Marketing Guides

Process Drafting

4. Process Drafting

Process drafting means planning the creation, publication, and promotion of your content.

Since you have all of your other ideas worked out, it's time to set up a rough schedule of how you'd like the whole process to work.

For the sake of consistency, we'll take a look at the seven major content formats that we discussed in Section 2.

  1. Article pages
  2. Blog posts
  3. Infographics
  4. Downloads
  5. Podcasts
  6. Videos
  7. Interactives

We'll start with articles.

1. Article page process

Article pages are probably the most affordable form of content. They require minimal space on website, and they can attract customers for years after you publish them.

Many businesses create article pages with static HTML. That lets other team members access the pages, modify them as needed, and keep each article page up-to-date.

Process Drafting Articles

The creation process for an article page is simple once you've worked out a topic, especially when compared with more complex content formats.

  1. Explain article's topic
  2. Write for thoroughness
  3. Add multimedia (optional)
  4. Code with HTML
  5. Publish on site
  6. Promote (optional)

Total time: 30 minutes to one day, depending on creator's experience.

Easy enough, right?

2. Blog post process

Publishing blog posts is a great way for you to show that your business is on the cutting edge of your industry.

Process Drafting Blogs

You can write about anything from company updates to major industry news.

Better yet, blog posts are the only format with a faster process time than article pages once you have a topic. 

  1. Explain blog's topic
  2. Write for thoroughness
  3. Add multimedia
  4. Publish to site via CMS (like WordPress)
  5. Promote (optional)

Total time: 30 minutes to two hours, depending on creator's experience.

A robust blog is important to any business's website, so it's important to update yours on a regular basis.

With such a short production process, you can even work ahead to knock out two or three blogs in one day.

3. Infographic process

Infographics are arguably the best way to show data visualization. They're also ideal for linkbuilding, brand awareness, and a whole range of other applications.

But infographics are far more involved than articles and blog posts, and an infographic alone isn't enough to rank on search engines.

Process Drafting Infographics

When you plan an infographic, you have to research and lay out all of the data that will go on your final product. Then, you need to write text to accompany the infographic.

Text is important because search engines can't actually see images — they can only see an image's file name and alt tag.

So no matter how thorough your infographic is, search engines can't see it. To compensate, you need a lot of explanatory text — just like a blog post — to really succeed.

The process for creating an infographic (after determining a topic) looks something like this:

  1. Outline infographic (note all sources)
  2. Create wireframe
  3. Send outline and wireframe to designer
  4. Write text while designer works
  5. Receive draft and edit
  6. Send edits to designer
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to satisfaction
  8. Publish infographic via static HTML or blog CMS
  9. Promote via email outreach (optional)
  10. Promote via social media (optional)
  11. Promote via paid ads (optional)

Total time: One to four weeks.

The key to a successful infographic lies in points 5 and 6. Editing your final product to perfection is crucial to its reception online.

If someone doesn't like the way your infographic looks, they won't look at it for long. That'll destroy your chances of achieving your goal, whether that's linkbuilding, awareness, or any other objective.

4. Download process

Downloads are gated content that you keep on your site to provide high-quality information in exchange for a qualified lead's contact information.

Process Drafting Downloads

Downloads are sometimes called "gated content" because someone must provide their information to get what they want, which acts like a digital entryway.

This format is excellent for extensive reports, case studies, or providing in-depth information on topics related to your industry.

It also segues perfectly with email marketing since you can earn email addresses in exchange for gated content.

This is an ideal format for 10,000+ word content. With a download — usually in the format of a PDF — you can write to your heart's content about any topic without worrying about bounce rates, exit page rates, time on page, and other SEO metrics.

Instead, you concentrate on earning email addresses so you can turn more leads into paying customers.

The process for a download looks something like this:

  1. Outline download
  2. Write for thoroughness
  3. Add multimedia
  4. Send to designer
  5. Receive draft and edit
  6. Send edits to designer
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to satisfaction
  8. Host file on website servers
  9. Create HTML summary page to link to download
  10. Add form fields to summary page to get contact information
  11. Allow downloads once information is received
  12. Organize contact information into email marketing lists
  13. Promote (optional)

Total time: Three days to two weeks.

