Ready to focus on content creation as part of your agency's marketing strategy? You're not alone. The Content Marketing Institute finds that 66% of marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase in 2022. After all, great content can increase brand awareness, generate new leads, and boost overall engagement — all while remaining a relatively cost-effective marketing tool.
Still, generating excellent content isn't easy. It involves many moving parts and a great deal of collaboration from the members of your content team. The good news? A carefully designed workflow can streamline your agency's content creation process while improving quality, accountability, and collaboration. But the key to executing a workflow is to choose the right content workflow software to suit your needs.
What is content workflow software?
Content workflow software (also known as a workflow management system) helps team members navigate and manage content creation processes in a centralized location. These software solutions allow team members to better visualize their content creation cycles and pinpoint where each piece of content is within that cycle. A great content workflow software may also have additional features (such as collaboration tools, workflow automation features, and templates) to further assist with content creation.
Why you should use content workflow software for your content production
It's one thing to have a content creation workflow in place. However, simply having a workflow doesn't necessarily mean that your team members are using it to its full advantage. Without a uniform and accessible way for your team members to track content production, review deadlines, and determine roles and responsibilities, it's easy for bottlenecks and other obstacles to get in the way of your content strategy.
By implementing the right content workflow software, you can keep everybody on the same page and optimize your entire content creation process. Ultimately, this means higher quality content and a better marketing ROI for your agency.
What is the difference between content workflow software and a content management system (CMS)?
There are a lot of tools that come into play when it comes to building a solid content marketing strategy. It can be a bit overwhelming, from SEO and keyword research tools to design software and editing tools. However, if you're looking to elevate your content creation strategy, it's important to understand the difference between content workflow software and a content management system (CMS). The two play very different roles; however, they're both important resources for marketing teams.
A CMS is a solution designed to help users create a website and its content without coding it from scratch. WordPress is an excellent example of a popular CMS: Users can use existing templates (both free and paid) to create a website with little to no HTML or CSS coding knowledge. From there, users can continue using WordPress to publish and schedule new content. Meanwhile, available features and extensions (such as SEO extensions and other third-party software tools) can enhance content and help it perform better.
Clearly, there are a lot of benefits to using a CMS as part of your content creation strategy. However, it's important to understand that a CMS is not the same as content workflow software. A CMS, for example, doesn’t help team members visualize the content creation process: it's merely a tool for publishing content once it goes through your content workflow.
If you want to keep all your team members on the same page with a unified content creation process, workflow software will still be your best bet. A CMS may still be useful when publishing new content, but it's not a replacement for a workflow management system.
Benefits of using content workflow software
Now that you have a better understanding of what content workflow software is and its use cases, consider a few of the many benefits your agency can enjoy by using this type of project management tool.
For starters, consider how much more efficiently and productively your teams will be able to work when they're using a unified process to create excellent content. Content workflow solutions automate many tasks (such as sending out progress emails) that can waste your employees' valuable time and slow down projects.
Meanwhile, when everybody knows exactly what their roles and due dates are for each piece of content, there's no confusion over responsibilities or deadlines. All of this makes your content creation process more productive.
When your content team follows a specific workflow regularly, this also improves the consistency of your business processes. Over time, team members will grow accustomed to following the same steps for creating excellent content while collaborating with other team members along the way.
A consistent process results in better quality control, so you can rest assured that you're putting out content that meets or exceeds your standards every time.
Creates a more unified process
Content creation is an inherently messy process. For starters, it involves a lot of different players (from strategists and content creators to editors and project managers) and many moving parts (content briefs, style guides, editing resources, etc.). As you've likely seen in the past, all it takes is one small hiccup, such as one team member missing a deadline, to derail a content creation cycle.
You can enjoy a more unified process when you use a content workflow software solution to centralize your content creation. The steps, responsibilities, deadlines, and other details about any given content live in a centralized location that's easily accessible to every team member. In turn, this can remove the chaos from the content creation process and keep everybody on the same page.
Increases team collaboration
The right workflow management tool can even improve collaboration among your team, which is vital when so many people are responsible for producing and publishing a single piece of content. Many content workflow platforms have messaging and other collaboration features to make collaboration easier — whether in real time or asynchronous. Workflow management software can also integrate with many other communication channels your team may already use, such as social media and email.
Things to look for in content workflow software
Clearly, your agency could benefit from content management workflow software — but with so many options, how can you know which is right for your needs? As you explore your options, here are a few features worth looking for that can help your agency get the most out of your content marketing workflow solution.
Right toolset for your team size and structure
Start by looking for a solution that offers must-have features based on the size of your content team and the structure of your agency. For example, if you have a large content team that works remotely, you'll need to ensure that the workflow software you select has plenty of collaboration tools to keep everybody on the same page. This may include asynchronous communication features for those in different time zones.
Meanwhile, you may also want to look for automation features that will save your team time while keeping projects on task. For example, some software solutions offer automated check-ins that will update team members on a project's progress daily or weekly.
