Content Marketing Workflow - The Ultimate Guide

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One of the ways you can build a strong foundation for your business is by developing a content marketing workflow.

A workflow is an integrated plan for what content will be created, who will create it, when it’ll be published and promoted, how to measure its success, and where to find certain resources.

This article will go into detail on the importance of defining your workflow and how to develop a content marketing workflow that covers all bases from start to finish.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

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What is a Content Marketing Workflow?

A content marketing workflow is an integrated plan that includes everything from selecting the right audience, creating your content assets, and promoting them throughout your marketing channels.

In order to get the most out of content marketing, you need to have a strong workflow. The best ones include everything from strategy to tracking your results.

When creating a robust content marketing workflow, it’s important to consider all of these areas.

The main idea behind a content marketing workflow is to organize the process in order for you to get more efficient at creating great content and promoting it throughout your marketing channels.

The best content marketers out there have a well-oiled workflow that they split up into different areas.

The Content Marketing Workflow Machine

1. Content Strategy

It’s extremely important to have a good strategy when it comes to developing your content. You want to make sure that you are creating content that is going to be valuable to your audience.

This starts with deciding on a topic.

Remember, it’s all about catering to your target audience and their interests.

While it’s okay to mix things up and talk about multiple topic areas during the course of a few months, try to have an idea of where you’ll be focusing for the next few weeks or months.

This is called topic clustering and it’s working like a charm in the eyes of Google since it’s looking for authority and expertise in each content production site, even in brand new sites.

So, if you want to get quicker results, topic clustering is the way to go.

Once you’ve settled on a topic area, create a detailed outline. This should include all of the major points that you’ll want to touch upon in your content.

Now that you have all of your main points, it’s time to think about how the content will flow from start to finish.

2. Contributor Relations

The second area to consider is the faces who will contribute to bringing your content workflow to life. A few questions that should come up are:

  • Who will be writing your content?
  • Will there be multiple contributors?
  • What is the writing to publishing process like?
  • What will be the publishing frequency?
  • What type of content we will focus on at first?

These are a few basic questions you need to consider when putting together a workflow for developing your content.

You want to make sure that you are working with writers who will bring something unique to the table each time.

The best way to do that is by having a consistent approval process where you outline everything from deadlines to formatting guidelines.

3. Content Creation

This is where your writers will come into play. Now that you have a crew of contributors ready to work, it’s time to start creating content.

It’s also important to decide on how long your content should be. This partially depends on your strategy and topic idea.

In most cases, content that is ranging from 1200 words to 2500 words is the best.

You can always get a bit more detailed with things like ebooks, but for blog posts, you want to make sure that you keep it concise.

However, the length of your content will depend on search intent, keyword competitiveness, and plenty of other factors.

Because it does not make sense to write a 10,000-word article for a keyword like “how to tie a shoe”.

Likewise, you may not want to write 500 words for a keyword that needs to really educate a reader.

4. Distribution Channels

Part of the reason you’re creating content in the first place is to get it in front of your target audience.

This means that part of your content marketing workflow should involve deciding which distribution channels to use with each piece of content.

Besides the obvious networks like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, you might want to focus more energy on writing content for Google.

In fact, Google traffic is the king of traffic and your goal should be to have a huge portion of your audience come from Google.

Why do I prefer Google traffic? Simply because it converts 500% better than social media traffic.

However, the key is to have a variety of distribution channels and avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.

With that said, you can start with creating content for the search engines and 1 social media. As you grow and are already getting a good ROI, you can start reaching out to new audiences on other platforms.

How to Develop a Content Marketing Workflow Framework in 7 Steps

Whatever strategy you choose, the content marketing workflow framework needs to be consistent for the people who’ll be creating your content.

Before looking into creating a content marketing workflow, you need to decide on what kind of workflow this will be.

The first step to creating a content marketing workflow is taking a look at the various parts of your strategy that make up your content.

Defining content marketing workflows is not complicated but requires some planning and preparation.

Here are the 6 essential steps to follow when creating your content marketing workflow.

  • Assess Your Content Strategy
  • Choose Your Workflow Approach
  • Select Your Content Marketing Toolkit
  • Identify & Assign Tasks
  • Define Each Step in the Content Creation Process
  • Document Your Process

Let’s break these down!

1. Assess Your Content Strategy

It is important to assess your content strategy before you start creating your workflow, as you need to keep in mind all your content marketing objectives, already set in your content strategy

Having a recap of your content strategy will not only let you link it to the workflows you have in mind but also create a checklist of all the user end needs that you want your content marketing efforts to meet.

