When hiring a content marketer, Joe Chernov has some good advice: Forget superfluous numbers.
A six-digit Twitter follower count, tons of blog shares, and an avalanche of “likes” don’t matter.
As Chernov puts it: you’ve got to “wean yourself off vanity metrics.”
He would know. Chernov was one of the first people with “content” in his title. Since then he’s steadily risen to become one of the most influential names in modern marketing, and even named “Content Marketer of the Year” in 2012. Currently, Chernov leads the all-impressive (and growing) HubSpot content team.
His advice in content hiring is to focus less on social stats and more on the numbers that move a business forward:
- Lead generation
- Web traffic
- Marketing generated opportunities
- Sales / revenue
Why? Because the most successful modern marketers are driving new business, not spending long hours brainstorming witty hashtags (although, we do love a good hashtag). Content marketers need to understand how content fits into the overarching marketing puzzle, stimulates lead generation, and attracts the right people into the sales funnel.
So if you’re in the 45% of companies hiring content marketers this year, try not to be wooed by retweet successes or a clamoring Pinterest following, Chernov warns. Instead look for candidates who have numeric accolades that reflect the bottom line of businesses—or at least understand their responsibility as marketers to affect that bottom line.
Challenge your interviewees to talk about the new business generated through their efforts. Seek numbers that matter.
Need Help with Interview Questions?
Here are a few interview questions Chernov uses, and a few more we gathered during our research into the state of hiring in content marketing:
- Out of 100 people how many people don’t like you?
- Who are the top content marketers that you follow?
- Where do you get your news?
- Give me an example of a piece of content that you see as successful and describe why it was successful?
- Describe what modern marketing is?
- How do you see content marketing fitting into the bigger puzzle?
- How do you evaluate success?
- What is your role in a group setting?
- Why should we hire you?
We have a new product coming out in three months. What would you do to launch it?
Focus on collecting only the data that is important and relevant to new business growth and your bottom line. It’s the era of the revenue marketer, and this it your chance to hire one.