Social Media Manager vs Social Media Strategist | Who Should You Hire for Your Brand?
Social Media Manager vs Social Media Strategist | Who Should You Hire for Your Brand?

Digital content managers play a crucial role in companies spanning practically every industry today. They’re responsible for managing websites, e-commerce stores, and other digital properties (even crossing into the social media arena in some cases), building digital content and ensuring that content is up-to-date while maintaining brand consistency. Naturally, this process is a team effort, and digital content managers are typically tasked with managing a team of content creators, graphic designers, and other professionals, while interfacing with marketing, sales, advertising, and other departments.

Those demands don’t even touch on the complexity of managing the content itself. Consider the many digital content formats (copy, images, videos, infographics, slide decks, etc.) and channels (blogs, websites, every social media network, etc.) and you can start to appreciate just how complex the role of a digital content manager truly is.

A robust digital asset management solution like MerlinOne is a sanity-saver for digital content managers, making it possible to centralize your digital asset library, manage the many versions of every piece of digital content, automate approval workflows, and more. Download our white paper, The Content Lifecycle, below to learn more about how you can leverage a DAM to scale your digital content efforts, coordinate the content creation process, and manage your distribution efforts.

Digital data is growing at an unprecedented rate – 90% of all digital data was created in the last two years alone – meaning the demand for highly qualified digital content managers is greater than ever. We took a look at the career landscape for digital content management professionals, including salary data, qualifications, and certifications to gain some deeper insights into this increasingly important role.

  • An Overview of Digital Content Managers
  • Qualifications for Digital Content Managers
  • Certifications for Digital Content Managers
  • Salary Information for Digital Content Managers

An Overview of Digital Content Managers

Digital content managers may have a number of job titles. While the specific responsibilities of these roles vary from company to company, there are several job titles that are often used to describe roles with similar responsibilities, such as:

  • Digital Media Manager
  • Digital Content & Campaigns Marketing Manager
  • Digital Content Specialist
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Digital Content Planner
  • Digital Content Production Specialist
  • Content Marketing Manager
  • Digital Producer
  • Web Content Specialist
  • Online Marketing Director
  • Online Marketing Specialist

Many digital content managers begin their careers as content creators before taking on the greater responsibilities that come with the digital content manager role. Having experience as a content creator is an important qualification, as digital content managers who have a deep understanding of the content creation process understand the challenges and are better able to work collaboratively with creators to overcome hurdles and develop solutions.

Digital content managers must have a strong background in marketing, as they regularly work with marketing team members to develop digital content strategies in alignment with broader marketing campaigns and company goals. That includes working with the social media manager to identify digital content needs for each channel and devising a content strategy that creates a seamless, cohesive experience across channels, as well as ensuring that all digital content is aligned with brand identity guidelines.

Of course, exceptional writing talent is a must, as the digital content manager is heavily involved in the writing and editing process for all digital content, including everything from developing project plans and creative briefs to creating content aligned with target keywords. Some technical skills are also required, as digital content managers are often tasked with repurposing content for different mediums.

Above all, though, digital content managers must be exceptionally organized. From spreadsheets to editorial calendars, there’s a substantial amount of planning required to develop and execute a digital content strategy – as well as to oversee the many moving parts that must work seamlessly for flawless execution. Many digital content managers rely on project management tools to better manage all those moving parts.

Qualifications for Digital Content Managers

Most companies look for candidates with content production experience, management experience, and a background in digital marketing. After all, it takes a seasoned professional with a robust set of skills to manage all of those tasks and responsibilities efficiently. Other qualifications employers typically seek include:

  • A minimum of five years’ experience in digital content production
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Experience using content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress or Drupal a
  • Working knowledge of digital tools like Google Analytics and social media management tools
  • Working knowledge of HTML and search engine optimization (SEO) concepts
  • Working knowledge of basic image editing and photo manipulation techniques
  • Project management experience

Some employers require several years of experience in a marketing-related role, and some prefer candidates with several years of agency experience under their belt.

There’s no single educational path to becoming a digital content manager, although the most successful digital content managers have degrees in marketing, communications, English, or public relations-related fields. A bachelor’s degree is almost always required, and candidates with MBAs or advanced degrees in relevant fields of study may have a competitive advantage – but not over candidates with many years of real-world, hands-on experience. Common undergraduate majors include:

  • Journalism
  • English
  • Marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Communications and Public Relations
  • Mass Communications
  • Integrated Strategic Communication
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Media Studies
  • Public Relations & Advertising
  • Applied Communications
  • Communications & Writing

In addition to formal degree programs, there are many certifications digital content managers can pursue to expand their skillsets. Nothing replaces proven, real-world experience, but the right credentials can help digital content managers increase their earnings potential by making them more attractive to prospective employers – particularly companies looking for qualified candidates with expertise in a particular area, such as analytics. We’ll discuss certifications in more detail below.

