The effectiveness of content marketing in attracting and engaging an audience has sparked an unprecedented demand for… well, content, such as infographics, whitepapers, tip sheets, email newsletters, online video, and so forth.
Marketers are now constantly trying to find the best types and mixes of content to develop and publish. What is getting lost in all this is one very important question marketing departments need to ask themselves: “How are we going to collaborate to get all this content delivered on time while ensuring quality?”
We had a fantastic chat with TopRank Marketing's Lee Odden, in which he brought up a simple point that cannot be overstated: “If the content doesn’t get out the door, everybody loses. Production, review, and approval processes need to work well in order to deliver quality, on-time content.”
In other words, that shiny new infodoodle or home-run newsletter you just drafted still has to go through a review process with multiple stakeholders before it even sees the light of day. It is an often-overlooked process that some marketers don’t even realize is hindering their content development strategies.
Consider the amount of time required to email a PDF attachment to each stakeholder; have each try to mark it up with comments in a reply; gather and make sense of the comments; send the PDF back to the designer; revise the content; and do the whole thing again---for just one piece of content. Now, multiply that across all other content in your pipeline (including traditional marketing content, such as print ads), and you have a splitting management headache that sucks away time and effort better spent on more productive priorities.
Hours are sunk; projects delayed; the audience doesn’t get the content it wants; you lose decision-making influence. “Everybody loses,” indeed.
The good news is that a handful of cloud-based technologies exist to take email out of managing review and approval, or proofing, and streamline the process to get content out the door quicker.
Here are three reasons to consider online proofing in your marketing operations over email-based processes.
1. Faster approval cycles lead to 56%* faster time to market
Online proofing reduces the time of each review cycle and reduces the number of revisions required to secure approval. Plus, online proofing makes organizing approval of multiple pieces within a single campaign easier. As a result, content is delivered on schedule. Some marketers have increased their speed to market by 90%.
2. Online proofing reduces revisions by an average of 29%* during review cycles
Email makes it difficult to tie reviewer’s comments to visuals in a draft. This prevents real-time collaboration and generates far more revisions (and their associated costs) than necessary. To remove this bottleneck, an online proofing system keeps comments and feedback centrally organized and visible with fewer revisions to manage.
3. Online proofing reduces management effort by an average of 59%*
Ask your marketing team how much time they spend churning through review cycle after review cycle. With email, the hours and effort to stay on top of every comment and detail is time that could be better spent on more productive activities. With online proofing, management effort is dramatically reduced because users spend less time chasing reviewers, collating feedback, and resolving condlicting feedback.
Mat Atkinson is the founder and CEO of ProofHQ, an online proofing solution for marketing teams of any size in any industry that need to deliver marketing projects faster and more efficiently.
*Data comes from an independent survey of ProofHQ customers conducted by Intellilink, a consulting firm specializing in marketing process re-engineering.