What Is Content Production? 6 Steps For A Content Production Process

Content production may seem straightforward, but every team needs an organized process for creating content that delivers results.

Without a specific framework, you risk encountering bottlenecks, compromises on quality, and delays. It can also prevent you from scaling your content strategy and reaching your goals.

A robust content production process can help you achieve set objectives, keep consistent content quality, and of course, scale content. This way, you can create content that engages and resonates with your audience to build trust and brand awareness.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of creating a bulletproof content production process that will justify your content creation efforts.

What you will learn

  • What content production is
  • The steps to establish an internal content production process

What is content production?

Content production refers to the planning, creating and delivering of content to your target audience via various channels. It encompasses the entire journey of a content piece from initial ideation and conceptualization to the final distribution of content.

Content production is not confined to a single format or channel.

It involves creating a variety of content types including educational, emotional, and commercial content, each of which plays a unique role in a content marketing strategy.

Adapting your content to different formats - such as blog posts, videos, infographics, or podcasts allows you to reach a wider audience.

Moreover, distributing this content across various channels like social media, email newsletters, or your own website, ensures that your message reaches your audience wherever they are most receptive.

Factors in content production

There are 6 factors that can influence content production:

  • Goals: Your objectives will define how you approach the overall production of content.
  • Tasks: Listing every step of your content production by several tasks can ensure a well-oiled process that doesn't need constant supervision
  • Roles: Assigning responsibilities within your team will keep them accountable individually
  • Order: A specific order of tasks can help you identify where your content is in its journey to completion
  • Timeline and Due Dates: Setting expected timelines can ensure that you're not taking longer than needed and are sticking to a frequent content output
  • Content Inventory: Maintaining a list of ideas for content can help you focus on creating instead of researching every time you need a new piece of content

Each of these elements is crucial to creating adequate content that delivers results. We’ll uncover more details about each factor in the following sections.

What is the content production process?

The content production process is a detailed approach to creating, editing, and publishing content via a sequence of systematic steps, stages or workflows. It ensures that your content is planned, developed, reviewed, and published effectively.

A streamlined process is essential to achieving content goals that are aligned with business and marketing objectives while enabling scalability in your content marketing efforts.

The key stages of a repeatable process typically include planning, creating, editing, and publishing content.

The organized structure of a content production workflow is what differentiates it from just creating content.

If you are creating content without a structured framework, it means you don’t have a process in place.

A well-defined content production system also facilitates efficient communication within teams and enables effective collaboration.

6 Steps for Effective Content Production

Effective content production should be based on an organized process that involves several elements essential to the success of your marketing strategy. Let’s take a deeper look at the steps you need to effectively produce content.

1. Identify your content goals

Setting goals is the foundation of a strong content strategy. By setting clear goals early in the process, you can avoid miscommunication and delays and easily monitor the progress of your content marketing strategy.

These goals should be aligned with business objectives.

To ensure that these goals align with your overall business objectives, consider the broader picture. For example, if your business objective is to increase sales, your content goal could be to create informative bottom-of-funnel product guides that encourage readers to make a purchase.

Clear and aligned goals provide a direction for everyone involved, from content creators and editors to marketers and executives.

Follow the SMART methodology and set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. They should clearly define what you want to achieve with your content, such as increasing website traffic, boosting brand awareness, or generating leads.

An example of a goal is "increase website visitors by 15% in Q2 vs Q1."

It's specific, measurable and has a timeline.

Importantly, it's also achievable.

Setting content objectives will also help you identify which content format you should pursue.

For example, if you need immediate eyeballs, social media posts and advertising are better suited than say writing a blog post.

This way, you ensure that the content you produce brings value to the organization and positively impacts your company’s growth. The success of meeting your goals can be assessed by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and identifying areas for improvement.

A few essential KPIs to monitor include:

  • Traffic
  • Click through rates
  • Leads generated
  • Conversion rates
  • Revenue

By monitoring these KPIs, you can gauge the effectiveness of your content production process and make data-driven decisions to optimize your workflow.

Monitoring and adjusting your process based on KPIs can lead to a more efficient and impactful content production.

2. Define roles and responsibilities

Accountability is fostered by assigning specific roles and tasks to team members.

You can ensure that each team member contributes their best to the content creation process by assigning roles and functions based on individual capabilities and expertise.

This approach ensures that every part of the process is handled by someone with the right skills and knowledge, thereby enhancing the quality of the final output.

It may be helpful to maintain a list of responsibilities in written format. So everyone on the team is on the same page and tasks are assigned to relevant team members.

When you have a written list of everyone's duties and roles, you can avoid misunderstandings, passing the blame, and avoid potential delays.

