As traditional journalism jobs dry up, analogous positions in content
marketing seem to be growing on trees.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy to find a talented and capable editor in chief
who can power your product with compelling, best-in-class copy. Remember,
not every veteran journalist is suited to the marketing world.
Here are four things every marketing exec should think about when hiring
someone to run a content marketing program:
Prioritize skills over industry knowledge.
You'll be better off finding someone who has creative talent, even if
there's a learning curve on the nuances of your product. An understanding
of how content marketing works certainly helps, but don't disqualify people
if they're unfamiliar with industry lingo or even the marketing business
You should be publishing unique and varied content that readers can't get
anywhere else, and only seasoned editorial talent can provide that. Find an
editor with experience covering a multitude of platforms and content
formats, because the workflow and concept development are different.
Editors should have proven ability in producing everything from a blog post
and a listicle to an explainer and a long-form feature, and on multiple
platforms (print, web, mobile, social media). Besides, bringing in an
editor with a different perspective will lead to stories with fresh angles.
Don’t expect the EIC to write everything.
Companies new to content marketing sometimes go in with unrealistic
expectations, because they aren’t familiar with the editorial process and
how a newsroom works.
Editors often manage more than they create, ensuring that everything from
original, fleshed out reporting and balanced editorial mix to catchy,
varied headlines and original storytelling take place.
Writing uses a different part of the brain. Writers are so busy writing and
reporting, they don’t always see the big picture, how their story connects
to other topics or whether their arguments hold up.
An editor not only stays on top of copy for grammar, spelling, and clarity,
but also helps writers build stories that pack a punch and that people will
read—not to mention creating headlines that prompt people to click and read
an article. Even so, the best editors are good writers, too; just don’t
expect them to churn out six blog posts a day (or even a week) because they
bring so much more to the table.
Improve your writing today with this free guide.]
Find someone who already has a team.
Think of your EIC like a coach. Instead of having one byline and one voice
on all your articles, find an editor who has good relationships with top
talent and can wrangle them to work for your brand.
Readers will take your work seriously if they trust the people producing
it, or if the people producing it build credibility through well-reported,
well-executed content. Good editors also bring value to your organization
by recruiting high-quality writers who have contributed to well-known media
There will always be dozens of guest bloggers who know the lingo and pitch
safe ideas, but connecting with a handful of journalists who know what
they’re doing will garner immediate respect for your publishing efforts.
Invest in a copy editor.
Although an EIC will handle the broad editorial strokes, they'll still need
support on the details, even if that support is freelance. Teaming with a
sharp copy editor helps in eliminating sloppy mistakes that hurt your
credibility. That additional pair of eyes is crucial.
It’s not that editors shouldn’t do that—they should—but flawless copy
requires dedicated editing specifically for typos, grammar, spelling and
usage issues. Depending on the volume of content you publish, freelance
copy editors often suffice.
Hire a social media manager, too.
If you're spending a lot to commission content, it's also important to pay
for someone who can amplify your work to a larger audience.
Social media has become a science over the years. Now, marketers are
expected to be active on established platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn,
Twitter, email, as well as emerging platforms like Snapchat.
All that content you’re producing on your company blog will eventually be
published as a Facebook Instant Article, LinkedIn, or Medium article in the
With a small team, you can give the EIC all the help he or she needs to
attract and expand the right audience and drive all the leads, sales and
brand expansion you seek.
Ben Plomion is the chief marketing officer of