Ever imagined what a marketer’s world looked like before editorial workflow templates and planning came along??
Days were tiring, no doubt. A marketing team would have to be at war with unforgiving search engine algorithms and stiff competition from millions of blogs at the same time.
Then add the looming deadlines and due dates as a chaser, all on the backdrop of a ruthless audience that punishes mediocre content.
Maybe you don’t need to imagine because this is a reality your company lives through every single day. Your marketing team may struggle with:
- Burnouts and workplace stress
- Missed or nearly missed deadlines
- A content marketing strategy that feels like a burden
- An almost manual process with little automation
If so, then welcome to the past.
Where It All Went Wrong
Your marketing plan may have worked in the beginning. Those were the good ol’ days when your marketing team just consisted of you writing a few blogs here and there and tweeting out “happy Memorial Day” on the last day of May.
Not anymore. Like the 70% of marketers investing in content marketing, you’re now advertising on different social media platforms, recording podcasts, sending out hundreds of emails, and frequently publishing blogs, white papers, and e-books.
Oh! And there are webinars too.
If your audience is young enough, then you may be advertising on Tik-Tok, a new frontier in marketing that you have to master.
A Few Responsibilities You Picked up Along The Way
Nowadays, your responsibilities just keep growing, and every single one of them looks a bit more like the straw that will break the camel’s back (the camel is you). You now have to oversee:
- A team member who has to perform keyword and content research
- Someone in the content team who has to come up with a style guide
- A content creator who has to perform content ideation based on the style guide
- An editor who has to edit this content
- A team member who has to publish the content on time
And nobody can be late or miss deadlines.
Once all these processes start to run simultaneously, you may start to lose your mind. The only question you’ll be asking is, “who does what, and where the hell are they?”
Don’t worry, you’re not alone, just part of the 83% of marketers who experience burnout.
Why Go Through All This Trouble?
Why should you be seated at a desk somewhere behind a laptop creating editorial workflows on Welcome? Don’t you know there’s a beach in Hawaii, and it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere?
A workflow template is a marketing road map that covers your entire process of content marketing in detail, from content creation to publishing.
Though you may have everything at your fingertips, there is always one crucial step of the process that an editorial team will forget.
It could be:
- Adding a landing page, like 83% of marketers forget to do
- Adding SEO keywords to a style guide
- Layering HTML metadata to custom fields for a written piece of content
- Giving deadlines to third-party content creators
- Adding a linkable call to action to editorial content
To prove this, let’s try something out. Name five editorial processes in your marketing campaign right off the top of your head.
Take your time.
What Makes a Good Editorial Workflow Template?
If every editorial team could create a great editorial template, all your competitors would have done it.
Luckily, the road to marketing heaven is long and narrow, and you should pray that it stays that way for the sake of your competitive advantage.
Your editorial workflow template should be:
Your editorial workflows should exhaust the tasks at every step of the process.
It will take a lot of brainstorming and proof fooling to have an almost fully comprehensive workflow, but the functionality pays off in the long run.
From the process of content ideation to its publishing, your editorial calendar template should include all the necessary stakeholders.
This step will include everyone — your strategist, content creators, editors, and even publishers. Remember, there is no editorial workflow without every single member of an editorial team.
It’s important not to place the cart before the horse in marketing. In your editorial calendar template, content editing should not come before content creation and so forth.
Subsequently, the editorial team should have a hierarchical order, where the marketing team answers to the strategist and not the other way round.
A great content editorial calendar employs agile methodologies. You should iterate your steps and goals and divide them into small actionable pieces.
The meeting you use for brainstorming on content creation should be scrum-based. You can use tools like Kanban boards and Gant charts.
Simplicity Is the Ultimate Sophistication
Finally, your editorial calendar template should avoid technical jargon and complexities. It should be brief, simple, and actionable.
Instead of writing, “Johnny should edit the blogs every second Tuesday”, have a weekly editing timetable with Johnny’s name under each Tuesday.
How to Create An Editorial Workflow Template
Creating a workflow template is not as hard as it may seem. With Welcome, it’s even easier.
But before you get down and dirty filling that editorial template, you have to consider a few things.
If someone gave you five hours to cut a tree, you’d probably spend the first one sharpening the ax. The same concept applies to creating an editorial workflow template: filling it up is usually the final step of that process.
1. Perform Some Task Definition
Here you answer the question, “What tasks will my editorial workflow include?” Before you start creating a workflow template, content calendar, or editorial calendar, you first have to know the tasks that make up the workflow.
These tasks will vary from business to business, but they will likely include:
- Content creation
- Assessment and approval
- Social media marketing
2. Assign Tasks to Your Editorial Team
Here, you answer the second most essential question: “Who will perform my editorial workflow tasks?”
Not answering this question early always leads to some serious issues like getting to the end only to realize there is no one to bell the cat.
Take your pool of talent and find what everyone is good at. Create the roles crucial to your marketing campaign and assign qualified marketers to them.
Some of these roles can include:
- Social media marketer
- Chief marketing strategist
- SEO analyst
- High-quality content creator
- Chief content editor
Then choose the redundant tasks, like sending emails, and handle them with automation and other agile systems.
3. Come up With a Content Strategy
Here you answer the question, “What content will my editorial workflows entail?”
As you must have realized, a marketing campaign is only as good as its content. What you’re aiming for here is high-quality and relevant content delivered at the right time to your target audiences.
Your content strategy should include:
Type of Content
Your content can be social media posts, webinars, blog posts, podcasts, or email newsletters.
Delivery of Content
You have to deliver your content in a way that best suits your audience. It could be How To’s and tutorials, taking an informational perspective, or even joining the 84% of executives who prefer direct mail to customers.
Delivery Channels for Content
You could deliver this content to your target audience through social media, email, blogs, and even YouTube ads.
4. Come up With the Necessary Marketing Tools
This is where you answer the question, “What will I need to achieve my editorial goals and deadlines?”
Your marketing tools will come in many forms and shapes since an editorial workflow template does not exist in isolation.
They could be software applications such as Welcome that help you streamline your workflows or free productivity software like Excel.
You can also create excellent content calendars and editorial calendars that help you view your campaigns from a deadline-based perspective.
5. Develop Relevant Timelines for Task Completion
Here you answer the burning question, “When will all this work happen??”
Using tools such as downloadable content calendars and editorial calendars, you can organize all your editorial content in chronological order.
These timelines are the best way for a marketing team to improve productivity without any technological investment.
6. Complete Your Project Management with Your Editorial Workflow Template
Using all this knowledge and data, you can now fill and create your editorial workflow template.
Welcome offers pre-made templates that you can customize to your marketing needs. The only thing left to do is fill them.
Before You Leave…You Forgot Something
Every marketer dreams of a platform that will do all the heavy lifting on their behalf. For many marketers, Welcome is that dream come true.
Welcome is your one-stop-shop for all things marketing management, from free templates to Kanban boards. We have it all!