How do you identify the right Content Marketing Leader for your company?
At Pushing Social, we are often asked to evaluate or hire content marketers for our clients. Over time, we’ve been able to pinpoint the competencies a content marketer needs to succeed in the position. We define competencies as the learned skills a person needs to have to achieve the organization’s goals. The perfect candidate can demonstrate their mastery of the skills.
What About Experience?
Experience, the bullet points on a resume, are relevant. They give the hiring manager a feel for the type of situations the content marketer dealt with in the past. Experience can also assure the business that their new content marketer can be immediately productive because they know the industry. Our observations, however, show that a competent content marketer can adjust quickly to just about any situation. As such, we look for the right competencies first and use experiences and references to assist the evaluation process.
Does a Content Marketer Need All of These Competencies?
No. A content marketing candidate doesn’t need all of these competencies on day one, but they should demonstrate their ability to acquire the ones they don’t have.
For example, since content marketing is relatively new, it’s not easy to find someone with a well honed team management competency. In this case, you would look for markers that signal an ability to work well in a team environment. You’ll also want to ask the marketer to outline how they will level-up their team management skills.
How to Use the Content Marketer Scorecard
Review each Competency area and the supporting abilities.
For each of the abilities, grade the candidate on a scale from 1 to 5 with 1 indicating a missing ability and 5 showing proven ability. Higher scores indicate areas where the candidate can make an immediate contribution. Lower scores point to the need for additional training, coaching, and ongoing learning and development.
The overall score will aid your final hiring decision.
- Diagnose Current Situation: Review the current state of the marketing plan and pinpoint the challenges that are contributing to the success or failure of the strategy. A good diagnosis prevents the marketing team from chasing time-consuming and ineffective objectives.
- Create New Approaches: Look at the obstacles and craft content strategies that give the business a competitive advantage
- Communication: Ability to present the strategy and get internal and external stakeholder support.
- Manage the Team: Content creation requires seamless coordination between several different roles.
- Adapt & Evolve: Things will go wrong. The best content marketers are quick to change and evolve the plan to achieve the overall objective.
- Delegate: Content marketing isn’t a solo sport. Effective content marketers know what to hand-off and who can get the job done right.
- Use Collaboration Tools: Today’s content marketer relies on a collection of tools to share information and files with team members. It’s often the content marketing lead that needs to select, configure, and deploy the appropriate collaboration tools. You’ll want to hire/promote someone who is adept at using collaboration tools and a tireless cheerleader of collaboration tool benefits.
- Build Internal Relationships: Hard-working content is assembled using information from different sources. Savvy content marketers build relationships with customer service, product/engineering, operations, and the sales team. These relationships enable them to get unique value-added information.
- Establish Camaraderie: A content marketer relies on a team of specialists and subject matter experts. Many of these individuals aren’t directly compensated for their contribution to the content marketing plan. Smart content marketers know how to share praise and credit among their supporters. Miserly self-centered content marketers often find themselves isolated, overworked, and ultimately being escorted to their vehicle toting their box of belongings.
- Tool Configuration: Setting up analytics software requires technical confidence and a clear vision of what metrics is important to the organization. Every analytics tool on the market has extensive tutorials both written and video. There isn’t an excuse for the Content Marketer to be unaware of how each piece of their analytics package works.
- Metric Compilation and Evaluation: Analytics software collects and presents raw data. Your content manager will need to translate this data into easily understand visualizations. They should also have the proven ability to spot trends that turn into profitable content creation insights.
- Tough Transparency: Mark Twain said “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics is pliable.” Your content marketing lead should respect the integrity of analytics data. A bad month is a bad month. You want a content marketing lead that won’t sugar coat bad news and take aggressive action to rectify problems.
Competency: Marketing Technology / Automation
- Tool Configuration: Like Analytics software, marketing automation software needs to be configured correctly to be effective. Marketing automation apps need to mirror your internal processes and automate the right processes. Your content marketer should be the in-house expert on how to optimize your software to meet your needs. Unfortunately marketing automation software isn’t as well documented as Analytics software. Your content marketer will need to insist on getting the support of the software provider and, if necessary, hire outside specialists for assistance.
- Reporting and Evaluation: Reporting is a hit-or-miss feature for most marketing automation packages. You’ll want a content marketer who can extract the necessary data from your automation software and combine it with analytics data for analysis.
- Tool Integration: Marketing automation software often have missing features that need to be augmented with another specialized application. Your content marketing candidate should have the ability to identify the holes and devise a plan for compensating for these weak points without overspending on the wrong needs.
Evaluating The Content Marketing Competency Score
High Competency: 61 – 75
The candidate shows strong ability across all 5 competencies with little need for supplemental training.
Moderate Competency 46 – 60
The candidate shows strong abilities in a couple competencies but may need supplemental training in one or more abilities.
Average Competency: 31 – 45
The candidate has scored moderately well across multiple competencies. Your candidate has the skill level to do the job but will require an ongoing learning and development program and coaching to achieve high competency across all areas.
Basic Competency: 16 – 30
The candidate cannot demonstrate competency across multiple competencies. Hiring this candidate will require significant training.
Low Competency: 3 – 15
The candidate hasn’t had the experience to develop a abilities in any of the competencies. This candidate is suitable for a content marketing position.