A clear workflow is essential to streamline marketing operations. And unclear workflow instructions are the beginning of the end.
They can lead to poor productivity, a cluttered onboarding process, and compliance and retention troubles.
And when it comes to the bottom line, a study shows that an inefficient workflow can reduce company revenue by 20-30 percent.
You don't have to fall into this trap! Automating and structuring your marketing workflow can easily fix several business problems. For instance, a McKinsey study shows that automated workflow can improve productivity from 0.8 to 1.4 annually.
And standard operating procedures (SOPs) are the best way to standardize (and automate) your business operations.
So, what's an SOP?
An SOP is a step-by-step instructional document that outlines how to complete a task. Teams create SOP documents to boost their efficiency and performance while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with industry regulations.
Marketers can create SOPs for internal and external efforts, like account-based marketing SOPs that would guide an account manager through different aspects of the job.
Creating SOPs can be easy — but first you have to cultivate a structure for defining a problem, documenting the process and keeping it updated.
Thanks to tools like Scribe, this is easier to do than ever. Scribe is an SOP generator that documents your standard operating procedures for you.
But first, let's get into how SOPs can solve problems for your marketing team (and business as a whole).
How can SOP documents address major business pain points?
Your marketing team can use SOPS to streamline daily operations — whether it's how to tackle Webflow edits or collaborate in Notion. SOPs can support even your newest employees with best practices.
SOPs can also be internal AND customer-facing, like the instructions on this SolitaireBliss website.
Or you can support your content team by outlining the blog creation process, like this content marketing guide.
As long as an SOP is easy to access, read and apply, it can guide all relevant stakeholders through the right steps at the right time. And when you automate your SOPS, you and your employees can get your time back.
Some of the major problems an SOP can solve include:
According to Harvard Business Review, onboarding can make or break your candidate experience. And lately, onboarding has become a big challenge as companies grapple with remote and hybrid work.
Onboarding delays or inconsistencies can lead to low employee morale and confidence and create a trust gap between employees and employers. To keep your talent around, you have to streamline the process.
Get rid of the guesswork. Create and socialize onboarding SOPs to clearly define the process for remote, hybrid or in-house employees.
Do you know that teams are losing roughly a day's worth of work each week due to miscommunication?
When you don't know how to do something, you might spend hours trying to "figure it out" yourself. And even when you ask, it might take that long to find the colleague with an answer. And if your knowledge workers spend all of their time answering questions... well the cycle continues.
SOPs save employees the trouble of trying to understand different projects and software. You might have a brilliant new hire, but if they don't know how to use (or even access) your project management tool, they won't be able to perform well.
Save employees' time so they can focus on the tasks at hand.
Brand & service inconsistencies
If you're running a marketing agency, it's likely that all of your agents have different communication styles. And if you have different contact points, like a structured help desk and direct email, you'll likely see varying responses to the same question.
You might have several employees, but there's only one brand voice. Create SOPs to articulate what to say, how to say it and when.
Make sure that your marketing, customer success and help desk teams are all aligned on best practices. That way you can eliminate inconsistencies across operations. You can do this by developing a knowledge base that all teams can reference.
Make sure to employ the best process documentation practices to introduce positive changes and optimize results.
Some business operations and processes are linked to certain regulations. And chances are there are more rules than you think.
Even if compliance isn't your primary focus, you HAVE to follow the letter of the law. Connect with your security or compliance expert to develop SOPS that specifically support your website, newsletter and other standard functions.
When senior employees leave or switch departments, it can massively disrupt how the team works. That’s because they take valuable company knowledge and data with them.
Knowledge transfer depends on standardizing and socializing institutional knowledge. And if not structured, it can be majorly challenging or time-consuming to document and share.
Create SOPs often — whenever you run through a new process. Then when replacements come onboard, they'll have a wealth of knowledge to dive into.
Challenges of creating marketing SOPs
SOPs have many benefits, but the process isn't always easy. It can be hard to get your SOP program off the ground.
When you first get started, you'll likely run into some SOP challenges, like:
- It can be a time-consuming process.
- The SOP writer needs technical knowledge, meaning subject matter experts can't focus on their work.
- You need to regularly update SOPs, which means a lot of deleting and redoing.
- You need to make SOPs consistent and easy to share if they're going to be effective.
This is where SOP automation tools like Scribe come in.
How Scribe makes it easy to create marketing SOPs
Scribe is a browser extension and desktop app that documents your processes for you. All you need to do is turn on the tool and run through your workflow. Scribe will auto-generate a step-by-step guide, complete with text and screenshots.
Scribe is easy to install, use and share with your team — so you can document your best practices in seconds.
Let’s explore some of Scribe's top SOP features.
Create and share in seconds
Scribe works while you work. Now your top SMEs won't lose another minute to process documentation. Create a knowledge base to outline your most popular processes, and if a new question comes in, just Scribe the answer.
Free browser extension
Free users can download and use the extension in minutes. Pause or stop your recording at any time, and easily edit steps. If you have a Pro account, you can also download the extension app (which works on multiple screens) for offline support.
Make advanced customizations
Once you record your procedure, Scribe offers advanced options to customize it to your style. For instance:
- Add and edit the blurb of each SOP step.
- ADD steps in between, delete or merge SOP steps.
- Copy steps from one Scribe to another.
- Options to add a heading, tips, alerts and GIFs.
- Add screenshots to your steps.
- (Pro) edit and annotate screenshots.
- (Pro) Redact screenshot info.
You can share a Scribe instantly with a link, or embed into any CMS or knowledge base (yes, that includes your blog page!)
Free users can export their SOPs into PDF, and premium users can export to HTML markup format. You can also share your SOP in Confluence or embed it in more than 100 of your favorite applications.
You can update a Scribe at any time, and the best part is: your changes will automatically populate wherever you've shared or embedded the Scribe. Your help desk, FAQs, knowledge base, blog posts (and anywhere else you might add a Scribe) all update instantly.
You can also combine Scribes to create one giant process doc, and merge them to showcase exactly how the process is done.
Create and combine process docs with Scribe Pages
Pages is the latest Scribe feature, and it's a game changer. Now you can add several Scribes to a single process doc, alongside text, lists, video and more! Organize your SOPs based on tool or department (for example, you can devote a Scribe Page to Influencer Marketing, and populate all of your SOPs in the same document)
Scribe Pages is perfect for onboarding new team members, launching tools or familiarizing your customers with your best features.
SOP examples created by Scribe
Now that you know Scribe is an awesome platform for creating SOPs, let’s explore some top examples.
Scribe 1: How to publish a social post in Buffer
Show your team how to use the popular social media marketing tool. Here's a Scribe on how to quickly publish a post.
Scribe 2: SOP for asset management
If you have a digital store, you must have several incoming and outgoing assets. So, creating an SOP for asset management using Scribe can help you keep an eye on your business assets and inventory.
Scribe Page: Getting started with Asana
Help your team manage client projects by getting everyone up to speed on the popular project management tool.
Final thoughts: Let's make winning SOPs for your marketing team
An effective SOP program can help you solve many business problems. You can improve your team‘s productivity, share best practices and keep up your compliance (without all the hassle).
SOPs are essential to operate your business smoothly, but they don't have to destroy your time or frustrate your team. Take advantage of Scribe and Scribe Pages today!
Sumeet Anand is a B2B Marketing Expert and Founder at Marveta. He helps brands and businesses generate leads with his top-notch content strategies. He has featured on various major media publications across the globe. Connect with him on social!
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LinkedIn profile link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sumeet-anand/