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How To Build a Content Creation Framework (and Why You Need One)

How To Build a Content Creation Framework (and Why You Need One)
How To Build a Content Creation Framework (and Why You Need One)
13:57

Creating content for your blog, website, lead magnets, and so on takes a lot of time and effort. If you don’t plan ahead and keep it all organized, the content creation process can quickly become a hot mess (think: miscommunication, missed opportunities, and frustrated staff). 

But if you’re organized and on top of things, all that work can lead to big results.

Quick story:

In December of 2023, one of our blogs went wild, giving us more than a 1,000% increase in website visits! Seriously…one day that blog alone had more than 12,000 views! It was crazy.

So how did that happen, you ask? (Thanks for asking, BTW.) 

One of the main reasons we saw this spike in engagement was because we’d been keeping track of our blogs’ effectiveness and the topics that seemed to resonate best with our clients. We noticed that a blog we’d written the previous December had been doing really well, so we decided to update it to boost its effectiveness even more. We made a plan, did the updates, scheduled it to post at a time we knew it would be most effective…and voila! Crazy amounts of engagement. 

This just goes to show how important it is to plan out your content creation. 

If you’ve been struggling to get a handle on your content marketing process, building a content creation framework will make a world of difference. A content creation framework is an efficient, effective system that helps ensure you’re creating pieces that are timely and relevant…and that you don’t pull your hair out in the process!

Let’s dig into what a content creation framework entails, what you’ll need to put one together, and how to do it. Are you ready?

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What Is a Content Creation Framework, and Why Do You Need One?

A content creation framework is a structure that keeps your processes for creating, publishing, and promoting content organized. It helps ensure your whole team is on board and knows what they’re responsible for and when it needs to be completed. 

This type of structure helps you stay organized while also maintaining the flexibility you need to cultivate creative ideas in a scalable way. It can make your content creation process much more smooth, effective, and rewarding.

Here’s how it works:

First, you’ll create a content calendar that covers the next one to three months. You want to do this at least a month before you want those content pieces done so everyone involved has plenty of time to complete their work. In this calendar, you’ll keep track of details like: publish date and time; due date; who’s responsible for creating, editing, publishing, and promoting the content; title and/or description of the content; the products or services it highlights…and so on. 

Then, as you go through the process of creating, reviewing, and publishing each piece of content, you’ll keep track of those details in the spreadsheet. And as inevitable changes happen, you’ll adjust your spreadsheet accordingly.

It’s a pretty simple concept, really.

Will a framework like this cause all your content to see the kind of jump in engagement we saw with our blog? Probably not. But having a plan does make that more likely (and without a plan, you DEFINITELY won’t see the results you want!).

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Resources You’ll Need To Build Your Framework

While building a content creation framework isn’t complicated, there are a few tools you’ll need and roles you’ll need to cover to make yours a success.

Tools

First, you’ll need some kind of content organizational system. This is the place where you’ll create, edit, and store your digital content. Google Drive, Dropbox, or your website CMS (Content Management System) are all great options. 

Next, to actually publish your content, you’ll need a website. While you can certainly link back to this content from your social media platforms (more to come on that), you’ll need a home base for blog posts, lead magnets, and more. We’re big fans of HubSpot here at the Fig, but WordPress is also another great option for website hosting (both of which can also act as your CMS).

You’ll also need some planning and communication tools to ensure your team can exchange notes, see updates, and keep track of responsibilities and assignments. This can be as simple as creating a spreadsheet in Google Drive for tracking updates and using a platform like Slack for communication. Or, you can opt for one of the many work management platforms on the market.

Finally, you’ll need analytics tools to help you understand the impact your content has on your business and identify areas for improvement. Your website will most likely have some analytics built into it, as do the various social media platforms. Google Analytics is a solid choice as well. 

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Roles

In addition to these tools, you’ll also need people to cover the following roles:

Strategy. First, you’ll need someone to create your content plan and ensure it meets your company’s needs and objectives. This person will also analyze metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your content and make changes to the content plan accordingly. This role is typically filled by a Content Marketing Manager or Content Marketing Strategist.

Writing. Next, you’ll need someone who can write and edit your content. The writer (or writers) you hire don’t necessarily have to be experts in your industry or the topic at hand. They’ll simply do research and talk with experts in and outside of your organization, then write content using that information. This role is usually filled by a Content Writer.

Editing. Once the copy is written, an editor will ensure the content aligns with your brand, addresses your audience’s needs, and meets your goals (as well as adjusting grammar and punctuation). This role can be filled by a professional editor or simply someone on your team with an eye for detail and a penchant for grammar.

Design. Next, a Graphic Designer will put the written copy into a format that will appeal to your readers. A good designer knows how to grab readers’ attention, keep them on the page, and make sure the content flows in a way that makes it easy for the eye to scan.

Promotion. Finally, you need someone who can create and implement a strategic promotion plan to get your content in front of readers. This person will use social media, email, and other outlets to distribute your content to the masses. They’ll also analyze the results of each campaign and make adjustments to the plan moving forward. This role is generally filled by a Social Media Coordinator. 

Depending on the makeup of your current team, their time constraints, and your budget, you may be able to fill these roles in-house. Otherwise, any or all of these roles can be effectively filled by outsourcing them (we might know a guy 😉).

