Publishing and producing content consistently is hard. It’s not just about having enough resources. Your workflows matter, as well. When they are not as streamlined as they should be or processes are erratic, you are bound to hit snags in production. Content workflow bottlenecks threaten your throughput, quality, and content marketing goals.
Finding workarounds, many times through technology, is essential to ensuring you stay on track. If your enterprise content team is dealing with bottlenecks, then you’ll want to keep reading to learn some solutions to your problems.
What Is a Content Workflow?
Before we talk about content workflow bottleneck workarounds, we need to define the process. In the simplest terms, a content workflow describes tasks a team must complete to deliver a piece of content. It’s typically sequential processes that define the tactical elements of content production.
The more content you create and the more formats you use, the more workflows you’ll have. In most scenarios, each task is dependent on the one that comes before it. That’s where bottlenecks occur. By analyzing the activity of content producers in a content marketing platform, you can identify the most severe bottlenecks and develop ways to avoid them.
The Answer to Content Workflow Bottlenecks: Workarounds
Often the biggest challenge with workflows is that they are too complex. Simplification can speed them up and provide better visibility to projects. With the right platform, you’ll be able to do just that, so let’s look at some necessary workarounds.
Ignored or Missed Notifications
There will be hiccups in your content planning. Many things can cause delays and need attention. To address these hiccups quickly, you’ll want to send notifications to those team members that are involved. For example, if your project is an infographic and one of the statistics is no longer valid, you’d need to send it back to the writer or editor to find a new stat before the designer can complete it.
If you rely on email chains or IM chats to notify the user, they could be ignored or missed. The workaround is to automate this with technology. Notifications are still sent by email but also appear on the main dashboard. Thus, the user is more likely to see them here and react to them promptly.
Stalling Out in Approvals
Depending on your industry, your content team may require approvals from legal or compliance to move forward. These roles are outside your content hub but are still part of the process. These individuals have busy schedules and much on their plate, so they may not prioritize approvals, leaving content in limbo.
There are several ways to address this. First, meet with these groups to establish how the workflow goes and get a commitment on SLAs (service level agreements). Second, map out what types of content or language they need to approve. Third, provide them reviewer access to your content marketing system so that their tasks occur inside your platform.
Check out these other tips for working with legal and compliance.
Lack of Visibility and a 360-Degree View
Another wrench in content production is an inability for all stakeholders to see the bigger picture. This makes it harder to prioritize and hold users accountable. The best workaround is a content calendar that’s visible to all and provides a holistic view of all content projects.
If you aren’t using a dynamic content calendar accessible by all stakeholders, your workflows will be in peril. Using spreadsheets as a content calendar requires constant updating and changes. Notifications are not automatic, and even if it’s in a shared drive, you can’t be sure that all users see the correct version. You also can’t filter and search like you can with a dynamic calendar.
Your content calendar keeps you on pace to hit your monthly output goals. It also makes it clear where the bottlenecks are. You’ll quickly see patterns. For example, if your writers are cranking out content, but it’s sitting in SEO optimization for some time, there’s your problem. You’ll see that this becomes a dead zone and interferes with your calendaring. It could ultimately lead you to a clear business case of adding headcount in this area.
Content Management Is Chaotic
Content management can directly impact content workflows. If your producers don’t have access to the content strategy, content plans, and workflow documentation, production might be impacted. Further, even if you have these foundational documents, they may live in multiple areas, making it more time-intensive to find them.
You can consolidate and centralize this, in addition to your entire content library, in content marketing software. When your team has all the necessary knowledge and documentation, they can conquer workflows adeptly.
Distribution Needs Planning, Too
Once your content is complete, it’s ready for its debut. Unfortunately, this is another common bottleneck for teams. Whether you have to wait for platform gatekeepers (ex: your CMS expert) to get your content assets loaded and published, or poor planning has led to a backlog of things that need to be distributed, perhaps you need to look into some content automation technologies that removes those roadblocks.
Reporting Is Slow and Painful
Understanding content performance is the finish line for a content workflow. Everyone wants to know how an audience responded to it. Is it getting views? Shares on social media? Helping you boost organic ranking?
These metrics are critical to defining if the project was a success. It will also inform your future content. Reporting is cumbersome for most content teams. This is because analytics can be in multiple systems. It’s not efficient or effective. However, a content marketing solution can aggregate data from various sources, from Google Analytics to social media sites. With this approach, you streamline the end of your workflow and gain the insights you need.
Eliminate Content Workflow Bottlenecks with DivvyHQ
Our content marketing platform can be the end of your content workflow woes. It has the features and functionality to address every task and keep content moving toward completion. Experience how it simplifies content workflows by trying it for free.