Category: Workflow

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9 Simple Marketing Workflow Examples You Can Use Right…

You’re hopping from task to task, trying to get everything boxed off before the deadline for your marketing project ends. Endless meetings, constant back-and-forth for updates, and scrappy to-do lists on old pieces of paper rule your life.

If everything feels disorganized, and you’re missing important deadlines as a result, it might be time to implement some marketing workflow processes.

A marketing workflow is a reliable process that you’ll pass through each time you start a new project. It shares who needs to do what task at what time.

The goal? To stop things slipping through the cracks. If each team member knows what they need to do to meet a project deadline, nobody is left questioning “What should I do next?” — a question that backfires on productivity.

The good news is that you don’t have to create new marketing processes from scratch.

In this guide, we’ll share nine marketing workflow examples to get you started.

Each will help you navigate some of the most common projects your team are handling, but without the stress:

  1. Email marketing
  2. Social media
  3. Events and conferences
  4. Content writing
  5. Paid search
  6. Marketing analytics
  7. Marketing project management
  8. Video production
  9. Design

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The CoSchedule Marketing Suite

“A worker is only as good as their tools.”

The same can be said for marketers.

Not having a robust marketing toolstack could be the reason why the workflows we’re about to create aren’t as effective as they should be.

Luckily for you, the entire CoSchedule suite was designed to make your marketing team more productive.

You’ll get access to some of our best features, including:

  • A Marketing Calendar to view all of your upcoming projects at a glance.
  • A Kanban Project Dashboard to easily see the status of each project.
  • Task Templates to duplicate your new marketing workflows without starting from scratch.
  • Team Performance Reports to dig into how productive your team is, which tasks they’re working on, and how many are behind schedule.

CoSchedule task template

Bonus: A Free Marketing Planning Plan Template

CoSchedule not only helps you create workflows, but it also makes staying on top of them a reality.

The best part? We’ve got some great, free project management templates to help you get organized.

Get your hands on them here:

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9 Marketing Workflow Examples to Help You Stay Organized

Ready to make your team more organized, meet deadlines on-time, and know exactly what needs to be done to finish your next project?

Here are nine marketing workflow examples to get you started.

1) Email Marketing Workflow Example

Email marketing isn’t as simple as writing an email and hitting “send.” There are mini-tasks that go into the entire process of sending a message.

Here’s an email marketing workflow example you can use as your basis:

1. Decide Content

The first thing someone will need to do is choose items to prioritize in your newsletter or email. Common examples are recent blog posts, relevant company news, an upcoming sale, new product launches, or contests. Someone on your team could choose the times on their own, or you could do a quick convo as a team to decide the content.

2. Layout Email

After the items to promote have been chosen, someone will need to layout the email. Using a tool, like MailChimp or CampaignMonitor, makes this step quite simple.

3. Choose or Design Images

Next up, either a designer or email marketer will need to add the images. If your organization wants a more branded feel to your email campaigns, consider assigning this task to a designer.

4. Write Email Copy

Depending on your team size, it might be necessary to assign this task to a content writer. Consider using an email template to speed up the process.

5. Write and Test Email Subject Line With the Email Subject Line Tester

Try and score as highly as possible. Tweak your subject line, as needed, based on the recommendations.

6. Send Test Email

Even if your team has hawkeyes and confidence that everything looks perfect, you should still include this step in your workflow.

[Tweet “Always send test emails — even if you have the utmost confidence that it looks perfect.”]

7. Review Test Email

Set a special task to remind your email marketing specialist to spend a few minutes reviewing their test email. Better yet, assign this task to someone else to review. Sometimes it can be difficult to spot mistakes on your own projects.

They’ll want to confirm that the layout, grammar, and formatting looks good on both desktop and mobile devices.

8. Revise

This step is mostly only necessary if a separate person is responsible for reviewing the test email.

9. Schedule or Hit “Send”

Send your email to your list, or schedule it to send at a given time.

10. Review, Track, and Analyze

This could be one task or multiple, depending on how often your team needs to report on the email’s performance. You will likely assign this to an email marketing specialist or someone on your analytics team.

Who Will You Need?

You’ll need at least one designated person to be responsible for your email marketing campaigns, but you could have up to four. That includes:

  1. Email Marketing Specialist
  2. Graphic Designer
  3. Content Writer
  4. Analytics Specialist

Email marketing workflow example

2) Social Media Workflow Example

Chances are, you’re already using social media to grow your business, but posting whenever you feel like it likely isn’t the best strategy.

Here’s a social media workflow example that helps you create consistent content every time.

