How to Create Content Marketing Workflow That Drives Sales

Content marketing is a popular go-to in B2B and SaaS marketing, but brands sometimes report mixed success.

When I start working with new brands that have struggled to get the results they want, I typically find that one or more of three common issues is at fault:

  • There’s a lack of a proper content strategy that considers business goals and your audience
  • There’s a lack of consistency
  • There’s no established content marketing workflow

Today, we’re going to talk about the last bullet point: Your content marketing workflow. While it seems like an afterthought compared to your strategy, it’s actually an integral part of maintaining both the strategy and consistency, and today we’ll show you how to create a content marketing workflow that will actually help drive sales.

What is a Content Marketing Workflow?

A content marketing workflow— sometimes also called a “content management workflow”— is a documented set of tasks that must be carried out in order to complete an individual piece of content that meet your standards.

You may have a workflow that’s specific to the content creation process itself, which might include things like a specific outlining or keyword research process and brand style guides.

You may also include an overall content management workflow that accounts for strategy development, content audits, and managing a content calendar.

Content marketing workflows are invaluable because they create a clearly-documented and systemized approach. It ultimately helps you facilitate the content strategy that you’ve created, whether you’re writing all the content yourself or if you’re working with either internal or external team members like freelance writers.

Different Types of Sales Content to Include In Your Marketing Workflow

Before we dive into how to create a content marketing workflow, let’s take a minute to talk about the types of content you should include within it.

First, you’ve got written pieces of content, which are often text-heavy but include visuals, too. These types of content include:

  • Blog posts, ranging from educational content to promotional content
  • Brochures
  • Whitepapers
  • Product comparison pages
  • Customer testimonials, ideally featuring detailed customer stories
  • Case studies
  • Featured use cases
  • Transcripts of videos
  • eBooks
  • Guides
  • Checklists
  • Infographics

You’ll also have audio and video content, which will likely include the following:

  • Explainer videos
  • Product videos
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Tutorial videos online

And finally, the marketing team will likely be supporting sales with high-value content that can help them close their deals. This will likely include:

Creating Content for Each Stage of the Sales Funnel

Just as you’ll have different types of content, you’ll also want to ensure that your workflow is accounting for content in each stage of the digital sales funnel. This helps you reach buyers at all different stages of their journeys, and the content itself can be leveraged together to actually create a seamless buyer journey.

Top-of-the-funnel blog posts are going to appeal to users who are just entering the buyer’s journey, and may include:

  • Educational blog posts on general industry information
  • Brochures
  • Videos on YouTube and other social media channels

Middle of the funnel content will have the goal of building brand awareness and interest, and capturing user attention. Examples can include:

  • Videos that are both educational and product-centric
  • Webinars
  • Educational, long-form blog posts and resources
  • Ebooks
  • Infographics
  • Whitepapers

Bottom-of-the-funnel content is geared towards high-intent users who may already be familiar with your brand and who are actively looking for (or are open to) a solution like yours. You should consider “how are you using content marketing to close deals,” and ideally creating content that sales wants is a good start. Examples include:

  • Pricing guides
  • Customer testimonials
  • Product videos
  • Product-centric blog posts

Establishing a Content Workflow to Yield Strong Results

Ready to create a content workflow that will support your sales team, enable the marketing team to find high-quality leads, and drive real results?

Let’s go step-by-step through the process of how to set up a content workflow.

The Content Strategy Process

First, you need to define what content you actually need to create. You can check out our guide on creating a content strategy, but keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure that the buyer personas you’re targeting are the ones that sales also wants to target
  • Ask sales what content they need or believe would be most beneficial
  • Think about every stage of the sales funnel
  • Take a look at what your competition is doing and consider how you can out-perform them
  • Determine how often you’ll post and how you’ll distribute the content you create
  • Create a content schedule with the list of topics

Consider what content actually converts. Go back to the data and talk to sales. Are client testimonial videos seeming to make an impact when sales asks what drove customers to purchase? Are certain types of blog posts gaining a lot of clicks to the “Book Demo” page? Are people who are actually downloading those ebooks or signing up for webinars moving forward through the funnel?

Marketing and sales needs to be in alignment here so that the right types of content are created moving forward.

The Content Creation Process

It’s important to have a systemized approach for content creation, especially when you want to create content at scale.

We strongly recommend creating systems for the following:

  • A task-oriented process that outlines key steps of research, outlining, writing, editing, and pushing a post
  • A detailed outlining process, if needed, that explains what’s required in an outline or content brief
  • Specific keyword research processes, potentially with requirements about types or values of keywords to be included
  • Topic research and competitive research processes (examples include the skyscraper method)
  • Details about what’s expected in each post (like word count, number of images, and number of links)
  • A brand style guide, if relevant
  • A submissions and editing process, including expected time within edits should be completed
  • Practices about optimization; top-of-the-funnel posts, for example, should typically link to other content that’s more middle-of-the-funnel, while bottom-funnel content should have links to try trials or book demos

Using project management software like Asana, Notion, or Trello (pictured below) can help with this part of the process. Each piece of content can have its own card, and each can have an array of tasks. You can tag relevant team members as it’s time for them to take over the next step of the process.

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You’ll also want to use a content management system like Content Camel. Here, you can store all of your essential documents like your brand style guide and buyer persona templates, but your team can also easily see what content has already been created so they can reference and link to it when possible. Sales can even request content that they need urgently, keeping the entire process streamlined.

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Finally, you may want to detail how content is submitted. Will it be shared through Word or Google documents? Will it be uploaded directly into a CMS like WordPress? And if so, make sure you set requirements around formatting the posts if a singular person (like an editor) isn’t responsible for it.

The Content Publishing Process

The last part of the content workflow is the publishing and distribution process. At this point, your content will go live (whether that’s being released to the sales team, showing up on the blog, or becoming available for download), and it’s ready to use. This process will also define how and when the content will be shared.

Account for the following:

  • When content will be published (will it be published on a schedule, or as it’s available to go live?)
  • What distribution platforms will you use, and how often (for example, will you share it on Facebook 3x after publication, two weeks apart?)
  • How will you assess the impact of your content once its published?
  • When will you update or refresh content? Do you have a system in place to identify content that needs to be reviewed?

Social media management software and email marketing software are often both essential for distribution. Newsletters can be used to distribute different types of content, and social media sharing can get a lot of eyes on high-value resources. Automation software like Zapier can help you push posts to different platforms automatically, depending on different criteria.

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Make sure that as your new content is created, you’re uploading it to your content management system and categorized appropriately— especially when it comes to categorizing content that your sales team needs to see to help them in their roles. You can learn more about how Content Camel can help here.

Final Thoughts

A content marketing workflow can help you systemize, implement, and scale your content strategy. With the right tools and the right workflow in place, your marketing team can create stronger resources that attract the right kind of leads and supports the sales team, driving more sales across the board.

The right tools help, staring with a content management system. Learn more about how Content Camel can revamp your workflow here.

FAQ

What are the steps to creating a content marketing workflow?

Your content marketing workflow should ideally account for:

  • Different types of content at different stages of the sales funnel
  • The strategy process
  • The content creation process
  • The publication and distribution process

What tools can help me manage my content marketing workflows:

There are a number of tools that can benefit your content workflows, including the following: