What Are Content Managers, and How Do You Become One? (2022)

Content managers build a company’s content strategy, create targeted and relevant content, and distribute marketing communications to audiences online. They are organized, well-versed in fostering a brand voice, and often know their way around a blog post.

You might just be learning about the content management role and want to know the basics. Or, maybe you know this is the job for you, but want to make sure you're prepared to be successful.

Below, you'll find everything you need to know about content managers, from what they do to how to become one. Let's take a look.

What is a content manager?

A content manager oversees the development, distribution, and strategic efforts of creating messaging to inform and delight audiences. This role usually involves knowledge of digital marketing software, tools, and methods with a focus on content and SEO. The role also requires people and project management skills.

What are content managers, and what do they do?

Content managers develop and distribute timely, relevant content for audiences. To do that, they have a deep understanding of their company’s brand voice and use it to communicate with customers.

In addition to creativity, being a content manager usually involves the management of projects and a content team. They also might collaborate across other teams for projects.

This role is not entry-level — content managers are generally expected to lead their team and foster growth, so it's a job that's filled by someone with a couple of years of experience in marketing, communications, and project management.

(Video) What Are Content Managers And How To Become One ✍🏽💻📺📻 #ContentManagers

That was just an overview of content managers and the job role. Next, we're going to talk about some specific duties of a content manager.

What does a content manager do?

Content managers have varied roles depending on the industry or company they work for, but generally, they develop content topics and campaigns for their company, which are then distributed over the company’s website and social media profiles. They also have a hand on editorial work and are responsible for driving engagement and traffic through their projects.

The role of a content manager can depend on company structure and size. For instance, a startup's content manager might be their only marketer, while an enterprise company might have content managers assigned to multiple teams.

You might find a content manager taking the ownership over an editorial calendar, developing content topic strategy, compiling data reports, managing social media accounts, or writing long-form editorial pieces.

Alicia Collins, Global Brand Marketing Manager at HubSpot, says, "Content managers wear many hats. Their job consists of so many moving parts — managing blogs, managing social, managing offers … in some cases, they can be a one-person marketing team."

Even so, there are common responsibilities that define a content manager. Let’s take a close look.

What Are Content Managers, and How Do You Become One? (2)Content Manager Responsibilities

The responsibilities of a content manager include:

  • Audit the existing content on the company’s website for brand voice, relevance, and optimization
  • Research competitors to find content gaps and keyword gaps that your company hasn’t yet covered
  • Create a new content strategy that can help your company reach its traffic goals
  • Promote a consistent brand identity through the company’s social media profiles
  • Create a long-term and short-term content publishing calendar and social media calendar
  • Write the new content or manage a team of freelancers and writers to create the new content
  • Monitor the performance of the content through online tools such as Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and Google Search Console

What sorts of skills do you need to carry out these responsibilities? We’ll dive into more detail up next.

Content Manager Skills

  1. SEO Copywriting and Blogging
  2. Data Analysis
  3. Basic Coding
  4. Content Management System Proficiency
  5. Strategic Planning
  6. Time Management and Organization
  7. Leadership

So, you know what a content manager does. What about some of the skills you'll need to exceed as one?

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Content managers are brand advocates and know that the way stories are delivered reflect their company's brand and audience preferences. We've lightly touched on a few of the skills you need to be a content manager, including creativity, writing, data interpretation, and organization.

But it's also imperative to have working knowledge of a few other things.

1. SEO Copywriting and Blogging

Content managers need to have a general understanding of SEO. That way, you can effectively reach audiences through organic search. In addition, you'll also have to know how to be a storyteller using the voice of a brand, and how to connect with customers using that brand voice.

Take it from Senior Podcast Producer Matt Brown, who says, "Empathizing with your audience and telling a story worth listening to is always the greatest skill a content manager should have."

In order to deliver those stories, you’ll need to be familiar with copywriting and editing. Writing skills would be applied to writing marketing communications and blog posts. You’d also use them when editing the work of others.

If you're worried about the grammar and comprehension front when it comes to writing, check out Hemingway Editor or Grammarly. Hemingway Editor is a free website that checks your writing for technical errors and readability, while Grammarly is software that analyzes your work, spell-checks it, and offers suggestions on how to improve sentence structure.

2. Data Analysis

As a content manager, you’ll spend some time analyzing datasets. Data from past campaigns, SEO research, and audience behavior are all helpful numbers to look at in order to execute job functions, because they inform leadership decisions and collaborative projects.

