One of the biggest bottlenecks in launching a marketing campaign is the review and approval process. Late approvals mean that content doesn’t go out on time, affecting the entire timeline of a campaign. This issue is something many marketers face, with one in five Content Marketing World attendees revealing that tangled review and approval processes regularly delayed their projects by over a week.
To help solve this, we put together a guide to help you review and approve content more efficiently. With these strategies, you’ll be prepared to submit constructive feedback and feel confident in your ability to determine whether a piece of content will perform well.
1. Set expectations
To ensure you’re satisfied with an article, it’s important to set expectations with the writer or marketing team you’re working with at the start. Always be sure to clarify who you want to target, what message you want to communicate, and what you’re hoping to achieve through the article. It’s also important to communicate specifics, such as the word count you want to reach and the number of images you want in the article.
2. Focus on the big picture
Rather than getting hung up on spelling and grammar mistakes, you should focus on the overall message of the article. Spelling and grammar are easy to fix, but changing the main message or theme of an article will require an entire rewrite. It’s unlikely that your audience is analyzing the article and reading it from start to finish, so keep that in mind when you’re editing and providing feedback. An article doesn’t need to be perfect, but it does need to provide value.
3. Ask yourself questions
When reviewing an article, it helps to ask yourself questions. Here’s a list of some important ones to guide your reviewal process:
Does this article address my audience’s pain point? Or, more importantly, does it address the pain point that your product/service provides a solution to? The best way to grab your audience’s attention is by addressing a common struggle they face.
Does it offer a solution or actionable advice? This question is to make sure that you’re providing your reader with value. If you begin with a problem, you should follow up with a solution that helps your audience whether it’s expert advice or a product/service.
Does it connect back to my company’s value and mission? Every piece of content posted on your site should support the promotion of your product/service. Because of this, each article should always reiterate your company’s value offer and mission.
Does the information provide match my audience’s depth of knowledge on this topic? If your audience is well-versed in a topic, your article should demonstrate a similar knowledge. You want to be sure the article isn’t too high-level or low-level that it doesn’t feel relevant to your audience.
Does it contain a keyword I want to rank for? Keywords are important because they help attract views to your site. Each piece of content created for your site should be focused around a specific keyword. If the keyword isn’t obvious, you likely aren’t following the best practices for SEO.
4. Look for flow & coherence
Every article should flow, or move smoothly from one topic to the next. This is accomplished by including transition words and using connecting ideas. It also helps to include subheadings that organize the sections of your article and signal a change in topic. In addition, taking complex ideas and making them easy-to-understand is the mark of a good article. You’ll want to determine whether an article possesses this type of coherence by reading it aloud and listening for whether everything makes sense and sounds consistent.
5. Check sources
Every article needs sources in order to be factual and credible. Any claim made in an article should be backed by data or statistics. This is what separates you as a trusted source. The article should include information from leading publications in your industry. In addition, it’s a good idea to conduct regular interviews with subject matter experts so you can ensure you’re up-to-date on the latest trends and innovations in your industry. In addition to outside sources, your article should include relevant internal links to your site.
6. Pay attention to CTAs
At the end of the article, you want to inspire your reader to take action. For this reason, it’s important to include CTAs. However, this doesn’t mean you should just drop in a random CTA that doesn’t make sense. For example, if your article is titled “10 Ways to Make the Most of Your HubSpot Investment,” your CTA could be something like “contact us today for a free HubSpot audit.” Another important thing to note is that you can include multiple CTAs throughout your article to drive traffic to other resources or articles on your site.
To learn more about reviewing and approving content, reach out to us! We’re here to help!