Hiring a chief content officer (CCO) is becoming more prevalent as consumer demand for quality content continues to grow. While there's no one-size-fits-all role description, the CCO is generally the corporate executive responsible for digital media creation and the publication of a company's content.
"Quality content is everything for brands that want to succeed," says Michael De Medeiros, Chief Content Officer of Content Cavalry. "As CCO, you're responsible for virtually every aspect of the company: Connecting with consumers, creating a corporate narrative and vision that resonates, directing sales and, ultimately, being the champion for the brand as a whole because the content is the brand--there is no separation."
CCOs are being brought in to create a holistic strategy for content across all channels. In order to achieve this, a CCO needs to wear the hats of brand manager, content curator, brand builder and sales director.
The Hat of Brand Manager
As a brand manager, the CCO ensures brand standards are carried out across all media channels so that consumers don't experience a disconnect in your marketing. A successful CCO will take care to ensure your social media and blog strategies are aligned with the overall content strategy, and that the overall content strategy is aligned with the marketing and sales strategy. A good CCO will understand that this alignment is essential to create a seamless brand experience for your customers.
The Hat of Content Curator
Content curation entails sorting through the mass amounts of content on the web and presenting the most relevant and interesting pieces to your audience in a meaningful way. It's the act of discovering, compiling and sharing existing content with your audience, rather than creating new content. Content curation is especially helpful in broadening your reach and building your brand--and a good CCO knows that.
Smarter brands need content that aligns with overall strategies to present consumers with relevant, interesting information and increase authority as an industry expert.
"It's not enough to just tell your story anymore," De Medeiros says, "you have to compel, inspire and educate through content and ultimately add value to the experience of any consumer long before you ask them for a dollar, email address or any kind of engagement."
The Hat of Brand Builder
A good CCO is passionate about the brand they're leading. They don't just talk the talk. They are their brand's greatest advocates. This is essential if you expect him or her to be successful in building your brand.
A significant part of building brand awareness involves content, which is why you want a chief content officer who's passionate about building your brand. Your CCO should focus on telling your brand's story as much as they should on increasing traffic and conversions. Building a brand (especially in its early stages) takes a significant amount of time and strategy, but is an essential part of growing a successful business.
The Hat of Sales Director
The role of CCO can't be all fun and creative marketing. When it comes down to it, sales are what keep your business afloat. A good CCO will take on responsibilities of a sales director when it comes to increasing conversions, and thus sales, for your business.
They should measure and analyze the performance of current marketing tactics and understand what their return on investment (ROI) is for each one. This enables them to focus on the tactics with the highest return and get you the most bang for your marketing buck. They also need to understand what resonates with customers and tailor your marketing efforts to those preferences to increase conversions and sales.
The Diversity of a CCO
Your CCO may arguably be the most diverse C-level executive in your company. Not only do they have to work well with the other executives, but they also have to think like other executives in their day-to-day roles. The many hats they wear allow them to more successfully manage your company's content, build brand awareness, increase prospect conversions and, ultimately, skyrocket your sales.