A digital asset management solution is a lifeline for digital content managers who need to bring large teams together on the same page and collaborate with other departments. Download our white paper, How a DAM Can Help Marketing Leaders to Unite Their Teams, below to learn more about how MerlinOne’s DAM solution can help you lead a multi-disciplinary team efficiently.

Certifications for Digital Content Managers

Screenshot via Northwestern University

Successful digital content managers have varied skillsets and often have expertise and experience in multiple functional areas, from social media management to copywriting, editing, marketing, branding, and analytics. Because there are few degree programs that adequately prepare graduates with expertise in all of these areas, digital content managers often seek certifications to gain expertise in different disciplines. Plus, as the digital media landscape is always changing, continuing education is a must for digital content managers who want to stay at the top of their field – and maximize their earnings potential.

Here’s a look at just a few of the many certifications that prove valuable for digital content managers seeking to expand their knowledge across functional areas like social media management, digital advertising, copywriting, and other disciplines:

Digital Content Management & Marketing Certifications:

  • Emerson University Digital Content Management Certificate
  • Northwestern University Digital Content Management Certificate
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Managing Digital Content Certificate
  • American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer (PCM®) Program
  • University of San Diego Strategic Online Marketing Certificate
  • University of Denver University College Certificate in Marketing Communication
  • The Digital Marketing Institute Certified Digital Marketing Master
  • GetResponse Digital Marketing Certification
  • HubSpot Academy’s Inbound Sales Certification
  • HubSpot Academy’s Inbound Marketing Certification

Digital Advertising Certifications:

  • Google Academy for Ads
  • Facebook Certified Planning Professional
  • Facebook Certified Buying Professional
  • Bing Ads Certification

Content Marketing & Copywriting Certifications:

  • HubSpot Academy’s Content Marketing Certification
  • University of Washington Certificate in Storytelling and Content Strategy
  • Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer Program
  • CMI Content Marketing University
  • SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting Certification
  • AMA Content Marketing Certificate Program

Email Marketing Certifications:

  • HubSpot Academy’s Email Marketing Certification
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist
  • Digital Marketer Email Marketing Mastery
  • Online Marketing Institute Email Marketing Certification

Marketing Analytics Certifications:

  • Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ)
  • Penn State World Campus Graduate Certificate in Marketing Analytics
  • Digital Analytics Association (DAA) Web Analyst Certification Program™
  • Certified Analytics Professional
  • Digital Marketing Institute Professional Diploma in Search Marketing

Social Media Certifications:

  • Be The Ultimate HootSuite Social Media Marketing Manager
  • HubSpot Social Media Certification
  • Twitter Flight School
  • Georgetown University Certificate in Social Media Management
  • Online Marketing Institute Social Media Marketing Certification

Technology Certifications:

  • HubSpot Marketing Software Certification
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant
  • Salesforce Pardot Specialist
  • Caltech Technology Marketing Certificate Program
  • W3Schools Certifications

As you can see, there are hundreds (possibly thousands) of certifications and advanced training courses – enough to keep any digital content manager constantly learning throughout their career. In addition to pursuing certifications, digital content managers can also learn the latest trends and strategies by attending digital asset management conferences, meetups, and branding conferences.

Now that we’ve talked about the background and experience required for digital content managers, as well as how to increase earnings potential through continuing education, let’s talk about how much digital content managers earn.

Salary Information for Digital Content Managers

Salaries for digital content managers vary widely depending on the industry, the specific job responsibilities, and of course, the professional’s unique qualifications and experience. For instance, a digital content manager responsible for managing a team of 15 content producers will probably earn more than a digital content manager who leads a smaller team – or no team at all. Likewise, an experienced professional with 10 to 15 years of proven, hands-on experience will earn more than a new college graduate.

Average in the U.S. for Digital Content Managers and Related Roles

Screenshot via Glassdoor

According to Glassdoor, the average digital content manager salary in the U.S. is $64,367 per year, ranging from a low of $44,000 to a high of $95,000. Glassdoor also provides average salaries for some of those related job titles we discussed previously:

  • Content Marketing Manager: $81,000/year
  • Digital Producer: $65,000/year
  • Web Content Manager: $64,000/year
  • Web Content Specialist: $52,000/year

Payscale has a lower average salary for digital content managers based on its data: $56,144 per year, with a range of $36,810 to $81,844, and ZipRecruiter’s data reveals a similar average of $55,372 per year. doesn’t have salary data for digital content managers, but it does have data for web content manager salaries. According to this data, a web content manager earns an average of $91,535 to $111,387 per year.

