Best practices for managing your content marketing project

Kristen Van Nest
Jul 23, 2019 · 5 min read

Managing an upcoming marketing project can be stressful. There are a lot of moving parts that need to come together for success. For the project itself, you who have think of the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why.

Here are some quick tips on how to manage your marketing project:

Why: Develop a strategy

First step is having a game plan. Some things to consider:

  • Design: What is your visual strategy? What is your color scheme and theme?
  • Copy: tag line, positioning, blog posts, individual channel communication strategy, press release, etc.
  • What channels will you be focusing on? Social media channels, advertising, press, etc.

Once you have all these details in place, you know what you need to execute on.

Lock down what is due when before the project starts

What: Create a list of all the deliverables you need to complete for the launch
Before you can assign any tasks, you need to identify what specifically needs to be completed and by when. First, I like to brain dump every little detail of what needs to be done on a piece of paper. To add some structure, I usually make a list of all the steps down the left hand side of a piece of paper, noting all the specific smaller tasks for each step. Next, on the right side of the paper corresponding to each task, I write how long each step takes. That way I know everything that needs to be done and how long each smaller piece takes.

Where: Setting up a Workspace for your team to collaborate

Since I work mainly in Google Drive, I like to use Ripley, which makes it way easier to collaborate with my team by automating reminders and organizing our Google files into Workspaces with deadlines that automatically integrate into our Google Calendars and Gantt charts (which I will get to shortly). If you’re interested in doing something similar, I’ve partnered with Ripley, creating my own template [link to template] you can use and will have everything I’ve discussed below already setup for use.

Within my Ripley Workspace, I make a template document for each deliverable in the process. For each item, I write in the template: 1) All the steps in the process, how long is needed for each step and 2) Set a deadline in the Feed tab for however long in the future that project takes.

So if it’s two weeks, I set it for 2 weeks from today. Of course the steps in every single part of the process will not start today as some pieces rely on earlier parts being completed, but do this for now (and we will adjust in the next step).

Once I have all the documents made, I put them at the start of my process in my Workspace:

Organizing the Timeline

Now that you have a setup Workspace of what needs to be completed, you can move on to when. This is where a GANTT chart comes in. I’ll use Ripley’s GANTT chart as a reference.

Ripley has now auto-populated my GANTT with all the deliverable documents as well as the length of time until the deadline. Now I can drag each deliverable on the calendar to where it needs to be relative to the final deadlines and the steps before it that needed to be completed:

Who: Assign tasks to your team
Great, now you have an area for your team to collaborate in as well as a calendar GANTT chart for reference. Next, consider who you will be assigning on your team or hiring externally to complete this work and check-in to confirm their availability for the project. Make sure to give them the exact dates in which you expect they’ll need to work based on your GANTT chart.

When: Creating a timeline based on availability
Preparing copy, ads, social media, design, etc. is a lot of work and usually takes more time than you’d expect. You also have to factor in your team or freelancers have other projects they’re likely working on. So, you don’t have their full-time attention and worst case scenario, they only have a few hours a week to commit to your launch. When you ask them for their availability, make sure to get a commitment from them that they can meet the deadline. That way, everyone is on-board and commits to set deadlines so they cannot back out later.

Stay on track through weekly check-ins and more frequent reminders

Managing your workflow with your team
Now that you’ve set up a foundational plan, you need to make sure to stay on track with that plan as you execute the project. It’s very important to have 1) Weekly check-in meetings and 2) Reminders for your team.

I like to use weekly check-in meetings to discuss what everyone has completed from the past week as well as confirm assigned tasks for the following week. This is a great time to also straighten any bottlenecks that are holding up aspects of the project.

The nice thing about Ripley is that teammates get a personalized dashboard that includes all their upcoming deadlines as well as morning reminders as to what is due next. Lastly, those deadlines are also automatically added to their work Google accounts.

At the end of the weekly meetings, I make sure the deadlines on the Ripley deliverable docs are updated appropriately so that my team is getting the appropriate deadline reminders on their dashboard, via morning email, and in their calendar. Knowing they are getting these reminders is a relief as I know I don’t have to take time to check in with everyone independently.

I hope this was helpful for your upcoming marketing campaign! If you’d like to use Ripley, I’ve partnered with them to make a specific template [link to template], already set up with all of these details so you can simply customize it for your project.

Kristen Van Nest has over 7+ years experience in branding, copywriting, and digital marketing strategy. As a remote freelancer, she specializes in helping increase conversion rates across various digital channels through strategic content marketing. To learn more about her background, click here.

Kristen Van Nest

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Follow me on Instagram for pics of me looking H0tT in VeRY comfortable sweaters and on Twitter to join my troll army: @KristenVanNest

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