A Badly Executed Approval Process Can Destroy Your Content and Results

content marketing approval processAs many of you know, we are big fans of Marcus Sheridan at The Sales Lion. I recently read one of his blog posts that struck a chord. It talks about the concept that too many editors and a poorly executed approval process can kill your content.

We definitely agree.

The point of a content marketing strategy is to deliver value-added content to your prospects. And, we’ve developed a content development template to allow writers to stay focused on the goal of the post.

However, In general, we find that the editors in the content approval process have their own agenda which usually starts to morph the content into a PR-friendly, sales pitch instead of content that is useful to prospects and customers.

In addition, we find that the delays caused by an extended approval process sabotages the momentum and makes a content piece that should be turned around and published in a week take almost a month to get out the door.

I think the best point Sheridan makes is about TRUST.

Trust in your content marketing strategy.

Trust in your content manager.

Trust in your content writers.

Trust in the process that is a long-term commitment in relationship building.

Trust that results will come with commitment and strong execution.

So, let’s hear directly from Marcus Sheridan in his blog post, The Content Marketing Approval Process: Why Too Many Editors Kill Great Content.

Read it now below.

This article is going to be short and sweet, because full analysis is would be overkill. But here is the deal:

Too many editors (approval stops) will kill good content.

Really, it’s true, just ask Thomas Jefferson.

Here at The Sales Lion, we’ve worked with a lot of companies over the years to help them produce great content. Because of our unique model of coaching and training (as opposed to writing the content ourselves), we’ve seen just about any type of content marketing editorial process you could imagine.

And although there certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all model of getting content approved and “publish ready” within an organization, one element of the editorial process remains incredibly consistent:

Too many editors (approvals) ruins a great culture of content marketing.


Here are just a few reasons to name a few:

  1. The more editors a piece of content has, the more it starts to sound not like the author, but rather the editors. This kills author morale.
  2. The goal of a content editor (ideally) is to make content publish-ready by ensuring its messaging is strong, grammar is correct, and facts are accurate. Essentially, great content marketing editors are looking for reasons to praise and publish, not pick apart and tear down. The more people involved in the approval process, the less likely each will share this type of mindset.
  3. The more editors that are involved in the process, the more time the content “sits on a desk”. At The Sales Lion, our philosophy is that if a content editor generally takes longer than 36 hours to return/approve a piece of content to the author/content team, they either need to be replaced by someone more timely or their priorities need to be shifted. Delays in approval kill momentum, morale, and content efficacy.
  4. One person, almost always, can do the job. Having multiple people approve a piece of content only shows a lack of trust and confidence in the team, and wastes company resources and time in the process.

Too many times over the years I’ve seen companies start off their content marketing efforts with a bang. Team and staff are energized. The content manager is in place. The editorial calendar is ready to go.

But then slow approvals ruin the whole thing.

If you’re in the process of doing or starting content marketing, don’t allow this to happen.

Speed is an underrated part of content marketing success.

Find editors that can quickly verify the facts, make necessary changes, and look for reasons to give the thumbs up.

By so doing, the team will be more excited. They will be more inclined to engage in the process. And positive results will certainly follow.