Screenshot via also provides average salary data for a variety of job titles, but digital content manager isn’t currently one of them. However, does offer salary information for several similar roles:

  • Digital Project Manager: $73,571
  • Content Manager: $57,431
  • Digital Strategist: $65,040
  • Web Manager: $66,227
  • Senior Content Manager: $82,557
  • Content Strategist: $66,784

Education Level, Industry and Other Factors

Screenshot via offers several filtering options for getting information about expected pay based on factors such as location, education level, and other factors. Here are the salary ranges for web content managers based on education level:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: $95,812 – $100,593
  • Master’s Degree or MBA: $96,347 – $101,540
  • JD, MD, PhD or Equivalent: $96,881 – $102,487

This data reveals that there’s little difference in salary range for professionals with Master’s degrees or higher compared to those with bachelor’s degrees. According to, these factors can also influence earnings for web content managers:

  • Years of relevant job experience
  • The role the web content manager reports to (manager, director, senior management, CEO or board, etc.)
  • The number of people managed has an easy-to-use personalized salary tool that calculates expected compensation based on these factors. For example, a web content manager with a Master’s degree and 10 years of experience who reports to senior management and manages a team of six to 10 people earns an average of $100,025 per year. Other factors, such as the industry and the company’s number of employees, can further refine the results.

According to LinkedIn, the average digital content manager salary in the U.S. is $58,000, with a range of $38,000 to $90,000 per year. LinkedIn’s data is also broken down by company size:

  • 10,001+ employees: $75,000
  • 1,001 to 10,000 employees: $65,000
  • 201 to 1,000 employees: $58,000
  • 1 to 200 employees: $52,000

And also by industry:

  • Finance: $73,000
  • Healthcare: $71,000
  • Software & IT Services: $66,000
  • Consumer Goods: $65,000
  • Education: $58,000

Digital Content Manager Salaries by Location

While experience, education, industry, and other factors have an impact on how much a digital content manager can earn, one of the biggest influences on salary is location. Digital content managers who work in major metropolitan areas typically have greater earning potential as overall salaries tend to be higher in these areas. However, the cost of living is also higher in bustling cities like New York City and technology hotbeds like Seattle and San Francisco.

Screenshot via ZipRecruiter

To get an idea of where digital content managers earn the most, we took a look at geographic breakdowns from ZipRecruiter and LinkedIn. According to ZipRecruiter’s state-by-state salary average data, these are the top 12 states for digital content managers, based on earnings:

  1. New York: $58,915/year
  2. Massachusetts: $58,645/year
  3. Maryland: $58,55,827/year
  4. California: $55,003/year
  5. Nebraska: $54,388/year
  6. Vermont: $54,185/year
  7. Alaska: $54,000/year
  8. Nevada: $54,000/year
  9. Montana: $54,000/year
  10. North Dakota: $54,000/year
  11. Wyoming: $54,000/year
  12. Idaho: $54,000/year

Earnings potential is lowest for digital content managers in these states (based on ZipRecruiter’s salary data):

  1. North Carolina: $42,573
  2. Florida: $45,483
  3. Arkansas: $46,453
  4. Illinois: $46,732
  5. Michigan: $46,795
  6. Missouri: $46,900
  7. Maine: $47,065
  8. Mississippi: $47,067
  9. Texas: $48,109
  10. New Mexico: $48,358

Screenshot via LinkedIn

The top-paying locations for digital content managers, according to LinkedIn, include:

  1. San Francisco Bay Area: $72,500 /yr (range: $47,000 – $111,000)
  2. Greater New York City Area: $67,000 (range: $42,000 to $99,000)
  3. Greater Seattle Area: $66,200 (range: $39,000 to $112,000)
  4. Washington, D.C. Metro Area: $65,000 (range: $42,000 to $80,000)
  5. Greater Los Angeles Area: $65,000 (range: $48,000 to $88,000)
  6. Greater Atlanta Area: $60,700 (range: $38,000 to $96,000)
  7. Greater Boston Area: $60,100 (range: $40,000 to $89,000)
  8. Greater Chicago Area: $59,300 (range: $40,000 to $88,000)

While there are a variety of factors that impact how much a digital content manager can earn, those who work for larger companies in industries such as technology and healthcare in major metropolitan areas have the most earning potential. Earning certifications in specialized disciplines can take on greater responsibilities, with the possibility of managing a larger team to increase their potential salary. Overall, digital content managers are generally well-compensated, but the biggest perk is the ability to engage in a variety of tasks, from content production to strategy, analytics, social media, and more – meaning the job is never boring!

The most successful digital content managers know how to leverage the right tools to streamline processes. From approval workflows to version control, permissions and access control, and more, a digital asset management solution like MerlinOne can help you transform your marketing and creative operations. Schedule a demo today to find out how!

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