Streamline your content production process and optimize your workflow with content production automation.
Content Production Automation
Learn how to streamline your content production process and optimize your workflow with these content production automation tips.
Content production can be a complex and time-consuming process, involving tasks such as research, writing, editing, and publishing.
However, with the rise of content production automation, your business can streamline its workflow and increase its productivity.
This lesson is part of our content automation series and provides essential content production automation tips to help you optimize your processes and achieve better results.
Content Production Automation Tips
Use these content production automation tips to optimize your workflows, increase your productivity, and achieve better results:
1) Use AI-Powered Tools For Content Research And Analysis
AI-powered tools for content research and analysis can help you gather insights into your target audience, competitors, and industry trends. You can use these insights to create more targeted, relevant, and engaging content, and save time and effort in creating quality content.
Follow these steps to automate your content creation using AI tools:
4) Use AI-Powered Tools For Content Optimization And SEO
AI-powered tools can help you optimize and improve the visibility and ranking of your content on search engines, and increase your organic traffic.
You can use these tools to identify relevant keywords, analyze your content’s readability and structure, and suggest ways to improve your SEO.
Follow these steps to automate your content optimization and SEO using AI-powered tools:
Choose an AI-powered content optimization and SEO tool that meets your needs.
Use the tool to analyze your content and suggest improvements to optimize it for search engines.
Use the insights from the tool to make changes to your content, such as adjusting keywords, optimizing meta tags, and improving readability.
Monitor and analyze the performance of your content using the tool to refine and optimize your content strategy.
Some popular AI-powered content optimization and SEO tools include:
SmartCrawl – a popular WordPress plugin that analyzes your content and provides suggestions for improving your SEO. It analyzes various elements such as content length, readability, and keyword usage, and provides suggestions for improving your content.
SemRush – provides the ability to conduct in-depth keyword research, analyze competitors’ strategies, track search engine rankings, identify content gaps, generate content ideas, and monitor brand mentions and backlinks.
Google Analytics – provides insights into how users interact with your website and content. It can help you identify areas for improvement and track the performance of your content.
See these lessons and resources for more information:
Editorial calendars are sometimes also referred to as content calendars. However, according to Neil Patel, there is a difference:
“These terms are often used interchangeably. However, an editorial calendar generally outlines each step of the process, while a content calendar usually covers one aspect—such as when posts are published or shared to social media.”
Let’s briefly cover what a content calendar is and how to create one, and then we’ll focus on the editorial calendar.
What Is A Content Calendar?
A content calendar is a schedule for creating, publishing, and promoting your business’s content.
A content calendar helps your business stay organized and on schedule when creating content and ensures that you have a steady stream of relevant, high-quality content to share with your audience.
How To Plan And Create A Content Calendar
Follow the steps below to plan a content calendar for your business and see the rest of this lesson for more detailed instructions on how to create one:
Define your audience: Identify the demographics and psychographics of the people you want to target with your content. Understanding your audience will help you create content that resonates with them.
Set your goals: Determine what you want to achieve with your content. Goals can include increasing website traffic, generating leads, boosting brand awareness, or improving engagement on social media.
Research your competitors: Look at what other businesses in your industry are doing with their content. This can give you an idea of what has worked well in the past, and what strategies you might want to avoid.
Identify your topics: Choose the topics you will create content around. This might include product- or service-related information, industry news, or thought leadership pieces.
Plan your content: Decide on the format of your content (e.g. blog post, video, podcast, infographics) and schedule out when you will publish it.
Create a production plan: Decide how you will produce your content, and include it in your content calendar.
Create a promotion plan: Decide how and when you will promote your content, and include it in your content calendar.
Use a tool: Use a content calendar tool or spreadsheet to organize and schedule your content, and to make it easy to track progress and make adjustments as needed.
Example Of A Content Calendar
Here is an example of what type of information might be included in a content calendar for a marketing agency:
Audience: Small to medium-sized business owners
Goals: Increase website traffic, generate leads
Competitors: other marketing agencies
Social media marketing
Blog post: once a week
YouTube video: once a month
Webinar: Once a quarter
Social media: LinkedIn, Facebook
Email marketing: send a newsletter once a month
Paid Advertising: Google Ads, Facebook ads
Tool: Google Sheet
By following these steps, the marketing agency will be able to create a content calendar that helps them achieve its business goals while engaging its target audience with relevant and valuable content aligned with its overall promotion and distribution strategy.
Also, by using a tool to organize the calendar, it will be easy to track progress, make adjustments as needed and share it with the team members.
What Is An Editorial Calendar?
“An editorial calendar is a visual workflow that helps a team of content creators schedule their work on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Editorial calendars can help you track content types, promotional channels, authors, and most importantly, publish dates.”
Records how, when, and where you plan to publish upcoming content.
Lays out every step of the content planning and production process from idea to publication.
Lets you track and manage different content types (e.g. articles, videos) and promotional channels (e.g. blogs, social media, emails).
An editorial calendar should be the single version of the truth, and only projects that are actually going to be created should be added to the calendar.
Note: You can have a column in your calendar where content topics or ideas for review and discussion can be added and then either moved into production or discarded if the team decides not to go ahead with it.
“The editorial process for a business can be surprisingly complex; it’s not just a way to plan a few content ideas ahead of time, but rather it implies establishing content marketing objectives, developing a strategy and carefully strategizing all of your content ahead of time so that you can generate better results for your business – whether it’s an improved search engine ranking, more traffic, more social shares or more leads and conversions.”
If you are working with a team of content creators, you need organization, structure, and a system for planning, writing, and scheduling content on a regular basis to avoid missing deadlines, miscommunication with team members, and the accumulation of a growing pile of unfinished content.
If your business is serious about using content marketing (e.g. blogs, social media, email marketing campaigns, etc.) to improve its results, then it needs to plan, strategize, create, publish, and promote content in an organized manner, keep track of its content production in one place, and give its team complete visibility into the process.
An editorial calendar allows businesses to do this effectively.
Content Calendar Goals And Objectives
Common content calendar goals and objectives include:
Content planning: The goal is to plan and strategize the creation, distribution, and promotion of content. This can be achieved by creating an editorial calendar, identifying your target audience, and defining KPIs.
Timeliness: The goal is to ensure that content is created and published in a timely manner. This can be achieved by scheduling blog posts, social media posts, and other content well in advance, and creating deadlines for content creation and review.
Consistency: The goal is to ensure a consistent flow of content to keep your audience engaged and interested. This can be achieved by publishing regular blog posts, scheduling recurring social media posts, and creating a content calendar that covers the year/month.
Brand alignment: The goal is to align content with your company’s brand messaging and values. This can be achieved by creating and sharing branded graphics, videos and infographics, and guest blogging on relevant websites.
Audience engagement: The goal is to engage your target audience by creating and publishing content that is relevant and valuable to them. This can be achieved by creating a calendar that includes a mix of different types of content, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media posts.
Content optimization: The goal is to improve the visibility and performance of content by ensuring it is well-written, visually appealing, and optimized for search engines and social media. This can be achieved by optimizing headlines, meta descriptions, and images, using keywords and hashtags, and making sure the content is mobile-friendly
Integration: The goal is to integrate your content calendar with other systems and tools to improve efficiency, collaboration, and automation. This can be achieved by integrating with a CRM system, integrating with social media platforms, and integrating with analytics and reporting tools.
Flexibility: The goal is to ensure that your content calendar can be easily adapted to changing business needs and goals. This can be achieved by incorporating a feedback and testing process, making it easy for stakeholders to provide input and feedback, and implementing agile methodologies.
Collaboration: The goal is to promote collaboration and communication among team members to ensure that content is created and reviewed in a timely and effective manner. This can be achieved by using shared tools for content creation, review and publishing, setting up regular meetings and check-ins, and providing clear guidelines and instructions
Budget and resources allocation: The goal is to plan and allocate the budget and resources needed to achieve your content goals. This can be achieved by identifying the cost of creating, distributing and measuring the content, and allocating resources to create, review, and publish your content.
Benefits Of Using An Editorial Calendar
Some of the benefits of using an editorial calendar include:
Better planning creates better content.
With an editorial calendar, you can include content research information in the planning process that content writers and creators need to create in-depth content targeted to the right audience, like supporting sources, quotes, stats, and references, keyword research, editorial briefs, notes from other team members, competitive intelligence data, etc.
This can save valuable time and help generate an ongoing pipeline for the production of high-quality content.
One Place To Organize, Delegate, And Manage Everything
Depending on your content strategy, after a certain point, it can become unwieldy to keep track of all content production activities using spreadsheets, emails, text files, word docs, or sticky notes.
An editorial calendar allows businesses to plan, organize, delegate, track, and manage all of their content production effectively from one place.
It also allows a content production team to plan and work collaboratively and break the process into manageable workflow steps, assign tasks to individual team members, set priorities and deadlines for each item, adjust shifts in content needs and timing, and communicate with each other during each stage and level of production through notes and comments.
Keep in mind, however, that while some businesses may choose to use one ‘source of truth’ application for managing all of their content production, other organizations may have different departments or teams with different calendars to meet their content schedules.
For example, an organization may have a team of writers focused on creating content for their blog, a team (or individuals) managing their social media campaigns, and a marketing team or person running email campaigns and newsletters.
In this case, the organization could have different calendars to manage different content needs and all these separate content schedules would need to be coordinated to make sure that every team meets its targets and deadlines.
Helps Achieve Strategic Goals
An editorial calendar can assist a business to achieve goals set in its content strategy in a number of ways, including helping to:
Meet critical milestones.
Track promotional activities.
Grow leads and improve conversion rates.
Increase sales and sign-ups on newsletters and registrations.
Build brand awareness.
Determine whether sufficient content is being produced for each persona being targeted by the business.
