What does a content director do?
In today’s media landscape, content really is king. With so many platforms available, brands are finding new ways to tell their stories. Anthea England is the content director at McKenzie Partners. She helps clients share their unique perspectives.
In a nutshell, what does a content director actually do?
My area of expertise is written content, particularly longer-form work like blogs, SEO content strategy, website copywriting and PR content. However, my role also involves shorter copywriting jobs like EDMs, social copy, Google AdWords and radio scripts. The challenge is always to think more holistically and ensure each piece of content for any given brand is on brief and engaging.
The core objective is to generate brand awareness and product awareness for our clients.
What does your day look like?
Briefs come into me and I juggle them throughout the day depending on the deadline and the scale of the job. Content like website copy or a blog will take more research, so I’ll block out time for that in advance. Same goes for regular content like social calendars or weekly EDMs, for instance.
How did you become a content director?
I’ve always liked writing, so I started with a media and communications degree. My first job was as a writer at a tween magazine. It was a lot of fun and very useful as it taught me to write for a different audience and interview well. I wanted to hone my editing skills, so I took a job at Women’s Health magazine as a sub-editor. Sub-editing requires a lot of attention to detail and I still use these skills daily. The team there was exceptionally talented, open-minded and wrote nuanced stories – everything you want in an editorial team. I eventually became the features writer and then a digital content editor. From there, I moved in-house at a wellness company to work on their content. After three years, I made the move to the agency world.
Why is good content and copywriting important for brands?
How many times do you read a brand’s website, socials or emails and think, what do they actually do? What do they stand for? How does this company even work? I think that all the time. The key is clear and clever communication. Many brands try to say too much, they’re vague or they use very technical language that is alienating to potential customers.
Editorial-style content like blogs are absolutely critical. Many people dismiss it as fluff, but this kind of content gives brands integrity. It can make them an authority in their industry and reiterates their core values. Plus, if blogs are used as part of a broader SEO strategy, they can be incredibly powerful for increasing visibility in search results. If I can give businesses one tip, it would be to invest in SEO content – you won’t see results overnight, but long-term it will make a huge difference.
Ultimately, in a world where there’s a crippling amount of choice, people need something else to connect with beyond the simple product or service. Content helps make brands more human.
What’s the best and worst thing about your job?
The best thing is that I love helping people and I feel my skill set can be really useful for clients. Sometimes just a few simple edits or words can convey a message more clearly and it can make a tangible difference. I also like that I can spend my day writing all kinds of copy. There’s actually not much admin involved in my job. The worst part is that it’s hard to let go of jobs. I’m a perfectionist and I always want to keep editing, in case I can make the copy better. That is a downside that is entirely of my own making.