Are you planning to create a marketing workflow for your organization? Wondering what goes into it and how you can efficiently create one for different marketing projects.
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FACT: Running a marketing campaign is no small feat. With marketing gone multimedia, marketing teams are struggling hard to make their campaigns a success.
Some common problems that plague any marketing campaign are:
- Lack of clear goals
- Lack of proper scheduling for the marketing campaign
- Wasting time repeating the same instructions to your team
- Ineffective campaign tracking, etc.
Turns out, there is an effective solution available to fix all these gaps in any marketing campaign – a marketing workflow.
So, what is it, and how can it help you achieve your marketing goals? Most importantly, how can you create an effective workflow for yourself? We are going to cover these points in detail in this post.
Here we go!
What is a Marketing Workflow?
Any project, be it marketing, administrative, or anything else, needs planning. To complete it, you must know the exact sequence of steps you need to climb to get to the top of the ladder.
And that’s a workflow.
A workflow with proper planning is the key to ensuring that everyone from stakeholders, sponsors, teams and the project manager are on the same page about the different project phases. It gives everyone enough guidance to go through each phase efficiently.
In the same spirit, a good marketing workflow streamlines a project by:
- Identifying and sticking to its goals
- Defining the steps necessary to complete the project
- Setting deadlines
- Giving solutions to anticipated bottlenecks, etc.
The workflow also helps the organization develop and complete marketing projects.
In other words, it is something that gives structure to a given business process. It takes you sequentially on the path to the success of a business project, and in the case of this post, content production and marketing.
A workflow is anything but chaotic. It clearly defines steps 1, 2, 3, and all the others till you reach your goal. Something like this:
Benefits of Creating a Marketing Workflow Process
Clear organization of work: Once you put a workflow in process, you have put a system in place. You no more need to go back to the table to make sure things are going in the right direction, and everyone is doing what they should.
A marketing workflow makes any marketing campaign a smooth work in progress and sees that it reaches its goal most effectively.
Everyone’s in the loop: Once you create a structure and assign functions to the concerned team members, there is no room for confusion. The workflow is available to everyone so everyone can see what the other person should be doing at a certain given point in the process.
For example, if it is a content marketing workflow, everyone from the content manager, content strategist, SEO specialist, content marketing writer, graphic designer, social media manager, etc., knows what they should do at each point and how they should coordinate with each other.
Better project management with fewer bottlenecks and errors: The benefit of a clear process is that everything goes in sync. So, continuing the example of a content marketing campaign we discussed before, your workflow tells you that the first step is to plan the content.
Without planning the content, you may not appeal to your target audience or may not get the kind of actions and reactions you need to make the campaign work, etc. So many things can go wrong even if one single step is missing from the process.
Better quality of work and time management
Once you have a workflow ready in front of your eyes, you can manage your time better for each step to deliver quality work.
For example, in the content marketing workflow we talked about before, there will be a step when you put in different digital assets like visuals, graphics, GIFs, etc., to make the text interesting.
Now either you have these assets ready on your DAM system or you need to commission them. In either case, you have ample time to go through your current digital assets or order new ones, resulting in a better quality of content and timely delivery.
Plus, the concerned team, like the content manager and the graphic artist, can manage their time better in advance to avoid any last-minute rush/ delay.
Easier to focus on the creative process when there’s no chaos in the production.
Every marketing project needs creativity as its most important aspect to be successful. You must have creative solutions that are specific to your business problems. You also need new and innovative ways of talking to your customers.
And you can only involve yourself in this creative process when you do not have to worry about other things. Proper marketing workflow management makes this possible and lets you explore your creativity to the fullest.
Less duplicate work and task overlaps
What is the most frustrating thing about any project?
Definitely, the duplication of tasks that results in a huge waste of resources. Isn’t it?
A good workflow includes assigning all marketing tasks to the concerned team members so you don’t need to worry about duplicate work and task overlaps. Just do your work and submit it for the due approval process, or if you are the manager, review and approve tasks that are submitted to you.
Elements of a Marketing Project Workflow
You can split a typical marketing project workflow into three steps:
- The briefing process
- Project management process, and
- The approval process
The briefing process is the most crucial part of your workflow, as it sets the tone for the rest of the process. You must make it as clear and as detailed as possible. For example, if you are making an email marketing workflow, it must talk about:
- Why do you need this marketing at all?
- What are you trying to achieve with each email campaign?
- What does success mean to you for each campaign – more leads? Brand awareness? Increased website traffic?
