Marketing teams often carry tasks that fall under many categories within the business. This may include building sales materials such as one pagers, decks, case studies, presentations. The list of tasks also extend to writing unique and original content, sending newsletters, hosting events, running campaigns and social media sites. Leaner teams tend to be responsible for graphic design and website design as well. While this is not an exhaustive list by any means, it’s essential to note that with these varying tasks comes a great deal of cross-functional communication, collaboration, and coordination. Rather than get lost in the chaos, create systems of organization that will spur productivity. Here are four tools you can plug into your daily strategy to enhance your Marketing machine.
1. Make The Most of Messaging Platforms
Whether you are part of a lean company or a well-established brand, your team may currently be using a messaging platform, such as Slack, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, RocketChat, Chanty. But are you deriving the full benefits of these platforms to save time and increase productivity? In general, why is a messaging platform such as these so crucial to a marketing team’s success?
Cutting Down Meetings
There are several levels of feedback necessary for even just a one-pager to be approved and finalized. When time is scarce, we’d all like to save the room on our calendars for urgent matters and client meetings. Though it is helpful and often necessary to meet (virtually or otherwise) to discuss feedback related to sales material, we can cut these meetings down by communicating over a messaging platform. An ICP survey found that companies who used Slack reported an average 49% reduction in email volumes, a 25% drop in the number of meetings and a 32% increase in productivity.
Sharing Files And Information
The ease that comes with communicating over a platform such as Slack or GoogleHangouts is the quick firing of messages, similarly to how we text. Information and feedback flows much faster and time is saved. Most importantly, files can be easily sent through such platforms and stored within the chats, so they can always be revisited easily without having to scroll endlessly, such as we might on email. If your team typically uses emails to send official files and presentations, deploy Slack as a means to achieve quick feedback and see how much productivity is gained. This can be especially impactful for global communications. Slack has become ubiquitous in team communication globally. More than half of Slack’s 1.32 million daily active users (DAUs) are outside of the United States spanning 150-plus countries (Apptopia).
Within the Marketing team itself, there are often even more levels of feedback and exchanging of ideas before material reaches the stakeholder. Content, including unique blogs, emails, and newsletters, go through many iterations before it is published. If your Marketing team is a lean machine, make use of quick communication for enhanced productivity.
2. Content Calendar is a Game-Changer
We’ve all heard it said before, but it is especially true even now - within the mobile advertising landscape, content is KING. And who is responsible for content creation? Marketing teams!
Keep Track of Your Content
To be on top, you need to create content that is relevant, interesting, and unique. Content can take many forms, it can include blogs, newsletters, press releases, social media posts and more. Within these categories, there is a ton of cross-over. Blogs and press releases are featured in newsletters and posted on social media. All content makes it on the website, and links to the website can be found in press releases and social media. Every social media post needs to be repeated at least 2-3 times to be given a higher chance of receiving views. Not to mention that all of this content is often planned weeks and months ahead of time. With each of these moving parts, it is almost impossible to keep track of every piece of content and ensure each post gets its allotted time in the spotlight.
Format it Your Way
The solution is simple - create a content calendar. You can use Google Sheets or Excel to keep things straightforward. Every team’s content needs are different, so there can be many ways of formatting your content calendar. For each piece of content within your calendar, you may want to include its title, its owner, the date it is meant to go live, the status of the graphic for the piece, and 2-3 dates in which the piece should be posted on social media. If you use a Trello board to coordinate your social media posts, you could link it here, as well.
These are just a few examples of the many categories you can include in your calendar. If you choose to follow this method, your content calendar will likely be the first tab on your window that you visit each day, and one that you will probably never close - it’s a game-changer.
3. Use a Collaboration Tool to Coordinate Tasks
A collaboration tool such as Trello, Monday.com, or Notion (just to name a few), could be a great way to coordinate all of your Marketing tasks. In a lean team or a big team, organization is key. Tasks might be divided amongst several members or fall under one individual’s responsibilities. Either way, teams can benefit from a space in which they visualize the projects and tasks ahead of them, collaborate with one another, give & receive feedback, and correctly prioritize their work.
Assign Tasks and Share Feedback
With Trello, you can assign tasks to team members, easily view the tasks that are ahead and have records of tasks that are completed, and directly give feedback in response to tasks. You can organize different pages within Trello or “boards” for categories such as Sales Material, Social Media, Graphic Design, or Press Releases. With Notion, you can take notes during meetings that your team members can access. On Monday.com you can take advantage of visual boards to view data as maps, timelines, or calendars.
The purpose of each of these tools is collaboration. There is no “one size fits all” approach to collaboration tools, so find the formula that works best for your team. Take the time to set up these systems, and you can track the increase of productivity in the long-run.
4. Step Up Your Graphic Design Game
Lean Marketing teams often dabble in their own graphic design work. It’s part of the creative process that helps you visualize the content you’ve written in a way that readers connect with. Many Marketing professionals may not have prior experience with graphic design and often work with consultants to create visuals and images, especially for bigger projects. The downside here is the cost and the time that it takes between setting a task and the feedback loop that goes along with it. For day-to-day social media posts and blog posts, it is useful for the Marketing team themselves to become adept at creating graphics.
Save Time by Investing in a Graphic Design Tool
A great tool to invest in is Adobe Creative Clouds, Figma, or any other similar platform. Graphic tools that are intuitive for the non-designer can help any Marketing team step up its game. There is always a slight learning curve when it comes to using any new platform. But if you put in the work upfront, not only will you have fun playing around with designs, but your productivity will be increased ten-fold as you are able to create fun graphics for your blogs and social posts quickly and with ease.
- Make the most of your messaging platforms to share ideas, files, and material. With quick messaging, you can easily access shared files, save time and increase productivity.
- Create a content calendar to plan content pieces in advance, and keep track of blogs, newsletters, social posts, graphics, and press releases.
- Invest in a collaboration tool to simplify the way your team shares tasks, visualizes data, and prioritizes projects.
- Learn to use a graphic design tool so you can save time and create quick graphics for blog and social media posts.