A strong and consistent content creation workflow is essential to your content marketing success. Content creation should not only be the responsibility of the marketing department. For a well-rounded marketing strategy that brings maximum benefits both externally and internally, you should integrate content creation with your main business processes.
Integrating your content creation in this way means that you can speed up and streamline the content production process. Involving other departments and members of staff also means your content will benefit from a more varied viewpoint and all your employees will feel that their knowledge and opinions are valued.
- Involving employees in content creation will make them feel valued while giving you better (and more) ideas at the same time.
- Use automation in content marketing wherever possible.
- When employees identify with the values of the company, they’ll be more inclined to share branded content. Content shared by individual employees gets much more attention than official channels.
1. Enable Employees to Brainstorm Content Ideas
The first step of content creation is deciding what to write about in the first place. It’s important that you involve your employees from different departments in this process from the start. By doing this, you’ll be able to come up with more creative and varied content ideas and empower individuals to help in creating content that they’re actually interested in.
Brainstorming sessions can be a good way to capture ideas in small teams. You could make this part of your weekly team meeting or hold a dedicated discussion for content ideas at regular intervals.
A digital ideas board can also be an easy and non-intimidating way for individual employees to contribute content ideas. A Trello board or Slack channel can work well for this purpose.
For example, below is the Buffer editorial board on Trello, which shows all of their topic ideas and content currently in production.
2. Setup Automation of Key Processes
Building automation into your content marketing workflow helps to save time and ensures you’re not missing any steps when it comes to production and promotion.
Automation also enables you to scale up your content production as your team grows and you’re able to invest more time and budget into content marketing.
You can use automation at every step of your content marketing workflow. For example:
- Automatically collect post ideas from Slack and create a new record in a content database.
- Schedule content production and assign it to an author.
- Pass completed drafts to an editor.
- Send deadline reminders if content hasn’t been submitted for editing or publication at set times, especially if you syndicate content.
- Automatically publish content to a set schedule.
- Send out notifications to employees when a new piece of content has been published.
- Automate content promotion on social media.
3. Keep a Calendar of Important Dates
Every department in your organization should have access to a company calendar, which includes key dates for your business and industry so you can plan any related content around them.
Some things you might want to include:
- Important dates e.g. in the food industry this could include World Chocolate Day, National Pizza Day, and food-related holidays like Thanksgiving
- Upcoming conferences and industry events
- Product and course launches
- Company training days and staff events
- Business anniversaries Important dates for key clients.
It’s vital that all departments feed into this calendar so the team that’s ultimately responsible for producing content can see what’s coming up with plenty of notice – it’s no good developing an amazing new product if your content marketing team doesn’t know about it until the day before the product launch.
4. Create Team and Employee-Focused Content
As well as creating the general industry content that you’ve identified in the brainstorming and research phases, you should also consider creating content about the individual teams and employees who work within your organization.
This helps to keep employee morale high and provides an interesting behind-the-scenes peek into the humans who keep your business running.
To build this into your company workflow, make sure it’s part of your regular processes rather than sporadically creating content. Consider featuring an “employee of the month” with a detailed profile, and communicate with all departments regularly to find out about interesting projects and achievements that could make good content for your corporate blog.
Don’t forget about building content into your internal communications. A regular staff newsletter is a good way to keep everyone informed about what’s going on in your organization. It’s also where you can request input for upcoming content.
5. Add Internal Editing and Approval Steps
After your writers have created a piece of content, it’s important to make sure it’s checked by a professional editor for clarity, tone, and organization as well as spelling and grammar errors.
However, it’s also worth asking for feedback internally before publishing to the outside world. This helps to catch any inaccuracies or errors, especially when they involve the workings of other departments or your organization as a whole.
The marketing department tends to think with their “marketing hat” on, which isn’t a problem in most cases. But we can all think of times when a marketing campaign has gone live and the general public wonders how on earth it got approved. One recent example was the Pepsi advert featuring Kendall Jenner, which was ridiculed across social media.
Involving other departments in the review process helps you to view your content from different angles before it’s public facing so you don’t make any embarrassing slip-ups.
6. Encourage Employees to Promote Your Content
Once your content is created and published, you’ll probably promote to your corporate social media channels and email list. But if this is where your efforts end, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful promotional channels you have at your disposal.
If you can persuade your employees to share your corporate content on their personal social media profiles, you’ll not only reach a wider audience, but your posts are likely to get better engagement too.
Content shared by individuals gets up to 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels, as consumers trust and value the opinion of their peers more than faceless brands.
You can’t force employees to share your content but you can encourage it by making it easy and implementing an employee advocacy program. Engaged employees who are aligned with your company mission and values are likely to share content that resonates with them and they know will be useful to their audience.