An editorial calendar can help team members plan content ahead of time to meet specific timeframes and deadlines.
This is especially important if the business strategy requires new content to be published by a certain date to coincide with product launches, sales, or other time-based events.
It can also help to eliminate writer’s block. If the topic is set, a brief is clearly stated, and all background information is provided, the content writer can log in for the day, check the calendar, and begin working immediately on their project or assignment.
Managing Your Content Calendar
As a content manager working with a content production team, you will probably be the person responsible for managing the content calendar (unless someone else is appointed as calendar manager).
Even if you allow team members to add and edit items on the calendar, it’s helpful to have one person managing it and being accountable for it.
The calendar manager is responsible for deciding:
Who manages the calendar
Who can access the calendar (view only, view and edit, etc.)
Which projects will be added to the calendar
How often the calendar will be reviewed, updated, and cleaned up
Additionally, the calendar owner/manager is responsible for:
Making sure that deadlines are being set and met.
Nudging team members as deadlines approach.
Calling out anything that doesn’t look right.
How To Create An Editorial Calendar
Before creating an editorial calendar, make sure that the following processes are already in place:
You have set up a schedule for your content production team. See this lesson for an example of what this step might look like: Content Production Team Schedule.
Once these processes are in place, you are ready to create your editorial calendar. The video below provides an overview of the process.
Let’s go through the steps:
1. Decide On Content Types
Check your content plan and decide on the content types your team will create.
Blog posts and articles
Social Media posts
Lead Gen Reports
Guides and Ebooks
Print magazines, brochures, or newsletters.
Other marketing projects.
2. Choose Your Tools
You can use a range of tools to create and track content production. Often, a combination of tools is needed to achieve the best results and these can vary from organization to organization and even from team to team.
Your business may or may not have already invested in some of these tools. If it has, then learn to use these tools. If not, refer to the Content Production Tools section for free and paid tools that will help you build and manage a content production workflow.
Types Of Content Calendars
An editorial calendar doesn’t have to be a digital tool to begin the process. Depending on what the business wants to do and how much content it plans to create to start with, you could begin with a diary, printed calendars and/or a whiteboard.
While this is a step in the right direction toward organizing your content workflow if you’re just getting started, non-digital tools are limited in what they can do. You can’t edit these easily, or use them to coordinate assigning editorial work or move projects through different stages of content planning and production.
In this case, using a spreadsheet is a better option to start with. You can make your own content calendar or use a spreadsheet template. There are many editorial and content calendar spreadsheet templates available and we provide links to these in the “Resources” section of this lesson.
Using a spreadsheet template or Google calendar is not a bad way to start, especially if you’re designing a prototype for your content scheduling or production workflow.
You can also use a Kanban board to create your content calendar. A Kanban board application looks like a virtual whiteboard with digital post-it notes that contain information about each project and can be moved across different columns after each stage of the process is completed.
For a list of free and paid tools you can use to create and run an editorial calendar that lets you assign tasks to individual team members or authors, set publishing schedules, allow your entire team access to track content through different stages of production, and know what and when content is being published, see these sections:
Make changes to draft and submit for review. (Author)
Review/edit amended draft. (Editor)
Make changes to draft, then transfer to CMS, format content, and add additional elements like artwork, media, etc. (Author)
Submit draft for technical review [optional]. (Author)
Technical review/edit. (Product Manager)
Make changes and submit the final draft for review. (Author)
Approve content in the final draft. (Editor/Product Manager)
Schedule content for promotion. (Editor/Marketing Team)
So, documenting the above workflow would look something like this…
Once you have figured out your content production workflow, set the processes up in your content planning tool/editorial calendar as columns in your spreadsheet, kanban board, etc.
Note: Some workflow processes include subtasks that need to be completed before content production can proceed to the next stage, so make sure to document these as well.
For example, adding a new task to production can involve completing subtasks like:
Gathering research sources and references
Performing keyword research
Analyzing content from the competition
Creating an editorial brief for authors
Sourcing internal linking opportunities
And creating an initial draft can involve subtasks like:
Requesting visual artwork (images, banners, etc.) from illustrators or graphic designers
Requesting media (e.g. videos) to be created
Interviewing subject experts
Some tools allow you to add checklists and templates to explain the workflow and ensure that all essential or required tasks and subtasks are completed successfully at each stage.
4. Create A List Of Content Ideas
After deciding on the editorial calendar tool(s) you will use, the next step is to build a content backlog (i.e. a list of content ideas) to start organizing and tracking ideas and topics for articles and other content.
You can use a spreadsheet for this or just create a column on your content planning board for adding content ideas and topics for team discussion that may or may not make it to production.
Next, start adding a few headings to organize your content.
Title – Article title or content topic
Author – Assign an author (if there are multiple writers)
Status – Set the project status here (e.g. discussion, assigned, draft, review, published, etc.)
Date – Add the publication date
Additional headings you can add include special dates and anniversaries, themes and distribution channels, trending topics/new launches relevant to your industry or niche, seasonal content, and key sales dates.
Once you have this information, you are ready to begin using your editorial calendar.
How To Use An Editorial Calendar
With the prerequisite Content Strategy and Content Planning steps done, you can avoid the chaotic, disorganized, and often stressful scramble to come up with content at the last minute, begin the more methodical and effective route of scheduling content in advance, and get your content production pipeline rolling.
5. Schedule Your Initial Content
Ideally, you would schedule anywhere from 2-6 weeks’ worth of content ahead of time, depending on how much content you plan to produce and how many people are on your team.
Set up your content tasks into your content production tool, allowing enough time for each step of the process to meet content production targets and deadlines.
6 . Move Content Into Production
After scheduling your initial content, your team can begin to produce it. Make sure that every member of your team knows how to access and use your content production tool to move things along when each stage is completed (e.g. from writing an initial draft of an article to initial review).
Color coding the content on your calendar helps to keep your content activities organized, and allows your team to quickly identify content types, projects, or other agreed-upon ways to classify your processes.
You can color-code your editorial calendar however you like, as long as the color scheme is consistent and everyone in the team understands what the colors refer to. Some tools offer built-in color-coding functionality and allow you to specify custom colors and color schemes.
Some examples of using color-coding in your calendar include classifying content by:
Campaign, theme, or category
Content marketing channel
Any content-related activity where there is more than one type involved.
7. Build Your Content Pipeline
If the goal of your organization is to keep publishing content on a regular basis, then you need to build a forward-looking content pipeline into your editorial calendar.
You should be continually adding and queuing up new content for production, moving things along each stage of the pipeline, and having articles or other content ready for publication coming out at the other end.
If you’re just getting started with your content production process, you will probably need to put in extra work at the beginning to start filling your editorial calendar and feed your content pipeline.
This might mean getting a team of in-house or outsourced writers to create extra content until you have a suitable volume of content to publish or spending some time each day or week creating additional content.
8. Optimize & Refine Your Content Process
Content production is not a “set and forget” process. It needs to operate like a well-oiled machine. And like all machines, your content process needs to be periodically reviewed, maintained, and adjusted.
This means identifying and eliminating unnecessary processes, removing bottlenecks, making sure that all tools being used are fit for their purpose, reviewing processes and procedures with your team, and ensuring that the editorial process works for everyone.
In addition to making sure that your content team isn’t being slowed down or affected by a lack of skills or training on using tools or understanding processes, some of the more common areas to review periodically include:
Your content production schedule
Your content production tools
The volume of content that’s backed up and why it’s not getting published
The average time the content sits in the pipeline between each stage of production.
Define the goals and objectives of your content calendar: Clearly define the goals and objectives of the content calendar, such as ensuring a consistent flow of content and aligning with business objectives.
Identify key themes: Identify the key themes that align with your business goals and audience interests.
Gather existing content: Gather existing content, such as blog posts, videos, and social media updates, that can be repurposed or used as a starting point for new content.
Create a content calendar template: Create a content calendar template that includes columns for the content type, topic, target audience, deadline, and any other relevant information.
Fill in the calendar: Fill in the content calendar with the content ideas and existing content.
Set a publishing schedule: Set a publishing schedule for the content, taking into account the desired frequency and the target audience’s behavior.
Allocate resources: Allocate resources for creating, publishing, and promoting your content.
Coordinate with other teams: Coordinate with other teams, such as marketing and product development, to ensure the content aligns with the overall company goals and objectives.
Continuously monitor and update: Continuously monitor and update the content calendar based on the results and feedback.
Creating and managing a content strategy can be daunting and trying to maintain a regular publishing schedule without a tool for planning, tracking, and coordinating content activities can be challenging.
An editorial calendar is an ideal tool for managing content planning and streamlining content production activities from a central hub. It will help your team stay focused and on track and ensure the consistent delivery and publishing of high-quality content for your business.
Decide on the right editorial calendar tool for your business, set up a content production schedule, get your content team involved in using it to build a content pipeline and publish regular new content, and periodically review and improve your processes.
Someone must supervise the creation and publication of all articles, videos, and every other item of content found on a web page, newspaper, or magazine. This is what content production managers do.
A content production manager is a professional who is responsible for overseeing the creation and production of various types of content, including written, visual, and audio content. This may include managing a team of content creators and coordinators, as well as collaborating with other departments such as marketing and design.
The main goal of a content production manager is to ensure that all content is produced efficiently and effectively, and meets the required standards of quality and consistency. To do this, a content production manager must have strong project management skills and be proficient in various content creation tools and management tools.
In addition to managing the production of content, a content production manager may also be responsible for developing and implementing a content strategy, which involves setting goals, identifying the target audience, and determining the most effective channels and tactics for reaching and engaging with that audience.
Overall, the role of a content production manager is crucial in helping a brand or organization effectively communicate its message to its target audience. By overseeing the creation and production of high-quality content, a content production manager can help ensure that a brand’s message is delivered consistently and effectively across various channels.