If you don't analyze the results from your content performance, you won't know if your messages are accurately connecting with your customers.

3. Basic Coding

By no means do you need to be a code whiz to become a content manager, but knowing some HTML and CSS can help you jump in when you don’t have a web developer on hand. As a content manager, you’ll be tinkering around with your website’s content management system. That may sometimes necessitate inserting a line or two of HTML and CSS code.

4. Content Management System Proficiency

On that note, you should know your way around popular content management systems such as CMS Hub and WordPress. You’ll be directly editing the content on your company’s website, so you’ll want to know how to use a CMS.

CMS Hub offers a 14-day trial that can help you get acquainted with a top-of-the-line content management system in an intuitive drag-and-drop environment. Once you learn CMS Hub, you can try your hand at a more complicated system such as WordPress.

You’ll also want to know your way around a few other tools. Generally, knowledge of one or two marketing tools for every facet of content production and management will cover your bases. This includes programs to enhance content as well, such as automatic grammar check software or graphic design tools.

It's also a good idea to know about how social media is used as a business tool, and when that applies to marketing campaigns for your company. To help with social media management, knowing how to use a tool like HubSpot would be beneficial.

5. Strategic Planning

As a content manager, you'll spend ample time strategizing how to deliver targeted messages to your audience. That means you won’t throw out messaging willy-nilly, but very carefully and strategically craft the messaging’s wording and timing.

(Video) Why Do I Need a Content Manager for Marketing?

Justin Champion, Principal Product Manager at HubSpot, says, "An effective content manager needs to have a vision of what story they’re trying to tell. This will help them create a cross-platform content strategy that will give the best experience possible to their audience."

6. Time Management and Organization

As a content manager, you’ll be handling various content calendars and juggling a wide variety of responsibilities. That makes organization and time management skills a top quality of the best content managers out there.

Luckily, you don’t have to be innately organized or a strict time-keeper. You can use project management apps to keep everything going along smoothly. Remember, as a content manager, you’ll likely be the leader of a team and the go-to person for status reports. As such, you’ll want to be as organized as possible. That way, you’ll have access to the information you need when you need it.

7. Leadership

A good content manager has some leadership skills under their belt — but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be an extrovert speaking at the front of the room. You can be a leader by keeping the content management projects progressing smoothly, sending reports before higher-ups ask for them, and launching new campaigns to keep your company top-of-mind for leads and customers.

In some cases, you may need to manage a team of content coordinators or writers. That’s where more traditional leadership skills come in, such as being a great people manager and adopting a leadership style that helps your team grow. Pay close attention to the wording in any job listing for a content manager. You could be the only person in your team or the leader in your team.

So, you know what it takes to be a content manager. But how do you get there? Time to find out.

How to Become a Content Manager

1. Take a content marketing certification course.

No matter your background or years of experience, if you’re shifting from another career into content management, you’ll want to re-learn the ropes of content marketing to ensure you’re up-to-date. Take a course to help you strengthen your content marketing skills. I recommend starting with our certification course. Upon completion, you'll get a certificate that verifies your comprehension of content marketing (plus, you can add it to your LinkedIn profile).

2. Get familiar with SEO.

At countless firms, content marketing is synonymous with SEO, so you’ll want to have a firm grasp of the concept as you seek a content manager role. If you don’t know the rules of SEO, you might write content that’s not appropriately targeted or that doesn’t serve a purpose other than filling up your company’s blog.

You’ll need to know how to carry out keyword research and use the appropriate software to find “green space” for your company’s website. Green space refers to keywords with low competition and high potential for serving your audience’s needs.

3. Create a personal website.

There’s no better way to start content management than by building a personal website with content that you uploaded and wrote yourself. This website could be for your own personal brand, for a company idea you’ve had for a while, or simply for fun. Whatever it is that you create, you want to get familiar with creating a website from start to finish, so that when it’s time to manage your future employer’s site, you can do it easily.

You’ll learn a few things through this process, including how to upload content and media, how to manage that content once it’s been uploaded, and how to effectively structure your site. It’ll also teach you how to get around a content management system.

Use your learnings from this process to give thoughtful answers to your interviewers when you’re applying for content management roles.

