5 Steps to Automate Your Content Marketing Workflow
February 21st, 2017 • workflow
As the Content Marketing head in your organization, you know how important great, compelling content is. But anyone who has managed a content creation workflow knows how much work is involved in getting one piece published.
When we first started to grow KiSSFLOW, we had the occasional burst of content creation on our blog, followed by a long lull. Some articles we thought were amazing never raised an eyebrow and we questioned what we were doing. Other times we flooded the blog with so many articles that no one could keep up. Some articles would write themselves and be published on the blog in less than a day while others would take weeks to finish.
In short, there was quite a bit of chaos.
Given that workflow automation is our core business, we designed an automated process that plugs all the holes and give us a predictable way to create strategic and useful content. Ours is specific to blog posts, but you can adapt it for other content forms like audio, video and others.
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Here’s how we did it.
Identify the Goals
In automating our process of generating blog articles, we wanted to solve several problems.
1. Our content was thematically all over the place.
Solution: Choose three major themes and force the initiator to choose one.
2. Keywords were sometimes afterthought.
Solution: Include the keyword research before the writing begins to justify the article and help the writer.
3. The person distributing the articles couldn’t make a plan to market them until they were already published.
Solution: Send an email notification to the distributor after the topic is approved so that he can prepare to place that article in the best place.
Identify the Roles
Lots of people play a part in generating blog posts as a part of our content marketing. While each role is ideally best done by a different person, startups may consider these as logical roles that are done by the same person, although it will likely be less effective.
- Managing Editor: This is the head of your content team who manages the editorial calendar and approves articles.
- SEO Analyst: This person identifies the best keywords to focus on for each article.
- Content Writer: You may use in-house or freelance writers. Our experience using platforms like Fiverr and UpWork has been very poor in our B2B marketing.
- Community Evangelist: This is the person who distributes the content in the right communities where your prospects and influencers hang out.
Next, Sketch Out a Content Creation Process Flow
Here’s what ours looks like:
Step 1: Request Content & SEO Analysis
Several people can initiate a content request. It might come from the Managing Editor according to the editorial calendar, or it might be an emergency SEO request, or the CEO might have a fundamental idea that needs to get up.
Most of our articles go through some SEO work before they are written, but a few don’t require it. So, we’ve designed the process to automatically filter non-SEO posts to the next step. This can also trigger if the SEO person initiates the request so that he/she doesn’t have to duplicate the work.
On the form, the SEO expert or Managing Director can add notes about if the SEO should be onpage or offpage, the expected length of the article, and a due date. The keyword search volume gives an indication to the Managing Editor to determine if we are actually creating content that end-users are searching for. If the search volume is low then an assessment of whether it is a longtail keyword would be done.
Step 2: Identify Distribution
This is a key piece that too many teams wait to think about until it is too late. You need to know where you are going to distribute the content outside of your blog. At this step, the community evangelist identifies niche community forums and other watering-holes along with their estimated traffic.This helps the Editor and Writer craft the message for a particular audience, and gives the content more purpose and meaning than just quietly sitting on our blog.
Step 3: Assign Writer and Accept the Content
The Managing Editor will edit the headline and SEO title as required, and will give the writer a full brief on what to write about, including the tone and the right persona. The writer gets an email from KiSSFLOW and uploads a Google Docs link. From there, the Managing Editor and the writer can work out the final shape of the article. From within KiSSFLOW, the Managing Editor can also send notes and clarifications back to anyone else earlier in the workflow in case there is a change in plans for the article.
Step 4: Add Images and Publish Content
Once the content is approved, our graphic designer gets to see the article and create or find the perfect visual addition. Then, in our case, the SEO expert is the one who finally publishes the article, adds the image, and makes sure all the SEO tags are in place.
Step 5: Distribute Content
Finally, the Community Evangelist is notified that the post is live. He or she crafts some unique messages for different platforms to distribute the article. Before completing this step, the team also collects stats from their effort and uploads them into the form.
Each company has a different strategy and culture when it comes to content creation. When you look at our flow, you would likely want to make several changes and tweaks to match your needs. Luckily our Content Marketing workflow app can given free along with this blog post can be modified and customized to match your needs 100%.