content marketing process

We Interviewed 4 Successful Content Marketers For Their Content Marketing Process: Lessons from the Best in the Biz

Ideas are free and unlimited.

But, it doesn’t really matter what the next brilliant idea is. What matters most is how we execute it.

How can we define a good execution?

Here’s a short but straight to the point definition from Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan’s book, “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done:”

“Execution is a systematic way of exposing reality and acting on it.”

To execute, you don’t just act — you act according to plan. If not, expect everything to turn into a mess.

The same goes for making great content online. Before content marketers transform ideas into high-quality posts that bring in actual ROI, everything should go through a unique content marketing process. There are also content marketing tools used to save time and improve productivity, and standards to follow in identifying effective content.

However, despite content marketing teams following workflows, some still face challenges:

Since we’re all curious about how the best ones out there create great content, here we’ve interviewed four of the best content marketers today:

  • Kim Moutsos, VP of Editorial at the Content Marketing Institute;
  • Susan Moeller, Senior Marketing Manager at BuzzSumo;
  • Amanda Todorovich, Senior Director of Content Marketing at Cleveland Clinic;
  • and Michael Pozdnev, Founder of I Wanna Be a Blogger.

So, how do they do it? Read on to find out.

[email protected] interviewed four #contentmarketers for the Write Blog, and they shared amazing tips with us. 🔥 Featuring @MPozdnev @kmoutsos from @CMIContent @amandatodo and @SusanCMoeller from @BuzzSumo Click To Tweet

content marketing process guide

We Interviewed 4 Successful Content Marketers For Their Content Marketing Process: Lessons from the Best in the Biz

content marketers process interview

Kim Moutsos, VP of Editorial at the Content Marketing Institute

Tell us about your team’s content marketing process. What happens in each process?
“We always start with the audience in mind: What new topics do our readers need to know more about? What evergreen topics are they always hungry for information about?

We review what we’ve already published on those topics to see if there’s anything we can refresh or expand or whether we need a new piece.

Finally, we consider what’s going on in our own organization, whether that’s the release of new research or an upcoming conference that we might want to create awareness about. But our audience’s information needs are a priority.”

In this entire process, what’s the most important step/detail for you that’s often overlooked by other content marketers?
“Checking for existing content that can be refreshed or repurposed. Starting from a proven foundation means a good chunk of the work is already done.

For us, this means anything from updating an existing article, turning a great conference session into a blog post, combining examples from many different posts into a roundup or ebook, to turning research stats into an infographic, and so on.”

What are your most recommended content marketing tools?
“Every team has to pick the tools that make the most sense for their strategy, team, and needs.

Since we’re a small but distributed team, we rely on our editorial tracker/calendar, which is a shared Google spreadsheet that’s evolved over several years, plus shared storage for files. And, of course, everyone needs analytics tools.”

Share your secrets with us. How do you come up with the most brilliant content ideas?

“I work with really creative people, so collaborating with them generally helps the seed of any idea blossom.

Stepping away from the computer and venturing out into the real world, whether for a work-related event or just a walk in the fresh air, almost always opens my thinking to new possibilities.”

What makes high-quality content truly high-quality for you?

“Of course, high-quality content is well written, researched, and meets an information need. But those are just the basics.

If it’s really a quality piece, it provokes a response in the reader. It drives them to do some action, whether that’s to try a tip or suggestion in their own work, to challenge or agree with us in the comments, to share an article with colleagues, to subscribe to one of our newsletters, or consider coming to one of our events.”

'If it's really a quality piece, it provokes a response in the reader. It drives them to do some action, whether that's to try a tip or suggestion in their own work...' - @kmoutsos on #highqualitycontent Click To Tweet

Kim Moutsos

Kim Moutsos is Content Marketing Institute’s vice president of editorial. She is a 20-year veteran of online and print publishing, specializing in creating business and technology content. Follow Kim on Twitter @kmoutsos.

Susan Moeller, Senior Marketing Manager at BuzzSumo

In this entire process, what’s the most important step/detail for you that’s often overlooked by other content marketers?

“Collaborating with others. Our content performs best when we have a partner involved from the beginning. It can be time-consuming to create something with a partner, but the benefits in distribution are significant.”

What are your most recommended content marketing tools?

“I use BuzzSumo for ideation, and I use SEMRush for keyword analysis. I also rely heavily on Google Analytics.”

Share your secrets with us. How do you come up with the most brilliant content ideas?

“Thinking and talking!

Content ideation is a bit like making soup. I have a lot of things simmering away somewhere at the back of my mind. Then, I’ll have a conversation with someone who serves as a prompt to reach into the pot and pull out a tidbit or two.

Further discussion will help me to decide if the idea is a juicy bit of chicken or just stringy celery.”

What makes high-quality content truly high-quality for you?

“Trusting the source. As a content consumer, I am very aware of the source of the content I consume. If I don’t see the source as trustworthy, I don’t value the content very highly.”

