Having a strong website is a necessity for any business, which is why web developers remain in such high demand. But developers, who design and code the structure and interactivity of websites, are only half of the equation; it's digital content producers who flesh out the frame with articles, descriptions, bios, lists, photography, videos, sound clips, music, and more. The goal of any website is to provide high-quality and consistent content that keeps people coming back, encouraging them to choose the site over the internet’s myriad other distractions, and digital content producers lead this charge.
Digital content producers must be skilled writers and editors, with a strong grasp of grammar, style, and on-brand writing.
As with many newly created positions in the field of digital marketing, exactly what digital content producers are hired to do is still up for debate. What is clear is that all digital content producers are skilled writers and editors who know how to produce and revise written content and publish it using a content management system (CMS). Some content producers receive specific assignments, while others write to general guidelines, or produce and publish articles freely, with very little oversight. In addition to writing text, digital content producers also work with images, videos, GIFs, and music, which may occupy their own pages or be mixed into longer text-based posts, functioning to break up the reading experience. Some content producers create their own visual or auditory content, while others simply curate, drawing from communal sources in a way that feels current and engaging. 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 have usually attained at least an undergraduate degree, but this doesn't need to be focused in a specific field as long as the content producer can demonstrate a high level of writing and editorial ability. Most digital content producers are freelance and do work on a contractual basis. Some digital content producers go on to join a writing or digital marketing team full-time, or transition into related fields, like social media management or journalism.
It's a solid bet that any website that needs a constant stream (or a single large upload) of web-based content will be hiring digital content producers. This can include radio stations, television stations, newspapers, publishers, museums, record labels, retail companies, digital media companies, and even some blogging platforms. These jobs can be found on listing websites like LinkedIn, by word of mouth, or simply by cold-emailing the team at any content-driven website.
- Writing (both copy and written communications)
- Content Management Systems (CMS)
- Microsoft Office
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Photo editing
- Video editing
- HTML, XML, or CSS
- Web analytics
Digital content producers must be extremely self-motivated and self-directed, as they usually work remotely and without much direct supervision. They must also be particularly skilled and flexible writers and editors, with a strong grasp of grammar, style, voice, and on-brand writing. Strong research skills can be vital, especially if writing on topics outside of one’s usual interests. Finally, it's important to find a good balance between speed and consistency in one's writing, as leaning too heavily in one direction will make employers unlikely to rehire.
Digital content producers are usually freelancers, and may be paid hourly or at a flat rate for deliverables such as articles or product descriptions. Sometimes they join a company's marketing or web staff and receive a salary. In most cases, digital content producers can set their own hours and work remotely; this freedom, which enables content producers to easily combine the work with other part-time jobs or creative endeavors, is considered to be one of the career's greatest perks.