4. Apply for an entry-level marketing role.

It’s time to search for a role. Unfortunately, content management is a mid-level role, meaning that most content managers have been in the marketing industry for a few years. If you’re just now getting started with marketing, you’ll want to start with an entry-level role first, then move up into content management.

Not all marketing roles are created equal. Look for the following words in the job posting to ensure you’re starting on the right foot:

(Video) Digital Content Manager Interview Questions and Answers

  • SEO
  • Blogging
  • Writing

If the job posting seems too general or if it seems to concern more traditional marketing methods, such as live event marketing or advertising, you’ll want to avoid it. Content managers work almost exclusively on the digital side of marketing.

5. Take on content management tasks within your role.

In your entry-level role, you’ll want to take on the duties of a content manager without yet being a content manager by name. For instance, if your team is missing a content calendar, could you volunteer to create one (without stepping on anyone’s toes)? What about volunteering to upload the week’s new content onto the CMS?

It’s important to continue expanding your technical and practical content management skill set as you gear up to apply to an actual content manager role.

6. Apply for a content manager role.

Once you have enough experience under your belt, it’s time to move into content management — either by becoming the manager of a content team or taking on more strategic roles within a marketing team.

Remember to use every piece of experience you’ve gathered thus far to show how well you can communicate with an audience and how well you’ve distributed content in the past. Lead with the results of your actions and measure them in numbers. Content reach, organic traffic, and other engagement metrics are just a few data points you can use to show how effective you can be as a content manager.

Start Sharpening Your Content Management Skills Today

If you're looking to become a content manager, it’s critical to deepen your knowledge of content marketing and SEO. Refining your skill set ensures that you're staying up-to-date as the industry changes. This is a must for content managers. If you don't know how the industry is changing, you won't be able to effectively connect to your audience — and connecting to your audience is what will make you an excellent content manager.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in April 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Originally published Oct 19, 2021 1:45:00 PM, updated October 19 2021

Topics:

Content Planning

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FAQs

What do content managers do? ›

A content manager oversees the development, distribution, and strategic efforts of creating messaging to inform and delight audiences. This role usually involves knowledge of digital marketing software, tools, and methods with a focus on content and SEO. The role also requires people and project management skills.

What skills does a content manager need? ›

Content managers should have excellent time management, planning, and communication skills. As a web content manager, you will be responsible not only for creating new content, but reviewing and updating old or underperforming assets.

Why content manager is important? ›

Content managers develop a company's content strategy, create targeted and relevant content, and distribute marketing communications to target audiences via the internet.

How do I prepare for a content manager interview? ›

Top 10 ways candidates should prepare their Content Manager Job Interview
  1. Research the company thoroughly.
  2. Understand the job requirements.
  3. Prepare examples of your work.
  4. Be able to discuss your writing process.
  5. Be familiar with SEO and content marketing.
  6. Understand the company's target audience.

How do you do content management? ›

6 best practices for content management
  1. Know your purpose. Whether you work alone or in an organisation, you have a purpose. ...
  2. Establish a publishing plan. ...
  3. Keep a periodical inventory. ...
  4. Acquire the right tools. ...
  5. Facilitate a quality-minded culture. ...
  6. Pay attention to trends.
2 Oct 2019

What makes a good content marketing manager? ›

Creativity and an imaginative mind are vital qualities you should look for in a content marketer. They are qualities that will help your content marketer uncover different angles, content gaps, and storytelling ideas that will make your content stand out.

What does an online content manager do? ›

A Web Content Manager writes, proofreads, and edits content; develops and manages an editorial calendar to ensure timely content; and, collaborates with marketing and design teams to ensure consistent brand messages across all channels.

How do you become a content marketing manager? ›

Content Marketer Job Requirements
  1. Bachelor's degree. A Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, Marketing, Communication, or IT is preferred for this role, but some companies prefer candidates with equivalent job experience.
  2. Writing and editing experience. ...
  3. Data analytics skills. ...
  4. SEO knowledge.
17 Sept 2021

How do I become a social media content manager? ›

How to become a social media manager
  1. Garner experience in social media marketing strategy.
  2. Earn a degree or gain relevant work experience.
  3. Build your own social media following and post strategic and thoughtful content.
  4. Learn how to use social media and general marketing analytics.
  5. Undergo training.

How long does it take to become a content manager? ›

Many employers require a relevant four-year degree for their content manager positions. Consider earning a bachelor's degree in a subject such as marketing, communications, media studies or English.

