If you’re reading this, you’re probably on board with the notion that content is still the king of marketing. Content marketing continues to be the best way to attract traffic to sites, generate leads, and assert thought leadership. But creating content is only one piece of the content marketing puzzle.
Putting the entire puzzle together includes managing people, processes and technical components, which gets complex quickly as companies scale their content scope and operation. So, are there ways to simplify content marketing management? The answer is yes, and here’s where to start.
Content Is Everywhere, and a Lot of It Is Garbage
So, in the world of content marketing, almost every brand is in the game. The quantity of content out there is astounding and growing steadily. But much of it is garbage. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s poorly written or produced. It just doesn’t have value. It either doesn’t provide anything unique or useful, or it’s just a self-serving ad masquerading as content.
You don’t want to end up in this boat. That’s why it’s critical to focus on developing a content marketing management process that streamlines the research, creation, and execution of your content.
How to Own Content Marketing Management (and Make It Simple)
Content marketing management defines the lifecycle of each piece of content you produce. It dictates the creation, organization, optimization, and distribution. Management is a process in itself. And, when executed well, it will improve efficiency and reduce barriers and roadblocks.
First, you need to establish a content marketing management process or methodology. Content marketing management enables you to systematically oversee and guide a content idea from the first step of creation to the final step of archiving or updating.
Within the content marketing management lifecycle, there are six stages:
- Creation and content workflows
- Storage and accessibility
- Editing and approving
- Publishing and distribution
- Archiving or updating
Let’s look at each stage and the tools you can use to simplify them.
No matter which marketing discipline you’re managing, you have to get organized first. This stage often includes a variety of processes that vary from company to company, but often include:
- Ideation and content request intake
- Reviewing/approving ideas based on strategic alignment
- Content/editorial scheduling
- Resource allocation
Unless you’re a one man/woman content operation, you need a framework to track and manage these processes. So how do you simplify? Get a content calendar.
A content calendar is a central hub that documents all the processes, roles, and workflows for the creation of each piece of content. It’s a living and breathing central repository that enables your team to know the stage of any piece of content immediately.
A content calendar can also be a place where ideas are shared and nurtured for future content. With a content calendar, you have true transparency that improves communication and collaboration.
Creation and Content Workflow
The content creation stage of content marketing management is where the magic happens. It involves all the creative elements of content marketing but also must be supported with tools.
Content creation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. In most cases, multiple people are involved from writers to editors to designers to approvers. There are lots of moving parts here, each with its own deadlines. And the more people that are involved, the more complex and inefficient your workflow is likely to become.
That’s why it’s so critical to have content workflows nailed down to simplify your content marketing management process. Content workflows are most easily managed and leveraged when you use a content marketing solution. With a platform that provides transparency and accountability, your content workflows can detail each task and the keep the responsible party on track.
Storage and Accessibility
Another messy part of managing content is keeping tabs on where everything lives. This element is important because your entire team needs to know where they should store things and where they can find existing assets. It’s all about simplifying accessibility. You can solve this issue by using content marketing software that offers asset search.
By allowing for easy storage, your team will spend less time digging through email inboxes, server archives or asking others where to find something. You may not realize how much time your team is spending just looking for things. Having a central repository that is accessible to all can actually be a huge boost to productivity.
Editing and Approving
You want your content to be consistently high-quality. To achieve this, there are often multiple rounds of editing and approval within workflows. Editing goes beyond grammar and proofreading. Editing also involves ensuring that your content is:
- In tune with your brand messaging and brand personality
- Valuable to your audience
- Supported by research or data if applicable
- Highly readable, consumable, and shareable
These four things have much to do with your QA process, which if you don’t have the right tools in place, can be cumbersome. Again, look to your content marketing software to help you navigate this part of content management.
Once a piece is edited and ready to go, it often still must be approved. This can sometimes include the approval of legal or compliance, depending on your industry or topic. Approvals can be a huge hurdle in content management, but this process can be streamlined with the workflows you’ve created.
Publishing and Promotion
The time has come to share your content with the world! All the work performed by multiple people comes together when you hit publish. However, it’s not as easy as just pushing a button.
You should have guidelines to simplify the publishing process to ensure you have the specific requirements for each piece of content. For example, before publishing a blog post on WordPress, you may need your team to walk through a pre-publishing checklist:
- Are images sized correctly and optimized for small file size?
- Has a focus keyword been identified?
- Has a meta title and meta description been included?
- Are our headers and sub-headers written well for scanning?
- Have we selected and input the designated categories and tags?
- Do our images have alt text?
With this level of detail for the process, you are more likely to have consistent results, even if multiple people play a role in executing this step. But don’t think this has to be time-consuming. Content marketing software can automate the publishing process for you.
In addition to publishing the content, you also need to promote it. This could be on social media profiles as well as through email marketing. Understand the right channels for distribution and include steps to using each of them. Need a handy checklist for promoting blog posts? I gotcha covered.
Archiving or Updating
Your content is now out on the interwebs and hopefully providing you with great results and ROI. However, the content lifecycle isn’t over. A piece of content can go through more iterations after it’s been released.
There are also times when it may need to be archived. You may decide to archive it because it’s out of date, no longer relevant, or isn’t reflective of your brand and longer. You should set up some criteria to determine when content may need to be removed.
Most likely, you’ll want to keep your content published and simply update it. Updating could mean that you need to add new stats that are more current or provide an additional explanation for a topic that has been impacted by external changes. Document a process for content governance and bring those tasks back into your content calendar.
Ready to simplify content marketing management? Hopefully these tips I provided will get you started. To take your process even further, we’d highly recommend giving DivvyHQ a try. Check it out for free.