I was at a party recently and got asked what I do for work. When I replied that I am the director of content strategy at a venture capital firm called OpenView, the guy who had asked the question stared at me with a blank look on his face. He explained that he understood the venture capital part, but that the director of content strategy bit wasn’t entirely clear to him.
Ok, so maybe it’s not a job title that’s completely ubiquitous yet, but content marketing jobs of all flavors — director of content strategy, director of content marketing, content strategist, managing editor, content marketing manager, etc. — are all becoming increasingly common. A quick search on indeed.com, for example, turns up hundreds of hits, including one I might add for an OpenView portfolio company.
Be that as it may, I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t know what a director of content strategy does, so I wanted to provide my take on the role:
As soon as you put the word content in a title, it’s funny how people automatically assume that you’re a writer in one form or another. For a director of content strategy, I’d say that’s pretty far off the mark. The truth be told, I only spend about 5-10 percent of my time actually writing.
So if not writing, what exactly does a director of content strategy do? Well, typically someone in the role is responsible for setting and executing a company’s content marketing strategy, i.e., figuring out how to create, distribute, and promote the kind of highly relevant, valuable content necessary to attract, acquire, and engage our target audience.
What it Entails
Being a director of content strategy can mean a lot of different things depending on where you work, but in general terms, it means that you’re in charge of your company’s content marketing efforts, including:
- Deciding what content the company is going to create and at what intervals
- Leading a team of in house and/or freelance writers and editors, graphic designers, proofreaders, and social media specialists
- Establishing and enforcing your company’s editorial standards
- Creating efficient content creation processes
- Developing a content distribution strategy
- Choosing and managing an effective CMS
- Utilizing social media and other marketing channels to promote content
- Optimizing content for search engines
- Developing and maintaining an editorial calendar
- Capturing a variety of metrics to measure the effectiveness of our content, and retooling our approach based on those results.
- Ensuring that the content that’s being created is helping to drive your ultimate business goals
Skills and Experience
A director of content strategy or content marketing typically has at least 10 years of experience in marketing, communications, and/or publishing or other editorial roles. People in this role need to be problem solvers who are able to juggle a lot of different tasks at one time. They also need to be leaders, planners, and strategic thinkers, who can wear a lot of different hats. They might need to be a blogger today, a podcaster tomorrow, or a videographer the next day. No matter what they might be doing on any given day, they’re also the ones responsible for making decisions about what a company should be focusing on from a content perspective, which these days ultimately drives just about every aspect of marketing.
Ok, so that’s a real quick look at what a director of content strategy does. Now it’s your turn. If you’re a content marketer, what’s your job look like on a day-to-day basis?