Remember to check out the Econsultancy jobs board if you’re looking for a new role yourself.
Econsultancy: Please describe your job: What do you do?
Libby Richfield: I’m Head of Content at Red Hot Penny. We’re a search marketing agency based just outside Reading. I manage our creative team of copywriters and designers and oversee the content strategies, campaigns and assets we produce for clients. This could be anything from ecommerce product content, to bigger campaign landing pages and articles, bespoke infographics or social visuals and graphics.
E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
LR: I’m a department head managing the content delivery team, reporting to our Digital Marketing Director.
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
LR: It’s a real mix of creative skills (my background in copywriting and social helps a lot), strategic problem-solving to deliver an effective strategy in the first place and project management skills to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Great communication is a given, to work closely with client teams but also to keep your team motivated. Although it’s a content-focused role you also need a really thorough understanding of how content supports search performance and how it crosses over with social/digital PR outreach too.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
LR: It might start with a team or operations meeting to go through project and client updates and any priority activities for the day, then I could be working on a strategy deck for a new client, reviewing draft articles or infographics that the team have produced before they go to clients for sign off, planning the production process for new content pieces that have been briefed in, or joining a brainstorming session to help generate new campaign angles. It’s really varied.
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
LR: I love that every day is genuinely different. And I love the process of getting clients excited about our campaigns and ideas and then bringing those campaigns to life.
What sucks the most? Occasionally when campaigns don’t perform in the way we hoped or when we come up with a great idea but for whatever reason a client isn’t able to run with it. That’s when we need to regroup and come up with a new approach, but there’s usually always a plan B to move on to.
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
LR: It depends on the project but ultimately we’re looking to use content to improve visibility and awareness at the top of the funnel – whether targeting new opportunities in SERPs, through linkbuilding or on social. Shorter term KPIs are usually around traffic to site and engagement with the content (on site and off site) while longer term we’d be looking at increases in rankings and ranked keywords.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
LR: For topic and audience research we use AnswerThePublic, Ahrefs and the keyword/data insights we get from BrightEdge and our internal SEO and Insights teams.
Design-wise Adobe Creative Suite is great, and in terms of team management and project planning either ResourceGuru or a good old gantt chart.
E: How did you get into this role, and where might you go from here?
LR: I started off in a more traditional marketing role, then worked as a copywriter and moved into content and social media as an account manager. Then I moved into a content manager role, which has gradually progressed to Head of Content. Longer-term I’d like to work towards a Creative Director type role.
E: Which brands are creating good content at the moment?
LR: We all love SheerLuxe content in the office, especially their video content and podcast. Cards Against Humanity have had some genius campaigns recently, as have Missguided.
There’s definitely been a shift towards brands behaving as publishers and investing in really high quality editorial content – two that stand out are stationery brand Papier who have created an online publication called The Fold and luggage brand Away who share inspiring travel content through their online publication called Here.
E: Do you have any advice for people want to work in content for an agency?
LR: Be curious and be willing to learn. And pay attention to what other brands are doing, it’s a great way to spot trends. A large part of working in content comes back to the ideas you’re able to come up with, and that inspiration can come from anywhere – online, offline, in work and outside of it.