1. Source Internal/External Content to Promo

Your social strategist can set aside some time to find internal blogs, videos, and other content to promote. They could also use this time to peruse influencers’ content to find relevant things to share. Tools, like Quuu and Zest, can help find external content your audience might be interested in.

2. Build Sharing Schedule or Apply a Social Template

Once a content item has been found, they should build a social sharing schedule or apply the social template. The schedule should share the content more than one time on each channel over the span of a couple weeks.

3. Write Text

Either your social strategist or a copywriter can be responsible for this task.

4. Insert Images

You may need to get a designer involved at this stage. Some networks, like Facebook, won’t let you alter the preview image on your social post, but others you can get more engagement if your image is unique. Statistics and infographics are always popular.

5. Approve Message

Some teams will have an extra step here, where either client or managerial approval is needed before social campaigns can be launched.

6. Add Message to ReQueue Bucket

If you’re a CoSchedule user, it’s good to add a reminder to add the messages to ReQueue. Doing so now means that your social strategist will save a ton of time later by not having to re-write and re-share the messages down the road.

7. Monitor Reactions and Engagements

Over the next week or so, your social strategist should be spending some time everyday monitoring and engaging with the posts on social media.

8. Reporting

Finally, pulling together the analytics can help fine-tune future social media campaigns and strategy. What worked well? Did you have any responses?

Who Will You Need?

You’ll need at least one designated person to be responsible for your social media campaigns, but you could have up to five.

  1. Social Media Strategist
  2. Graphic Designer
  3. Copywriter
  4. Marketing Manager
  5. Analytics Specialist

Social media workflow example

3) Event/Conference Workflow Example

There’s a lot that goes into running an event, attending a tradeshow, or hosting a conference — hence, why it’s often known as the most stressful part of marketing.

That doesn’t always have to be the case, if you’re using an event workflow process like this:

1. Submit a Budget Proposal

No one has an unlimited budget and the marketing manager, VP of marketing, or the like will need to see an outline for how much an event or conference will cost. The event coordinator or PR specialist might be responsible for submitting the proposal, or it could be the marketing manager reporting to the VP of marketing.

2. Book Hotels and Flights

Obviously, an important thing not to be forgotten when planning all the other parts of the conference. This could be assigned to a marketing assistant/coordinator or the marketing manager.

3. Design Collateral

A graphic designer will need to design collateral you’ll need for the event, such as tearsheets or marketing pamphlets. You’ll probably also need a copywriter to help with this step.

4. Design Booth Backdrop

This step will also be completed by a graphic designer.

5. Approve Collateral and Booth Design

Once the booth and marketing collateral have been designed, someone like a marketing manager will need to approve the items to print or order.

6. Order Booth Materials and Swag

Do you need stickers, t-shirts, buttons, pens, or other promo merchandise to give out at the booth? Someone on your team will be responsible for ordering these items. It’s likely that a marketing assistant or coordinator will handle this.

7. Determine Booth Talking Points and Lead Capture Activities/Technology

At this step in the workflow, the event coordinator or marketing manager will strategize about how to capture leads coming from the event and brief those attending about what talking points they should bring up when talking to visitors.

8. Create Email Drip Campaign

Keep people before, during, and after the event informed about your attendance. Supporting content can also be distributed via email. Loop in your email specialist for this one.

9. Create Social Promo Campaign

Just like with email, you want your followers to know you’ll be at an event and that they should stop by your booth to meet IRL. Let your social media strategist tackle this task.

[Tweet “You want your followers to know you’ll be at an event and that they should stop by your booth to meet IRL.”]

10. Write and Design Presentation

Will your CEO or someone from your organization be speaking at the conference? Make sure they have a branded and professional looking deck. A graphic designer and content writer can tag team this one.

11. Schedule Meetings/Connect With Customers and/or Influencers

Going to events or conferences is a great way to build better relationships with customers or influencers. The marketing manager or PR specialist can start reaching out and scheduling meetings a few weeks in advance.

12. Write Post Event Blog Summary

There’s a lot of great things we take away from events and conferences. This is an opportunity to write a blog that offers a summation of the event. You’ll need a content writer and possibly a designer for this step.

13. Follow-Up With Leads

Once the event comes to a close, your marketing team can pass all the leads they’ve collected over to the sales team.

14. Review and Report on Conference Spend

Did you go over budget? What unexpected expenses cropped up? Your marketing manager or event coordinator should make a note to account for those next time.

Who Will You Need?

You’ll need a whole host of team members for this one. Events and conferences are an all-hands-on-deck project.

