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June 8, 2023

Hiring a Content Manager Is a Big Deal, Here's How to Nail It

a person carrying web content balloons

In an era where quality content can make or break your business, your choice of content manager shouldn’t be an afterthought. After all, there’s a reason you have IT managers to oversee your tech and office managers to facilitate meetings and deadlines. When it comes to publishing your brand’s content, why would you leave it to chance?

Content deserves your attention and care. And to get the job done right, you need someone with writing skills, editing skills, project management skills…the whole enchilada.

From developing a streamlined content campaign to keeping traffic strong and leads stronger, how can you find a content manager who is ready to take on the challenge? 

In this step-by-step guide to hiring a content manager, we’ll help you navigate the stumbling blocks and learn all the shortcuts to help you find the right content pro for your business.

How to hire an ace content manager:

  • What is a content manager?
  • The rise of the content manager role
  • What to look for in an all-star content manager
  • Where to find a great content manager?
  • 3 tips to set your content manager up for success

What is a content manager? A deeper look at the role and responsibilities

So you know a content manager manages, well…content. It sounds simple, but this role is actually much bigger than meets the eye.

From defining and maintaining a consistent brand voice to managing distributed creative teams and juggling multiple content goals and formats, content managers are multi-talented professionals who wear many hats.

Here are just a few of the top content manager responsibilities:

  • Creating the content strategy
  • Conducting content audits to pinpoint gaps and opportunities
  • Managing a team of writers and creatives
  • Defining and maintaining consistent brand voice and online presence
  • Hiring new content creators
  • Managing multiple projects, assignments and deadlines
  • Providing fast feedback on drafts
  • Conducting competitor research
  • Developing content for social media platforms that drives website traffic
  • Publishing and posting content to blogs, websites, and social channels
  • Social media management duties, like monitoring and responding to comments on channels
  • Tracking content KPIs and generating reports (often with the support of team members on the marketing team, or a marketing manager)
  • Staying current with content marketing tools and best practices

With all the tasks on their plate, it’s no wonder great content managers are so in-demand (and, let’s be real, probably in need of a nap).

Within the last year, 85% of marketers saw an increased demand for content. And according to the Content Marketing Institute, half of B2B content marketers are planning to increase their budget, despite a shifting economic climate.

So how much can you expect to pay your content superstar? According to Indeed, the average wage for a content manager is $26.50 per hour, ranging from $7.00 - $67.00 hourly. That salary range builds out to anywhere between $52K to $87K per year, with the average lingering around $67K per year.

The rise of the content manager role

With the shift toward generative AI and tools like ChatGPT, you might be tempted to think you can get away without a content manager. Here's why that's not true.

While generative AI can approximate human-written text and generate new content, it isn’t capable of original thought or creativity in the same way humans are. Everything it writes is derived from things that have been written before, making it nearly impossible to cultivate an authentic brand voice using only ChatGPT.

Audiences gravitate towards brands with a spark of humanity behind them, and that’s something that can’t be replicated by robots. (At least not yet.) 

So while these natural language technologies can be helpful tools for content managers, especially when it comes to the more monotonous, spark-free tasks — real creatives are here to stay.

A content manager is important for virtually every company, but they’re particularly helpful if you operate in one of the following industries:

  1. Digital Marketing Agencies: A content manager can develop a top-notch content strategy for every client with high-quality content delivered quickly and consistently.
  2. E-commerce Businesses: Need someone to oversee the creation of product descriptions, blog posts, and more? A content manager can drive traffic and increase conversions with ease.
  3. SaaS Companies: If you rely on content marketing to educate potential customers about your product and its benefits, you need a content manager STAT. Goal-aligned content strategy and new leads, here we come!
  4. Non-Profit Organizations: Need to raise awareness and attract donors? A content manager can do that, too. They can create and distribute compelling content that engages supporters and helps to drive donations faster than you can say philanthropy.

At the end of the day, any company that relies on content to attract and engage customers can benefit from a motivated content manager. They’re the glue that binds your cross-platform content endeavors together, ensuring that you present a unified front that’s all killer, no filler. 

From keeping content up-to-date to measuring performance, content managers are armed with an editorial calendar and set to streamline. So how can you find your perfect content match?

What to look for in an all-star content manager

From overseeing the company’s web content strategy to balancing projects and editorial duties, a content manager is a jack of all trades. An ace in the hole. The metaphors go on.

But when it comes to hiring an all-star content manager, you need a pitch-perfect job description (we’ve got you covered there) and an eye for talent.

Content managers have a laundry list of responsibilities that they’re ready to tackle head-on. But what capabilities should you keep your eyes peeled for during the recruitment process? 

