25th April 2022
We all want to be more organised, efficient and consistent in our working lives, right? Well, alongside getting eight hours of sleep, taking plenty of exercise and not pouring whisky on our Weetabix, marketing campaign workflows can help you get there.
- What is a workflow in digital marketing?
- Why utilise a digital marketing campaign workflow?
- How do you create a marketing workflow?
- Campaign workflows: essential considerations
Put down that tumbler of Scotch and neck the following insights instead – they may not warm the cockles, but they’ll certainly give your processes the ingredient they’re missing.
What is a workflow in digital marketing?
A marketing campaign management workflow breaks down a task into steps. It should include everything from planning to execution and analysis. A strategy can be broken down into tasks, and then a workflow is created for each of these.
To give an example, the average digital marketing campaign will include an SEO strategy. Following a digital content audit, let’s imagine that the focus needs to be on landing page content. Within that focus, the following tactics have been chosen:
- Keyword research
- Competitor & industry research
- Meta optimisation
- Landing page creation
- Internal link mapping
A workflow can then be assigned to each of these tactics, detailing precisely what needs to be done. Depending on the scale of the work required, it’ll likely be useful to have multiple workflows within each tactic, i.e. one for each landing page.
Why utilise a digital marketing campaign workflow?
Marketing campaign workflows are useful on many levels:
Workflows organise your work into steps, so workloads can be seen by all who need to see them. Once you’ve got a workflow right, the basic facets of each task can be used again and again. Teams can hit the ground running with a task, as there’s no need to start with a blank canvas every time the same piece of work comes up.
Using a workflow ensures that all deliverables are consistent. Without a workflow, different employees may complete work in different ways, including different information for a client each time. It’s far more professional to offer consistency across the board, so clients know precisely what to expect.
Workflows enable best practices to be shared and followed by a team. All team members should be allowed to contribute to the creation of a workflow and be able to offer improvements at any time.
After their initial set-up, workflows can help to save time. Supervisors get an insight into how a campaign is going without having to speak to multiple people. With all tasks laid out, the more mundane aspects of a piece of work can be completed at speed, leaving more time for the creative aspects of a campaign. And once your workflows are running successfully, you’ll be able to allocate accurate timescales to each step, making it easier to calculate budgets in future.
How do you create a marketing workflow?
There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to creating a digital marketing campaign workflow. You should consider your industry, the size of your business and the needs of your target audience. They can also be useful on pretty much any task, especially those with multiple parts. So use them for the likes of email marketing, social media posts, PPC campaigns, content, and client reporting.
Below we’ll look at a basic campaign workflow for an email newsletter. Bear in mind that a digital marketing agency may need to create different workflows for different industries – the purpose of an email for a law company will differ wildly from that of an eCommerce one. Workflows can be created using Microsoft Excel, Word or dedicated software, but more on that later.
Campaign workflow: email marketing newsletter
Once your first campaign workflow is up-and-running, you’ll know precisely how many people you’ll need to work on it. This will also depend on the size of your business. For a typical email marketing workflow, a small business may have to spread the work between two people (one to create, another to proof). A larger enterprise may be able to assign more, such as an SEO specialist, content writer, user experience professional, designer, proofreader, analytics expert and someone to brew the Earl Grey.
You’ll likely have to create more than one template for different kinds of email newsletters – a customer welcome letter, weekly newsletter, after-sales contact, etc. Templates drastically reduce the time spent on creating future emails.
- Content structure
A workflow may include a word count for each section of content, such as intro text, main body, bullet points, outro text, and a CTA.
Your layout should include a place for images, and a workflow should give stipulations about what’s acceptable. Is it okay to use free image sites such as Unsplash? Should there be a set number of images, charts and diagrams?
Ideally, you’ll have a second person on hand to proofread the work completed.
Once the edit is finished, a test email should be sent to ensure no errors go out in the finished version. When approved, the email can be sent to clients or customers.
The results of any piece of work need to be monitored to check for successes and failures. It may be useful to check opening rates and, if the email is sales-focused, any clicks that occur from within an email itself. Findings can be used to refine future workflows.
Campaign workflows: considerations
Consider the following before creating your own workflows, and you’ll reap the benefits in the long run.
Will dedicated workflow software help?
Whilst’ good old’ Excel can come in useful for planning workflows, plenty of clever bods have invented dedicated software. A quick Google search will bring up countless examples of workflow software that may make an organisation’s workflow even smoother.
If considering using software to manage your workflows, be sure to shop around. Some will have a very specific purpose, whereas others will be more generic and easier to manipulate for your own requirements.
Once a workflow is complete, it shouldn’t be set in stone forever, no sirree. The digital marketing industry changes regularly, and stages of a workflow can quickly become obsolete. Be sure to regularly review your workflows as well. If something isn’t working, change it, and use the advice of your team to ensure best practice in future.
Allow teams to set timescales
Your employees are the real experts here, so don’t pluck figures from thin air and expect a workflow to comply. Allow teams to discuss timescales for individual tasks and to decide on a fair schedule amongst themselves. These can then be followed by everyone in future.
Keep it simple
Although it’s important to break a workflow down into stages, avoid micro-management. Too many steps will simply confuse matters, so keep it as simple as possible. If a workflow is successful, it should free up the time of managers to do their jobs – i.e. management, as opposed to double-checking every piece of work being done.
Remember the purpose
The purpose of a workflow isn’t to turn human employees into robots – it should empower them to do their jobs correctly and spend less time on mundane tasks. If the process isn’t working, it’s likely a fault of the workflow – be sure to gather feedback on how things can be improved for the next time around.
Creating and utilising a digital marketing campaign workflow might seem like adding work to your already exhausting schedule, but it’s a process that will save you time and money – yes, money! – in the long run.
At ROAR, our own client campaign workflows ensure our managed SEO services offer great value and give a clear vision of results.
Contact us today and see the difference we can make!