  1. Marketing Manager/Event Coordinator/PR Specialist
  2. Marketing Coordinator/Assistant
  3. Content Writer
  4. Graphic Designer
  5. Email Marketing Specialist/Marketing Automation Specialist
  6. Social Media Strategist
  7. Sales Person

4) Content Writing Workflow Example

Struggling to create consistent content? That’s a huge issue. The goal of content marketing is to build trust with your audience, yet if each piece sends mixed messages, you won’t get the trust needed to get sales further down the line.

Whichever type of content you’re writing, use this workflow example to get it right every time:

1. Research Keywords

One of the most important things for your blog strategy is to make sure you’re developing content around keywords that are relevant to your business, but also keywords that you can compete and rank on.

2. Write Content

The next step is to write the blog post. Here you’ll likely assign the task to a dedicated content writer. You could assign this step to subject matter experts across your entire organization.

3. Review Content

After the post has been written, someone should proofread. This can be assigned to another content writer, blog manager or marketing manager.

4. Design Visual Content

Next, bounce the blog post over to a designer to create some custom graphics for the post. If you don’t have design resources, you can have the content writer or blog manager insert some relevant stock images, screenshots, etc. as necessary.

5. Review Visual Content

If there are custom graphics or images used, you may want to have a Senior Designer or Blog Manager review the work.

6. Set Up a Social Sharing Schedule or Apply a Social Template

Here, your social strategist will create a custom sharing schedule for your social media channels. If you’re a CoSchedule user, they can also simply attach a pre-made social template.

7. Write Social Media Posts

Once the template has been applied or the social sharing schedule coordinated, your social media executive will write the actual copy for each message.

Have someone view and approve social messages. Some teams may need to have this step included. This step is often assigned to a marketing manager or someone who is responsible for the entire strategy.

Finally, the blog manager will review the post one, final time and add SEO elements, like a meta description and title tag.

Who Will You Need?

Your core team for the blog will consist of a content writer, blog manager, and graphic designer. Here’s a full list of jobs you might need to accomplish this marketing task.

  1. Blog Manager
  2. Content Writer
  3. Graphic Designer
  4. Marketing Manager
  5. Social Media Strategist

Blow workflow example

5) Paid Search Workflow Example

The world of Google Ads is a complex one. Campaign set-up is particular: you need to follow Google’s rules and create good content to stand a chance at seeing a return on your advertising investment.

Here’s a paid search workflow example you can use to take you through from initial set-up to reporting:

1. Keyword Research

Just as your blog team does before producing content, your paid search specialist will find relevant keywords to include in their ads. Ahrefs and Ubersuggest are good tools for this.

2. Meet to Determine Campaign Goals and Positioning

Together with a marketing manager and designer, your paid search specialist will determine the campaign type, how long it will run, what is needed from a design perspective, and go through talking points the ad should address.

3. Define Your Audience

Next, your paid search specialist will define the audience for the ad set.

4. Define Campaign Budget

After the audience is defined, the budget for the ad campaign will be added.

5. Write Ad Copy

This step can either be completed by your paid search specialist or a copywriter — depending on your team’s skills and workload.

6. Ad Design

All the elements will then be pulled together by your paid search specialist, and the ad will be created.

7. Update Links and Tagging

The final step in the ad creation process is to make sure there are UTM tags added and all links are updated.

8. Schedule and Launch

Publish your new campaign and start to appear in the SERPs for your target keyword(s).

9. A/B Test and Make Tweaks

A/B testing is an important part of a paid search strategy. Make sure there is a step in your team’s workflow to try out different copy, images, etc. and make adjustments based on what is performing the best.

10. Report and Measure Results

The final step in this workflow is to report on the outcomes of the campaign. Your paid specialist will likely handle this themselves.

Who Will You Need?

Most of the tasks in the workflow will be handled by your paid search specialist, but you could also need:

  1. Marketing Manager
  2. Graphic Designer
  3. Copywriter

Paid search workflow example

6) Marketing Analytics and Reporting Workflow Example

It’s no use pouring all of your time, effort, and resources into a marketing campaign if you don’t monitor whether it’s helping achieve your marketing goals.

[Tweet “It’s no use pouring all of your time, effort, and resources into a marketing campaign if you don’t monitor whether it’s helping achieve your marketing goals.”]

Here’s a simple marketing analytics workflow to help you judge:

1. Pull Your KPIs

A key performance indicator does what it says on the tin: helps you check whether your actual data shows that you’re meeting or beating performance goals. The first step is to pull them into a document and know what you’re working towards.

2. Compare Real Data Against KPIs

Open your dashboards and pull your most important metrics. Compare them to your KPIs. Did you meet them? If not, how far off were you? Why?

3. Compare Against Previous Data Sets

Use the same dashboard or a previous report to see how this data compares to last month, week, quarter, or year.

