Death to Content: Long Live the Editor!

[responsive]old-man-writing-with-skull[/responsive]Look at any good size marketing department and you’ll probably find a content marketing manager, an online content developer, copywriters and such, but what about a professional editor?

That role, or what passes for that role, is often handled by a supervisor with “veto” authority and a C-suite agenda, but is there really any serious editorial oversight in most of the companies that have turned themselves into content machines?

“A good editor establishes a fair, consistent point of view. They bring priorities, standards. They understand when to say no — and why,” explains Maximillian Tatton-Brown in Econsultancy, and it’s this role that is sadly neglected in today’s modern content departments.

“It’s not an instinct that everyone has. And marketers need to get a grip on this fact,” continued Tatton-Brown. “Too many marketing teams are kidding themselves that they can write, interview, or unlock the extra essence that takes the finished product to the next level.

Editors also understand the importance of metrics, and what they really mean, without the hype so rampant in digital content development (i.e. how many “likes” can this thing get?). As Tatton-Brown notes, “good editors know how to measure progress and success. But they don’t just enslave themselves to making arbitrary numbers bigger.

“Great editors know form and content are two sides of the same coin. In publishing, we’re seeing a grand resurgence of open-minded experimentation with how you present a story.”

Without strong editorial oversight, that content is far less likely to stand out and make an impression.

“They find a balance between instinct and iteration, confident enough to take chances and walk a more irrational path where their intuition dictates. But cautious enough never to lead everyone off the cliff,” says Tatton-Brown.

If your team is producing content, consider if this role is adequately filled. If not, it might be time to do some retooling. There is no substitute for that strong editorial hand.