This is why you need a content creation process (yes, really)
July 28, 2017
Behind every website there’s a team of people producing content – even if that team is only one person. But whether one-person strong or dozens, every team needs a streamlined content creation process.
You actually already have a website content creation process
A content creation process doesn’t have to be complicated. Basically, you decide per content-type, from landing page to white paper and from tweet to webinar, what steps you need to take to arrive at a definitive piece of content. You make one person responsible for each step and one person guides the entire process. Maybe you don’t have the process down on paper yet, but it’s in your head. So, write it down and think about whether the way you and your team work together is also the best or most desirable way.
The Content Marketing Institute has a nice diagram to illustrate this:
Why you should want a website content creation process
Okay, okay, you can write the process down, but, why should you? I have six reasons for you:
- Because it gives you an overview of who does what (a bit obvious, but still true).
- Because it increases the commitment and sense of responsibility of everyone involved – it shows them how they contribute to the bigger picture.
- Because you can set realistic deadlines.
- Because you can identify bottlenecks and faults in the process sooner.
- Because you can work more efficiently thanks to everyone knowing where they stand.
- Because you can be more effective due to the faster and more structured process.
Sticking to your content process (+2 tools)
Of course, just writing your process down is not enough by itself. You need to stick to it, too. The first step is to make someone responsible for it, such as the project manager, for example. Next, employ tools to safeguard the process – something like Trello or GatherContent or similar. Research within your team which tools could work best for you.
In Trello (free!), you can support your process by creating multiple columns, adding status indicators, and assigning deadlines and responsibilities. Trello has a handy example of an editorial calendar to give you some ideas. Personally, I usually create something more detailed. Take a look at my model content process on Trello. Most important though is to consider what really matters for your project. I find these steps essential:
1 Backlog: a rough description of an idea.
2 Briefing: a more detailed description of an idea.
3 Create: a content producer implements the idea.
4 Review: someone reviews the work and gives feedback.
5 Revise: processing the feedback.
6 Approval: the final version is delivered for approval.
7 Go live: once approved the content goes live.
Another tool that can help you streamline your content process, especially if you work in larger teams, possibly remotely as well, is GatherContent. This paid-for tool is especially useful for larger website projects as it lets you organise and upload your content to your CMS. This avoids the need to send documents back and forth, and eliminates the hassle of managing versions.