'Trusting the source. As a content consumer, I am very aware of the source of the content I consume. If I don't see the source as trustworthy, I don't value the content very highly.' - @SusanCMoeller on #highqualitycontent Click To Tweet

Susan Moeller BuzzSumo

Susan Moeller works as the senior marketing manager at BuzzSumo. She’s also the co-founder of “Women in Content Marketing” Facebook Group, creator of BuzzSumo Academy, and coordinator BuzzSumo Expert Webinar Series. Follow Susan on Twitter @SusanCMoeller.

Amanda Todorovich, Senior Director of Content Marketing at Cleveland Clinic

Tell us about your team’s content marketing process. What happens in each process?

“Our process starts each morning with a daily team huddle. We gather and discuss what’s going on in the news/world that will impact what’s relevant to our audiences. We review traffic data and important performance notes from the day before — what happened on various social channels, what might’ve performed poorly, what is happening with our podcasts and Facebook Live events. We look at what content is approved and ready for publishing to ensure our publishing calendars (blog content, social channel schedules, newsletter content) is still on point relative to our discussions.

When we create content, our writers interview medical experts across our organization and those experts must approve the content before we publish. Our design team works on image selection, infographic designs, Instagram stories, and email newsletter layout as it relates to our editorial calendar and story topics.

There are team leaders for each area (social, editorial, design, email, project management, etc.) and they huddle with their teams first, and then they participate in a roll-up huddle with each other and me. This ensures we’re all on the same page for the day and can address/discuss any issues or opportunities.”

In this entire process, what’s the most important step/detail for you that’s often overlooked by other content marketers?

“We look at our numbers every day and adjust accordingly in the moment to ensure we hit monthly, quarterly and annual goals.

Our growth has been a result of continuous improvement and a large collection of small optimizations. There is significant collaboration across various teams, and we come together every day to identify those opportunities.”

What are your most recommended content marketing tools?

“No software or ‘tool’ is more important than personal interaction, collaboration and relationships. That said, we wouldn’t survive without Google docs — simple.”

No software or 'tool' is more important than personal interaction, collaboration and relationships. - @amandatodo #hearhear #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

Share your secrets with us. How do you come up with the most brilliant content ideas?

“Our best ideas come from personal discussions and collaboratively reviewing data just like how we check our own site performance. We look for what the people in the world are searching for, what questions are people asking and turning to the internet for, or ask each other for answers.

That’s the sweet spot — when we can credibly offer those answers and get the feedback that we’ve ‘read the mind’ of our users.”

What makes high-quality content truly high-quality for you?

“Trusted sources providing the answers users seek. Expert information that is displayed simply and beautifully on a mobile device.”

'Trusted sources providing the answers users seek. Expert information that is displayed simply and beautifully on a mobile device.' - @amandatodo on #highqualitycontent Click To Tweet

Amanda Todorovich

Amanda Todorovich is the director of content marketing at Cleveland Clinic where she successfully established its blog as the #1 most-visited hospital blog from 0 to more than 6 MILLION sessions per month. She’s named 2016 Content Marketer of the Year by the Content Marketing Institute, member of Marketo’s 2018 inaugural Fearless 50, and a finalist for 2017 Boldest Healthcare Brand Marketer. Follow Amanda on Twitter @amandatodo.

Michael Pozdnev, Founder of I Wanna Be a Blogger

Tell us about your personal content marketing process. What happens in each process?

“1. Research.

Every new research I begin with my knowledge, experience or intuition.

This stage takes the most time. I am looking for topics that have great search potential, and I use both the SEO tools and the questions of my subscribers.

On one of the thank-you pages, I use the Google form to collect problems, questions, and reasons that led my readers to me. At the moment, this page has brought me 887 responses.

I always ask myself the question: Can I be on the first page of Google? I am analyzing the power of competitors, their strategy to attract links.

Then I dive deep into the study of competitors on the chosen topic to create better content.

Next, I try to find the words and phrases that users use on this topic. These are not just keywords. Common words that they use when describing their problems. It is necessary to speak the same language as my reader.

2. Who or what can help me amplify my content?

In some niches, such as online marketing, it is impossible to create content that will be successful without the help of other experts or friends.

I make this list:
– My online colleagues.
– Experts on this topic.
– Personal bloggers who left comments on this topic.

These people help me create more valuable and in-depth content. I link out to their blog posts or conduct short interviews.

3. Writing.

It starts with an outline. Sometimes my blog posts are so big that the plan is drawn up on stickers. But most often it is Google Docs.

It consists of subtopics in a tree form, keywords, common phrases from real people.

When I write, I divide the screen into two parts. In one I am writing, and in the second before my eyes this plan with clues.

4. Editing. Proofreading.

At this stage, I create images, while trying to use at least one image per hundred words, and format the text.

Since I am not a native speaker, I always turn to a good editor.

5. Promotion.

Since I have already prepared in advance, and I have a list of people who helped me create content or whom I mentioned, this stage does not take me much time.

But I try to tell everyone practically at the same time to create a possible wave of virality.

Of course, I send the link to the content to my subscribers and share it on my social media.
In this entire process, what’s the most important step/detail for you that’s often overlooked by other content marketers?
“Most content marketers create content alone. Without friends.

