Managing Content Marketing Agency Client Notifications and Communications

By: Chris Thompson on September 23, 2013 Categories: Corporate Communications

A pressing need for content marketing agencies is a clear line of communication with their clients. This is particularly important in the realm of approvals for publishing content. While some clients are satisfied with granting their agencies the freedom to take full responsibility for the planning and publishing of their online content, many, especially in the earlier stages of an engagement, are more hesitant to impart such a degree of trust to an agency, and will wish to review and approve each item that will be published in their name.
Failure to regularly engage with clients to review the content marketing strategy that has been devised, explain the content that will be published, the various media that will be used to promote it, and notification of completion of work, can place considerable strain on the client/agency relationship. While some agencies may feel that excessive levels of intrusiveness from a client stunts the creative process and diminishes their input, they need to appreciate the concern and apprehension that a client may experience at the prospect of putting their reputation in the hands of an external organization that is not exposed to the same level of risk. Insufficent interaction can result in conflicts of opinion, unnecessary work being carried out on inappropriate material and loss of revenue for both parties due to misallocated resources.

These issues can be avoided when communications are managed through the visual presentation of an online editorial calendar. Using such a calendar allows the marketing agency to plan out of the content that will be required to implement the content marketing strategy that has been formulated. At this early stage of the process the planned content can then be reviewed in the calendar by the client who can in turn confer their approval on the content items and the timeframe. Then, as each of the individual content items go through the agency’s internal workflow process the client can be informed once they reach the stage of completion that requires client approval prior to their publication.

This approvals process is achieved in Marketing.AI through the setting up of workflow roles and permissions. The software comes with standard roles such as Client, Author, Editor and Manager, each of which are involved at different stages of the content production cycle, and have access to features and capabilities than reflect their roles. Each of theses roles are fully customizable depending on the needs of a specific agency, and new roles can be created and modified right down to each individual user if so required.

Once theses roles have been set-up a content item will go through a workflow similar to this:

  1. A Manager creates a new content item or assigns a previously planned item to an Author.
  2. The Author receives an email notification that they have been assigned the item, with a synopsis and link to said item in the Editorial Calendar.
  3. The Author begins drafting the item, at which point the Manager and any other Follower of the item receive a Notification that a new draft has been saved for that item.
  4. Once the Author has completed the item they click on the Submit for Approval button at the top of the draft editor.
  5. The Manager or Editor then receive a Nofication that the item has been submitted for approval.
  6. The Manager or Editor uses the link provided to view the item at which point they can edit the item and Request Revisions from the Author until they are satisfied that it has reached an appropriate standard.
  7. The completed Item is then submitted for Client Approval whereupon they receive a Notification.
  8. The Client approves the item for publication, triggering a Notification to the Manager.
  9. The Manager uses the link provided in this Notification to navigate to the item, at which point they can either publish the item immediately or schedule it for publication at a later date.

The workflow described above is a representation of a typical example where there are an Author, Manager and Client all involved in the planning, drafting, reviewing and publishing of a content item. This workflow can vary from agency to agency, where additional or less layers of reviewing or approval are required. Marketing.AI can be calibrated and customized to serve the the needs everything from a one-man agency servicing three clients to an international agency with content creators on multiple continents serving the needs of thousands of clients.