How to set up a content production process?
When the decision for a new content marketing campaign has been made, you have to determine your goals, what content you need and through what channels you want to communicate it. This is a very important decision as not all content or channels fit in well with every message that you want to bring across to the public you want to reach. Another important factor is of course the budget, because there are huge differences in costs between the several forms of content and the use of different channels.
Once the type of content has been chosen, you can start with the content production process, or the route you must follow in order to reach your intended goal: the publication of your content. Naturally, the process of creating good content differs per company, product and target group. Therefore, it is difficult to determine one specific process for this. Still, there are some stages in a content production process that are relatively similar for all areas and circumstances. As a matter of fact, these are areas that content even has to pass through in order to be good enough to be published. Naturally, it is also very important to clearly appoint the people who are responsible for the different stages as well as to realistically determine how much time each stage is supposed to take. Once you have set the right frameworks, you can start with the content creation process.
Content creation process
Before creating new content, including texts, videos or images, you will have to do thorough research into several aspects. For example, what is the message that you want to bring across with your content, who is your target group and what is the channel that you will be using. In addition, you will have to make sure that your content is in line with the look and feel of your brand and/or organization. Simon Sinek’s golden circle may be a very useful tool in this regard, with which you can determine the why, how and what of your company or brand. This may come in handy when creating your content. For more information on this, please reger to our topic on Digital Branding.
2. Content creation
During this stage, you will be creating the actual content, such as writing texts, making photographs or creating a video or game. Be aware that people are mainly visually oriented. In most cases, plain texts are not sufficient anymore, so make sure that your content in visually appealing as well.
3. Review and revision
Unfortunately, only a few people will create perfect content from the get-go. So, for the remaining majority the review and revision stages are very important. Once the first draft version of your content is finished, always ask other people to check it. Not only will they be able to correct any mistakes, they may also provide some fresh insights which may take your content to a higher level.
4. Uploading to CMS and final review
After the revision, the content can be uploaded into your CMS, scheduled for publication. This is also the time for a final check. Always (let someone) look whether the content is well positioned and/or works properly in its new environment. It would not be the first time that content that looks perfect before uploading does not work in the CRM because of differing settings or something like that.
5. Publishing content
After the final review, it is time to push the button. Publish the content immediately or schedule it for another time, but make sure that you have the right settings, because it would be a pity when you publish the perfect content at the wrong time. Naturally, after the content has been published, it also has to be promoted properly through your channels, in order for you to create the right amount of attention for your content.
6. Measuring results
Some time after publication, you would like to see what the effect has been of your content (campaign). Naturally, in the ideal situation, all of your predefined goals will have been met, but if they have not, you want to know where things went wrong. Through Google Analytics or your CMS’s analytics functionalities, for example, you are able to get more insights into the impact of your content. For a more detailed explanation of how to measure your results, please go to the How to measure the impact of content marketing? paragraph.
Once you have a clear overview of the results of your content marketing campaign, it is time to evaluate the process. What went right and, even more important, what went wrong and should be done differently the next time?
In addition to publishing new content, it is also of the greatest importance to regularly check your older content, especially on your website. Over time, your website will probably change a lot due to the addition of new information and adaptations to existing pages and content. As a result, you should regularly carry out thorough website checks, which are also called Content Audits.
During a Content Audit, you evaluate your website’s content elements and information assets. A Content Audit comprises two main elements: content identification and content evaluation. Simply put, you first list all types of content (such as pages, images and videos) that you have on your website, and after that you evaluate the quality. What content is still fine and useful and what can be deleted or replaced?
When carrying out the Content Audit, you should ask yourself the following 10 questions for every page/type of content:
- What kind of page or form of content is this (for example informative or product page)?
- What keywords apply to this page (and are they correctly used on the page)?
- What is the visibility of the page (how well does it score in Google)?
- Does the page have the right hierarchy (is it in the right place in the navigation structure)?
- What is the page’s purpose (what action do you want the visitor to take here)?
- Is the page’s content still up to date?
- Is the page’s content still correct?
- How would I score this page (on a scale from 1 to 5)?
- What should happen to this page (keep as is, update or remove)?
- Is there content missing?
By carrying out a regular Content Audit and following these questions, you should be able to keep your content and website alive and kicking for a long time.