Digital Marketing Agency Primer: How to Manage Workflows

anjan sarkar
August 25, 2022
min read
January 22, 2024
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If you're working in a digital marketing agency, you need defined and reliable workflows. But how can you make that happen? Let's dig into why workflows matter and how you can simplify the process for your team.
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Every digital marketing agency is different, but one thing they all have in common is that they need to be able to manage their workflows. This means having a plan for how you’re going to get the job done, not just once but every time. And as your business grows and changes, so will your workflow needs.

TL;DR: Digital marketing agency primer

  • Workflows are a key part of digital agency management.
  • Workflows can be internal or external.
  • Workflows can be managed by the agency or by the client.
  • Workflows can be managed by a team or by a single person.
  • Workflows can be simple or complex, depending on your needs!

What is workflow?

Workflow is a system for managing the steps involved in a process. The workflow can be fully automated or semi-automated and can apply to any business or personal process. For example:

  • A manufacturer may use workflow for its production line, to ensure that the right materials are being used at the right time, and that all required employees are assigned to each task.
  • An accounting firm might use workflow to track invoices from clients, send out statements when they need approval from managers (or accountants), and then process payments once they have been approved.

In Digital Marketing Agency workflows you'll find examples of how your business can make use of digital marketing services such as SEO & PPC Services Workflows.

📚 ‎AI Tools: The Future of Smart Marketing

Why would I need a workflow?

A workflow is a system of activities, people and information that produce an outcome.

Workflows are everywhere. They can be found in the most mundane things such as a grocery store checkout line, to the most complex systems like an airplane engine. Anytime there is a sequence of steps that need to be accomplished to achieve a goal, there is a workflow.

An effective workflow will allow you to manage your projects better and more efficiently by:

  • Managing your team's time better through task delegation, collaboration and marketing tools.
  • Managing client expectations by keeping them up-to-date on progress made toward completing their project or service offering (think: "The Ultimate Guide To Making Your Customers Happy").
  • Managing internal processes associated with running your digital marketing agency business (think: "5 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Some Of Your Marketing").
  • Right workflow automation CRM helps to increase productivity and allows you to close more deals in less time.

There are many different types of workflows out there depending on what industry you’re in, but I’ll cover three main types here — project management, team management and client relationship management—as these are common across most industries

External workflows for digital marketing agencies

External workflows are used by agencies that work with clients, either as consultants or as full-time employees. They allow you to streamline the process of moving a project from start to finish.

If you're a digital marketing agency that works with clients, you'll want to manage their expectations and make sure they understand what their investment in your services will get them. Client-facing workflows help by showing them how long it takes for certain tasks like content creation and analysis to be completed—and what they can do themselves if they want faster results. 

If you're an agency that works with other agencies or freelancers from time to time (or even exclusively), this is where your most important business processes live — like setting up contracts for new projects, managing client communications during development phases, billing clients for completed projects, etcetera.

Internal workflows for digital marketing agencies

Internal workflow is a set of processes that are used to manage the workflow of your team. It can also be used to manage the workflow of a single project.

Internal workflow can help keep things organized and it will make sure that everyone knows what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how much work there is left for them in their part of the process.

📌 ‎Related resource: Challenges & Solutions: SOPs for Agencies

Common pitfalls in workflow management

Like any project, there are many factors that can go wrong. Here are a few:

  • Poor communication: This is the biggest issue in our experience. It's important to have clear channels of communication between everyone involved, and make sure everyone understands what their role is in the process.
  • Lack of documentation: It may seem like extra work at first, but documenting everything you do can save you time later on if something doesn't go as planned (which it almost always does). The last thing anyone wants to do during business hours is look through old emails and try to figure out where things went wrong!
  • Poor planning: This one might seem obvious but it needs saying: make sure everyone knows what needs doing before they start working on it! 

If possible, set aside time for planning so that everyone has plenty of opportunity for input into what needs doing. Otherwise you could end up with two different people working on the same task at once (and then neither has enough information). 

Should you have a workflow?

The short answer is yes.

Having a well-planned workflow is key for every digital agency to operate successfully, so think about how you’re going to structure yours before you need it.

A workflow is a process, not a tool.

In digital marketing, we often think of workflows as a series of steps that are repeated to ensure that our clients' marketing activities run smoothly. 

For example, when you’re managing multiple campaigns, you might create a separate workflow for each one to keep track of all the tasks you need to handle for each campaign.

Workflow is an essential part of every digital agency’s success because it helps teams stay organized and on track with their digital operations. A well-planned workflow ensures that all members are aware of what needs to be done next and how long they have before they can move on to something else.

This reduces confusion among team members as well as frustration over missed deadlines or other issues caused by miscommunication between employees and managers within an agency (or between agencies).

‎Get 5 free digital marketing SOP templates for your business!

It's never been so easy to manage workflows

If you’re a digital marketing agency, then you know that there are many moving parts to keep track of.

A workflow can help you organize all these moving pieces and make sure they all work together in harmony. It'll also save time spent on mundane tasks like scheduling meetings, creating client reports or managing projects.

If you already have one in place, great! But if not, now is the time to get started on creating one — before it’s too late!

We know, this might sound daunting. But it doesn't have to be. In this day and age, there are countless project management and process documentation tools available to streamline your workflows and get everyone on the same page.

Scribe's Marketing Process Documentation Generator

‎Take advantage of tools like Scribe, an SOP generator that does your workflow documentation for you. Once you've identified a process, you only need to go through it once. In seconds, Scribe will create a step-by-step guide, complete with text and screenshots.

Develop workflows, streamline processes and save hours with automation that works, every time. Check out Scribe today — it's totally free!

Ready to try Scribe?

Scribe automatically generates how-to guides and serves them to your team when they need them most. Save time, stay focused, help others.