What is Digital Content Management?
Digital content management deals with the storage, organization, indexing and curation of the digital content used by an organization. Digital content can take many forms including text files, documents, graphics, images, animations and audio and video files.
While the most visible type of content management may be web content or streaming media, digital content management is about much more. For many organizations it’s a vital part of their sales, marketing and public relations strategy and a valuable tool for internal management and self-governance. Some types of digital content include:
- Product images and descriptions
- Promotional photos and videos
- Employee headshots and bios
- Social media assets
- User manuals and documentation
- Internal documentation including, manuals, guidelines and procedural checklists
- Sales sheets and presentations
- Health care images such as X-rays and CAT scans
- Branded templates
- CAD/CAM design files
- Industry whitepapers and e-books
- Employee training manuals and videos
- Downloadable apps and software
Because the challenge in managing digital content grows as the quantity increases, digital content management requires the ability to create consistent naming and organizational conventions, manage digital storage, control access and ensure that assets are up to date, properly indexed to track return on investment and meet necessary standards for use.
Digital Content Management Tools and Technology
Managing digital content requires having the right digital content management tools and technology available. Some digital content management technology is intended to be adaptable for the general public and other technologies are industry specific. While there may be some overlap and specialization, content management tools usually fall into one of two categories.
- Content Management System (CMS) – These systems are used to organize and publish content, usually to a customer-facing website or intranet site. Some CMS platforms are optimized for e-commerce, while others are designed to automate marketing tasks like scheduling emails and posting blog content.
- Digital Asset Management System (DAM) – These systems are used to store and organize content internally. A DAM may be used to manage original media files which are more memory intensive, store files related to a specific project, or make it easier for teams to collaborate.
Digital Content Management Roles
There are many roles in the content management lifecycle. Each one is important to the proper management of an organization’s digital content.
- Content Editors – While organizations may have content creators like writers and designers, content editors ensure that content is properly added to the CMS, formatted to meet internal standards and metadata is added for optimal SEO and return on investment.
- Content Approvers – Once a piece of digital content has been edited and added to a content management system, a content approver is responsible for reviewing submitted content, ensuring it’s valid, accurate, meets legal standards and is of acceptable quality, then scheduling and publishing the content.
- Site Planners and Developers – A good content management system requires careful planning. Site planners are often experienced user experience (UX) designers and information architects who know how to create a content management system that is easy to use and navigate for both internal and external users.
- Content Administrators and Managers – Content administrators and managers are responsible for the content management system’s continued operation to ensure that permission to use and access content is carefully regulated, and workflows are properly managed. They may also serve in an information technology role, ensuring that the content management system is working using the organization’s existing network infrastructure.
To learn more about different roles in digital content management, visit our Digital Content Management Careers page.
Digital Content Management Industry Trends
As organizations digitize more of their content and use it for increasingly diverse reasons, the digital content management industry is expected to grow to keep pace. Some reports estimate that the digital asset management market will grow by 13% annually between 2020 and 2026 and the digital content market will grow 17% annually by 2030. Some of the forces that are driving this growth include:
- Integrated and User-Friendly Systems – As digital content management systems evolve to be accessible by more users, organizations will need powerful, easy-to-use, intuitive solutions to manage these assets. Software developers, user experience designers and information system experts will be needed to create these systems and ensure that they can evolve to meet future challenges.
- Analytics and Return on Investment – For many organizations, digital content is more than information; it is an asset that can either be sold directly, improve sales, benefit marketing and public relations and enhance customer relations management. For organizations to understand how to get maximum return on investment from their content, they will need data analysts and data scientists who can track the impact of content in the present and predict the trends for content in the future.
- Cloud-Based Systems – Whether it’s work-from-home or work-from-abroad, as workforces become more distributed, there will be a greater need for them to access digital content remotely. Cloud-based content management systems are making it easier to share and access content on the go, and software engineers, business information technology specialists and cybersecurity experts will be needed to design and manage and protect these platforms.
- AI Administration – Maintaining correct metadata and ensuring compliance for hundreds or thousands of digital assets can be time-consuming and expensive. As content management systems grow, more organizations are expected to use artificial intelligence and machine learning systems to automate the process.
What Do You Learn in Digital Content Management?
Digital content management is an interdisciplinary study that can benefit content creators like writers, artists and filmmakers, marketing and media professionals and managers and entrepreneurs. Students who want to learn about digital content management should focus on:
- Skills needed to create the information systems and network infrastructure required to develop content management tools.
- Understanding how human-computer interaction and user experience methodology can help them design intuitive systems for a wide range of users and stakeholders.
- New technologies like data science and artificial intelligence and how they will affect the industry.
Digital Content Management at Drexel’s College of Computing & Informatics
For professionals in many fields and industries, digital content management is a valuable skillset that can help them improve how their organization operates and enhance their careers.
We understand that students interested in digital content management may come from creative fields or have a background in business or technology. That’s why our Master of Science in Information – Digital Content Management Major is designed for both students who want to gain a general understanding of the industry and students with information science or computing knowledge who are looking to refresh, update and improve their current skill set.
For those looking to combine their Master of Science in Information with another CCI graduate program, we offer our dual degree program. You can also gain practical skills in any of our data science certificates, such as the Graduate Certificates in Applied Data Science or Computational Data Science.
Choose to study full-time, part-time, in-person or online. This flexibility lets you customize your degree program so you can focus on the areas of study that have the most bearing on your career path and industry.
Ready to take your career to the next level? Visit the Master of Science in Information – Digital Content Management Major program page.