The profession of content manager has changed over the past few years. But what does a content manager actually do? Where does he work? And what qualifications should he or she have? This article will give you a detailed picture of the job of a content manager.
Some professions are self-explanatory by their name. But there are professions that are not so clear. And you wonder what kind of tasks you have in these professions. And what a career in them looks like. This is particularly true of professions that have appeared on the scene as a result of digitization or have changed significantly as a result. Content manager is one of them.
Definition Content Manager
Planning, creation and optimization. These are the keywords that the content manager deals with in his job. He or she manages digital content on websites, blogs and in newsletters, as well as podcasts and videos, and supports areas such as marketing and sales. In short, he or she handles all content management (CM).
The spectrum of tasks ranges from editorial activities to simple programming. The work as a content manager has changed, especially due to new media landscapes and marketing strategies. Years ago, he managed print content. With increasing digitization, it became digital content, which he initially managed more from a technical perspective. In the meantime, the content manager has evolved more into a comprehensive content creator and all-rounder.
Industries and companies: Where do content managers work?
At the core, however, the content manager still ensures that visitors find a company’s website interesting and appealing. They extend the lifecycle of content and create new content. This also applies to other digital media. Content managers are native to many industries. Classically, they work in the media industry. They are therefore at home in editorial offices, publishing houses, advertising and design agencies, PR and multimedia agencies, and find jobs in journalism as well as marketing. Especially in marketing, large industrial companies that want to control their own web presences are looking for content managers. In such companies, they are the interface between departments and web presences. Last but not least, content managers work for software developers. Here they help develop software, for example content management systems (CMS), and take care of usability. The wide range of applications gives you an idea: The tasks of a content manager are very different and varied. This also leads to the fact that synonymous terms such as web content manager, online editor and website administrator are used. A brief overview once again shows the main areas of application:
- Online media
- Editorial offices
- Publishing houses
- Advertising and design agencies
- PR and multimedia agencies
- software developers
- industrial companies
Tasks: What does a content manager do?
In the job profile, as mentioned, the main focus is on managing content on websites and other digital channels of the company. However, he is not only responsible for creating the content. His work is more conceptual in nature. First and foremost, the content manager plans topics and content and creates content hubs, for example. Depending on the organization, the content manager either creates the content himself or delegates it to others. To do this, he or she must instruct employees and external editors. This also applies to search engine optimization (SEO). The job description also includes the ongoing optimization of content and websites. Last but not least, the content manager plans new websites from the ground up. Market and target group analyses are therefore just as much a part of his job description as editorial maintenance. The management of social media such as Facebook or Twitter and performance marketing can also fall within the remit of a content manager.
The job also includes close coordination with other departments such as IT, marketing or sales. At the same time, the content manager must work with internal and external stakeholders to plan content. In addition to content maintenance, he or she usually manages and optimizes related software and processes. This includes, for example, the content management system (CMS). Learn more about content management systems and read our content management systems comparison. Therefore, programming may also be part of the content manager’s jobs. Via the CMS, he ultimately maintains the image, text and multimedia content on the corporate channels.
The focus of the tasks can vary greatly for the content manager. It depends on the organization and the industry. And the content manager’s professional experience also influences his or her job. In simple terms, the typical tasks for this job description are:
- Data collection and analysis regarding target groups and markets
- Conception and planning of digital content (website, blog, newsletter, etc.)
- Online editing: create content yourself and/or manage external editors
- Publication of content on company channels
- Planning new web presences and managing existing ones
- Optimize workflows and train employees (e.g. in CMS, SEO)
- Set up and manage content management systems (CMS)
- Contact and collaborate with other departments (marketing, sales, IT, etc.), customers and partners
- Take care of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter & Co.
Requirements for the Content Manager
What education should the content manager have? To start with: there are many ways to become a content manager. This means that there is no such thing as “the” training or “the” degree for the job of content manager. You can learn the job in different ways. Nevertheless, anyone interested in becoming a content manager should have successfully completed a related course of study or further training. Typical courses of study from which content managers emerge include:
- Media studies such as media business or media design
- PR and public relations
- Communication studies
Related majors or fields of study are also possible. Someone who wants to do the job of content manager should also use the time in their studies for appropriate internships, for example in marketing.
In addition to a normal course of study, distance learning courses or continuing education courses can be considered for the job description. This is especially the case if knowledge and experience in the areas of online, media and marketing are already available. The type of further education or degree can therefore vary individually. What is important is the overall picture. And that is composed specifically of professionally necessary knowledge. In this profession, these include:
- Sovereign technical knowledge: CMS (e.g. Typo3, WordPress, but also Enterprise CMS), HTML, CSS
- Know-How in search engine optimization (SEO)
- Editorial experience
- Knowledge in image and video editing
- Experience in dealing with usability of websites
- Experience with social media channels
- Knowledge in data protection
Since he or she is in close contact with departments, partners as well as customers, the content manager should also demonstrate organizational skills, strong communication skills and the ability to work in a team. Analytical thinking is a core competence in order to plan and create content tailored to target groups. In the editorial field, he or she should therefore have excellent writing skills and creativity.
What does a content manager earn?
Similar to the range of tasks, the salary of a content manager also varies depending on the industry, company size, location and professional experience. The nature of the tasks is also reflected in the salary. According to the job portal StepStone, average earnings in these jobs are around 38,000 euros. The lower limit is around 31,000 euros – even for junior content managers. In the upper range, salaries range from 37,000 euros for a junior to around 45,000 euros for a content manager. A senior content manager earns an average of 56,000 euros. Depending on the company, industry and region, a senior can earn up to 65,800 euros a year, according to StepStone.
Career prospects:Where does Content Manager go?
Basically, content managers are in demand wherever digital content plays a role. Many companies are increasingly relying on their own blogs. Wikis and online magazines are becoming increasingly popular. As a result, more and more content managers are being sought to plan and create topics and manage digital channels. So things are looking good for jobs in this area. And in terms of career, content managers can also move up over time. The chances of advancement depend on the area of application. With some professional experience, for example, he or she can take over team leadership or become a responsible editor. If they are part of a marketing or PR department, they can also become the head of that department.