How to Hire a Content Marketing Manager

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May 06,2015 by
Russ Henneberry

Looking to hire a Content Marketing Manager?

This hiring kit will give you the guidance needed to hire the right Content Marketing Manager, the first time.

I’m the Director of Editorial at Digital Marketer and I’m about to share our entire process for hiring a Content Marketing Manager.

Organizations will refer to the Content Marketing Manager role with different titles but similar responsibilities often depending on the size of the organization including:

  • Content Manager
  • Web Content Manager
  • Managing Editor
  • Director of Content Marketing
  • Editorial Director
  • Web Content Manager

In this hiring kit, we will cover:

(Note: Click on the links above to skip to that section)

Let’s get started…

Content Marketing Manager: Salary

Let’s begin with salary, as it will inform much of the rest of the hiring process.

The range of salary, according to Salary.com for a Content Marketing Manager is $72,563 to $112,861.

Hire a Content Marketing Manager

This is an average salary range for the role Content Marketing Manager and your location and cost of living will effect this range.

While this is a wide salary range, when broken into “quartiles” this information becomes very useful:

  • Quartile 1 – $72,563 to $80,688
  • Quartile 2 – $80,688 to $89,612
  • Quartile 3 – $89,612 to $101,782
  • Quartile 4 – $101,782 to $112,861

As we move through this hiring guide these salary ranges will assist in determining our course of action.

Content Marketing Manager: Personality Attributes

To make the right hire you’ll need to find a candidate with the right personality attributes to be successful as a Content Marketing Manager.

The primary personality attributes required of a Content Marketing Manager are:

  • Creator – Content Marketing is partly science but, make no mistake, it takes a creative mind to fill this role.
  • Leader – The Content Marketing Manager will be managing an in-house and/or outsourced team. The ability to lead a team is a must.
  • Project Manager – Content Marketing is often about tasks with a start and an end date. Project management skills are needed to succeed as a Content Marketing Manager.
  • Strategic – The ability to align the content plan with the organization’s strategic objectives is paramount to success in this role.
  • Organizer – The role of the Content Marketing Manager requires the management of multiple projects, people and deadlines. Organizational skills are a must.

Secondary personality attributes are the “nice to haves” but not critical to the success of the Content Marketing Manager.

The secondary personality attributes required of a Content Marketing Manager are:

  • Analytical – Interpreting data and being capable of adjusting the content strategy based on analytics is a plus.
  • Technician – Depending on the size of the organization (and the availability of technical support) a Content Marketing Manager may benefit from the ability to solve technical problems related to websites, content management systems, images, video/audio, etc.
  • Tactician – Again, depending on the size of the organization (and the availability of employees handling tactical aspects of content) the Content Marketing Manager will benefit from being a capable digital marketing tactician.

What Personality Attributes To Expect From Your New Hire

When considering a prospective employee for the Content Marketing Manager position, you will want to revisit the salary quartiles discussed earlier.

  • Quartile 1 – A Quartile 1 hire (paid from $72,563 to $80,688 – see Salary above) should have ALL primary personality attributes but may not possess any secondary attributes.
  • Quartile 2 – A Quartile 2 hire should have ALL primary personality attributes and at least one secondary attribute.
  • Quartile 3 – A Quartile 3 hire should have ALL primary personality attributes and at least two secondary attributes.
  • Quartile 4 – A Quartile 4 hire should have ALL primary personality attributes and ALL secondary attributes.

Content Marketing Manager: Skill Attributes

The Content Marketing Manager position requires a number of skills. A Quartile 4 (paid from $101,782 to $112,861) will demonstrate mastery of nearly all of the skills listed below, while a Quartile 1 hire will likely require training in most (if not all) of these skills.

(NOTE: Need Content Marketing training? See Digital Marketer’s Content Marketing Specialist training and certification program by clicking here.)

The primary skill attributes required of a Content Marketing Manager are:

  • Content Marketing – A fairly obvious skillset but don’t rule out prospective hires (especially if you will be on the low end of the pay scale) that have no Content Marketing experience but have a number of other skills listed here.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Content is discovered by prospects and existing customers, often, through search engines. Experience with SEO is a much needed content marketing skill.
  • Social Media Marketing – Similarly, content is discovered by prospects and existing customers, often, through social media channels. Experienced Content Marketing Managers will have experience with social media marketing
  • Editing – Depending on the size of the organization (and the availability of editors) the ability to edit all types of content including text, audio and images may be required for success.

