Web Producer is one the most essential roles in today’s competitive online space. It is one of the most enjoyable roles I’ve fulfilled during my time in marketing. Although not always titled as a ‘web producer’ per se, similar titles are webmaster, website administrator and even a marketing executive and marketing manager, since web producer duties are often pushed into those roles.
Being a web producer is a lot of fun, especially (for me) the website management component. Maybe the website is complete, but a few small changes are required? Things like updating images, or even as much as rescuing a bricked WordPress installation. It’s actually really easy to fix the white screen of death on WordPress, but I only think that because I’ve had to rescue more than one site from this reasonably common problem.
Other challenges a web producer helps to overcome are with posting content on multiple platforms. They all work differently and getting content published on time and in the correct format is definitely enjoyable. If something isn’t right or doesn’t fit, as a web producer, you have to fix it and fast.
That’s what you get with an experienced Web Producer; a calm head who knows what to do to fix your problems and where to start diagnosing issues. You’ll probably be wondering what responsibilities and experience you should be looking for in a web producer, so I’ll cover that next.
Web Producer Responsibilities
The responsibilities of a web producer are quite varied, but essentially require strong knowledge of web-based technologies primarily with websites, but also problem solving and adaptability. I’ve worked on a range of website projects including raw HTML, content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, MODX, Wix, Weebly and more. From fresh builds, to migrations, heavy updates and hack recovery.
Every organisation I’ve worked in required a web producer of some description. In general, a web producer will need to have a grip not only on tasks that clearly relate to a website, but also social media and content production.
The bare bones responsibilities of a web producer can include:
Website updates – updating content, adding new content, updating CMS
Email marketing – designing, writing, sending mail campaigns
Social media – scheduling content, guaranteeing the right content format is distributed to each channel
Podcasting – being a podcast producer and distributing podcast content
Live streaming events – live events that are streamed on services like Zoom or YouTube need someone qualified to trouble shoot technical difficulties
Video content – publishing to YouTube, Vimeo and such services
Graphic design – knowledge of Photoshop to create and edit images for social media and video thumbnails
Data analysis – analysing data from marketing activities to provide insights
Your web producer makes sure your content gets online, on time and in the correct format.
Web Producer Experience
What kind of experience does a good web producer need? The bare bones responsibilities listed above mean they will need to have or be capable of learning to use a wide range of digital marketing tools and be comfortable updating websites with multiple CMS.
Working Under Pressure
Web producers need the ability to work both quickly and accurately under pressure of tight deadlines. I found working to deadlines especially important working at The Prince Akatoki London. I worked both offline and online to launch Prince Hotel’s first new hotel outside Asia (if you ignore their Hawaii hotel which isn’t really in North America at least).
The pressure came mostly because hotels, a critical part of the hospitality industry, require always-on, instant service as soon as the customer wants it. The pressure to be accurate and eradicate mistakes came from the top down and was present in every department; we all had to meet the highest standards.
Digital Marketing Systems
For your web producer to be successful, they absolutely must be comfortable learning new systems. CMS, social media, editorial systems on press release services, and audio and visual publishing platforms. Nowadays especially, Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are also an essential area to be comfortable with.
Being familiar with a bunch of different CMS and knowledge of HTML and PHP are essential. That doesn’t mean a web producer needs to be an expert in all CMS, but at least have a few under their belt so they can more readily adapt to any new CMS they may need to use. The web producer also doesn’t need to be a coding expert, but familiarity with HTML and PHP is essential for quick troubleshooting of website issues.
A web producer should have a little SEO knowledge of tags, re-directs, Google Search Console and Google Analytics for reporting. In addition to this, it’s nice for a web producer to be familiar with information architecture in relation to websites and knowledge of how content can be deployed on websites to make them valuable resources.
Because collaboration across departments is essential to the web producer’s role, they will definitely be able to learn amazing project management skills. A new web producer doesn’t necessarily need to have such skills perfected, but as long as they’re organised and your business already has Standard Operating Procedures, they’ll pick it up.
With use of tools like Google Analytics and running Email marketing campaigns, your web producer will be comfortable being analytic and this is important in project management when planning for parts of projects to be completed at the right time so the whole comes together.
Balancing content collection while also getting people to make appearances for content requires a lot of planning and flexibility. Sometimes it can be a real challenge to get senior members of staff in particular to take their responsibilities seriously and actually contribute.
There’s always something that comes up as an excuse not to make the content. A great web producer will learn how to approach different people, when to make the approach and be able to think on their feet to make alternative plans where necessary.
Ultimately, the web producer will build relationships that mean they get the job done either with the cooperation of the person they need to work with directly or through a 3rd party, which can be a high-level collaboration strategy.
Career Progression For Web Producers
If you’re hiring a web producer to work in-house, you should hire someone you believe can really take your business places long-term. Developing in-house capabilities is one of the most essential components to growing your business. Your web producer has great career progression opportunities if you hire the right person and it’s important your business recognises and rewards their efforts.
The nature of your web producer’s responsibilities and experiences so they will work with people and department leaders from all corners of your business. Over time, your web producer will have built relationships and intimate knowledge of your business.
After several years of having them implement your tactical approach, you should build your web producer to a position where they can be your next marketing manager. Once they’ve progressed, your new marketing manager is the perfect person to help develop great marketing strategies and support the new web producer to make sure they’re delivered.
When the former web producer has a few years of work under their belt as marketing manager, helping employees who produce content and of course the new web producer, they’ll be ready for another step up.
Marketing director is the next logical step for a web producer who has done a great job as a marketing manager. In some organisations, particularly those set up in a North American style, this position could also be the Vice President of Marketing.
Hire Your Next Web Producer
If you’re producing a steady amount of content, hire a web producer to help you publish it so you don’t drop the ball. Look for someone with a wide range of digital skills, indicating they’re adaptable to a range of technologies.
I’m open to working with hospitality and manufacturing companies who are looking to grow and use content to help them on their journey. I can help you coordinate your output and get your business ready to hire your first in-house web producer. Get in touch for a chat to see how we can work together.