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Biz Takeouts

Tune into Biz Takeouts Radio Show on 2oceansvibe Radio today at 9am with show host Warren Harding (@bizWazza). In this week's show he speaks to DK Badenhorst from Y&R Cape Town (@YoungRubicamSA) and Directors of MaxAxion (@MaxAxion) Daniel Courtenay (@drdanc) and Nicolle Harding (@NicolleHarding).

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Marketing opinion

Content marketing: Get a head (of content)

Most companies are creating original content to keep consumers engaged these days, whether it's a blog post, a social media update, an ebook, a presentation or a full-blown event.
Surprisingly though, many firms don't have someone to manage that content. And if there's no-one to be held accountable, how can a coordinated plan be devised? Who measures the success of original content if no one oversees it in the first place?

Top companies have quickly realised that employing for such a position is a must in order to stay relevant. Whether it's a content manager or a content director (the job title may vary), the objective is the same: being the hub of content activity.

Have your sights set on a position like this one?

It requires you to think like a journalist, telling your company story - and be marketing savvy aligning the company content endeavours across all channels with specific business objectives. After all, you could have the best content around, but it doesn't matter if there's no strategy or the execution falters.

How would this position look then? Below we look at a potential spec.

Reports to: Marketing director, managing editor or head of digital.

Summary of position

A content marketer will oversee content marketing drives (both within and outside the firm), across multiple platforms, formats and channels. The aim is to increase sales, leads, consumer engagement, retention and to encourage favourable consumer behaviour.

The job sees collaboration with marketing, social media, public relations, customer service, IT, HR and external stakeholders in order to tell a story.

It almost goes without saying then, that the critical function is to help the firm meet business goals by using content.


Setting the strategy is first and foremost, so the job will have you defining your audience and setting your content objectives. Identifying the key channels for delivering your message - be it blogs, social media or email newsletters - is also imperative.

You will need to create policies, standards and best practices for content requests, generation, editing, distribution, publishing and marketing.

It is critical to measure the impact of the content, find out what content proved popular with your target audience, see what content has done the best job of converting audience to brand, and look for areas of improvement.

You will also need to team up with your customer relations or audience development teams to work out what content has proven useful, and what can be discarded. You'll also work with a team to test forms, landing pages, calls to action, and other content elements. In addition, a close relationship with the design team is needed to ensure a consistent message in terms of branding.

Defining success

The primary metrics for defining success will be derived from your business objectives. Commonly, you will look for increase in positive brand sentiment, increase in engagement, and an upswing in social media followers and website traffic.

Additional metrics can include lead nurturing, WOM marketing, and an increase in keyword rankings for search engines.

A more advanced strategy may split the content efforts by key stages of buying cycle, gaining insights into customer pain points and identifying obstacles to purchase paths.

Skills needed

So what do you need to be a successful head of content?

This role really combines editorial skills, marketing skills and a very strong understanding of the digital landscape.

An excellent command of relevant language and polished editorial skills are a must-have, and training as a journalist is favourable as it enables you to tell a story more effectively. In addition, the ability to create content and form a distribution plan are key skills.

Marketing skills are also crucial, you must be able to identify audiences, think about how to target them, how to measure campaigns, how to deliver ROI and manage budgets as well as external agencies and stakeholders.

And finally, the ability to stay abreast of content marketing trends as well as new technology and tools is imperative, as is a passion for and understanding of social media.

About Athar Naser

Athar Naser is head of Juice Content. He is responsible for content strategy and content marketing across the group as well as for department clients. He brings a wealth of global media and digital experience to the content specialist division of Prime Media Online, as well as to the already rich talent pool at the publisher of South African web portal, iafrica.com. Follow @JuiceContent on Twitter.
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