Having a strong website is a necessity for any business or nonprofit organization, which is why web developers remain in such high demand. But developers are only half of the equation; it's digital content producers who furnish websites with articles, descriptions, bios, lists, photography, videos, sound clips, music, and more. Their goal: to create consistent, high-quality, topical content that keeps users coming back, encouraging them to choose this site over any of the internet’s myriad other distractions.
Digital content producers must be skilled writers and editors, with a strong grasp of grammar, style, and on-brand writing.
As for many newly created positions in the field of digital marketing, there's no universal job description for digital content producers. Some content writers receive specific assignments, while others write to general guidelines or produce and publish articles, listicles, surveys, and more with few content guidelines. In addition to writing text, digital content producers might also work with images, videos, GIFs, music, and new media like livestreaming or VR. While some content producers create their own visual or auditory content, others simply curate, drawing from a wide range of sources and combining them in a way that feels current, engaging, and expressive. Additionally, like their cousins, social media managers, digital content producers are sometimes asked to create content for social media channels.
Digital Content Producer at a Glance
Digital content producers generally have at least an undergraduate degree. They are well served by a broad liberal arts education, but field of study doesn't matter nearly as much as demonstrating a high level of writing and editorial ability, and meshing well with the site's content goals. Most digital content producers start out as freelancers and work on a contractual basis, but may go on to join a writing or editorial team full-time. Experienced digital content producers might transition into related fields such as social media management, journalism, marketing, or interactive media design.
Digital content producers might be hired by any company with a site that requires a large amount or constant stream of newly created web-based content. This can include media companies like radio stations, television stations, newspapers, internet media sites, and blogging sites, as well as publishing companies, museums, record labels, music merchandisers, and even companies that create hardware or software products.
Positions can generally be found on job listing websites like LinkedIn, Monster, and Glassdoor. If none can be found, don't underestimate the value of cold-emailing the team behind a content-driven website to inquire about openings—particularly if one sees a way the site's content could be improved.
- Writing (both copy and written communications)
- Editorial skills
- Web research
- Publishing using a Content Management System (CMS)
- Microsoft Office suite
- Photo and/or video editing
- Knowledge of current events
Digital content producers must be skilled, flexible, and critical writers and editors with a strong grasp of grammar, style, voice, and brand. If writing on topics outside their area of specialization, strong web research skills are vital. They frequently work remotely and without much direct supervision, so time management skills and the ability to self direct are important. Being tapped into current events, the cultural zeitgeist, and the latest web-based communication techniques is a plus.
Digital content producers either work as freelancers, in which case they likely work when and where they wish, or as members of a company's marketing or web team, in which case they may work set hours from an office. Travel is unlikely unless one is assigned to cover a specific event for a news-type site.