What is a social media content manager? ›

The social content media manager is responsible for management and development of activity on core social media channels with the aim of driving engagement, building audience, increasing web traffic and ultimately driving website registrations.

How do you become a content director? ›

To pursue a career as a content director, you need a bachelor's degree in a field like communications, journalism, or marketing. Some entry-level content positions only require a high school diploma or associate's degree and provide on-the-job training.

What is content management interview questions? ›

Content Manager Interview Questions
  • What would you consider to be good or bad website content? ...
  • How does website content influence the company as a whole? ...
  • How do you know if the company's website content is successful in its mission? ...
  • How do you decide what kind of content to write or display on the website?

Why do you want to work in content marketing? ›

Developing Industry

The drawn-out possibilities for content marketing are brilliant. The business has been developing at a 16% compound development yearly rate since 2016. As of late, the content marketing industry is seen to be worth $412 billion by 2021. And positions have been copious.

What is the role of content manager in Accenture? ›

The Content Management team is responsible for organizing, categorizing and publish content and information using specific tools and channels, for use by different groups and individuals within the organization.

What is content management example? ›

Examples of content management systems: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Squarespace, Wix, Ghost.

What are the 3 different types of CMS? ›

There are three broad types of CMS software: open source, proprietary and Software-as-a-Service CMS, including cloud-based solutions.

Why is content important? ›

Great content is an important asset. It has the ability to create positive experiences for your potential customers and compel them to come back for more. It's your ticket to capturing your audience's attention and continually reinforcing a positive brand impression.

What are the qualities of a good content? ›

The 5 Characteristics of Great Content
  • Readable. When you create content, nothing is more important than making it easy to understand, which mainly depends on whether the content is readable. ...
  • Engaging. ...
  • Consistent. ...
  • Findable. ...
  • Translatable. ...
  • 5 characteristics = impactful content.
11 Feb 2022

What makes you passionate about content marketing? ›

Passion is essential in content marketing. In order to make great content, you need to have a genuine interest in your brand, your industry and your product. Here are the most compelling reasons why passion leads to success in life, and, more specifically, our field of content marketing.

What tools do you need to be successful as a content marketer? ›

Every Content Marketer Should Use These 9 Tools
  • A content management system (CMS) ...
  • A customer relationship management system. ...
  • An email marketing platform. ...
  • A marketing automation system. ...
  • A marketing key performance indicator tracker. ...
  • Project management software. ...
  • Design software. ...
  • Analytics software.

How do you become a content specialist? ›

To become a content strategist, you'll need at least five years of experience as a digital content manager, web writer or content editor. In addition, a bachelor's degree is required. Common majors include English, journalism, communications, marketing creative writing, technical writing and information management.

How do I become a content expert? ›

How Do You Become a Content Specialist?
  1. Understand what content marketing is and how it works.
  2. Improve your writing skills.
  3. Learn how to use content marketing tools.
  4. Master the keyword research process.
  5. Learn SEO copywriting.
  6. Start your own blog.
  7. Apply to work in a digital marketing agency.
12 Dec 2021

How do I get experience in content marketing? ›

How to Get a Job in Content Marketing: An Interview with LinkedIn's Jason Miller
  1. Write Often and Every Day. ...
  2. Have Standards. ...
  3. Complete Your LinkedIn Profile. ...
  4. Aspire to Be More Than a One-Dimensional Marketer. ...
  5. Actively Participate on Social Media. ...
  6. Create a Content “Sizzle Reel”

How do I become a social media manager with no experience? ›

Becoming a social media manager with no experience
  1. Consider a college degree. ...
  2. Build your online community. ...
  3. Take a social media marketing course. ...
  4. Research tools you can use for social media management. ...
  5. Network online and in person. ...
  6. Volunteer to manage social media for small business.
19 May 2022

Is there any growth in content management? ›

The industry has been growing at a 16% compound annual growth rate since 2016. As recently as last year, the content marketing industry was expected to be worth roughly $412 billion by 2021. And jobs have been plentiful.

What is a content writer job? ›

A Content Writer is a professional who writes informative and engaging articles to help brands showcase their products. They write on a range of subjects and are responsible for creating the best possible written or visual content, from blog posts to press releases. Post this job for free.

Why do I want to work as a social media manager? ›

THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

If you spend a lot of time on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or TikTok, obtaining a social media degree offers a chance to turn activities you love into a career. As a social media manager, you'll shine by creating conversations and expanding your social network.

