The amount of preparation done for a post and the superb coordination of their team members taught us a lot on improving our own process. Meeting their high expectations are quite tough, but we are truly honored to have the opportunity to learn from among the best in the business!Since CoSchedule itself is a marketing collaboration software that takes the form of an editorial calendar, I guess it makes sense that you'd like to know how our process actually works. I can tell you from experience that the CoSchedule tool is different than normal collaboration software because it's designed by marketers to help marketers do what they do better than ever.
How CoSchedule Creates Better Content With Marketing Collaboration SoftwareClick To Tweet
- Plan less content that creates bigger results.
- Use our own tool to collaborate super efficiently.
- Developed a process that helped us generate 852,506 page views and 7,375 email subscribers just last month.
1. Start By Scheduling A Content Planning MeetingEven for a tech company, it's nice to get together as a team to collaborate on solving a problem in person. For us, this is one of the best ways for the entire team to come up with creative ideas that will help us reach our 10x growth goals. You see, as the content marketing lead, it would be easy for me to come up with every content marketing idea all by myself and tell the team to execute them. But there is a lot more value when the team develops those ideas because they take ownership in the entire blog's success—not just their own content.
Build a culture focused on growth. #blogging #teamworkClick To Tweet
- I know the kinds of content we publish that produce big results. So a content planning meeting is a way for me to teach the team about those details so they incorporate them into their own ideas and content creation.
- Every person on the team comes to the table with diverse backgrounds and ideas. This exercise is a great way to sift through everyone's thoughts equally while evaluating every idea according to our audience's preferences. That helps us choose to create really good content while consistently reminding our team of who our audience is and what they expect from CoSchedule content.
- It's a fun exercise that gets all of us up and away from our computer screens for a bit while connecting with each other. And when you have fun while you work, it feels less like work and more like something you love to do.
The 20-Minute Brainstorm FrenzySome say there's nothing worse than group brainstorming if you're looking for innovative ideas. Then again, brainstorming by yourself will only give you ideas limited to your own background.
- Give everyone on the team a stack of Post-It notes.
- Ask everyone to write down as many thoughts as they can without holding anything back.
- Set a timer for 20 minutes (I often use my phone for this).
The 40-Minute Grading ProcessBy this point, we probably have close to—if not more than—100 or so ideas. The truth? We wouldn't publish 90% of them because they're just not quite right for our audience. And that's just fine because it's during this grading process that the team chooses which content to publish and which ideas to toss.
Allow your team to choose which #contentideas to publish and which to toss. #contentmarketingClick To Tweet
Is this a topic our readers would be deeply interested in learning more about? How similar is this to our other top content?
- An idea is a 3 if we answer definitively, yes, this is something our audience would find uniquely valuable that is better than anything else they could find on the Internet for this topic.
- An idea is a 2 if the idea doesn't fit the qualification of a 3.
- An idea is a 1 if it's not something we think our audience would look to us to publish. It could still be a good guest post idea.
2. Add That Content To Your Editorial CalendarWhere the planning meeting sets the collaborative tone, the editorial calendar in CoSchedule is where the software helps us actually plan and create the content as a team.
The planning meeting sets the tone and the editorial calendar helps you plan content #bloggingClick To Tweet
3. Define Your Content ProcessOur content development process is ever-changing, and we just gave it a major overhaul recently to:
- Add a couple more tasks into our process to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
- Clearly define what done means for each task to keep everyone accountable for their responsibilities.
- Track how soon we should start working through blog posts to hit every deadline, every time.
What are all the steps we need to do to publish a blog post?We brainstormed all of the steps, then simply put them in chronological order the best that we could to help us know what to do from beginning to end. One collaboration software tool we use all the time as a team is Evernote because no matter where anyone is—or if they're online or offline—they have access to the information they need to do their work. And, it just so happens, Evernote integrates really nicely into CoSchedule. Anyway, this is what that process looked like as we worked through it in its rough format using Evernote: Here's a rough look at our first pass at the steps we needed to do to write and publish our content. From there, we had enough information to understand which steps we could group together into a cleaner, condensed workflow. And when we did that, it was easy to understand who on the team would be the best fit to complete those tasks according to their individual interests and skills. We refined the steps in the workflow and created notes in Evernote to define what done means for each task. The only thing left to do was to define when we should complete each task to work far enough ahead to nail every deadline and assign it. This simple exercise gave us exactly what we needed to build the task template we manage using CoSchedule for all new blog posts we write. It gave us a solid definition of what to do for each task. Before anyone who is accountable for a task marks it as complete in CoSchedule, they would first ask themselves if they truly completed the task according to the definition of done. Assign tasks and due dates to everyone on your team with task templates in CoSchedule. Now we know to start writing our blog posts a month before they publish to make sure we have several posts 100% ready to publish on the calendar at any time. We know content that is complete and published is white, and we can see which content is complete by not yet published because it's yellow and labeled 100% ready to rock. Since we've done this, we pay more attention to the details that make a difference toward our goals, everyone understands their roles to know exactly what to do, and we work more efficiently while producing better content.
4. Create The Content According To Your WorkflowI'll be the first to say that our workflow—or the task template we built in CoSchedule—looked magical. If we could seriously create content that way with every task checked off on time and in that specific order, we'd be crushing it. But that wasn't always the case. Especially as we got started with the new process because we had to take a little time to learn.
- CoSchedule emails you the day before you have a task due on the calendar and you can see a dashboard of the tasks you're responsible for completing today and into the future. So everyone knows what they need to do.
- When you get into the office in the morning and you see that the person before you hasn't gotten through their work, you can chat with them about the game plan for the day to get back on track.
- You can communicate with everyone who has a task assigned to them in a specific piece of content right in CoSchedule with a comment. That way, everyone can see the progress the team is making on the project.
- When you can move on to complete your task—even if the task one step before isn't quite done—you can still do that and check it off your to-do list.
- Help your team moderate themselves more than you intervening into their process. The more they define the process, the more they'll stick to it.
- Don't expect perfection because it's unachievable. Demand excellence and make that the expectation.
- When you set an expectation, make it a standard and stick to it. The second your team sees your standards are flexible is the moment those are just guidelines.
What Do You Want In Your Marketing Collaboration Software?I like to joke a lot that I'm a content marketer who uses content marketing to market a content marketing tool. While that's funny, it's absolutely true. And I wouldn't be able to love what I do if I didn't believe the team behind CoSchedule tries harder than anyone else to give marketers like us exactly what we need to boost our efficiency. Naturally, the content marketing team at CoSchedule gravitates toward an editorial calendar as our preferred marketing collaboration software. CoSchedule as a tool helps us collaborate, communicate, create, and promote our content super efficiently.
- Get more organized than ever: With a little thought into your blog publishing schedule, workflow, and social media promotion, CoSchedule will help you shave hours off your to-do list.
- Find time to create more effective content: You tell us a lot that you're too busy to even find time to create content. Let CoSchedule manage the mechanics behind team collaboration and social media promotion so you can use that time to create even better content.
- Manage a happier marketing team: Forget endless emails, miscommunication, and missed steps in your workflow. CoSchedule is a marketing tool designed by marketers to eliminate the inefficiencies that hold you back from publishing awesome content.
#CoSchedule is a marketing tool designed by #marketers to help you publish awesome #content.Click To Tweet