What are some of the biggest challenges of developing tons of content?
“It’s mostly just organization.” That’s what Ali Parmelee, Co-Owner and Brand Strategist at THINK creative group has to say about content development. And I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s tough enough to organize your own marketing.
But what gives Ali some credibility here is that she’s managing her own content development process, and she also helps lots of others manage their marketing, too, through her marketing agency.
“We’re a pretty small team here. It’s a matter of keeping everything organized for ourselves internally, and making sure our clients are on the same page as well.”
For those of us just managing our own stuff (and barely hanging on), there are a few lessons we can learn from Ali and the team at THINK creative group that will help us plan content way ahead of time, use a marketing calendar to hit our deadlines, and keep our approval process super efficient.
Here’s how to do it.
Plan An Entire Month Of Content Development 2 Weeks Before It Starts
THINK creative group plans content development for an entire month at a time, two weeks before that month begins. That way, they’re always ahead to help their clients see what’s coming up and execute faster than ever.
Their content development plans are comprehensive, including:
- Topic themes for each week
- Blog posts (with complete outlines)
- Social media messages
- Gated content
- Landing pages
…and a whole lot more content like logos, brochures, and other traditional marketing collateral.
At this point, THINK has high-level to-do lists for each client that help them communicate super effectively with their content creators and stakeholders. And you can do this, too:
- Set aside time in the middle of the month to consciously plan how you’ll use your resources to develop content.
- Get your team and your stakeholders on the same page before you ever begin creating content to avoid getting derailed halfway through the month.
- Plan detailed outlines of what you’d like to see with your projects to execute efficiently and stay on point.
Plan It All With A Comprehensive Marketing Calendar
Once you know the content you’ll create, the next step is fleshing out your content development process on a marketing calendar.
“I like that I have everything here in this one calendar,” Ali explains how she uses CoSchedule to plan an overview of what her team will create for each of their clients. “Being able to have CoSchedule as my macro editorial calendar and marketing calendar is saving me gobs of time every week.”
So how does she save those gobs of time?
- Consolidate your content development plans into a single marketing calendar. (highlight to tweet) Plan everything you’re doing with a single editorial calendar to get a real glimpse of your marketing team’s workload (and subsequent accomplishments).
- Get your entire team and stakeholders using the same tool to understand your upcoming projects. This takes away some of the guesswork with deadlines and expectations because everyone is working together in CoSchedule.
- Work ahead of your publish dates to gauge if you’re on track or a bit behind. Marketing calendars like CoSchedule provide a kick in the shorts to jumpstart the content development process when you see deadlines quickly approaching.
“For our quick touch base meetings with the team, we pull up our CoSchedule marketing calendar, and in two seconds I can see if are we on track or if we’re not. We pull this up internally to make sure we’re doing the best job we can for our clients for managing all of their content.”
Keep Your Approval Process Simple
There are two levels of workflow at this point:
- Managing your team’s to-do list to collaborate on content development.
- Proofing your content with your clients or stakeholders.
THINK creative group purposefully separates these two to work efficiently. And once the content is ready, they keep their approval process simple by using their CoSchedule marketing calendar to proof content with their clients.
“We assign a simple task to look through and approve posts,” Ali explains. “This blog is ready, take a look through it, and let us know of any changes.”
Yes, your content approval process really can be that simple:
- Every client has their own marketing calendar to see everything THINK creative group will develop. Clients see the content scheduled throughout the next weeks to know what’s coming.
- Once content is ready for approval, THINK creative group uploads it into CoSchedule and assigns one simple task for their clients to look it over, and leave them a comment if anything needs an adjustment.
- After clients approve by simply checking off their task, THINK is ready to rock way ahead of publish time.
Steal these tips to optimize your own content development process:
- Again: Manage one comprehensive, high-level marketing calendar that everyone on the team can see. That guides timelines for content development, and keeps everyone accountable to hit deadlines.
- Separate content development from content approval to stay on target and communicate efficiently only when necessary.
- Make content approval as simple as checking off a task. That way, you avoid over-complicating the content creation process while helping you and your stakeholders move on to other projects quickly.
How Will You Manage Your Content Development Process?
When you manage loads of content, organization is one of the biggest challenges. There are three big ways to get organized:
- Plan a list every piece of content you’ll develop.
- Add that list to a marketing calendar with clear deadlines everyone can see.
- Keep your content development and approval workflow as simple as possible.
Are you ready to organize your content development process? Using CoSchedule as your marketing calendar is a great way to get there.
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