2. Identify & Assign Tasks

When it comes to content marketing, there are definitely not one or two tasks, there are multiple tasks, right?

But the first thing is to identify all these content-related tasks, split them where necessary, and organize them in a tool like Monday.

After knowing all the tasks, it is important to assign each task to someone or a group of people

This will help keep you on schedule and each assigned worker will be keeping the content creation process moving forward.

3. Select Your Content Marketing Toolkit

Deciding on what tools you will use is the next step in creating a content marketing workflow and it’s essential to the creation process, as well.

Without the right toolkit, you might find yourself dragging your heels a bit and creating content that is not up to your audience’s standards.

Below is a small list of the basic content marketing tools you can start with:

  • Ahrefs or Semrush for keyword research, competitor analysis, link building, topic ideation, etc…
  • Buzzsumo for content inspiration and curation.
  • Grammarly or Hemingway for proofreading all your content.
  • Buffer for all your social media marketing needs

I recommend you check out this article for a bigger list of the best content marketing tools.

4. Choose Your Workflow Approach

As with any new process, you want to make sure to select the right workflow as it is going to be your way of structuring all your content and you want to stick to it for a pretty long time to avoid confusion or disruption in the process.

For instance, there are a few workflow approaches you can choose from:

  • Role-Based Approach: This approach is usually employed by larger organizations but can also be used by smaller businesses as well. This approach is more structured since it involves assigning each task to a certain person or group of people, and you plan on that person or group of people doing all the work.
  • Status Approach: In this approach, assignees take over one or various tasks based on the status of the task. Basically, the status approach indicates where a piece of content stands right now and where it should go next.
  • Task Approach: Probably the easiest approach but can be overwhelming to an assignee. The task approach is self-explanatory and involves assigning tasks to an individual, usually by the type of task.

5. Define Each Step in the Content Creation Process

Creating each step in the content creation process is the outcome of your research and involves putting all pieces of information down on paper.

This part is critical as it defines where you and other contributors stand with your content creation process.

If you have multiple people working on your content, this step will make sure they are all on the same page and understand their roles in the process.

6. Document Your Process

The last, but also an essential step of the content marketing workflow framework is to document your process.

Like I said before, you want to make sure everyone understands his or her role and understands the process so that you can focus on creating content that meets your goals.

Documenting your content marketing workflow is beneficial in many ways such as:

  • It allows you to track your content marketing process and identify any issues that might arise.
  • When a contributor gets added to the team, the new person can easily find what to do and where to start by going through the workflow, hence making the onboarding process seamless.
  • It saves time while setting up the process so you don’t have to repeat it whenever someone joins your team or leaves it.
  • It is an essential guide for both new and experienced contributors to the process and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
  • If a new contributor comes in, they can pick up where they left off with minimal hiccups as they continue executing your marketing strategy.

Furthermore, when documenting your process, you can use a flowchart to visually explain each step and the tasks involved in creating one piece of content.

It will be beneficial for new and experienced contributors alike as they can understand the process from the beginning.

In summary, beginning with a comprehensive assessment of your content strategy, creating your workflow approach, identifying and assigning tasks, selecting your content marketing toolkit, and defining each step in the content creation process are all essential to creating a content marketing workflow.

The Importance of Defining a Content Marketing Workflow

All of what we’ve talked about might seem lots of work and difficult to comprehend if you’re just starting out but defining content marketing workflows is a foundational step in creating content.

It sets the foundation, providing structure to your content creation process and ensures that each contributor understands his or her job in the process.

By defining a content marketing workflow and setting it as your guiding principle for every piece of content you create, you will be able to track who created what and when making it easier for new contributors to understand where they stand.

This will keep them more motivated as well so that they can continuously churn out high-quality content for your audience’s benefit.

Moreover, when you have a defined process, you can always revert to it when something goes wrong or when a small hiccup pops up, making it easy and efficient for your content marketing efforts.

Best Practices to Streamline Your Content Marketing Workflow

In this section, we’re going to talk about the best practices you can use to streamline your content marketing workflow.

1. Develop Your Content Marketing Process from the Ground Up

Instead of creating a separate process for each contributor, it is always recommended that you start with the process as a whole and work down to your contributors.

This will allow everyone on the team to understand their roles in the process and make sure everyone understands their role in creating high-quality content for your audience.

2. Make It a Collaborative Process

It is highly encouraged to make your content marketing workflow process as collaborative as possible by involving everyone on your team who is creating content for your audience.

