Content has always been a driving force in business success – and so is content workflow management. It lets you deliver the brand purpose, show how to use your products, or tell a story. It serves various purposes and includes:
- blog posts;
- social media publications;
- email newsletters;
- texts, videos, screenshots on the website, and more.
It’s one of the cheapest marketing tools. However, it can be one of the hardest, as you must constantly develop unique content. With generative AI on the rise, a slight delay in publication may cause potential customers to forget you and choose a competitor instead.
You should take content marketing seriously and introduce solid content workflow management. What is a content workflow? Why and how should you manage it? To answer these questions, read this guide with practical tips on building your content management process.
What Are Content Workflows, and Why Are They Crucial for Successful Content Creation?
A content workflow denotes actions needed to take to create and manage content. It includes the whole process from ideation to publishing and promoting. It requires you to outline people, information, resources, and tools to achieve the desired results. The content workflow is about requesting, locating, creating, reviewing, approving, and delivering material.
A typical marketing workflow involves various contributors, such as managers, writers, editors, SEO specialists, and designers. They work together to ensure the content is consistent, SEO-wise, optimized for the target audience, and goes live regularly. So you need to manage such a group of people. That’s where you need a system, i.e., a content management workflow.
A content management workflow revolves around various aspects, such as:
- the goal of the content;
- what information you want to share;
- the responsibilities of team members;
- the most effective channels to distribute materials;
- software for content management.
While you may not need this framework in a small team, imagine how challenging it is to consider all the details in a big one. Especially in the case of having several channels, content writers, and goals. So here is why you should introduce a defined content management workflow in your company:
- ensuring the accuracy, legitimacy, and consistency of content;
- producing materials faster and of higher quality;
- meeting the organization’s standards;
- setting achievable content outcomes and deadlines;
- helping employees understand their place and role in the larger content creation scheme;
- addressing common content problems such as inconsistencies, errors, and bottlenecks;
- keeping content marketing teams informed of their roles and responsibilities;
- enhancing accountability within the content creation team.
Understanding the Components of a Content Management Workflow
The first fundamental of a content workflow is the process. When you create a post, you take various steps, from planning to sharing. That’s where establishing a tested and well-documented process may help. It shows what hinders you at different points: content creation, approval, publication, or optimization. If you have a smooth process, you can deliver up-to-date and interesting content for your audience.
Another essential component of a workflow is a set of tasks. For example, what should you do to develop a blog post or video? Let’s take a blog article as an illustration. You need to outline step-by-step instructions, such as:
- topic discussion;
- creating a technical assignment with the required keywords, links, wordcount, etc.;
- writing and approving an outline;
- consulting developers, UX designers, and other experts depending on the topic;
- developing a full article;
- searching for examples, and so on.
However, a YouTube video would require filming and adding a voiceover or music. If you write a LinkedIn post, you may only need to craft, edit, get approval, and publish it. It’s also recommended to keep content repurposing in mind. The content should easily adapt to different distribution channels without many changes.
That’s where it’s crucial to equip the team with tools for better visibility. Such solutions as Nutcache show the project status, tasks in progress, and due dates. This helps the team stay on the same page and meet deadlines.
The speed of content creation heavily depends on your content marketing team. You should ensure your employees possess the skills and knowledge to perform their tasks and keep content operations moving smoothly. Every team member should also comprehend their roles in the assigned tasks. So once you’ve established the content process, determine who and what teams will be in charge of each activity. Think about how the roles and skills of each employee contribute to producing content.
The Risks of Operating Without a Content Management Workflow
As shown in the previous sections, content workflows add structure and clarity to content management. The lack of them can lead to chaos, unnecessary costs, and other risks, such as:
- The lack of a clear plan. What goals do you want to achieve with content marketing? If you don’t know the answer, you won’t allocate the needed resources and people to the tasks. As a result, your initiatives will fail without clearly defined steps. Thus, you need to specify the objectives, such as the target audience’s expectations, the USP of the product or service, offers, discounts, etc.
- Delays in content delivery. A content management workflow specifies the order and dependency of tasks. So if a team member, for example, a copywriter, doesn’t know who should approve the blog post, it will remain in limbo. It leads us to another risk of not having a content workflow, which is…
- Increased costs. Inefficient resource allocation and inconsistent process workflows create bottlenecks, raising the time and money needed to launch a content piece.
- Possible duplication. If the content creation process is a mess and stakeholders are unsure of their roles, it may result in duplication of work. Someone may do what another team member is already doing.
