Why is Everybody so Confused: What Content Managers Actually Do? by@innaponomarenko

Why is Everybody so Confused: What Content Managers Actually Do?

Market participants have a different understanding of what is a content manager and what is their scope of responsibility. The word "content" in the profession name is often misunderstood to be a copywriter or rewriter and also an SEO specialist. A content manager's goal is to manage the content, not to create or promote it. The key to success is to keep the balance and distribute the zones of responsibility between the specialists. A literate content manager would remove a part of the load from the testers, layout designers, and developers.
Inna HackerNoon profile picture


Manager of content department at Kavichki [email protected]

If you run a search for a "content manager" on the Internet, you will not get a clear understanding of what they do and what skills they are expected to have. It so happened that all market participants have a different understanding of what is a content manager and what is their scope of responsibility.

Very often this specialist is misunderstood to be a copywriter or rewriter and also an SEO specialist. I think that the misunderstanding is caused by the word "content" in the profession name. Some people attribute one or two functions to this profession, while others believe that a content manager does all the things described above: writing a text, uploading it to the admin panel, and promoting it in the search results as well.

A copywriter, rewriter, and SEO specialist are separate professions. Of course, a content manager may have some knowledge in these spheres as there are never too many skills. However, their goal is different, namely to manage the content, not to create or promote it. Everyone wants an employee who would do all work of several specialists at once. Of course, it is possible to find a person who would agree to take up all work with the content and its promotion, but how qualitative their work will be on the whole? Each employee shall do what he or she specializes in and focus on a certain sphere.

Saving on specialists results in a short-term profit only because it will negatively affect the work quality. It is much more efficient for business to keep the balance and distribute the zones of responsibility between the specialists. An SEO specialist, a copywriter, and a content manager may work together and the result of such team work for the business will be better than if the whole work was done by one person.

Tasks and skills

So, we have realized that the determining word in this profession is not "content" but "manager". With that in mind, let us discuss the knowledge and skills a content manager should possess.


  • To manage the already existing content;

  • To adapt it for the placement on the site, for example, to arrange the type of text, and to bring the images to the required proportions, size, and weight.

  • To update the content;

  • To place content by means of CMS (for example, WordPress and up to self-made)

    and also, if necessary, to transfer it from one CMS into another;

  • To control the correct display of the placed content.

    To do all this, a content manager shall:

  • Be familiarized with the most used CMS: WordPress, InSales, etc., and also be ready to learn new things and work with self-made CMS.

  • Be able to use graphic editors;

  • Know HTML.

There is a myth that a content manager is a humanitarian sphere but it is incorrect. A content manager is currently more technical than a humanitarian specialist. In the process of recruitment, we have faced a problem that the prospective employees are more into humanities without any knowledge of the basics of HTML and believe that the use of a graphic editor allows ignoring this aspect of work. Such an approach is not serious. A literate content manager shall understand the code at least at the level of structure, thus they remove a part of the load from the testers, layout designers, and developers. They do not need explanations regarding why, for example, the layout of the page with published content is amiss. They would be able to correct it on their own or to understandably state and describe the problem for the developer or layout designer.

Role of a content manager for business

Most often if business profit directly depends on the efficiency and quality of work with the content on its web resource, a content manager is needed. Of course, this is the case with the online stores, entertainment portals, promo sites, corporate sites, and information portals. Constant and literate content management is critical for such a business.

So, what is the use of content manager for business:

  • Regular update of content and website filling with qualitative content

    In the growing competition of the digital environment, a business has just a few seconds to grasp the attention of a client and make them stay at its resource. What the website looks like and the level of attractiveness of content play a huge role in it. A vivid example is an online store, in which the work of the content manager influences the decision on a purchase. Recall your own experience, when you see a website with pixel images and varying fonts you lose the trust in this store immediately. Here is how such a trifle like, for example, varying fonts in one text, leads to a loss of clients.

  • Prevention of loss-making bugs on the website

    Constantly working with a certain website (for example, periodically placing commodities in the online store or publishing news on the corporate portal), a content manager knows the weaknesses and can swiftly detect the problems, which could remain unnoticed by other employees for a rather long time. For example, while performing our tasks, we repeatedly detect malfunctions hindering business (disabled buttons, broken links, outdated content).

    We can describe the role of a content manager in a team with the use of the following analogy: if a website is a human organism, then the developer creates a skeleton, the layout designer covers it with muscles and skin, the tester makes sure that all vital systems are functioning, and the content manager fills the organism with blood.

Where to look for content managers

The employers have varying points of view over the scope of duties of a content manager, which may give rise to a misunderstanding with the applicants for the job. First of all, it is necessary to understand what employee you need and for what tasks. If, for example, you understand that, for your tasks, you need an employee for the constant generation of content, then you need a copywriter and it would be at least strange to expect him or her to understand your CMS. In this case, the best option is a copywriter working together with a content manager.

It is very important to outline the tasks and to clearly understand which specialist and for the performance of what tasks you need, otherwise the recruitment results may fall short of expectations.

Where to look for a content manager:

  • The first and the most evident places are job-seeking websites, freelance marketplaces, and social media, for example, Linkedin. But there is a small problem here: the specialists, like the employers, understand the essence of the work of a content manager differently. Therefore, it is very important to carefully outline the job requirements. Selecting a specialist, pay attention to the technical skills: what CMS they can work with, whether they have any skills in graphic editors use, and whether they have any basic understanding of HTML.

  • The second and, in my opinion, more proven option is the specialized agencies. These can be the full cycle agencies providing the content management services among others or the agencies with a narrow specialization, for example, like our agency (outsource testing and QA), which provide the high quality, including through content management. Of course, it is important to understand that these are the options to find not a staff member but an outsourced specialist.

But there are many advantages as well:

  • a specialist will be trained and possess boosted skills, therefore they will know the technical aspect as well as all ins and outs of content management.

  • a content manager working in a team with testers and other IT specialists understands how all processes of work with a website (update, testing, etc.) are interconnected, therefore they will be able to timely report a problem to the team, suggest an improvement, and sometimes even correct en error on their own.

An important rule of qualitative work is not to dump onto a specialist any duties beyond their competence. It is an illusion that a person can assume the work of several employees and manage it. The quality of your website shows how much you value your clients and whether your business is ready to invest in client retention. A content manager is a specialist who knows your website inside out, all its weaknesses and strengths. Working together with other specialists (SEO specialists, copywriters, testers, etc.), they help the business retain the clients on your resource through qualitative and regular content management.

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