Your marketing calendar is the tool where you’ll organize the publish dates for every piece of content for every project. In this sense, it’s the version of truth—the one place to see everything your marketing team is working on.
You learned how to map out a project timeline in Chapter 9. Now it’s time to translate that timeline into clearly defined publish dates for each piece of content.
In that example, we planned the landing page for CoSchedule’s educational course.
This project timeline example suggests the landing page will be ready to publish by the end of the week of January 15-19. So we can plan the landing page to publish Friday, January 19.
From here, we can review of the elements surrounding the promotion of the landing page, which include social media messages, Facebook ads, emails, and a blog post.
The landing page’s project timeline suggests:
So you see from that example how you’ll set your deadlines (aka publish dates). This is what that example looks like visually with CoSchedule’s marketing calendar:
The framework here is to use the high-level understanding of when a piece will be 100% complete (gained from the sprint backlog exercise in Chapter 9) to determine hard publish dates to your content.
Now you need a way to break the phases of content development for each piece into clear tasks you’ll delegate to the team members who’ll execute the work.
Use the following framework to define a workflow for a single piece of content. You’ll repeat the process for each content type you’ve chosen to execute within your campaigns.
Map the flow chart of the complete content creation process. Don’t omit a single task.
At this point, you’re looking to understand everything you’d typically do to publish a specific piece of content.
Former Intel CEO and chairman, Andrew S. Grove, writes in his book High Output Management that in order to boost efficiencies in your workflow, you need to understand your existing process:
So write everything down.
For example, let’s say CoSchedule wants to create a workflow for the landing page planned as part of the educational course. It might look something like this to begin with:
Write down every task in your process as it exists today.
Andrew S. Grove also writes in High Output Management:
To summarize, you’re looking to reduce the number of tasks in your current process that:
For CoSchedule’s landing page example, we set a task reduction target of 20 tasks (and actually found 21 opportunities to remove):
In this example, we’re able to alleviate 62% of the workload by strategically removing tasks that are part of other workflows, don’t need to be completed, or exist for unnecessary approval processes.
Target a specific number of tasks to remove from your process, then review your existing workflow and identify those productivity improvement opportunities.
There are probably opportunities to batch tasks that happen in conjunction with each other.
This exercise will increase your team members’ productivity by helping them knock out all of the similar tasks in one fell swoop.
To continue the landing page example, this is what the final consolidated workflow looks like:
We consolidated eight tasks into three, bringing the total down from 43 originally to a final total workflow task count of eight:
Batch similar tasks within your workflow together to increase your team members’ productivity.
You already know at a general high level which team members need to be involved in specific phases of content development.
At this point, you’re looking for the names of those who will execute specific tasks.
In general, it’s best practice to assign one task to a single team member. The moment you assign a single task to more than one person, is the moment each of those people think someone else is completing the work. Accountability works best when targeted at a specific team member.
This is who will complete the work for CoSchedule’s landing page example:
Choose who will complete each task within your workflow.
Generally speaking, it’s easiest to think about task due dates in terms of:
Begin by defining the due date for the last task in your workflow. This way, you know exactly when the entire piece of content will be 100% complete.
From there, work backward up the list, assigning due dates to the second to last task, third to last, and so forth.
When you’re done, you’ll know exactly when the first task in your needs to be complete. Armed with this knowledge, you can start working through the piece with a realistic timeline to complete the work by your anticipated publish date.
This is what the exercise looks like applied to CoSchedule’s landing page example:
You can use the high-level phases of content development you planned in your sprint backlog to help you understand what tasks need to be completed in certain weeks, too, to help you understand when each task should be complete.
For example, when we apply the landing page workflow to the specific educational course signup page example, these are the due dates for the tasks:
Compare the task due dates to the phases of content development we planned in the sprint backlog:
Note how the due dates for the tasks align perfectly with the phases of content development.
Assign due dates for your tasks in the form of # days before publish.
The final element of strategic marketing management involves communication. You’ve set up expectations of what the team will create, who will complete certain tasks, and when those tasks will be complete.
Now it’s time to effectively communicate this to the team, which requires:
Enable easy collaboration with marketing management software designed to remove the tedious, manual busywork.
Hint: I’m talking about CoSchedule.
When you manage your content + campaigns with CoSchedule, you’ll delegate these tasks effectively because CoSchedule automatically notifies, communicates, and reminds assignees to complete their work on time.
CoSchedule also helps you organize every marketing campaign + all of your content in one place. You’ll see everything your team is working on to execute your marketing strategy more efficiently than ever.
So sign up for your 14-day free trial of CoSchedule now, and get organized!
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Congrats! You’ve built your entire marketing strategy and know how you’ll manage the work!