Downloads are complex because they're so niche-oriented. They're ideal for specific topics, but that means only a few people may actually download them.

Still, those few will be highly-qualified leads for your business. Following up with them via email is a cinch.

5. Podcast process

Once you have your podcast fleshed out, your equipment purchased, and your topic ready, you can post it to your site or a distribution network like iTunes.

Process Drafting Podcasts

But there's a big problem with podcasts — they're audio only.

To work around that, you can write accompanying text that goes with your podcast, which could work well.

You could also write out the transcript of the podcast, which would probably work much better.

Podcasts can be tricky when it comes to word count, though. 1000 words usually takes about four or five minutes to say, but if someone speaks quickly, you could have a lot more words in a lot less time.

You can transcribe either manually or automatically.

In general, manual transcription is a bad idea. It takes a lot of time, and it's not 100% accurate.

Instead, you can opt for automatic translation from a service like oTranscribe. You may not get a 100% accurate transcription from this either, but it'll at least be faster.

That means all you have to do is read the finished content, correct any errors, and post it with your podcast.

The entire process looks like this:

  1. Record podcast
  2. Edit podcast audio
  3. Transcribe podcast audio (manually or automatically)
  4. Post podcast with transcription
  5. Add multimedia (optional)
  6. Promote (optional)

Total time: Two days to three weeks

With the right transcription service, you can easily add SEO-rich text to your audio files. That'll help them show up better in search results and earn more downloads. 

6. Video process

Videos are one of the most complex forms of content because they do so much all at one time.

Process Drafting Videos

Plus, like images, search engines can't actually see videos. They rely on file titles, alt tags, and links to tell them a video's details.

That means your videos need accompanying text to really rank well in search engines and provide a top-notch experience.

That also means it's smart to transcribe your video. You can use transcription services to do that as well, since manual transcription is so time-consuming and unreliable.

In general, the video process looks like this:

  1. Obtain talent
  2. Find filming location
  3. Shoot raw footage
  4. Shoot multiple takes
  5. Edit video files
  6. Combine video files
  7. Add extras (images, B-roll, music, text, etc.)
  8. Export final video
  9. Upload video to your site or hosting service
  10. Embed video in appropriate location
  11. Post transcript with video
  12. Add multimedia to transcript (optional)
  13. Promote (optional)

Total time: Three days to six months, depending on video criteria.

Videos may be a big investment compared to other content formats, but they can pay off big if you use them.

7. Interactive process

Arguably, interactives are the most detailed and complex forms of content you could create.

This is the only form of content that isn't simply presentation — it's based on two-way communication between your site and a visitor.

With that in mind, you have to build an interactive from scratch, add text to it, and figure out the easiest way to present it to a user.

Process Drafting Interactives

If you can't, you'll lose a lot of time, money, and potential by investing in a poorly-executed content medium.

The process to creating an interactive varies, and so does the number of people required to complete a project.

But in general, this is what you can expect:

  1. Outline specifications
  2. Creating wireframe
  3. Send to developer
  4. Work with developer on any issues
  5. Send to designer
  6. Work with designer on any issues
  7. View draft
  8. Test draft thoroughly for bugs and completeness
  9. Send report to developer and / or designer
  10. Repeat steps 7 through 9 to satisfaction
  11. Determine best way to post interactive
  12. Write accompanying text
  13. Add multimedia (optional)
  14. Promote (optional)

Total time: One month to two years, depending on specifications.

If you want to use an interactive on your site, make sure you're ready for a long process that'll require a lot of input.

Even if you have a whole team working on one interactive, you'll almost always find bugs or other issues after it's completed.

The keys to successful interactives are patience and diligence. With both of those qualities, you can create some of the best interactives that your industry has ever seen. 

3. Production Budgeting                5. Text Outlining