What is a Content Marketing Manager? (& How to Become One)

by Sarah Cha


Ever wondered what a content marketing manager does and, more importantly, how you can become one? 

Content managers are the wizards behind strategic storytelling that captivates audiences and boosts brand growth. 

They juggle the world of SEO, social media, and creative content like no one else. 

If you’re itching to step into this dynamic role, or perhaps, you’re just curious about what these marketers do, we’re about to spill the beans. 

Buckle up for a thrilling ride into the world of content marketing management and how you can navigate it successfully.

Let’s dive right in!

What is a Content Marketing Manager?

Think of a content marketing manager as the master storyteller of a brand

Their job is to communicate a brand’s vision, ethos, and products in a compelling and engaging way. 

But it’s not all about spinning a good yarn. These folks must ensure the story is told in the right places, at the right time, to the right audience. 

Oh, and the story needs to encourage that audience to take action — be it to buy a product, sign up for a service, or join a community.

Now, the role of a content marketer can seem similar, but it’s like comparing a paintbrush to an artist. 

  • The content marketer might craft the individual stories — blog posts, social media updates, videos, and more. 
  • The content marketing manager, on the other hand, is the artist who decides which stories to tell, when, where, and how, all in the pursuit of a bigger picture.

In other words, if the content marketer is the orchestral musician, the content marketing manager is the composer and the conductor, rolled into one person.

A Day in the Life of a Content Marketing Manager

man walking with a briefcase

Ever wondered what a day in the life of a content manager truly looks like? Well, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. 

Picture this: Your workday starts with a hot, fragrant cup of coffee by your side, as your fingers dance across the keyboard, trawling through the latest industry news. 

You’re on the lookout for trends, keeping an eagle eye on what competitors are doing and how the market is shifting.

Next up, you’re deep in your content calendar. 

You check if that blog post on the impact of AI in digital marketing is ready for its scheduled release next week. Then you’re cross-checking if the infographic for the email campaign is on track for a Friday launch. 

In this role, attention to detail is a virtue, and the content calendar is your bible — it keeps you organized and ensures all content pieces are running smoothly.

Now, it’s time to get social. 

Meetings with different teams punctuate your day: 

  • You catch up with the product team to understand the new features being rolled out in the next quarter. 
  • Your conversation with the sales team gives you insights into what customers are responding to. 
  • The customer service team shares invaluable feedback from your audience. 

Each conversation is a piece of the puzzle that helps you understand your audience better and communicate more effectively.

Post-lunch, you check in with your content team. 

How is the blog post on SEO strategies coming along? Does the script for the how-to video align with your brand voice? Is the new podcast episode ready for review? 

Remember, as a content manager, you’re not just coordinating, but also guiding the content creation process, ensuring each piece aligns with your content marketing strategy and speaks to your audience.

As afternoon turns to evening, you’re now a detective, delving into analytics to understand which content pieces resonated with your target audience and which ones fizzled out. 

This isn’t just number-crunching; it’s your opportunity to learn from the past and strategize for the future.

You round off your day by donning your creative hat. 

You brainstorm content ideas for the next quarter, think about new formats to experiment with, or strategies that could amplify your reach. It could be a new blog series interviewing industry experts, or perhaps a user-generated content campaign on social media.

Being a content marketing manager is like spinning several plates at once — it’s a challenging juggling act that demands creativity, organization, communication, and analysis. 

But for the right person, it can also be incredibly rewarding. 

There’s a thrill in seeing content you planned come to life and resonate with your audience. There’s the joy of learning something new every day. And the potential for growth? Sky-high.

Sound amazing?

Then maybe this might be the role for you.

But what do you need to become a content marketing manager?

The Essential Skills (& Tools) Needed to Be a Content Marketing Manager

pliers on top of a wooden table

A content manager wears many hats. So, they need a range of hard and soft skills to pull off this performance. 

Hard Skills

The hard skills that a successful content marketing manager will need include the following:

  • SEO Knowledge: Understanding how to optimize content for search engines is crucial. It’s the key to increasing visibility and reaching a larger audience.
  • Data Analysis: Interpreting numbers and data is a must-have skill. It enables you to understand audience behavior and adjust strategies accordingly.
  • Proficiency in Content Management Systems: Familiarity with platforms like WordPress or HubSpot is vital. These are the stages where your content comes alive.
  • Understanding of Content Distribution Channels: Knowing where your audience spends time online — whether that’s LinkedIn, Instagram, or email newsletters — is key to effective content delivery.
  • Knowledge of Marketing Automation Tools: Proficiency in tools such as MailChimp or Marketo can streamline processes and improve efficiency.
  • Basic Design Understanding: While you may not be creating designs yourself, knowing the basics can help in directing your design team effectively.
  • Research Skills: Understanding your industry, competitors, and audience requires digging deep. Strong research skills enable you to stay ahead of trends and produce relevant, timely content.
  • Strategic Thinking: Content marketing is not just about producing content — it’s about aligning that content with your business goals. Strategic thinking allows you to create and implement plans that drive meaningful results.
  • Budgeting: Whether you’re working with a shoestring budget or a substantial one, understanding how to allocate resources effectively is crucial. Good budgeting skills ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Soft Skills

man using a laptop and notebook

What about soft skills? Any content marketing manager will definitely need to have those, too. Including:

