remote content creation

3 Ways to Streamline Remote Content Creation

The strengths of remote working have been clearly established since the turmoil of early 2020. At the same time, the popularity of remote content creation has increased dramatically. We all enjoy escaping the commutes, evading the inconsequential meetings, and getting to tweak our surroundings as we prefer. Want to work from your living room floor? That setup won’t do much for your back, but it’s certainly available to you. In general, we now have autonomy.

But every silver lining has its cloud (digital in this case), and there are some key disadvantages to this new working model. One is productivity, both in general and particularly for collaborative operations. The creation of competitive digital content is a long and complex process, with many contributors needed to chip in — and being apart makes it so much harder.

Since the old office model won’t be returning (after this, companies won’t be able to get away with disallowing remote working), the only thing you can do is adapt to the circumstances. Streamlining your remote content creation process will lower your resource use and make your operation more flexible, something that’s vital in the fast-paced online world.

In this post, we’re going to set out some core tips for improving your remote content creation process, giving you the impetus to make some changes. Let’s get started.

Train your employees to use tech more effectively

What’s an ergonomic mouse and why is it better for your hand and arm? (RSI is a legitimate threat.) What’s the safest and more effective way to use a password manager? Mini Displayport vs Thunderbolt: what’s the difference, and why does it matter? When you start going through tech concerns that have relevance for remote workers, you quickly discover that there’s so much worth knowing that often gets completely overlooked.

The problem with many companies that have shifted to remote operation is that they’ve only covered the most obvious issues, like training employees in using central content-sharing tools and ensuring that everyone knows how to join a Zoom meeting without appearing in feline form. They simply aren’t aware of all the minor issues that can compound throughout the working day, leading to major slowdowns in the production process.

Due to this, the smart way to proceed is to task all your employees with diligently tracking where their time goes, then have them identify the admin-related issues that most commonly get in the way. What holds them back from finishing tasks? What distracts them from their core responsibilities? Once you know the blockers, you can devise suitable training.

remote content creation

Distribute a set of clear brand guidelines

Remote content creation often requires the input of new employees, whether they’re full-time, part-time, or freelance hires. This isn’t fundamentally a problem, but it can become a problem when those employees aren’t suitably supported. Every brand should have a unique mixture of elements that it uses whenever it produces a piece of content (anything from social posts to blogs), because that helps it stand out — and if it passes segments of the production process to people unfamiliar with those elements, it can lead to lengthy hold-ups while redrafts are done and improvements are made.

When you’re running a remote business it’s essential that everyone is on the same page. This is particularly impact when onboarding employees from other countries through services such as Remote to avoid unnecessary confusion. Brand guidelines should be universally understood to keep the quality of work consistent. 

Creating a set of clear brand guidelines that you can share when needed (or even made available through a company intranet) and making it abundantly clear that it needs to be followed can lead to better results. Most importantly in the context of this piece, though, it can get rid of the need for new employees to ask their colleagues about branding (something that can take up a lot of time and cause a lot of drag in the production process).

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Reduce managerial sign-offs to a minimum

While management is actually extremely important for remote businesses, it can — and often does — go too far. Having administrative figures provide approval at various points in the creative process was bad enough when employees were gathered together, but it’s so much worse when people are scattered.

Why? Because the option of pressing an issue by approaching someone directly is no longer on the table. If you can’t get hold of someone online and you need them to sign-off on something before you can proceed, there’s nothing you can do aside from pivot to another task (or make creative decisions that you may ultimately need to retract). Accordingly, it makes all the sense in the world to keep sign-off points to a minimum.

By all means, have an editorial lead in place to approve each brief before it’s assigned and after it’s been drafted (essentially the point of project closure, since subsequent edits shouldn’t be transformational), but they don’t otherwise need to get involved. And when they’re dealing with trusted copywriters, they may not even be required to do those things. Get managers out of the way so creatives can trust their instincts and get things done at a steady clip.

remote content creation

Set clear dependencies before starting tasks

The issue we just looked at — managerial sign-offs getting in the way — ties in perfectly with this broader point of setting clear dependencies (Rindle’s guide on these is worth checking out). After all, there will always be points at which managers do need to prove approval, just as there will be numerous content elements that must be produced before entire pieces can be finalized. Good digital content is often complicated.

When you can’t eliminate a dependency, you need to highlight it as clearly as you can. If employee A can’t complete their part of a project until employee B has done their part, all employees working on that project need to be aware of it. You mustn’t simply assume that everyone knows what’s going on and how work will need to be divided and approached.

If you’re not already using a centralized task-management system, that’s something you need to implement as soon as you can. Something like Trello — listed among various marketing tools here — can give you the clarity you need to keep a growing team in line.

Wrapping up

The process of producing high-quality content using a remote team is much more awkward than many initially assume, but it doesn’t need to be such a grind. By issuing some relevant training, reducing admin tasks, ensuring that everyone knows who’s responsible for doing what, and simplifying your branding process to the extent that it’s easy for new employees to process, you can streamline it to a significant extent, saving you money, effort, and time.

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