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A Quick Guide To Efficient Content Approval Workflows


There’s a romanticized notion that creative work is based wholly on sporadic inspiration or ‘the muse’. Not only is this untrue, but it is also incredibly unproductive when you apply it to a modern context such as content marketing for businesses.

content approval workflow

Organizations often believe that creativity thrives on lack of systems. Consequently, their content marketing becomes an unholy mess.

The reality is that content marketing needs flexible frameworks or processes to be effective. Content creation, especially, requires automated content approval workflows for better outcomes.

What Is a Content Approval Workflow

A content approval workflow charts the course of the content creation process from ideation to distribution. Since content creation is typically a high-volume recurring task, content approval workflows are critical for consistency.

With an automated content approval workflow, teams can ensure that everything gets created and signed off on in time.

Where You May Be Getting It Wrong

In a 2018 study conducted by Content Marketing Institute surveying enterprises and SMBs, only 42% of respondents reported having content workflows. This means a whopping 58% operate sans workflows.

The survey also revealed that content production workflow featured in the top 3 anticipated challenges for 2018 according to 47% of respondents.

Additionally, 48% of companies also felt that they were novices when it came to employing automation to manage content across the organization.

Not all businesses that have content approval workflows in place get it right either. Some of the common mistakes in setting up content approval workflows include the following:

  • Notifications and handoffs are not automated
  • Workflows don’t make space for iterations and are too rigid
  • Forms don’t contain adequate fields to create precise briefs
  • Smaller details get missed out during process mapping
  • Content requests are not set up for input from multiple sources

How to Build an Effective Content Approval Workflow

Content approval workflows can vary in detail based on whether they are meant for SMBs or enterprises. However, the basic framework remains the same: request, creation, review, and publishing.

When creating a content approval workflow, it is important to ensure that the process answers the following questions.

  1. What are the tasks involved in the process?
  2. Who are the people responsible for carrying out them out?
  3. At what point does one task transition into the next?
  4. When do notifications need to be triggered?

For an SMB, a typical content approval workflow looks like this.

Content request:

The process begins with a request for a particular type of content. This request can come from varied sources such as the leadership of the organization, marketing team, subject matter experts, and so on. The workflow has to be designed in a way that accommodates all possible sources.

Once the request is raised, the editor or content strategist reviews it to ensure alignment with content strategy. If the topic doesn’t fit in, the editor can reject it.

SEO input:

The brief is then passed on to the search engine marketing expert who is entrusted with assigning the right keywords as well as suggesting structural elements to the content. If the content request comes from the SEO expert, this gets taken care of in the first step.


At this point, a writer is assigned to the task. If it’s an article, the task should include details such as a comprehensive brief, keywords, references, and a deadline.

If your company needs highly specialized content, you can add a step at this stage for the writer to be able to seek clarity from a subject matter expert or the requestor.

Design and review

Once the writer is done, the task passes on to the graphic designer who adds visual elements to the content.

The content then goes back to the editor for review. If there are changes to be made, the task is rerouted back to the writer or designer as the case may be. Post edits, the content comes back to the editor for final approval.

Publishing and distribution

The approved content is sent for publishing and distribution as per the strategy. Community engagement experts usually carry this out.

How Kissflow Can Bring Structure to Your Content Approval Workflows

Automating your content approval workflows doesn’t have to be a herculean task requiring large teams and enormous budgets.

Kissflow can simplify your process with intuitive visual workflow designers using approval workflow software that don’t require coding knowhow. You can customize the workflow to suit your organization’s unique content creation workflow with an easy drag-and-drop form builder.

Kissflow allows you to request clarity or redirect for changes at any step of the workflow. Customizable notifications and status reports elevate accountability within the process and minimize delays. As your company scales, Kissflow grows right alongside you.

Take a free trial of Kissflow Workflow and experience improved efficiency.