Creating Effective Content Workflow Management: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Defining Goals and Identifying the Target Audience
The first step in establishing a content workflow is to specify your aims and the target audience. Why? Because you should understand what you want to get from your campaigns. It will also enable you to measure the outcomes and identify the need to change or introduce new strategies. Here are some content workflow management tips for implementing at the initial stage:
- What should you strive for? Set specific and measurable goals like boosting traffic or an eCommerce conversion rate.
- Who is your target audience? Outline your audience’s pain points, interests, preferences, and fears. This information will help you choose the needed language and tone of voice to appeal to the audience and encourage them to perform the desired action.
- What software are you going to use? You will need tools like Google Analytics to monitor metrics and key performance indicators like conversions, bounce rates, clicks, engagement levels, etc. You may use this information to refine the content strategy.
- Consider different sales funnel stages. Content types vary according to their goals and place in the sales funnel. For example, the top of the funnel aims to raise interest and attract new audiences. You may create short-form social media videos, explainers, live streams, etc. The middle-of-funnel content should address prospects’ concerns. That’s what tutorials and product videos may do. The bottom of the sales funnel is where conversion should happen. So the content should eliminate doubts. Case studies and customer testimonials may be helpful in this task.
Step 2: Developing a Content Strategy
Your content marketing plan dwells on the following factors:
- the purpose of your content creation;
- the audience you are assisting;
- how you will help them better than anybody else.
However, a content strategy goes deeper than this. Suppose you want to raise brand awareness. To do this, you can put in place an SEO-focused content strategy to improve the website’s position on search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more visitors. A content strategy should include the elements mentioned below:
- the target audience;
- the problems you will solve with your products or services;
- the reasons to choose your brand over the competitors;
- content formats you will focus on, like a podcast, YouTube videos, or Instagram Reels;
- the channels where you will publish content. That’s where you should determine where your audience spends the most time. For example, younger prospects may be on TikTok, while more qualified leads come from the blog or LinkedIn;
- decision-makers and other roles in a team.
Step 3: Establishing a Content Calendar
A content calendar is a documented timetable of when and where you want to publish upcoming material. It may include the following elements:
- new articles;
- status updates;
- planned promotions;
It can help you meet deadlines and prevent disruptions. The following are some advantages of a content calendar:
- grouping ideas, deadlines, and topics in one place;
- preparing materials in advance and posting them regularly;
- prioritizing content based on the seasons, demand, new product launches, or other characteristics.
Nutcache allows you to set up new projects, create tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress. All these capabilities can help you establish a content calendar with ease.
Step 4: Establishing and Implementing a Workflow
The next step in your content workflow management should be to design a workflow. Here is what you can do:
- Divide content creation into stages, such as brainstorming, research, writing, polishing, reviewing, and publishing.
- Determine who will perform what.
- Define precise rules and expectations, such as deadlines, quality standards, or communication protocols.
- Employ collaboration tools like Nutcache to improve productivity and simplify teamwork.
Step 5: Creating and Reviewing Content
That’s when you start writing articles, taking photos, or shooting videos. Keep your audience in mind to create resonating materials. Remember that headlines are the first thing to grab viewers’ attention. So they should be catchy and concise, clearly stating the page’s purpose.
If you generate texts, keep a conversational tone and write as you speak. The less jargon you use, the closer you will be to your visitors, boosting their chances to convert into subscribers or customers. You may employ recent technological advances like ChatGPT to generate ideas faster or AI image creators like Midjourney.
You should also optimize the content for search engines to enhance its visibility. And add visuals to your concepts where possible to increase engagement. These visuals can also bring you backlinks if someone shares them on their resources.
Eliminate mistakes as they can spoil the impression and impact SEO. That’s where tools like Grammarly or Hemingway may help.
Step 6: Updating the Content Workflow Regularly
Projects, teams, and plans may change over time. Thus, you need to revise your content workflow to adapt to the current requirements. It’s not about updating the workflow in case of minor changes. You can audit it once a quarter to ensure team members can refer to it.
Content needs checking and updating. The best part is that it’s one of the most straightforward elements to upgrade to see instant results, such as more clicks, shares, or comments. Of course, you shouldn’t rewrite all content. Some articles (like evergreen content) stay relevant for years, but you may need to optimize them for new keywords or add other sections.
An online business owner should handle numerous moving pieces. And if those parts lack proper management, the entire organization can fail. Content is no exception. By introducing content workflow management, you can maximize return on investment, boost productivity, and appeal to users.
You will let employees know about their roles and responsibilities. Thus, they will understand how they fit in the organization and better perform their tasks. So why not organize your workflow more effectively?
Luckily, there are various management tools like Nutcache to help you in this process. They enable you to track the current projects, plan new campaigns, and allocate resources where they are most needed.