Content creation isn't always as simple as we'd like it to be. It'd be great if marketers could just snap their fingers to launch a successful email campaign, YouTube series, or blog.
However, all content requires extensive planning, team effort, and a consistent content workflow to keep everything and everyone on track.
In this article, we're going to explore what a content workflow is, why your team needs one, and the steps to craft the right content workflow to reach your marketing goals.
What is a content workflow?
A content workflow is a series of tasks your team performs to take your content from ideation to delivery as efficiently as possible. Although it outlines the processes, a content workflow relies heavily on the people, tools, and resources needed for content creation.
Key to an effective content workflow is clearly defining the people's roles, the documents and materials at each stage, and the timeline in which everything must be completed. Your content workflow may change depending on the content type.
It's normal for the materials, people, and timelines defined in one workflow to change depending on the content you're creating, such as a blog, video, live stream, or web copy.
Why Marketers Need a Content Workflow
Content workflows ensure a project launches successfully without any hiccups. With a content workflow, you can:
- Create content that is consistent, timely, and accurate.
- Guarantee realistic deadlines and outcomes.
- Proactively plan for common roadblocks in content planning and launches
- Clearly establish how every team member fits in the big picture of creating the content
Essentially, a content workflow keeps you and your team on track to a seamless launch. Without a content workflow, you and your team are likelier to miss deadlines, make errors, and experience difficulty working toward your common goal.
Content Creation Workflow: Task-based Workflows vs. Status-based Workflows
Before learning how to build a content creation workflow, you must understand which would benefit your team the most — task- or status-based workflow.
Knowing the difference between the two will help you strategize the right workflow for you next project.
Each stage of a task-based workflow is a task that needs to be carried out before moving on to the next step. In a task-based workflow, each step is described in detail, and everyone working on the project knows what is expected of them.
Task-based workflows are especially useful for new content teams because whoever is assigned to the task gets a clear idea of what needs to be done and what happens next.
Status-based workflows are most often preferred by more experienced teams. In a status-based workflow, each stage is defined by status, and the stages don't include detailed descriptions of what needs to be done like in task-based workflows.
Status-based workflows can be easier to track and can be used in a wide variety of content type. However, it's crucial your team understands the content creation process and their roles within it.
Content Strategy Workflow: How to Build One
Follow these steps to craft a content workflow for you and your team.
1. Establish your content goals and audience.
Your goals will inform the content you want to create and the audience you're trying to reach.
Is your goal to create brand awareness? If so, you'll likely want to create product-led blogs or engaging social media posts. If you're working to delight and retain your current customers, an effective email campaign would be the best fit.
2. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of everyone on your team.
Once you know your content goals and who your audience is, you're ready to decide who on your marketing team will be involved in the project.
For content creation workflows, you'll need content creators (bloggers, YouTubers, videographers, etc.), editors, type, and other stakeholders involved in content creation.
Whether your team is using a a task-based workflow or a status-based workflow, everyone involved must have a clear definition of their role, duties, and where they fit within the process.
For example, your workflow is for a YouTube content series — the content creators will be in charge of crafting the content. The editors will be tasked with ensuring the content is of the best quality and contains no errors.
Senior editors or project managers will give the final approval to launch each episode in the series.
This is also the time to figure out the tools and materials your team will need to create and launch the content.
You'll may also need to consider things like mics and cameras for videos, or email automation software for email campaigns.
3. Decide the content types and frequency of output.
Figure out the kind of content you want to create and how often you want to put this content out. For example, you might decide you want to put out YouTube videos once a week or Instagram Reels every other day.
Now is also a great time to create a content calendar to plan your projects in advance and to ensure you content is launched on time.
4. Develop the content creation process.
Brainstorm with your team the different steps that must take place for your brand's content to launch successfully. These steps will vary depending on the kind of content you're creating.
For example, the process to craft and launch a blog post may look like:
These tasks may seem broad, but this is where you want to expand. For example, strategizing typically means performing content audits, creating buyer personas, and conducting keyword research.
Editing might involve implementing SEO techniques or adding images and links.
Every step in the process needs to be accounted for so it can be assigned to the appropriate team member.
5. Document and automate your workflow.
Companies typically use standard operating procedures (SOPs) to keep their teams aligned with the process. Marketing Hub, Trello, and Evernote are examples of systems that give teams easy access to documents like SOPs.
HubSpot also has an all-in-one workflow automated software that allows user to align all of their teams' processes so there's no confusion or hiccups from task to task.
We offer templates or you can create your workflow from scratch to easily hand leads from marketing to sales.
Content workflows are a must-have if you want to create content regularly and efficiently with your team informed every step of the way. With a content workflow, you can increase productivity, reduce errors, and boost workplace engagement.
Think of your workflow as a roadmap for a seamless content launch that takes you to your goals.