Digital Media Director Career Overview

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Digital media directors oversee online marketing strategies. Their work often includes a major social media component, along with core responsibilities for managing company web presence and content, analyzing website traffic with tools like Google Analytics and ensuring that their organizations are reaching intended audiences.

A digital media director working on a strategy.

Professionals who succeed as digital media directors possess a versatile skill set, with demonstrated abilities as communicators, writers and managers in fast-paced environments. They also typically have working experience in fields such as digital marketing and public relations, which help them develop proficiency in communicating with the public. A bachelor’s degree or higher in a field such as marketing, communications, PR, English or journalism is usually required as well.

Because digital media management as a field is always evolving in response to technological change, so too are the day-to-day activities of a digital media director. Responsibilities shift as new social media platforms and modes of communications become prominent. As a result, a job in digital media management may involve working with a wide range of media types, from the traditional (e.g., email and the company site) to the relatively new (social media, content marketing, online video and more).

What Does a Digital Media Director Do?

The digital media director role synthesizes responsibilities related to marketing, PR, social media management and content creation. While tasks vary by position level and company (e.g., digital strategy for a real estate agency will look different than for a technology startup), some of the common activities include:

  • Selecting the right social media platforms (not just Facebook and Twitter, but Linkedin, Pinterest, TikTok or anything else that fits) for each piece of branded content
  • Planning digital marketing campaigns, such as lead nurture via email, contests and giveaways on social media, and paid search placements, among other possibilities
  • Crafting brand guidelines for all digital media marketing to ensure consistency of content and voice across all channels online
  • Monitoring and reviewing analytics on paid campaigns as well as site traffic, bounce rate and dwell time, to see areas for possible optimization and improvement
  • Re-optimizing existing content and writing or overseeing the production of new assets to boost SEO for company sites
  • Negotiating and managing vendor relationships, e.g. with PR agencies and design firms
  • Determining when and where to run advertisements and promoted social media posts, and managing any associated budgets and contracts
  • Meeting with other executives in the company to discuss and coordinate digital strategy
  • Hiring, mentoring and managing other employees in the department, such as social media specialists and PR professionals

Overall, the digital media director is responsible for digital media management, which can be defined as the creation, review, distribution and management of communications created for online channels. In performing the above responsibilities, a digital media director will leverage many different platforms, but typically won’t focus on media such as print, radio or television.

What Skills Do You Need to Become a Digital Media Director?

Digital media directors should be adept communicators and managers, as their roles are senior and will involve the oversight of others. Analytical acumen is also essential for understanding the performance of digital marketing campaigns and identifying promising opportunities. Writing and editing skills are important for creating, reviewing and re-optimizing branded content so that it resonates with the intended audiences and has high visibility across social media and the larger web. Proficiency with specific tools such as Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Sprout Social and many others is often helpful for tracking campaigns and managing online presence.

How Much Does a Digital Media Director Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes digital media directors within the larger grouping of advertising, promotion and marketing managers. These professionals earned an annual median pay of $135,900 in 2019. Compensation was highest within the PR, advertising and media services domains, with median earnings of more than $147,000.

How Does Someone Become a Digital Media Director?

The path toward becoming a digital media director usually starts with earning a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field. PR, communications, marketing and journalism are among the most popular options. Working experience in a media position may also be required or desired by employers.

A digital media director drafting an email.

A master’s degree, such as the Master’s in Strategic Public Relations (SPR) from the George Washington University (GW), can provide advanced expertise in understanding how the public forms opinions and responds to media campaigns. The GW SPR includes courses in digital media relations and strategic marketing communications.

To learn more about the GW SPR degree, visit the main program page today, where you can read a quick overview and also download a copy of our brochure.

Recommend Readings:
A Day in the Life of a Public Relations Manager
What’s the Difference Between Press Secretaries and Communications Directors?

Sources:
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics | Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
Media Bistro | What Does a Digital Media Manager Do?