If there’s one job title that will see immense growth in hiring this year, it’s the “Director of Content”: someone who generates or oversees the creation and publication of high-quality, regular content on behalf of their company.
As a result of Penguin 2.0, content is more important now than it ever was before. Aside from the fact that consistent, high-quality content on your website provides evidence to your visitors that your company takes care of its customers and strives to provide value, (thereby increasing conversion rate), visitors are also now savvy enough that they evaluate the caliber of the content as one factor that helps to determine the integrity of your company (and whether or not they decide to do business with you).
As Steve Rubel, Chief Content Strategist at Edelman states in a LinkedIn post, “…On the Internet, you need it to stand out from everyone else. Quality content always rises to the top. And it can differentiate you from your competitors.”
Companies that publish great content on a frequent basis, including e-books, white papers, newsletters, blog posts, and more in their industry (HubSpot is a good example) naturally become considered an authority in their field. That’s the power content has online today.
Importance of Content
Most companies have heard it all before– from their web developer to their marketing team– that a steady flow of high-quality, valuable content is essential for achieving positive-ROI with your SEO campaign. However, much like social media was a few years ago, it’s only now starting be really be taken seriously by upper leadership, though most still are lagging behind. If you can’t be bothered to write weekly blog posts, come up with the ideas for them, put together an outline, and then have your staff develop your ideas into a robust, helpful article. Some companies are already making blog posts a regular part of every employees’ job description.
For new products or services, content marketing should be part of the initial rollout strategy; It should be just as important as the new product specifications or branding strategy. When it comes right down to it, content is what represents the entirety of a company online.
It doesn’t matter if Acme Inc. has the best dynamite on the market today. Without Road Runner writing and distributing content about the dynamite on Acme’s website and social media profiles, Wile E. Coyote isn’t going to know about it. Lesser known dynamite companies will gain the advantage simply by distributing better, more frequent content about their offerings.
Regular Blog Content
A WordPress blog is the easiest way to keep content fresh on a website. They can be written by multiple employees (which may give readers a good overall view of the company as a whole), a single writer, or the Director of Content. A content calendar is the best way to plan blog posts and other content publication around industry & company events as well as current marketing campaigns.
The Director of Content (whose other names may include Content Marketing Coordinator or Content Strategist, among others) should be responsible for implementation and coordination of the editorial calendar, as well as writing content both on the company website and guest blogging on external publishers (along with relationship building to secure guest posting opportunities). While this person’s sole responsibility should be content, content should also be a company-wide focus, as different perspectives bring new light to the company that can’t be created by a single person.
External Content Publishing
Other external platforms that the Director of Content should focus on are places to gain exposure, such as other industry blogs, newsletters, and publishing standalone content, which may include white papers or e-books.
Guest blogging on other industry blogs and newsletters is a great way to grow community and influence. Directors of Content should regularly contact blogs they read frequently and ask if they accept contributions. If a guest post opportunity comes up, it must be written with the same level of quality and effort as if it was on a company’s own blog; well-written posts always bring more traffic and exposure.
In addition to generating new content for platforms outside of the company blog, Directors of Content should also come up with ways to repurpose existing content. For instance, text content can often be turned into insightful videos, infographics, or slideshows. Growing a big idea from an existing blog post into a series, recap, or update can also help keep content fresh and relevant while tying it back to what has already been done before.
Deferring From the Written Word
While the main focus on content today (at least when it comes to SEO) is usually about written content, companies can stay ahead of the game and grow online even more by publishing other forms of content. This is where the Content Director’s job diversifies into other forays such as podcasts, video blogs, and visual-based content (like short videos on Vine, custom slideshows on SlideShare, or Pinterest pin boards).
Regardless of the type of content published by Directors of Content, the focus should remain on providing high-quality, valuable content that solves a need or provides answers for the company’s specific target market. This will lead to not only improved organic search traffic, but also accelerated brand development and awareness. This, along with a sustained social media marketing effort, will result in increased website traffic, driving leads and sales.