Content Production Manager Duties And Responsibilities
Content production managers are responsible for:
Overseeing all aspects of content production, from initial brainstorming to publication.
Working with their teams to produce content that will help to increase the value of the business.
Providing creative input.
Making sure that content deadlines and quality standards are met.
Content Production Manager Role Requirements
Content production managers need a more diverse set of skills than content editors. They must understand writing and editing word-based content (e.g. articles), video creation and audio editing, and the ability to coordinate and work with various content specialists like writers, photographers, and videographers.
Recruitment sites advertising the role of Digital Content Production Manager recommend people with qualifications in communications or marketing, experience in content creation, content production, and editing, a keen eye for detail, strong communication, leadership skills, and the ability to adhere to strict deadlines.
Full-time content production managers can expect to earn between USD$65,000 to USD$75,000 per year.
Some of the roles that a content production manager may interact with while performing their duties include:
In this module, we provide a practical overview of content strategy as it relates to the role of a content manager. We recommend going through the links, resources, and references in this section for a more in-depth understanding of the key concepts presented here.
This module covers the following topics:
What is a content strategy?
Why do you need a content strategy?
Key elements of an effective content strategy
Who is responsible for creating a content strategy?
Now that we have a basic understanding of what a content strategy is, let’s take a look at why businesses need one.
Why Do You Need A Content Strategy?
Businesses need a content strategy to:
Set And Reach Goals – A documented content strategy helps define marketing goals, set priorities plan the work, and ensure that all marketing efforts translate into tangible results.
Track Progress – A strong content strategy outlines the metrics to track, analyze, and determine if the content marketing efforts are producing results.
Identify New Opportunities – A good content strategy outlines all the avenues that can be used to follow news and trends and find story ideas and prevent the effort put into discovering new opportunities from being uncoordinated and reflecting poorly on a brand’s publications and tone.
Cut Costs – Content strategies help define how much money to spend per project, how to spend it, and how to find ways to cut costs if required to avoid excessive spending on individual projects.
Optimize Its Marketing Team – A documented content strategy sets out performance metrics for team members, and defines a work schedule for content creation, guidelines on the management of social media accounts, maintenance of marketing automation system, and other content-related processes. Without this, the marketing team won’t know how much content to produce, where to post it, how to repurpose it, and how to work as productively and effectively as possible.
Produce Content That Converts – Content that consistently converts comes from a content strategy that understands who its target audience is, what type, style, and format of content its audience wants to consume, its ideal content tone, and how to leverage different distribution and promotional channels.
In simpler terms, a content strategy can help your business realize its vision.
If your business has a clear vision with clearly defined objectives and a sound business and marketing strategy, a content strategy provides a measurable and quantifiable way to determine how using content can help you achieve those objectives.
Your content strategy drives your content plan, defines the focus of your content production efforts and content promotion activities, and specifies what systems your business needs to put in place to manage all of your content-related processes effectively, including the content itself.
Content Strategy Goals And Objectives
Common content strategy goals and objectives include:
Audience understanding: The goal is to understand the target audience and create content that meets their needs, interests, and preferences. This can be achieved by conducting market research, creating buyer personas, and analyzing website traffic data.
Brand alignment: The goal is to align content with the company’s brand messaging and values, and to create a consistent brand voice and visual identity across all content. This can be achieved by creating a brand style guide, conducting a brand audit, and training content creators on your brand’s messaging and tone.
Content creation and distribution: The goal is to plan, create, and distribute high-quality, relevant, and engaging content to reach and engage the target audience. This can be achieved by creating an editorial calendar, creating and publishing blog posts, creating and publishing videos, and creating and publishing infographics.
Content optimization: The goal is to improve the visibility and performance of existing content through search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. This can be achieved by researching and including relevant keywords, optimizing meta tags, and creating internal and external links.
Content measurement and analytics: The goal is to track and measure the performance of content in terms of engagement, conversion, and other key performance indicators (KPIs). This can be achieved by using Google Analytics to track website traffic, using social media analytics to track engagement, and using A/B testing to optimize conversion rates.
Content governance: The goal is to ensure that all content is accurate, up-to-date, and compliant with legal, ethical, and brand guidelines. This can be achieved by creating and enforcing a content style guide, regularly reviewing and updating content, and ensuring that all content is accessible and inclusive.
Continuous improvement: The goal is to continuously improve your content strategy by analyzing performance data, gathering feedback, and making adjustments as needed. This can be achieved by conducting regular content audits, gathering feedback from stakeholders, and testing and implementing new content formats and distribution channels.
Benefits Of Having A Content Strategy
There are many benefits to having a clear content strategy, including:
Consistency: With a content strategy in place, you can ensure that your content is consistent in terms of quality, tone, and style. This helps to build trust with your audience and establish your brand as a reliable source of information.
Improved audience targeting: A content strategy helps to identify the target audience for your content and ensures that the content is tailored to their interests and needs.
Increased brand awareness: Consistently publishing high-quality content can help to increase awareness of your brand and establish it as a thought leader in your industry.
Greater customer engagement: By providing valuable and relevant content, you can engage and build relationships with your customers, leading to increased loyalty and customer retention.
Higher search engine rankings: A content strategy can help to optimize your website’s content for search engines, leading to higher search rankings and increased organic traffic.
Enhanced reputation management: A content strategy can help to proactively manage your brand’s reputation by ensuring that all content aligns with your brand values and message.
Increased sales and conversions: By providing valuable and relevant content, you can drive traffic to your website and convert visitors into customers.
Improved internal communication: A content strategy can help to align the goals and messaging of different teams within your organization, improving internal communication and collaboration.
Streamlined content creation: A content strategy helps to define the types of content that will be created, who will create it, and how it will be distributed, streamlining the content creation process.
Reduced costs: By having a content strategy in place, you can avoid wasting time and resources creating ineffective or redundant content and focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your target audience.
Content Strategy Vs Marketing Strategy Vs Content Marketing
It’s also important to distinguish between Content Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Content Marketing and the differences between a Content Strategy vs a Content Marketing Strategy.
Content Strategy vs Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy outlines the marketing steps you’ll take towards your ultimate goals, like growth and increasing revenue, a content strategy focuses on defining which content is created to support this marketing strategy, as well as how you’ll promote it.
Content strategy is the roadmap that guides your content marketing. Content marketing is the process of organizing, scheduling, creating, publishing, and promoting content pieces. Content marketing is the tactics that follow from the content strategy.
Content Distribution defines where and how you will publish content to make the most out of the media types you will publish and deliver your content in. We cover this in more depth in the Content Promotion module.
Who Is Responsible For Creating A Content Strategy?
In the Content Manager Mindset lesson, we discuss the three decision-making levels of a business and how these are responsible for creating, implementing, and managing different areas of the organization.
This includes the overall business strategy and its digital strategy.
If we apply the three decision-making levels to the digital strategy of a business, for example:
The executive level creates its digital content strategy.
The management level implements and manages its digital content plan.
The technical/tactical level performs the work required to create the content specified in the content plan (e.g. writing articles, recording videos, etc.)
Ideally, executive-level roles of the business would create a content strategy for the organization as part of developing its overall business strategy and digital strategy.
The Content Manager would then take the content strategy and use it to create and implement a content plan.
As we have seen in the Digital Business Setups lesson, however, many small and startup businesses do not have the resources to either create a digital business strategy or hire a content strategist to create one for the organization.
Learn how to define a content workflow for your organization, from content ideation and creation to scheduling and publishing.
Learn how to define a content workflow for your organization, from content ideation and creation to scheduling and publishing.
Keeping content projects on track and on time requires organizing and managing processes with specific tasks, done in a specific order, by team members assigned to specific roles.
If you are building a content pipeline and your content team is working on various projects, things can quickly become unwieldy and difficult to manage. People will start to get confused about where things are at, and projects will end up getting stuck and delayed.
This is where having a defined content workflow can help.
“A content workflow is a set of tasks that a team needs to complete for a given client or content type — a web page, a blog post, a white paper, an email, or any other kind of content that the group needs to deliver.”
The article also mentions Kristina Halvorson, author of Content Strategy For The Web, as saying that a content workflow determines “how content is requested, sourced, created, reviewed, approved, and delivered,” and goes on to explain:
Why a business needs to define a content workflow
How to define a content workflow, and
Identify the roles (who is involved in production)
Identify the tasks (what each role does)
Determine when tasks should get done by to maintain consistent production flow, and
Assign accountability for overseeing and tracking projects through to completion.
As we touched on in the Content Production Overview lesson, creating a content workflow involves defining things like the steps involved, who does what to make each step happen, how/when the process should move from one step to the next, what formats, guidelines, and procedures should be followed to ensure consistent standards, how/when to deliver each step, etc.
Even a simple content workflow can have many moving parts. For example, consider the steps involved in writing an article for a blog.
At first glance, it may look something like this:
Create an outline.
Write a draft.
Review the draft.
Edit the draft.
Get changes approved.
Publish the article.
However, if you map out the sequence of all the steps involved in the actual article writing process, you may find that your article creation workflow ends up looking something more like this:
From the above, it should be clear that:
Certain aspects of the process need to be assigned to and performed by different roles.
Some steps cannot proceed until other steps have first been completed.
Certain processes involve steps that “loop” (i.e. repeat) before the workflow can move to the next phase.
Different content requires different content workflows – a workflow used to create content like blog articles won’t necessarily work for other types of content (e.g. videos).
It’s important, then, to define content workflows in the content production process, as it helps the content team to:
Keep everything organized, saving time, reducing costs, and increasing production efficiency,
Break down different processes into manageable tasks,
Identify each stage of development and what needs to happen for the item to move forward and get approved,
Know who should take over responsibility for each step and when,
Identify and deal with bottlenecks in the production process.