- How are you going to achieve your ROI, etc.
The project management process is the stage where you break down the project, for example, the creation of the marketing emails, into steps. Something like this:
- Ideating the why behind each email
- Creating the design
- Writing the copy
- Commissioning the visuals or other types of digital assets needed for emails
- Selecting the right email marketing campaign tool
- Proofreading each email, and
- Testing the overall flow of the email triggers
The approval process involves people completing their work and submitting it to the respective managers for review and approval. The managers take a look, request changes, or if everything is looking good, approve it. This mostly takes place on an online proofing tool for the most efficiency.
What you Need to Develop a Marketing Workflow
#1. Identify types of projects
Several smaller pieces of tasks make up your overall marketing strategy. And to develop a marketing workflow, you must approach these pieces separately.
For example, if you have a long-term SEO strategy, that can include a lot of smaller pieces, like
- Producing SEO-optimized videos
- Developing a content marketing strategy
- Setting up a social media presence
- Creating a new landing page, etc.
Let us call them projects.
Each of these projects will have a marketing flow separately. For example, this is how your video production flow may look like:
- Create a brief for each video that talks about the objective of the video, what approach you want to take, and who is in the video.
- Arrange for the necessary gadgets – lighting, mic, sound editors, etc.
- Write the screenplay for the video
- Decide when you want to shoot each video
- Shoot the video
- Edit the video
- Send for approval
- Promote after approval
So, now we need to understand the logical way of making a clear workflow for each of the projects you choose to include in your marketing workflow.
Let us get to it.
#2. Understand the scope of each project
After identifying all the projects, you must set a project scope statement for each to define it in terms of time and value. Basically, put all the deliverables and the timelines for each project in one simple line, defining it in macro terms.
Once you do this, it will be easier to break each project down into tasks and refine things further.
For example, if building a new website is part of your marketing plan, the project scope statement can be, “We will produce a brand logo and ten-page website design for X by [date]”.
Once you do this, you can start listing the tasks and identifying resources for each project. Here is how.
#3. Identify tasks and responsibilities for each project
So, let us take up one project, for example, a design workflow to collect and manage the visual assets required for your social media strategy.
Now, remember, a design workflow for a landing page or blog post will be completely different from this one, as they have different purposes. So, you need to identify tasks and fix responsibilities accordingly.
Some tasks for a social media workflow can be:
- Identifying the goal of the project, like increasing engagement, getting backlinks, increasing followers, etc.
- Designing infographics to get backlinks
- Writing the content for the infographics
- Adding numbers or data to the infographics
- Submitting for proofing
- Schedule social media posts to promote the content
Once you have identified the tasks, you must take account of your resources and team members. Note down their names and expertise and assign tasks accordingly.
For example, your first go-to person to supervise this operation must be the Digital Asset Manager, but we are not talking about that just now.
There must be a number of other people who you should be distributing the tasks for this project, like graphic designers, website designers, social media managers, etc. Take note of people who will be responsible for completing each individual task.
#4. Set timelines and milestones
Ask the respective team members what timeframes they’re looking at for each task, and ask them to take the help of past data on time spent on such tasks.
It can also be useful to break up the projects into phases or milestones. For example, if we take the previously mentioned example of creating a website and logo, the milestones can be
- Complete 5 mock-up logos to discuss with the team
- Complete color palette research
- Complete competitor research, etc.
Once you have the tasks and the milestones in your hand, start putting them on the spreadsheet and assigning timelines to it. There are different ways you can put timelines on your project, for example, Gantt charts. Gantt charts are quite a popular and efficient way of working out detailed timelines.
On the left of the Gantt chart is a list of the activities and along the top is a suitable time scale. Each bar represents a task; the position and length of the bar reflect the start date, duration, and end date of the activity. Something like this:
This allows you to see:
- Various tasks
- When a task begins and ends
- Duration of the task
- The start and end of the whole project, etc.
Alternatively, use content production and management tool like CELUM.
CELUM is a complete solution to help you manage content end-to-end in one unified platform and fully utilize your marketing assets across multiple digital touchpoints.
With CELUM, you can:
- Create, manage, and route content fast
- Collaborate and get projects to the finishing line
- Collect feedback and add annotations to approve any file type
- Build custom workflows and automate recurring project tasks
- Manage all digital assets, including product images, videos, and docs
- And more.
Are you looking to streamline your marketing workflow?
Check out CELUM, the complete content production and management solution for businesses of all sizes.