4. Pull Key Insights

Use your insights to see what worked during this period. Check to see if this month’s marketing campaigns worked or didn’t.

5. Add Context

Explain why your results are as they are. Recommend some next steps to improve.

6. Format the Reporting Template

Make your data easier to understand by highlighting important metrics, bolding insights, and underlining important takeaways.

7. Share With Stakeholders

Grab the link to your report and share it with key stakeholders.

Who Will You Need?

The people involved in this workflow example vary depending on the type of report you’re creating. At a basic level, here’s who you’ll need:

  • Marketing Manager
  • CEO/Founder
  • Account Manager (if you’re in an agency)

7) Marketing Project Management Workflow Example

A marketing manager has several jobs on their plate at any given time.

Instead of juggling the plates badly and risking one slipping, use this marketing project management workflow:

1. Gather Ideas Through Marketing Request Forms

Ask staff to submit ideas for new projects through a marketing request form. You’ll collect important details about the project — including potential resources, people involved, and the reason behind it. Use this to decide projects in which you want to take action.

2. Create a Project Brief

A project brief covers everything a person involved would need to know about the project. Use this template and share the brief with your marketing team.

3. Gather Resources

Your request form will have some indication on what resources you need. Take some extra time to plan the details. You’ll need to finalize budgets, tools, and which team members will do which tasks.

4. Assign Tasks and Deadlines

Speaking of assigning tasks, use your other workflows to give each team member their own tasks with deadlines. This can include creating assets, scheduling campaigns, or publishing content. Remind them of these regularly.

5. Set Regular Check-Ins

Check in to make sure things aren’t falling behind with regular drop-ins. Ask your staff how they’re getting on and use your team performance reports to see if anyone is falling behind.

6. Review and Approve Marketing Assets

Once the deadline arrives, review and approve the assets your marketing team have created. Give feedback and ask for revisions, if necessary. Launch once everything is good to go.

7. Review Project

As you’re wrapping up the project, take some time to review how it has gone.

Did your team get things done on time? Did something interrupt the original plan? What problems did you run into? Make a note of each answer; you can reference them next time to make planning easier.

Who Will You Need?

  • Marketing Project Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Data Analyst

8) Video Production Workflow Example

Did you decide to invest in video production?

Whether you’re doing it in-house or hiring external support, here’s a video production workflow example to help you get the most out of your content:

1. Create Video Brief

This document shares what you want to achieve with your video, who will be involved, and how you’ll do it.

2. Plan the Storyboard

Draft the scenes for your video and think about how you’ll film it. This might include scouting different locations for each scene.

3. Gather Your Equipment

Now you know what your video includes, write a list of the equipment you’ll need. This can range from clip-on microphones and DSLRs, right the way through to screen-recording software.

4. Write a Video Script

What sound will accompany your videos? If it’s a person talking, draft a video script for them to read aloud. It’ll make sure nothing gets missed and stop people from adding “uhmmm” in every other sentence.

5. Schedule Filming

Set a time, date, and location for your shoot. Tell everyone who needs to be there.

6. Record the Video

A video producer or cameraman will shoot the video.

7. Trim and Edit

Use the appropriate video editing software to cut out bits you don’t need.

8. Record Voice Overs

Refer back to your video script and record the voiceover. Insert it over the video.

9. Collect Feedback and Tweak

Ask your team for feedback and refine it, so the video is error-free. This can include smoothing transitions, correcting colors, or cropping certain shots.

10. Final Approval

Have your project manager approve the final cut.

11. Promote and Distribute

Release your new video to your target audience and start sharing it via social media.

Who Will You Need?

To make this video production workflow as productive as possible, have the following team members working on it:

  • Copywriter (for the script)
  • Cameraman
  • Video Host
  • Video Editor and/or Producer
  • Content Marketing Specialist
  • Social Media Specialist

9) Design Workflow Example

Visual assets are a key component of any marketing strategy. That being said, it’s not uncommon for them to be thought of last.

[Tweet “Visual assets are a key component of any marketing strategy.”]

Keep this design workflow example as a template to follow whenever you’re creating visual content — such as infographics, social media images, or print collateral:

1. Determine the Goal

Every design project achieves a goal. Decide yours before we go ahead. This can be anything from displaying information in a way that’s easier for your audience to digest, right through to a piece of visual content that gets links.

2. Choose a Software

Pick the design software you’ll use to create the content. Options include Photoshop, Canva, and Venngage.

3. Write the Content

Add all the necessary text you want in your design.

4. Add Illustrations

Upload vectors, illustrations, and premade graphics to your design or create your own.

5. Add Company Branding

Make sure it’s obvious that the visual content comes from your brand. This includes adding brand colors, text, and logos.

