How to Create a Content Review Process That Works for You

How to Create a Content Review Process That Works for You

If you’re struggling with delayed production timelines and far too many edits to your content, this post is for you.

This article will discuss the need for a content approval process and why you should create one for your organization. But before that, let’s discuss what a content approval process is.

What is a content approval process?

It refers to a detailed approval process that helps companies maintain their brand identity, ensure accuracy and consistency in their messaging, and protect their reputation. It includes internal reviews from internal stakeholders to:

  • Check for the accuracy and quality of the content
  • Ensure alignment with the content strategy and brand messaging
  • Verify that the piece meets the reader’s intent

This process helps you establish topical authority in your domain by publishing high-quality content consistently. Also, when you implement it, external stakeholders like co-marketing partners can sign off on the materials—leaving no room for error.

Let’s look at why you need such a process and how you can set up a customized workflow for your organization.

Why do you need a streamlined content approval process?

Too often, companies have too many stakeholders involved in the review process, turning into a nightmarish situation for everyone involved. Due to such long, drawn-out processes, companies sometimes don’t publish what they’ve worked on for months simply because they ran out of time.

There are several other consequences of a poor content approval process:

  • Too many errors: You end up publishing content with grammatical errors, technical inaccuracies, and even user experience (UX) issues. It reflects poorly on the brand—and results in a lack of trust in your content—leading to lost leads.
  • Too many revisions: Having too many rounds of revisions and rework also takes its toll by slowing down or halting the entire production process. It takes longer than necessary, wasting time and money that you could’ve saved with a solid approval process.
  • Terrible readability: Remember the UX issues we discussed? Readability is one of them. Readers will bounce if your content is not formatted well or has pointless links/visuals inserted randomly. It makes it difficult to navigate—leading readers to seek an alternative.
  • Business process waste: Low-quality pieces get drowned out amongst the better ones making them practically useless in generating clicks or positive feedback from users. Plus, it results in wasted time, effort, and money.

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While the consequences are dire, you can fix them by creating an approval process that works for you. Here are a few benefits of implementing one:

Prevent unnecessary errors in the content assets

When you approve content at various stages of development, you can catch and correct inconsistencies and inaccuracies before they reach customers. This helps maintain the integrity of a company’s message and image while protecting against possible legal issues associated with inaccurate information.

Plus, taking proactive steps to prevent mistakes can help save time from reworking poor-quality pieces of content later.

Align with brand messaging and strategy

Aligning brand messaging and strategy is a massive challenge for companies. It’s the one thing that sets them apart—but it’s often forgotten.

Dennis Shirshikov, Head of Growth at Awning, agrees. He says, “One of the biggest challenges I face when getting content pieces approved by my team is ensuring that the messaging aligns with our overall brand strategy. It can also be difficult to get everyone on the same page when it comes to tone and voice.”

Including a tight approval filter for each content asset and running it through a messaging and style guide ensures everybody is on the same page. And you deliver content with a consistent tone across different channels.

Optimize content for better UX and SEO

In addition to information depth, ensure that your content is optimized correctly for search engines. It can help to improve your website’s ranking in search results and can also help to increase traffic to your site.

There’s no point expecting conversions if you don’t do this. You need the traffic to convert, which can only happen if you optimize the page.

The optimization process should consider UX too. This means no pesky pop-ups before the reader has a chance to even peek at the content.

Receive approval from relevant subject matter experts before publishing

Quality control is a core goal of creating a content approval workflow—and the SME acts as a hard stop in this process.

According to James De Roche, Managing Partner at Lead Comet, the truth is in the details. He adds, “99% of the content on the internet is generic. You need to stand out. SMEs are critical to providing real, actionable insights. With AI-generated content, the need for SME feedback will be crucial to the success of any content strategy.”

Depending on the type of content, the process typically involves review by multiple individuals:

  • Product Marketing Manager
  • Growth Lead
  • CEO or other departmental heads
  • SEO Lead
  • Content Strategist
  • Editor

Doing so reduces the risk of an organization retracting or apologizing for inaccurate information later. Plus, it ensures you’ve covered all angles before making the piece live.

The role of a content brief in speeding up the content review process

When we put out a call for pitches, we received 20+ responses from marketing leaders, content marketing agency owners, and freelance consultants. Do you know everybody’s secret ingredient for a solid approval process? The content brief.

Remember this silver bullet in your arsenal to make your review process as tight as possible.

It serves as a reference guide and a living document for the entire approval process. Also, it gives you a concise overview of what to cover—keeping stakeholders focused on the things that matter.