Additionally, you may have one team member per role, or one person may fill multiple roles. Just make sure there’s more than one set of eyes on each piece of content you create.

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Building a Content Creation Framework in 7 Steps

Once you have your team assembled and your tools in place, you’re ready to build your content creation framework!

1. Brainstorm Content 

The first step of any strategic plan is always brainstorming. In this case, your task is to come up with the content topics and ideas that will fill up your content framework.

Think about creating content that:

  • Answers frequently asked sales questions
  • Communicates important industry knowledge 
  • Educates your audience on hot topics in your industry
  • Highlights the products you sell or services you offer
  • Addresses each stage of the buyer’s journey

Need help revving up your idea engine? We recently wrote a blog on ways to generate creative blog ideas for your business, many of which could apply to other types of content as well (email newsletters, lead magnets, etc). Or check out the HubSpot Blog Topic Generator.

2. Make a Plan 

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Next, decide what you’ll focus on for the next month or quarter, and lay out your content plan accordingly. Think about the goals you’re trying to reach and use those goals to determine what content you’ll create. 

You could choose to focus on topics related to one of your services for the entire month or quarter; or try to include pieces of content that highlight each of your services. And don’t forget to add in content that supports any promotions, events, and other company initiatives you have coming up. 

Ultimately, what you decide to focus on is up to you — just make sure you schedule it out.

Once you lay out the content pieces you’ll need to reach your goals and when you want each piece completed, you'll have a better handle on the resources required to make it all happen.

3. Build a Workflow

Once you have a plan, it’s time to break down the content creation process into a workflow. 

No matter what kind of content you’re making, there are several components involved in putting it together. Your workflow should include the sequence of steps needed to take a piece of content from initial creation to publication, along with who is responsible for each step and when each component is due. 

For example, if you’re creating a blog post, your workflow may include: outline completed, first draft completed, editing completed, design and formatting completed, final draft completed, published, and promotion completed.

While this may seem extremely granular (especially if you’re working with a very small team), laying out each step like this will make your process scalable so that as you grow, you’ll have a clearly defined workflow to use.

4. Create a Process for Reviewing and Editing

Once you have a written draft of your content, you’ll need to have a system for reviewing and editing the content to ensure it is accurate, well-written, and aligned with your brand voice and personality. This involves copy edits as well as formatting and SEO work.

Now is the time to set guidelines around your editing process. Here are a few tips:

  • Clearly define roles and set expectations so everyone involved understands how they are contributing — whether they’re reviewing the overall focus and structure, checking grammar and making copy edits, optimizing for SEO, fact-checking, wordsmithing, and so on.
  • Stick to a timeline. If you’ve ever written or edited content, you know the editing can go on forever if you don’t set limits! Make sure your reviewer knows when their work is due.
  • Refer to a style guide to keep your content consistent and in line with your brand. A style guide lays out rules for grammar, punctuation, formatting, and design. You can either follow an existing style guide or create your own. 
  • Track edits. Rather than having the reviewer make edits to the copy directly, have them either add notes in a different color or attach comments with their suggested changes. That way, your writers can easily see the changes and know how to adjust moving forward. Note: If you’re using Google Docs, the “suggested edits” feature makes this easy!

5. Develop a Publishing and Promotion Strategy

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After the reviewing and editing process, you’re finally ready to publish and promote your new content. As with every other step of the content creation process, this requires a plan.

Lay out a strategy for when and where each piece will be published, how it will be promoted, and who is responsible for those tasks. 

In most cases, you’ll publish the piece to your website or blog. Then, you’ll share it on all your social media channels, in your email newsletter, and perhaps on a banner on your website. Essentially, publish your piece, then promote the heck out of it!

Promotion is key because that’s how you’ll get eyes on your piece of content. Make a plan delineating how you’ll promote your content and where, as well as who will be responsible for each channel.

Dig deeper: Learn why you need a unique marketing strategy for each social media platform here

6. Keep It Organized

Once your content is completed and published, you need an organizational method that will allow you to find the content again in the future. 

Why is it important to be able to find your content again? Well, because a solid content strategy includes reusing and repurposing existing content. For example, the content in a blog post could be used to create an infographic, a video, a series of social media posts, an e-newsletter, a chapter in an e-book, and so on. 

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Exciting, right?

To keep your content organized, we recommend storing it in a centralized location like Google Drive, Dropbox, or a CMS. Create a clear, simple system for naming and organizing files and folders so they are easy to find.

7. Analyze Your Results

Finally, you’ll need a way to analyze the results of each piece of content. This will show you what content your audience most engages with…and what they don’t seem to be interested in. You’ll need a method to track key metrics like website visits, page views, link clicks, and conversions to determine what kind of effect your content is having.

Tracking these details will give you helpful information you can use to build a more effective content strategy going forward.

As we mentioned before, both your website and most social media platforms will have built-in analysis tools. But it’s not a bad idea to also use a tool like Google Analytics to get even more information.

 

If building a content creation framework sounds like a lot of work you’d rather not do…we get it! (TBH, that’s why we’re here.) The Wild Fig Team can take it on for you, from developing your content strategy to writing, editing, publishing, and promoting your content. If that sounds like heaven to you, schedule a free exploratory call today to learn more!

Exploratory Call Kari

 

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