The content creation process varies between industry, sector, niche and team size. No matter if you're working at a large company like Hubspot, or a small local real estate company in Kentucky, creating a content marketing workflow will enable your content team to work together like a well-oiled machine.
The best part about creating and implementing an effective content marketing workflow is that you don't need some expansive marketing team to get started. At its core, it's about creating a content marketing strategy which factors in your company's goals in both the long and short term.
It's a set of practices and tasks that take the guesswork out of the next steps, and create a uniform set of rules on how one publishes a certain type of content whether it's a blog post or video content.
Once you've created a basic template for your content workflow, you can build to create an even more efficient process, so please don't feel as if your defined workflow needs to be 100% perfect to start. Your workflow template will evolve as you (and your team) do.
What is a content marketing workflow?
It's a standard set of tasks that content teams and content marketers use to create content that is consistently of high-quality, on brand and able to meet and measure any key performance indicators.
Why do I need a content workflow?
Content marketing teams use a defined content workflow to:
- Remove any hurdles from the content creation process
- Ensure their content project doesn't get stuck at any one stage and create a delay
- To organize the editorial calendar so that the content creators, editors, managers and social media managers can all meet their individual deadlines
- Prevent bottlenecks, pinpoint optimization opportunities and hold teams and individuals accountable for their "leg" of the race
Creating content should be a process that is standard in your organization so that every aspect can flow without incident. Imagine when one of your content collaborators takes a personal day, or gets sick, will the whole process collapse if they're not there?
A content workflow provides transparency across teams so that each piece of content-article, blogs, videos, whatever, can all be located, checked and published without incident. Your workflow template should start broad, and allow for flexibility. What does that mean?
If your tasks are too general, there's room for confusion. If your tasks don't have someone listed as the lead, there's room for confusion. If the stakeholders don't know who to connect with to resolve their issues, or what they are responsible for, this will not only slow your content creation, it will also create unnecessary internal conflicts.
3 Steps to creating a content marketing workflow template:
Step 1: Define who does what (and why!)
Here's a quick summary of the structure of a content marketing team just in case you're unclear as to the traditional roles in content marketing.
- Chief content officer: establishes big-picture content strategy, the content calendar, content workflows and goals. They delegate and oversee.
- Content manager: this person is usually in the trenches and involved in the day-to-day content activities. They may also be in charge of keyword research, which, if they use Keyword Surfer should be a fun and enjoyable experience and not a tedious one! They collaborate on content ideas and think of engaging content formats.
- Content writer: this team member created quality content using whichever content management system the team prefers. They may also be in charge of the editing process depending on how large the entire team is. Otherwise, you'll pass this onto the content editors.
- Graphic designer: most content teams have a graphic designer who creates the images used in the blog posts and the media used to promote content. The content manager works side-by-side with the designer to ensure that the imagery matches the core of the piece being published.
- Social media manager: no content workflow team is complete without a social team whose main goal is to promote your content through social media posts, evaluate the response, and bring back insights. If your blog content workflow stops immediately after content production, you won't get the eyes on it that you want!
Step 2: Identify what needs to get done! Let's define the tasks!
For your content workflow to, well, flow properly you need to clearly state the steps. We can't stop there though. Once you've stated the steps, make sure they're aligned with the proper team member's tasks.
Step 3: Create the timeline
Any task based workflow needs deadlines. The whole team needs to understand how long specific tasks take because marketing projects are often time-sensitive. This ensure that each member is able to create tasks and organize their time accordingly.
Task based workflows keep your team organized and clear. Team members who understand their responsibilities are happy team members.
Here are some example tasks often included in a content workflow template (in no particular order):
- Assign tasks
- Establish deadline for current projects
- Content promotion, either paid or organic
- Create a publishing schedule and establish cadence
- Keyword research
- Creating and distributing the content brief
- Publishing content using content management systems
- Client review / client correspondence
What is Grow Flow? Surfer's AI Growth Management Platform:
Grow Flow is Surfer's latest tool which acts as both a growth tool and a content project management tool with an emphasis on SEO.
How does it work?
When you connect your domain to GSC, you'll receive weekly tasks that fall into one of the three most impactful areas of SEO: internal links, keywords and content creation.
Each week Surfer's platform will share suggested tasks for you to optimize existing content using a basic workflow which allows you to mark a task as done once completed (a status based workflow). This is ideal for teams that don't have a content strategist or someone versed in the technical aspects of SEO. Learn more about Grow Flow here!
Whichever platform or technique you use to create your workflow, it should be clear, concise and easy to implement! Hope this helps!
All you need to do pass the exam with 85% or higher, and complete the practical activation task of writing a blog post of 1500 words within Surfer's Content Editor!
If you're successful, we'll send you an official Surfer Certificate that you can share, and a badge for Linkedin!