Identify different workflows for different types of content.
Content Workflow Goals And Objectives
Common content workflow goals and objectives include:
Efficiency: The goal is to streamline the content creation process and reduce the time and effort required to produce, review, and publish content. This can be achieved by creating a content calendar, using project management tools, and automating repetitive tasks.
Collaboration: The goal is to promote collaboration and communication among team members to ensure that content is created and reviewed in a timely and effective manner. This can be achieved by using shared tools for content creation, review, and publishing, setting up regular meetings and check-ins, and providing clear guidelines and instructions.
Quality control: The goal is to ensure that all content meets the established standards for quality, accuracy, and compliance with legal, ethical, and brand guidelines. This can be achieved by creating and enforcing a content style guide, regularly reviewing and updating content, and ensuring that all content is accessible and inclusive.
Scalability: The goal is to ensure that the content workflow can easily adapt and scale to accommodate changes in content volume, team size, and complexity. This can be achieved by using cloud-based tools, creating a flexible and modular content creation process, and implementing a version control system.
Security: The goal is to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the content and the workflows by implementing security protocols. This can be achieved by using encryption and access controls, creating backups, and monitoring for unauthorized access.
Flexibility: The goal is to ensure that the content workflow can be easily adapted to changing business needs and goals. This can be achieved by incorporating a feedback and testing process, making it easy for stakeholders to provide input and feedback, and implementing agile methodologies.
Automation: The goal is to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks to improve the speed and efficiency of the content workflow. This can be achieved by using a content management system (CMS) to automate the publishing process, using workflow automation tools, and integrating with other tools and software.
Integration: The goal is to integrate the content workflow with other systems and tools to improve efficiency, collaboration, and automation. This can be achieved by integrating with a CRM system, integrating with social media platforms, and integrating with analytics and reporting tools.
Key Elements Of An Effective Content Workflow
As mentioned, you may need to define different content workflows depending on the content strategy of the business and the purpose of the content it intends to create.
For example, consider the following types of content:
Blog articles to boost search engine visibility and drive traffic to the business,
Videos to inform and introduce products to potential customers,
Social media posts to increase brand awareness.
Each type of content listed above requires different processes to create and serves a different purpose. Each of these processes needs to be clearly defined to ensure efficient content production and consistent standards of quality.
While each of these content types requires different workflow processes, they also have certain elements in common.
Let’s look at these.
Content Production Phases
While different content production processes result in the creation of different content types, they all tend to move through similar phases.
Your content workflow has to move content production through the various phases below:
1. Concept Development / Strategic Ideation
In this phase, team members brainstorm content ideas. Ideally, this will flow from the content strategy and include input from all stakeholders (e.g. the content team, designers, writers, editors, channel managers, creative agencies, etc.) to provide a fuller perspective of all the essential aspects of the project.
This phase should also involve a discussion of factors that can affect the project, like concept, style, budget, resources, timeframes, etc.
This is the preparation phase where you source, gather and line up everything you will need before starting the actual process of creating the content. Depending on which project the team is working on, pre-production may include activities like researching, preparing outlines, sourcing graphics, scripting, etc.
For example, if you are shooting a video, pre-production will probably involve doing things like:
On the other hand, if you are planning to write an article for a blog, pre-production will involve different activities, such as:
Create an outline
Gather quotes, stats, etc.
Source media (images, banners, videos, etc.)
Interview subject experts
This is where the content gets assembled. Production can take place internally (e.g. by the content team) or externally (e.g. an agency or outsourced provider), or split between the two.
In this phase, content either gets fine-tuned and polished (e.g. adding video titles and intros/outros to videos) or prepared for different channels and purposes (e.g., adding video transcripts or translations, creating longer and shorter versions of videos, repurposing articles for social media, infographics, slide presentations, videos, etc.).
Post-production activities can also be split between internal and external teams.
5. Feedback Loop
Once the content is ready for initial review (e.g. an article draft or video rough), it will typically bounce around a loop (e.g. Draft 1 > Review 1 > Draft 2 > Review 2 > Draft 3 > Review 3) involving different people (e.g. editors, subject experts, managers) or different departments (e.g. HR, legal) who provide feedback and additional suggestions until the final content is approved.
6. Final Delivery / Publishing
This is where the content is approved for publishing or distribution via the agreed channels (e.g. blog, social media, email newsletters, etc.)
There are different ways to define your content’s purpose. For example, the overall purpose of the content may be to help the business achieve a strategic goal, such as building brand awareness or generating leads and sales.
While knowing why you are creating a certain piece of content is important and should be incorporated into the workflow’s production notes and the content brief (see further below), asking a writer to write an article or a video producer to create a video designed to “build brand awareness” doesn’t provide sufficient direction to help them with the actual article writing or video scripting process.
So, additional information about the purpose of the content may be required.
For example, SEOptimer describes the three types of content produced for most websites, often to be used in conjunction with one another:
Cornerstone Content – This is longer, authoritative content that will remain mostly unchanged, covering single topics in a definitive way to build awareness of your brand and establish authority rather than to sell products. Cornerstone content is the content you want to rank highest in the search engines, so it needs to be well written, updated often, and targeted to rank for your most competitive keywords.
Gated Content – This is content (usually of very high value) designed to be exchanged for something of equally high value (e.g. opt-in subscriber or lead information), such as email newsletters, downloadable guides or templates, podcasts, etc.
Evolving Content – This is content produced regularly that changes over time and often needs frequent updates, such as blog posts, news, a video series, etc.
While the aim of content marketing is to use content to convince your audience to take an intended action (e.g. buy something), the aim of content production is to connect with individual members of that audience, and this also has to be reflected in the content’s purpose.
EngageContent describes three types of content that connect with individuals:
Entertaining content – Content that connects with people on an emotional level, such as subjective stories centered around people.
Educational content – Content that connects with people on an intellectual level, such as objective content that describes processes or analysis of data.
Informative content – Content that connects with people on an attentional level, e.g. news content that attracts the reader’s attention because it’s current, new, and relevant.
Understanding the above differences and incorporating these into your content workflow will help your team create and deliver content that is on-purpose.
Your content workflow may be geared exclusively to the production of one type of content or to multiple content types, such as blog articles, videos, emails, social media posts, downloadable PDF guides, whitepapers, infographics, templates, etc., and/or produced for print and digital formats.
See the Content Types lesson to learn more about different types of content that can be included in your content workflow and content production.
When defining a content workflow, it’s important to understand and identify:
Who will be involved in the content production process,
Which stage of the project they will be required to participate in, and
What the responsibilities of each role will be.
A project may require assigning different roles to people who may also be working on other projects or areas of the business at the same time, so it’s important to define how all the different roles will work together seamlessly and efficiently in the workflow.
We provide an entire section dedicated to helping you understand different team roles in a content production team and a digital organization.
After identifying the roles in the workflow, the next step involves the following:
Identifying the tasks required to complete a project (i.e. what needs to be done).
Defining each task in detail (to minimize time-wasting and confusion once the project gets underway).
Assigning tasks to the roles (i.e. who will do what).
Organizing tasks in a logical and sequential order (i.e. their flow).
Without clearly-defined tasks, things can fall through the cracks, especially if there are multiple people working on a project and/or or multiple teams responsible for ensuring the completion of projects. Vaguely-defined tasks can lead to confusion and lack of accountability (e.g. “I didn’t know I was supposed to do that…I thought such and such was looking after that area!”).
For this reason, it’s important that tasks be made clear enough so that anyone occupying the role assigned to the task will know exactly what needs to be done to complete their part and move it along to the next stage of the production process.
Here’s how to ensure this happens:
Break each task down into its smallest possible elements. For example, after a blog article has been approved for publishing and before hitting the “publish” button, there may be additional steps involved to the post itself (i.e. not the content), like adding a post excerpt, meta description, author’s note, related articles, categories, tags, etc.
Work out who is responsible for each element. For example, if you are creating an infographic, make sure to specify who will do the research and who will supply the graphic designer or illustrator with accurate data (and in which format, e.g. a list, table, slide mock up, etc.). Similarly, who will upload the final article to the blog and hit the publish button…the writer, the editor, or the production manager?
Assign each element of the task to a specific team member. This will help you work out whether certain roles have excessive workloads in the production process and whether these can be distributed, reassigned, or consolidated within existing roles and the available resources.
Ask for feedback when assigning tasks. It may be more efficient for someone else to take on a task. For example, when writing a technical article, a product manager may be more suitable for writing out all of the key points and then handing this to a writer for making the content flow in a more readable way to the audience. This can be worked out during the team production meeting.
As most tasks in workflows tend to be repeatable processes, it’s best to document these tasks and anything else that helps to complete them, like style guidelines, company information (e.g. mission, vision, and value statements, legal compliance policies, etc.), and store this documentation somewhere where your team can easily access it.
Ideally, you would start from the deadline or final publication date for the content, then work backward to create a timeline, adding in specific dates or time frames for all the steps in the process. This way, each team member knows when their task is coming up and when it is due and can plan their workload accordingly.
For example, Let’s say that you are in the first week of July and during your production meeting, the team is informed about a new product due for release on August 1st that needs an accompanying article to be written and ready to publish by the end of July.
Let’s also say that from past experience, you know that it takes articles one working week to go through the feedback loop for reviews and approvals, 2-3 days to write the first draft, and 2-3 days to research and create an outline once the writer is given a content brief.
Working backward from the deadline, the initial schedule for making sure that the article will be ready in time for publishing would look something like this…
From the above schedule, you would then assign all the tasks required to complete the project to different roles and incorporate your content workflow into your content management tool to track its progress.
