What Is a Content Marketing Workflow?
A workflow is a series of steps that must be completed before something else can happen.
For example, if you want to publish an e-book on Amazon Kindle or Apple iBooks, you need to create it first. You might have several people involved in this task—a writer who creates the book’s text; a graphic designer who makes sure everything looks good; someone who tests the finished product for errors; and so forth.
Each person has their own role in creating the final product.
In short, content marketing is about producing quality content assets regularly and consistently over time. It's also about distributing those assets through multiple channels — including social media, email, search engines, etc. — where they'll live long enough to get found by your target audience. And finally, it's about measuring what works best with each channel to help inform future decisions.
A content workflow is a bunch of steps you take to plan, develop, and manage the content you or your team creates.
By empowering your creatives and marketers to take ownership of your team's process and content, you can create a pattern and process for you or your team.
Why Do You Need to Define Your Content Workflow?
The first step towards building a successful content marketing strategy is defining what success looks like.
A good content workflow will allow you to measure progress against key metrics such as time spent on tasks, number of assets created or published, etc. It also helps you identify bottlenecks, so you can make changes before things get out of hand.
It's difficult to keep track of numerous projects if your workflows are not defined. The people on the content team may not know how much effort is required to complete the content.
When the content workflow is defined, it will be a lot easier for the content creation process. Content writers can take and make a content process manageable.A good content workflow will allow you to measure progress against key metrics such as time spent on tasks, number of assets created or published, etc. Click To Tweet
Marketing teams will be more productive in a collaborative environment when it comes to working together on content projects. Everyone knows exactly who is responsible for each step in the process.
It's important for people in all roles to understand what they need to do to deliver when it's needed, and that's what a defined content workflow tells them.
In the end, a proper content marketing process will improve productivity and reduce any costs involved.
Defining your content workflow should be done at the beginning stages of any new content strategy initiative.
Here are 5 easy steps for your content marketing workflow. You can use this as your content marketing workflow template.
1. Define your audience
When it comes to content creation, the first thing that should come to mind is how the potential readers will find the content and consume it.
93% of internet traffic comes from search. Knowing that billions of people flock to the internet, it should be easy to drive them to our content.
Unfortunately, we compete with billions of content as well. In the internet era, we're fighting for visitors' interest and attention. Knowing their intent is a must if we want to win.
But, first, how can we know the intent if we do not know who our potential visitors or prospects are?
One way to figure this out is to create a customer avatar. A persona to represent our potential customers.
Customer personas are an essential part of any marketing strategy. They allow you to better understand your audience and create content that resonates with their needs.
But creating a persona isn’t always easy. It requires a lot of research and data gathering.
Fortunately, there are now many tools, both free and paid applications, that can be used to gather such data, and support the research.
Is the customer persona the same as the customer segment?
While they may be interchanged, customer personas are different from the customer segments.
We often do segmentation based on demographics, job titles, and the like. While persona is more about personalizing our ideal customer, based on their personality, interests, skills, techsaviness, and, last but not least, their behavior in retrieving information.
Some of you may ask, how can we gather data to know all the above-required information prior to creating the customer persona?
Google Marketing Platform may be the best free tool available to gather all the data. It's a unified platform that combines 9 Google's tools into one: Data Studio, Analytics, Optimize, Survey, Tag Manager, Campaign Manager 360, Display & Video 360, and Search Ads 360.
Barbara McHugh, Senior Vice President of Marketing at MLB (Major League Baseball) shares how operating as one team with one platform is a victory for the league, its teams, and its fans. Most importantly, it helps them focus more on the customer.
The path to purchase is constantly changing, and we’ve discovered that the only way we can keep up is to be more customer-focused than ever. Whether that means content creation or ticket sales, we’ve been using technology to focus on our fans and do it at scale.
A simple example: We used to run very long video ads to squeeze in all the information we wanted our fans to know. But thanks to the data we’re gleaning from Google Marketing Platform, we are able to see that this isn't the type of content our customers really want to engage with. When we began to cut the length of our video ads and focus on one message, such as a winning streak or a specific player, the performance metrics showed an immediate rise in engagement. Now we’re doing a similar analysis for all our digital video ads.
Here are the simple steps to define your customer persona:
1. Divide your audience into segments. 3-5 segments are ideal.
2. Pick one from each segment as the most ideal representative. This one will become the persona of the segment. Let's say you're providing a home entertainment service. Your segments will at least consist of Father, Mother, Kids, and Single.
3. Give each persona a name and list all of his or her professional attributes.
4. List the personalities and interests of each persona. This will be useful when you address him or her in your marketing messages. Your types of content should relate to this.
