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Speed Up Your Marketing Review and Approval Process

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Graphic showing content approval process

Is your content approval process taking too long?

It’s a common issue at many businesses.

Materials often take so long to get rubber stamped, they’re irrelevant by the time you are able to release and distribute them.

Lengthy review cycles are a huge issue because there’s so much good timely content available and no one has the time, interest, or energy to check out stuff that’s dated.

Here are some of our top tips for getting content approved quickly.

Tips for Getting Content Approved Faster

Create Unique Approval Processes for Different Types of Content

Most companies produce both evergreen and timely materials.

Develop a “normal” approval process for evergreen things and an accelerated one for timely content. It will help reviewers know which pieces need immediate attention and keep them from feeling like they’re constantly under fire.

Transform Already Approved Evergreen Content into Timely Materials

Stakeholders are more likely to okay things that they’re familiar with. That’s why it’s a good idea to put a timely twist on an already approved evergreen concept. Reviewers will likely put less scrutiny on pieces based on ideas they’re already comfortable with.

You’re asking for trouble if you try to stretch your company’s brand, legal tolerance, messaging style, or compliance standards in a time-sensitive piece. It’s better to push the limits on materials with longer-term development timelines.

Set Up a SWOT Team

If you have multiple reviewers available to you in different departments (for example, brand, editing, legal, product development), select an experienced person and back-up from each to act as your fast-track approval team. They’ll always be aware of what’s expected from them time-wise, so you won’t have to set expectations each time you submit a piece for review.

Automate Your Approval Process

If you’re still using email, spreadsheets, and forms to expedite your approvals, move to a project management or approval software solution. It will help you more clearly document information about the pieces, set review rules, and automatically move materials from one reviewer to the next. The right solution will even alert you to issues and backups so you can resolve them quickly.

Add an Expedited Review Cycle

Did you develop your content review process for evergreen materials? If so, it’s probably as detailed and thorough as possible because errors in pieces distributed to many people for a long time could cause serious brand, reputational, or legal harm. Figure out if the same is true for all or some of your timely content. Ask yourself: Are there reviewers or steps that could be left off when time-sensitive content is checked over? Or maybe you could work with your reviewers on some rules that would give certain pieces a pass. It’s time to get creative and think out of the box!

Keep in Touch

Schedule a regular meeting with your expedited review team. Alert them about what’s coming their way. Offer a sneak peek of upcoming projects. Give them a chance to express any concerns they may have. It will help avert issues before they happen.

Make It Okay to Not Comment

Many reviewers feel they have to comment or raise a concern every time they look over a piece to prove their worth. Explain to them that this isn’t the case. If a piece is okay, make it clear that they CAN approve it and say nothing. Unnecessary queries and concerns can seriously slow down a review cycle.

Develop a Separate “Mini” Review Process for Revisions

If a piece needs to be revised after it’s reviewed, do all your reviewers need to recheck the content or just those who had objections? Figuring this out could trim a lot of time off your reviews.

Keep Optimizing Your Process

When you come up with an expedited review process that works for you, keep trying to improve it. Over time, you may find ways to get certain types of content (videos versus social posts) or materials that will be distributed through different channels (email versus blog) looked over faster while improving review accuracy.

Leveraging some — or all — of these tips could reduce your content review time from days or weeks to hours. You owe it to yourself and your business to see if it could help you produce more timely content that people in your target audience will want to engage with.

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