The Content Management Workflow You’ve Been Waiting For

Arunkumar Balakrishnan

November 22nd, 2017 workflow  

Website Meme

You are never done creating content.

Whether it is a new topic, a new product, or a new search term, there will always be a need for more content.

But since content is made by ‘creatives’ who are supposed to buck conventions, any attempt to standardize a process might be seen as restricting creativity.

Anyone who has been creating content for a while knows that the content management workflow is just like any other business process. It is predictable and it repeats over and over again. But unlike something like a Purchase Order process, the content creation process does need a little more flexibility.

Understanding the Content Lifecycle

A content management workflow starts with knowing what the content lifecycle is.

Here’s a basic outline:

  • Form a strategy. Think through the why and what of the content. Who is the audience? What is the best medium to reach them? What is the distribution plan?
  • Create the content. With detailed documentation and context, help your creative team know what to make and give them the tools to do it, along with deadlines.
  • Review for quality. Does the piece stick to your internal style guide? Does it meet the requirements? What edits and changes need to be made? Rinse and repeat until you answer yes to all these questions.
  • Publish. Release your content to the world through your desired platform. Make sure it is easy for people to find.
  • Distribute content. Spread the news to reach as much of your audience as possible. This includes social media, video websites, blogs, and other medium to provide maximum reach.
  • Audit and modify your strategy. After you see how the content performs, figure out if you need to improve the quality or distribution process to get your message to your audience.

Common Complaints of Content Management Workflows

Content creators have been singing the same song for decades when it comes to the problems with traditional content management workflows.

  • They are too restrictive. Content naturally requires a lot of editing and iterations. Classic workflow systems look more like an industrial situation where there are never any changes.
  • Too many iterations. Creatives hate it when they spend hours working on a piece of content, only to have it go through 10 extra versions and it ends up looking nothing like the original.
  • The final axe. Everyone knows about that content project which went on for months, only to come across some VP’s desk and all of a sudden the whole thing is trashed. Nothing is more discouraging for content creators than to have all of their work thrown away.

How Can a Modern Content Management Workflow Help?

When you use a modern content management workflow system, the first thing you will notice is the flexibility. At each step, you can reassign the task to someone else, or push the task on to a later step. The workflow system should provide some guardrails around the existing process and help move it along, not prohibit the final product from having the best quality.

The second thing a good content management workflow platform can give is better context. Many times, the content creators don’t know why some changes have to be made, how it will be used, or who the intended audience is. As a part of the workflow, you can create separate fields in a form.

Some of the fields might include details about the audience, what the distribution plan is, or if there are any inspirations on how the content should look.

Lastly, approvals can be built into a content management system workflow so that it doesn’t have to wait until the end to be seen. As much as some content creators hate to have someone looking over their back all the time, they hate it more when their work isn’t used. By including approval steps in the middle of the process, it ensures that everyone stays informed on the process and there are no surprises.

Get the Benefits

By using a great content management workflow, your team will be much happier. You can save time by taking advantage of a predictable workflow. You can also keep all of your documents in an automatically created folder that everyone in the team has access to. Content management workflows often have leaks in them, but if you use a dedicated system, you can keep your content fresh and updated.

Keeping your content relevant, fresh, and profitable can sometimes feel daunting, along with having all of your business operations running as well. That’s why a good content management workflow platform can help you stay on top of things.

You can keep your content relevant, ensure that new content is produced on time, and have parallel workflows happening for the same piece of content, all without having to go through logistical nightmares.