content development process

How to Master the Content Development Process in 5 Simple Steps

The content development process is crucial for maintaining your online presence and growing your business. Follow these simple steps to master the process.

Delivering high-quality content in the most competitive, saturated marketplace to date demands more than just clever copy and entertaining visuals. As such, a lot more goes into the content development process than meets the eye—and even more goes into ensuring it generates maximum profitability.

  • Are you looking to implement a steady content development process for better lead generation and a bigger customer base?
  • Are you ready to develop better content that will attract the right people?

Here’s what you need to know to get there.

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What is the Content Development Process?

Content development primarily involves three main processes: production, dissemination, and auditing content.

This typically includes activities such as analyzing the audience, generating ideas, planning, drafting, and revising.

Any business that attempts to venture into the web must have a strong and systematic content development process because this is the backbone of any content strategy.

A content development process benefits a business by drawing attention to new products, extending the company’s digital reach, and building brand awareness which ultimately grows businesses across the board.

With a content development process in place, you can produce specialized content that will target potential customers at different levels throughout the sales funnel. This specialized content enhances the customers’ journey and encourages them to engage and act. It also makes it easier and more convenient for potential customers to navigate your marketing ecosystem.

Content should strive to answer the prospects’ queries at any given stage of your sales funnel, otherwise, prospects may feel misled, which could drive them to seek answers or solutions from a competitor. That’s why the content development process must be backed by data and thoughtfully crafted.

Why a Content Development Process is Essential

Posting requires planning. Without a concrete content strategy in place, the team is more likely to lose sight of company objectives.

A good content strategy helps drive website traffic and facilitates growth for the business. A brand’s image and credibility are highly dependent upon the content you produce, so content creation should be a priority.

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Additional reasons why the content development process is important:

  • Better content scalability. With a well-established process for creating content, you can find and assign funds for the precise material they need at any given moment. This will help you better utilize your resources.
  • Alignment to the business goals. Since the brand’s reputation is at stake, making sure that the content produced aligns with your goals is mission-critical. Having a solid content creation system helps with that.
  • Stronger media coverage. The goal is not just to have millions of growing followers, but to make sure that these followers are engaged with the content and are actually translating to higher sales. Quality content creation bolstered by the right content development process will ensure your followers are engaged and connected where it counts.
  • Higher overall revenue. Quality content that helps your lead is one of the tasks that a content development process targets. Paired with the right analytics, you can expect happy and satisfied customers that can lead to more revenue in the long run.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If a prospective lead is searching for solutions online, having more of that content available to them will increase the brand's visibility and increase the likelihood of a conversion. Thanks to SEO, your material will be easy to find and garner the attention it deserves.
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How to Master the Content Development Process

Creating a content development process can be challenging for those who have little experience in the digital marketing game.

Here are five simple steps that can serve as a springboard for your content development process.

1. Determine Your Content Goals

Ensuring the content aligns with your content goals is the first step of the content development process.

You should have your content goals established early on to assure your team is on the same page and working towards the same goals. Clear direction as you build rather than having to jump ship months into a project is always ideal.

At this stage, you will formulate your ideas for what you want the content to accomplish.

Here are a few questions to help you define your content goals:

  • Who is your target audience? Who will most likely be reading the content?
  • How often do you want to publish your blog content?
  • How do you define your brand voice?
  • What is the goal of your website?
  • Which social channels will your content be promoted on?
  • How can you make potential leads or website visitors feel valued?
  • What problems do you solve for your target audience?
  • Who are your competitors? How can you market similar products differently?

These answers will ultimately paint a clearer picture of what you’re aiming to achieve and who your target buyer persona is, which is the backbone of any successful content development process and content marketing strategy as a whole.

2. Analyze Your Effective Content

Now that you have learned of the importance of matching up your business goals with your content, assessing the alignment of your existing content with your goals is the next step.

Conducting a content audit is a systematic process that analyzes all the published content on the website to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the content strategy. You then use these insights to adjust the content, posting times, and audience as needed.

Content audits are important because it provides an overview of any gaps and underperforming areas that may not be optimized through data-driven insight. Having a clear picture of the situation will allow you to reformulate any areas of inconsistency in your existing content and provide you with an idea of what content to produce next based on prior key performance indicators.

To solidify the brand, it’s also a good idea to remove some areas of interest that are costly and do not help with sales conversion. Pitching fresh ideas to rebrand and engage potential leads helps, as well.

