Content Supply Chain: Definition, Example Pipeline & Useful Tools




Updated 1/23/2024

Learn what a content supply chain is and how it works, and find an example supply chain. Discover useful tools for creating and visualizing your pipeline.

content supply chain cover - pages and a pipeline

Content production requires effective coordination and project management. Content teams make supply chains (knowingly or not) to facilitate the process.

This article covers the basics of content supply chains and what you need to know, how they work, and useful tools for making one for your team.

What is a Content Supply Chain?

A content supply chain refers to the process and workflow involved in the creation, management, distribution, and preservation of content.

It’s a concept used primarily in digital content production, marketing, and media industries. For example, an online publisher might have many stages, from topic assignments to final publication. Assessing and refining the content supply chain should simplify cross-team efforts and increase efficiency.

How It Works

Here is a typical supply chain for a content team:

  1. Content Ideation: The process starts with brainstorming and conceptualizing ideas for content that aligns with business goals, target audiences, and marketing strategies.
  2. Creation: This involves producing content, including writing articles, creating graphics, recording videos, developing multimedia, etc.
  3. Editing and Approval: Once content is created, it typically goes through several rounds of review and editing to ensure quality and adherence to guidelines. This phase may involve multiple stakeholders, including content creators, editors, and legal teams.
  4. Management: Effective content requires organization. This involves storing, organizing, and tracking content in a way that makes it easily accessible and usable. Content management systems (CMS) are often used in this stage.
  5. Distribution: Publishing and sharing content across various channels. This could be on websites, social media platforms, email newsletters, or any other medium where the target audience can engage with the content.
  6. Optimization: After distributing content, its performance is monitored using metrics like engagement, conversions, etc. Insights gathered from this data are used to optimize existing content and improve future efforts.
  7. Redirection and Archiving: Some content might need to be redirected to newer content or archived for future reference.

The pipeline will be different for every organization. To determine yours, analyze the key stages of your content process. Then, look for ways to streamline efforts and reduce friction.

Useful Tools

While you can design a content pipeline by just writing it out, it’s beneficial to create a simple design to help visualize the workflow. These are popular, simple tools that can help out:

  • Canva: A design suite with many visual tools you can use for free.
  • FigJam: A collaborative tool by Figma that can make simple boards and workflows.
  • Miro: A popular tool for building workflow visuals and board creation

There’s always pen and paper too, but just make sure to take a photo so it’s easy to share digitally. ?

Bottom Line

Understanding the content supply chain helps organizations streamline their content processes, maintain quality and consistency, and ensure that content effectively reaches and engages the intended audience.

A well-managed content supply chain can lead to more efficient operations, cost savings, and improved content ROI. Use project management tools to aid efforts and optimize your supply chain. ?

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