Many use influencers, but experts will not waste their time on leaving a comment for example. They will not remember you when he or she writes a new article, does not add links, and so on.

I believe in ordinary people, not stars. Therefore, I strive to make friends and help these people in advance.

Once I realized that my friends are content marketers who leave comments. They are active. They love to help.

I think it was thanks to the friendship that each of my posts received hundreds of comments and thousands of social shares.”

What are your most recommended content marketing tools?

“Keywords Everywhere, MozBar, KWFinder, Ahrefs, Grammarly, Quuu Promote”

Share your secret with us. How do you come up with the most brilliant content ideas?

“Perhaps my secret is that I rely on in-depth data analysis. Analysis of not only the problems and questions but also the feelings and emotions of the reader. I try to identify the key points in his/her journey.”

What makes high-quality content truly high-quality for you?

“Details. Most content answers the question WHAT, and very little HOW.

And those who share the details always win the reader and Google love.”

'Details. Most content answers the question WHAT, and very little HOW. And those who share the details always win the reader and Google love.' - @MPozdnev on #highqualitycontent Click To Tweet

Michael Pozdnev

Michael Pozdnev is the founder of “I Wanna Be a Blogger,” a place where he teaches blogging newbies how to start a blog from scratch, and shares his SEO blogging tricks and blogging success stories. Follow Michael on Twitter @MPozdnev.

The Main Lesson? Every Content Marketing Process Is Unique — and So Is Yours

If you haven’t noticed it yet, all these best content marketers have their own specific content marketing processes.

Some processes require constant team collaboration right from the start, while others can start building their own content alone by thorough data research. Others like to use a bunch of tools, while for others, document sharing is already enough.

What these experts have shared should bring inspiration. But take note that what works for them, may not work for you.

This is why it’s important to be patient in understanding what content marketing process is best for you and your team. To do this, you can start by trying generic workflow templates for email marketers, social media managers, and other content marketers. Or you can even start with something as simple as using these three basic steps:

  • Ideation: Creating content ideas that fit your topic area(s) and content goals.
  • Creation: Writing, editing, adding images, optimizing content, etc.
  • Preparation: Scheduling, distributing, and promoting content.

You can use the three key steps as the main pillars of your content marketing process. It’s all up to you to figure out the rest of the key processes under each step. The more detailed, the better.

We hope these lessons from the best content marketers have inspired you to find your ideal content marketing process. But then, if certain steps are impossible to do without spending more time, money, and energy; don’t ever hesitate to ask for help and delegate tasks to people you can trust.

44 replies
  1. Space Planners
    Space Planners says:

    Its a lovely post about content marketing I would like to share this post because its very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing such kind of nice information with us. Keep sharing.

    Reply
    • Khanyi M.
      Khanyi M. says:

      Glad you found the post interesting! Thanks for reading! – Khanyi, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Khanyi M.
      Khanyi M. says:

      Thank you! Hope you learned a lot that you can apply to your content marketing! – Khanyi, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  2. shiva tiwari
    shiva tiwari says:

    You can use the three key steps as the main pillars of your content marketing process. It’s all up to you to figure out the rest of the key processes under each step. its grate sir

    Reply
    • Khanyi M.
      Khanyi M. says:

      Good to know that you gained something valuable from the post. That’s what Express Writers always aims to achieve! – Khanyi, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  3. Globizz
    Globizz says:

    Thank you so much for this great resource. I can truly imagine how much time and effort of yours must be there in this guide. You are truly remarkable.

    Reply
  4. Kak Rasyid
    Kak Rasyid says:

    As long as making writing composition on my site .. I have done what Kim Moutsos said.

    I start writing from what the audience needs. So, each piece of writing is well targetting to them ..

    I usually use the google LSI keywords to predict they need .. Then start writing ..

    Anyway, thank for this article ..
    I found new additional knowledge about composing writing ..

    Regard

    Reply
    • Khanyi M.
      Khanyi M. says:

      It’s definitely important to know and understand your audience’s needs before writing a blog post. Good to know you picked up a few useful tips from this post! – Khanyi, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  5. Roslia Satamaria
    Roslia Satamaria says:

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with us.
    Felt Great by reading your post and also gained some great and useful information.
    Thank You So Much !!

    Reply
    • Khanyi M.
      Khanyi M. says:

      Go ahead and follow your dreams, Kailash! Nothing should stop you! – Khanyi, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  6. Ray
    Ray says:

    Creating and writing content is not enough anymore, considering how tough the competition has become. Our content has to reach the right audience at the right time. That’s where content marketing comes in. I used to ignore content marketing and hoped to magically get good traffic and interaction with my content. I was wrong. But I’ve learned it the hard way. This is one such article which tells why you need to pay attention to content marketing and how you can do it.

    Great post indeed. Thank You.

    Reply
    • Khanyi M.
      Khanyi M. says:

      Hey, Ray!
      You’re absolutely right. Unfortunately, we sometimes get a little carried away with trying to create great content and forget all about how it’s also important to market it. Finding a good balance between the two is extremely important. – Khanyi, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply

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