Why Your Radio Station Needs a Digital Content Manager

I recently received an e-mail from a station owner asking what the title of their digital point person should be.  And it’s great they are asking this question because it means they are putting a bigger priority on their digital assets.  When I worked at Clear Channel, just before it became iHeartMedia, one of my many titles was “Digital Content Manager” or “Digital Content Coordinator” or “Digital Content Director” depending on who you talked to.

In very large organizations, this could be any number of different titles depending on if there is more emphasis on any particular area.  Some positions may cover an organization’s social media channel only while other positions require the person to cover social media, maintain the website and even get into areas of video production for online viewing.

Much like a Program Director is the point person when it comes to everything on-air at a radio station, a Digital Content Manager will be the point person when it comes to everything online.  We recommend that every radio station or group have one “go-to” person with this title or this responsibility.  Without this singular point person within your company, making your online content efforts a priority, it’s going to be more difficult to make content a priority moving forward.  You can’t expect 100% results from something that you’re only putting partial effort and focus into.

What Does a Digital Content Manager Do?

Workello.com has a terrific job description template for you: https://workello.com/digital-content-director-job-description/.  You can also do a search for “Digital Content” across bigger radio companies, to get ideas from their descriptions as well.

Essentially, a Digital Content Manager is responsible for monitoring and improving brand awareness within content across all digital platforms.  If it’s online, then your Digital Content Manager will either be proficient at it or have a working knowledge of it.  For example, they may be experts in keeping the website and social media current but may not be experts in your station’s online stream.  However, they do know how everything works together.

Digital Content Managers analyze current media and industry trends to develop marketing techniques that will raise listener engagement and attract potential new advertising clients. They also monitor and manage web traffic, conversions, organic search optimization, content marketing, and email marketing.

Digital Content Manager Responsibilities

Here are some responsibilities of a typical Digital Content Manager.

– Maintain functionality of websites, social media accounts, mobile apps, and other web-based products and programs

Obviously, this position covers the day-to-day website maintenance for the radio station(s).  They will also hold the keys to all social media properties and know by whom and how often social media posts are being made.

They will know the ins and outs of how the mobile app works.  How to put content on the mobile app and how to get content and reports from the mobile app platform.

“Other web-based products” refers to any other website or service that assists in your online efforts like your e-mail newsletter provider, licensed image library, third-party banner ads provider, etc.

– Build custom local and sales web portal pages/sites

Ideally, the Digital Content Manager will have some basic web design skills that can be improved over time.  These skills will be required to create pages or even full websites.  Even if you partner with a website service like Skyrocket Radio for your website, your Digital Content Manager can assist in smaller projects that might cost much more from a service provider.

We’ve seen companies grow one Digital Content Manager into a small team to help their radio clients.  Eventually, that team builds the website for the radio station group.

– Administer and maintains media assets

Your Production Director likely knows everywhere to put their hands on any sound effect or piece of production music.  The Digital Content Manager will know the same thing regarding online assets.  For example, they will not allow the use of any copyrighted image to be used online without the proper authorization.  They will know where to produce those authorizations if the need ever comes up.

– Monitor web applications for performance and capacity

It’s important that your website is fast and that everyone is doing their part to ensure that it loads fast.  The Digital Content Manager runs periodic tests to ensure the website and mobile apps load quickly and determine what might be slowing things down.  If any issues are found, they work to resolve them quickly.

– Work closely with Digital Sales Manager, Graphic Designers, and Program Directors to execute creative online promotions/contests

Unless your Continuity Director is fluent with scheduling banner ads on the station website, the Digital Content Manager might ensure these are scheduled and placed properly.  They will also work with the Promotions and Program Directors to ensure all contests, events, and promotions are properly executed across all digital platforms.  They’ll also pull online winners and generate engagement reports.

– Develop and oversee digital advertising campaigns to increase brand awareness, drive qualified traffic, and boost sales within a marketing budget

This includes email marketing, SEO, SEM, SMO, and paid advertising.  If your radio station is using Google Ads, Facebook Ads or you’re advertising your content on any other platform, the Digital Content Manager will be helping to oversee the effectiveness of these campaigns and ensure they remain under budget.  They may do A/B testing to see what kinds of ads work best for your audience as well.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a valuable way to boost your brand visibility across multiple platforms. The best content is high-quality content that is optimized to leverage your SEO, both local and global.

