For companies investing in content marketing such as blogging, ebooks, and more a full time content marketing manager can pay for themselves quickly.

Many content marketing managers also work with a content marketing agency to scale production and outreach while the Content Marketing Manager is working on strategy. This is the way we see content marketing work best, so that the CMM is not the only one responsible for all the writing, PMing, promotion, and more. It’s a big job and a channel that can drive sizeable traffic and leads to the business when executed upon well.

So how do you hire a Content Marketing Manager if you have decided that is the right way forward?

For starters, you need an awesome Content Marketing Manager job description to attract the right candidates.

Just below here is the Content Marketing Manager job description you can copy and use for your recruiting, but don’t miss the commentary below as well because it helps to understand the why behind the what of the description.

Content Marketing Manager job description

COMPANY is looking for a new full-time Content Marketing Manager to drive our content marketing efforts including the company blog, ebooks, and promotion of content produced to meet potential customer needs.

We are a leader in the BUSINESS VERTICAL space and looking to grow our mindshare and wallet share with potential customers searching for what we offer online. We are well loved by our customers and ready to get more onboard to make a bigger impact.

About you:

You are a content marketing  with deep experience producing industry-leading content that drives conversions. Others in the content marketing industry consider you an expert (or would if they saw your results) and you have the results to go along with it.

You are a strategic marketer, not just a tactician, who understands how content marketing drives the business forward and constantly pushes to understand more about the customer and the results the business is getting from your campaigns and initiatives. At the same time you are driven by the data you see and make decisions based off that.

You are constantly holding yourself to a high standard and keeping up with the pace of change within content marketing to use them to grow the business.

The ideal candidate for this role has 3-5 years of content experience managing content marketing initiatives for a brand like ours. You also work well with others, were voted “most likely to succeed” by your peers in high school, and believe in constantly learning more and getting better results.

The content marketing manager at COMPANY will be responsible for overseeing content strategy as well as creating assets such as blog posts and e-books. You should have an eye towards good design and be able to create, or work with outside help to create, well-designed content that does our brand proud. You should also be experienced with promotion and measuring the results to the business beyond just traffic. 

How to know if you need a full time content marketing manager

A statement we hear fairly often at Credo is “We’re not sure whether or not we should hire a content manager in-house or hire an agency to run our campaigns for us.”

Like many things in this world and digital marketing, it depends on your business and what stage you are in. And the answer may end up being somewhere in the middle.

To use a sports analogy, we think of an in-house hire as the quarterback. They’re driving the strategy and calling the plays, while the agency is receiving and getting the ball down the field.

You should hire a content marketing firm if any of the following are true:

  • You need to get started with content and are willing to commit budget (at least $2,000 per month) to it;
  • You are already creating content and want someone to come in to audit your campaigns and grow them without incurring the overhead of a full time employee or the time needed to hire them;
  • You don’t have the headcount to hire a new full time person, but do have the budget available to spend on content and a firm;
  • Your content marketing is currently being managed by a more general digital marketing manager (a great role to have at a company) who has a lot of responsibilities and not enough time to manage the content side even though it is showing results.

As to hiring a content marketing manager full time, take the inverse of the above and ask yourself if having a full time person to whom you are also responsible for their equipment, PTO, HR management, benefits, and more is worth it.

Often, a great content marketing company can be managed very well by a digital marketing manager or an existing content marketing manager who is more focused on strategy and buy-in across the company (and maybe even project managing landing pages and developers and designers as part of their job) who just needs some boots on the ground.

What do content marketing managers do?

Content marketing managers are responsible for developing, executing on, and measure a company’s content marketing initiatives such as blogging, whitepapers, and sometimes social media content as well.

Content marketing managers are not copywriters, so they are not responsible for onpage copy that is meant to drive sales directly. That is a job for a dedicated copywriter.

Content marketing managers focus on content that drives top of funnel awareness through information content, and then mid-funnel content that drives leads for the sales team and lifecycle marketing teams.

What skills does a content marketer need?

A content marketer needs the following skills to be successful at their job:

  1. A native-level grasp of the language in which they are creating, and if translating content then either a native-level grasp of that language or the budget and team to properly translate content from one language to another.
  2. Understanding of keyword and market research and how to identify topics that your ideal audience is looking for and interested in reading about. This research and content should map to what your company offers.
  3. Understanding of promotion and social media, and ideally able to connect (or already connected with) with influencers in the market to be able to promote content effectively via blog posts and other content on other sites.
  4. An understanding of how content influences buying decisions through the funnel and what it can do for your business type. B2B content marketers are very different from B2C content marketers, so be sure to hire the one with the right experience that understands how the company makes money.

What to look for

A content manager can drive incredible results for your company, or they can waste a lot of your money and time. Of course, you want to do the first and not the second.

So what do we recommend you look for in a content marketing manager?

First, proven results. This should be a no-brainer but they should be able to give you multiple examples of results they drove, what they did to get those results, and what they’d do differently next time around. This shows both self-reflection as well as how they think through problems.

Second, a public body of work. While this is not required, it goes a long way to showing how they think and that they are both able to explain things and that they are learning new things and on top of changes.

Third, you should look for someone who has experience creating content and running content strategy for the type of company you are. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is unfortunately common for companies to hire content people for (as an example) a B2B lead generation company when the content professional has mostly worked in ecommerce. We’re not saying that this person can’t be successful, but it’s a very different type of company from what they are used to and there will be a learning curve.

There are quite a few mistakes that companies make when hiring a content marketing manager that you can avoid.

First, too many companies are not sure of the level of person to hire. A content manager, aka someone who manages content marketing at a company, usually has 3-5 years of experience. More than that and they need a more senior role usually, less than that your results will be lackluster.

Second, too many companies require a marketing degree or similar. Requiring this will severely hurt your chances of recruiting someone good to the role. Most marketing degrees at good universities are still teaching from textbooks written in the early 2000s when digital content marketing wasn’t really a thing for businesses. It’s much better to look at their work experience and case studies and public body of work to understand what they really know.

Third, too many companies dramatically underpay for the skill set. Content marketing can drive incredible results for your company, and the switching cost of hiring someone and paying them too little so they leave for another opportunity is high. Unless your company is very good at recruiting and getting new employees up to speed, you should pay fair market rate and expect to give them raises as they make your company more money.

How to become a content marketer