Crowd Content Launches Campaigns (Beta) to Automate Your Content Strategy

Skip directly to the Complete Guide for Using Campaigns (Beta)

Today, Crowd Content released the beta version of Campaigns. Campaigns is a tool that helps marketers organize and automate their entire content strategy.

Campaigns allows marketers to plan their content calendar weeks, months, or even years in advance. The tool then automatically places content orders with your team of writers according to the schedule you have created.

Campaigns makes it easy to add different content streams to your calendar such as blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, ebooks, or white papers.

You can pre-assign each piece of content to a specific writer or set each piece on a first come first serve basis for your writing team.

Calendar and Content List

Have a list of titles or keywords that you need content written for? Bulk upload tools make it easy to add hundreds of titles in minutes. The calendar then schedules each title as a separate content order on the days you want them.

Need to make changes to your content calendar after scheduling it? Bulk edit tools allow you to edit several content orders at once. A bulletin board also lets you communicate with your entire writing team from one place.

Combined with our publishing apps, Campaigns will significantly reduce the time it takes for marketers to plan, schedule, approve, and publish content. Completed content can be sent directly to your website. You can also export content with full HTML coding or export in bulk to a CSV file.

Campaigns truly does make managing and executing a robust content marketing strategy easy for brands and agencies. To learn more, view the tutorial below or contact us today for a live demo.

Complete Guide for Using Campaigns (Beta)

Below is a complete guide with screenshots on how to use the beta version of Campaigns at Crowd Content. Because Campaigns is currently in beta, you will need to request access to this section of the platform by clicking "Campaigns" in the top navigation bar and then contacting your Client Account Manager.

If you’re new to Crowd Content, then you should check out the Quick-Start Guide for Crowd Content Clients.

Guide Contents

  1. Campaigns Video Tutorial
  2. Creating a New Campaign
  3. Create a Campaign Brief and Default Settings
  4. Select Writers for Your Campaign
  5. Schedule Content for Your Campaign
  6. Launch Your Campaign
  7. Monitoring Your Active Campaign
  8. Editing Scheduled Content Orders

1. Campaigns Video Tutorial

 

2. Creating a New Campaign

Click on Campaigns in the top navigation bar of the site. Click Create New Campaign to get started. The site will walk you through an easy Campaign set up wizard which we outline in the following steps.

3. Create a Campaign Brief and Default Settings

Every Campaign has a Brief and a group of Default Settings.

Brief

The Brief should cover your high level objectives and guidelines for all content that will be created in the Campaign.

v2 Campaign-Brief

Give your Campaign a name, upload a logo for your Campaign, and outline your general guidelines in the Campaign Overview section.

You can also upload an attachment for your Campaign. You may want to do this if you have a more detailed set of guidelines in an existing document.

Default Settings

Specifying your Default Settings will save you time when adding content orders to the Campaign.

v2-Default-Settings

These settings will be automatically applied to all new content orders added to the Campaign going forward. However, you will have the option to change any of these settings at the time of adding each new content order – these are only default settings.

Most of these settings are optional, but you will at least want to select a default Content Type. Select Custom for any type of content other than tweets or Facebook posts. For example, for articles, blog posts, press releases, ebooks, and white papers, you should select Custom.

The other settings in this section are the same settings you would find on the normal order form at Crowd Content. These settings tell the writer what you are looking for. Specify any settings that you feel will apply to most content orders added to this Campaign. If you’re unsure about any of the settings, leave them blank.

Remember, these are only default settings – you will have the option to change them when adding any new content orders to the Campaign.

When you’re happy with your Campaign Brief and Default Settings, click Save and Continue.

4. Select Writers for Your Campaign

On this step, you select which writer or writers will have access to the content orders in the Campaign.

This will be a default writer setting for the Campaign, but you will be able to adjust your writer settings for individual content orders if you wish.

To select writers, choose between Open, Direct, or Team Order.

v2-Open.Direct.Team-Order

Open Order

If you don’t have any preferred writers yet at Crowd Content, you may want to start your Campaign with Open Orders. This means that your content orders will be available to all qualified writers at the Quality Level you select.

v2-Open-Order

For example, if you choose Open Order > 3 Star, only 3 and 4 Star writers will have access to your content orders.

