Years ago, I suggested the explosion in online media channels — and the difficulty maintaining a consistent message across them — would lead to the creation of something approaching a “Director of Content” position.
This person would possess a journalist’s eye for story and drama, but a copywriter’s flair for creative salesmanship and strategy.
Instead of a manager, I envisioned a writer; someone who could log keyboard time yet keep a small team of “content producers” on track (I suggest a taser).
Now that content marketing (and its close cousin Native Advertising) are hot topics in marketing world, AdAge notes that Uber — and a few others — are hiring for Editorial Director positions.
The hiring of an editorial director at Uber, which has raised nearly $6 billion from investors, comes as other startups have looked to build in-house editorial teams. Dollar Shave Club, the men’s grooming e-commerce site, is hiring journalists to create a digital-only men’s lifestyle publication. Casper.com, which sells mattresses, is also assembling a team of writers to produce articles about sleep, according to a report this week in The Wall Street Journal.
I’ll forgo running victory laps on the prediction front (OK, who didn’t see that coming), but I have to ask: Who will fill those positions?
(I honestly don’t know. Discuss.)
The Prose & Cons
Journalists are storytellers with (typically) excellent productivity and research/interviewing skills. On the other hand, their grasp of strategic planning might be suspect. They’re typically more fun to go drinking with.
Copywriters are likely better tuned to strategic goals, and should be much better at late-in-the-sales-game tactics like conversion, lead generation, etc. And they’re better dressers.
(Of course, we’re discussing a corporate gigs here, so the job will ultimately go to the person with the whitest teeth and most soulful eyeglasses.)
While I’m rambling (yes, I know), I’d suggest the larger question might not be who gets the jobs, but if branded content and native advertising really have a significant future.
Are they the real deal, or simply the latest in a series of over-hyped marketing channels doomed to fade away as their irrelevance is revealed?
Keep writing, Tom Chandler.