5 Tools to Make Marketer’s Life a Lot Easier
come from advertising agency background where there is no God other than creativity. The idea of sitting in a bean bag, staring out into sunset and randomly taking notes on a piece of paper (that you will most likely end up losing), is romanticised as a apotheosis of creativity. Therefore, I used to think that all the tools and gadgets for automation and organising were the enemy of creativity. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Turns out, there are numerous befits to keeping marketing processes streamlined. However, the most important of them all is that it saves you time (a LOT!). When you have the operational part of your daily work streamlined and organised, you have more time for the creativity. When the process is a structured workflow, not a mess, less effort is required and more energy can be spent on the conceptual work.
Here are the 5 effective tools that we use in Singular’s marketing team:
1. Trello — for project management
Trello is an excellent tool for managing the marketing projects. All the data is neatly displayed on one board, it has a user friendly interface and makes the task delegation an easy process.
We have a well-established structure for using Trello for our projects. In one list, on the main board we put all the major projects and Mariam owns those cards. In the next list, we have allocated specific action points for each project. Marketing team members: Biljjana, Elena and myself are assigned to those cards.
We add relevant labels to each card (for example, “strategy”, “brand”, “products”). You can easily filter the board by the specific label to see which projects and activities are planned for each vertical. You can also filter cards by assigned person. If I want to see all the cards I’m responsible for, all I need to do is to apply a simple filter.
Here’s a sneak peek:
Under “General”, we list the major information and documentation that will most likely not change throughout the year. Then we have “Projects”, as mentioned above, and “Activities” is a sub-category of the previous one. Each project requires several different activities from several team members. Then we have “January tasks” where we all list what we’re working on daily. This is for the sake of transparency and productivity. “Weekly meetings” is for taking notes and delegating tasks after each marketing meeting.
As true believers of content marketing, we also use Trello vigorously for our content calendar. Learn more about our best practice in Mariam’s post.
Tip: Always add a Member to the card who’s responsible for the task. They will receive notifications every time there’s a comment or suggestion under the card.
Tip: Labels are your friends! The colour coded labels will make it a lot easier to understand what the card is about with a single glance.
Tip: Add a Due date to your card. Trello has a feature to switch to a calendar view (you should activate Calendar Power Up). The board can be transformed into a calendar and you can see the time-bound progress.
2. Slack — for communication and file sharing
It’s safe to say that Slack is the best tool for the office communication. You can read our previous post about why we switched from Skype to Slack as Singular’s primary platform of communication. In this post, however, I want to highlight Slack’s benefits from marketing team’s perspective.
We have several channels, but our main one is #marketing_team. All the magic happens here. Instead of having monthly or weekly meetings, where team members share their ideas and thoughts, we do it remotely, in a Slack channel, 24/7. Lots of our new projects and activities were born after one of us posted an idea in the Slack channel and we planned the whole process around that (also, in the very same channel).
Creating posts and uploading files are major benefits of Slack. When we need to share a small document and receive feedback in the short amount of time, we either:
- Create a file (it can be edited by anyone from the channel).
- Upload a file from our hard drive or Google Docs (channel members can comment on the file).
Tip: Slack posts can be used as a neat to-do list tool. What we did initially in the marketing team was to create a post with a checklist for the daily tasks and crossed off as we completed.
Tip: Slack recently added discussion threads — a new feature which makes it easier to track feedback and responses to each new idea.
3. Google Docs — for creating content
We’re a highly fast-paced team and writing lenghty e-mails for internal communication and file sharing is not our style. We reserve e-mails for the files of highest importance (for example, a new brand book).
Google Docs, spreadsheets and slides are what we use on the daily basis. Every document, starting from a presentation about upcoming event to a content piece for our monthly newsletter, is created, edited and polished using Google Docs. It’s an excellent tool when several people have to work on the same file simultaneously.
If you’re the only person responsible for creating content but want someone to edit your work, Google Docs is helpful in that, too. It has a ‘suggesting’ mode, where you can see what other person changed in your document, but the changes need to be approved by you.
Or maybe you’re only interested in feedback? That’s fine, too. Just indicate ‘comment’ mode in your doc and people you share it with, can highlight the section of their choice and write comments.
Tip: If you want to make sure a specific person sees your comment, tag them using “@” + their e-mail. They will receive a notification.
4. Buffer— for scheduling
There is no better tool for scheduling content on social media than Buffer. After we started to put our content marketing strategy into an action, we actively commenced using Buffer. Usually, most of our social media content is created on Mondays and Tuesdays by Elena and me. After that, Biljjana takes over the distribution by scheduling everything on Buffer.
Perks of using Buffer:
- You can edit the caption or change the attachment;
- Offers analytics for the content you posted via Buffer;
- User friendly application for the iOS and android devices.
We highly recommend using Buffer if you want to save time and schedule all your posts for all your social media channels in one place.
Tip: Not happy with a thumbnail? Buffer gives you an option to manually upload a thumbnail of your choice.
5. IFTTT — for automation
IFTTT Applets are a life-saver for social media marketers. What is IFTTT? It’s a tool to automatically re-share your content from one social media channel to another. IFTTT stands for “If This Then That.”
Here’s an example: If “a New photo is uploaded on instagram” (this) then “post a tweet an image to @Singulargroup twitter account” (that).
These rules have saved a LOT of time for us. IFTTT shares all of our content from Instagram to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and any other social media channel we might use in the future.
However, IFTTT Applets (aka recipes) can be used for many other purposes.
Do you use MailChimp to send out newsletter? You can write an IFTTT rule which will gather analytics of the Mailchimp e-mail and share it in the Slack channel of your choice.
Tip: As you can see, there’s a tab for “Activity” where you can view the log and check which Applets have been recently ran.
If you have any inquiries or suggestions regarding any of these tools, please comment below or tweet us here!