How do I become an influencer? ›

How to become an influencer in your industry
  1. Find your niche. ...
  2. Choose your social media platforms. ...
  3. Develop your content strategy. ...
  4. Build and maintain a website. ...
  5. Be consistent. ...
  6. Have an opinion. ...
  7. Engage with your audience. ...
  8. Grow your network.

What do social media managers do daily? ›

On any given day, a social media manager might be responsible for setting the strategy for an upcoming product launch, creating a video, analyzing data across platforms, designing viral GIFs, coordinating messaging with PR & Communications, runnings paid advertisements and lots more.

What is in a content strategy? ›

Content strategy is the high-level planning, execution, governance, and on-going management of the content lifecycle to support key business initiatives. Essentially, it's your brand's game plan to drive traffic, leads, engagement, sales, and other business outcomes through content.

What is content specialist? ›

Content specialists create content for digital sites and social media platforms using background research they perform as needed. They create content strategies, research trending topics, and write content for the corporations, companies, and entities where they work.

What's a content director? ›

The Content Director is a client-facing role that harnesses the strengths of those around them to achieve group and company objectives. This person is the leader of the Content practice and sets an example for team members.

Do you need a degree to be a content manager? ›

Many employers require a relevant four-year degree for their content manager positions. Consider earning a bachelor's degree in a subject such as marketing, communications, media studies or English.

What does an online content manager do? ›

A Web Content Manager writes, proofreads, and edits content; develops and manages an editorial calendar to ensure timely content; and, collaborates with marketing and design teams to ensure consistent brand messages across all channels.

What does a social media content manager do? ›

Social media content managers help promote the company's online presence by using targeted techniques to drive engagement, build an audience, and increase web traffic. Social media content managers are typically responsible for formulating social media market strategies for a particular business.

What does a digital content manager do? ›

As a Digital Content Manager, you'll be responsible for creating, improving and maintaining a range of content to help an organisation achieve its goals. It will be your duty to create high quality, sharable content to raise brand awareness, monitor web traffic and other metrics to identify best practices.

How do I become a social media content manager? ›

How to become a social media manager
  1. Garner experience in social media marketing strategy.
  2. Earn a degree or gain relevant work experience.
  3. Build your own social media following and post strategic and thoughtful content.
  4. Learn how to use social media and general marketing analytics.
  5. Undergo training.

Is there any growth in content management? ›

The industry has been growing at a 16% compound annual growth rate since 2016. As recently as last year, the content marketing industry was expected to be worth roughly $412 billion by 2021. And jobs have been plentiful.

How do you become a content marketing manager? ›

Content Marketer Job Requirements
  1. Bachelor's degree. A Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, Marketing, Communication, or IT is preferred for this role, but some companies prefer candidates with equivalent job experience.
  2. Writing and editing experience. ...
  3. Data analytics skills. ...
  4. SEO knowledge.
17 Sept 2021

How do I become a website content manager? ›

Essentials
  1. Education: Most web content managers have a bachelor's degree in computer science, marketing, communications or another related field. ...
  2. Experience: Employers who are hiring we content managers are likely to ask for writing samples.
27 Aug 2018

How do you become a content director? ›

To pursue a career as a content director, you need a bachelor's degree in a field like communications, journalism, or marketing. Some entry-level content positions only require a high school diploma or associate's degree and provide on-the-job training.

How do I become a social media manager with no experience? ›

Becoming a social media manager with no experience
  1. Consider a college degree. ...
  2. Build your online community. ...
  3. Take a social media marketing course. ...
  4. Research tools you can use for social media management. ...
  5. Network online and in person. ...
  6. Volunteer to manage social media for small business.
19 May 2022

What is the most important thing a social media manager should be doing? ›

The ability to explain how your work on social moves the business forward is one of the most important skills any social media professional can develop. Last but not least, strong communication skills are key to developing internal education and training.

Why do I want to work as a social media manager? ›

THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

If you spend a lot of time on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or TikTok, obtaining a social media degree offers a chance to turn activities you love into a career. As a social media manager, you'll shine by creating conversations and expanding your social network.

What is the role of content management in Accenture? ›

Job Description

The role will be responsible for leading the team in charge of reviewing and curating content within a trending news environment and publishing content within one or more custom content management systems.

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