Content Creation Workflow

How to Build a Content Creation Workflow for Content Marketing

Content marketing success depends on several things, but the key element is consistency.

Consistency impacts so many parts of your marketing efforts. That’s why building a content creation workflow is imperative to a content marketing strategy.

Marketing teams are often caught up with content creation, so establishing a good content production process can take a back seat. Without a well-planned content creation process, your team wastes effort, time, and resources, which negatively impacts your business.

A well-defined content marketing workflow gives your content team a direction and standardizes your content operations. The end result is great content, a uniform publishing frequency, and a more productive content team.

This article will help you understand what a solid content strategy and content workflow management look like. But before we dive into it, here’s why you should consider building one in the first place. 🏗️

What is a Content Workflow and Why Do You Need One?

A content creation workflow is a set of tasks or steps that should be completed before your content is ready to publish. It also defines the roles and responsibilities of the people involved, the documents and assets to be used at every stage, and the timelines for each of these tasks.

Whether you’re creating a blog post, web page copy, or a social media post, all content should ideally go through a defined content workflow. You can, however, have different workflows for various content formats.

Most content marketing teams have their own process, even if these are not formally established or documented. It is simply the way you work. So why do you need to define your content workflow? 🤔

Having a well-defined content workflow ensures:

  • Your process is broken down into smaller steps to make it more manageable and trackable
  • Roles, responsibilities, and deliverables are clear to all team members
  • A consistent content publishing schedule can be established
  • Content bottlenecks are eliminated
  • Every piece of content goes through a standard quality control process
  • Resources and time are optimally utilized
  • You have visibility into your content projects and their progress
  • Content is distributed and promoted well

Without a documented content management workflow:

  • Your team misses deadlines and content remains stuck in production for days
  • Roles are not clear, and the process is scattered with no clarity on who needs to do what
  • Editorial teams have a tough time correcting errors and inefficiencies in content, further slowing down the process
  • Content becomes inconsistent in quality, voice, and ultimately performance
  • Steps are repeated and resources are under or over-utilized without any positive impact
  • Project managers struggle to keep track of project progress without defined workflow statuses
  • Content marketing goals are not met on time, and ROI is affected

What does a good content workflow look like?

A good content workflow should define:

  • What stages your content goes through before publishing
  • Roles and responsibilities of each team member in the content production process
  • Tasks involved at each stage of the process
  • Tools and assets needed to complete these tasks
  • Realistic timelines and schedules for each task/workflow stage

Building a solid content management workflow requires careful planning, team brainstorming, and monitoring to ensure your process is yielding the best results. Depending on the volume and types of content you create, you may need more than one content workflow.

A good content marketing workflow for one person may not be ideal for your entire team. It all boils down to the way you work and your specific end goals. 🏆

Task-based workflows vs. status-based workflows

It’s also important to know whether your team would work better with a task-based workflow or a status-based workflow.

In task-based workflows, the workflow stages are the task that needs to be carried out at that stage. Here, each step is defined much more elaborately, and anyone working on the project knows what is expected of them.

Here’s an example of a task-based workflow for creating content:

Task-Based Workflow Example
via Narrato

Task-based workflows are great for everyone but more so for relatively new content teams. Whoever is assigned the task has a clear idea of their job, what’s been done, and what happens next. This makes the content creation process a lot more transparent.

More experienced teams, however, often use a status-based workflow where each stage is defined by status, as the name suggests. The stages don’t elaborately describe what needs to be done as in the case of task-based workflows.

Status-based workflows are easier to track, but to get the most out of this content workflow, your team needs a clear understanding of your content creation process. On the positive side, status-based workflows may have a wider application and can be used for different content types you create.

Here’s an example of a status-based process:

Status-Based Workflow
via Narrato

How to Create a Good Content Creation Process and Implement it

Every good content workflow should be built keeping the following points in mind.

1. Determine content goals and target audience

Marketing content can have different goals based on whether it is top-of-the-funnel (TOFU), middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU), or bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) content.

For TOFU content, your goal is to generate brand awareness, which requires more product-led content for blog posts, engaging social media posts, and so on. In terms of MOFU content, you would want case studies, product reviews, or research reports that could guide the reader further down the funnel.

These goals help you decide how your custom content creation process should be for all different content types. Another important thing to keep in mind is your target audience.

Knowing who you are creating content for and what they want to see will also help you decide what content to create. This, in turn, will influence your process.

2. Define the roles and responsibilities of your team

The next important step is deciding who on your marketing team will be involved in the process. For content creation workflows, you would have to include content creators, editors, senior editors, project managers, and any other stakeholders with a say in content creation.

Pulse in ClickUp
Pulse in ClickUp allows you to see your entire team at a glance, so you can see who is online and what they’re working on

The role of all team members should be clearly defined to clarify who owns the task at which stage of the workflow. For example, when the content is in the drafting phase, content creators will be the ones in charge. When the content is in review, editors should be assigned to this phase.

And for final approval, this would be the responsibility of senior editors. This workflow adds accountability and structure.

3. Decide on content types and production frequency

You will also need to decide what types of content you plan to create and how frequently. It is a good idea to have a content marketing calendar where you can track the status of all your content projects. The content calendar will help you ensure that projects are planned well in advance and completed on time.

To build content and editorial calendars, you can use a content workflow template like ClickUp’s content calendar template. This provides different views to monitor your projects.

You can also add Custom Fields and Custom Statuses to help your team understand where the task stands at a given time.

ClickUp Calendar View
Use the Calendar view in ClickUp to map out your content and manage your editorial calendar

Having a content calendar and a fixed content production or publishing schedule helps you decide how much time to allocate for each content workflow stage. Try to set accurate deadlines and manage expectations once the content marketing workflow is implemented.