When your Digital Content Manager is well versed in SEO, it will ensure that you get the most out of any online campaign. This can lead to higher rankings, better brand recognition, and an expanded market.

– Provide leadership and direction by establishing online content goals and developing brand guidelines, core messaging, strategies, policies, and processes.

It’s important that everything you do online positively reflects and affects the radio station brand. When your team doesn’t have a beacon to go by, then there’s no telling what they will post.  That could negatively affect how your listeners feel about your station.

The Digital Content Manager will ensure that everyone is reaching for a specific goal while using a common tone in their writing, using the same image sizes, same style, colors, and station logo, and ensuring everyone know the importance of SEO best practices.

– Perform thorough market research and competitive analysis to identify industry trends and best practices and apply them to a content marketing strategy.

For example, your Digital Content Manager should know that video is becoming one of the most essential forms of marketing content.  In particular, live video is a very important channel for any business to engage with their customers in real-time.

Also, you may have read recently that younger demographics are fleeing from Facebook.  This is important information if your target demo is 18-25 because it means all that effort you are pouring into Facebook is not giving you as much return.
The ideal Digital Content Manager will stay up to date on trends as it relates to your target demo and recommend or implement changes to ensure your brand is properly present in the right spaces.

– Analyze the performance of our digital marketing initiatives, generate detailed reports, and identify areas for improvement

If you do not run periodic reports on how well your website, e-mail newsletter, and social media assets are performing, then it’s impossible to know what you should be focusing on to move the needle.

The Digital Content Manager will review periodic reports and suggest/implement strategies to improve performance across all platforms.

Qualifications of a Digital Content Manager

As we’ve shown, a Digital Content Manager needs to be up to date on current technology and trends and able to grasp and implement new technology and trends quickly.

They will also need:

  • A genuine love and excitement about the internet and trending topics
  • Experience in coding languages like HTML, PHP, CSS, and Javascript
  • Working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, and Illustrator
  • Proficient in office applications
  • Proficient in current and emerging social networking platforms
  • Functional knowledge of interactive technologies and trends
  • Ability to learn new technology quickly
  • Ability to plan, organize and perform in a team-oriented environment, sharing projects, knowledge, and experience
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; excellent grammar; strong writing and editing skills
  • Ability to function under stress & be flexible when working on multiple projects with deadlines
  • A high degree of attention to detail and optimal work standards
  • Desire to grow and develop additional skills
  • Photography and videography skills are a plus.

Where Does the Digital Content Manager Fall in the Station Hierarchy?

This can vary from station to station and market size.  In most markets, the Digital Content Manager reports directly to the Operations Manager and General Manager.  In this case, think of a radio station as having two Program Directors – one for everything on-air and one for everything online – both agreeing on the direction to take the station.  This doesn’t mean selecting a Digital Content Manager for each station.  A station group should only have one Digital Content Manager.

In other markets, the Operations Manager or Program Director oversees more of the high-level duties like setting guidelines and best practices.  They will stay up to date on new technology and trends that affect their particular audience and target demographic and keep everyone on the same page.

In these cases, the title of the person in charge of overseeing the website and social media assets should be called the “Digital Content Coordinator” because they are simply implementing what the managers direct.  Of course, the same required skills should apply to both of these positions.

Time to Assign/Hire a Digital Content Manager

Staying on top of all of your digital content and managing your online assets can be overwhelming and time-consuming.  Digital Content Managers take charge of all content on your station(s) website, social media, and other digital platforms.

The best managers can make sure your content marketing game is on point and save you time and money.  They will ensure that you’re keeping up with current trends and maximizing everything you’re doing online.  That includes engaging with your listeners and targeting new audiences.

The first step is to have a great website and we’d love to partner with you on that.  Reach out to us at skyrocketradio.com

Jim Sherwood serves as the chief creative, brand strategist, lead developer, meticulous project manager, and station collaborator for all Skyrocket Radio sites and projects. Jim is a 30+ year radio veteran with a resume spanning several small, medium, and large markets including roles as Digital Content Manager, Program Director, Production Manager, and Morning Show Host.