Content marketing doesn’t always get the props it deserves. The process is far more intricate than taking a piece of content and throwing it up on a website—and so much happens prior to it getting to that point.
As an editorial manager, I’m in constant communication with sales, marketing, and social media departments to deliver assets that actually do what they’re intended to do. Whether that’s generating awareness, driving leads, or assisting sales teams with internal company support, each piece of content has a carefully-crafted purpose.
When all of these moving parts are on the same page—that is, when marketing and sales are clear on what they need and when they need it—the content delivery and approval process goes smoothly. It’s a best-case scenario.
If you place high value on structured (and hopefully speedy) sign-offs, you avoid extraneous rework
Unfortunately, misalignment between parties happens and can lead to a waste of both time and money. The cause for disconnect varies, but oftentimes the department requesting content has a precise understanding of what it doesn’t want but has difficulty articulating what it does. Another problematic interruption is when editorial has gotten to a certain development stage (e.g. creative) and marketing upsets the apple cart with a swerve.
Sometimes the divide is just a small hurdle to get over, and after one or two trial and error attempts, we’re back on track. One way to accomplish harmony is by working with a pre-determined flowchart.
Go With The Flow
Wouldn’t it be great if content production had GPS points, guiding each party involved along the same, unambiguous route? Since that’s impossible, the next best approach is using a flowchart—and sticking to it. Documenting workflow ensures everyone knows what they are responsible for, as well as what occurs before and after handoffs. There is no confusion about what needs approval before the asset can move to the next step.
The primary concept here is approval. If you place high value on structured (and hopefully speedy) sign-offs, you avoid extraneous rework—such as having to go back to creative multiple times, delaying the project, and racking up billable hours.
However, in order for this to really work, everyone must operate with the understanding that the flowchart is itself an integral member of the team.
Rounding Out Your Dream Team
Teamwork really makes the dream work
In previous positions, I’ve held the responsibility of wearing many hats—writer, editor, social manager, marketing assistant. When you’re a one-woman show, it’s difficult to juggle all these different roles and expect 100 percent efficiency, accuracy, and effectiveness.
Looking back to those days, I am reminded that teamwork really makes the dream work. Granted, there is such a thing as too many cooks in the kitchen, and sometimes a too-enthusiastic team approach can backfire. Using a flowchart that clearly delegates each team member’s responsibility avoids that problem.
I’m fortunate to work with a group of people who are truly experts at what they do. When everyone works together with the same goal in mind, it’s a smooth sailing process. However, when there are bumps in the road or fires to put out, there’s nothing quite like having a team that can come together and lend their expertise.