6. Proof and Tweak

Share the design with your team or target audience and ask for feedback. Is it easy for them to understand? Which areas would they approve? Tweak your design based on their answers.

7. Craft Promotional Messaging

Write promotion messages for the design — such as corresponding social media text or alt text for image files on your website.

8. Promote the New Design

Upload the design file wherever you need it. Use a variety of promotion channels to spread the word.

Who Will You Need?

Again, the people involved in a design workflow depend on the content you’re creating. Generally, that includes:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Marketing Manager
  • Copywriter

Put Your New Marketing Workflows to Work

What’s the most complicated part of all these workflows? Managing them.

After you’ve created your workflows, you can create templates from it using Task Templates.

Just create a master workflow for each activity and duplicate it each time you kick off a new project:

CoSchedule take templates for different projects

Then, once your team gets a handle with the new workflow templates, use the team performance reports to reshuffle workloads. It makes sure no one on your team is getting too much dumped on them, and you can rejig tasks around to still meet the deadline.

Simply drag and drop the task to reassign it. The individual will see the new task pop-up on their daily to-do list:

Drang-and-drop feature in CoSchedule

Now your whole team knows where to turn to get their work done, and you get to finally feel in control of all your marketing projects on a granular, task-by-task basis.

You’ll be left with only one question, “Why didn’t I do this before?”

This post was originally published on December 6, 2018. It was updated and republished on November 11, 2020.

The post 9 Simple Marketing Workflow Examples You Can Use Right Now appeared first on CoSchedule Blog.

Content

The Best 8-Step Workflow Management Process for Marketers

The best marketing teams succeed with a strong workflow management process.

As a preset order of operations for getting stuff done, they’re essential for getting work right the first time, every time.

Workflow management is also indispensable for building efficiencies into processes, so you can spend more time doing meaningful work and less time feeling frustrated due to procedural roadblocks.

In short, they allow you to plan your work and work your plan. If you don’t have solid workflows in place, you’ve probably experienced the following problems:

  • Disjointed workflows; no one knows who does what or in what order.
  • Communication breakdowns, and not like the Led Zeppelin song, either.
  • Missed deadlines; lack of process leads to inefficiency. In turn, nothing getting done on time.

Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, right?

That’s just a short list of potential issues you could face, too.

Having a workflow management process in place stops all of those. You’ll know exactly who needs to do what and when. It stops deadlines from falling past their due date, and communication issues stunting projects.

It’s why the most organized marketers are 397% more likely to report success.

[Tweet “The best 8-step workflow management process for marketers.”]

Download Your Marketing Workflow Management Template Bundle

Fixing broken marketing processes isn’t always easy. Having the right tools helps though, so this post includes the following free resources:

  • Marketing Project Management Template: Plan the efficient processes that you’ll execute.
  • Marketing Project Checklist Template: Ensure every project and campaign gets completed with no missed steps.
  • Marketing Calendar Template: Map out deadlines and make projects visible across your entire department.

Together, this trio of templates will help you get started planning and managing processes that work. Download them below before continuing.

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Plus, join our email list to stay up to date.

What’s a Workflow, Anyway?

Before we dive in, let’s start with a fact: a lot of places make workflows sound unnecessarily complicated.

Benjamin Brandall summed it up well on the Process Street blog:

Workflows are the way people get work done and can be illustrated as a series of steps that need to be completed sequentially in a diagram or checklist.

In short, they’re reliable templates you can cut and paste whenever you’re starting a new project. It gives you the tasks you need to complete, and who needs to do them by which date.

The result? Never starting a project thinking, “I don’t know where to begin.”

Workflows are often seen through charts or diagrams. They can also be as simple as checklists outlining the steps towards completing a task.

Here’s an example of a typical content marketing workflow, courtesy of Content Marketing Institute:

Example of a finished workflow

Here’s what a workflow might look like as a checklist inside CoSchedule:

CoSchedule task template featureDo This With CoSchedule: You can build workflow checklists (called Task Templates) in CoSchedule — the only marketing suite that helps you organize all of your marketing in one place. See how they work.

Why Bother Planning Marketing Workflows?

There’s no sense investing time in something that won’t produce a benefit, so what’s the real benefit to planning out workflows and sticking to them?

Here are seven.

7 benefits of visualizing effective marketing workflows

1. Increased Efficiency Means Getting More Done

If you’re like most marketers, you have too much to do and not enough time to get it done.

Mile-long to-do lists come with the territory, but sometimes that work is more achievable than it seems. While it’s easy to blame being overworked for lack of productivity, sometimes the real culprit is an inefficient workflow.

Not every workflow needs hundreds of steps. In fact, padding-out yours with too many steps can actually have the opposite effect.