If each team member is aware of their role, it can positively impact overall cooperation within your content team. 

Clear role definitions also improve team relationships.

When everyone knows their role and understands the roles of others, it fosters mutual respect and cooperation among team members. This understanding can lead to a more harmonious and effective working environment, which ultimately enhances the effectiveness of your content workflow.

3. Pick a content management system

A content inventory or asset management software serves as a central repository where all your content assets are stored, organized, and managed.

Popular content management systems like WordPress act as content inventory platforms to help you manage and modify content on your website.

You can also use task-tracking software like Trello or Asana. They can be helpful to give you a bird's-eye view of your content assets and the progress being made on them.

Having an organized content inventory system allows you to keep track of all your content pieces, their status, and their associated tasks.

Whenever a task is completed, there should be a corresponding update in your content inventory software.

For example, if a script for video content has been written, its status in the content inventory should be updated from 'In Progress' to 'Completed'.

This practice ensures that your inventory always reflects the most current state of your content assets. It also provides a clear trail of actions, making it easy to track progress, identify bottlenecks, and hold team members accountable for their tasks.

This ensures that no content piece is lost in your content workflow.

A well-managed content inventory system can significantly enhance your team's productivity and efficiency.

By having a centralized place where all content-related information is stored, team members can easily locate the content they need, understand its context, and know what steps they need to take next.

4. Create a repository of content assets

A list of content ideas provides a roadmap for your content creation efforts and also ensures you have a reservoir of ideas to tap into when needed.

An idea bank of content inspiration means you won't have to start from scratch every time.

To generate content ideas, you can conduct keyword research, monitor trending topics in your industry, analyze your competitors' content, and listen to your audience's queries and concerns.

Once you have a list of potential content ideas, store them in a centralized place that is easily accessible to all team members. This could be a shared Google Doc, a Notion or Trello board, or a dedicated content management system.

This repository of ideas ensures that your team never runs out of topics to cover, even when operating under tight deadlines or during creative dry spells.

In addition to a list of content ideas, maintaining a swipe file and a bank of marketing inspiration is also crucial for effective content production.

Swipe files can be a collection of successful marketing materials that have proven to be effective in your industry.

This could include successful marketing campaigns, viral social media posts, or innovative content marketing strategies. They can also be copywriting inspiration such as compelling headlines, effective call-to-actions, engaging email copies, or high-converting landing pages.

When you come across a piece of content that drives action, compels engagement, or simply catches your eye, add it to your swipe file.

Reviewing these materials can spark creativity and help you craft compelling content for your own campaigns.

Both the swipe file and the marketing inspiration bank should be regularly updated and reviewed.

5. Outline tasks and steps

To streamline your content creation workflow, create a content production process document that includes all of the stages required to finish the process.

Clearly define the steps of your content creation process and put them in a specific order.

Breaking down each stage into specific steps can provide a clear roadmap, making it easier for everyone to understand their specific tasks and deadlines.

For example, an overview of an SOP for creating blog posts may look like this.

  1. Conduct keyword research. It involves identifying relevant keywords that your target audience is searching for. The output of this task should be a list of keywords that are relevant to your business and audience.
  2. Write a brief. This document includes the article outline, target audience, and specific requirements for the content. It serves as a roadmap for writers.
  3. Assign the brief to a writer/Write. Either you or the writer begin writing the first draft of the content based on the content brief and research.
  4. Provide feedback and edit. After the first draft is written, it is reviewed for clarity, accuracy, and adherence to the content brief. This step may include content editors and subject matter experts.
  5. Review the updated submission. Review the updated piece based on feedback. This may involve re-writing sections of the content, adding additional information, or correcting errors.
  6. Optimize for SEO. This step involves implementing on-page SEO practices like keyword optimization and internal linking.
  7. Upload and publish to CMS. Once the content is finalized, it is uploaded to the CMS and published.
  8. Promote. This step involves building backlinks and promoting your blog content through email newsletters, social media, or other channels.
  9. Review performance and update as necessary. Review your blog post's performance and edit it accordingly every 90 days or so.

By detailing each step and sub-step in the content production process, you can ensure a smooth workflow and deliver high-quality content consistently.

This document should clearly outline the duties associated with each task and the roles assigned to each team member, making it easier for everyone to understand their responsibilities and work together efficiently.

It will allow your colleagues to work concurrently, resulting in a more productive content generation process.

Besides walkthroughs, you should also consider creating editorial and brand guidelines. Having these in place will ensure that your content maintains a consistent tone of voice and is easily identifiable.

An editorial strategy, for example, will detail how you distribute and present your content on different platforms.

6. Schedule your content tasks.

Clearly defined timelines provide a clear framework for when tasks should be completed, keeping everyone on track and ensuring that content is produced and published in a timely manner.