The secondary personality attributes required of a Content Marketing Manager are:

  • Blogging – Most digital content strategies will include blogs as a channel. Experienced Content Marketing managers will be proficient bloggers.
  • WordPress – Most blogs are built on the WordPress.org content management system. The ability to work in the WordPress CMS is a big plus.
  • Copywriting – A demonstrated ability to write copy that converts prospects into leads and buyers in to high-ticket buyers and multi-buyers is a major asset.
  • Lead Generation – The fundamental goal of all marketing activities is to increase sales. A Content Marketing Manager that understands lead generation may be a critical skill for your organization.
  • Analytics – A solid Content Marketing manager will have experience interpreting the analytics program (Google Analytics, Omniture, etc) your organization is using and using the data to drive content marketing efforts.

What Skill Attributes To Expect From Your New Hire

When considering a prospective employee for the Content Marketing Manager position, you will want to revisit the salary quartiles discussed earlier.

  • Quartile 1 – A Quartile 1 hire (paid between $72,563 to $80,688 – see Salary above) should have at least 2 of the 4 primary skill attributes but may have no experience with the secondary attributes.
  • Quartile 2 – A Quartile 2 hire should have ALL primary skill attributes but may have no experience with the secondary attributes.
  • Quartile 3 – A Quartile 3 hire should have ALL primary skill attributes and at least two secondary attributes.
  • Quartile 4 – A Quartile 4 hire should have ALL primary skill attributes and ALL secondary attributes.

Content Marketing Manager: Training

Most of the prospects you interview for a Content Marketing Manager position will not possess all of the skills necessary to do the job at the highest level.

Their salary will reflect their personality and skill attributes.

Those that enter the position in Quartiles 1, 2 & 3 should receive the necessary training and certifications to acquire those skills.

(NOTE: Need Content Marketing training? See Digital Marketer’s Content Marketing Specialist training and certification program by clicking here.)

The acquisition of those skills can be tied to performance reviews and raises in salary.

Content Marketing Manager: Pre-Interview Tasks/Assignments

At Digital Marketer, we recommend new hires begin as contract workers, if possible, that are given tasks and assignments in a live environment. Through these Pre-Interview Tasks and Assignments we are able to determine the candidates fit with the company and evaluate their skills and aptitude.

If contract work is not an option for the candidate, it is still recommended that real world tasks be given to the candidate to determine their fit.

The following is a list of suggested pre-interview tasks and assignments to be given to a prospective Content Marketing Manager:

  • Strategic Content Marketing Plan – Ask the candidate to create a written Content Marketing Plan. Provide the candidate with 2-3 primary goals of the organization. The Quartile 4 hire will deliver a well organized strategy document that discusses the role of content in meeting the organizaton’s goals.
  • SEO Evaluation – Ask the candidate to create a written report (or screencast video) that outlines 3-5 search engine optimization issues with your website and how they should be addressed. The Quartile 4 hire will have no trouble identifying SEO issues with any mid to large website.
  • Strategic Social Media Marketing Plan – Ask the candidate to create a written Social Media Marketing Plan. Again, provide the candidate with 2-3 primary goals of the organization. The Quartile 4 hire will deliver a well organized strategy document that discusses the role of social media in meeting the organization’s goals.
  • Create/Edit Content – If the Content Marketing Manager will be creating or editing content for your organization, you will want them to produce or edit content before coming on as a full time employee. Ask the candidate to produce or edit 3-5 pieces of content for use on your company blog. The Quartile 4 hire will have no trouble producing high quality content that is relevant to your audience.

By executing these tasks you will also be able to evaluate the candidates personality attributes:

  • Does the candidate show creativity?
  • Does the candidate demonstrate the ability to lead?
  • Does the candidate manage the tasks you’ve given them adequately? Meeting deadlines? Following instructions?
  • Does the candidate show the ability to think strategically?

Content Marketing Manager: Interview Questions

A successful Content Marketing Manager will require the abiity to think creatively, strategically and tactically. They will also be required to manage an in-house and/or outsourced team.

The following interview questions are intentionally behavioral in that they ask the candidate to describe actual scenarios that reveal their level of experience.

The Quartile 4 hire will be able to describe actual experience with each of these scenarios while the Quartile 1 hire may not be able to draw upon actual experience with these scenarios.

