In our fast-paced world, team productivity has become a modern-day version of the holy grail. Everyone wants it but no one knows where or how to find it.
And it’s no surprise: an ability to get more done for less (be it time, effort or money) sounds very tempting. This is especially true for marketing teams that usually have pretty limited resources and tend to be undervalued, compared to other business departments that bring immediate ROI.
While there is no easy way to become a better, more productive version of yourself, there are many tools that can help you approach your goal. Below is a list of applications, tried and tested by yours truly, that can help you supercharge your marketing team and set it on the path of productivity in 2019.
How to boost your marketing team productivity in 2019?
Always stay in touch
It doesn’t matter if you spend 10-12 hours a day in the same room with your colleagues or if they live half the world away, communication plays a vital part in team productivity. Team chats like Slack (and other Slack alternatives) can help you stay on the same page with your colleagues at all times.
One of the fresh and noteworthy communication tools you should try in 2019 is Chanty. This simple and lightweight chat app is a perfect way to orchestrate teamwork within your marketing department, as well as across the whole company.
It is super-easy to set up and use thanks to its intuitive UI. You can use public conversations to share the latest news (or adorable cat videos). You can create private chat rooms for separate teams to focus on specific questions. You can also initiate one-on-one conversations with any of your teammates if you need to talk in person.
At the same time, Chanty is packed with useful productivity features, like a built-in task manager or custom notification settings. On top of that, you get unlimited message history and unified, searchable file storage for better collaboration, and all of that for free.
If you are running a distributed marketing team, or in case you work with remote contractors from time to time, a text chat is not enough to keep everybody on the same page. Sometimes, a short video conference is worth a thousand text messages.
The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about video calls is Skype. Yet, as you might have noticed, our team loves discovering new and promising alternatives to the traditional tools. One of such alternatives is Appear.in, a lightweight video conferencing tool.
The video chat is super easy to use: all you need to do is create a chat room and invite the people you want (up to 12 participants with paid subscription) by simply sharing a link.
It’s very convenient, especially if you work with short-term contractors or freelancers. And, what’s more, the app offers screen sharing and recording features.
Work side by side
Unfortunately, not every issue can be resolved via text or video chat. As in a situation when you need to get feedback on your new banner from several people within your team or outside of it. Trying to explain in writing what needs to be changed is a surefire way for miscommunication and can lead to more unnecessary and wasteful iterations. Sometimes it is better to show than tell.
In this case, real-time collaboration tools can save the day.
Quip is an all-in-one collaboration tool that can make working as a team much easier. It is a unified space where you can store your files and effortlessly collaborate on them with your teammates. Just like with the G Suite apps, you can access your files from any device and create shared folders to allow access to certain files for your colleagues.
The app also allows you to work on the documents collectively: review and edit shared files in real time, discuss the required changes and make suggestions, etc. It even has a built-in chat section where you can discuss any ideas on the spot.
This means no more emailing an article back and forth with your copywriter to finalize its contents. The same applies to spreadsheets and presentations.
But the best part about it is that you don’t have to install different apps to manage your docs, sheets, or share files and folders on your mobile devices. Everything you need will be right there at your hand, anytime, anywhere (even offline).
Keep your team organized
It is hard to stay organized when all of your tasks and to-dos are scattered across your emails, team chats and sticky notes. To stay productive, especially when working as a team, you need to keep all of your tasks and assignments neatly organized in one place.
While some of the tools mentioned above, i.e. Chanty, offer a convenient built-in task manager, it’s still not enough to see a bigger picture. That’s the reason Trello has been our main project management tool since day one. This virtual board helps us keep our tasks in check and effectively manage our workload both within our marketing team and across other departments.
It is also extremely easy to use: You can track the progress on every task, manage assignees, share files with your teammates, create collective checklists or discuss anything in comments.
However, there are tasks that require a particular approach. Take for example content marketing. An extremely demanding process, it involves multiple people working as a team. No one can possibly keep in mind all the due dates, marketing channels, editor follow-ups, etc. That is why you need an editorial calendar.
CoSchedule is another must-try productivity tool for marketers. Aside from powerful task tracking and planning capabilities, the app offers a set of tools to organize your content distribution across multiple channels.
It even allows you to streamline your social media management by scheduling or re-scheduling posts in advance.
You can plan and launch your marketing campaigns right from the CoSchedule dashboard, instantly see the results and get actionable insights on their performance to tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.
Optimize your efforts
There’s no doubt that automating some of your routine tasks can save you hours of work every week. So, why work harder when you can work smarter?
A great way to contribute to your team’s productivity is to set up orderly, streamlined processes within it. And Process Street is a handy little tool that can help you do that. This workflow management app is perfect for keeping track of your recurring tasks and streamline your internal procedures.
Be it a guest post contribution or newsletter, it helps you make sure you never miss a thing. Just create a checklist for every process and follow the steps.
Another way to optimize your marketing efforts is to automate as many tasks as possible, starting with social media management.
Loomly is much more than a social media calendar. In addition to allowing you to schedule posts in advance and share them automatically, it offers more useful capabilities. These include curated content inspiration, powerful audience targeting and post optimization features.
With Loomly, you also get a built-in shared content library so you can review and approve the content with your team (up to 40 users) before it goes live.
MailChimp is an email marketing version of Loomly. This handy app allows you to build up and segment your mailing lists, create custom email templates, schedule and send your newsletters with one tap and get actionable insights on how they perform in real time.
One more thing that is better put on autopilot is social listening. Using tools like Mention you can keep track of specific topics and jump in on the relevant conversation going on on social media. This can be everything related to your brand, your competitors or the industry in general.
Create stellar content
Investing so much of your time and effort in content marketing, you simply can’t afford to create content which is less than perfect. And the least you can do to for that is to make sure it is grammatically correct.
Grammarly is your must-have tool for creating error- and plagiarism-free content. You can use a convenient browser extension to spell check your content whenever you need. It even works with Google Docs so you don’t have to rely on the default tools (which are not perfect, to say the least).
With a paid subscription you can get advanced feedback on your writing, e.g. style and vocabulary suggestions as well as plagiarism check.
Make 2019 your most productive year yet
Of course, the list is far from complete. There are dozens of other marketing productivity tools. The choice is yours but make sure to take into account your long-term goals and the marketing activities you are focusing on.
And don’t forget, you can only move as fast as your slowest team member. The only way to reach your common goal is to work on individual productivity of each of your team members. Every one of them, be it a social media manager, a content writer, data analyst or SEO expert, can contribute to the overall team performance by employing additional tools to streamline their daily tasks.
So, start small: choose a tool or two from the list and take them for a spin. This is the only way to find out what works for you.
Olga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty a simple AI-powered team chat. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. Having a 9-year experience in digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.