Who Heads Content Marketing? What Falls Into Their Purview?

Rebecca Lieb's picture

Content marketing has been embraced by businesses large and small. There’s far less of a need to buy media when you can create it yourself. Businesses are aware that if you have a website, a blog, a YouTube channel, a Twitter presence, a Facebook page or a host of other online offerings, then you’re as much (if not more) a publisher as you are an advertiser.

But strategizing, creating, assessing, disseminating, evaluating, and monetizing content doesn’t just happen by itself. Someone’s got to actually do it.

How do organizations determine who that someone is? There are certainly plenty of possible roles that can oversee, or play a role in, content marketing. Here are just a few of the most obvious examples:

  • Chief Content Officer/ VP of Content
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Content/Editorial Director
  • Community Director
  • Blogger
  • Social Media Director/Manager
  • Copywriter
  • Copy Editor
  • Videographer (production, editing)
  • Graphic designer
  • Photographer
  • Outside Consultant(s)
  • PR Professional
  • Everyone (or very nearly everyone)

“Everyone” Should Be Involved

Companies that really buy into content marketing are increasingly taking the “everyone” approach. They’re hiring people to be responsible for creating digital content because its worth has been solidly demonstrated, but they’re not the only ones participating.

The fact that “everyone” is involved speaks to a critical aspect of content marketing. Companies must create a culture of content in order to find stories, identify customer concerns, product issues, barriers to sales, extract testimonials and hundreds of other content types.

Content ideas don’t live in the marketing department. They’re more likely to be found on the showroom floor, in the call center, or in sales. Product designers are a source of content. So are suppliers. Companies that take content marketing seriously must invest shoe leather in their initiatives. Like good journalists, they go out and find stories and ideas.

Clearly, when the job is creating lots of content, it helps to have lots of contributors. Yet putting someone at the helm of those initiatives is critical  – as critical as putting an editor-in-chief in charge of everything published by a newspaper or magazine. Consistency, style, voice, adherence to mission, editorial judgment and ethics are just part of the role. (For a great job description, see this chief content officer job description.)

The role has come to be referred to as the chief content officer, though many people are put off by the term (how many C-level executives can a company realistically have?). Quibbling over the title isn’t the purpose here. Depending on the size and org chart, this person may be the head of content, SVP content, or whatever.

Please read the rest of this post on MarketingLand, where it originally published)


RGBSocial's picture

Hi Rebecca - I couldn't agree more that 'everyone' should be involved with creating and contributing content in any organization, and certainly there needs to be someone steering the ship. In my experience, however, businesses and brands I've worked with have been hesitant or unwilling to work toward cultivating a culture of content creation due to concerns about overextending their employees, legal concerns, and many more 'excuses'.

I think there are a several things that organizations can do to cultivate this type of culture - top-down leadership by example, reward/recognize active contributors, update and expand upon job descriptions, etc - but I'm wondering if you have any experience you can share where you've overcome some of these, or other, challenges and what you did?



RebeccaLieb's picture

Couldn't agree more with your suggestions, Matt - some of them are examined in my research report on content marketing (http://www.slideshare.net/Altimeter/content-the-new-marketing-equation). Top down leadership and rewarding contributors are critical, but so is training to nurture creators. Employees must be helped not only to recognize stories, but also to create them with digital tools. These skills must often be taught and nurtured.

RGBSocial's picture

Thanks very much for your reply Rebecca, I appreciate you sharing some additional thoughts. Also, the SlideShare you linked was an interesting read. The five phases in Altimeter's Content Marketing Maturity Model were highly relatable, and your recommendations are quite valuable. Thanks again.


AbdullaH's picture

#strategyvsnoclue cant agree more

Who Heads Content Marketing? What Falls Into Their Purview? 's picture

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Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca Lieb is a strategic advisor, consultant, research analyst, keynote speaker, author, and columnist.


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