Running a content audit is simple with the following in mind:

  • Goals are everything. Remember your goals because they will help identify if the past contents are efficiently creating the intended image for the brand. It will also serve as a guide for future planning.
  • Check all of the published content. Everything must be thoroughly analyzed and critically assessed for an audit to be accurate.
  • Group it. Categorizing all of the published content will help determine what areas the brand is focused on and what needs to be optimized.
  • Analyze. A content audit tool can be well worth its weight when auditing season comes around. Find the one that works for you and your budget and step into it!
  • Take action. Knowledge is power, but not if you don’t do anything with it.

3. Generate Ideas In Advance

Planning is critical to the content creation stage. Brainstorming ideas in advance to devise long-term, strategic content development will help in maximizing more of your resources. It’s ideal to discuss any topics of interest 30 days prior to your anticipated publishing date. Anticipating potential challenges and responding to them with lightning speed will save you time in the long run.

Getting a headstart on idea generation helps to prepare you for future ventures as well as encourages a culture of proactivity that your team and bottom line will benefit from.

Content marketing ideas can be inspired by your target audience, the customer journey, brand goals, current events, or even a viral trend.

Strive to produce high-quality content that is not only creative but also useful. This may include blog content focused on how-tos, listicles, case studies, ebooks, and whitepapers. Interactive content like videos, polls, and infographics will also help engage your website visitors.

4. Create Content Aligned With Your Strategy

Orienting various freelance writers to present your brand how you envision can become a challenge. It’s especially frustrating when the content produced isn’t aligned with your strategy.

A solution that many companies pursue is to hire a marketing agency to partner with as a cost-effective strategy. Agencies are more equipped to handle diverse client expectations to make content magic happen. And companies appreciate not having to take on the responsibility of training or compensating a full-time employee.

Hiring a marketing agency also saves you the hassle of having to manually check the output from freelance writers' work or respond to ongoing inquiries.

A great strategy to keep your company messaging aligned from one agency or writer to another is to create a brand guide that highlights your company’s goals and content strategy. When you standardize your brand voice with templates and provide this information to your in-house and outsourced staff with your brand guidelines will surely pay off tenfold.

Everyone who has a hand in your content development process—from the first brainstorming session to publishing on your website should have a firm grasp of your tone of voice, brand personality, preferred writing style, and overarching content strategy.

5. Measure Your Content’s Effectiveness

Lastly, it’s important to audit the effectiveness of your new content.

Social media analytics give you a macro and micro picture of the performance of your content. But it’s also important to review the analytics on your website regularly.

However, not all data is created equal.

Here are some of the metrics you should be tracking to determine the success of your content and strategy:

  • Comments
  • Social Shares
  • Traffic
  • Bounce Rate
  • Back Links
  • Unique Visitors
  • New and Returning Users
  • Traffic Sources
  • Conversion Rates

Don’t worry about measuring every single metric. Consider your goals and decide which metrics specifically characterize your goals and how to account for them.

Once you’ve analyzed your collected data, you can begin updating and optimizing your content development process. Creating a content development process is not a static process and not a one size fits all approach.

As your business grows, you will have to continuously assess your published content, measure effectiveness, pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, and then double down on the strengths and reevaluate the weaknesses.

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Partner with WriteForMe to Streamline Your Content Development Process

Designing a content development process that fits the goals and image of a company can be challenging.

It requires ample discussion and due consideration that challenges you. But, doing so will reward you with a crystal clear picture of your company’s vision and purpose.

Still, you need to remember that content strategy is a continuum that calls for an equally perpetual content development process.

You don’t have to go it alone though!

Partners with the content marketing experts at WriteForMe to develop a personalized content marketing strategy that aligns with your specific content needs and company messaging.

We help you quickly establish an editorial calendar to guide your content creation efforts to boost your digital presence across several channels.

Get your fully customized content marketing playbook today to see how we can help your business grow with content.

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Andy Steuer

Andy Steuer

Andy Steuer is the Chief Marketing Officer at WriteForMe. Andy has been CEO, CMO, VP of Product for 8 fast-growing companies in his career. 3 of those companies became Top 10 Internet companies. Content Marketing has always been at the core to differentiate these companies from their competition. You can always schedule a 1 on 1 meeting with Andy by grabbing some time on his calendar here. List articles below that have Andy on the byline on the rest of the page. Here’s my calendar link: » More blog posts by Andy Steuer

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