While this approach may work for getting content delivered in sync with a specific marketing promotion or event (e.g. a “Black Friday” sale) and is quite useful for content planning purposes, things often don’t work out to plan, so it’s important to include enough time into the content production process for additional edits, revisions, and unexpected events, such as:
A team member gets sick or goes on leave,
Competing priorities create delays, hold-ups, or bottlenecks in the production process,
The project schedule is brought forward (e.g. to match a product release or company announcement).
Using the right tools allows everyone involved in the project to have a clear idea of what, when, and where their contribution is required in the workflow, and to keep track of where things are at during production.
Once everything has been defined — phases, timelines, roles, tasks, etc., the next step is to choose a workflow approach and arrange all production elements in a way that will work for the business or organization.
Status-based: The workflow is organized around the status of a content piece.
Task-based: The workflow is organized around the tasks needed to complete the project.
Swim lane: The workflow is organized across different roles over time.
A content brief (or project brief, or creative brief) is a document that outlines the project’s context, purpose, and deliverables. It provides whoever is assigned to create the content with all the information and direction they need to make sure that their efforts will be on track and on purpose.
A content brief helps to:
Set out project expectations clearly and concisely.
Make the team focus on the most important areas of the project.
Save unnecessary editing and revisions.
Deliver content that fits the purpose and goals of the organization’s content strategy.
Depending on the project type, a content brief may include/address the following areas:
Project background (i.e. why is this content required?)
Target audience/buyer persona (if the organization targets multiple audiences)
Content type(s) and deliverables
Project timeline, deadline, and key milestones
Suggested titles, target keywords
Initial research (e.g. competing articles, reference sources, etc.)
Resources (e.g. supporting statistics, quotes, related articles for internal linking, etc.)
Access to subject matter experts (if required). This can be as simple as pointing out who to contact in the organization to obtain information (e.g. a product manager), or something more elaborate, such as lining up interviews with industry experts.
To help you understand what a content brief looks like, here is an example of a content brief for an article listing the best espresso coffee machines:
*** Start Content Brief ***
Title: “Top 10 Best Espresso Coffee Machines for At-Home Brewing”
Purpose: To provide readers with a list of the best espresso coffee machines for at-home brewing, based on factors such as performance, ease of use, and price.
Target audience: Home coffee enthusiasts who are interested in purchasing an espresso coffee machine for at-home brewing.
To help readers find the best espresso coffee machine for their needs and budget.
To provide detailed information about the features and performance of each espresso coffee machine.
To offer tips and recommendations for selecting the right espresso coffee machine.
Keywords: espresso, coffee machine, at-home brewing, performance, ease of use, price, features
Explain the purpose of the article and introduce the topic of espresso coffee machines.
Provide a brief overview of the different types of espresso coffee machines available, and explain why they are a popular choice for at-home brewing.
2. Top 10 Best Espresso Coffee Machines
Introduce the list of the top 10 best espresso coffee machines, and explain the criteria used to select them (performance, ease of use, price, etc.).
For each espresso coffee machine on the list, provide a brief overview of its features and performance, and explain why it made the top 10.
3. Tips and Recommendations
Offer tips and recommendations for selecting the right espresso coffee machine, based on factors such as budget, intended use, and personal preferences.
Provide guidance on how to properly use and maintain an espresso coffee machine to ensure optimal performance.
Summarize the main points of the article and encourage readers to consider purchasing one of the top 10 best espresso coffee machines for at-home brewing.
**** End Content Brief ***
Content briefs are not only useful for helping your content team nail projects when creating standardized content types internally but they can also be used in projects that involve working with new or inexperienced writers and content creators, outsourced (e.g. freelance) writers and marketing agencies, partners who are writing content about your company, or when creating projects on behalf of clients.
In all of the above instances, writing content or creative briefs before starting on the work will help content creators stay focused on the project’s goals, audiences, topics, keywords, etc., and deliver content that will meet your defined standard, voice, style, and needs.
Don’t overload content creators by supplying them with more information than they need to complete the project.
Ideally, the brief would also incorporate some form of initial meeting or discussion with the content team and individuals involved in the project to address any questions or concerns they may have and to make sure that everyone clearly understands the project and what is expected of them.
It’s also useful to develop a content brief template that the team can easily understand and follow.
For additional information on creating content briefs, see the ‘Resources’ and ‘References’ sections at the end of this lesson.
Depending on the size of your business and the complexity of its projects, certain aspects of content production may take place in different areas of the business or outside the organization.
In this case, you may want to consider creating separate workflow sub-processes to ensure that content production remains manageable.
For example, in larger companies, content approval and content publishing often involve more people, different departments, or outsourcing to professionals outside the organization, so the business may want to consider treating these as sub-processes of the content production process and having separate workflows to manage these areas.
The content approval workflow would then focus on the ‘sign-off’ process and deal specifically with content approval or rejection, while the content publishing workflow would focus specifically on the publication process.
An efficient content production process needs a system that allows content to be stored, organized, and retrieved at each stage of production.
This will depend on what works best for your organization.
You can use workflow management software to do this or just simply set up a numbered series of folders on a shared drive or cloud storage location that allows each member of the team to go into the folder on a specified date and see at a glance whether there is work waiting for them to do and what their tasks and responsibilities are for that day.
Ideally, you will use a combination of both methods. For example, you can run content projects from a workflow management tool and allow team members to add and access media elements such as images, videos, and downloadable files from numbered folders saved on a shared drive.
The next step after defining your content workflow is to create a content production schedule.
This is the schedule that your content team will work to in order to meet content production targets and deliver content within specific deadlines.
The content production schedule will depend on how much content the business needs to create and the structure of your content team. This schedule can be refined as you go.
Once your content team gets into its stride, you will have a better idea of how long it takes to create content outlines, edit drafts, wait for people to review articles, coordinate items and events between different calendars (e.g. content production and content promotion calendars), what days are best to publish content, etc.
Define the goals and objectives of your content workflow: Clearly define the goals and objectives of the content workflow, such as streamlining the content creation process and ensuring consistency in the quality of the content.
Identify all stakeholders: Identify all stakeholders involved in the content creation process, including content creators, editors, and approvers.
Define roles and responsibilities: Define the roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder in the content creation process.
Establish a content creation process: Establish a content creation process that outlines the steps for creating, reviewing, editing, and publishing content.
Both your content strategy and content production process, however, are essential parts of a “self-looping” feedback system that can create and deliver content of great value to help your organization achieve its objectives.
In fact, a content strategy (and the content plan derived from its strategic objectives) are the inputs the content production process needs to output the various types of content your business needs to meet its strategic goals and objectives.
A good content production system, then, allows your business to:
Produce quality content for one or more content types that serve a definite purpose for your organization.
Maintain a steady flow of newly published content of a consistent standard.
Communicate roles and responsibilities clearly within the content production team and across other teams.
Identify, prevent, reduce, solve, and/or eliminate problems that arise in the content production process.
Adjust the types of content it produces if there are any changes made to the content strategy or content plan.
Scale its efforts.
It can’t be emphasized enough that content needs to be created (and distributed, and managed) as part of a well-thought-out system.
Your business may create an occasional brilliant piece of content ad-hoc, but without a strategy, planning, and systems, it will have no way to understand what makes the content resonate with your audience, what your true cost of production is, and how to duplicate this success across other topics or different content types.
The Key Components Of A Content Production Process
Now that we have established the importance of thinking of content production as being part of a system, let’s look at the main components of the content production process.
Coming up with ideas for your content can be a challenging part of the content creation process.
With the right sources and methods, however, you can generate a steady stream of ideas to keep your content fresh and engaging.
Some sources and methods you can use to generate ideas for your content include:
Your audience: Your audience is a great source of ideas for content. Consider what questions, problems, or interests your audience has, and create content that addresses those topics.
Industry experts and thought leaders: Follow industry experts and thought leaders in your field and look for ideas for content that align with their work and insights.
Trends and news: Stay up-to-date on current trends and news in your industry, and use them as inspiration for your content.
Social media: Social media is a great source of inspiration for content ideas. Look for conversations, hashtags, and trends on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Brainstorming: Get your team together and have a brainstorming session to generate ideas for content. This can be a fun and creative way to come up with new and innovative ideas.
Competitor analysis: Take a look at what your competitors are doing and see if there are any gaps in their content. This can help you identify opportunities for your own content.
By using these sources and methods, you can generate a wide range of ideas for your content and keep your audience engaged with fresh and relevant material.
We’ve created a comprehensive email course on how to keep coming up with endless new content ideas for website articles, blog posts, and newsletters…100% free!
How and when should a process move to the next step.
What formats, guidelines, and procedures need to be followed to ensure that consistent standards are maintained.
How and when to deliver each step.
It also involves documenting:
How each step should be documented (and who will do this).
How and where the documentation should be stored.
Who can access and modify the documentation, processes, etc. (and how this should be done.)
While a workflow may define the process for creating one type of content (e.g. blog articles), it may not suit the production of other content types, such as videos, podcasts, slide presentations, ebooks, etc.
Some workflows may be simple, while others can be quite complex. Some projects may also require several different workflows to be assigned to different teams.
It’s important, therefore, to define workflows for all the different content processes that your business will engage in and all the different types of content it will create.
See the lessons below for details on how to create and document a content workflow for your business:
The above process may be fine if you are the only person creating and publishing the content. In many businesses and organizations, however, a digital team comprised of multiple roles is often required to oversee and perform various content production tasks.
Reviewers (e.g. HR, legal, accounting, technical, other department managers, etc.)
When multiple people are involved, the content workflow can look more like the swimlane diagram shown below.
A key component of the content production process, then, is being able to identify the specific roles required to perform and complete any given workflow, work out all the tasks involved, and assign each task to the respective role in its correct sequence.
Documenting workflows not only helps to define the roles, tasks, processes, and steps involved in the production of content, but it also helps to organize content ideas, prioritize projects, track their execution, determine what happens to the content after its published, and record how and where all the information gets stored.