Direct Order

If you have a specific writer you want to work with on this Campaign, choose the Direct Order option.

v2-Direct-Order

The writer search tool will appear and you can select your preferred writer.

While in the writer search tool, you can view a writer’s profile by clicking on the blue square icon in the bottom right of their listing. The profile will show you useful statistics, samples, and previous ratings for that writer.

Team Order

If you have a group of writers you want to work with on this Campaign, choose the Team Order option.

A list of your existing writer teams will appear. Hover over a team name to see a snapshot of the writers on that team.

v3-team-order

Simply click on a team name to select that team as the default writer setting for content orders in this Campaign.

Don’t have any teams yet, or want to create a new team? Click the blue Create New Team button in the bottom right.

Give your new team a name and click Save. A label for your new team will then appear in the left column under Teams in the writer search tool.

To add writers to your new team, you have two options. You can select multiple writers using the checkboxes on the left of their listing and then click Add to Team at the bottom left. Select your new team and click Save.

You can also drag and drop writers into any team by clicking and holding to the left of the checkbox on any writer listing.

When you’re done adding writers to your team, click the green Save and Continue button. This will take you back to the team select page. Simply click on the new team name to select that team.

Once you have your team selected for this Campaign, click Save and Continue.

5. Schedule Content for Your Campaign

The final step of creating your Campaign is to schedule your content calendar. This is the fun part!

On this screen, you’ll see your content calendar on the left and a list view of scheduled content on the right. To start, your list view will be empty because you have no scheduled content yet.

v3-Quickadd.upload.paste

To add content orders to your calendar, you have a few options. Click on any date on the calendar, Quick Add, Upload File, or Paste In.

Quick Add

The easiest way to add a new content order to your calendar is by clicking Quick Add. This will bring up the form to request a new piece of content.

Quick Add

Alternatively, you can just click on any date on the calendar. This will bring up the same form, but will have the date you clicked pre-selected as the Place Date for the content order.

You will notice that your Default Settings are already applied to the content order. Your Order Type (Open, Team, or Direct) will be pre-selected along with your Quality Level (pricing level).

You can change either of these settings at this time if you wish.

You should then add a Title for this content order, select a Word Count, and add the instructions for this specific order. Your instructions tell the writer how to approach this content piece.

The rest of your Default Settings can be view and edited by clicking Advanced Edit in the bottom left area of this order form.

You can easily set this to be a recurring content order by clicking the dropdown menu beside Repeat Order?

You can choose to have it repeat Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly.

You can even specify an end date for the recurring order. Choose to have this recurring content order end after a certain number of titles (occurrences) or on a specific date.

After you’re happy with the settings and instructions for this content order, click Save Order.

The content order will then be scheduled as per your settings. If you’ve set it on a recurring schedule, you will see all future occurrences of the order listed on the calendar.

Hover over the icons on the calendar to see details about that order.

Upload File

If you’ve already created several titles and saved them into an Excel file, you can use the Upload File option to add them to your content calendar.

File upload - preview after

You are then brought to the same content order form that we saw with the Quick Add option. The difference here is that the settings and instructions on this form will apply to all the titles in the batch you are adding.

Just like the Quick Add, all of your Default Settings will already be set on the form when it opens. You can change any of those default settings now if you wish (remember, you can see all settings by clicking Advanced Edit).

When you’re happy with your instructions and settings, you need to decide if you want to place all of these titles on the Place Date or schedule them over several days.

If you want to place all of the titles on the Place Date, click the Yes button beside Place all on Place Date?

If you want to schedule them into the future, leave the Place all on Place Date selection to No and use the Repeat Order tool.

Use the dropdown menu to select Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly.

IMPORTANT: The system will automatically set your schedule to end after the number of titles you are adding in this batch. For example, if I am adding 3 titles in this batch, the system suggests to end the schedule after 3 titles. You can change this suggested setting if you wish. However, if you schedule past the number of titles in your batch, your titles will be repeated after each title has already occurred once. In other words, the system will just keep running through your list of titles over and over again until the schedule ends.

Paste In

Another easy way to add multiple titles is with the Paste In option.

