Content marketing roles are an interesting thing. Take a look at this job board on LinkedIn:
I’ve seen jobs where a content marketer reporting into the board of directors and is called content manager, I’ve seen jobs where the content marketer reports into the community manager and is called content marketing director. The point is that there isn’t a definitive set of job titles for content marketing, less so a definitely organisational hierarchy!
So I got to thinking, why are we hiring for job roles, when in fact we should be hiring for personalities?
What are the personalities your content marketing team needs?
The person for whom content marketing isn’t a job but a calling. This person can stand in front of 1000 people and proclaim the second coming in the form of a “10 things about 10 things” article on Buzzfeed. This person will infect others around him/her. This person will champion content marketing outside of the core team.
What to look for: someone who’s drank the “Kool aid”; a true believer; a person who done it, failed and this keeps coming back for more.
This is someone who’s going to get the content out the door. It’s someone happy to say, “it’s not perfect but it’s 80% and we can get it live today and refine tomorrow”. This person doesn’t have to be the “boss”, they don’t even have to be a writer/producer they just need to have a drive to publish and promote, and they need to drive other people to publish and promote as well.
What to look for: deadline setting, self starter, possibly someone with experience at Lean startups.
If the doer is all about getting stuff out the door, the thinker is the traditional planner personality. They want absolute perfection, they want a clear line of sight to the end goal, they will debate and discuss and contemplate all day if they could. Together the thinker and the doer will battle for the balance between thinking and doing.
What to look for: strategic thinking, the ability to weave a story around anything they are saying, someone very unlikely to give you the solution there and then.
This is the person who’s going to step over anyone who gets in their way. This personality is going to help you in the long run. Maybe content marketing is the buzz word in your organisation at the minute, but not for long. Soon there will be a newer, younger, pretty service to sell and important people will start forgetting about you. The wolf isn’t interested in cool or new, they have a job to do: to keep knocking down the door to long after anyone else would feel it’s acceptable to do so.
What to look for: someone who’s going to run at walls because they want to succeed, not because they are interested in the “cool”.
This person is the creative powerhouse behind your content marketing. They are relentless in the pursuit of creative excellence. They probably don’t care that much about content marketing, to them this is just the canvas on which to paint their art. They will inspire others around them to think creativity. This person is your best chance of winning an award.
What to look for: a great creative is part visionary, part pragmatist. The creative personality in the world of content marketing needs to be able to communicate ideas that are longer than a single campaign or burst of activity.
The money. The person who’s going to keep the commercials intact. The person who’s comfortable saying no. This person is more interested in making money than some great creative or strategic success. They are also willing to bet against the perceived wisdom of the crowd sometimes to get their results.
What to look for: commercially driven with a good foundation in the craft, someone who understands the value to the business and someone who can cut through creativity and strategy to deliver a commercial success.
Am I a “content strategist”, “content manager”, “content, search and social director” or “digital account lead”? These are all jobs roles being advertised on any number of job boards. The answer is that is doesn’t matter.
It’s about a personality and to build a sophisticated content team, it’s about the personalities of the team not what they are called.