The Rise Of The Chief Content Officer

Illustration of a chief content officer surrounded by content, social networks and different types of content


In 2016, the prevalence of content marketing was found to have grown a significant amount in big businesses, with 89% of B2B businesses using content marketing to grow their companies.

Having a clear, documented content strategy is crucial for companies to capture customers online. This is especially true for media-based companies whose entire business is based on creating engaging content. This increase in importance means that chief content officers are now viewed as key business executives who sit on boards of directors.  Content is viewed as being just as important in the development of a business as sales or finance.


Role of a Chief Content Officer

The chief content officer (CCO) should be primarily responsible for developing a comprehensive content strategy and continually improving upon the strategy through assessments of its effectiveness. In parallel, the CCO should look towards building the business’ brand and setting an overall goal regarding the future of the company’s content. The rise of the role of the CCO can be attributed to the rise of the internet and the consumer’s tendency to go online.

As a result, companies are also transitioning towards online platforms, making the company’s representation through their website, among other channels, crucial. Businesses aim to create an emotional connection between their brand and consumers, and CCOs must translate that goal into strategic elements and characteristics of their online platforms. Therefore, for some businesses, content and brand representation may be placed at even higher importance than emphasis on the product itself. For companies that partake in media creation such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon, the CCO will also oversee the development of original programming


Background of a CCO

Bubble speech with cut out phrase "content" in the paper.

Typically, a CCO is knowledgeable about digital marketing, advertising, and has a background in digital media or editorial journalism. A CCO should understand the customer mindset, and be able to cater towards what the consumer wishes to see or hear in order to favor the company’s brand. In addition, in order to be able to strategize and improve upon strategies, an understanding on analytics and determining return on investment are important to a CCO’s position in a company.

In general, although experience in content creation and marketing is preferred, a CCO should also be broadly disciplined. However, one person who meets all criteria to its fullest may be difficult to find for most companies, especially small businesses, and therefore, assembling a team to lead content, with personnel of a variety of backgrounds and strengths (for example one might have deep expertise in Adobe InDesign while another might have real skills in html and email creation), may lead to greater opportunity and growth in the future.

Author: Ben Richardson, CEO Acuity Training


Works Consulted

Helms, Fran, and Julie Simon. “Changing Channels: The Role of the Chief Content Officer.”Spencer Stuart. Spencer Stuart, Jan. 2016. Web. 01 July 2017.

Koblin, John. “Hulu Names Its First Chief Content Officer.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 May 2017. Web. 01 July 2017.

Kolbenschlag, Bill. “The Rise Of The Chief Content Officer.” The Content Strategist. Contently, 24 Mar. 2014. Web. 01 July 2017.

Siemasko, Emma. “Is It Time to Hire a Chief Content Officer? Here’s How to Know.”ClearVoice. ClearVoice, 05 Apr. 2017. Web. 01 July 2017.