How to Develop a Great Content Workflow For Your Business
Behind every successful marketing strategy is an excellent content workflow. Not having a concise content management workflow leads to unclear expectations and project delays which can significantly undermine your business’ success. A robust content marketing workflow provides structure, increases efficiency, and improves results. Every marketing strategy involves many moving parts, so having clear expectations and an organized system in place makes all the difference.
What is Content Workflow?
A content workflow is a series of tasks that a team needs to complete for a client. Even if your team hasn’t fully defined a workflow, each team member consistently plays a specific role during projects. Your content workflow may also vary based on the client or what the project entails.
How to Define Content Workflow
The first step to define your content workflow is to identify which roles are involved in the project. It’s best to have a project manager oversee the content management workflow. If your team doesn’t have a designated project manager, that’s okay. Designate someone who has a good understanding of the project that can take on the responsibility. This person could be a Content Strategist or Digital Marketing Manager. Having one person manage this sector allows for the workflow to move efficiently and keeps projects on time and budget. Not every team member will be involved in every project. Establishing upfront which roles are involved gives everyone a clear understanding at the start of a new project.
The next step is to identify what each role does and assign tasks accordingly. It’s essential to provide as much detail in the tasks as possible to avoid any confusion. Additionally, this is the space to include any resources that the person will need to complete their task. This keeps the project moving forward on schedule.
Once you’ve established roles and assigned tasks, you can delegate timelines for your team to complete their tasks. There are a few variables to consider. First and foremost, know the client’s overall timeline. Also, it’s important to understand how long each piece of content will take. Furthermore, you have to factor in any rounds of changes received from the client. Lastly, be mindful of your team member’s schedules. If you know that someone’s in many meetings on a given day, don’t assign their deadlines on that day. All of these factors will improve workflow efficiency.
Stages of Content Workflow
The first stage of the workflow process is ideation, where the ideas for a given project are introduced. It’s essential to have a consistent approach for receiving work requests, whether that be an email, a setup sheet, or a business communication tool such as Slack. Whatever form it may be, make sure that you receive every request the same way. It’s a good idea to have the client complete a creative brief during this stage, which outlines goals, objectives, and expected ROI. A team kickoff meeting will ensure that everyone involved understands the brief before working on the project.
The next stage is prioritization, where you evaluate and rank the requests that you receive. It’s unrealistic to get every request you receive done right away, so measure the content’s potential impact before you prioritize. One way to improve prioritization is to understand how long content takes to create. Projects often always take longer than you expect, so it’s best to overestimate instead of underestimating.
The next stage is content creation which is the exciting part because it’s when you see ideas come to life. To increase workflow efficiency, utilize automation and reminder tools. What is workflow automation, and how does it improve efficiency? For example, you can set up recurring tasks for things that you know will need to be done repeatedly. Workflow automation allows you to save time and focus on other areas of a project.
Furthermore, establish criteria for when a content piece is finished. Content creation requires constant communication with clients and key stakeholders, so it’s easy for documents to get thrown back and forth too often. To avoid this, designate desired rounds of reviews and approval.
Organization & Storage
The following stage is organization and storage. It’s essential to have a consistent storage and naming system for all of your content. Establish a place where everything lives and is accessible by everyone. Also, come up with a standardized naming system, so files are easily identifiable. Lastly, create a hand-off process. Organization and storage is the last stage before publication and lets teams know that a piece of content is ready for promotion.
Publication & Promotion
The final piece of the content workflow puzzle is the publication and promotion stage. This stage is where your marketing distribution strategy comes into play. Once a piece of content is complete doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll publish and promote it right away. When you do post that piece of content, measure the results. From this, determine whether you met your ROI and achieved the goals you set out. Use the data to grow insights and make informed decisions for new content in the future.
A clear and concise content workflow can significantly improve success. Coordinating a workflow process across all areas leads to more efficiency, better results, and saves time and money. Use these tips to improve your content marketing workflow and create more success for your business.
-written by Maggie Kaput