Some may also offer workflow templates that can be useful for teams working on different types of content. These kinds of tools and features can help your agency get the most out of the software.
Integration with your work style
Not all teams work in the same way or use the same tools, so it's important to find a content workflow solution that will easily integrate into your existing setup. This is where choosing a workflow solution with a user-friendly design and intuitive interface can make all the difference, allowing your team to quickly adapt to the new software with as few interruptions as possible. Ideally, your content workflow software will also come with some dedicated integration support.
Likewise, make sure that the solution you choose will integrate with any existing software tools your agency relies on.
Multiple communication methods
Teams communicate in many different ways, so choosing a workflow software program that supports your team members' preferred communication styles is important. For example, a built-in messaging system may come in handy for real-time communication.
However, for teams that may be working across different time zones or simply at different hours of the day, integration with other communication platforms (such as email and social media) may also be necessary. Choosing a platform that will enable communication between content team members will help everybody stay on the same page and keep projects on track.
Task and workflow customization and complexity
The best content workflow software programs allow plenty of customization to suit your agency's unique needs. This should include some task management and workflow customization options that allow team members to tweak existing templates (or build their own workflows entirely from scratch) until they're completely tailored to each project.
Being too "boxed in" with minimal workflow customization options can be frustrating, especially if your team works with many different types of content that may require different workflows or steps to produce.
Variety of workflow views
Last but not least, look for a content workflow solution that offers a variety of workflow views. After all, each member of your content creation team will likely visualize and process information differently. By viewing and managing workflows differently, each team member can select the option that best suits their needs. This allows everybody to work more productively and efficiently, resulting in better content.
5 top content workflow software for content production
Designed with marketing teams in mind and trusted by more than 20,000 companies, Teamwork is an all-in-one project management platform with adaptable workflow tools to elevate your content creation.
See why Teamwork is the platform that marketing teams can trust!
Key features and benefits
Kanban boards to help team members visualize project tasks
Unlimited client users for a collaborative experience (perfect for agencies)
Templates for easy setup
Easy-to-use time-tracking features
Powerful custom reporting for tracking performance
Integrations with other popular business software, plus API for customized experience
Free Forever: $0 for up to five users
Deliver: $9.99 per user/month (minimum of five users)
Grow: $17.99 per user/month (minimum of five users)
Scale: Reach out for a custom quote
This popular content workflow software is known for its customizable interface that can adapt to businesses of all sizes as they scale and change. And since everybody has different ways of doing things, users can enjoy the flexibility to visualize projects in more than 15 different ways.
Key features and benefits
Real-time reporting on projects and task progress
Time-tracking and reporting features
Over 50 workflow animations
Integrations with more than 1,000 other popular apps
Free Forever: $0 and designed for personal use
Unlimited: $5 per user/month (ideal for small teams)
Business: $12 per user/month (ideal for mid-sized teams)
Business Plus: $19 per user/month (ideal for multiple teams)
Enterprise: Requires a custom quote (ideal for many large teams)
This workflow management platform is designed to make content creation a breeze, offering more than 200 different workflow templates to suit just about any type of content your team may be working on.
Key features and benefits
In-app communication features such as instant messaging, tagging, and sharing
Integrations with more than 40 popular apps
Board, Gantt, and timeline views
Time tracking and timesheets for report generation
Individual: $0 for up to two users
Basic: $8 per user/month
Standard: $10 per user/month
Pro: $16 per user/month
Enterprise: Requires a custom quote
For start-ups and small businesses looking for content workflow software, Trello is a popular option. Known for its affordability and simplicity, this platform gets the job done at a reasonable price.
Key features and benefits
Multiple viewing options, including table, calendar, timeline, map, and more
Integrations with other popular software, including Google Drive and Slack
Free: $0 for individuals and teams
Standard: $5 per user/month
Premium: $10 per user/month (for up to 100 users)
Enterprise: $17.50 per user/month
Designed for mid-sized businesses, Wrike is a project management tool that keeps team members on track with plenty of customizable features.
Key features and benefits
Integration with more than 400 other apps
Kanban board, table, and spreadsheet views
Real-time reporting with customizable inputs
Project and task progress notifications
Free: $0 (ideal for teams getting started with workflow management)
Professional: $9.80 per user/month (for growing teams)
Business: $24.80 per user/month (for larger agencies)
Enterprise: Requires a custom quote
Maintain a smooth and productive content workflow with Teamwork
Having a content creation workflow in place isn't enough. Executing your workflow with the right content workflow software can improve productivity, boost quality control, and keep all your team members on the same page through every step of the process. By knowing what to look for in content workflow software and exploring some of the top solutions currently on the market, you can ultimately choose the best option for your agency.
For more information on how Teamwork's project management software can elevate your content creation workflow, get started with your free trial (no credit card required) by creating an account today!