5. List all the reasons why he or she should use your products or services.
6. List all the reasons why he or she should buy your products or services.
7. List all his or her skills and tech savviness.
There are many tools out there that you can use to create your customer persona. You may try the one that is provided by Vbout, a marketing automation provider. Even though it's a bit more complex than what I have outlined above, you will find it a lot easier to do, since you're guided by a wizard. You can access the buyer or customer persona generator here.
2. Start building your content with the customer's persona in mind
Before starting with content ideas and/or content type to create, it's good to remember that the majority of internet visitors are finding our content through search.
Content marketers should also remember to understand that each search has its own intent.
There are 3 types of search intent that content creators should know about. Informational, commercial, navigational, and transactional.
With your customer's persona in hand, it is quite easier to predict their search intent. Therefore, you or your content marketing team can feed the content according to your audience's needs.
It is good practice for content marketers to create a common template for their content creation. This will ensure consistency between the content piece and content format.
Here is an example.
Your company is launching a new product. The content strategy is set for each segment as previously defined. To achieve an optimum result, product briefs and information are created in many formats and pieces. There will be a blog post for each persona, a content piece for each on social media platforms, and pieces of content for promotions.
Now, let's imagine what will happen if the advertising team took the wrong piece of content to drive traffic to the intended information. From the cost perspective, the CPC (Cost Per Click) can be higher because of the irrelevance between the search query and the information provided.
Let's dive further into other examples.
When a visitor searches for “how to use Canon camera”, it is obvious that he or she is seeking information. So, a detailed explanation of how-tos and tips & tricks on using the camera would be a perfect match.
However, if the query is “Canon camera”, then the intent is most likely a commercial one. It would be better to match this query with the camera product list, camera specification, comparison with other brands, and the pricing.
Google loves high-quality content. Regardless of whether we create content for organic search (via Search Engine Optimization or SEO), or for paid search, high-quality content is considered as a ranking factor and, in the case of paid advertising, it increases the quality score. In return, the cost per click will decline if the quality score improved.
3. Select and use the best tool for multichannel deployment
There are some content marketing softwares we can use for content deployment. But, before we take a look at them further, first we need to understand that this kind of software or application is a must if we need to be more productive.
When it comes to content creation, most of the time it is rewarding to come up with a content topic that can become evergreen content.
With that said, the content manager or social media manager can easily reuse the content as social media posts or redistribute it to other marketing channels. With the help of the proper application, all the tasks can be set automatically in the content calendar.
Here are criteria that you can use to select content automation software:
- At a minimum, it allows you to automate posting to major social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. It would be great if it could also allow automated posting to Google My Business.
- The tool should have a schedule and re-schedule post feature.
- It allows you to add the minimum number of social profiles you have or will have in the future.
- There should be a curation feature that allows you to curate content and schedule them for automated posting.
- You can syndicate your content for others to pick and post on their social media networks.
- You can post or schedule content in bulk.
- It does not cost you your arms and legs.
4. Publish your content for others to curate
Each social media tool has its own advantages and disadvantages. You may end up using more than one tool to achieve an optimum content marketing ROI.
For example, Vbout is more about marketing automation as a whole, but it allows us to schedule and post to unlimited social media profiles. It also provides bulk submission. While Missinglettr with its Curate feature, allows us to do social media promotion through its Curate syndication.
Content curation and syndication is a great way to broaden the reach of our content without spending much on advertising.
5. Repurpose your content in different formats
It's quite common to have content that becomes a hit, while the others have no or little engagement. To reach a new audience, you may choose this proven content to be reused or recycled. That's what we call repurposing content.
Repurposing content is a great way to save time and money on creating new pieces of writing or video, while still reaching an audience that may not have found it otherwise.
Repurpose your content in order to increase the number of people who see it. This can be done by creating new posts that are similar or related to existing ones on your site.
It’s also possible to create or transform existing content into a new format. For example, create standalone pieces of content like an infographic based on existing content. The key here is to make sure you have enough unique valuable information so that readers will want to share it with their friends.
Here are other examples:
- You or your company have an hour informational podcast that gathers a huge audience. You can repurpose that podcast content into an informational video and post it to YouTube or other video platforms.
- Imagine you or your company conducted a Zoom webinar. Since you recorded the session, you can repurpose it into YouTube video or make small clips out of it to post on other social media as well. A tool like Piktostory can easily turn a long video into digestible clips that can beautifully fit into any social media format. It even does automatic transcription.
- You or your company have a successful article. You can repurpose it into audio for podcast sessions. Meanwhile, at the same time, you can also convert the audio into video content and clips for social media posting as well.
In conclusion, there are many ways to use content marketing to promote your business online. But if you don't know how to start, then I suggest starting from these 5 simple steps. They're easy to follow, and they'll help you get started right away!
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