Content Manager: Brief Description
The role of a content manager is to oversee and coordinate the digital content that is published on a website or blog. They are responsible for the website’s content strategy and for publishing new content and removing older content so that the site information remains fresh and up-to-date. In many cases, a content manager will make use of content management system (CMS) to assist with their day-to-day tasks.
Some of the more specific responsibilities which may be taken on by a content manager include sourcing content creators, creating content themselves, publishing content, editing content and removing content. However, in addition to performing these various key tasks, there is also an element of planning involved in the role, as content managers must develop a content strategy which is in line with site or business aims and objectives.
Content Manager: Detailed Description
Websites need a steady flow of content to keep visitors engaged and businesses also need content for digital marketing purposes, as it can assist with search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing and social selling. However, a scatter-gun approach to content creation is rarely the best tactic and instead, an element of planning, organisation and strategy is usually required to achieve the ideal results.
The job of designing and implementing a coherent, comprehensive content strategy usually falls on the shoulders of a dedicated content manager. This person will typically make use of CMS platforms, such as WordPress and Typo3, in order to publish, remove, organise and make adjustments to the content that is placed on the website. Moreover, the role will typically involve using analytics to monitor the performance of the content that has been published.
Although there are similarities with other roles, dedicated digital content management jobs first appeared during the 1990s, but increased in number after the turn of the 21st century. This coincided with concepts like SEO, blogging and content marketing becoming more mainstream, traditional advertising and marketing channels decreasing in effectiveness and print media declining in terms of popularity.
A content manager may create content for a business personally, or they may lead a team of in-house content writers. Alternatively, some content managers choose to source content from external content creators. Regardless of the exact strategy, the content manager will usually have ultimate say over what content is published, when it is published, whereabouts on the site it appears and how long it appears there for.
If the website allows users to add comments, it may be the responsibility of the content manager to moderate these comments sections. Furthermore, content managers may also be responsible for editing any published content, to ensure it is in-keeping with website style guidelines, to optimise it for maximum search engine visibility and to ensure it does not break any rules or laws, or risk accusations of plagiarism.
In many ways, content manager jobs have a lot in common with editorial roles. However, there is also a technical and strategic element to the role, because content managers need to understand content marketing concepts. Therefore, the tasks associated with the role can be very broad-ranging and may also differ quite significantly from one website to another, depending on the nature of the site and the associated business strategy.
When it comes to content marketing and SEO, some of the tasks that may be expected of a content management professional include optimising titles and meta descriptions, editing content to include targeted keywords or backlinks to affiliates, and deciding when and how the content will be shared across social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, some of these tasks may be allocated to a dedicated SEO specialist instead.
Finally, a content manager may be expected to help the website’s technical team with any layout changes, help the website owner or business to identify new content-related opportunities and find ways to re-purpose existing content.
Qualifications and Skills
Although there are few mandatory requirements to become a content editor for a website, permanent jobs at large companies will usually require previous editorial experience and some level of content marketing expertise, such as previous work experience in the area. It will often be necessary to demonstrate the ability to effectively manage digital content, so most content managers will have previously managed content for smaller websites or blogs.
In terms of formal qualifications, there are unlikely to be any compulsory requirements, but degrees in journalism, marketing, digital communication, publishing or media studies are likely to be advantageous. Many content managers begin their careers as content creators, or content editors, and progress up the ranks. It may also be possible to gain experience as an assistant, or through an internship, which may provide on-the-job training.
Strong candidates will possess excellent language and written communication skills, while knowledge of digital marketing concepts like search engine optimisation will be highly desirable. Careers in content management are provided by small-scale websites, start-up firms and large businesses, while agency work may also be available. The salary for a content manager will vary, depending on the size of the employer and the amount of content.
The role of content manager emerged during the 1990s, but has gained popularity in more recent times, thanks to the increased awareness of concepts like content marketing and search engine optimisation, and the decline of traditional marketing methods and print media. A content manager will typically oversee the entire content strategy for a website or business, including planning, creation, distribution, optimisation and management.
Content managers may take responsibility for creating content themselves, delegate to a team of internal content writers, utilise external content creators, or operate a system where a combination of these things occurs. Specific tasks that may form part of the content manager’s role include writing content, coordinating content, editing content, publishing content, re-purposing content and sharing content on social media platforms.
In terms of skills and qualifications, knowledge of SEO, content marketing and popular content management systems is usually required, while experience in editorial or digital marketing positions will be advantageous.