Managing and keeping track of any well-rounded marketing campaign will come with challenges, but with the help of the right tools, resources, and tactics, you can drastically simplify the process while also generating more desirable results through your efforts.
Many people take a very manual and gradual approach to independent marketing, slowly promoting brand awareness at a casual pace without ever engaging in any form of aggressive or targeted advertising.
If you’re ready to step up your outreach game and gain a firmer grasp on every aspect of online marketing, try implementing the following 8 hacks that will help you track and manage your marketing campaigns more effectively and efficiently:
1. Use a Gantt Chart for Task Management
Since every marketing campaign ultimately consists of a chain of tasks, learning how to optimize the completion and punctuality of those routine activities will make your job much easier.
One of the best ways to do that is to use a task management tool called the Gantt chart, which provides a schedule of planned tasks in a format that clearly indicates the designated start and end date/time of the task – you can download some free examples here to see what this kind of scheduling template looks like.
Source: screenshot from exceltemplate.net
Essentially, it’s a great way to ensure that one task seamlessly flows into the next without interruptions being caused by the delay of having to think about what to do next. A Gantt chart makes it easy to see exactly what task is coming up next and how long you have to complete it.
2. Create a Workflow Process Map
Workflow process maps are similar to Gantt charts. In that, they provide a detailed game plan for you to follow in the management of your marketing campaigns. However, this kind of graphical approach to scheduled organization gives you the flexibility to easily adjust the order and implementation of steps within your daily workflow.
Source: screenshot from creately.com
These tools can be very useful for creating an easily digestible summary of steps, procedures, and sub-processes that make up the overall process you use to promote your brand online. There are a number of apps and online platforms that make it easy to create proprietary process maps with no experience.
3. Use a Project Management Platform
Once you reach the point in your campaign where you require the assistance of virtual assistants, writers, developers, and other remote employees, you may want to start using a project management platform to facilitate streamlined collaboration and progress monitoring. With all of your human resources, files, schedules, and collaborations centralized into a single interface, you’ll have the ability to exercise a high level of supervision and control in your marketing campaigns.
These tools exist in the cloud as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms, which means you can log on and manage your team from anywhere (provided there’s an internet connection). Many project management platforms also have associated apps that can be used to monitor and manage your team from a mobile device.
4. Track Traffic Sources Using Web Analytics
In every campaign, you need to know where your traffic is coming from so you can increase focus on successful traffic sources and abandon those that aren’t proving to be worthwhile. Most marketers are already using traffic analysis tools like Google Analytics to keep track of key metrics, but there are literally dozens of tools to choose from.
Look for plugins, extensions, and software that will give you more precise information about where your visitors are coming from and how they’re behaving. This is crucial data to collect and analyze because these metrics serve as the foundation for establishing proof of concept and persuading potential investors. In basic terms, you can’t prove the exact degree of success that any particular promotional effort is having unless you track and analyze the traffic and leads that it’s generating.
5. Manage Social Media Accounts Using a Central Dashboard
Social media management dashboards like Hootsuite and SproutSocial make it possible to manage the profiles and accounts of many different social media accounts across all the major platforms within a single convenient control panel.
When you consider how tedious it is to log in and out of dozens of different social media platforms within a single day’s work, it becomes clear that having a way to centralize this process is an incredibly valuable time-saver. Furthermore, many of these hubs provide their own analytical features that help you track progress and growth in your social media marketing campaigns.
6. Utilize the Advice of Experienced Consultants
Trying to do everything yourself within a marketing campaign might seem like a good way to save money, but sometimes it’s best to at least take advice from a more experienced professional. This is still a more cost-effective approach than hiring a third-party to do the work because you’ll be able to continue your DIY strategy after receiving personalized guidance from a consultant, mentor, or guru.
In many ways, you can view this as another way to conduct expeditious research, as you’ll no longer have to search for answers across the web; you can just ask an exact question and receive a useful answer from an accredited pro in seconds or minutes. The amount of knowledge you can extract from an expert in a 1-hour consultation makes these kinds of services a bargain when you consider how quickly you can gain applicable expertise.
7. Create Specific Schedules and Goals
Casually approaching the management of a marketing campaign from an unstructured perspective will only lead to time wasted and progress squandered. With a highly detailed schedule and a set of daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goals in place, you’ll have a solid blueprint and agenda to base your efforts on.
As you become accustomed to repeatedly carrying out the same processes via set protocols, you’ll notice that daily marketing duties will only become easier. Any complex system that involves a multi-faceted approach and many different steps will be difficult at first, but can almost always become second-nature with an effective schedule.
8. Base Your Efforts on a Comprehensive Content Strategy
Creating a content strategy involves finding the keywords, topics, trends, headlines, and intersecting niches that your audience will naturally gravitate towards. In essence, you’re trying to make your brand more visible and discoverable for the people who are most likely to want your products or services. Succeeding on the internet is largely a numbers game.
If you only have a few pieces of content online, your brand’s web presence is almost non-existent. In today’s world, you need to have dozens or hundreds of blog posts, site pages, videos, and other pieces of content to even start moving the needle. If you really want to guarantee success in a competitive industry, you’ll need to aim for the thousands. A content strategy provides the guidelines needed to facilitate that kind of output in a targeted manner.
Adhere to Refined Procedures and Protocols
Simply heeding the advice above without a structured approach will still leave you with a hectic and unpredictable process. If you want to take the hassle out of managing and tracking diverse marketing efforts across many platforms and advertising types, it’s best to create a series of replicable and sustainable steps that can be performed to reliably propel your brand forward with minimal struggle and guesswork involved.