[Tweet “Not every workflow needs hundreds of steps.”]

In his book High Output Management, Andrew S. Grove, former chairman and CEO at Intel, says:

Count the number of steps in the flow chart, so you know how many you started with. […] Set a rough target for reduction of the number of steps.

In the first round of simplification, our experience shows that you can reasonably expect a 30 to 50 percent reduction.

To implement the actual simplification, you must question why each step is performed. Typically, you will find that many steps exist in your workflow for no good reason. Often they are there because of tradition or because formal procedure necessitates it, not for a practical reason.

The bottom line, by planning out workflows strategically, you can get more done in less time.

2. They Make Responsibilities Clear to All Team Members

How often have you heard someone say, “I didn’t know I was supposed to get that done”?

How often have you said that out loud yourself?

It’s time to put a permanent stop to “not-my-jobism”.

When workflows are clearly mapped out, there’s no ambiguity around who is responsible for which tasks and deadlines. You execute or you don’t.

The result? Projects get done right the first time with more consistency.

3. Reducing the Need for Hand-Holding and Oversight

This one is tied into point number two above.

When people don’t quite know what to do, they’ll lean on management for guidance. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless they lean a little too hard — to the extent of having no initiative of their own.

Workflows make it clear what team members are responsible for, so they don’t have to wonder whether they’re working on the right things. It’s all there for them to follow.

4. Building Consistency in Execution

Consistency is key to marketing success.

It’s a fundamental building block for constructing and executing processes that drive 10X results.

If you don’t have a consistent set of steps to follow for every type of project, tasks are liable to fall through the cracks.

Sometimes, the negative effects are small, like a minor editing step gets missed. Other times, the consequences can be dramatically more significant, like a webinar not getting recorded (good luck publishing that recap video… without the video).

Often, things happen and can’t be prevented. That’s life; however, marketers should always be doing as much as possible to prevent major mishaps.

A workflow management process does exactly that.

5. Enables Visibility Across Projects and Teams

There’s a lot of value in teams being able to see what other teams or coworkers are doing.

It helps achieve the following results:

  • Managers can see what their staff is working on.
  • Everyone can see the completion status of each project.
  • Transparency improves communication.

When workflows are mapped out and projects are placed onto a shared calendar, everyone stays in the loop and holds one another accountable.

Agile marketing is a great way to increase visibility into your team’s workload. One of key ways to do this is via the daily stand-up. This meeting takes place during the first 15 minutes of every work day.

To start, you gather every member of your team and ask them three basic questions:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. Are you experiencing any roadblocks?

Daily stand-up meetings help managers stay up-to-date about everything their team is working on and help facilitate better collaboration and communication amongst team members.

CoSchedule has a feature, called the Team Management Dashboard, that is basically a daily stand-up visualized before your very eyes.

CoSchedule Team Management Dashboard

You can see exactly what everyone on your team is working on for the day and reshuffle tasks as needed.

6. They Make It Easier to See Where Projects Go Wrong

We know that things go wrong. It happens to the best of us.

When they do go wrong, it’s important to have retrospective and identify where the breakdown happened, so it doesn’t happen again.

When workflows are well-documented, it’s easier to diagnose exactly where issues arise. You can see where staff veered off the process, or stumbling blocks that show your process needs to be tweaked.

[Tweet “When workflows are well-documented, it’s easier to diagnose exactly where issues arise.”]

7. Managers Can Get Out of the Weeds

Managers often get too involved in their team member’s work because they don’t trust they’ll get everything done. This is often the result of team members not knowing exactly what they should be doing. It’s a vicious and endless loop.

However, documenting workflows removes ambiguity, so teams feel an empowerment to just get their work done. That frees up the manager’s time and headspace to focus on more important things. Everyone wins.

What Are Popular Workflow Management Tools for Marketers?

There are tons of different software options available, although most of them are not specifically for marketers. Here are some common choices:

  • Monday
  • Trello
  • Asana
  • Notion
  • Basecamp
  • CoSchedule

Of course, we recommend our own marketing suite. It has everything you’ll need to manage your new workflows, already built in:

CoSchedule social media calendar

How to Create New Workflows in 8 Easy Steps

Ready to create workflows that help your team become more productive, meet deadlines on-time, and be consistent?

Here are eight steps you can use to create new marketing workflows:

Step 1. Determine How Your Team Will Communicate

Strong team communication requires the right tools.

Before getting too far along, assess whether you currently have the best technology to build collaborative workflows.

Once you have a tool selected, you might also have other means of communication, too — like emails, phone calls, chat app, or conversations at the office watercooler.

How do you enforce team members using the right communication tools for the right things?

