12 November 2019

Content Planning and Workflow Tips to Avoid Bottlenecks

Working with an external content writer can be an efficient and cost-effective method for helping your B2B SaaS company produce on-target marketing content. But to create a successful working relationship with your writer, you need to do some content planning and workflow strategizing to avoid bottlenecks.

Content planning and workflow strategizing is key to avoiding bottlenecks in the development of your SaaS marketing content. Why? It facilitates smooth communication, ensures everyone’s on the same page, and puts plans and processes in place to keep high-quality, relevant content flowing. 

How to handle content planning and workflow strategizing

Effective content planning and workflow strategizing involve preparing your external content writer for success before the writing even begins. It also means creating a clear revisions process so everyone knows what to expect.

Here’s how to create an effective workflow with your external content writer:

Agree on your process and deadlines upfront 

To get off on the right foot with your external content writer, talk about your content creation process clearly. Creating shared documentation of your SaaS content planning process gives writers an easy reference point throughout production, and helps them stay on track in their workflow. A shared editorial calendar can also help you and your content writer meet deadlines for first and second drafts, revisions and final edits.

Provide your content writer with a brief

Before any writing begins, be sure to give your external content writer a writer’s brief that helps explain your expectations and goals for the piece. A writer’s brief will also describe stylistic elements, your target audience and other details that might be helpful to the writer. 

A good writer’s brief will allow you to remain hands off in the writing process, helping your external content writer quickly execute on your vision with minimal hand-holding. 

Ask for an outline before the writing begins

Ask your content writer for an outline of the content before they begin writing the piece. SaaS marketing collateral can be long and complex—creating an outline will help ensure that the content writer doesn’t spend too much time writing in the wrong direction. Once you approve the outline, they can dive into the piece confidently, knowing that they’re on track with your vision.

Streamline the revisions process

The initial writing process may have gone smoothly, but revisions are another thing altogether. Edits can become messy (and time-consuming) quickly if you don’t have a process and deadline properly established. 

It’s always a good idea to agree on who will be involved in the revision process upfront. Who within your company will be reviewing the content, and at what stage? What kind of feedback do you need each reviewer to provide? Is it purely an accuracy review, or are you looking for feedback on the story flow, sentence structure and grammar as well?

To streamline the revision process, communicate expectations to your team, as well as your content writer, about how you and your colleagues will be providing edits, and when to expect them. You might choose to work from one shared document, such as a Google doc, or you may hand the piece of content back and forth as different versions. 

Resolve bottlenecks in content planning

Bottlenecks are usually the culprit of missed deadlines or projects that stretch on for much longer than anticipated. When one party is backed up, key steps in the B2B SaaS writing process are put on hold—and everyone falls behind.

More often than not, bottlenecks occur on your end. Remember that the writing process will require your time and participation to communicate vision, make edits, and approve the final piece. 

If you find yourself unable to meet your own deadlines, you may want to consider delegating some of your tasks to other team members. A good example of this is to have a junior member of your team drive the review and approval process from a project management standpoint. Something else you may want to consider is re-organizing the publishing schedule to meet a more realistic publishing date for your SaaS marketing collateral. 

A professional B2B SaaS content writer won’t have a bottleneck on their end. They’ll flag any issues as soon as they arise, offer solutions, work within your schedule and provide regular updates. If your writer is not doing this, you may want to consider finding a new writer. Check out our team of B2B SaaS content writers.

Next step?

You’ve developed a content and workflow plan to ensure you avoid bottlenecks in content creation. Now it’s time to craft a content creation brief for your SaaS writer so they can hit a home run with their first project.

This is the seventh post in a 10-part series on how to find and work successfully with your next B2B SaaS writer.

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Emily Amos
Emily Amos

As the founder of Uplift Content, Emily leads teams in creating done-for-you case studies, ebooks and white papers for high-growth SaaS companies. Check out her bio.

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