How to manage a clear-cut content strategy (plus some tools to help!)

By Joli Skow | June 2016

Content strategies are inherently messy and we could all use a little help. Let's review some of my tactics and tools that have helped me and clients get content into one manageable place, and to keep the content coming. 
When you've got a group of people with different knowledge bases coming together to create something cohesive, of course there are going to be some hiccups. Heck, even if you're the sole writer, content strategy can get sticky to manage! It all comes down to how you organize it, which, for some people, isn't a strong suit! I'll be the first to admit I've tried several different organizational methods, only to ditch them later.
The fact of the matter is, no matter how cool or perfect an organizational method seems, if I don't have time for it, it's just not going to work. Period.

Here are the basics of what you need to be able to do to manage such a strategy.

  1. Assign content to your team of subject matter experts
  2. Give pieces of content due dates
  3. Chat as a team (or at least one-on-one with your writer) about the content
  4. Have a dedicated process of reviewing your pieces of content
  5. Have a dedicated process for locating assets (such as a feature image)
  6. Create a post-publishing plan
There are so many different tools and ways to make this happen. It's important to find the right one for you and your organization!

A couple tools for content collaboration that I recommend:

With Trello, you can make each piece of content its own card. These "cards" can now be dragged easily to different lists (like an ideas list, an in-progress list, and in-review list, and a published list). Your whole group can make comments on these cards, images and documents can be attached to the cards, and you can even give them a due date.
This is a tool that has worked very well for us at ArcStone! It's quick to learn and easy to use, making it a good fit for many different teams.
CoSchedule is similar to Trello, but it actually lets you connect the app to your website and then create the content right there in CoSchedule! Even without this feature, though, it's great; it's similar to Trello in that you can comment on pieces of content, upload documents and images to them, and give them due dates to see them laid out on a calendar.
What it does that Trello doesn't, though, is connect to your social networks and help you schedule and share all your content. If you're looking at number 6 in my list and thinking "ugh, that's the part I"m not good at," perhaps CoSchedule is the right tool for you!
This wonderful tool is a social media scheduling tool. If you're not using CoSchedule and need a way to work on my number 6, Buffer is an excellent choice for how to share your content on social media. It's free to schedule up to a certain number of posts at a time, and gives you easy analytics on each post so you can see what's getting the most interaction.
I'm using it now for several clients and my personal site, and it works really well!
Post-it Notes
Seriously, this could work! If you have a board somewhere in the office, make lists of post-it notes, each with a different topic on it. Subject matter experts will then take these notes to their desks in a noticeable area, so anyone passing by can say "hey, how's that article coming?" (insert evil laugh here). You don't have an electronic paper trail this way, but in certain kinds of offices, this could work!
I want to hear from you - if you have a clear-cut content strategy that works (or at least putts along), how do you keep it alive? What tools do you use? Tweet me @Jolissa!

Topics: Digital Marketing