11 Foundational Marketing Skills Required To Be Successful Content Marketing Manager
A content marketing manager ensures the daily operations of content marketing campaigns run seamlessly. These foundational skills help to be successful.
As content marketing grows in popularity, you may either be considering a position as a content marketing manager, or you may be looking to employ one.
For either of these two options, you need a sound understanding of the requirements for this role. Ideally, this person should be able to compile all of the most important aspects of content marketing into one role. This means they should have strong writing and editing skills, they should be able to understand and implement SEO and keyword knowledge, and they should also be great at research and analysis.
Arguably, most importantly, they should possess excellent planning and organizational skills.
In this article, we will deep dive into the essential skills that great content managers bring to the table. This can help you if you are looking to hire a content marketing manager or work with a content agency as a content marketing manager.
Content Marketing Manager Foundational Skills
1. Writing Skills
As the name would imply, a great content marketing manager possesses strong writing skills.
It is obvious that the starting point for any and all content marketing is great writing. Content is king in this scenario and so, it stands to reason, that the person generating your content needs to be more than proficient when it comes to writing!
Everything a content marketing manager does, from writing to editing, managing writers, and holding meetings, is based on or starts with, writing.
The writing requirements form the backbone and structure of all other areas and without strong writing abilities, everything will fall apart. The importance of writing is seen in the creation of ad copy, social media posts, press releases, and everything else. Communication is key, and the ability to clearly communicate at all levels is really non-negotiable.
2. Communication Skills
Communication skills are just as important and a content manager has to be able to effectively convey ideas through written words and verbal speech. They’ll need to know how to write clear copy and speak clearly and concisely during presentations. These two skill sets go hand in hand, and regular practice when it comes to public speaking will ensure that you improve over time.
A bit of a chameleon in this position, the content marketing manager’s writing skill extends beyond just the formulation of the written word. Most content marketing managers will also need excellent verbal communication skills and high emotional intelligence. This is due to the fact that they will, nine times out of ten, be required to work with team members like copywriters in order to conceptualize and create high-quality content.
In fact, many companies understand this and hire both a content marketing manager and a copywriter. These two work together to create content that will attract users and increase exposure for the brand. It is so important to remember that, even if a content manager is not the one creating content, they must have strong writing skills in order to help produce the best content.
Of equal importance is their ability to adhere to a specific style and tone. A content marketing manager needs to make sure that the content they produce is consistent and is always in line with the brand’s voice. This should always be managed with the audience in mind. They must ensure that the content is relevant to the audience and that it is written in a way that makes sense to them.
This is where their ability to research comes in! Achieving the right level of content requires extensive research and planning, along with the time it will take to formulate, write and edit all their content findings.
3. Editing and Proofreading Skills
Of equal importance as the writing skills are the editing skills. A content marketing manager needs to possess high attention to detail as a skill set, one that can be used for in-depth editing jobs.
A person in this position must be able to edit their own work as well as the work of others. Editing is essential for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it ensures top-quality content is always produced. It is a given that your audience is not going to be interested in reading poorly crafted content!
Editing also helps content managers learn what works and what doesn't. A structured editing process will soon guide the content marketing manager on what content works well, is well-received, and where they need to make changes. This ensures continual improvement and helps them create better future content.
Good attention to detail goes a long way. Not only does it ensure accurate and good quality writing, but it also shows clients that you're willing to go above and beyond to produce the highest level of work for them. This leads to customer loyalty and could even help you win future jobs. That said, even if you're not expected to edit for clients, it's important to have strong editing skills so you can clean up your own copy before sending it out into the world.
For those people wanting to enter the world of professional content managing and copywriting, you may want to look into taking a college course or two. Writing courses are great for learning how to write better, but copywriting and editing take a special set of skills and as such, you may find courses that specialize in these skills far more helpful.
When it comes to knowing where to find them, these courses are often offered as electives at top universities. The great part about this is that it wouldn’t be too difficult to fit into your schedule. Community-based education centers like Skillshare also offer an array of courses for you to consider.
4. SEO and Keyword Search Skills
SEO and keyword search skills are the bread and butter of the content marketing manager.
A content marketing manager needs to have a sound understanding of keywords, how they work, and—most importantly—what people are searching for. This needs to be coupled with a deep understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) so that you can successfully assess how your content ranks and performs on Google. The best way to do this is by learning from past mistakes and following industry news.
Read up on trends in the eCommerce industry and don't be afraid to try new things. However, it's also important not to get ahead of yourself. A good content marketing manager doesn't keep switching strategies as new things pop up. Instead, they will choose one or two and implement them correctly.
SEO involves the process of helping your content rank higher in search engines like Google.
Keywords are incredibly important when it comes to content marketing. No matter what type of blog, article, or other content you're creating, the words that people use to find your content will often determine its success.
If you have knowledge of SEO and keyword research, you'll be able to create content that people are actually searching for. If you want to become an expert in SEO and keyword research, then take some classes online or attend local seminars where experts teach these topics. There are many free resources available online, such as Moz.com, Ahrefs.org, SEMrush.com, etc., that offer information on keywords and SEO.
A sound understanding of how this works, along with the ability to formulate content marketing strategies within your company, will help drive more traffic to your site, allowing you to generate sales.
Since content marketing managers are often tasked with optimizing content to enhance SEO, they need to have a good understanding of how this works.
5. Research and Data Analysis
To be an effective content marketing manager, you need to be able to work well with data
This data takes the form of research on what clients want, the research you then conduct on those topics, and the formulation of this content into well-structured content pieces. Whether it's using analytics to understand what your users are searching for or doing original research of your own, data analysis skills are important.