Content Production Review, Evaluation, And Measurement
To determine if your content production process is efficient and find ways to improve it, you must be able to measure, review, and evaluate it.
There are several ways to do this. For example, you can measure its qualitative and quantitative outputs:
Qualitative Outputs – Has the content met its brief? Were content guidelines for structure, style, formatting, etc. followed correctly?
Quantitative Outputs – Are content production targets being met? How much new content is being added and coming through the pipeline?
You can also measure content production efficiency using time/cost-based metrics, such as:
1. Time to publish – how long it takes to move a piece from ideation to publication.
2. Time to distribute – how long it takes to get published content in the hands of the intended audience(s).
3. Withdrawal time – how quickly can published content with errors be withdrawn from public access or outdated content be reviewed.
4. Production cost – how much a piece costs to create.
5. Distribution cost – how much publishing a piece to each targeted channel costs.
Once you have a way to measure your content production efficiency, you can review and evaluate it by surveying key project stakeholders and getting their feedback regarding the processes involved.
Your Content Production Plan
Now that you understand the content production process better, it’s time to create your content production plan.
Your content production plan is a document that outlines the strategy and schedule for creating, publishing, and promoting content for your business.
It typically includes the goals and objectives for your content, your target audience, the types of content you will produce, the distribution channels you will use, and the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to measure the success of your content production efforts.
Your business needs a content production plan because it helps you to align your content efforts with your overall marketing and business goals and to ensure that you are creating content that is relevant, valuable, and engaging for your target audience.
It also allows your business to allocate its resources and budget more efficiently toward content creation and track your content’s performance over time.
Additionally, a content production plan can help your business to identify and fill gaps in your content offerings, and stay consistent and on-brand with your messaging.
In short, a content production plan is a detailed plan that outlines the specific actions and resources that your business will use to create and publish its content.
It is a more detailed version of your content plan and will help your business stay organized and on schedule when creating content.
Content Production Plan Goals And Objectives
Common content production plan goals and objectives include:
Content creation: The goal is to create high-quality, engaging, and relevant content that meets the needs of your target audience. This can be achieved by writing blog posts, creating videos, and designing graphics and infographics
Content optimization: The goal is to improve the quality and performance of your content by ensuring it is well-written, visually appealing, and optimized for search engines and social media. This can be achieved by optimizing headlines, meta descriptions, and images, using keywords and hashtags, and making sure the content is mobile-friendly.
Content distribution: The goal is to distribute and promote content through various channels, such as social media, email, and other digital platforms. This can be achieved by publishing content on your website, sharing it on social media, and sending newsletters.
Content measurement and analytics: The goal is to track and measure your content’s performance in terms of engagement, conversion, and other key performance indicators (KPIs). This can be achieved by using analytics tools to track website traffic, social media engagement, and conversion rates
Content repurposing: The goal is to repurpose your existing content in new and different formats for different channels and audiences. This can be achieved by republishing a blog post as a video, creating an e-book from a series of blog posts, and turning a podcast episode into a transcript
Content updating: The goal is to keep your content up-to-date and relevant by updating or removing outdated information. This can be achieved by updating a blog post with new information, removing a broken link, or revising an old video.
How To Create A Content Production Plan
Here are the steps you can follow to create a content production plan for your business:
Assign roles and responsibilities: Determine who will be responsible for each aspect of the content creation process. This might include research, writing, editing, design, and distribution.
Create a content calendar: Use a calendar or scheduling tool to plan out when each piece of content will be created, reviewed, and published. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you have a steady stream of content to share with your audience.
Define your workflow: Create a detailed workflow outlining the specific steps that will be taken for each piece of content. This should include research, writing, editing, design, and distribution.
Outline your process for creating each type of content: Identify the tools, resources, and steps required to create different types of content, such as blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc.
Review and optimize: Regularly review your content production plan and make adjustments as needed. Use metrics to measure the success of your content and make changes that will help improve results over time.
Example Of A Content Production Plan
Here is an example of what a simple content production plan for a fashion e-commerce store might look like:
With a content production plan in place, the e-commerce store will be able to create and distribute a steady stream of high-quality content that resonates with its target audience, aligning with the overall business goals.
Content Creation – Best Practices
Creating high-quality and engaging content is crucial for your content marketing strategy.
Not only will it help you attract and retain an audience, but it will also help build trust and credibility for your brand.
Here are some best practices to follow when creating high-quality and engaging content:
Plan your content: Creating a content calendar or editorial plan can help you stay organized and ensure that you have a steady stream of ideas for your content.
Use relevant and reliable sources: Make sure to use credible sources when researching and creating your content. This will help you produce content that is accurate and trustworthy.
Start with a strong headline: Your headline is the first thing your audience will see, so make sure it’s attention-grabbing and clearly conveys the main message of your content.
Use formatting and design elements to enhance readability: Use formatting techniques like headings, bullet points, and bold text to make your content easier to read and scan.
Use visuals: Adding visual elements to your content like images, videos, and infographics can help break up text and make your content more engaging and easier for your audience to understand. Just make sure to use high-quality images and optimize your videos for mobile.
Know your audience: Understanding who your target audience is and what they are interested in will help you create content that resonates with them.
Write for your audience: Your content should be tailored to your target audience. Consider their interests, problems, and needs, and create content that addresses those topics.
Keep it simple: Use clear, concise language and avoid unnecessary jargon or complex concepts. This will help your content be more accessible and easier for your audience to read and understand.
Optimize for SEO: Use keywords and other SEO best practices to ensure that your content is discoverable by search engines and your target audience.
Use data and research to support your points: Including data and research in your content adds credibility and can help you make a stronger case for your points.
Edit and proofread: Make sure to edit and proofread your content to ensure it’s error-free and easy to understand.
By following these best practices, you can create high-quality and engaging content that resonates with your audience and helps you achieve your content goals.
Content Production Challenges
While content production is a crucial and necessary part of your content strategy, it can also present some challenges, especially as you try to create unique and original content for your business and website.
Here are some of the main challenges you may experience with content production:
Defining your target audience: One of the main hurdles of creating content for a website is defining your target audience and understanding their needs, interests, and pain points. This is crucial for creating relevant and valuable content that will engage them.
Content strategy: Another hurdle is to develop a content strategy that defines the type of content you will create, the topics you will cover, and the goals you will achieve.
Research and information gathering: One of the main challenges of creating unique and original content is researching and gathering the necessary information. This can take a significant amount of time and effort, and it can be difficult to find reliable and accurate sources of information.
Originality: Another challenge is to come up with original ideas and perspectives, as it’s easy to fall into the trap of creating content that is similar to what’s already out there.
Writing quality and style: Maintaining a consistent writing style and quality throughout the content is crucial for engaging the audience and building trust, but it can be challenging to achieve without the necessary skills and tools. It requires a good understanding of grammar, punctuation, and the target audience.
Formatting and design: Creating unique and original content requires the use of effective formatting and design, which can be challenging to achieve without the necessary skills and tools.
SEO and keyword research: Creating unique and original content that is optimized for search engines can be challenging, as it requires a good understanding of SEOand keyword research.
Time management: Creating unique and original content can be time-consuming, and it’s important to manage time effectively to ensure that the content is delivered on schedule.
Keeping up with trends: Another challenge is to keep up with trends and changes in the industry, which requires staying up to date with the latest developments and news.
Meeting the needs of the audience: Creating unique and original content that meets the needs of the target audience can be challenging, as it requires a good understanding of their preferences, interests, and pain points.
Measuring success: Measuring the success of your content can be a hurdle, as it requires tracking metrics such as engagement, traffic, and conversion rates.
Content Production Checklist
Define the purpose and target audience for the content: Before starting to create any content, it’s essential to understand why it’s being created and who it’s being created for. This will help guide the overall tone and style of the content.
Research and gather information: Gather all the information and resources you need to create the content, this includes researching industry trends, competitor content, and audience behavior.
Create an outline: Organize the information you’ve gathered into a logical structure, this will be your guide when creating the final piece of content.
Write the content: Using the outline as a guide, begin writing the content. Be sure to keep the tone and style consistent with the purpose and target audience defined in step one.
Edit and proofread: Once the content is written, read it over several times to catch any errors or inconsistencies. Make sure the content is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
Add media: Add any relevant images, videos, or other media to enhance the content and make it more engaging for the audience.
Optimize for SEO: Optimize the content for search engines by including relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and alt tags.
Publish and distribute: Once the content is final, publish it on your website or other platforms and promote it through social media and other channels to reach your target audience.
Troubleshooting Common Content Production Problems
Sometimes, problems affecting content creation may not surface until you reach the content production phase.
For example, once your team actually starts to create the content, they may discover an issue with their website that may prevent or limit the content from fulfilling its intended purpose. This can happen if an organization needs to implement a particular content model to achieve its goals and objectives that they did not incorporate during the web design process, leaving the business to try and force “round pegs into square holes”.
Knowing how to quickly identify and troubleshoot any problems or issues in content production ensures the best return on investment for businesses using content as a strategy for growth.
Content production problems may be related to inefficiencies that lead to content marketing waste or to the process itself.
Use the chart below to identify and troubleshoot any problems or issues that need fixing in your content production process.
No Content Pipeline
Creating a content pipeline for content production can be challenging, but there are several strategies that can help you overcome this difficulty, including:
Define clear content goals: Having clear goals for the content that is being produced can help to ensure that your content is aligned with the overall objectives of your business. Develop a content strategy that outlines your business’s goals, target audience, and the type of content that will be created. Use this strategy as a guide for all your content creation efforts.
Create an editorial calendar: An editorial calendar can help to ensure that content is being produced on a consistent basis and that it aligns with the overall content strategy of your business. Create an editorial calendar that outlines the topics and types of content that will be created, and assign specific individuals or teams to create and publish content on a regular basis.