This way, you’ll have a better understanding of what each contributor has contributed and how they can contribute more.

You might come across some problems here and there but it’s better to iron them out now than in the future.

3. Keep it Simple: Minimize Your Components

So many people have a difficult time setting up a content marketing process because they believe that there are too many things to figure out.

However, the truth is that setting up a workflow is not complex at all and it can be done with just three components: workflow approach, toolkit, and process.

4. Focus on Time and Quality Not Quantity

Be realistic about how much time you can spend on the content creation process for each piece of content you create.

Instead of focusing on creating as many pieces as possible, focus on creating content that meets your goals. Remember that you want to create great content and not just a lot of content.

5. Identify Your Key Contributors

When starting out, it can be difficult to map out everyone’s roles in your content creation process because you will have a new team member or two in the mix.

Therefore, you should start by identifying your key contributors – these are the people who will create almost all of your content.

6. Be Visual

Creating a content marketing workflow with visual flowcharts will help a lot in understanding your process. Sure, you can still create text-based flowcharts but it sometimes becomes hard to track as you go.

That’s where having a tool like ClickUp or Monday with the Kanban board system or Gantt charts comes into play.

Both of these tools allow you to make a visual flowchart for your workflow approach, toolkit, and process all in one place.

7. Track Regularly

Establishing a schedule for the content creation process is also essential to create high-quality pieces of content for your audience’s benefit.

Having a schedule that you follow will help you maintain consistency and put your content out on time.

This will also help you identify any gaps in the content creation process as they will surface once they’re time sensitive.

8. Review It Regularly

The best method to keep your content creation process on track is to put it into a review cycle. It doesn’t have to be complicated either; a simple meeting every month will do.

This way, you keep your team in the loop and have an overview of what you’re doing each week.

If a piece of content is not created on time or it’s not of high enough quality, then discuss what needs to be done next and how the team can improve.

9. Keep Track of KPIs

Once you have your standard processes in place, you should also put KPIs in place.

You need to see if you are on track or not with your content marketing and reports can help identify any gaps quickly, tweak what is not working, and put you back on track.

10. Document Your Process

Putting your process into a document can be beneficial, as it will help you explain the entire process to new contributors more easily.

It will also save you time explaining everything over and over again. This way, you won’t have to worry about missing a key detail when explaining your process.

11. Update It

Remember that a process is never static. This means that you might have to make small adjustments in your process throughout the years as you progress.

For example, the way that you create content for videos might not work anymore because new technologies come out.

However, those old ways still work and it’s better to learn from your mistakes than ignore them.

Top 3 Content Marketing Workflow Tools

As I said earlier, having the right tools at your disposal will help you streamline your content marketing process, create better content and fill in any gaps that might be left in your process.

The good news is that there are many tools available to help you create your content marketing workflow easily and they are not expensive.

Here are 3 tools that can help you organize your process as well as improve its output in the long run.

1. ClickUp

ClickUp is a full project management platform that makes it easy to create a complete workflow from the ground up.

You can start by creating your workflows and team collaborations, and setting up tasks and subtasks.

ClickUp uses the Kanban board, is fully customizable and responsive, and is available for both mobile and desktop devices.

For more details, check this comparison review between Click & Asana.

2. Monday

Monday is another amazing workflow management software that turns a bunch of tasks into a visual flowchart.

It’s easy to set up, has a great user interface, and is really fast at keeping everything you need in one place.

Learn more about Monday in this comparison review here.

3. Asana

From daily tasks to dynamic workflows, Asana has proven to be a great tool for teams that are tired of managing everything in emails and want to get their work done quickly.

Asana is fully customizable and offers robust features.

Wrap Up

Hope you have learned something from this article about content marketing workflow.

I know that it’s not easy to create a workflow in the beginning but once you put work into it, you will see the results.

A content marketing workflow can seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be if you know what you’re doing and most importantly if you have an amazing team and tools to help you out.

It’s true that you need to put your time, energy, and effort into creating excellent pieces of content for your audience but without a well-planned workflow, your chances of succeeding and standing out from the crowd are slim.

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Nat Caesar is the Owner, Senior Editor & Head of Growth at Myndset. She is also the Founder of Caesar Media, a Digital Media Agency based in Mauritius. Since 2014 she has worked with more than 250 companies around the world including a few reputable brands like Adobe, Starbucks, Lacoste, and Pinterest Labs among others. Nat is also a seasoned SEO copywriter in the SaaS & B2B space. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected]