Every marketing manager knows the feeling: It’s Monday morning, they walk into their office, sit down and turn on the computer. Then comes the barrage of notifications, messages and updates. Company leadership wants to push a campaign in a new direction. Social media comments need addressed. Oh, and news story broke over the weekend that is relevant to your industry—reactionary or editorial content should address it. No week ever goes as planned, much less a single day.
Any schedule or structure that a workday follows has to be adjusted hourly. That project you’re working on? Prepare for it to be interrupted by an urgent marketing task.
That’s why marketing tools are so darn helpful, and there’s a long list to choose from. Some automate processes, others assist with collaboration across teams. The trouble with identifying the right tools to increase your productivity is sifting through them. It’s one more task for you to get through today, tomorrow (or more likely the next day). So here’s my take on some of the smartest marketing tools to increase your productivity as a marketing manager and as a team.
This software was not just designed for marketing teams, but it can work wonders for them. The project management tool enables entire teams to get a bird’s-eye view of each project in the pipeline, with options to track them from ideation to completion. The Teamwork platform enhances collaboration along the way, and the combination of each feature increases productivity. No more time-wasting meetings, no redundancy and way fewer bottlenecks. The cherry on top? You get complete integration with other marketing and business process applications.
As the marketing manager, your job means staying current on industry news and changes. You follow thought leaders on Twitter, read articles from a few newspapers and journals, visit competitors’ blogs and even have Google Alerts turned on. The frustrating thing about these sources is they come from all over, meaning you get an email here and there from each, which undoubtedly gets lost in your inbox. Or you get a push notification when you’re in the middle of something else. Feedly eases this strain because it’s a single feed that aggregates your favorite sources in one place. Forget about stopping by YouTube, then the New York Times and Twitter, just hit your Feedly feed instead.
OmniFocus is the perfect to-do list. But it’s not your mother’s to-do list. Instead of a pen and pad, OmniFocus connects to Siri, eliminating the need to type, much less write. It helps marketing managers group their tasks, a common way for folks to think of and look at what they need to get done anyway. Additionally, you can tag every task based on priority, where and when they need to get done and more. And the list of available app features keeps going. Plan your day by scheduling tasks, then sync your tasks to your devices. It’s the personal assistant you’ve always needed.
Evernote is wider reaching than some of these other tools. Marketing teams can use it to collaborate on projects, creating shared to-do lists, posting ideas, pictures, notes and voice recordings. Evernote is a one-stop-shop for complete oversight of what you need to do every day. It also helps plan and forecast tasks over the next few weeks and months.
There are many social media scheduling platforms, each with their own pros and cons. Some are easier to use than the competition. Still others support post scheduling for every major social media platform. Buffer offers all these benefits from a single dashboard.
Zapier introduces your marketing team to automation capable of transforming how you tackle daily tasks. It’s known for building workflows, so when one task is completed, Zapier knows to move forward with the workflow. For example, if you make a change to your website, it triggers a command to post the change to your Facebook page. When a comment is left on one of your blog posts, Zapier sends a notification to your Slack account. The list goes on, and customization options are nearly endless. And for convenience, you can use many of the pre-set options. Just connect Zapier to your different platforms. Feeling ambitious? Have some fun with it and design individualized workflows.
As a marketing manager, productivity is about more than saving time. It’s about creating a better output for the time and energy invested, and that’s exactly what SEMrush strives to do. It addresses one of the most challenging aspects of a marketer’s job: building an audience. Marketing teams spend energy creating content that attracts and keeps a specific audience. SEMrush offers tools that make it much easier to optimize, track and analyze your SEO and content marketing efforts—all while keeping an eye on your competitors’ activities.
Social listening is a must for every marketing manger. It stretches beyond @ mentions and allows brands to understand how their target audience feels, what they like and what bothers them. Brand24 is one of the stronger social listening tools available. But it should be used for more than brand monitoring. Marketers can harness Brand24’s keyword monitoring to identify hot topics in the industry and among customers, which can be repurposed by marketers as content ideas. This way, brands can always be part of relevant conversations and can become thought leaders.
The most effective way to improve social media performance is to monitor and analyze. But tracking post performance on every single platform is a full-time job. BuzzSumo takes care of this. It connects to your accounts and monitors every recent post. It provides insights on which ones are performing best based on shares, engagements and likes. But BuzzSumo goes beyond your accounts. You can also have it analyze competitor performance, and seeing which posts and keywords are working for them can inform your content strategy.
Coming up with fresh and engaging content is only part of the content marketing struggle. After a few good ideas, you actually have to produce and publish. Answerthepublic helps you come up with great content ideas, thanks to a strong tool that uses Bing and Google auto suggest results to create long-tail keywords. But this same tool extends into other content. Users can enter keywords connected to their brand. Answerthepublic finds words that often appear in the same search query. This information can then guide content creation and help you produce optimized content.
Marketing teams are always striving to create great content. They’ll type up long-form blogs. They’ll record and publish presentations from executives as webinars. They’ll compile videos to post on every platform. And each of these pieces of content takes time, effort and expertise. But there’s a growing number of tools that allow marketers to create a wider variety of content without advanced expertise. Canva does this when it comes to graphics marketing teams want.
Ahrefs provides marketers with everything they need to know about keywords and backlinks. For keywords, type competitor keywords into Ahrefs to see how their posts and editorials perform in search. As for backlinks, you can identify which websites link back to any content that you or your competitors have created or published just by entering the target URL.
Hubspot is a comprehensive platform that offers everything from CRM to marketing automation, and it’s one of the most robust marketing platforms available. It provides more support than any other branded marketing tool available. And Hubspot is all about sharing knowledge, with regularly-updated blog posts, webinars, a free academy of digital courses and more.
Choose Tools to Get Your Job Done Efficiently
The right software can be an invaluable tool for any marketing manager. It allows you to concentrate on the highest value tasks and leave the rest to a machine. With the right tools to increase your productivity as a marketing manager, you’ll get more done and reap the benefits of more successful outcomes.
I am Jeff Lizik, a marketing strategist, entrepreneur, consultant and Owner of the RedShift Marketing Agency in Pittsburgh, PA. Welcome to my personal site – your resource for all things digital marketing. I offer the most recent digital marketing tips, articles and software reviews.