“Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.”

If you’re waiting for luck to kick in and jump-start your content marketing efforts, think again. Success requires doing. It takes planning and process, and that doesn’t happen overnight.

The Challenge: Not Having Enough Time

If you’re leading a content marketing team, you’re probably looking at a pretty busy schedule. It can be hard to find the time to acquire the right assets to guide your team. But, take it from us, you don’t invest time upfront in developing good systems, you could end up wasting more time on things that could be systematized and automated. In content marketing, a proven process can reduce wasteful time spent on repetitive content, bad editing workflows, and communication on iterations.

Here are three key elements to focus on when building out your content marketing process.

1. Keep Content Assets in a Single Place

Your content needs an operational home. Rather than individual content pieces living in Word document and email inboxes, content should live in a single place, where assets can be shared, updated, and collaborated on with other team members. It should also serve as a library of all your brand’s finished work. This aids in content reuse and repurposing down the road, and serves as a useful internal resource for new employees looking to read the literature published by your brand.

2. Plan Meticulously, But Be Flexible

It’s important to start with an organized workflow for content creation and campaign execution. What are the key steps that need to be taken to plan, produce, and promote content? Map these out with your team, and make sure everyone is aware of their responsibilities within these workflows.

But remember that things are always changing from within. As your organization changes during the course of the year, so will your content. Be sure to keep communication lines open between your team members, so you can quickly adapt to the shifting environment of your workplace and update workflows accordingly. So when your highly anticipated Q2 product release gets moved back to Q3, your content will accurately reflect that.

This enables relevant content and ensures less time spent on redoing or reformatting as your business and content roadmaps evolve.

3. Have a Consistent Style

Your brand identity should look and feel consistent across all platforms and channels. You want your content assets published with a similar tone and cadence. Having a style guide helps with that.

Also, in line with the first point, hosting your assets in a single place allows content teams to create uniform brand image libraries, letterhead, corporate PowerPoints, and sales email templates. Use these resources to build your brand personality.

Finally, Ensure Training and Adoption

But there’s one last step you’ve got to do that’s integral to a successful process: adoption. Did you train your team effectively on your new process? Make sure everyone’s on the same page, and hold a training session to answer any questions and concerns. This will make the transition to your new protocol easier and faster.

Process not only saves your organization time and money, but it leads to more successful content marketing efforts. So stop waiting for that lucky break. Make the up-front investment in process, and your organization will thank you.