networks. Content feeds the beast! You need content to fuel your social marketing, email marketing, lead nurturing, and scoring.Your content needs to be thought provoking, inspiring, and it needs to have the right ingredients to incite an emotional response from your audience.
Most marketers understand the need for high quality content and they know that businesses today are being asked to become publishers. And with such a demand for content, you need to make sure that you have the right people in place that can create content. If you are a smaller company, than one or two people could suffice. But a larger company really needs a team of content creation. Because content marketing roles are relatively new to B2B marketing, a lot of marketers don’t know where to start.
As Marketo’s Content Program Manager (and Marketo produces a TON of content), I thought I would give you some tips on where to start when it comes to hiring a content marketer and what you can expect from them.
What does a content marketer do?
Ok, so you know that you need content. But what kind of content? And what should you have your content marketer working on? Here is a list of my top level key priorities:
- Creating thought leadership pieces (from initial copy development to asset production)
- Definitive Guides
- Checklists/Tip sheets
- Partner ebook co-creation
- Blog management, curation, and contribution
- Webinar program planning and production (this is key, since webinars spin off so many other forms of content, including Slideshare presentations, podcasts, videos, and sometimes blog posts and ebooks)
- Copy editing all contributed content
- Ensure all content is on-brand, consistent in terms of style, quality and tone of voice, and optimized for search and social promotion
Of course there are many other individual projects that come up, but those are my core responsibilities. Note that many companies handle the creation of content in different ways. At some companies, marketers employ outside contracted copywriters to create entire pieces or assist the content marketer with creation. At Marketo, we typically create our own content without the aid of outside contractors. We like to keep the thought leadership in-house. For larger content pieces like our Definitive Guides (which are typically 80+ pages), I work in conjunction with Marketo’s co-founder, Jon Miller, and I also get contributions from other subject matter experts on our team.
How do you hire for a content marketer?
Specializing in content marketing is something relatively new, so you might have trouble finding someone with the exact requisite experience. But there are certainly some key things to look out for when hiring for a content marketer. Look for someone that is a great writer. Since the core of most content marketing roles is writing, you will want to make sure that this is the area that your potential hire excels in. Have him or her send writing samples that vary in length and voice. Blog posts, marketing collateral, whitepapers, etc. The writing samples do not necessarily even need to be work related, they just have to be representative of the person’s writing skills. Additionally, look for someone that is good at project management and is execution oriented. Your content creator should be able to multi-task and produce high quality results in a timely fashion. They also will need to coordinate with many people, departments, and agencies to make sure that a content piece gets produced—that is where the project management comes in.
What does a typical day look like?
My days are extremely diverse, but I will give an example of what a day could look like for me. Right now, we are working on getting a new Definitive Guide completed, so that is a top priority and takes up a lot of my time.
- Definitive Guide
- Complete sections and add additional copy
- Copy edit contributions from team
- Work with design firm on design concepts
- Coordinate with internal demand gen teams on promotions
- Work on coordinating webinars for the next quarter
- Manage webinar calendar
- Schedule dry runs and webinar times
- Create abstracts for landing page promotion
- Coordinate with internal stakeholders on webinar content
- Create 1-2 blogs per week (I carve out time during the day to write blogs)
- Manage editorial calendar
- Curate and edit contributor blog content from internal subject matter experts and external guest posts
- Help configure blogs in wordpress and create SEO optimization
- Schedule blogs to post the next morning
- Other content pieces
- Work on updating old content pieces and send them to design
- Copy edit and coordinate production of partner contributed content
Do you have a Content Marketer on your team? Have you considered creating headcount for one?