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Steal My Content Marketing Workflow for Small Businesses + Free Template

Updated: 2 days ago

When working with small business clients to develop content, it helps to have a standard workflow in place to ensure I have checked all the boxes before publishing. In addition, turning content creation into a workflow has helped streamline my efforts and saved precious time. These actionable steps have helped me strategize, plan, produce, measure, and promote – and maybe they can help you, too. Steal my workflow – and let me know if you can improve it!


My Small Business Content Marketing Workflow


When I talk about small business content creation, that typically translates to blogs, infographics, and case studies; these are the bulk of what I produce for clients. You may have other needs, but the process should work the same. 


My workflow breaks down into five hubs or buckets: strategy, planning, creation, measurement, and promotion. Each has its role in the process, leading to the next step. These hubs are not so many boxes to check or tasks to complete, as they are little lanterns leading the way to the next task until completion. 



Graphic of Content Marketing Workflow: Strategy, Plan, Create, Promote, Measure
Content Marketing Workflow

Strategy


  • Research: What topics do I want to cover and why?

  • Target Audience – who am I trying to reach, and what do they need? 

  • Goals – What are my organizational goals, goals of the campaign, and goals of this content? 

  • Formats & Channels – Where will this content appear (and why), what will it look like (why is that?)


Then, I like to bring it altogether in a statement, which I can easily reference when needed. The content marketing strategy formula looks like this:


For {this} campaign, we are directing content toward {this audience} , who is on {this channel} , for {this reason}. Our overall goal is to {campaign goal}, and this aligns with {content goal} . This campaign will focus on {content type} to reach our audience on {this channel}

Plan & organize


Planning and getting (and staying) organized are crucial to my life, but so is any content project. If you don't start solid, you won't wait solid. Your (and my) best bet is to use a calendar to plan and execute your content marketing. 


I also advise putting a naming protocol in place for your files and calendar, as documents and other materials can quickly pile up to create a mess. My graphics naming protocol is as follows:


Organization name | Date | Campaign | Item

The fields I like to use on my calendars include: 

  • title

  • topic

  • subtopic

  • caption

  • cta

  • draft?

  • reviewed?

  • scheduled?

  • published?

  • URL

  • image.


Content Creation


Now, it's on to the fun part.


For this step, I sit down with my iPad, glance at my plan, and sketch and brainstorm. This works for me, but you may need something else. 


I consider my goals and what I need to achieve, but I try to give over to being creative. However, I would avoid getting lost in what you want your creative to look like or say without referencing (and then referencing again) what your audience needs to hear. Create from the perspective of their needs or what will resonate with them. Otherwise, it's a waste.


Before you hit publish, be sure to check the following:

  • Spelling and grammar

  • Links you want to include (and test in preview)

  • A final read-through (I like to read aloud, but you do you)


Promote


What good is creating optimized content if no one knows about it? Promote the heck out of it on your other marketing channels, push links in your email newsletter, and shout it from the rooftops.Why? Good content is good but found content is excellent.


Measure

All of this is for naught if you need help understanding whether it works. It may work, but *it may need some tweaking. Nevertheless, you'll only know by measuring. 

  • Determine the essential metrics to your strategy, and be willing to flex your plan to reach your goals. 

  • I include metrics as a sheet in my calendar (Airtable, by the way), so I have all my information with a mouse click.


There you have it - my comprehensive content marketing workflow that can help your small business thrive online. By following these actionable steps, you can effectively strategize, plan, produce, measure, and promote your content. Remember, consistency and adaptability are key to achieving long-term success. 



 

Want a shortcut? Grab this template to streamline your efforts online FREE Content Workflow Template


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