Whether you order a Big Mac sandwich from a McDonald’s in St. Petersburg, Florida, or Sandusky, Ohio – it always tastes the same.
McDonald’s is remarkably consistent because they’ve got their food production process down to an exact science.
As a website/business owner, your content production process should aim to be as consistent and replicable as McDonald’s.
That way, any time a user begins to read one of your blogs or watch one of your videos, they’ll instantly know that it’s from you, which will help your brand build a loyal audience of followers.
Also, with a content production system in place, you’ll never have to worry about confusing any new content creators, as you’ll be able to fit them into your existing workflows with ease.
If you want to make traction with SEO campaigns or content marketing, then establishing a rock-solid process for content production is a must.
Things like content calendars, style guides, AI-powered chatbots, and project management software are all tools of the trade here, but you need to know how to use them properly.
Stay tuned to learn how to develop a killer content production process for your business.
Making Sense of Content Production for SEO
Content production is about a lot more than the process of writing a blog or shooting a video (although that’s certainly part of it, too).
Zooming out a bit, content production refers to the entire process involved in brainstorming, developing, creating, refining, and publishing content for your brand.
It’s about creating uniform standards that apply to all types of content you produce, be they blogs, infographics, videos, or podcasts.
For example, your content should have a clearly defined brand voice that applies to everything.
Why is that?
It’s because it’ll throw your audience off if your blogs feature a super professional tone while your videos and podcasts are whacky and informal.
Remaining consistent with your brand’s voice and values is how you develop a unique identity that sticks in your audience’s minds.
Content production is also about developing easily repeatable workflows for each content type for the sake of consistency.
Your workflows serve as your version of McDonald’s factory-line-style burger recipes.
Instead of working with ketchup, mustard, and onion flakes – your workflows will feature steps like conducting research, developing outlines, and working with editors before getting final approval to publish.
Using AI to scale content production
AI tools play a significant role in most modern content production systems, especially when it comes time to scale.
AI chatbots and copywriting tools are invaluable for brainstorming and drafting lots of content ideas – although we recommend including human writers and editors to ensure you don’t lose your ‘creative spark.’
Automating repetitive tasks is another huge time saver that AI brings to the table, especially for project management tools.
With automation, you can automatically assign tasks, set due dates, and move tasks to different phases (i.e., draft, draft review, publish, etc.).
As a result, you’ll be able to create workflows with fewer clicks, and your team will make fewer mistakes since most factors will be on autopilot.
AI-powered tools are great ways to level the playing field for smaller businesses that don’t have large content creation teams.
How to Develop a Stellar Content Production Process for Your Business
Hollywood movies don’t achieve their level of polish by winging it on set every day.
They use strict shooting schedules, call sheets, storyboards, and other organizational tools to ensure every shoot goes off without a hitch (barring any unforeseen incidents).
You need to do the same for your website’s content, so let’s learn what it takes to develop an airtight content production system.
Drowning in assets: Decide how to handle asset management
It won’t take long before you accumulate hundreds of content assets, as digital marketing campaigns rely on them.
You’ll deal with assets like:
- Logos and branded images
- Content drafts, revisions, and final versions
- High-resolution images
- Audio files
- Documents (style guides, outlines, etc.)
If you don’t have a central location for all these assets that everyone can access, things will get out of control very quickly.
Look to the clouds.
What’s it all for? Set goals for your content
You need to know what you hope to achieve with your content strategy before you start churning out articles and videos.
Do you want to generate more leads and sales, or are you more concerned with raising brand awareness and dominating SERP rankings in your niche?
Answering these types of questions will reveal your goals, which will inform your entire content strategy.
For example, if you want to boost your revenue, you should create content like lead magnets, case studies, and video testimonials.
If you want to build a loyal following, thought-leader content is the way to go, such as creating blogs, infographics, and videos that answer common questions and solve problems plaguing your target audience.
Who does what? Plan out tasks and roles
Next, you need to create a list containing each task that goes into creating a piece of content.
Jotting down something like ‘write a blog post’ is far too vague.
Here’s a glimpse at all the tasks that go into creating just one blog post:
- Researching and outlining
- Writing a draft
- Reviewing and editing
- Adding images, videos, and other assets
From there, you need to assign team members to each task. In the example listed above, a writer could handle the research, outline, and draft. After that, an editor jumps in to review and proofread, and then another team member handles adding assets and publishing through your CMS.
Hustle and flow: Design repeatable workflows
The next step is to take the tasks you developed in the last step and fit them into workflows that you can repeat over and over again.
A blog post workflow could look something like this:
Research > Outline > Draft > Draft Review > Asset/Graphic Creation > Publishing
Project management software is an enormous help here, as you can import your workflows to programs like Asana.
Once you have a workflow set up for each type of content you plan on producing, you can move on to the next step.
Mapping it out: Create a content calendar
Now it’s time to plan out your next few months of content in a formal content calendar.
Any calendar template or app will do, so long as you fill it up with deadlines for your newest content releases.
You can stick with creating one content calendar per month, but most companies plan up to six months in advance.
Long-term content calendars aren’t always the way to go, though.
While they are efficient and provide security (no one enjoys scrambling to create new content calendars at the last second), search trends are always changing – and major news events tend to pop up out of nowhere.
So, if you’ve got a content calendar that plans out a year’s worth of content, you may have to scrap some of it due to changing interests or more pressing events that occur.
An example would be the NFT craze of 2021.
The market exploded when Beeple sold an NFT for a whopping $69 million, and suddenly, every outlet covered it.
Yet, the fad fizzled out shortly after, with countless rug pulls and a general misunderstanding of NFTs placing the final nails in the coffin.
If you had packed your content calendar with tons of NFT content, your organic traffic would start to plummet whenever the craze wore off.
That’s why it’s best to plan out a few months’ worth of content at a time and always provide some wiggle room should breaking news events occur.
Set up quality assurance measures and monitor results
Lastly, a team of core decision-makers at your company needs to give the final green light before you publish a piece of content.
This final review should ensure the content follows your brand guidelines, has the right tone, and will help you achieve your ultimate marketing goals.
Once you’ve got your content production process rocking and rolling, you need to monitor your results so you can further optimize your approach.
Factors you should monitor include the following:
- How often do you make your deadlines?
- Reader/viewer feedback from comments
- Monitoring organic traffic, bounce rate, and dwell time on Google Search Console
- Checking your SERP position rankings
If you aren’t getting close to meeting your goals after six months to a year of publishing content, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and rethink your approach.
Data and metrics don’t lie, so keep tweaking your strategy until you get the results you want.
Making the Most Out of Content Production
Building an organized content production process is crucial for any SEO or content marketing strategy.
Without one, your content won’t have any rhyme or reason, and the lack of consistency will make it next to impossible to attract a loyal audience of followers.
Following the steps on this list will ensure your content remains high-quality, consistent, and in line with your brand values and voice.
If you lack the time to develop a content production process for your business, don’t wait to sign up for HOTH X, our renowned managed SEO service that includes targeted content creation.