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How to become a Head of Content

4 minute read

If you’re lucky enough to have a way with words, one way you can make a living from your skills is by getting into content creation. But how can you work your way up to becoming a Head of Content, and what could this exciting career look like for you?

What is a Head of Content?

The role of Head of Content is a pretty new one, and it’s come about from the rise of content marketing as a key strategy for business growth and a fundamental of marketing. Content marketing is about creating and promoting online content, such as videos, blog posts and social media.

As a Head of Content, you might find yourself taking responsibility for the business’s online identity, making sure that the content is on brand and creates a great impression to potential customers. You will be creating relatable content across numerous different online channels, so you’ll need to stay up-to-date with all the latest trends to thrive in this  exciting role.

How much does a Head of Content earn?

Here in the UK, content management salaries at a junior level – such as a Content Officer or Executive – can start at around £27,000. With experience, you can expect to earn £54,000 or more as a Head of Content (figures correct as of August 2021).

What does a Head of Content do in a typical day?

As a Head of Content, you’ll supervise the content marketing team, get involved in coming up with new ideas and work with more junior members of the team to create content that people love and want to share. Leadership is therefore a key part of your job description, and people management will feature strongly in your day-to-day life.

Depending on how big your team is, your duties might include some hands-on content creation, such as writing and managing social media posts or penning newsletters, blog posts or website copy. You’ll also have responsibility for making sure all content is up to scratch, perhaps even creating style guides and making sure they’re stuck to.

You’ll optimise content for promotion across numerous channels, making sure that the work your team creates hits the mark for target audiences. You’ll also collaborate with other teams to come up with the strategies to deliver successful content marketing campaigns, as well as measuring performance and reporting it to the senior management team.

Skills you need to become a Head of Content

To become a Head of Content, you ideally need to be a great communicator. That means you’ll be able to write flawless English and adapt your tone of voice and style to suit the brand you’re writing for. You should have a strong understanding of how to write engaging copy for different target audiences, whatever the subject.

Great verbal communication and people skills are essential too, as this role involves a lot of liaising with different departments and team members. Leadership is a key part of the job spec, so you’ll need to build up management experience as you work towards the top Head of Content job.

You’ll also need to be analytical, tech savvy and able to keep up with best practices in video, social media and other types of online content.

How do you become a Head of Content?

Head of Content is a senior position, and one that you’ll sometimes spend time working on gaining experience for. People in this role typically start out by doing an undergraduate (or even masters) degree in a subject such as Marketing, Communications or Journalism, though some do manage to learn ‘on the job’ without going to university.

To reach the position of Head of Content, you’ll typically start out in a junior role – such as Content Marketing Executive – gaining experience until you’re promoted to a role such as Senior Content Editor or Digital Content Manager. You might even start out in a more specialised content-related role, such as Social Media Manager or Copywriter.

As you work your way up, you’ll gain leadership experience alongside learning the nuts and bolts of content marketing. While there are courses available to teach you the basics – such as those offered by the Chartered Institute of Marketing – there’s no substitute for actual experience when it comes to working towards becoming a Head of Content.

Career expectations for a Head of Content

As a Head of Content, you might work either in an agency, juggling a variety of clients, or ‘in-house’, employed by one brand to head up their content efforts. As we’ve seen, it often takes years to work your way up to this responsible position, but this is an exciting career that gives you lots of scope to flex your creative muscles in a variety of online contexts.

So, if you’re a creative type who loves communicating with different audiences in different formats, and you also see yourself developing into a future leader with a sound business head, ‘Head of Content’ could be just the job title for you to aim for.

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