Keep these skills in mind during your man(ager) hunt:

  • SEO experience
  • Writing skills (with samples to prove it)
  • Solid time management
  • Data analysis skills
  • Basic coding know-how
  • Content management system (CMS) experience
  • Strategic planning skills
  • Leadership and management experience
  • Critical and creative thinking skills

Where to find a great content manager?

Content manager is not an entry-level role. From spearheading the content team to nurturing growth, a content manager needs at least a few years of experience in marketing, communications, and maybe even project management.

Here are some of the best job boards for finding content managers with the necessary know-how:

  • Glassdoor  - Post job openings with ease and search for candidates based on specific criteria. And because Glassdoor lets candidates leave reviews of their employers, you can build a positive employer brand in the process.
  • LinkedIn - Sometimes, bigger really is better. As one of the largest professional networking platforms, LinkedIn makes it easy to find experienced and skilled content managers. Consider posting a content manager job listing on LinkedIn to reach a wide audience of qualified candidates.
  • Indeed - Another top-rated site, Indeed offers a wide selection of easy toggle filters. Filter by location, experience, and skills to find your dream candidate.
  • Monster - Monster is a versatile job board with a handy resume database. The pricing structure is straightforward: the more postings you purchase, the lower the cost per post.
  • Upwork - Looking for a catch-and-release content manager to set you up for success? Check out Upwork, the most popular freelancing site in the world. Their strict verification process makes it easy to find qualified experts with less effort.
  • Fiverr - Easy and affordable, Fiverr has a bevy of content manager freelancers to choose from. However, the vetting and filtering systems aren’t as rigid as other sites, so you may need to apply a little more elbow grease to find your perfect fit.
  • Craigslist - Though it may require a little more vetting on your part, Craigslist is an underrated spot for nabbing local and freelance workers. They've upped their game by charging for job postings in most regions, leading to better quality posts for job seekers.
  • ProBlogger - Founded by writers for writers, ProBlogger's freelance writing job board is updated daily. And because it’s populated almost exclusively by writers and bloggers, you’re more likely to find a diamond candidate on this specialty site.
  • MediaBistro - From freelance to full-time, this site hosts job postings for vetted content writers, copywriters, and editors. If you need a qualified writer, editor, manager, or all three, this is the place to go.
  • Ladders - If you want a tested and proven management-level candidate and you’re willing to put the budget behind it, Ladders is the site for you. Though it began as a site for $100K+ jobs only, they’ve relaxed on their requirements while still maintaining their status as the best job board for high-level executive and management positions.

3 tips to set your content manager up for success

The content business is booming, and you need a no-nonsense content manager on board to take your brand to the next level. How can you set them up for success before they even step foot in the office?

Here are a few key tips to give your content manager a flying start:

  1. Clearly define the role:

    Before you start looking for a content manager, take time to really define the role. Determine whether the position is full-time, fractional or freelance and whether the employee will receive editorial support or manage an in-house team. Be specific about your expectations, and consider what skills are most valuable for the position. Communication? Organization? Editorial planning? How about all of the above?

    Once you lay the groundwork, you’re ready to start your search. Remember to flag your must-have from your nice-to-have requirements in your job posting to keep your talent pool broad. Once you find your best-fit candidate, you can work with them to tailor the specifics of the role to their skillset.
  1. Put together a branding packet:

    When a brand new content manager comes onto the scene, they’re going to need a little guidance to get them up to speed with the company’s voice, message and mission. That’s where a strong branding packet comes in.

    A branding packet sets the tone for your company's culture and identity, ensuring that your new content manager is in the loop and on target. The packet should include the company's mission statement, core values, logo usage guidelines, brand voice, and visual identity standards to ensure consistency.

    This helps your new hire create au courant content right off the bat instead of fumbling for a sense of direction.
  1. Give them grace (and feedback):

    No matter how experienced your new content manager is, there will always be a bit of a learning curve when starting a new position. 

    Start things off on the right foot by creating an open, communicative environment. Show that you care about the human behind the title, and encourage their growth as they bloom into the position. Remove stumbling blocks where you can, and offer constructive feedback that makes everyone better.

An easier way to hire your next content superstar

Content is the lifeblood of your brand. From blogs and reports to social posts and infographics, digital-age businesses like yours can benefit from a trained eye. 

If you’re ready to find the perfect content manager, Breezy can help you hire without the hassle.

With Breezy’s user-friendly applicant tracking platform, it’s easier than ever to find the right person for the role. In one click you can post your open position to the best free and premium job boards and watch the qualified candidates roll in.

Try the modern applicant tracking system employers are raving about totally free for 14 days!