Building a content marketing workflow isn’t easy. But you can’t be a successful content marketer without one.
So far in this series, we’ve covered the first two steps in the workflow process: identifying needs and assigning roles and responsibilities.
This week, we’ll reveal how you can implement streamlined approval structures. Getting content approved is one of the biggest challenges for marketers. Too often, last minute, self-appointed “editors” swoop in to bottleneck a launch.
The best way to avoid this scenario? Follow these three steps.
1. Establish Your Approval Process Early
To avoid approval problems down the road, get started early on.
Identify the people who have a stake in your content. Who is going to care about the messages you’re communicating? About the voice and tone of your content? Make a list of these people and draft an approval process you think makes sense.
“Keep your approval process very small and very efficient.” -@lizkoneill
It’s best to keep your approval process very small and very efficient. That means nonessential points of view out. But remember to think about the stakeholders across your entire organization—not just on the marketing team. Does your legal team need to review your content? Your PR team? What about your product team? Make sure you’re including the right people.
2. Get Your Approval Process Approved
The best plans won’t get you very far if your stakeholders don’t agree with them. Once you’ve outlined the approval process that makes the most sense to you, present it to the leaders in your organization. Not everyone on the team has to love your approval process, and that’s okay. But it must have the support of your stakeholders.
3. Set Expectations with Your Team
Content approval problems? 3 steps to better workflow structures.
Once those stakeholders sign off on your proposal, circulate it to the team so everyone knows who is responsible for approving what. Approving content should not be a democratic process. Make sure that you set firm expectations with your team and other leaders in your organization early on so you don’t get pushback when it counts.
While not everyone has the authority to approve content, that doesn’t mean you should disregard your colleague’s opinion. When you set expectations, also be sure to offer a feedback channel for everyone’s voice to be heard. If everyone feels like they have a stake in your content, they’ll be more invested in its performance.
Approval structures and workflows will vary from organization to organization. But if you incorporate these fundamental steps into your process, you’ll avoid a lot of frustration and confusion.