8 Steps to Streamline your Content Creation Process
According to the Content Marketing Institute, less than the half of B2B enterprises have a mature content production system. The other part is still figuring out how to structure their process of creating valuable and fresh content.
An ongoing topic is how can a team produce content at such a fast pace if it has a limited time and resources?
Content marketing requires an unprecedented level of quality and specialization, thus you need to find ways to boost efficiency.
Rise to the challenge by using the following techniques to streamline your content creation process.
Define your purpose
What does your brand need to accomplish? Breakdown your content marketing plan into campaigns that involve specific pieces of content. Then, set key performance indicators per campaign, so every content has a clear purpose.
Most likely, your content aims to achieve one of several common goals:
- Improving search engine visibility.
- Generating leads.
- Increasing brand awareness.
- Converting more sales.
- Retaining customers.
- Building brand trust and authority
Use your campaign objective as the main guide to direct the whole content creation process. Align your content’s KPIs with the campaign purpose, and use them to track the content’s performance.
Identify your buyer persona
Define who are you are trying to reach with the content. Define them by demographics, profession, interests, media consumption, influencers on the customer journey, etc.
List all the important details that will help your content team to understand who they are writing for.
By knowing who you want to reach you will create the type of content to accomplish your campaign purpose. Drill-down into your data to precisely define the people to whom you will speak.
Not only spot the content preferences of the buyer personas but also their preferred social channels. Document the best performing channels to streamline the process of content distribution.
Make a content calendar
Any organized approach to content creation requires a schedule that will ensure your content gets published on time. Managing a content marketing team demands a sophisticated approach.
Consider using a cloud-based project management app to coordinate content-related activities and to make everyone aware of their deadlines.
In addition to your editorial calendar, be sure to also create a schedule for publishing content to social media.
Keep your team informed
Inform your entire marketing team about the overall content strategy, not just your content creators.
Make everyone aware of the organizational goals by overviewing the content and campaign’s goals to promote teamwork and eliminate silos.
Get everyone involved in suggesting topics for your editorial calendar and offer an overview of the content topics. It will help your team to integrate your brand communication across different campaigns and teams.
One option to structure your content strategy is using topic clusters, proposed by HubSpot:
Set an agile process
Speed up the process of creating content by having a library of predetermined templates and guidelines that will set a base for future projects.
Help your team to avoid the “blank page effect” with a white paper, e-book, or case study template. Having a bank of templates not only streamlines the production process, but it also unifies the tone of voice.
Chose a centralized application to manage your projects and eliminate the need to communicate via email. Look for a cloud-based marketing automation app for your team to use. From a centralized platform, you can plan, schedule and manage your content for all your channels.
Grouping similar tasks and processing them in bulk can result in considerable time savings. For example, avoid taking photographs as you need them. Instead, schedule a photo shoot where you can collect and process all the images you need for several months.
Similarly, optimize your research by creating all your content pertaining to a particular content at the same time. Likewise, if you plan a series of customer interviews, do them all at once, even if you spread your content over the course of weeks or months.
Always look for ways to create economies of scale by grouping similar tasks.
Involve your audience
User-generated content can save you a lot of time while giving you a perfect opportunity to engage your customers. Rather than guessing what content people want, why not get them to create it themselves?
Simply by asking, you can get a steady stream of targeted content for free. It also will make your customers feel valued, setting the stage for long-term relationships. Finally, your readers can benefit from actual customers who have real-world experience with your brand.
To stimulate audience involvement, consider organizing a contest that rewards the best UGC with a valuable prize.
Update your work
New technologies and trends can emerge that render your existing content obsolete. For this reason, your content can lose its value over time.
Add periodic reviews to your workflow to extend the usefulness of your content without investing much time.
Every few months, review your content library to refresh your old work. As part of the process, remove outdated information and add replace it to reflect the current business landscape. Use your analytics data to prioritize your work.
Start with formerly high-performance content that has lost its edge.
To make sure your content-update strategy gets enough attention, consider setting aside an entire day to do the job.
As you can see, the content creation process involves many steps. Create written policies and procedures for moving work through every stage from start to completion.
Also, create supportive materials. Style guides or templates will ensure that all your content creators produce consistent work.
Make all your articles of a similar type follow the same pattern, so you should create templates to standardize your workflows.
The above techniques can help you streamline your content creation process. Combine a documented strategy, speed-up tactics and predefined workflows to do more in less time. Most of all, you can deliver the high-quality content that your audience needs, resulting in measurable ROI.