Getting started with Marketing.AI requires a plan of attack, and depends somewhat if you are starting from scratch or migrating existing planning and workflow documents. If you are starting from scratch, be sure to check out our Content Marketing Readiness Checklist. That said, you can jump right into with these guidance as well. And if you already have documents and workflow that you are using, you probably have content that can be organized into the following framework:
1. Add Themes: Adding themes helps you to group content and goals throughout the system. Themes can be blocks of content, such as topics (e.g. Industry Trends); they can be goals or objectives, such as ‘increase twitter followers or ‘increase SEO rank for <insert keyword>’; or they can be business specific, such as a product line. Once you have created a Theme, it now becomes available throughout the system. If you have a spreadsheet calendar, it is likely you already have some sort of Theme-like mechanism for grouping content, so just port that over to Themes. If you organized mainly by Content Type, then use those, which are available in the Content Item Details view.
2. Create items in calendar: If you have content already planned that you need to move into the calendar, go ahead and click on the date you want the item to appear and it will take you to the Content Items form to begin creating planning details for that item. You can also click on the Create New button. Once in the item details view, start by giving the item a Title and Due Date. You may also want to give it a Summary and Synopsis. The Summary and Synopsis helps remind you what this item should be about if you are writing it, and if you are assigning it to someone else, these help bring them up to speed. You can also add Keywords, Content Type, Buyer Cycle Stage and Target Audience to help define the content. What Content Type you select will determine the item’s color in the calendar. Choose an author from the drop-down (if you have added users already) to select an author for assignment (can also be yourself, or you can also leave this blank if it’s yourself).
3. Set-up your integrations: Once you start getting into serious workflow you are going to want to have your content and information pass freely amongst other systems, such as marketing automation, CMS, and promotion channels. You are also going to want to know the success of each piece of content you publish. Therefore, get started and integrate any accounts you have. Directions for each account type are located in each individual tab when you select them.
4. Start collaborating and publishing: To start collaborating, first you need users so add them under Settings -> User Management. Now when you want to assign an item to someone, you will see the team member you added in the drop-down selector. When creating or editing a user, if you select the checkbox entitled ‘Global Follower’ then this user will be kept abreast of all content being planned and created in the system.
Before you can start publishing, someone needs to start drafting first. To draft content, click through on a planned item and then click on the ‘Draft’ tab. You will know see a full featured Editor for drafting and collaborating around your content. Enter in your content including formatted text, images, and source code and hit ‘Save’ to save your work. Different team members can access the ‘Draft’ view to view content depending on their permission settings. The content may go through different stages of workflow as set in the Details view.
When the content is ready, click through on the Publish tab, select your publishing channel and author account, choose your schedule for publishing and publish it to your channel. This will return a URL and now you can can promote it on Outbrain by selecting it from the promotion drop-down. For more information on setting up your Outbrain account, contact support.
So to recap, taking you through a simple set-up workflow:
1. Create a Theme, or several, by selecting Themes -> Add New. If you are stuck for one, pick something that addresses a key customer pain point and plan content around that.
2. Integrate at least one publishing channel, either your CMS or one of the social channels like Twitter.
3. Plan a content item in the calendar.
4. Draft that item using the Editor.
5. Publish it to your Channel. If you select a CMS channel then by default it will publish as a Draft in your CMS. You can change this to ‘published’ or go to your CMS account for final work before publishing. If you schedule something to publish in the future it will be set to ‘published’ not ‘draft’. Also, if you publish to Twitter of Facebook from the calendar it will be ‘published’ not ‘draft’.
After you have successfully gone through that workflow, you are now ready to go on to start building other repeatable workflows.