If you do not have pre-conceived and clear workflow processes in any operational aspect of your business, it can create issues. From a marketing perspective, not devising and executing a suitable workflow process to deliver your content marketing approach will result in inefficient working practices, and ultimately a failure to drive the traffic that is required to deliver success. Here’s what you need to do to generate improvements in your content marketing workflow strategy:
As a content marketing team, you are constantly receiving requests from other departments – product development wants you to put the word out on their new innovations, while management is focused on new branding ideas. How you receive and execute these requests is not only the first stage of a content marketing workflow process, it is also the most important. If you don’t have a considered and documented system, then requests will and do fall between the cracks, or get sat on for longer than is acceptable. Not only does that not reflect well on you as a team, but it can also spell disaster for your business. Assign a standard acceptance process for requests, and then assign an owner of the request within the team.
You need to have a plan and a process prepared. This can help you avoid mistakes and it can help you be more productive. Identify all of the posts that you need to publish and create an editorial calendar for them that can help you remember when you have to post different things. You can also create a task list for each post and then just tick them off as you finish them.
Having a content calendar is by far the best way to handle your content marketing strategy properly. You can have a meeting every month where each department would state what type of content they need and then you can assign them each a day in the calendar for their posts. Have your content marketing team members assigned on tasks for each department as well.
When requests come in, the requestee should be completing a creative brief which details the expected outcome, including the message that needs to be delivered, when it needs to be done, and to what end. The more information that is provided, the better. Do not accept incomplete or ambiguous briefs, as this will simply make your job more difficult. Ensure this step is not just expected, it is critical, and work cannot be completed without it.
First step would be to create a sheet for all of this information - make it standardized and formulaic so that everyone can have the same chance and deliver the same information. This also helps with entering different information in your content calendar.
Then hold your monthly meetings about the content calendar and have those sheets filled by each department that needs content published. This helps you make your meetings shorter and more streamlined and helps the members of your staff know what to do with different pieces of content. They can know what they need to do and what the message of the content needs to be. This definitely improves the workflow and makes it simpler and more streamlined.
This may seem like a simple question, but it may not be quite so simple to answer in reality. If the answer is that everyone in the team has a different approach, then you can be sure than inefficiency is the result. Fully document all the steps that must be followed on the road to content creation, and ensure that all of the team follow these steps (and tick them off) as they proceed. Once you have established the process from beginning to end, you can then take a global approach to cut out duplicate steps, and saving time where possible. “It is within your content creation practices that most inefficiencies can be identified, with the potential to save masses of time. All it requires is everything written down and documented first in order to truly reflect on where marginal gains can be made,” recommends Ian Knowles, a marketer at State of writing and Academized.
For example, you can make a list of tasks that need to be performed with every piece of content. For instance, every piece of content needs to be proofread, SEO optimized, ideally 5 headline examples and links in the content. This is just one example of how it can be done, but there are many different things you can do here, depending on what your specific organization needs.
Make sure that this process is followed thoroughly and that your staff content creators are not doing different things. You can also have firm deadlines which would make it easier to get everything done on time.
Have requirements for each piece. For example, there need to be at least 6 relevant pictures, 5 good links, the post needs to be formatted in a certain way, quotes need to be inserted in a certain way, keywords need to be inserted a certain number of times and so on.
Of course, you could employ the first-come-first-served principle, but everyone knows that most offices are not very democratic (there is a clear pecking order which means a request from a certain individual will supersede all others), and business requirements will simply make some requests more urgent than others. For this reason, it is essential to build in a prioritization process into your content marketing workflow strategy to ensure the right briefs are being enacted upon at the right time. If this means a delay in another, then the communication emanating out of this prioritization system must be spot on to ensure smooth processes and well-maintained relationships.
This is where your content calendar comes in handy. You can assign different days to different content needs. Keep in mind that you need to align your content with all of the events that happen. For example, if one social media post is related to a holiday or a national day of something, then it needs to be published on that day. If a post is related to the new product, then it needs to be posted on the product launch day and so on.
You can also prioritize based on the relevance and importance of the post.
Once your content has been created, everything needs to be efficiently stored, shared and accessible to everyone. “Most of this is common sense, but it is, of course, true to a certain extent that sense is not always common. Implement standardized systems for names by which you store the content, and make sure it is communicated clearly,” points out Daniel Waghorn, a content manager at Ox Essays and Eliteassignmenthelp.
Find an efficient way to store content. The last thing you need is to lose content after all of the hard work that your staff does. You can find a tool or software that connects to your calendar and tasks, and then it can all be integrated.
Once complete, the content needs to be effectively and efficiently disseminated back to the correct owner so it can be implemented correctly. Who takes ownership of this handover process? There should be a signalling process who flags when a piece of content is complete.
Does your content simply go live straight away when it’s done? If so, this might not be the smartest way of going about things. You need to release based on what is trending and as part of a wider content strategy, which leads us nicely to the final point.
This is a critical point. In this day and age, with the technology not only available but cost-effective and simple to implement, are you automating all of your processes, and then measuring the returns that your content is giving you? This is how you know that you are producing the right content at the right time, and can measure your ROI. Without this step, all the others are futile. Then you need to measure your results as well and make sure that you create based on the results that you get. For example, to track which posts get the most engagement, the longest viewing time and so on. Then you can adjust and pick the topics that are in accordance to the stats that you get.
So, there it is. Make sure all of these steps are effectively discussed, documented and communicated, and content marketing workflow strategy issues should be a thing of the past.
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