iBrand Blog

The new content marketing workflow

I was thinking it, but Keith said it.

Tucked away in Hubspot’s latest ebook, Creating a Content Machine, is this quote from Keith Frankel.

“Most content creators view the creative process as : 1 Write the copy, and 2. Throw in visuals to match. In reality there should be no distinction. The relationship between text and visual elements is not sequential in nature. It is one of interdependence.”
- Keith Frankel, creative and design expert

Keith is right. If you’re like most content marketers, your workflow for creating a new post goes something like this:

Strategic

  • Select a business goal or strategy
  • Decide on the post idea

Tactical

  • Create a magnetic headline
  • Outline the main points
  • Write & edit your draft
  • Find a picture that works
  • Publish that puppy

I’m sure you have your own version of the main elements, but the core process should sound familiar. That workflow likely made sense at some point, but social media continues to change the way we engage, consume and share information, Now, it’s time for a new approach.

Why the new workflow?

The old workflow treated your images and illustrations like an afterthought. You completed the story and grabbed the images that fit. That’s not an effective strategy.

As content marketing evolves, your images play a more important role. They can, and should, become a strategic part of your content marketing strategy, process, and execution.

Images are the new headline

For many of your readers, your images will determine whether they click on your post. SEO can return your site high in the search results, but it won’t make readers want to click. Great images can.

Great images also give your reader an easy way to share your content. If you’ve tried to pin a blog post to Pinterest, you know that it requires a large image. Facebook and Google + see images the same way. If you have a large, compelling photo, it is easier to share and more inviting to read.

If images can carry that kind of power, should you really treat them as an afterthought?

For better results, treat your photos with the same care that you treat your headline. Many writers will spend just as long on a good headline as their copy. If you are creating an effective headline, you aren’t just slapping down cute words that fit, you are taking time to select just the right words. 

In the new workflow, make your big idea the most effective combination of photos, headline and copy. 

Here is a different workflow

Strategic

  • Business goal or strategy
  • What’s the big idea
  • How will you tell the story?
  • How will you illustrate it?

Tactical

  • Create your headline 
  • Outline your main points
  • Write and edit your draft
  • Add your illustration
  • Publish that puppy

Here’s the difference. The images are now part of the decision process when you are formulating your big idea. Decide how you express that idea in words and images that complement each other before beginning to write.

Lynford MortonComment