I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

Learning how to create content consistently is a process.

Whether it’s creating an email newsletter, designing an image for Google AdWords, or directing your company’s next commercial, you will need to refine your content strategy.

It turns out, establishing a content workflow system will help you and your team to plan and finish deliverables on time.

Prioritizing Your Content Backlog

You may be wondering:

“What is a Content Backlog, exactly?”

Your content backlog should be a ranking of your content “to do list” in order from high priority to low priority.

Time should be spent on the most important projects first and foremost, so you can deliver those to your audience first. This will help to curate your content to deliver your company’s current vision and ensure that your team’s efforts are aligned with your business goals.

In order to work on what matters most, your content backlog should be categorized into:

  • High-priority projects
  • Medium-priority projects
  • Low-priority projects

High-priority items should be more than just ideas; they should be well thought out, descriptive and detailed stories. These will be projects that were once broad ideas in the low and medium priority categories, but have been developed over time and are now ready to be flushed out into finished projects.

Medium-priority items should have an ample amount of thought put into them, but they should also have a lot more room for growth, development and new ideas. You or your team may need to do some more research on these projects before moving them into the high priority phase.

Low-priority items should have the biggest opportunity for growth in this list. This should be big ideas with little detail and a lot more information needed before you or your team starts working on these ideas.

Having your ideas conceptualized and communicated from the start allows your team members to be able to contribute to the topic or project, and in turn it grows that small idea into the next big high priority item.

Here’s the deal:

To ensure that the backlog is it productive, the marketing team leadership must be on top of the backlog to ensure that the backlog is relevant to the team’s current objectives and priorities.

Having too many ideas or projects will slow the team down. Cut off the unnecessary fat and so your team can focus and actually finish projects.

Adding New Projects to Your Content Backlog

It’s time to brainstorm. Come up with your initial idea. Think of messages you’d like to tell your audience. Consider creating something that answers a question your customers have, or makes a statement to prospects.

If it’s a vague idea, that’s just fine. Plan to hash out the details over the next few weeks or months.

Research and Development

Research your competitors. Have they done something similar? If so, how did they do it? What feelings did they instill in their audience? What were they trying to portray and how did the portray it? Is there still room for improvement?

Understanding what is out there will help you to benchmark your efforts. If you see that nobody has created a research report, podcast, case study, or commercial, you’re in good shape. This is an opportunity for you to mold this idea in the way you or your company sees fit.

Moving Projects Through Your Content Workflow

No matter what medium of content marketing you are working on, you’ll have a similar workflow. You can tweak this workflow to best fit your team’s needs.

In a nutshell, you’ll have 4 phases:

  1. Ideas/Backlog Phase
  2. Content Creation Phase
  3. Review/Editing Phase
  4. Publishing Phase

Or more simply put – “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done.”

Seems simple right?

Most teams will struggle to scale and stay organized once they consistently begin creating content. A fantastic tool that will help to manage even some semi-complicated content project management is Trello.

You can simply create cards for an idea or project, move it down the line to the next person or decision-maker, and ensure that the idea is executed to completion.

If you’ve never used Trello before I’d highly recommend checking it out for all creative projects. With clear and precise workflow, visual cues such as colors, tags, and organized lists, you’ll be able to visually strategize your project management and communicate with your team throughout the entire process.

If you’re interested in trying Trello, check it out here.

Avoid Content Workflow Overkill

With all of that said, you still don’t want to go overboard. Having too many projects and ideas in your backlog will hurt productivity.

Having leadership or limitations that qualify or disqualify ideas from being pursued will help your team to stay on track. You’ll be able to finish projects by keeping your “to-do” list smaller.

If you are lucky enough to have too many of those “someday” ideas, it would be best to keep them in a separate list to move into the backlog later. Having less distractions will make more content team more productive and less likely to fail to deliver on crucial deliverables.

With these content marketing tips you can empower yourself, your business, or your team to excel in content creation for any project.

Brennan Flentge

Brennan Flentge

Since 2010, Brennan has utilized his creative intuition to provide branding and marketing services for friends, family, and clients. From graphic design and web development to advertising and SEO, Brennan has slowly built a powerful skill set and regularly shares his knowledge with others. Read more about all things marketing, entrepreneurship, startups and tech (and maybe a little bit about video games, too) at BrennanFlentge.com

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