How to Develop Excellent Content Management Skills

The role of the content manager is one that will only increase in demand going forward, as more and more businesses realise the value of content marketing and how it helps to engage and grow their customer base.

As a content manager, your job is to plan, organise and create digital materials for a blog or online business. It’s a role that demands a very specific blend of technical and interpersonal skills, as you’ll be required to bounce back and forth between the backend of your website and meetings with writers, developers and executives.

If you’re looking to forge a career or a business of your own in this cutting-edge field, check out the steps below to find out how you can hone the skills required to set yourself apart as an excellent content manager:

1. Writing & Content Marketing

It might sound obvious, but a good content manager needs to be able to recognise great content when they see it. Even if you don’t do any of the writing yourself, you’ll need to be able to distinguish the eloquent from the mediocre if you want to get the best out of your contributors. Practice writing yourself and ask editors to critique your work, but more importantly: read, read, read! The more content you absorb (especially that of competitors and writers whose style you admire), the better your own writing and eye for good content will become.

At the same time, you’ll need understand how to actually use and promote your content to drive traffic and engagement -- i.e. content marketing. Teach yourself about branding and how to deliver a consistent message across all content channels, keep up-to-date on the world of SEO so you can optimise your work to rank in search engines, and make sure you’re comfortable and proficient with all the major social media platforms.

2. Analytical Skills

A good content manager knows how to review content and use web analytics to understand what users are interested in and searching for. You should be able to analyse both your own previous work and the activities of your competitors to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to producing content that resonates with your audience.

You’ll also need to get comfortable with tools like Google Analytics and learn how to assess the behaviour of your visitors, so you can figure out where, when and why they’re stopping by your site. Learn how to use this data to create and develop user personas, which will help you craft more effective content campaigns in future.

3. Web Development

As a content manager, you’ll be spending a lot of time working on the backend of websites. A solid understanding of web-specific markup and programming languages like HTML, CSS and Javascript is a huge advantage, and will save you from having to enlist the help of a developer to correct simple formatting and presentation issues.

You don’t need to know how to build a website from the ground up, but you should certainly familiarise yourself with all the leading content management systems including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and TypePad. Once you get to know one of these systems, you should have no trouble picking up the others -- just make sure you keep up-to-date on how they are changing and improving over time.

4. Strategic Planning & Project Management

Perhaps the most important skill in content management is the ability to conceptualise and implement effective plans, schedules and campaigns for your website’s content. This is where your analytical, writing and content marketing skills come together to help you develop a highly-targeted strategy that suits your industry and ideal reader profile.

Once you have a plan in place, you’ll then have the task of making sure it’s executed in an efficient and timely manner. Brush up on your project management skills so you’ll be able to manage content schedules and deadlines while effectively coordinating your team of writers and contributors.

If you want to work in content marketing or use it to give your own business a push, you’ll benefit immensely by learning how to efficiently and effectively manage content. Follow the steps above to develop the pertinent skills and distinguish yourself as a valuable asset to any brand.

What other skills do you think contribute to great content management? Let us know in the comments below!