Becoming a Content Manager

Most of the content managers I know today started their careers as content producers or copywriters and, from there, they went up to actually managing the process and controlling the main KPIs of the area. From the outside, it may seem like a normal and easy to do transition but it’s actually not, it’s a mindset shift that without the proper guidance and instruction, you may feel under the hole of unsuccessful content marketing machines that are producing tons of content pieces and getting ounces of traffic and leads.


Here are a couple of things you, as a manager, can do to help your new content manager in the transition:

1) Changing KPIs will change the mindset;

Copywriters and content producers are usually responding to the following metrics:

  • Number of content produced
  • Content Quality
  • Content Optimized Criteria

Those are the main metrics a copywriter is focused on and there’s no need (or even time) to focus on other aspects of their team like the ones you should if you are a content manager. A content manager should be responding to the results that are coming from the content strategy and not necessarily its process.
Letting them define which metrics they will be responsible for is already a great way to help this mindset transition. And the words Letting Them are highlighted for a reason, you should not just tell them what they will be responsible for. Instead, let them think about it, sleep on it and come up with their own responsibilities. Of course, you should be guiding them in the right direction, but let them get to this conclusion instead of going for top-down orders.

Some of the metrics they should be responding for in a strategic level are:

  • Traffic / PageViews + Unique Visits + Returning Visits + Avg Time on Session
  • SEO Results / # of Content of 1st Page
  • Conversions / # of New Leads

Some of the metrics they should be worried about in a tactic level are:

  • Co-marketing opportunities;
  • Link-building opportunities;
  • Guest-posts opportunities;
  • Channels optimization;

 

2) Let them build their empire

People are proud of something they built on their own. On the other hand, people dread being told to follow guidelines and rules they haven’t created. If someone is transitioning from a copywriter role to a content manager role, the process and tool stack they are using probably (or possibly) weren’t actually built by them. And through giving the option to re-build the processes and tool stack you are freeing them of their possible burden at the same time that you are making them think strategically. This happens because, for the first time, they will not only choose a tool for themselves but for their whole team and with great opportunity comes great responsibilities.

The same way you should coordinate the metrics they will choose, help them build their processes and select their tools. If you were a copywriter, chances are your job was completely manual and there wasn’t much you could do about it. However, as a Manager, they got to think about automating processes as much as possible. Make sure they are choosing something they won’t regret. The basic guidelines should be:

  • As fewer tools as possible – centralization will make it easier to coordinate
  • Tools that add value through automation – automate as much of your process as possible;
  • Organization – for someone who never had to worry about the easy to manage, this can be a road blocker.
  • Integrations – If more than one platform are necessary, prioritize those which can be easily paired up (have you heard of Zapier – a multi-app integrative platform?)

 

3) Explore new worlds

Content Managers are strategists. They’re are also curious and interested people. So let them check new strategies. Using the proper method and tools, check new long-tail keywords, channels, content types and go for it.

  • A/B tests can be really simple and valuable. Facebook engineers run thousands of tests daily, and Sean Ellis teaches a framework called High Tempo Testing, which is feasible, affordable and worthwhile for any team.
  • Distribution can be a game-changer too. Delving  into its concepts and knowing the best tools can add extra value and performance to your existing and future content.
  • Different content types can reach different audiences and lead to different outcomes. Explore the Content Marketing Matrix and find the most appropriate format for each campaign.

Conclusion

Being a Content Manager is as challenging as it is exciting and rewarding.
The transition from copywriting to content management is not as natural as one might think, but it can be made easier when supported by the right mindset, instruction and toolkit.

Content Management is our core business here at contentools.com.
If you’re  using content marketing as part of your business, feel free to reach out for assistance, our team will be delighted to help!