The purpose of a marketing project timeline is to understand when to start working on a specific campaign to realistically set + achieve your deadlines.
This process also helps you understand all of the efforts going on throughout your marketing team to help you realistically understand when your resources are able to execute specific phases of content development.
You defined your highest priority marketing project idea in Chapter 7 of this marketing strategy guide. The point of the Content + Promotion Checklist is to break down one project into all of the pieces of content you’ll create.
For example, if CoSchedule’s highest priority project is an educational course, our team may need to create the following content to make sure the project successfully influences our marketing goals:
^^^ In this example, you see how a large project breaks down into many pieces of content.
You will do the same thing for your highest priority project.
Open the Content + Promotion Checklist tab in your marketing strategy template spreadsheet.
Column A already has some content ideas listed to help you kick start your campaign planning process. Tweak as you see fit and add your own content ideas.
You’ll note column A is split into four distinct sections: Project Prep, Pre-Promotion, Launch, and Post Launch. Oftentimes, this helps with project timeline management because you know which pieces need to be completed before others. Again, if you find these categories aren’t applicable to your project, tweak the template as you see fit.
Add your content ideas to column A. In column B, write the Team members’ names who will help you execute each specific piece of content.
Nearly any piece of content undergoes four phases during its development process:
Think through the names of the team members who will complete each phase of the content development process to include in column B.
For example, this is who CoSchedule may need to involve to create the signup landing page of our educational course (just one piece of content in a much larger campaign):
This process will help you understand the level of effort into each piece + be able to map the project timeline so no one person is overwhelmed with too much on their plate at any given time.
Now you’ll break down each piece of content into a phased development timeline.
Open the Sprint Backlog tab in your marketing strategy template spreadsheet.
In column A, write the name of your project. In column B, write the list of all the content you’ll create for that project. This is essentially the same list as your Content + Promotion Checklist.
Now for each piece, you can map when specific phases of content development will take place. Going back to CoSchedule’s landing page example, the timeline to create that single piece of content within the campaign may look like this:
Follow the same process for each piece of content within your marketing project. As you add more content, your sprint backlog becomes your comprehensive marketing project timeline.
Here’s what the marketing project timeline example looks like as we add more content into CoSchedule’s educational course:
Note that you can plan multiple sprints for multiple projects in the same Sprint Backlog tab in your marketing strategy template spreadsheet.
In this example, CoSchedule would simply write our second highest priority project idea in cell A15, then list our content involved in that project starting in B15. From there, we’d map our project timeline following the same process we used from the first campaign.
Congrats! You’ve planned your first project timeline (or two!) and are ready to execute! Continue to Chapter 10 to learn how to organize your marketing management for efficient project execution.