written by
Dayana Mayfield

Steal This Content Creation Process: From Collaboration to Publication

Content Marketing Marketing Automation 8 min read

Without a rock-solid content creation process, your agency will struggle to maximize its resources. Sure, you might still meet deadlines, keep clients happy, and make payroll on time, but you won't be able to get the most out of everyone on your team.

The wrong process can waste time, hamper creativity, and make it really hard to execute your strategy in the way you imagined. And as an agency, time is money. 💯

Let’s take a look at how you can create a repeatable content creation process that lets you scale your content marketing.

Table of contents:

What a typical content creation process looks like

A content creation process involves assigning content to creators, reviewing the content, editing, approving, publishing, promoting, analyzing, and maintaining the content performance over time.

Content Creation Process Infographic
Content Creation Process

With written content online (especially since much of it is intended to be evergreen), we don't stop at publishing. Optimizing, promoting, and distributing the piece after publication is vital for content success.

Note that creating content is different from strategy and planning. That should already be done before we get to the first step of the content creation process.

Don't let disorganization hold you back. Bring content creation, collaboration, optimization, planning and scheduling together in one tool. Start planning your content today.

🤩 The ideal content creation process

When you have multiple people working on a piece of content, it is likely that obstacles, inefficiencies, and blocks will occur. A good content system ensures that there is a defined content process, keeping marketers, creators, editors and managers aligned and on track.

✔️ Step 1. Assigning tasks and content pieces

The first step in the content creation process is assigning content to writers and creators since great content requires collaboration.

The old way:

The old way of assigning content to writers is random and handled largely via email. You go back and forth via email to decide on a topic and title, and then you wait for the writer to get back to you with the content. You have no idea how it's going to be submitted. Maybe it will be a Word Doc, maybe a Google Doc. When the article comes back to you, some vital points are missing. Time for a rebrief?

The new way:

You invite writers to a story using the content tool that you want them to write and submit with. This way, you're working collaboratively right from the start. We're not saying Google Docs isn't great for sharing information — it's just not a smart place to write blogs that you plan on publishing.

In your creative brief, include at the very least the content length, target audience, internal links to include, and target keyphrase. Assigning writers a topic alongside resources and important SEO information not only speeds up the writing process but also vastly increases your chances of ranking.

Grab a creative brief template here.

Or create an editorial brief using AI.

While many writers are skilled at SEO copywriting, they may not have the software subscriptions or the expertise to be a true master at SEO research.

✔️ Step 2. Submitting/receiving

The next part of the process is when a writer submits content for the content manager to review it.

The old way:

Yup, you guessed it. The old way is receiving content via Google Docs or Word Docs. The absolute worst is when you receive different file formats from different writers, based on their individual preferences.

The new way:

The new way is when a writer submits a post using the same tool that you use for...

  • Assigning
  • Planning
  • Publishing
  • Promotion

This makes life easier for everyone involved in the content creation process, from writers to content editors and managers.

First, writers can submit their content by requesting approval. Then, editors will receive an email notification and can login to review, comment, approve (or reject).

✔️ Step 3. Reviewing

Next up, reviewing!

The old way:

Yet again, the old way involves using Google Docs, which has great reviewing features but causes problems later in the content creation process when it's time to publish. (Or horror of all horrors, dealing with the version control issues caused by sending Word Docs back and forth.)

The new way:

The new way to review and edit content collaboratively is within the same tool you use for assigning and publishing. This way, whenever anyone makes changes, there's no need to re-enter them in your CMS after publication, as it happens automatically.

During the initial review process, it should be super easy to add comments, tag people, and make edits collaboratively.

✔️ Step 4. Approving and publishing

The old way:

With the old way of doing things, you'll need to email the writer letting them know that the content has been approved. Then you have to make sure you have all of the photos from the post (getting them out of Google Docs is a pain but not impossible). Next, you either need to upload the post on your client's site or give the content to webmaster to upload.

The new way:

The new method allows you to publish the story to your digital channels in one click after you approve it, automatically triggering an email notification to the writer.

Either publish right away to your client's CMS, blog, website, and/or Medium account or schedule the content to be published later.

✔️ Step 5. Promoting

As all content marketers know, we can't just release content into the wild without helping it fly. We need to promote it using social media, employee advocacy, email marketing, and press and influencer outreach.

The old way:

The old way of doing things requires that you set up promotions after you hit publish. Once something is published (or the draft is final), you give it to a social media content creator to set up posts.

The new way:

The new way of doing things is much faster for your content creators and your clients. When the content manager publishes the content, they can set up all other aspects of promotion.

Social networks, influencer and blogger outreach, employee advocacy, and email marketing can all easily be set up in one central platform.

You should make promotion a part of your content creation process instead of leaving it to later.

Either the writer can supply emails and social media posts, or your content manager can create these based on the content and then trigger them to go out. Even better, you can keep your evergreen content alive and well by scheduling posts and emails to go out a few weeks or even a few months after the initial publication date.

✔️ Step 6. Reporting and analyzing

Sure, it might seem that reporting and analyzing content comes after the content creation process, but because content marketing is so competitive and audiences are so picky, we view this as part of the process.

It's like an agile feedback loop. Let your analysis inform content edits for previous content as well as topics and concepts for new content.

The old way:

With the old way of reporting and analyzing content, you're stuck looking at individual pieces of content or the content hub as a whole.

It's easy to review traffic and page time inside of Google Analytics for individual pages, but managing campaigns can get complicated. It's very hard for content teams to sort and review content according to individual campaigns.

The new way:

With the new way, you can not only get total views and reads for individual pieces of content, but for campaigns as well.

Let's say you're publishing customer stories, and you want to see how well they perform. You could also review how different content categories stack up against one another.

✔️ Step 7. Maintaining

Content isn't a one-and-done thing. You need to update it when you discover that it's not performing as you had hoped, and adjust to keep it fresh and relevant.

The old way:

With the old way, you have to make guesses about what posts need to be updated, or use tons of different software to come to a decision about what to prioritize. You could go through client sites and update the oldest posts first, but that's not very strategic, is it?

The new way:

A better content creation process includes maintaining and updating content based on data.

For example, you could check which posts have the most amount of reads. These might be great pieces to make small edits to (to ensure relevancy and accuracy) and then re-promote using organic and paid social media.

You could also sort your posts using different filters in order to find which ones need to be updated and optimized.

Here's a list of posts that are published but have an SEO score that is less than 60%. All of these would be a great opportunity to go back and either change the target keyphrase or improve the optimization.

As you fill your client sites with more and more content, you're going to need better ways to sort, analyze, and maintain that content.

When full-service content marketing agencies use the right tools, they can save time for themselves and get better results!

StoryChief eliminates the need for various tools by bringing SEO, writing, reviewing, publishing, and promotion together in one beautiful platform. Start your free plan now!

Out with the old, in with the new ✨

About StoryChief - Content Marketing Platform

People and processes will always matter, but software holds a lot of power because it saves people time, affects how people collaborate, and improves efficiency.

Ready to quit your old ways and try StoryChief?

  • Integrate the processes of assigning, creating, revising, approving, publishing, promoting, and analyzing into one workflow. Bring all content types and collaborators onto one central platform that, unlike a task management system, allows them to execute their work directly.
  • Speed up the approval and publishing process with direct integrations to popular CMSs, so once content is approved, it can be published instantly with text and images.
  • Improve the execution and speed of content promotion by bringing popular promotion channels like social media, email marketing, employee advocacy, and more into a central location and streamlined workflow.

Check out how content collaboration works in StoryChief. Try it free for 7 days!