What Is a Workflow?

Workflows are the way people get their job done, and can be illustrated as a multi-step process that needs to be completed in the given sequence. Think of it as work flowing from one level to another through a colleague, tool, or a process.

A workflow can be executed by a single person or a group of hundreds or thousands of team members - it is entirely dependent on the nature of the workflow. Here's an example of a workflow diagram:

Why Do We Need an Editorial Workflow?

In this era of digitization, following conventional methods for tracking work processes takes away not just hours but dollars as well from you. Let's look at the process of publishing a blog post:

  1. The SEO Executive researches keywords and shares his report with the Content Head
  2. The Content Head goes through the entire list of keywords and finalizes the topic for the blog post
  3. The Content Head then communicates with the Content Writer about the topic, keywords to be included, and technical guidelines for the blog post
  4. The Content Writer starts composing the blog post
  5. The first draft of the post is shared with the Editor, Content Head, and Account Executive and their respective comments changes and revisions about the blog post are added
  6. The Content Writer starts writing the second draft of the blog post
  7. Once the second draft is ready, it again shared with Editor, Content Head, and Account Executive for approval
  8. It gets approval or the process is repeated from step 5
  9. After the approval, the Content Head communicates to the Graphic Designer about his requirements for images, GIFs, infographics, or any other form of graphics/images for the blog post
  10. The Graphic Designer, after getting approval from the Art Director, Account Executive and Content Head, shares the final designs with the Content Writer
  11. The Content Writer adds the graphics to the blog post and forwards it to the Account Executive for the client's approval
  12. The Account Executive gets the client approval and shares the final draft with the Development Team
  13. The Development Team publishes the post on the client's website and conducts link checks
  14. The Account Executive then shares the published blog post with the Social Media Team for outreach

Each step in the above-given process involves multiple meetings, emails, and phone calls. Each level needs to be monitored, managed, and optimized to make sure they are as efficient as they can be.

What if there was a way to keep everything under check? A tool that can help your team to work in a specific order, wherein you can make use of their distinctive skill-sets and everyone gets to focus on their own part in the entire process, eliminating the unnecessary edits and revisions.

A workflow management tool like Stackby can be your friend in need. It not only helps with creating a better infrastructure for content creation, planning and management, it also provides you a clear framework to streamline your entire flow of work and help your team members to stay on the same page until the desired outcome is achieved.

Streamlining Your Workflow

An efficient editorial workflow is transparent and saves time - if it is complex and requires a lot of resources with multiple dependencies, it is just not the right path for your organization to work on.

Every business has a unique way of working and what works for one might not be the ideal choice for other businesses but the base workflows in every business are identical.

Let's take you through some common steps involved in any editorial workflow:

Identifying Opportunities

To start with, the Senior Editor along with the SEO team creates a list of ideas concentrating on the type of persona they want to reach out to. After selecting the target audience, the Senior Editor along with the Content Head lists out a set of keywords to initiate the blog post.

The Senior Editor can create a Stack for the respective project. Once that is done, the SEO Team can be invited to the stack where they can enlist their ideas along with relevant resources, links and information needed.

Idea Research

Research is the most crucial step in the content marketing editorial workflow. To run a successful editorial campaign or write a blog, you need to know every little detail about it.

Once the Keywords are listed with the help of the Senior Editor and Content Head, the Head takes it forward by suggesting blog topics centered around those keywords, wherein a Stack is created by collaborating the entire team on-board to have a clear view about the publishing calendar. It will provide you with ample research material and will save you from edits in the nick of time.

Once the Content Head is done with research, he can create a stack of blog-ideas, keywords used and target persona.

Content Outline

Once all the ideas are on the table, the Content Head shares these ideas with the Content Writer and creates a rough draft, including the strategy and technicalities of the blog.

A sketchy outline helps in giving a head start to an empty canvas (pro tip: Start with keywords) by including a list of the relevant resources and documents on Stackby in the attachment column to reduce the clutter of e-mails and phone calls and keep your team updated. Trackable workflows assist in maintaining the regularity of the project while keeping up with timely improvements.

Compose

After finalizing the layout, the Content Writer starts composing the blog, maintaining a balance between the topic and exploring other dynamics, which might enrich the post in the meantime. While composing the post, keep all the keywords in the back of your mind, so that you don’t have to struggle with the copy at the end.

Once the entire blog is composed, the progress column is checked with done and the blog is then shared with the Content Head, Account Executive and Editor on Stackby.

Edit

Once you’ve composed the entire post, you need a fresh pair of eyes to review the post and suggest the edits you might have slipped or missed after spending hours on creating the copy.

The first draft is shared with the Content Head, Account Executive and Editor for their respective inputs and feedback. After their evaluation, the Content Writer forms another draft and repeats the entire process until a perfect copy is created.

To avoid the confusion regarding many versions of the document, the Content Writer can update the document on the stack where edits can be suggested by others and progress can be mapped.

Design Elements

After the entire copy is furnished and thoroughly checked, the Content Writer must evaluate and edit all the inputs received from the team.  

Now it's time for your Graphics Team to make your post look even better. The Content Head and Content Writer communicates about the graphics required in the blog to the Graphic Designer, who in-turn designs everything that is needed.

A column can be added to the Stack wherein the Graphic Designer can simply add his designs as an attachment based on the creative brief from the Content Head.

Once all the design elements are in place, the Graphic Designer updates the Art Director, Account Executive and Content Head for the final approval.

As soon as all the graphical elements are selected, the Content Writer adds it to the blog and the Content Head is updated about the progress on the editorial stack to take it forward.

Publish

The process doesn't end here - after everything is drafted, the Content Head passes the blog to the client for a final review. His inputs are added to the blog and it is shared by the Account Executive with the Development Team; the status is updated on the stack for everyone to track the progress.

Your post is ready to be published by the Development Team on the client's website, and then the Social Media team is updated to carry out a social media campaign for further outreach.

Mastering the Workflow

To finish a blog might take days or weeks, but by using a single collaborative platform, you can skip the entire process of approval through continuous emails and phone calls.

After publishing, check the progress report of the entire pipeline and decide whether each step was finished on time. Analyze your weak points and work on them in your next editorial workflow.

Once you have analyzed your workflow, decide whether the entire process was benefiting and where did you lack concentration or faced blocs; use this information to re-model your workflow.

The Content Head can also edit the timelines or charge the team with add-on information at any point, thanks to the real-time collaboration with Stackby.

With Stackby you are able to:

  • Access the documents easily
  • Maintain transparency with real-time interaction with the team
  • Leverage technology to create customized applications

Irrespective of whether you’re a tech pro or a layman, or some new or experienced in the business, everyone can try their hands at Stackby - a user-friendly, no code, all-in-one collaboration platform to automate and outcast better workflows in their organization, big or small.

So do you want to make your own workflow in a jiffy and enhance your team’s workflow process and efficiency?

Think on a big scale from day one, and automate your editorial workflow.

Get Access to Stackby for your team.