Spoiler alert coming your way: There’s no one right content workflow. Every brand, every business operates within its own set of restrictions determined by resources, goals and culture. These factors impact operations across every department, marketing included.
In order to determine which content team workflow is right for your organization specifically, it becomes less a matter of choosing from a pre-established list and more about understanding how to build one for yourself. As you begin doing so, consider the following steps.
Take Inventory of Your Resources
Before signing the dotted line on third-party tools or a request for a new content marketing hire, you should be well aware of the resources at your disposal. This means budget, of course, but it also means current tools and skill sets available to the team.
In some cases, especially within larger organizations where it’s easy to lose track of efficiencies, you’ll find that software already available to your team is not being used to its full extent. Or maybe there are team members with a real interest in expanding their job duties and roles across other areas of the content process. Be diligent about taking note of every and any resource currently at your team’s disposal, as well as any content marketing tasks that might be easily automated moving forward.
Establish Team Roles
There are various naming conventions to choose from when assigning content marketing roles, but here are a few worth considering from the Content Marketing Institute:
Established roles should coincide with stages of your content development process. Essentially, you need someone to take the lead in driving your brand’s story, writers and designers to help bring that story to life and distributors helping to get content in front of the right audience and reporting back on findings. Divvy these roles in a way that makes sense based on your current team structure and make sure every individual has a clear understanding of the role they play.
Lay Out the Stages of Content Development
Your content development workflow is likely going to be laid out according to a broader set of common tasks. This may include ideation, creation, editing, design, distribution and promotion. Lay out this list of steps and assign relevant roles to oversee them. Once you know the who and what as it relates to your content development process, you can begin to flesh out those how details.
Develop an Approval Process
The whole point of mapping out a content workflow is to avoid getting halfway through a project only to redo it. When this happens, not only are future projects delayed but your team is given less time to deliver a campaign developed to the best of its ability.
Put an approval process in place and instill a sense of responsibility for quality assurance across the whole content team. Depending on the size of your team, these checkpoints may vary, but they’ll certainly still prove vital regardless of whether your mission is to create 10 eBooks or one blog post.
Set Sensible Deadlines
Rather than relying on one person to make estimations and set the rules, gather your team and have an honest discussion around deadlines. How long does it really take to develop a quality blog post? Video? Whitepaper?
At every stage of the workflow, assign deadlines based on the task at hand. Using those, you can begin to map out a time chart that accounts for the total number of days expected between the start and finish of a campaign. You can then begin to more accurately set goals at ideation and set the stage for higher quality deliverables.
Continuously Evaluate and Adjust as Needed
No plan is ever perfect from the start. The only way you’ll truly know if a workflow works for your team is to see it in action. As the wheels are set in motion, make it a point to check in with the team regularly for insight into what’s working and what’s not. More importantly, use those takeaways to evolve the process and aid in building a team culture people want to be a part of.
Want to put our content workflow to work for your team? Contact PowerPost today for a free content consultation!