For enterprise marketing teams, time is a commodity that’s hard to come by. The more you can streamline your teams’ marketing workflow, the faster and more accurate their work will be.
It all starts with organization. Mapping out the workflow for each marketing process turns marketing operations into a smoothly functioning machine, churning out valuable content that builds trust in your audience — and, eventually, produces loyal customers.
Document Your Strategy
Think of your content strategy as the foundation of your marketing operations. Without a solid strategy, things soon turn to chaos.
Unfortunately, research shows, 25% of all B2B marketers haven’t built that foundation. And of those who do, only 37% have documented it.
For large marketing teams, that’s a recipe for disaster. New employees, freelancers, and other outsourced talent will have no idea what your goals are unless you have documented them, ideally on your content platform where everyone can see them.
Image Source: Content Marketing Institute
So, if your company hasn’t documented your content strategy yet, sit down to sketch one out. So long as it’s aligned with your company’s goals and revolves around your prospects’ and customers’ needs, it’s a good start.
Next, Plan Your Marketing Workflows
As Fool.com’s Jimmy Rodela advises, it’s a good idea to create a workflow for each of your marketing activities. Ideally, these workflows should all share the following factors:
- Visible to all stakeholders: Just as you did with your marketing strategy, you need to document each workflow where your teams can easily find them. That’s especially critical when you need to onboard new talent quickly. Storing them on your content platform makes it easy for newbies to refer to them without having to switch back and forth between tools.
- Efficient and easy to understand: Break each task down into a logical progression. Simplify it as much as possible so that your teams can understand what they need to do and when.
- Flexible enough to accommodate change: Agility is essential in today’s ever-changing technology and marketing strategies. Create your workflows with that need in mind. That way, if you need to add extra steps or remove others, you won’t upset the whole process.
With these factors in mind, list all the marketing activities your teams engage in, both online and off. Although most marketing occurs in the digital sphere, be sure to include in-person events and print materials if they factor into your strategy.
Jot Down Your Current Workflows for Each Activity
Even though your teams might not have a documented workflow to follow, they will likely follow specific, repeatable steps to accomplish each task.
Those steps are your current workflows. Even if they are less than ideal, jot them down.
Since you want to make your new workflows as efficient as possible, look for ways to keep your teams in their comfort zone, even as you strip out the dead wood.
For example, if your current blog post creation workflow requires your writers to submit an outline to your copy chief by email before writing the entire post, you can keep the approval process in your new workflow but move it to the content platform where it can happen in real time, without the hassle of back-and-forth emails.
Revise Your Workflows with Efficiency in Mind
Chances are good that when you started to document your current processes, you saw some areas where you could shave off unnecessary steps. You might even find some areas where adding a step or two might save time in the long run.
Now, it’s time to put those operations into action. Transform your outdated processes into a streamlined process that will speed up content production.
Start with the basic components of each marketing activity
Break down each step your teams need to take, from the first spark of an idea to measuring the results each finished project brings in. List the tools you’ll need to carry out each task.
Again, if all your content production lives on a single platform, it will be easier to automate routine tasks within each project type. Then, look for ways to put automation to work so that your teams can spend more time on creative work.
Delegate tasks for each step
Depending on the activity, you’ll likely have different roles handling the tasks. For example, if you’re sketching out the workflow for a video, your writers will probably handle the scripting part early in the process but will turn over the actual production to your videographers.
On the other hand, if the project is a blog post, your writers will handle most of the process until they’re ready to turn it in for approval. Your content workflow chart should outline this breakdown of tasks so that everyone can play their unique role in the process.
Set timelines for each task within each project type
Meet with your teams to get a good estimate of how long it will take to complete the various tasks involved in each project type. Set these timelines to be somewhat flexible.
For instance, it might take only one day to write blog posts on more general topics. However, if the post requires deep research and content collaboration with subject matter experts, it will likely take more than a day.
So, you might set a flexible timeline of 1–4 days for completing a blog post. Then, you can use these timelines as a general guide to set dynamic deadlines for individual projects on your content calendar.
Include a plan to measure your workflow’s efficiency
After you’ve gotten your new workflows up and running, you’ll need to evaluate them for efficiency. Since the evaluative process should be ongoing, include the process you’ll use to assess each workflow within the workflow itself.
Part of your assessment should include your workflows’ effect on reducing the time it takes to get a project from ideation to publication. With today’s consumers and business leaders alike digesting content at a faster pace than ever, it should be one of your top goals to get more quality content into your target audience’s hands.
Additionally, you need to bring your teams into the evaluative process. If they feel too much pressure because the pace is too fast, their performance will likely suffer.
Instead, work with them to detect and remove any roadblocks or unrealistic expectations. Listen to their suggestions and give them a try if something in your new system isn’t working. After all, they’re the people who perform the tasks you’ve outlined in your workflow.
Finally, Consider Marketing-Specific Workflow Software
If your marketing workflow lives on a spreadsheet, your teams will have to switch back and forth from the spreadsheet to their workspace to see what task comes next, wasting time and introducing distractions.
Or, if you’re using a generic project management tool, you’ve likely discovered that you need more than a few workarounds to accommodate its features to your marketing teams’ needs. And, as they would with a spreadsheet, your teams still need to switch back and forth between their work and their workflow.
That need not be the case when you have a content marketing-centric platform like DivvyHQ. Both a comprehensive content marketing platform and a project management tool, DivvyHQ accommodates in-platform content scheduling, ideation, and creation, complete transparency for all stakeholders, and a content analytics solution customized to your company’s exact needs.
And the cherry and whipped cream on top? A robust content metadata management tool and a wealth of integrations where you can sync data from other company tools without ever leaving the platform.
And, even better, you can try it free for 14 days with no obligation. Start your free trial today!