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Establishing a rapid and efficient content development workflow

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Ultimately, a smooth content development workflow that can tackle the full breadth of services (production, scheduling, distribution, etc.) at the right speed will not only appease your audience, but it will fulfill you, your team and the brand.

The customer journey is ever-changing, requiring the customer experience to evolve in tandem. In order for that to happen successfully and in lock-step, your digital ecosystem needs to have a content development workflow that can scale and adapt faster than ever—one that transcends complexity in order to deliver a personalized and consistent experience that’s true to your brand narrative.

Fast and furious
Content programs can become chaotic and complex without a well-defined workflow. Absent of the right review and approval processes, confusion about ownership and deliverables at any stage can cause disruption, which can quickly result in frustration for the team. This can become even more complicated for programs that rely on freelancers and other media contributors, who may not be as involved in day-to-day operations. Inflexible, slow systems also compromise the customer experience, but if speed trumps quality, the content will fall flat and won’t resonate with your audience.

To avoid this, digital teams must create environments that can efficiently manage the content creation process and generate meaningful output without having to overcome workflow hurdles. And today, with most (if not all) of the workforce being remote, an efficient process for assigning owners, sharing feedback and publishing new content becomes even more important.

When all the pieces come together to build a successful, consistent and reliable content development workflow, other elements essential for success will fall in line.

The basics
Before you hit the ground running, it’s essential to account for each step in the publishing workflow to ensure there are no bumps in the road as you push forward your vision.

There are three basic steps your content management program needs to consider first, before thinking about where speed and efficiency will be applied:

  • Assign: First, the content process requires editorial teams to assign owners to content so that their operation functions like a true digital newsroom.
  • Create: Teams then have to create or upload items into the content platform. Content type can span articles, blog posts, images, videos, files and more.
  • Publish: A reviewer then opens an editor’s original item, makes changes as necessary, and publishes it. 

Of course, publishing can require more than one iteration, depending on the complexity of the workflow. If revisions are needed, the item is returned to the editor to update accordingly. It’s important to be cognizant of the domino effect that multiple review cycles and slow approvals can cause for the entire program. A busy gatekeeper, for example, can delay approvals and make a piece of content obsolete before it’s even published if it's related to current events or news. However, with the right tools in place, these hiccups can be avoided.

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Inside Brightspot: Workflows overview

Accelerate with Brightspot
Brightspot helps to create content development workflows that tackle the challenges associated with rapid content management and creation, allowing users to get the job done more quickly and efficiently, while also ensuring that the brand’s image stays consistent and true to form.

With Brightspot, there are a number of ways to pick up the pace:

  • Easy assignments for clear roles and responsibilities: One way to coordinate and track everyone’s efforts to produce a successful series of items at the right speed is through Brightspot’s Assignment Desk, which takes out any guesswork or confusion around who is producing and owning what, ultimately allowing the team to move quickly and efficiently.
  • Out-of-the-box (OOTB) components: Brightspot’s unique data framework approach tees users up for rapid iteration with OOTB components and content models that are relevant to more than 25 use cases, so users can quickly transform and adopt new components for their program.
  • Seamless creation: With Brightspot’s Media Desk, a custom front-end and artificial intelligence solution with a powerful search engine, users can easily find and track digital assets when they need them. This makes finding, editing, creating and reusing content quick and easy.  
  • Scale: Once the right workflow with the right cadence is established, it's time to think about what’s next. The Brightspot platform is designed to grow as content businesses grow—it scales as you scale.

What does this look like in action? L.A. Times’ journalists needed a CMS that increased publishing efficiency and saved time and money throughout the publication process. The system also needed to provide visitors to their website, latimes.com, a cleaner, more user-friendly design and improved navigation to make it easier to locate desired content, provide faster page-load times and deliver an optimized mobile experience. With a new CMS, powered by Brightspot, L.A. Times editors gained visibility across the newsroom with the Assignment Desk tool, empowering teams to better plan and execute publishing schedules and help tactically manage employees and freelancers in the field. Media Desk also allows users to now find, edit and create content—including photos and videos—easier than ever before. The Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper now has an industry-leading platform that prioritizes readers while also supporting the needs of its journalists and editors.

With the right process and program in place, it’s easy to deliver on and exceed expectations both internally and externally. Your team will be able to quickly create and promote a positive image for the brand, increase visibility and exposure and drive the narrative forward. Meanwhile, customers will receive the personalized experience they’re expecting, with content easily accessible in an array of mediums and across a variety of devices—from mobile apps, websites and smart devices to social media, podcasts and video.

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