4. Develop the content creation process

With all the preliminary research and planning done, it’s time to finally define your process. Brainstorm with your team to understand what steps your content must go through for the best possible outcome.

For different content formats, there may be different steps involved. For instance, social posts may require just one stage of review and editing before publishing, while blog posts or other long-form content may require two stages of review for more stringent quality control.

Social media Content calendar template from clickup
Easily put tasks in the List View to see social media content move through each stage

Also, set realistic deadlines and timelines for each step depending on how long it might logically take to complete it. This helps your team plan better and ensures that publishing schedules are met.

5. Automate and organize your workflow

Creating your content workflow is only the first step. To execute it successfully and stick to it in the long run, you will need support from the right tech tools—content workflow software and a robust project management platform like ClickUp are needed for the successful implementation of your content workflow. 🤝

Why do you need workflow management tools?

By using workflow software, not only can you build custom workflows for your content marketing efforts but may also automate them. With workflow automation, you can trigger certain actions to fire at each stage of the workflow— saving your team a lot of time on repetitive, rule-based activities.

Content workflow software like Narrato comes in handy for these types of things. Narrato lets you create your own custom content workflow steps and automate them too. It also allows you to create the content on the platform itself and offers tools like grammar checker, AI writer, SEO optimizer, and brief generator to consolidate your content production process in the same place.

Narrato content platform example
Via Narrato

With ClickUp, on the other hand, you’ll find many pre-created content workflow templates which will give you a head start. Taking advantage of a content workflow template helps save time and provides content teams with an initial structure. Most of the work is already done—you only need to add the details that are relevant to your process.

ClickUp’s blog management template is a good example. It allows you to choose between a timeline view, a List view, a Board view, and more to track your blog content’s progress.

ClickUp Blog Template
Use ClickUp’s all-in-one Blog Management Template to provide you with an initial structure and edit it to fit your content strategy

Content workflow software and templates can significantly reduce the amount of effort that goes into building a content workflow that sticks. So make sure you invest in them from the very beginning.

6. Conduct regular content audits

Lastly, it’s important to remember that building a content creation workflow is not a one-off event. The world of content marketing keeps changing, and so do the formulas for success.

This is why it is essential to monitor your content performance regularly and determine whether your existing workflow is helping. If you do not see any positive impact on content performance, or see a decline in performance, you might need to rethink your strategy and redefine the process.

The content workflow, like all other processes, needs to be continuously improved if you wish to see long-term results.

burndown widget in clickup
Use ClickUp’s Burndown Chart to measure content completion rates

Using Tools and Templates to Set Up Your Content Workflow

ClickUp for content workflow management and ready-to-use templates

If you are looking for the perfect templates to manage your content marketing projects more flexibly, ClickUp has an extensive library of content production and marketing templates. ClickUp’s templates can help save time and give you a solid framework to start with and structure for your content project management.

The A/B content management testing template on ClickUp, for instance, lets you visually track your content campaigns, test different variations of your campaigns, and do so much more. The template includes 5 different workflow statuses for your content campaign and 8 custom fields that you can populate based on what you want to test.

There are 7 different views, including schedule, priorities, timeline, conversions, and more. Each of these views gives you a different perspective on your content campaigns. Content marketing templates like these can be a great way to manage your content workflow effectively.

The Blog Database template in ClickUp is another great option for managing your content projects. The template allows you to track all your blog content in one place. You can see who is assigned what, which blog posts need to be updated, which ones are in progress, and so on. There are 11 statuses, 6 custom fields, and 4 view types that you can use in this template.

ClickUp Blog Database Template
Use ClickUp’s Blog Database Template to help you organize your blog posts in a more systematic way

If you dive deeper into ClickUp’s template library, your content team will surely find something that suits your workflow needs.

Narrato for Content workflow optimization

Narrato is a content creation workflow tool that brings your entire content process to one place with its powerful content planning, creation, optimization tools, and collaboration features.

This tool is designed for content creation teams, so it comes pre-built with content task and workflow templates, views, and tools that content teams need. Content creation and optimization can be done within the app.

Tools like automatic SEO content brief generator (SEO keyword, questions/topics to include, and other recommendations), grammar/readability checker, AI writing assistant, content ideas generator, free image search, etc. make creating winning content a breeze. You can also use their API to publish content to any CMS.

Narrato as a content workflow software is customizable and lets you define your own workflow steps.

You can also add automation based on the steps as triggers. For example, you can set up custom notifications and auto-assign tasks by moving the task to the next workflow step.

Workflow Automation Narrato
via Narrato Workspace

This customization comes in quite handy, as every team and its process is unique.

📌 TL;DR: While ClickUp is a great place to holistically track and manage all your content marketing activities, Narrato is great for managing content creation at scale. 

Setting Your Content Teams Up for Success

Setting up a good content marketing workflow is essential to streamlining your content efforts. Your content workflow serves as a checklist for all you need to do to create high-quality content that drives results.

It also helps you keep track of your content projects and keeps everyone on your team on the same page. So if you don’t have a solid content marketing process already, it’s high time you considered putting one in place.

Choosing and implementing the right software tools to run your content workflow is equally important, else scaling your efforts will prove to be a gargantuan task.

ClickUp is an amazing project management tool to organize all your content marketing efforts with awesome features like the Board view, Calendar view, and ready-to-use templates for every use case.

And Narrato can work in conjunction to help you consolidate your content production and plan and optimize content for performance.

It’s time to put these tips and tools into action! 🙌

Guest Writer:

Neelam Goswami

Neelam Goswami is a Content Specialist at Narrato.

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