Establish a content creation process: Having a clear process in place for creating and approving content can help to streamline your content creation process. Establish a content creation process that includes stages such as researching, creating, editing, and publishing. Assign specific roles and responsibilities to team members at each stage of the process.
Automate tasks: Automating repetitive tasks can help to free up time and resources for more important tasks, such as creating new content. Use tools such as marketing automation software, scheduling tools, and social media management tools to automate tasks such as scheduling posts, creating content, and publishing content.
Repurpose and recycle content: Repurposing and recycling existing content can help to reduce the time and resources needed to create new content. Identify existing content that can be repurposed or recycled, such as blog posts or videos, and use them in different formats, such as an infographic or a podcast.
Outsource content creation: Outsourcing content creation can help to fill any gaps in the content pipeline and ensure that there is a consistent flow of high-quality content. Hire freelance writers, designers, or other content creators to help with content production. Make sure to set clear guidelines and instructions for the content being outsourced.
By implementing these strategies, your business can create a content pipeline that is efficient, effective, and aligned with your overall content strategy. This also helps to ensure that your business is able to produce high-quality content on a consistent basis and meet your content marketing goals.
Content Output Is Low
Suppose your content plan requires publishing 8 new articles on the company blog each month, but your content team is only delivering 3 or 4.
Check if this low output in content production is caused by one of the following reasons:
Low content output can be caused by having insufficient resources.
Does your business:
Have a content team (in-house, outsourced, or a combination of both) with the skills and capabilities to create and deliver the content?
If your business has sufficient resources but content production output is low, the cause of the problem may be unrealistic workload expectations on individual team members.
For example, let’s say that your business expects a content writer to create well-researched long articles or tutorials (e.g. 1,500 – 2,000+ words) with links to authoritative references, detailed screenshots, charts/tables, and an accompanying video.
While the writer may have the tools and skills to perform all the tasks, the requirements may simply be too complex for one role to take everything on and complete it all within the expected time frame.
Additionally, the writer may be expected to perform other writing tasks for the company or be a shared resource for different departments, so their time and focus are being split into other areas.
In this case, a review of individual workloads may be necessary where an adjustment is either made to the expectations of the role or additional resources are brought in.
If your content production metrics show that the content output is on target but the content is frequently being delivered late, then look for issues in areas like delivery rates and workflow bottlenecks.
Has someone been made accountable for meeting project deadlines? If so, start by asking them what they see as causing the issue.
If the issue is caused by multiple stakeholders having a say in the content approval phase and not being able to agree on the final version, assign the final call to one person.
Are there too many dependencies or too many reviewers in the content workflow? If so, these can significantly extend production times and create delays and holdups in your content pipeline. Look for ways to improve process efficiency and eliminate non-essential decision-makers from your workflow.
Content Is Below Standard
If the content output is fine and the content is being delivered on time but the quality of the finished content is substandard, then look for issues in the following areas:
Content Brief & Guidelines
Review your content brief to make sure that it has clearly and concisely set out your expectations and the areas of importance that should have been covered in the content (if you need help creating a brief, read this article).
Does your organization have clear and documented guidelines for content creation? If you need help in this area, see the lesson on Workflow Documentation.
Meet With The Content Creator
If the brief and/or content guidelines are not the issue, then schedule a meeting with the content creator to find out why the content was below standard.
They have read and understood the brief.
They have read and are familiar with the content creation guidelines.
There were any personal issues involved that affected their work.
Creating consistently high-quality content requires an effective content production system with defined and documented workflows and periodic reviews of the content strategy and content plan.
Creating unique and original content also requires a good understanding of your target audience, your topics, and your industry. It also requires having the necessary skills and tools to format and design the content effectively, maintaining a consistent effort to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and trends, and measuring and analyzing the performance of your content.
After you hit enter on any search term, Google displays even more content ideas you can explore.
For example, you have the People also ask tool, which you can use to research content ideas on ways to solve problems your customers may be experiencing…
Google also displays the Related searches tool with topic-related content ideas you can research…
Add additional search terms you can click on for even more content-related research…
Don’t forget other search engines like Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc. You might find different answers and additional suggestions there to expand your content research.
Not only can you do a ton of content research using only Google search but there are also other free content research tools that Google offers.
Let’s explore some of these.
Google Chrome Browser Extensions
Chrome browser extensions are small software programs that you can install to add new features or modify existing functionality in the Google Chrome web browser.
These extensions can not only enhance your experience as a user, increase productivity, and provide additional security and privacy measures, but there are many useful extensions that can be used for content research, content planning, content creation, etc.
To access Chrome browser extensions, follow these steps:
1. Open the Google Chrome browser on your computer.
2. Click on the three-dot icon located in the upper right corner of the browser window to open the main menu.
3. Select “More Tools” from the dropdown menu, and
4. Click on “Extensions” from the submenu.
5. This will open the Extensions screen where you can view and manage any extensions you have added to your web browser. Click on the Hamburger menu icon in the top-left corner of the screen to access the Main menu.
Click on the link at the bottom of the menu.
This will take you to the Chrome Web Store, where you can browse and download a variety of Chrome browser extensions.
Use the search bar to search for specific extensions, or browse through the various categories available.
When you find an extension you want to install, click on the extension to select it.
Click on the “Add to Chrome” button to install the extension.
A pop-up window will appear, asking you to confirm the installation. Click on “Add Extension” to confirm.
The extension will then be installed in your Chrome browser and will be visible in your toolbar or in the extensions menu.
To manage your installed extensions, you can access the extensions menu by clicking on the three-dot icon and selecting More Tools > Extensions.
From there, you can enable or disable extensions, remove them, or adjust their settings as needed.
You can also Pin or Unpin extensions from your toolbar by right-clicking on the Extensions icon in the toolbar and selecting your preferred option.
Tip: Use the “Related” tab to find additional extensions related to the functionality you’re searching for.
Google Trends is another free service from Google that shows you trends in search activity all over the world, with access to maps, charts, and other tools.
You can use Google Trends to compare search volume activity for related topics or similar keywords over a given period of time across different regions or languages, gauge public reaction to real-time events and news stories, monitor trends across different areas of interest (social, political, business, entertainment, sports, etc), optimize SEO for video or local search, glean insights about products and service demand, forecast and predict trends, etc.
Google Trends is also a great tool for identifying the seasonality of topics in your niche or industry. You can use this information to plan your editorial calendar with content promoting those topics during their peak season.
For an excellent article on how to use Google Trends, go here.
Google Alerts is a free service from Google that lets you keep up-to-date with the latest news about all kinds of topics, stay informed about people and companies, and track what other people are publishing about you and your business online.
Google Lens is an image recognition technology developed by Google and available as an app for Android phones that uses artificial intelligence to identify text and objects in images and in a live view from a phone’s camera.
Google Lens lets you do “real world” content research faster using your mobile phone’s camera.
When you point the phone’s camera at an object with the app installed, it tries to identify the object by reading barcodes, QR codes, labels, and text, and shows you relevant search results, web pages, and information.
For example, here is a photo taken of a tea bag label with Google Lens installed on an Android phone…
Google Lens immediately identified the object and returned relevant search results…
When you point your phone’s camera at an object, Google Lens gives you the following options:
Translate – take a photo of words to translate
Text – take a photo of words to copy
Search – Search for information related to the object
Homework – Take a photo of a homework question
Shopping – Take a photo of products or barcodes
Places – Identify landmarks, buildings, etc.
Dining – Take a photo of food or a menu
You can scan and translate text from a physical document like a book, paper, business card, whiteboard, or with writing on it, then copy that text to your phone’s clipboard, and paste it into anything – a Google Doc, email, note app, Slack chat, etc.
You can also use Google Lens to identify plants and animals, and get information about landmarks, restaurants, and storefronts (e.g. historical facts, ratings, hours of operation), as well as find information about similar clothes, furniture, home decor, or other objects that you come across.
Google lens is an excellent content research tool. You can copy text from objects and send it to your computer, interact with text from images, search for online images that match real-world objects, save contact information, create calendar events, find answers to questions, and a whole lot more.
See this article for more ways to use Google Lens or scan the QR code below with your Android phone to download the app to your phone from the Google Play store:
Google Scholar is another useful tool from Google that lets you expand your content research by searching for information across academic literature from journal websites, university repositories, Google Books, etc.
The Google Scholar index includes peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature, including court opinions and patents.
The video below provides more information on using Google Scholar:
Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio) is a free tool that gives you powerful insights into your website’s performance from various data sources like Google Search, Google Analytics, Google Ads, YouTube, social media platforms such as Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter, databases, etc.
Wolfram Alpha represents a fundamentally new paradigm for getting knowledge and answers—not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods. Bringing broad, deep, expert-level knowledge to everyone… anytime, anywhere.
Wolfram|Alpha aims to make all the world’s knowledge computable by computing expert-level answers using Stephen Wolfram’s breakthrough algorithms, knowledgebase, and AI technology.
Its mission is to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything.
In terms of helping you with content research, Wolfram Alpha’s website is divided into several categories, like Mathematics, Science & Technology, Society & Culture, and Everyday Life. Each of these areas contains many subcategories.
So, for example, go to Everyday Life > Personal Finance and you will find ways to compute useful answers to thousands of personal finance questions, from computing interest rates to analyzing and projecting returns on stocks and other investments, converting world currencies, and more.
The website builds on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.
Feed Readers save you time visiting all of the different sites you like to keep up with when searching for new content posted on these sites, by allowing you to view all of the content on your desktop or phone from a single source.
As the video below states…“things move fast on the web and it’s hard to keep up with your favorite sites by visiting each of them separately. Feedspot lets you subscribe to websites so new content comes to you when it’s posted.”