Paste In

A large text area will appear when using the Paste In option. Paste your list of titles into the area.

Each title should be on a separate line.

Click Add Titles.

Just like the Upload File option, you will have a chance to review the list of titles, edit them, or add more titles if needed.

When you are happy with the list of titles, click Save and Continue.

At this point, you will go through the same steps as explained in the Upload File section.

6. Launch Your Campaign

After your content calendar is scheduled, you’re ready to launch your Campaign.

Click Save and Continue.

A confirmation box will appear asking if you want to launch the Campaign now or pause it and activate it later.

To launch immediately, click Activate Campaign Now.

To pause the Campaign and activate later, click Activate Campaign Later.

Confirm Activate Account - Scott Image

You can also see your dedicated account manager’s contact information on this pop up. This is just a reminder that you can reach out to your account manager at any time for help with Campaigns or any other part of the Crowd Content platform.

TIP: If you aren’t ready to schedule any content at this time, you can skip the scheduling step and still finish creating the Campaign by clicking Save and Continue. You will be able to add content orders to your calendar later on when you are ready.

7. Monitoring Your Active Campaign

Now that your Campaign is active, you can monitor it from the Campaign home area.

Campaign Home

To go to the Campaign home, click on Campaigns in the top navigation bar of the website. If you only have one Campaign, its Campaign home will automatically show when you get to this page.

If you have multiple Campaigns, you can select the Campaign you want to monitor by clicking on the dropdown menu in the top left corner of this page.

On the Campaign home, you will see the following areas:

Bulletin Board: Here, you can add messages that all writers in your campaign can see. This is a great tool for announcing updates to guidelines or for motivating your writer team. If they’re doing a great job, let them know! Writers in your Campaign can also post to the Bulletin Board if they have general Campaign questions.

Campaign Logo, Brief, and Default Settings: You can view all these elements on this page and can edit them at any time.

Default Order Type (Writers): Here, you can edit your default writer settings.

Upcoming Content: This list shows you content orders that are scheduled to be placed soon. You can edit any of these upcoming orders by clicking on them.

Active Content: This list shows you all content orders that are Placed, Being Written, Ready for Review, or Completed. You can see the writer’s progress on Being Written orders and see the ratings of ones that are Completed. Click on any piece of Active Content to view it.

Active Content

Mini Calendar: In the bottom left, you’ll see a mini calendar that shows all of your scheduled content in a month view. You can flip through different months using the left and right arrows. Hover over any content icon to view details about that piece of content.

 Mini Calendar

Pause or Activate Your Campaign: Controls exist in the top right corner of this page to either Pause or Activate your Campaign. You can also Delete a Campaign, but only if it does not have any Active Content in it.

8. Editing Scheduled Content Orders

After scheduling your content calendar, you may need to make edits to the details of certain content orders.

It’s easy to change the Place Date, instructions, or other settings to a single content order. Simply locate that order on your calendar or Upcoming Content list. Click on the content order to bring up the same form you saw when you created the order.

Here, you can make changes to any of the details. You can also click Advanced Edit in the bottom left to see more options and settings.

Editing Multiple Content Orders (Edit Series)

If you want to edit several content orders at one time, you can click Edit Series in the top right corner of the edit form.

Advanced Series Edit

This will take you to another view that shows you all the titles in that series.

This view will also display the schedule settings you have in place for the series.

You can make updates to the schedule to change the dates that orders in that series will place on.

When you’re happy with your changes, click Update Order.

IMPORTANT: The system will ask you if you want to update all content orders in the series or just this and all future content orders in the series. It’s important to understand that if the initial content order you clicked on to edit occurs in the future after other upcoming orders, selecting Following Orders will NOT update any content orders before the one you initially selected to edit. If you want to update every content order in the series from today going forward, select All Orders.

Request Beta Access to Campaigns

As noted, Campaigns is currently in beta. If you are interested in using the Campaigns tool, please contact your Client Account Manager to get full access. If you're new to Crowd Content, please create a client account here or contact us for more info.

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Clayton is the Founder and CEO at Crowd Content, a content marketplace for clients and high performance writers. He enjoys writing about marketing ideas and content trends.

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