  • Creativity: Beyond managing content, you’re crafting compelling stories. A touch of creativity can engage your audience and differentiate you from competitors.
  • Leadership: Guiding your content team and aligning them with your vision is critical. Strong leadership ensures everyone is working towards a common goal.
  • Excellent Communication: This goes beyond writing well—it’s about effectively conveying ideas to your team, other departments, and your audience.
  • Project Management: Content marketing is a complex puzzle. Strong project management skills ensure all pieces fall into place on time.
  • Adaptability: Digital marketing strategies may require adjustments or complete overhauls. Your ability to pivot when necessary keeps your content marketing efforts effective and impactful.
  • Empathy: Understanding your audience’s needs and emotions helps create content that resonates, and builds a loyal following.
  • Networking: Building relationships with influencers, industry leaders, and other stakeholders can amplify your content reach. Effective networking can also provide valuable insights and collaboration opportunities.

Each skill may seem daunting on its own, but remember, these can be learned and refined over time. In this role, every day is a chance to grow and excel.

How Do You Become a Content Marketing Manager?

road winding up

The path to becoming a content marketing manager is seldom a straight line. Different content marketing managers often arrive in their position via different routes.

But a general path to follow might look something like this…

Formal Education

The first step to your future content marketing career may involve acquiring a formal education. 

Degrees in marketing, communication, or journalism can provide a solid foundation for the work you need to do. 

These courses equip you with basic principles of communication and storytelling — integral aspects of content marketing.

Early Career

Next, comes hands-on experience. 

Many successful content managers have started as content creators, copywriters, or digital marketers. 

These roles provide invaluable real-world experience in content creation and content marketing strategy, understanding audience behavior, and online marketing techniques.

Continuing Education

With a foundation and some experience, it’s time to become a content specialist. 

These days, there’s an array of certificates and courses available that give you a deep dive into specific areas:

SEO, analytics, content strategy, social media management — pick your passion. 

These certifications not only enhance your knowledge but also make you more marketable, so when you go to interview for a job as a content marketing manager, you have an edge over your competitors.

Advanced Skills

Beyond traditional marketing skills, you’ll need to be adept in content marketing tools and platforms. 

Proficiency in SEO, digital analytics, understanding online consumer behavior, and familiarity with digital ad platforms are crucial. 

These skills ensure your brand’s story stands out amidst the digital noise.

Landing Your First Role

Now, armed with education, experience, and specialization, it’s time for job hunting

Build a compelling resume and portfolio that highlights your skills and experiences. 

Network with industry professionals on platforms like LinkedIn. 

Apply to job listings on websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, or specialized marketing job boards. 

Persistence is key — remember, every rejection is one step closer to the right job.

Continuous Learning (& Staying Relevant)

man with headphones staring at the laptop

Once you’ve landed the role, the learning doesn’t stop. 

The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and to stay relevant, you must keep abreast of the latest trends, digital tools, and techniques.

Remember, the path to becoming a content marketing manager isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. 

It’s about continuous learning, growth, and pushing the boundaries of your creativity.

And no two content marketers have the exact same path, so don’t be discouraged if you may have to take some side steps along the way to your dream career.

So… Should You Pursue a Career As a Content Marketing Manager?

The job of a content marketing manager is a cocktail of creativity, analytics, strategy, and project management. If you find these elements exciting, then this could be the job for you.

However, it’s also a role that requires juggling many responsibilities, staying abreast of ever-changing digital trends, and managing multiple stakeholders. 

It’s challenging, no doubt, but it can also be incredibly rewarding to see your strategies drive real business results.

So, step forward boldly, future content marketing superstar! You’ve got this.

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Sarah Cha

Sarah is an avid writer, reader, and lifelong learner who loves making magic behind-the-scenes at Smart Blogger. When she's not wrangling words onto a screen or page, you can find her strumming a guitar, tickling a canvas, or playing fetch with her favorite four-footed friend!


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Photo of author

Written by Sarah Cha

Sarah is an avid writer, reader, and lifelong learner who loves making magic behind-the-scenes at Smart Blogger. When she's not wrangling words onto a screen or page, you can find her strumming a guitar, tickling a canvas, or playing fetch with her favorite four-footed friend!

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