How to Avoid and Resolve Content Bottlenecks
In a perfect world, your content would flow smoothly from the conception phase all the way to publication. Everyone would have sufficient time to create a content plan, write or design the content itself, and collaborate on feedback and publication.
The reality is usually not quite so polished. Instead, we struggle to meet deadlines, deal with unresponsive clients who won’t provide the information we need, and see a constantly running conveyor belt of new ideas and deliverables.
We all want to deliver high-quality content without compromising quality, but it can be challenging to strike that balance. But while we can’t fix everything, we can focus on the most disruptive portions of the workflow to make the entire content production process more efficient. Here’s how.
Start with Process
Most content strategies are evolved, not built from the ground up. You’ll often start with a basic content package and then tweak it as time goes on, the account grows, or your needs change. But this process can lead to inefficiencies as you spend valuable time on creating deliverables that aren’t helping your brand or online presence. It’s better to put out fewer pieces of higher-quality content with a clear mission than to haphazardly churn out lots of mediocre posts.
You also need to ensure that your content strategy plan includes every part of the process between conception and execution so that nothing slips through the cracks. If you budget 10 hours for your team to produce a blog post, but you forget about the time it takes to collect and incorporate feedback, you’ll consistently miss deadlines. Remember the client, too — as much as we’d like our clients to answer emails punctually, you might go a few days without an answer to your question. Incorporate some padding into your content plan to avoid crunch time.
Virtually all content development requires more than one person’s hands on it, and everyone needs to do their role correctly to avoid hanging up the project. For one blog post, you might have different people in charge of:
- SEO research
- Blog design
If those seven people don’t have a clear sense of who’s in charge of which tasks, how to go about them, and the order in which they should be completed, there will inevitably be conflict and delays.
It’s vital to get everyone on the same page and encourage them to ask each other questions if there’s a holdup.
Take Advantage of Tech
Let’s rewind ten years. You might write a blog post in Word, email it to someone else, and then they’d mark it up and send it back to you. Before long, you have half a dozen copies on your computer, their computer, and various inboxes. And that’s not to mention the collaboration and planning phases that used to be so inefficient and complicated.
Modern technology has made all of that a thing of the past. Now, you can be on a video call with your editor or client while walking through the file that you both have open in front of you, watching and making changes in real time. Don’t shy away from project managers, cloud storage, and live communications tools — they can make the entire content creation process go much more smoothly.
Iterate and Adapt
As we mentioned above, a lot of time is spent on content that doesn’t do much for your brand. If you’re putting out 30 social media posts a month, but you could be getting the same results from 15, you’re wasting your social team’s time.
That’s why analytics are so important. Test different types of social posts, content schedules, and strategies and compare the results, then use the data gleaned from that analysis to inform your future content strategy. By constantly tweaking and improving, you’ll create a more efficient, streamlined content pipeline.