While this may sound daunting at the onset, this is not all that tricky and, by using the right tools, you can easily master this skill within your workspace.
Here are some tools that content managers regularly rely on to help them perform research and data analysis:
This is an absolutely essential tool for any content marketing manager as it gives tremendous insight into how your site is performing. It allows you to see how users are interacting on your site, which pages are the most popular, what times of day they're visiting, etc. You can also use it to create custom reports that will help you improve your site's performance in the future.
Open Site Explorer
Also known as OSE, Open Site Explorer is a tool that allows you to see how well your site's content ranks on search engines. This can be helpful if you want to identify opportunities for improvement or learn more about what keywords people are using to find your site.
RivalIQ offers competitors' information like keyword rankings and traffic data allowing you to compare your site with others in your industry.
Buzzsumo is a great tool for finding popular content on any topic you can think of. If you want to know what type of articles are performing well in your industry, Buzzsumo can help.
As mentioned above, research skills are also important because they show clients that you're willing to put in the work it takes to produce the content and the level they require. Many clients understand that original research takes a lot of time and effort, so your willingness to go to this length helps you stand out from a crowd of content managers who offer similar services.
6. Planning and Organizing Skills
This is where the ‘manager’ part of the content marketing manager comes into play.
Content managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day content production, including making sure everything stays on track and that all deadlines are met. Good content managers have the ability to keep everyone working in the same direction while also meeting their own deadlines every week.
In order to achieve this, the content manager must have solid time management skills. Mastering the time management and processes required to effectively meet deadlines is absolutely necessary when it comes to being a successful content manager. When you're overwhelmed with emails, phone calls, and meetings, it's easy to lose track of what needs to be done. A great way to avoid this is to keep a detailed calendar in Google Calendar or Outlook and use a task management tool like Trello to organize your projects in one place.
Here are some other tools content marketing managers often rely on to help with managing projects:
Google Docs is an excellent document editor and one that makes it easy to collaborate with other team members. The added benefit of using this platform is that, since all Google Docs are stored in the cloud, you can access them from anywhere.
Slack is a great way for teams to communicate on long projects. It allows users to chat and create private groups that enable effective communication no matter where people are located or what time of day it is.
Wunderlist allows you to keep track of your daily tasks from anywhere on any device, and it's a great alternative to using a ‘To-Do list’ creator app.
Ommwriter is an excellent word processor that's specifically designed for people who spend a lot of time writing online. It blocks out all distractions so you can focus on what you're writing.
Other Qualities of a Great Content Marketing Manager
For a content marketing manager to truly be great there are some more skills that they should possess. These include soft skills, communication skills, leadership skills, presentation skills, being tech-savvy, and having an understanding of sales trends and marketing channels. Let’s take a more in-depth look at all of these.
7. Soft Skills
Content marketing managers need strong interpersonal skills to get along with colleagues at different companies and industries. They must have the ability to listen carefully without interrupting and ask questions when needed. A content manager will likely interact with many different types of personalities throughout their career. Developing these social skills early on is a great start and will pave the way toward a more successful career in this role.
Soft skills include things such as
- Active listening
- Conflict resolution
- Decision making
- Emotional intelligence
8. Leadership Skills
Being a leader isn't always about telling others what to do. Good leaders always model their own behavior and oftentimes they are required to guide staff and team members towards success by showing them the right path.
As a content marketer, you may find yourself leading several small teams within your company. You'll want to make sure each member knows exactly what they're supposed to be doing and why their work matters.
9. Presentation Skills
If you've ever been involved in public speaking before, then you already understand just how important presenting skills are. If not, don't worry! There are plenty of ways to learn how to present information effectively. One option would be to attend Toastmasters International events. Another would be to take classes offered by local universities. Finally, you could even watch videos online to see how successful speakers deliver their messages.
10. Tech Savvy
As mentioned earlier, most modern businesses use technology extensively. That means that a good content marketing manager needs to stay up to date with new software programs and platforms. In addition, you also need to be familiar with SEO best practices and digital advertising strategies.
11. Understanding Sales Trends and Channels
The world of business changes constantly. New technologies emerge every year, while old ones fall into disuse. The same can be said for consumer habits.
In order to keep up with this constant change, a content marketing manager must remain aware of current industry trends and marketing strategies. For example, if someone were working in eCommerce, they would probably notice that consumers prefer shopping from mobile devices rather than desktops or laptops.
Similarly, if they worked in B2B marketing, they might become interested in learning about emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Mastering Content Marketing Manager Skills Brings Future Success
The power of content marketing is undeniable, but doing it correctly takes some work.
A good content marketing manager does not simply go on a website-building spree, spewing out dozens of random blog postings and web pages. Rather, they strategically formulate a clever content management plan to uncover what your target audience wants to know. They then structure all communication with them on a level that is accessible, relatable, useful, and relevant. They keep up with current trends in technology so that they can serve their audience better.
Once you are able to master these skills, your content strategy will ensure your continued success. Content marketing managers are the core of creating a successful content marketing campaign.
Partner with WriteForMe
At WriteForMe, our experienced, expert content managers possess all the foundational skills to make for great content marketing managers. Together as a team, WriteForMe is ready to create a content strategy that is unique to your business's needs. From there, expert writers will create great content that will then be edited, optimized, and delivered to you.
Learn what WriteForMe can do for you with a free content marketing playbook!