Why your business needs a content workflow

October 14, 2016Content Marketing Platform

All marketers without their head in the sand know content marketing should be a significant portion of their marketing strategy.

For a large group or company, this presents a major challenge – how do you involve people from across the business in content marketing without creating chaos?

The answer has to do with content marketing governance and content workflow.


We will look at:

  • What is content workflow?
  • Why you need to set up an official content workflow.
  • How to succeed with your content workflow through:
    • Editorial team.
    • Mapping workflow.
    • Content management platform.


What is content workflow?

A content workflow is the set of tasks your team needs to complete for a client or internal purposes.

Every team has a workflow, which may be defined and written down in an official document. Tasks may include editing a webpage, writing a proposal or researching and commissioning blog posts.

Why do you need analytics in your workflow?

Analytics is where a lot of content marketers fall down. Don’t make the costly mistake of not analysing your readers and learning how they’re responding.

Make sure you engage someone in this role who has a positive, human approach to analytics. They’ll help you unlock the business value from what they discover.

Key takeaways:

  • Content workflow is the set of tasks your team needs to complete a job.
  • Define, test and improve your workflow.
  • Don’t forget analytics.


Why you need to set up an official content workflow

Leaving workflows undefined adds risk to a project. It can be difficult to keep track of a large number of projects, especially those with multiple contributors. If team members are unsure of their responsibilities, how much effort is required from them, and who is doing what?

Defining a content workflow allows your team to:

  • Break the content process into steps.
  • See what stage content is at along its development.
  • Identify where the content needs approval.
  • Know who is responsible for each step and when.


A good content workflow will assist the project manager in identifying bottlenecks so they can address them quickly.


A quick side note

You’ll likely be considering content workflow as part of an overall content strategy so looking at marketing automation will be another major factor in your success.

While this all might sound a little admin-heavy, we haven’t forgotten about creativity. You can be organised and data-driven and creative at the same time.

It’s also important not to forget to include new ways of showcasing your content. Younger audiences in particular are loving live content.

Key takeaway:

  • Not having a defined workflow creates risk to the project.
  • Defining your content workflow allows your team to see who’s responsible for what and when.


How to succeed with your content workflow

  • Creating a successful workflow isn’t just a matter of drawing a pretty diagram and leaving the rest to chance. Several elements make up a successful content workflow.
  • Start by creating an editorial team. This is a group tasked with commissioning and editing content to get approval for calendars and content from stakeholders.
  • Setting up meetings regularly to review content workflows will help speed up the approval process. This gives your different teams a global vision of your content strategy and its progression.

Mapping workflow

How do you structure your content workflow so you can translate strategic objectives into ideas for topics then manage production, revisions and approval?


1. Identify the right team, which may include:

  • Project manager(s).
  • Content strategists.
  • Content experts.
  • Business owners.
  • Writers.
  • Editors.
  • Graphic designers.
  • Web developers.


2. Identify what each role is responsible for:

  • Spell out the tasks in detail to avoid confusion.
  • If more detail is needed, refer team members to a separate doc for their area of responsibility.
  • Don’t let it be vague. All team members need to be aware of completion dates.
  • If approvals are a major hold-up in your content workflow, they needn’t be.


3. Identify when tasks get done:

  • Deadlines need to be specific.
  • Set clear milestones and dependencies.
  • If several feedback loops are included (such as HR, legal, executive), clearly show these.
  • Allow for people’s work schedules so the workflow isn’t overwhelming.
  • Allow a realistic window of time for each stage.


4. Let everyone know when they appear in the workflow. Options are:

  • Show visually.
  • Hold a meeting.
  • Use a tool to manage this.


Content workflows can be defined using:

  • A spreadsheet.
  • An internal communication system.
  • Generic project management software adapted to your needs.
  • A content management platform.


With a defined workflow, everyone who plans, creates and publishes content knows the process and how their individual tasks fit into it. In addition, all the information collated needs to maintain a global and top-down view of production for the editorial chief.

Content management platform

When your content needs are growing, your team is expanding. If things are becoming more complex, you might consider using a content management platform (CMP).

Specially designed for content management, a CMP can help define roles and automate workflow for the editorial team. A good CMP improves efficiency, allows parallel processing and reduces delays.

Time is literally money when it means getting more content out of your content producers due to increased efficiencies. An automated workflow management process also prevents errors from becoming public, which avoids potential negative PR.


Here are the key points to remember:

  • Content workflow is the set of tasks your team needs to complete a job.
  • Your team already has a workflow – define it and test it.
  • Defining your content workflow allows your team to see who’s responsible for what and when.

For your workflow to succeed, you should:

  • Create an editorial team.
  • Map your workflow.
  • Consider using a content management platform.

Don’t forget analytics.



Wondering how content marketing platforms can help you get the results you want? Ask our content strategists at King Content.