Background and The Problem
Content Agency Profile:
The agency serves global clientele with thousands of customers in its portfolio. They offer content creation services for websites, blogs, social media and other internal and external publishing channels for companies.
The agency creates and delivers thousands of content pieces to its clients every month. To handle content creation at this scale, they were using both off-the-shelf and custom software to put their process together. Their software stack included the usual suspects plus some custom software – namely Google docs and sheets along with offline documents and sheets, Google Drive and Dropbox, a project management software, email, Slack, Grammarly, Copyscape and a few others. As expected the content process was scattered and fragmented, causing avoidable process errors, inefficiencies, process redundancies and too much time spent on managing the content operations.
This is when they decided to give Narrato Workspace a shot.
How Narrato Workspace transformed their content operations?
Narrato Workspace is an integrated content creation and workflow management software. It is designed to help content teams see through their entire content creation process from start to finish, starting from content ideation and planning to content creation, collaboration and publishing. It is also a great team management software with several flexible user roles and freelance writers’ payment management features.
The content agency started using Narrato Workspace to plan, assign, create and deliver content for all their clients. They reduced their software stack for managing content operations to Narrato Workspace and Slack.
They were kind enough share their workflow with us. Here’s how they run their content operations using Narrato Workspace.
Onboarding new clients and delivering content work
Starting off, the agency moved a few clients and all their internal content team on Narrato. Once they smoothed out the content process for these clients, they added all the rest and started delivering work through Narrato. They mapped one Narrato project to one client, and gave the client team access to the project. The agency always adds clients under the client role to deliver only content ready for review. (Only task statuses “Sent to Client”, “Complete” and “Published” are visible to the clients, unless the task is assigned to a client member.)
Every time a new client is acquired, the agency creates a new project dedicated to the client. They then send the client team invites under the “Client” role and give them the project access. Every project is also assigned a Project Manager from the agency team who is in charge to of content planning, creating tasks and assigning tasks to writers.
The agency’s clients have been very happy with the new organized dashboard, which has positively impacted the content agency’s business. The clients share feedback, request changes and approve work on the platform. This saves both the agency and their clients a ton of time and effort, which originally went in emailing documents or links back and forth.
Organizing Projects and using Guidelines repository and Templates
For each project, the content agency follows a month wise folder system. They then create subfolders based on the content categories or sub-projects they are working on for the client. The content tasks sit in these sub folders.
The agency saves all the reusable project guidelines and assets in the Guidelines repository on Workspace and links them to content tasks as required. Having a single place to go to for all content briefs, guidelines and brand assets, and the ability to link them to multiple tasks has made a big impact. It saves the agency content team time and has cut down on redundant messaging.
The content managers also use content templates extensively to get structured input from their writers. This ensures adherence to project specifications and has reduced unnecessary content errors and reviews.
Assigning content tasks and tracking progress
Before transitioning to Workspace, the agency was assigning work to writers using Slack while project guidelines had to be accessed on their internal dashboard. But with Narrato Workspace, they can now easily assign content creators and editors work on the platform with all guidelines attached to the tasks.
The task workflow statuses and automation has made tracking of content work easier and the process more streamlined. They no longer have to worry about missing files or hunting for them in Dropbox (the software they used earlier for collecting work from writers).
To keep a tab on the progress of projects, the agency uses the project status bar and filters on “All Content” page.
The agency also uses the Content Calendar and Kanban Board for keeping track of recurring projects like blog and social media management.
Creating content with a powerful content editor
The agency’s content creators and managers love the Narrato’s content editor for creating content. It gives great content optimization suggestions and is customizable to any content template. For instance, the agency’s blog tasks uses blog templates, while newsletters and website copy tasks are adapted to other more suitable templates.
The content editor combines the power of Google Docs with Grammarly, and is much loved by their content team. The editor provides content improvement suggestions to the writers about grammar, article structure, and wordiness. These suggestions are proving to be very helpful in improving the quality of content the agency creates. The plagiarism check with the editor helps their quality control team to ensure that each piece of content is original. The collaboration features like commenting in-line, assigning of tasks, tasks’ workflow statuses, guidelines on task, messaging, public content links and more ensure their team is constantly in sync with each other.
With the integrated image search and graphics tools, their content creators are able to consolidate all their work on a single platform.
Overall, the agency has realized significant benefits in terms of reduction in both process and content errors by suing Narrato.
Using content templates for consistency
The content agency often deals with projects that follow a common structure for several of the content pieces. For this, the ability to create templates on Narrato Workspace has given them more control over their work.
They are creating templates for the Projects as needed. Whenever required, they apply these templates to one or many content tasks from the Actions menu on the editor. For instance, they have a general template for blog posts (as shown above), separate templates for social media posts and so on.
They are able to specify the word count or character count for each section of a content piece like the title, the body, the meta description, etc. The agency found that this is giving their writers much more clarity on what is expected from every content piece, reducing back and forth on content.
Collaborating on content
So far the agency had been using tools like Dropbox and Google Docs to share content internally, between their writers and editors. All internal communication related to a particular project was usually happening on Slack alone. There was no common platform where editors could leave comments on the work or content creators could put forward their queries. A lot of back and forth and switching between apps during the content creation process made it inefficient and quite time-consuming.
But with Narrato Workspace, the agency is enjoying much better collaboration between their teams. The in-line commenting, task messaging and task status update features allow editors to leave comments on a content piece for writers. This has consolidated their team and client communication on Narrato, which has brought a lot efficiency to the workflow.
The agency has found collaboration with content partners outside of the Workspace to be convenient as well. For partners who are not on the platform, they can simply send the publicly shareable link to the content and get their inputs.
Publishing content on WordPress sites
The content agency has several blog projects where they need to publish content directly on clients’ WordPress sites. Narrato Workspace has made it easier for them to publish content to WordPress sites directly from the platform with the WordPress publishing integration. They are also able to copy content as HTML from the Workspace editor, which has been useful for website development projects of clients.
Freelance writer management and payments
The content agency works with a number of freelance and part-time writers, and pays them monthly. Earlier this effort was managed using sheets and emails. Now, they use Narrato to manage their freelance writers, accept their jobs for payment and pay their writers on time with payment reports on Narrato. This automation has released a bunch of time and effort that the agency content managers had to invest in managing this accounting.
The transformational impact of Narrato on the content operations
Narrato was a fresh change in the agency’s approach to creating and shipping content, and has been widely appreciated both by their clients and content team. It has brought about the much needed consolidation of their content creation process and improved process visibility and control like never before.
Here are they key benefits that the agency has realized:
- Multiple tools used for content creation, delivery, collaboration and project management are now replaced by and consolidated on a single platform
- Speed and efficiency of creating and shipping content has improved drastically
- Almost 80% reduction in process and content errors has been observed
- Content quality has improved noticeably – they measure it as a function of revision requests and client retention
- Client and team interactions are consolidated, more traceable and much simplified
Narrato WorkSpace for Content Agencies
If you are a content agency and are looking for such transformational results, get in touch with us. We also offer personalized onboarding and consultation at no cost. Find out more about Narrato Workspace here.