What to Look For in a Director of Content Marketing

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June 2, 2022Executive Search Functional Roles Interview Tips

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A Director of Content Marketing plays a vital role in companies with growth-oriented approaches to marketing. This senior manager helps drive sales by creating purposeful content that engages audiences throughout the entire path to purchase.

It's the Director of Content Marketing's job to oversee the content supply chain, producing and optimizing content that supports activities such as social media marketing, search engine optimization and search engine marketing. This is especially important for startups and tech companies that face fierce competition and need a reliable pipeline in order to scale.

Read on to learn how the position of Director of Content Marketing fits into fast-growing companies and the skills this leader needs to make an impact.

 

What Does a Director of Content Marketing Do?

A Director of Content Marketing ensures that the content your company produces resonates with customers through every stage of the buyer's journey. Effective content builds brand awareness and trust in your offerings that can later translate into sales.

This role is accountable for:

  • Conducting market research to fully understand the target customer's behaviors
  • Identifying the types of content that meet audience needs at each point of the buyer's journey
  • Building a comprehensive content strategy to attract leads and convert sales
  • Planning a content calendar for blog posts, articles, videos, webinars and other assets
  • Overseeing creative messaging and campaign rollout
  • Establishing benchmarks and metrics to evaluate performance
  • Adjusting tactics as required to meet consumer needs
  • Managing a team of writers, designers and SEO specialists to produce and optimize content

The responsibilities of a Director of Content Marketing should be tailored based on the specific needs and goals of a corporation, particularly technology companies and startups.

 

Hiring a Director of Content Marketing at a Tech Company

Technology companies have more complex needs for content marketing than those that sell more traditional retail goods or services. With new competitors and innovative products constantly entering the market, you need to continually differentiate your offerings and refine strategies.

As well, the path to purchase is more challenging, making it especially crucial for tech marketers to map content to a buyer's journey. Customers looking to purchase software and hardware often need in-depth knowledge of how products work and whether they're compatible with existing systems and hardware. B2B audiences may also have multiple decision-makers, meaning your content should answer the concerns of those who use the technology and implement or manage it.

The Director of Content Marketing at a tech company must also be well-versed in technology-driven content. The use of live streaming by tech companies, for example, increased to 33% from 13% in 2020, and was more likely to be employed by larger tech firms. The use of virtual events, webinars and online courses to reach audiences also increased to 83% from 74% the previous year.

Tech companies with larger budgets may have the resources to outsource work. This adds additional responsibilities to the Director of Content Marketing's portfolio, such as selecting and working with agencies and freelancers, and ensuring well-coordinated execution of campaigns between internal and external team members.

 

What Does a Director of Content Marketing Do at a Startup?

Startups need to quickly target and capture audiences to fill the sales pipeline and ensure revenue flows as soon as possible. Companies in the early stages of operations tend to have a lean organizational structure as they prepare to scale.

A Director of Content Marketing is often hands-on, working closely with the corporation's founders to spearhead content strategy and creation to reach prospective customers. Established companies usually have an inventory of content in place that can be leveraged and repurposed, but startups need to create a supply of high quality and distinctive content from scratch to distribute through marketing channels.

These assets include blog posts, e-books, white papers, videos, product demos, case studies, testimonials and other content matched to the buyer journey. The brand story is especially important for startups entering the market, so a Director of Content Marketing needs to develop creative messaging to generate initial awareness, while also delivering content that establishes trust and expertise, and eventually makes sales.

 

Building the Director of Content Marketing Role

Marketing has become fast-paced and dynamic, and companies that want to stay competitive need a skilled Director of Content Marketing to attract customers at different touchpoints.

As McKinsey notes, traditional "one size fits all" campaigns are no longer enough. These types of marketing campaigns are developed mostly by instinct, rolled out periodically, and have little room for personalization. By comparison, modern marketing is data-driven and relies on continual customer engagement and relationship building to spark sales. This marketing approach requires a steady output of content.

The role of the Director of Content Marketing springs from this demanding environment. Businesses need company-wide collaboration to ensure a robust strategy. The director should be encouraged to work across functions, exchanging knowledge and insight with research, engineering, product, sales, marketing and marketing growth teams. This gives everyone a solid understanding of both the product and customer, and what prospects need at each stage of the sales funnel. It also allows teams to align their strategies toward common goals.

 

What Skills Does a Director of Content Marketing Need?

Once you've shaped the position to meet the needs of your startup or tech company, it's time to target the right talent for the job. A Director of Content Marketing should have appropriate education and professional experience for the role, as well as be:

  • A creative storyteller who is able to develop engaging and effective marketing content.
  • An outstanding communicator who can collaborate with internal teams, articulate goals to team members and report results to executives.
  • A digital marketing wizard who deftly leverages the latest technologies and marketing channels to build brand awareness.
  • An analytics expert who can draw on data to inform campaigns and target the right customer segment.

Find Your Next Director of Content Marketing Today

Consumers spend so much time in the digital landscape that they're starting to make purchasing decisions before they even land on a company’s website. As Google notes, marketers need to engage prospects early, on a variety of channels, and with the right content.

That's where a skilled Director of Content Marketing comes in. Companies that find the right talent for this role can get ahead of the competition in attracting audiences and keeping them engaged.

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Amanda Price avatarAmanda Price