Marketing Workflows to Get Your Team Organized
24th August 2020
As a marketing agency, you’ll always have multiple projects up in the air at the same time. This kind of workload demands a workflow tool that provides organization, stability, and the opportunity to communicate across your own team as well as others.
Today’s marketing workflows are so advanced that the days of chasing a client for sign-off via email are over. A good workflow tool will give you a direct channel of communication between you and your client, doing away with the need for email communications as the default. As useful as emails still are, there are now far easier ways to communicate!
Before we look at specific marketing workflows, it makes sense for us first to define what the word actually means. The clue is in the name, really: workflows are a process in which work gets done. It’s best illustrated as a series of steps from beginning to the end product, and you can think of it as work flowing from one stage to the next. Here’s a (very rough) example of what a marketing workflow may look like.
- Writer submits first draft to editor
- Editor returns feedback
- Writer submits final draft
- Editor approves or returns with feedback
- Writer invites client feedback
- Client approves or returns with feedback
- Work gets published
A very rough sketch, but you get the idea. As a digital marketing agency, you’re going to have all kinds of workflows. Business management workflows will require various reports and pitch documents, while more creative workflows (like the above example) will have several stages of feedback as well as initial brainstorming sessions.
Now we can look at the different kinds of marketing workflows that a digital marketing agency is likely to work with.
Where content production is concerned, a digital marketing agency has a balance to strike. It’s an innately creative process that needs to be strategized and put through an organized process. Ultimately this can hamper creativity if the process feels too much like a conveyor belt! Fortunately, there’s a way around it - you just need to make time for your creative darlings to rack their brains and the rest will follow.
Now, the process of content production seems easy enough at first but you’ll know that there are far more in between steps that need their place. From the initial brainstorming sessions, through to content creation and feedback, publication and then finally distribution, your team needs an easy content production workflow to help lay this out.
A few good examples of content production workflows include Trello, Basecamp, PROOFHUB, and CAGE. With these tools you’ll be able to prioritize work, create detailed timelines for completion, and keep track of everything.
With the content hub and collaboration tools, ContentCal has proven a real asset for creative marketing campaigns for agencies of all sizes. Not only can you send approvals to clients, you can assign tasks to all team members, share ideas among your team with the notebook function, and use category tags to keep on top of things. You can also add clients into the content calendar, allowing you to include/exclude them from seeing team comments however you see fit.
Between the likes of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and the rest, you have so many options when it comes to creating social media content. Not only does each platform have its prime time to post, you also need to keep on top of social media scheduling to ensure that your client doesn’t come off too robotic or automated. Also, your team needs a space where they can bounce ideas off of one another as well as share inspiration.
Social media production is pretty straightforward in itself, but as we’ve said it’s the multiple platforms that you need to keep track of. From ideation to first draft, approval and scheduling, your social media team needs a tool that does everything in one place.
With ContentCal’s social media functionality, you can easily draft posts, schedule and share, as well as reply to your customers’ social media enquiries through our intuitive interface. You can also use our genius Web Clipper to save bits of inspiration that you come across online. You can then borrow from this inspiration when it comes to creating your own posts! Our email notifications are really helpful too, as you can filter out the notifications you don’t need and prioritise those you do.
Whether you’re announcing the arrival of a new product or you’re just sending out a monthly newsletter, email automation is your best friend because you can streamline the often laborious process. With email automation, you can store a huge bank of contacts and set up a detailed process that nurtures relationships and chases leads so you don’t have to do the legwork yourself. If your agency doesn’t currently use email marketing software, it’s high time you did.
Email automation doesn’t just speed things up, either. There are so many opportunities for you to convert casual one-time customers into dedicated patrons of your client, and it’s all down to automation. Email workflow tools will tell you whether your email has been opened, and can trigger ‘follow-up’ emails to check in on your subscribers now and again. Done well, this kind of strategy works wonders for brands (as long as the follow-up emails aren’t too annoying).
Sometimes, the scale and complexity of a web development project will dwarf most other projects, requiring an intuitive workflow platform to help your designers and developers work together in harmony. You need clear communication between the team and your client, as well as dedicated platforms for code sharing and general collaboration.
When you want to make beautiful websites that work like a dream, you need the right tools to get your work in order and get your work done. When you’re designing a client’s website, you’ll know better than most that your client will want to be involved every step of the way. It’s only natural! Instead of various email back and forths, you need a workflow tool that incorporates flexible communication.
Now that we’ve given you some recommendations, we’re going to look at exactly how your digital agency can benefit from using a marketing workflow. Whether you’re using it for email marketing, content, or web design, all marketers need one. Here’s why.
● You can collaborate across various teams in your agency. A good marketing workflow makes seemingly disparate teams work together in unison. After all, whichever discipline you come from you’re all working towards the same goal.
● You’ll save time and effort by using workflows. Whether you’re sending out multiple emails at once or using search/filter functions to locate exactly what you need, marketing workflows make everything so much quicker. Ultimately, you’ll spend less time (which, as you know, is money) on admin and more on billable work.
● You’ll keep on top of your team’s workload. When you have a handful of new business pitches out there as well as various pieces of content at different stages of completion, you need a place for all this to be organised. Like we said earlier, much of your agency’s business is creative, and you need to rein that in for it to be profitable. Workflows lend your creativity a little process and procedure.
● Your communications will be more efficient. There’s nothing more annoying than being locked in seemingly endless email communications with your client. There’s room for error, too (unwittingly CC’ing a client into team comms is embarrassing!). A good workflow tool will enable you to ask for client sign-off within the tool itself.
● Sign-off is much easier. If you’ve ever chased for sign-off via email, you’ll know how labour-heavy it can be. Sometimes, clients don’t give sign-off as soon as you like and that’s alright. What you need is easy in-built communications with your client so your sign-off email doesn’t get lost in their inbox.