  • Tell me about the most creative piece of content you have been involved in creating for an organization.
    • FOLLOW UP: What organizational goal did that piece of content meet?
    • FOLLOW UP: How did you market that piece of content?
    • FOLLOW UP: How did you measure the effectiveness of that piece of content?
  • Tell me about the most successful content marketing project you have managed.
    • FOLLOW UP: What organizational goal did that project meet?
    • FOLLOW UP: How many team members did you manage during this project and what were their roles?
    • FOLLOW UP: Describe an obstacle you encountered with a team member in this project and how you overcame it.
    • FOLLOW UP: Describe how this project was organized to meet deadlines and objectives.
  • Tell me about a time when you used data and analytics to adjust content marketing strategy or tactics.
  • Tell me about a time when you encountered a technical issue with a website or content management system (CMS) and how you overcame the issue.
    • FOLLOW UP: Were you able to address this issue on your own or did you leverage a technical team member or outsourcer to fix the issue?
  • Tell me about the components of the content marketing plan you would develop for our organization.
    • FOLLOW UP: What are the roles and responsibilities of the team members you would need to execute on this content plan?
  • Tell me about a piece of content you were involved in creating that received high rankings and traffic from search engines like Google.
    • FOLLOW UP: What tactics did you use to optimize that piece of content for search?
    • FOLLOW UP: Did you optimize this content yourself or did you leverage a team member familiar with search engine optimization?
  • Tell me about a piece of content you were involved in creating that received high exposure from social media channels like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
    • FOLLOW UP: What tactics did you use to optimize that piece of content for social media?
    • FOLLOW UP: Did you optimize this content yourself or did you leverage a team member familiar with social media marketing?
  • Tell me about a piece of content you edited and how you strengthened that piece of content?
  • Tell me about a piece of content you were involved in creating that used persuasion to generate leads and/or sales.
    • FOLLOW UP: Did you create this piece of content yourself or did you leverage a team member familiar with copywriting and lead/sales generation?
  • Tell me how you structure your content marketing plan to generate leads and sales.

Content Marketing Manager: Job Posting Template

Depending on the needs of your company and the salary available for the Content Marketing Manager position, this template should be adjusted according to the Salary Quartile requirements in the Personality and Skill Attribute sections of this hiring kit.

This job description will assume a Quartile 4 hire. Remove requirements and adjust language as necessary to meet your circumstances. 

Job Description: Content Marketing Manager                 

Position Summary

The Content Marketing Manager will be responsible for the coordination of all digital and print content.

The right candidate will have experience in cross channel content marketing and content optimization including text, audio, video and image content, social media marketing and search marketing.

The Content Marketing Manager is a creative marketing mind with the ability to organize projects, meet deadlines and manage a team. The ability to interpret analytics and troubleshoot web related technical issues is a plus.

This position requires experience in using digital and print content to support strategic organizational objectives.

Roles and Responsibilities 

  • Developing and managing a content marketing strategy that supports organizational goals from the top to the bottom of the marketing and sales funnel including [ENTER ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS e.g. Increasing Brand and Offer Awareness, Growing Website Traffic, Generating Leads, Acquiring Customers, Retaining Customers]
  • Create, edit and manage the production of digital and print content that is consistent with the organization’s brand, style and tone.
  • Develop and maintain a content calendar that attracts and appeals to the organization’s various customer avatars.
  • Develop, manage and execute procedures for
  • Creation of standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for the planning, execution, optimization, distribution and amplification of the organization’s content.
  • Managing in house and outsourced content creators, editors, data analysts, graphic designers, videographers, developers, etc
  • Monitor and report on content marketing metrics and show continuous improvement of the content strategy based on analytics.
  • Hire and manage in-house and outsourced writers, editors, data analysts, graphic designers, videographers, developers, etc.

Education/Experience Requirements

  • Bachelors degree (Preferably in Marketing, Journalism, Communications or Public Relations)
  • 5+ years experience in digital content strategy and tactics including content creation, editing, analytics, social media marketing and search engine optimization.
  • 3+ years experience in project management and/or management of an in-house and outsourced team.

Skill Requirements

The Content Marketing Manager position requires a number of skills including:

  • Content Marketing – Demonstrated experience with successful management and execution of a content marketing strategy.
  • Leadership – Successful experience leading a team in a project driven environment.
  • Search Engine Optimization – A demonstrated ability to drive traffic to web properties from search engines.
  • Social Media Marketing – Proven experience using social media channels to distribute and amplify the organization’s content.
  • Editing – Proven editorial skills including strong language skills and the ability to adjust content to remain consistent with brand, style and tone.
  • Blogging – Successful management of a business blog that furthers organizational goals.
  • WordPress – The ability to create content within and troubleshoot issues with the WordPress platform.
  • Copywriting – An understanding of how to create and present content that persuades.
  • Lead Generation – Demonstrated experience with using digital and/or print content to generate leads and sales.
  • Analytics – An excellent command of analytics platforms, such as Google Analytics or Omniture, to adjust marketing strategy and tactics.

About [YOUR ORGANIZATION]

[ENTER YOUR ORGANIZATION BIO HERE]

(NOTE: Need Content Marketing training? See Digital Marketer’s Content Marketing Specialist training and certification program by clicking here.)

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About Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry is the Editorial Director at Digital Marketer. He's worked on digital marketing projects for companies like CrazyEgg, Salesforce.com and Network Solutions. You can connect with Russ on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.

View all Posts by Russ Henneberry