Delays in the content approval process are one of the top reasons marketers miss deadlines.

According to a Workfront survey, 37% of marketers say approvals set back their projects three to four days on average. Some marketers even report that approvals set projects back more than a week.

Sometimes life happens, and things get lost in the shuffle. However, if your agency is  always waiting for approvals to go through, the consequences can be enormous.

Not only do projects become late or derailed, but your team may have to adjust timelines for other work affected by the missed deadlines. Missing deadlines can also lead to distrust between your agency and clients.

It’s essential to keep your team and clients on track during the content approval process to ensure your agency meets all deadlines.

Here are five fast and easy ways you can speed up your content approval process. 

1. Set specific days to approve content

In addition to approving content, team members and clients juggle many other tasks. It can be easy for clients to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to review material for approval.

However, you can reduce the stress of fitting in content approval throughout the week by designating specific days for everyone to approve content.

For instance, set Tuesdays and Thursdays as content approval days so you don’t have to worry about it other days of the week.

Once you set the days, be sure to let everyone who is involved in the content approval process know. You can easily set up a calendar reminder to notify those who are in charge of reviewing and approving the content on those days.

Setting aside specific days for content review makes the process more efficient and decreases the chances you’ll have to wait for approval.

2. Send content in bulk

When clients receive content spread throughout the week, it can be easy to let pieces slip under the radar or lose track of which ones need approval. Approving content here and there can disrupt workflows as well.

As a solution, you can send content at one time in bulk rather than sending it sporadically. Receiving all of the content at one time makes it easier for your team and clients to keep track of which pieces require review and approval.

Once clients receive content in bulk, they can review all of the pieces on designated content approval days, speeding up the process. 

3. Set clear expectations with reviewers

Reviewing and approving a piece of content may not be at the top of your clients’ priorities. However, it’s also possible that they may not know what you expect of them. Be upfront with clients and set clear expectations.

Develop an outline that addresses crucial details, such as the allotted time they have to review each content piece and how they should provide feedback. These requests must be clear and consistent.

Make sure your agency and clients are on the same page to minimize any confusion or delays in the content approval process. 

4. Evaluate who needs to approve content and who doesn’t

You might think that the more people you involve in the content approval process, the better. However, this isn’t always the case.

Having too many content approvers can slow down the process. They can also divert the project by taking it in another direction.

However, this isn’t always the case. Having too many content approvers can slow down the process. They can also divert the project by taking it in another direction.

You can prevent bogging down the approval process by limiting the number of reviewers. Take the time to evaluate who really needs to approve content and who doesn’t.

Consider each person and whether or not they are qualified and provide valuable feedback in a timely matter. Rethink including them in your approval workflow if they don’t meet your requirements.

5. Reduce the number of rounds

Many agencies pile on extra rounds of review to ensure quality content. However, having too many rounds can hamper the content approval process and decrease the momentum of a project.

A recent survey by Workfront and Brand Republic revealed that 58% of marketing decision-makers say their projects typically endure five or more rounds of review.

Meanwhile, 14% of respondents suffer through 10 or more bouts of changes. In reality, teams can likely limit the review process to three rounds.

One of the best ways to reduce the number of review rounds is to think through project details using a creative brief.

Before beginning a project, identify the purpose and get feedback from decision-makers to guide the direction. This planning prevents last-minute changes from popping up when the project is nearly completed.

A lengthy content approval process can lead to missed deadlines and delayed projects. However, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to speed things up.

Making quick changes related to the people and steps involved in content approval can help make your process far more efficient. If your team is looking for a way to automate your content approval process, check out how Gain can help.