Chief Content Officer: 2014’s Hottest Social Career

By: Sofie De Beule

December 30, 2013

chief content officer
content creation
thought leadership

2014 is finally the year content marketing matures and companies build entire departments around social and content. This past year had a huge impact on the way companies look at ‘content creation’, ‘thought leadership’ and ‘storytelling,’: they’re the skills to look out for in 2014 to add anyone to your social department. CCO’s or Chief Content Officers will lead the pack together with Content Managers and Content Creators and really start delivering outstanding ROI.

Think about how many meetings you had this year with people whose title include the word ‘content’. The Next Web refers to positions like Content Creators, Content Managers, Content Marketers and Digital Content Optimization Specialists. Not only is 2014’s focus completely on reallocating budgets from traditional advertising to content creation, new job titles like Google+ Experts and Instagram Consultants will pop up as well.

In 2013, our social media landscape has been fortunate to see a lot of creativeness in terms of content. Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet achieved huge success, but that was so 2013! How can brands really capture attention and turn content into ROI in the next year? Hiring a Chief Content Officer is your next step!

What are the key skills of a CCO?

As budgets shift to digital, a company’s content on both offline and online channels needs to reflect its communities’ or customers’ interests and needs. To meet this growing demand for quality content in the next evolution of marketing, Chief Content Officers are being hired. But what does a CCO do exactly?

  • Create, Share, and Convey a Brand’s Story

Content creation isn’t difficult. The total number of blog posts sent out on the web every day are a proof of that. However, a lot of brands fail in making sure that (quality) content coincides with their brand’s story. Luckily, CCOs are experienced storytellers who create and share those stories by keeping a close eye on what’s relevant for their audience.

Every established content marketer should, however, bear in mind that the most engaging stories of any brand are the ones that actually impact the lives of real people. The best people to create and share a brand’s story are consumers themselves. Their authentic opinion is what other consumers listen to and value. CCOs keep track of the conversation and guide consumers as much as possible towards their own brand.

  • Bring Discipline in Sourcing & Production of Content

Companies look for more discipline in how their brand’s story is conveyed. CCOs add uniformity to every piece of content paying close attention to economical opportunities and coming up with a well-defined strategy for sourcing and producing content.

  • Build Strong Relationships with Other Departments

By creating an entirely new content team, this new structure requires close relationships between the content team and other departments. A CCO has excellent communication skills and takes care of organization-wide issues. It’s important a CCO promotes creativity and builds a cohesive vision. Chief Content Officers continuously nurture a brand’s long-term growth.

Nonetheless, don’t confuse CCOs with Editors-in-Chief. The ability to write and edit is naturally a key attribute. However, a CCO’s goal is to have a clear overview on the bigger content picture and gain insights on social analytics and content distribution.

A CCO’s goal is to have a clear overview on the bigger content picture and gain insights on social analytics and content distribution

As some of the larger companies such as Netflix or Coca-Cola recently hired Chief Content Officers to join their corporate team, we predict this is only the beginning. More organizations will add CCOs in the hopes of new customers (re)discovering their content. Just like the expression, ‘content is king,’ CCOs will be the king of marketing teams.