One thing that causes many businesses abandon efforts to succeed in online marketing is that it’s extremely overwhelming.
How many SEO reports have you seen? I’ve seen hundreds of them. They may be indepth, insightful and totally to the point but very few of them are organized to the point when they can be actually actionable or useful.
In many cases even bigger businesses with large in-house marketing teams give up on an idea to ever get digital marketing organized. There’s usually a well-defined goal and even a solid strategy but there’s rarely an actionable step-by-step actionable roadmap that would allow that strategy to ever be realized.
The thing is, digital marketing can be quite overwhelming: There are too many interconnected pieces to put together and there are too many simultaneous processes to keep an eye on, especially prior and during the launch or a project or a new campaign.
I am a big believer in getting organized, so here are a few tools for you to go from planning into implementing:
Productive Planning: Agendas, Checklists, and Due Dates
I don’t like marketing meetings. Not only because it’s a major time waster (taking away my time from actually getting things done), but also because meetings seldom give anyone an actionable plan of where to go from there.
It’s true that marketing meetings are necessary evil though: You need to hear other team members‘ perspectives, brainstorm together and discuss possible outcomes from anything you have planned. But to make those meetings at least somewhat productive, you always need to have an agenda.
1. Instant Agenda
Instant Agenda is a great tool to start with:
- It allows you and your team to create and collaborate on meeting agendas,
- It sorts your topics by priority (you can also get your team vote on topics prior to the meeting to see what they think are the most important items to discuss)
- It keeps track of the time
- It lets you take notes
- It helps you generate a handy meeting summary including (my favorite part!) highlighted action items for everyone involved.
Instant Agenda is also a must-have tool if you are managing a remote team because it allows you to effectively collaborate with everyone including those outside of the office.
One of my favorite SEO platforms, Serpstat has recently come out with a new feature set allowing marketing teams to better organize their efforts. As I am a huge fan of to-do lists and checklists, I was pretty excited with the update.
Serpstat checklists allow you to break your SEO tactics into actionable steps. Checklists are tied to your projects and you can also get your team collaborate on creating them.
To get you and your team inspired, there are a few pre-built templates you can choose from and edit. You can also save any of your own checklists as a template to replicate the same to-do list throughout all your projects.
Using the feature, you are likely to improve your current SEO routine as well as discover tasks you haven’t thought of before.
There are other task managing tasks I often recommend, but none of them is marketing-focused. Still, the other two to-do list and collaboration tools I often use to organize my projects are:
- Trello: The free tool that should always be mentioned in any article dealing with productivity. I am working with a few editorial teams that use Trello for content planning and it always makes the process much better organized and efficient.
- Zenkit: A newer tool in my arsenal but something I feel like I’ve been waiting for for years. This to-do list manager is easy-to-use clutter-free and yet feature-rich. It also includes nice mind-mapping and collaboration features.
Both of the tools above allow you to set due dates which is something I highly recommend doing. There’s never getting things done unless the due date is approaching.
Productive Monitoring: Reports, Growth, Transparency
From experience, making a team part of business growth monitoring is the best way to incentivize everyone involved. If you make this process as transparent and scaled as you can, you will find your team much more motivated and ready to come up with creative ideas.
Cyfe (Disclaimer: This is my content marketing client) is multi-feature business management dashboard that can be used to monitor all your marketing efforts. Simply put, it’s a Swiss knife of your marketing monitoring because you can customize it the way you want.
There are dozens of pre-built widgets inside Cyfe. I always recommend setting up a separate clutter-free marketing monitoring dashboard and share it with your team. This way they will see all the important graphs and trends within one page: No scrolling through reports or opening dozens of tabs.
A few useful widgets you’d want to set up for that include:
- Google Analytics widget. Depending on your team focus and goals, you can choose to display different metrics. You can also install several Google Analytics widgets, each highlighting an important metric or a segment.
- Facebook widget showing your page growth
- Twitter widget showing your account growth
- Instagram widget showing your page growth
- Google Trends widget showing your brand mentions
- Twitter search widget showing your brand name mentions,
- Google Search Console widget showing your most important search queries etc.
Alternatively, you can create a robust monitoring dashboard right inside your WordPress dashboard but may require some development skills.
While your team members or employees can get too busy to ever remember to open the reports, emails are hard to miss. Whatagraph is the nicest way to keep your team updated on your traffic stats. It visualizes marketing reports and sends you a weekly email with a nice infographic detailing how you are doing.
Whatagraph supports all key digital marketing tools including Google Analytics, Facebook ads, MailChimp campaign reports, etc. This is a perfect solution for everyone who doesn’t need to dig deep but wants to keep an eye on the overall trend.
There are many more articles on how to get your whole team on board with your marketing efforts. So in case you are looking for more tools and ideas, here is some further reading:
- A great article on how to organize your content marketing using calendar apps and task managing apps from Digital Eagles
- Deborah Anderson over at DirJournal details some basic skills you need to master to productively collaborate with your (remote) team
- Over at Tweak Your Biz, Vic Anandan shares his own selection of best online collaboration tools for marketers
- Finally, here’s my own piece on how to efficiently include your whole team into different aspects of your digital marketing
Which tools are you using to organize your marketing efforts? Please share in the comments!