Content production is usually the last stage of a content strategy process. Once you have defined the content needs of your audience, the business objectives, the right tone, and the content governance process, it’s time to start actually producing the content. The first step is to use all the information you gathered to build a content plan that can guide you through the execution of the content strategy. In order to produce a solid content plan, you need to involve several team members and stakeholders, so you can gather input from subject matter experts, agree on the production and publishing process, clarify responsibilities, and get approval and support from key stakeholders. The most efficient way to manage that process is through a content planning workshop. These kind of activities are a useful hands-on way to gather all the key stakeholders together and develop a useful content plan for the quarter, semester or for the rest of the year. Follow these steps to conduct a content planning workshop that helps your organization come up with a flexible but comprehensive plan to help you develop content that meets your user needs and accomplishes your business objectives.
1. Think ahead of the content plan workshopThis is a useful tip for every kind of workshop that you run, but it’s worth remembering it here. First, make sure you get buy-in and attendance confirmation from all key individuals:
- leaders or managers from whom you need buy-in
- team members involved in writing and developing the content
- people involved in distributing and promoting the content
- your SEO team or specialist
- team members from marketing or branding
- subject matter experts
- people from engineering or developers.
- How many breaks and the duration
- Punctuality when coming back from any break
- No use of phones or computers to check email.
2. Build a content developing processThe first stage of the workshop will be to collaborate in the creation of the content development process. Depending on what you want to create, the production process will look different and involve different people. So start by defining what you want to create: Is it blog posts? Support documentation? A sales chatbot? Now it’s time to work in groups and see what steps you need to follow to go from a brief that defines what you want to achieve and how it supports your objectives and meets the user needs, to a fully realized product that’s published and maintained by your team. Divide the attendants into several groups, depending on the group size, and map a production process, with all the necessary steps. An example of a content production process for a blog post could be:
- Subject brief with target keywords for SEO and the reason why this blog post is necessary. What user needs and business objectives it supports
- Interview with the subject matter expert to gather the necessary input to provide a useful view of the subject
- First content draft
- Review and editing process from other content producers and the SEO team
- Second content draft
- Comments and approval from management and legal, if necessary.
- Final draft
- Maintenance: after a while, the content may be in need of an update or it may need to be merged or deleted.