Ken Marshall, Chief Growth Officer at RevenueZen, says, “Often, too much time is spent reviewing or debating small things (like oxford commas) that don’t actually impact the effectiveness of the article.”

The best way to tighten the production timeline is to get stakeholder input early. It allows more flexibility in structuring the brief, leading to a clear-cut writing process. Plus, when they approve the brief before any work is done, you also set more explicit expectations for the writers.

Here’s an inside look into the brief template we use at Content Camel:


Grab the template here ➡️ Content Brief

A well-written content brief improves efficiency and helps you produce high-quality work faster. You know what’s expected from start to finish—ensuring your review process goes as smoothly as possible.

How do you set up a content review process for your organization?

When setting up a review process for the content publishing workflow, think about the essential steps and who needs to own the process. Document this on your content calendar too. Here’s what the usual production process looks like:

SEO Content Production
Here’s an example of a content production workflow set up on Monday (Courtesy: Jenna Thomas(

Based on this, you need to determine how each role fits into the overall workflow and who will have final authority on any changes or edits. Typically, a production team consists of content creators, content managers, editors, and subject matter experts.

Content creators like strategists, writers, and designers are typically responsible for the following:

  • Conceiving original ideas
  • Writing the content
  • Sourcing visuals or other assets
  • Providing feedback on creative direction
  • Ensuring the accuracy of information presented before the review

Content managers act as project managers**. **They’re responsible for defining quality standards, overseeing the design and editorial decisions, assigning tasks to team members, and tracking progress throughout the development cycle.

Content editors are responsible for reviewing all submitted materials for accuracy, grammatical consistency, style guidelines adherence, quality assurance checks, etc., before approving them.

Subject matter experts are usually responsible for final approvals on high-stakes projects where their experience will provide additional value to the end product.

Once you know who is responsible for which process, set up service level agreements (SLAs). Jenna Thomas, Senior Content Marketing Manager, says, “Establish SLAs for each step of your content production process, including ideation, SEO research, brief/outline creation, writing, revision, and publishing. Estimate how long it takes to complete each step under normal circumstances—and then add a day of cushion to each step of the process. These SLAs show stakeholders how much goes into the content creation process, and they keep content creators accountable.”

Content Workflow in Monday
The standard production process for SEO content source)

As a content manager, there are several things you have to do after production, like distribution and monitoring performance. In that case, add these as part of your workflow for a clearer picture.

Content Workflow
An example of a complete production workflow set up in Google Sheets -Megan Rowlands-Sobieski, Director of Content at Arootah and Freelance Content Strategist

Next, atomize the process. Creating content review checklists for each part of the process is an excellent way to achieve that. As a writer, I have a checklist for the content editing and submission processes, even if a client doesn’t provide one. It helps create high quality consistently because the workload might get to you.

Here’s what my writing checklist looks like—feel free to borrow and tweak them for your use:

Submission process:

  • Insert the primary keyword in the first paragraph and H2s (where possible)
  • Include internal links for relevant keywords
  • Cross-check all the internal and external links
  • Fact-check the content and statistics
  • Fact check SME input and their credibility
  • Ensure each heading is focused on the main goal
  • Include three title options
  • Include meta description and title tag
  • Provide a link to a folder hosting all the images
  • Optimize the piece using Frase
  • Run the piece through Grammarly/Hemmingway
  • Review the content brief once more

You can set up a simple checklist for each part of the process and templatize them using tools like ClickUp, Monday, Trello, etc. Then, you must assign individuals to each part of the process and activate production. You can even automate certain parts of the process, like creating Google Docs for submission, creating new task cards every time you create a brief document, etc.

Samantha Walls, Inbound Marketing Manager at InTouch Marketing, recommends doing the same. Her content team uses a 6-step content workflow to streamline the production. “It helps the team know where each content piece is in the process and automated workflows established to notify key personnel when a content piece requires their input or approval. Each team member owns their respective niche in the process and is fully aware of the overall impact they have on the entire workflow,” says Walls.

Review the timelines within your project management tool and keep refining the workflow to ensure it’s as tight as possible.

Final word

If you find yourself constantly frustrated with the state of your organization’s content, it’s time for a change. Create a content approval process and streamline the entire production process. It helps you achieve the following:

  • Consistent brand messaging
  • Successful alignment with the overall strategy
  • Lack of technical and grammatical errors
  • Much-needed peace of mind
  • No invisible bottlenecks in the process

If you’re looking for a tool to manage your content in one place, start a free trial of Content Camel today.