For internal communication and casual conversation, Slack is great, but so is old-fashioned walking across the office to talk to someone face-to-face. You can get an answer instantly and clear up when things don’t make sense to you.

When it comes to project-based communication, it’s best to keep everything organized in one place. There’s nothing worse than forgetting a conversation you had last week or losing notes down an email inbox rabbit hole.

CoSchedule solves this by building Discussion Threads into projects. This way, you can keep all team correspondence together, passing notes, trading files, and more — all in one place.

Create a project on your calendar:

Creating a campaign project in CoSchedule

Then, click the Contributors icon on the right. Add team members who will be working on this project:

Next, use discussion threads to converse and collaborate:

Discussion thread feature

Step 2: Define Everyone’s Responsibilities

Next, determine each team member’s responsibilities for each type of project you execute regularly.

For a content marketing team, this could include:

  • Creating blog posts
  • Producing videos
  • Hosting webinars
  • Delivering email newsletters
  • Writing website copy

Each of these projects likely involves multiple team members:

  • Writers – to craft copy and content
  • Editors – to approve and polish content
  • Designers – to create visual elements
  • Marketing Specialists – to host webinars
  • Analysts – to measure performance and extract insights from data
  • Project Managers – to keep everyone on track

Who does what, exactly?

Sometimes, this answer will be obvious. In other cases, it may be less clear. Stick with one task per person to avoid duplication of effort.

Start mapping out tasks logically:

  • Writer
    • Content research
    • Writing content and copy
    • Analyzing copy performance
  • Designer
    • Creating blog graphics
    • Designing website graphics
    • Producing slide decks
  • Strategist
    • Generating ideas
    • Directing strategy
    • Analyzing results
  • Project Manager
    • Assigning tasks
    • Managing client communication
    • Enforcing deadlines
  • SEO
    • Keyword research
    • On-page optimization
    • Backlink outreach

These are some very basic examples. They’ll give you an idea of what tasks each team member should take care of, once you’ve got your workflow mapped out.

Step 3: Map Out Task Checklists

This is where you’ll answer the question posed above in more granular detail.

For each project, list the following information:

  1. The tasks required to complete the project.
  2. Who is responsible for getting it done?
  3. How long should each step take?

For example, here’s what this might look like for a blog post:

  1. Generate Ideas: Strategist – Due 21 Days Before Publish
  2. Map Ideas to Content Calendar: Strategist – Due 20 Days Before Publish
  3. Keyword Research: SEO Specialist – Due 18 Days Before Publish
  4. Write Outline: Writer – Due 17 Days Before Publish
  5. Finish Draft: Writer – Due 14 Days Before Publish
  6. Edit Draft: Manager/Editor – Due 12 Days Before Publish
  7. Create Graphics: Designer – 10 Days Before Publish
  8. Schedule Social Promotion: Writer/Social Strategist – 8 Days Before Publish
  9. Schedule Post to Publish: Editor – 7 Days Before Publish

Example content marketing workflow checklist

If this workflow is followed consistently, every blog post will be ready to publish a week in advance at a minimum. Everyone knows when their task should be completed to meet that end deadline.

All of this allows room to work ahead, rather than scrambling to meet deadlines at the last minute.

In CoSchedule, checklists can be built and reused indefinitely using Task Templates.

Create a project on your CoSchedule calendar. Then, add each step to your checklist:

CoSchedule task templates

Next, determine who performs each step and assign deadlines to each task:

Creating your own task template

Here’s what the completed template looks like. Each time you check off an item, the completion percentage will increase:

Assigning tasks and deadlines in a new task template

Step 4: Determine How Long Tasks Should Take

This is a good question, but one without an easy answer.

Don’t worry if you have no idea how long it takes your team to complete a certain task.

[Tweet “Don’t worry if you have no idea how long it takes your team to complete a certain task. Just track their time.”]

The best way to figure out is by tracking their time. Every time a team member works on a task, have them use a tool, like Toggl, to track how long they spend on it. It’s a simple time-tracking app that makes it easy to quantify how long you’re spending doing a given thing.

Then, track your average completion time for that type of task — the total number of times the task was completed, divided by the sum of time spent on those tasks overall.

Consider using a spreadsheet to track your time, adding the following fields pictured below:

Time tracking template

Don’t feel like asking team members to track their time? Some can be forgetful; others feel like they’re being micromanaged.

Work around any objections to time-tracking by having simple conversation with each team member involved in the workflow process you’re building. During this chat, show your assignee the workflow as a whole and explain the definitions of done.

Then, ask a simple question: “How long will it take to complete this task?”

Use this information to help you understand when to begin working on the project, so you can nail your deadlines.

