What is a Content Manager?

What is a content manager written in white text over a blue laptop

*Post updated July 2021*

Content creation and marketing is time-consuming, as we know, which is why a content manager could help.

Content marketing isn’t a top priority for many business owners. As you get busier and your small company starts to grow, or if you’re part of a large organisation with many teams, you might want to pass some or all of the responsibility to a someone else.

Although there’s plenty of evidence that content marketing as an activity has been around for a lot longer than there’s been a name for it, the role of content manager seems to be hard to define, and something that not everyone is aware of. As the work I do for my clients has evolved, I’ve become more interested in the notion of taking on the day to day management of a company’s output.

What Does the Content Manager Do?

The first result that comes up in an internet search comes from a career test website, Sokanu1, which says that a content manager is responsible for the content on a website and: “Their ‘content strategy’ is to create, write and manage content so as to achieve business goals and be a voice for the company.”

Similarly, in her 2015 book Global Content Marketing, marketing consultant Pam Didner2 says that the content creator and manager individual is also known as a copywriter or digital marketing manager (amongst other titles).

She also says that the role is linked to that of the webmaster, who is responsible for making sure site pages are refreshed with new content as soon as it’s available. On the Sokanu page, it explains that the manager works with a content management system (CMS), making the job more technical than that of a traditional copywriter.

A quick search on Amazon reveals that four of the top five books on content management are focused primarily on systems. If you’re interested, number two is Marcus Sheridan’s They Ask You Answer, which is either something to do with keywords or an acknowledgement that there’s more to it.

Based on this brief research, it would seem that the term has been coined in response to a need for someone to manage all the content a company or individual produces (written, audio and video) but there’s an overlap with the computer application aspect.

What Does the Role Actually Involve?

tools used by a content managerSo what does that mean in practise? It seems to me that there is a real opportunity for talented writers to expand their offering in the digital era. Didner says that many companies outsource their ‘content marketing related responsibilities to agencies and freelancers’ and there is an emphasis on the need for good writing skills, even if the content manager is in charge of a team of writers.

In a blog post from Marketo3, a marketing automation company, their Content Program Manager outlines a typical day, and she talks about creation and publishing content, as well as dissemination. Likewise, an article in Promodo4 (who offer internet marketing solutions) from a content manager starts by explaining that she writes two 800 word blogs a week and a 1,500 word article once a month. That sounds like a copywriter job!

The need is clearly there for content managers who can also take on the content creation, and perhaps using a CMS isn’t quite as terrifying as it sounds. WordPress has made website building and maintenance much more straightforward for non-experts (although I still think there’s a benefit to using a professional if you can!) so anything is possible if you’re willing to try.


(all links correct and live as of 13.03.18)


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