Writing the content for your business is only one step in content production. While it gets a lot of the focus — along with content strategy and planning, what happens after is just as critical to consistent publishing. Content editing and approval can introduce a myriad of roadblocks, especially when multiple reviewers need to be involved. If these areas are tripping you up, it’s time to build a better process.
In this post, we’ll provide tips and strategies for creating streamlined content workflows and the tools you need to do it at scale.
Content Editing and Approval: A Sea of Challenges
If your content operations aren’t smooth sailing, that’s okay. It’s a tricky thing to manage for enterprise content teams. You may have plans, but then life happens. So, what are the root causes of content editing and approval delays?
- Siloed teams keep fragmentation present: Content approvals often require review by those outside your core team. If communication is poor or nonexistent, parties may not prioritize these tasks. It’s a top-three challenge for content marketers and causes a lot of inefficiency and chaos. Get connected to all stakeholders and make it easy for them to approve content.
- Resources are short: Often, you may not have enough editors to keep things moving. In that case, you can either slow creation or look for outside help from a freelancer.
- Organization of projects isn’t consistent: If you aren’t managing a project with a content marketing platform, you don’t have visibility, reminders, or accountability in your workflows. If those that need to edit and remove aren’t aware of this, they won’t respond.
- Content workflows aren’t realistic or detailed enough: When you develop a precise workflow for a project (different for every content format), you’ll need to account for every task and ensure that the timeframes are reasonable.
Luckily, there are ways to resolve all these challenges. You’ll need to:
- Design workflows that consider all factors and timelines
- Socialize these workflows with all parties and get their sign-off
- Organize projects with technology tools that have specific features for editing and approving
- Measure your workflow performance for insights to make adjustments
Next, we’ll elaborate on each of these steps.
Building a Content Editing and Approval Process
Building a process for the first time or revamping an existing one can be a significant project. It’s worth the time investment to get this right because your content operations are much smoother when the process works.
Designing Your Content Workflows
A content workflow is a series of tasks that make up a project. As noted, different content types require different steps. When planning these out, you’ll need ones for things like blogs, long-form content, videos, case studies, webinars, landing pages, infographics, interactive content, and any other paid, earned, or owned content you create.
The key is to peel back a project into its many phases. Writing content doesn’t always come first. In the case of a case study or article you’re ghostwriting for an SME (subject matter expert), interviews with those folks happen first. Other content arrives on your content calendar per your content planning, and writing starts. After a draft, and before design or programming, is the editing and approval window.
Editing is more manageable, and every project needs an editor’s pen. Approvals are where workflows can get messy. You may have different levels of approval required, depending on the format or topic. Beyond internal content approval, you may need the okay from legal, compliance, SMEs, product teams, or executives.
Find out how to create custom workflows by watching this intro video.
If approvals run long, you’ll need to work that into the process. It’s also a good time to set expectations about approvals, which you’ll do when you review those with these parties.
Getting Everyone on Board
No matter how defined, a process will fail if everyone doesn’t do their part. You’ll need to do some negotiating with those in approval roles. You want to be cognizant of their time, but content shouldn’t be waiting for weeks to move on to the next task. If legal and compliance are involved, get clear parameters from them on what they’d need to approve (and hope it’s only very specific compliance stuff).
You don’t want to be a content team mired in red tape. So, getting agreement from reviewer approvers on what they must look at and reasonable timelines is critical.
Organizing Your Projects in a Tech Platform
Your workflows are the backbone of your operation, and they should live in a central spot — your content marketing platform. With such a solution, you can develop custom workflows that align with the agreed-upon processes. Using this technology delivers several content editing and approval advantages, including:
- Complete transparency on each project and task (what’s done, what’s due, etc.)
- Shareable content calendar views for non-users (approvers outside your content team)
- Task management
- Custom workflow builder
- Automated reminders and notifications about tasks due
- Commenting, including @ mentions
- HTML content editor
- Track changes and version history
With these robust features, editing and approvals can be a repeatable process.
Measuring the Performance of Your Workflows
After you have all the parameters in place, you can do more than just hope for the best. A content marketing platform can measure the performance of your workflows. From this, you can gain insights into where the barriers remain for content editing and approvals. This information can help you further improve processes in your content operations.
Content Editing and Approvals: Easier with DivvyHQ
The Divvy solution is one of the most complete content marketing tools available. It includes all the capabilities discussed above and more. Its design is the culmination of understanding how content marketing works and delivering the features you need to streamline it. You can find out how it can improve your editing and approval processes by starting a free trial.