Like most feed readers, Feedspot lets you add feeds from different sites to its service, as well as feeds from blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, news sites, and RSS feeds. You then view the aggregated content from the tool’s content reader.
Watch the video below for an overview of Feedspot:
Get valuable insights into the latest trends, research reports, case studies, and white papers by performing a Google search for:
Reports: [your industry] + [research report].
Case Studies: [your industry] + [case study].
White papers: [your industry] + [white paper].
You can also link to tweets, papers, or reports from industry professionals and subject experts.
Subject Matter Experts (SME)
“A subject matter expert is a professional who’s cultivated a deep well of knowledge. They may be knowledgeable about a niche topic, a skill, a process, or a particular set of technologies, machinery, or materials.”
As part of your content research, you can find and follow influential people, interview subject experts, or reach out to social media influencersin your industry.
Following influential people can provide you with timely news, quotes, and more.
Interviewing subject matter experts is a great way to create content like videos, podcasts, and blog transcripts. Before interviewing a subject matter expert, make sure you’ve prepared your interview questions.
Social media influencers can ask your target audience questions about specific pain points and frustrations that your content can then address.
You can find subject experts and social media influencers on websites, social media platforms, forums, networking events, and many other places.
Let’s explore some of these places…
LinkedIn is an excellent resource for finding subject matter experts and doing content research.
For example, LinkedIn lets you explore trending topics, news, and popular questions in your industry or niche.
Use LinkedIn’s content suggestions feature to research and discover new content ideas from areas like Trending Articles (shows suggested content based on current trends across LinkedIn), and Company News (shows content suggestions based on your organization’s mentions in the news).
Hashtagify is an advanced Twitter hashtag tracking tool that lets you find hashtags to enhance your social media strategy through hashtag marketing, reach your audience, get custom suggestions, and analyze influencers’ and competitors’ strategies.
You can search real-time data and gain insights about Twitter hashtags (popularity ranking, related hashtags, trends, etc.), track hashtags, follow and analyze Twitter users and trending hashtags, monitor relevant content, and find influencers.
The tool also provides data in easy-to-read dashboards and charts, so you can audit performance, monitor aggregated analytics, and build custom reports.
Twitter Polls is a feature of Twitter that lets you create polls to research opinions and gain insights from other Twitter users.
You can use Twitter polls to get customer feedback about upcoming events, new content, new product launches, rebranding, new releases, etc., curate industry-relevant discussions, and test how your audience feels about a certain topic before creating your content.
Forums are a great place to research information, especially if you are creating content designed to solve problems or looking for ideas to develop new products or services.
Often, you can find answers on forums that you cannot find by searching on Google. Forums allow you to engage with people, so if you type in your topic and find that an answer doesn’t exist, you can always ask the question.
Here are some popular forums and forum-like sites:
Quora is a question-and-answer social media and research website where users answer each other’s questions about all kinds of topics.
Quora has over 300 million monthly active users and over 400,000 topics to explore, so it’s a great site to research topics and questions people are asking and use the information to develop new content ideas relevant to your industry.
Reddit is another commonly used platform where you can find answers that will help you with your content research.
Reddit is a social networking site where over 300 million monthly active users (known as Redditors) share, interact with, and consume the latest news and trending topics. If you are unfamiliar with using the platform, see this Beginner’s Guide To Using Reddit before engaging with the community.
In addition to the above, you can join various social media groups and participate in communities of like-minded people across many different social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.
Content Idea Generation Tools
Below are some tools you can use to help you generate new ideas for content.
Infinite Content Creation Course
We provide a comprehensive 120-lesson FREE content creation email course right here on ContentManagementCourse.com, so make sure to sign up below to learn how to never run out of content ideas for your blog, website, or newsletter:
Keyword Magic Tool
Keyword Magic Tool lets you find and explore millions of keywords for content ideas and SEO.
Note: You will need to set up an account with SemRush to use this tool.
Simply enter a target keyword related to your product or service into the tool and the Keyword Magic Tool will return a list of related keywords and metrics like average search volume, keyword difficulty, and additional features included on the SERP page for your keyword.
For example, suppose you are looking for content ideas to write about air fryers.
Go to Keyword Magic Tool and search for the phrase “air fryer” …
Next, select the “Questions” option in the toolbar to filter the results to questions, and you’ll see a list of the most frequently searched question-based results related to your search that contain your seed keyword.
In the above example, “how to clean air fryer” is searched 9,900 times per month. This indicates that users searching for this phrase may have a problem cleaning their air fryers or are beginning their buyer’s journey into buying one and are looking for help or solutions.
You could use this information to educate or engage your audience and provide them with advice or a solution. For example, you can create a guide on air fryer maintenance, or an article or video on cleaning air fryers and promote air fryer cleaning equipment or products, etc.
AnswerThePublic.com is a free tool that you can use to research new topic ideas for content marketing, SEO, etc.
Simply enter 1-2 words to describe a topic, band, or product, and click on the Search button.
The tool then explores autocomplete data from search engines like Google and returns ‘mindmap’-like visualization charts with useful search phrases related to questions people are asking around your keyword (e.g. where, what, how, why, etc.), searches based on your keyword+prepositions (e.g. near, for, with, to, etc.), and even comparisons (great for creating review articles).
The tool also provides a downloadable list of results segmented alphabetically.
Use this tool to generate and brainstorm useful new content topic ideas, and even to help you develop new products and services based on what consumers are searching for.
You can also use content organization tools or apps to build up a collection of research notes, copy and paste snippets, ideas for blog posts or web pages, etc.
Microsoft OneNote is a digital notebook that lets you store and organize all of your notes into sections and pages and share these across all of your devices.
You can also highlight important and “to-do” notes, draw and annotate your notes using a stylus or your finger, record audio notes, insert online videos, add files, save content with one click, and share notebooks with your coworkers.
Simplenote is a free cross-platform note-taking tool that lets you organize your thoughts and content ideas, add tags to find notes quickly with instant searching, share to-do lists, post instructions, and publish your notes online.
Your notes automatically stay updated across all your devices, in real-time, and get backed up with every change you make.
MyInfo is another tool you can use to collect, store, and organize your content ideas, research notes, lists, links, to-dos, etc.
The tool lets you collect and organize information in a number of ways, including assigning tags and attributes, using entry forms or typing free text, creating notes from templates or from scratch, and using search filters.
Built-in Plain Text Editor
Your computer’s built-in plain text editor like Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Apple) is a great tool to jot down and save your content ideas, rough notes, snippets, swipe files, research, quotes, link or image URLs, write an outline of topics, and organize your content research.
It also lets you quickly create content drafts without distractions (like formatting or styling text) so you can focus entirely on what you want to say and get your ideas or points across.
NoteTab – Text And HTML Editor
While using a plain text editor is great, sometimes you may want to have multiple text files open while you work.
For example, let’s say that you are editing multiple articles or snippets of content on multiple text files and decide that you need to perform a search and replace operation across some or all of these files.
Being able to do one search and replace across all files would be a huge time saver. With your computer’s built-in plain text editor software, however, you can’t do this unless you merge the content of all your files together.
NoteTab is a powerful text and HTML editor tool that lets you edit multiple text files simultaneously, strip HTML from code, and a whole lot more. You can even use it to perform search and replace operations across multiple text files at once.
It’s a great content editing tool that will improve your productivity and help speed things up, especially when working with text or HTML snippets.
NoteTab is available in three versions: NoteTab Pro, NoteTab Standard, and the freeware NoteTab Light.
Electronic folders are great tools for keeping your content research files organized.
By creating a hierarchy of nested folders mirroring your content structure, you can build an effective archive for your content research notes and files. This also lets you quickly locate archived files in the future should you ever need to retrieve these later.
Curata – Curata’s content curation software scours the web using keywords, news sources, authors, bookmarked or shared content, etc., and returns relevant published content that you can then curate, add your own summary and brand voice to, embed royalty-free imagery, schedule, and share.
Additional Sites For Content Research
The sites below provide additional useful resources for your content research.
Statistics & Data
Visit sites like the ones listed below for statistical data and information to validate your articles when getting your point across and adding credibility to your content:
Statista -Statista is one of the leading sites for market and consumer data.
NCBI – The National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information site, which provides access to biomedical and genomic information to advance science and health.
JSTOR – JSTOR provides access to more than 12 million journal articles, books, images, and primary sources in 75 disciplines.
Idea Sharing Sites
These sites attract subject experts and independent authors willing to share their ideas on a wide range of topics:
Ted Talks – TED talks are short, online video talks and presentations designed to inform and educate global audiences by presenting “Ideas Worth Spreading.” TED Talks provide access to new knowledge and innovative research from experts across a wide range of fields, including science, technology, business, art, design, and more.
Towards Data Science – a site where independent authors publish work and share concepts, ideas, and codes on data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and programming.
Start it up – This site is aimed at the “creator economy” and focuses on all things that help people “get smarter at building their thing” through newsletters, podcasts, self-published books, online courses, social media channels like YouTube, TikTok, Clubhouse, etc.
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange – This is a “question and answer” site designed to provide detailed answers to every question about English language and usage. There are no “chit chats” or discussions on this site. Simply ask your question and you’ll get an answer.
Substack – Substack is a site where independent writers and podcasters publish directly to their audience and get paid through subscriptions.
Codeburst.io – If your content targets developers, coders, or programmers, this site provides an abundance of tutorials and ideas for technical content writers.
Video Courses For Beginners – Content Research
The video courses below cover basic areas of content research and are ideal for beginners (note: you can access all of the video courses below with a single all-access pass):
The World Wide Web is a huge library of content research. All you need are the right tools to perform your research effectively. This section provides a list of time-saving content research tools and resources.
Use the content research tools, sites, and resources listed on this page to save time researching content ideas and to help you and your team with your content planning and content production.