The content review process can be a fickle mistress, laden with difficulties. Think about your own content review process. After you've spent time crafting your initial content draft, do you often find yourself resorting to follow-up emails to prod people for their feedback? Do the comments you eventually receive resemble a battleground of conflicts and contradictions? Is it a daunting task to keep track of who has given their nod of approval?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it strongly indicates that your content review process needs repair. In this blog, we will explore three common issues with the conventional content review process and present practical solutions, such as leveraging the power of the right content platforms.
What exactly is a content review process?
A content review process is a structured methodology for soliciting feedback on your content and, ultimately, securing the green light from multiple stakeholders.
Whether crafting any marketing collateral such as a blog post, designing a print advertisement, or producing a video for social media, having an organized approach to your content review and approval can significantly simplify the workflow, enhance collaboration, improve accuracy, and ensure timely delivery of high-quality content to your target audience.
Typically, the content review and approval process has three parts:
- Initial submission (V1): The first draft of your content.
- Review and feedback round: Stakeholders and reviewers then step into the picture, offering feedback and input, typically including requests for content changes.
- Revision: Armed with contextual feedback, you make the necessary adjustments and submit an updated version of the content.
The importance of an efficient content review process
Ideally, this would be an easy three-step process. But, as we know, we don't live in a perfect world. Most companies still struggle to create a review process that works for them. This inefficiency is not only time-consuming but negatively impacts your bottom line.
Efficient content review measures are vital for all effective content creation processes regardless of team size. For small, agile teams, its importance is magnified. In this setup, delays in the review process can disrupt tight schedules, making it a significant setback.
Let’s say you are a small marketing team striving to launch a new product campaign quickly. The content review and approval process involves several stakeholders, including marketing, design, legal, and management. A delay caused by disorganized feedback collection or a lack of clarity within the team can jeopardize the planned campaign launch date. Which, ultimately, impacts your bottom line.
On the flip side, a streamlined content review process is equally indispensable for larger teams. The complexity of larger teams demands transparent workflows and robust communication channels to ensure collaboration and cohesion.
A well-structured review process minimizes the risk of miscommunication, enhances team coordination, and maintains a high output standard. The linchpin keeps everyone aligned and accountable, ultimately leading to cohesive, polished content that aligns with the team's goals and brand identity.
Like anything, creating a well-structured content review process is challenging. Let's explore some of these complications and discuss how content platforms can help.
Common challenges of the content review process
The woes of sharing and downloading files
Regarding traditional content reviews, sharing files via email is a seemingly straightforward but inherently flawed approach. Often, you encounter the frustrating hurdle of file size limitations, especially when dealing with video content. Ah, the joys of content sharing!
Our advice: Using a content platform that centralizes all your content and securely stores it in the cloud allows all stakeholders to effortlessly view your content, images, and videos directly within their web browsers, eliminating the need for multiple, tiresome downloads.
Feedback is a messy maze of contradictions
Few things can be as exasperating as feedback points that are out of context and in conflict with others' opinions. Your marketing manager sends you an email with suggestions, while your brand manager fills the document with comments, and another content reviewer requests a quick call. Nobody can see what the other has said, and you likely waste time collating all the information and making sense of it- sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Our advice: Setting up your reviews in a content platform allows multiple stakeholders to add contextual feedback on your content. Adding comments directly to the section minimizes the risk of misunderstandings, and you can immediately take action. This saves you and your team valuable time, simplifies the feedback process, and ensures that you can easily track what others have already said.
Curious about how you can easily share feedback in Foleon? Find out more about reviewer roles here.
You're stuck in a never-ending content feedback loop.
The relentless stakeholder pursuit, the persistent reminders, and the deadlines that slip away *chills* —it's a harrowing experience. You must stick to the deadlines to ensure your content has an impact. Your prospects and customers won't wait because you need one more image change or the colors are off.
Our advice: Establish crystal clear expectations with your stakeholders regarding feedback deadlines. Send constant reminders (overcommunicating is vital here), and, for anyone dragging their feet, use this simple calculation to remind them of the cost of each and every feedback round.
To avoid the above and any further challenges, here are five steps our MarComs Operations Manager Jerry recommends for organizing a swift and efficient content review process:
- Clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder.
- Establish strict due dates to prevent unnecessary delays in your content review process.
- Centralize feedback from various teams and departments in a single platform for easy access.
- Focus on using contextual feedback to make the approval process more effective.
- Keep on top of version control to avoid looking at content that's already outdated.
Following these steps should set you and your team up for an efficient content review process that you can scale as your company grows.
How to establish a well-structured content review process in 5 steps
Now that you understand the importance of having a well-structured content review process, here are five actionable steps you can take to create an effective content review process within your team:
- Clearly define review roles and responsibilities:
Clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each team member involved in the review process. Designate roles such as content creator, primary reviewer, subject matter expert, editor, and approver. Ensure that each role's responsibilities and expectations are well understood to streamline the workflow.
- Develop content review guidelines and checklists:
Create comprehensive review guidelines and checklists tailored to the type of content being produced. Include specific criteria for grammar, style, brand compliance, accuracy, tone, formatting, and any other relevant aspects. Make these guidelines accessible to all team members and encourage adherence to maintain consistency.
- Establish a review workflow and timeline:
Define a structured workflow outlining the steps content goes through from creation to final approval. Determine the review stages, sequence of reviews, and the criteria for progressing from one stage to the next. Set timelines and deadlines for each stage to prevent delays and maintain a smooth content production process.
- Make collaborative tools and technology your friend:
Implement collaborative content creation tools and technologies that facilitate the content review process. If you can find a platform to create, review, and publish in one place, opt for that. This enables efficient communication, centralized feedback collection, version control, and tracking of review progress.
- Encourage effective communication and feedback:
Foster a culture of effective communication and constructive feedback within the team. Emphasize the importance of clear, specific, and actionable feedback that aligns with the established review guidelines. Encourage open discussions and a collaborative approach to resolving feedback and improving content quality.
Perfecting your content review process is an ongoing mission filled with challenges that would test even the most seasoned marketers. But by implementing the strategies discussed in this article, you can put your best foot forward in transforming your content review process into a well-oiled engine that propels your content seamlessly toward excellence.
Soon enough, your team's efficiency and the quality of your content will shine like never before. Happy reviewing!