This brings us to the importance of task sequencing.

In content production, the order in which tasks are performed can significantly impact the efficiency of the workflow.

For example, you wouldn't want to start designing an infographic before the research and copywriting for it are completed. By clearly defining the sequence of tasks, you can ensure a smoother workflow and avoid potential bottlenecks.

However, there may be other areas where sequencing isn't particularly important.

For instance, while the content for a blog post is being written, your social media team can simultaneously prepare promotional content for the post.

This concurrent task execution not only speeds up the content production process but also ensures better coordination among different teams.

Scheduling your content tasks will allow better utilization of resources and ensure that critical tasks are not missed.

You may use project management tools to monitor progress and ensure that tasks are completed on time. These tools can provide valuable insights into the efficiency of your team and content process, allowing you to make necessary adjustments and improvements.

5 tools for content production

Making content is hard and takes time but there are several tools that can help you through the entire process. Here are 5 platforms that can improve your content production workflow.


Surfer is an AI-driven platform that can significantly expedite and enhance your SEO content workflow. It automates the tedious and time-consuming tasks of keyword research and content planning, as well as writing high-quality, SEO-ready articles.

For example, Surfer Content Editor's advanced algorithms analyze the top-ranking pages for your target keyword, providing you with a detailed plan for your article.

An easy-to-understand content score measures all of this, including the recommended word count, keyword density, and even the content structure.

Take the example of this article I'm writing.

Surfer AI writes fully search engine-optimized articles for your team so all you are left to do is review and publish, resulting in a significantly quicker content creation workflow for your blog.

WordPress [CMS]

WordPress is the most popular content management system, and it’s well known for its versatility and ease of use. It also has an intuitive interface, allowing you to manage your content easily.

WordPress allows multiple users with different roles and permissions to collaborate on content creation. Editors, authors, and contributors can work together on a single platform.

The CMS also provides options for categorizing and tagging your content, making navigating and finding specific articles or pages easy for you and your audience.

Its multiple themes and plugins that enable you to customize the appearance and functionality of your website can be pretty handy if you don't have access to technical resources.

Google Drive [content repository]

Google Drive allows you to create various folders for different types of content, making it easy to locate specific files when needed.

You can create a dedicated folder for swipe files, where you can store successful marketing materials for inspiration. Similarly, you can have separate folders for different content types like blogs, infographics, and videos.

You can share these files with your team and control the access level of each file. Drive's cloud storage also gives you access to content assets and swipe files from anywhere at anytime.

Lastly, the version history feature allows you to track changes and revert to previous versions if needed.

Of course, you can also use other Google tools such as Docs, Sheets, or Slides in your process.

Asana [tracking software]

Asana is one of the most popular project management platforms. It’s used in small teams and huge organizations and is prized for its versatility.

This software provides multiple features that allow you to organize your content creation process from start to finish.

You can assign tasks to different team members. Each task can represent a potential content piece, and you can use custom fields to specify details such as content type, target audience, and content formats.

You can also use Asana to create a content calendar that contains all the timelines and due dates to ensure every piece of content comes out on time.

Asana also provides a centralized platform for team members to collaborate, discuss ideas, and share updates. You can use @mentions to notify specific team members about important updates or tasks requiring their attention.

Google Search Console [reporting]

Google Search Console collects your website's search performance on Google, such as the number of clicks, impressions, average click-through rates, and position.

You can look up specific pages and their target keywords, as well as uncover insights on how these pages perform in the search engine. This can help you decide what topics to focus on in the future and conduct keyword research based on these topics.

Similarly, you can also use Google Analytics to track your online performance.

Key takeaways

  • The role of the content production process is to ensure that every team member knows their role and responsibilities at every stage of the content creation process
  • Having a content production process in place allows you to measure your goals more effectively and report to stakeholders regularly
  • Establishing KPIs and metrics is critical to measuring the success of efforts as well as aligning with business goals and identifying target audience traits.
  • To create an effective content production process, you must break down every step into specific actions to avoid generalization and miscommunication.
  • AI can be a massive asset in content production at all stages, from performing research to writing briefs, but it can especially expedite the content writing process.


Streamlining your content production process is essential for maintaining a solid online presence and driving business growth.

An effective content production process requires collaboration, clear expectations and roles, deadlines and schedules, and timelines to plan and track content activities.

You'll see a marked difference in your content output by implementing an effective content process.

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Screenshot of Surfer SEO Content Editor interface, displaying the 'Essential Content Marketing Metrics' article with a content score of 82/100. The editor highlights sections like 'Key Takeaways' and offers SEO suggestions for terms such as 'content marketing metrics