Are you struggling with marketing productivity?
If you are a digital marketer, then you must often feel like a juggler.
There’s just so much to do on so many different channels and….
….keeping all those balls in the air can make you feel exhausted.
I know that we all spend hours of our working days logging in and out of different tools that help us manage, track, and analyze our marketing efforts.
I also know that suggesting more tools to fight the exhaustion and improve productivity of your digital marketing may sound counterintuitive.
But, guess what?
That’s exactly what I’m going to suggest!
There’s a chance that you’re not using all the right tools, or at least some of them that can help you work smarter.
So without further ado, let’s go over a few tools and technical tips that can help increase your digital marketing productivity.
1.Editorial Calendar Tool
So much of our work as marketers revolves around creating, distributing and promoting content.
In all its different types and formats, content fuels the engine of digital marketing.
But…. this comes with a set of challenges:
How do you publish quality content that helps you achieve your business goals while being mindful to the needs of your audience?
…..And how do you do this on a regular basis across channels and platforms?
You’ve guessed it.
You need to put it in a calendar to plan, assign the production, and schedule out all the content, ideally at least a couple of months in advance.
Setting everything up may take a bit of time that you feel like you don’t have. But this time investment will save you so much time and effort down the line that it’s well worth it!
I use Asana which allows us to create a board with tasks grouped by the stage of the content creation process.
Our stages are as follows:
- Ideas – We have an idea for content but not sure if we’ll write it yet.
- Content creation – We have decided to create a piece of content so it’s moved from the idea stage to production stage.
- Video editing – If there’s a video associated with content, some editing is required.
- Imagery – We will need to add imagery to an article or a guide. We have someone who is responsible for this.
- Optimization and Distribution – When we finalize the content, it is then optimized for SEO and distributed across social media.
Here’s an example of how this looks in Asana:
There are many other editorial calendar tools such as Coschedule, Divvy, Trello, etc. The important thing is that you use one!
2. Use a Social Management Tool to Improve your Marketing Productivity
I am certain that most marketers would agree on this one – social media marketing drains so much time and energy if not properly managed.
There’s scheduling, monitoring, engagement, analytics…
Unless you have a tool that can do all that, and automate most of it, your productivity in more critical digital marketing tasks will suffer.
I am all for trying out different tools and maybe even taking bits and pieces of a few different tools to accommodate the process I’ve established.
However, if you can find one tool that brings all the key functionality and for all major social media channels under one roof, then that’s the way to go.
For me and my team, that tool is Agorapulse.
This social media management tool enables you to plan, schedule, and publish all your content on Facebook, Instagram and Instagram. On YouTube you can listen and respond to comments.
It makes everything so much more streamlined and leaves room for you to properly analyze what’s working or not working.
You also get detailed reports that you can download and customize for reporting.
You can learn more about this tool in our Agorapulse review.
3. Invest in an SEO tool(s)
SEO takes a lot of work, there’s no doubt about it.
And if you don’t invest in an SEO tool you could end up driving much less traffic to your content than you could.
A relatively small investment in an SEO tool should generate you more revenue than you spend on it!
- Use keyword research tools, like KWFinder, to find the best long tail keywords to target with your content.
- Analyze your competition with a tool like SEMRush to get a quick understanding of how competing websites in your industry perform in terms of SEO.
- Analyze your website’s link profile with a tool like Ahrefs, or check competitor link profile for ideas on where to get high quality inbound links from.
Try out some of the above tools and you’ll see how valuable they are.
4. Create a project plan
If you’re not clear about where you’re going how are you going to know when you get there?
A project plan is a list of all the tasks and milestones associated with a project and is usually displayed in a project management tool.
It is a great way of planning out your tasks, tracking the status of the project, and making sure you’re not falling behind.
Like a true digital project manager, you’ll create a plan that includes:
- Project Goals (your digital marketing goals)
- Team members
With this level of planning, you’ll send your digital marketing productivity through the roof.
Asana is a great task management tool and they recently released a project management component but I thought it was pretty poor!
But… there is a tool called Instagantt which you can add on to Asana and it is pretty useful. These two tools combined make for a great project management tool.
Here’s an example of the layout of the ‘Gantt chart’ within Instagantt with all tasks connected to Asana.
5. Get a team management tool
We have a small team so Asana meets a lot of our needs together with Google Drive, Slack and a couple of other tools.
But as a bigger organization, you may want to invest in a team management tool which allows you to share tasks, documents, advanced workflows and much more.
Here are some tools to consider:
It takes a bit of time to find and deploy the right tool but once set up it can certainly help a lot with productivity.
6. Track results
Tracking results is the most important thing you can do with Digital Marketing if you want to be productive.
You need to know if you are working on the right things!
Imagine running a campaign which involved:
- Facebook Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Facebook Posts
- Blog content
- Video interviews
Which of these worked for you? What drove visitors your website? What generated inquiries and sales?
One way of tracking all this is setting up UTM tracking which is basically just a tagging system where you add additional information to any URL you share so that you can clearly identify what happened after you shared it.
This is the only way to know which specific links drove the traffic to your website.
The best thing about link tracking? It’s so easy to do! You can create URLs with UTM parameters/tags in a few steps using Google’s Campaign URL Builder. It’s a completely free tool that will enable you to track the performance of links in Google Analytics.
Tracking performance helps you focus on what works which means better productivity!
7. Implement Agile practices
When a software startup I was involved in got acquired I ended up working with a large company and moving quickly was not possible.
We released one piece of software a year but by the time we released the software the customers needed something else.
That’s the opposite to Agile.
Agile is all about moving quickly.
You try something, produce results, change your approach, and improve your results in a matter of days, not months.
Agile marketing needs a different mindset. It’s a fast-moving mindset that focuses on results and definitely improves productivity.
So check out some of the principles of Agile Marketing and consider it for your organization.
8. Marketing automation
In digital marketing, automation is the word of the day. Everyone is trying to offload as much of the manual and repetitive work as possible to different tools and have their ‘marketing machine’ run on its own. That is the dream!
Marketers use Automation tools to increase productivity of their digital marketing and improve their results in all areas, especially in generating more and better quality leads. These tools can help you target prospects with greater precision, improve engagement, drive better quality leads, and consequently increase revenue.
When it comes to marketing automation, the market is so saturated that it’s difficult to make the right choice. Knowing exactly what you’re looking for in terms of functionality and what you’re willing to pay will be a good starting point.
Depending on the size of your business and your specific demands, you can look at more basic solutions aimed at SMBs like HubSpot and InfusionSoft or go for complex automation platforms targeted towards enterprise customers like Ontraport or Marketo.
As a marketer, you’re probably used to multitasking and being on top of everything. But if you don’t have enough people on your team to delegate some of the workload, your digital marketing productivity will suffer.
So, instead of trying to do everything on your own to keep a sense of control, why not offload some of the work to a freelancer or an agency that specializes in the area you’re struggling with?
Working with the right external partner will help you move through project tasks much faster without impacting the quality of work.
We typically use Upwork to find great people around the world.
The trick with Upwork, or similar platforms, is to give someone a small job to see how they perform before you give them a big job!
If you want to make the most of your digital marketing efforts, invest in the right tools and processes that will help you achieve your goals more easily.
Are you going to give any of the above tools a try? Do you use any other tools to increase your digital marketing productivity? Let us know in the comments!