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Follow our 7 easy steps for an engaging (and super productive!) content creation workshop.
If you’ve been a content marketer long, you know that it’s not a job for the faint of heart! Creating and distributing useful, interesting, entertaining and relevant content at a continuous pace can start to feel overwhelming at times.
Sometimes, your creativity feels drained. Other times, there’s a bottleneck in your processes or content creation takes a backseat to other priorities.
But, you probably also know that content creation really can’t afford to wait. Afterall, content marketing brings in 3x as many leads as other traditional marketing methods. And companies that publish content frequently capture much higher traffic than those who post only a few times a month.
The good news is, you can curb these uninspired feelings and get over your content hump with a little system refresh!
Enter the content creation workshop.
What is a content creation workshop?
If you’re envisioning a group of talented little elves sitting around creating great content, that’s not what we’re talking about here (although that’s basically what we do at Scribly).
The type of content creation workshop we’re going to discuss in this blog is one you hold with your in-house content team. The goal is to design a system that will enable your team members to create high-quality and effective content on a deadline.
A content creation workshop helps achieve three main goals:
- It gets all of your key-stakeholders and team members on the same page about strategy, business goals and objectives, and their role in the success of your content.
- Enhances participation among your team members leading to more (and better) ideas for content.
- Creates an efficient path for the whole team to follow to facilitate smoother content creation and distribution.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to run your own content creation workshop, and how to make it engaging enough to really work:
Step 1: Make a plan
The first step to setting up your content creation workshop is to get some buy-in from your leadership. You’re likely going to be using a few hours of your entire team’s time for this. So, you want to make sure you can fully explain why this process is so important and how it’s going to benefit the company.
Once you’ve gotten the green light, you’ll want to create your guest list. Most likely, you’ll want to include anyone who is involved in the content process from start to finish. This includes the distributors of your content like your social media and PR teams as well as product experts.
ProTip: If you can, we suggest inviting your sales and customer service teams as well. Oftentimes, the best content ideas come from the teams who interact with your customers on a daily basis.
Send a detailed and time-stamped itinerary to all your participants. In the itinerary, be sure to emphasize why you’re running the workshop and what you’re hoping to achieve. If there’s anything for your team to prepare in advance, include that as well.
Here’s what to include in the itinerary (and your next steps for running the workshop):
Step 2: Brainstorm content for each phase of your customer journey
Starting your workshop with a brainstorming session will help to get everyone engaged from the get-go.
To have a slightly more organized brainstorming session, choose a category for each idea as it relates to the customer’s journey. For example, is this information they’d likely engage with during the research phase or right before purchase?
Don’t forget to consider what type of content you’ll create from the ideas you chose.
For example, would any of your ideas make a cool video for your website? Or whitepaper? Or blog? Mark that alongside your content ideas.
Then, take all of your best ideas from each phase of your customer journey and organize them into a timeline or calendar. (Your timeline can be dependent on your individual industry or business and your team’s bandwidth).
Feel like you have a great list of content for the next 6-12 months? Great! The next step is a little more involved — mapping exactly how you’re going to accomplish it.
Step 3: Outline processes
For this step, you’ll need to visually map out the full lifecycle for each of the types of content you’ll create.
For example: How do you begin creating a video? Probably with a script. How do your blogs form? Probably with an outline. Use your whiteboard or display to map the entire process of content creation from conception to distribution to reuse.
It will help to have this clearly laid out for the next step...
Step 4: Solidify your distribution plan
It’s time to talk distribution. Afterall, if you don’t have any goals around getting your content completely finished and distributed, there’s really no strategy at all.
For this, you’ll want to focus on how you can get the most ROI out of each piece of content. If you have data from past content performance on different channels, apply that here! If not, consider your customer personas and data about each different type of channel you use.
Would one of your blog ideas be better as a guest blog on a partner site? Would your educational video be great on social media or should it be included in a newsletter? Could you turn that blog into a podcast or mention some influencers and ask for a share?
Give each piece of content a clearly defined distribution plan including:
- What phase of the customer journey you’re targeting
- Which channels it will be used for
- Potential plans for reuse
Step 5: Assign responsibilities and set deadlines
For this step, you need to look holistically at the content ideas you’ve chosen and the phases of creation and distribution, and assign responsibilities to your team members. This should be an inclusive and engaged exercise. Getting your team involved in this process will help facilitate a feeling of ownership for their roles. (It’s especially helpful to make sure everyone is able to leave with copies of the overall plan!)
ProTip: Don’t forget to assign (or take on the role of) project manager. It can be easy for people to get swept up in their day-to-day tasks; so assigning someone who can ensure everything is staying on track is pivotal for success.
Then— and this is maybe the most important part of the entire workshop— work with your team to set deadlines for their responsibilities!
When you’re assigning deadlines, don’t forget to consider any hurdles that might throw the plan off track. (For example, the week-long marketing conference that half your team will be attending in Q2, or Mark’s vacation to Bora Bora.) Ask everyone to double check their calendars and address any potential issues with meeting their deadlines.
The better prepared you are when the workshop ends, the better chance you have that everything will run smoothly.
Step 6: Decide how you’re going to measure success
One of the most common metrics to measure in content marketing is website traffic. However, that’s not the only KPI that can tell you how well your content is performing.
Decide how your team wants to measure success. It could be impressions, engagement, new followers, increased leads, or an increased customer lifetime value. You can either set a KPI for each piece of content, for each type of campaign, or for your quarter as a whole.
Don’t overlook this step! KPI’s are not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to content marketing. Knowing if your content is achieving the goals you want it to achieve is how you truly measure success.
Step 7: Get to work!
The only thing left is to get down to business! It’s amazing how quickly and efficiently content creation can be when everyone has a very clear picture of what they need to do, when they need to do it, and most importantly, why.
The time you spend on a content creation workshop can save you countless hours in the actual process of producing and getting your content in front of your audience. That means a higher ROI for you, and a greater sense of accomplishment for your team.
We’re rooting for you!
If you still need a little help in getting more great content out the door, get in touch with our content creation experts at Scribly.