As you collect data — either in-person or through time-tracking software — there are opportunities for multiple different team members to be working on different parts of the project at the same time, so you can ship faster.

For example, Ben can proofread and optimize as Ashton starts her designs, or Nicole should proofread long-form content because she’s much faster than Bella — who’s best-suited to shorter snippets of copy.

It also gives you some perspective into how much work a specific team member can realistically take on.

It will help you understand how far in advance you should assign the tasks to be due.

Step 5: Delegate the Tasks: Notify + Remind + Collaborate

At this point, your team knows the tasks they are responsible for completing and the definition of “done” for those tasks.

Your next step is to clearly:

  • Notify the assignee when you delegate a task, so they know what to execute.
  • Communicate the due date for that task — transitioning your plan of number days before publication into clearly defined calendar dates.
  • Remind the assignee before a task is due to make certain the task gets completed on time.

You can do this via email or instant message tools, like Slack.

You can also build the workflow you created into CoSchedule to automatically share this information without the manual busywork.

In your CoSchedule marketing calendar, open a new blog post. From here, select the task template icon and + New Template.

Now you can add all of the process you just created into a reusable marketing workflow.

Simply name your task template and click Next.

Then add each of your tasks, assign it to the team member, and add your number days before publication.

CoSchedule blog post template

You can apply and reuse that task template with a couple simple clicks, which works extremely well for recurring projects, like blog posts.

You don’t need to remember each step and create a new project each time. It’s the equivalent of copy and pasting the tasks, assignees, and deadlines. No brain power needed.

The moment you apply the task template, everyone who is assigned a task is notified by email and in their personal CoSchedule dashboard, which serves nicely as a daily to-do list.

The day before a task is due, CoSchedule automatically emails the assignee to make sure the work gets done.

It’s that simple.

Step 6: Plan Your Marketing Calendar

Use a marketing calendar to keep projects and campaigns organized.

Calendars allow you to:

  • Set and manage deadlines
  • View which projects are coming up
  • See what other team members are working on
  • Prioritize work based on how soon which projects need to be completed
  • Collaborate with your team in one place

Marketing calendars are often built using spreadsheets, like the free Excel template in this post.

A better option, however, is to use purpose-built software. Apps, like CoSchedule, help teams beat makeshift marketing using non-marketing tools for marketing tasks with a solution built for your specific needs.

Mapping Projects and Campaigns to CoSchedule

Every marketing task, project, and campaign your team works on can be organized on a marketing calendar, like CoSchedule.

As you add more pieces to the calendar, it’ll start to look something like this. Color Labels make it easy to color-code projects:

CoSchedule color labels

If you’d prefer to see your upcoming work in a list, rather than a traditional calendar view, click List View. You’ll now see all the items on your calendar in a list:

Calendar list view

Step 7: Manage the Workflow With Kanban Project Dashboard

By this stage, you have solidified your processes and created task templates to duplicate each time a new project kicks-off.

You still need to be on-top of the template and make sure things get done on time.

The simplest way to do this is with a kanban project dashboard. In its simplest form, it’s a board with columns that show each stage of the project, including:

  • Planning
  • Drafted
  • Awaiting Review
  • Scheduled
  • Published
  • To Be Promoted

Each project is a card beneath one of these columns. As you move from one phase to the next, you drag and drop the card in the next column.

It’s an effective way to see how busy you are with different projects, at a glance.

Projects visual in the CoSchedule calendar

Your team members can have their own kanban project boards, too.

As responsibility for a task changes hands, the project card is dragged from their column into the next person’s. All of these are visible from the main dashboard:

Kanban project board by team member

Step 8: Measure Team Performance

You’ve spent time creating these workflows, and your team are using them as the foundations for most projects.

One question still stands: How do you know your workflows are effective?

[Tweet “How do you know your workflows are effective?”]

The answer isn’t as complex as you might’ve thought. You’ll need to measure your team’s output and compare productivity levels, task completion rates, and deadline punctuality to where they were before.

The good news is that CoSchedule’s Team Performance Reports make it simple to quantify productivity.

You can see whether more deadlines are being met:

Team performance report analysis

It tracks how often tasks on Task Templates are checked off on time, and it delivers comprehensive reports on who’s getting their work done, on time, consistently, and who’s falling behind.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that workflows are the secret for any organized, efficient, and productive marketing team. It’s how a project goes from start to finish with as little road bumps as possible — and still meets the deadline every time.

You have a proven track record of the steps each team member needs to take and when they need to take them. That’s golden.

This post was originally published on March 27, 2019. It was updated and republished on November 9, 2020.

The post The Best 8-Step Workflow Management Process for Marketers appeared first on CoSchedule Blog.

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