Being a marketer in today’s ever-changing digital landscape can be stressful.
Between running multiple marketing campaigns, phone calls, meetings, tracking budgets, and measuring performance, you need to create well-researched, high-quality content and brainstorm new ways to achieve your digital marketing objectives. Keeping focused enough to do your best work while making sure everything gets done in the right order can be a constant battle!
Unfortunately, there’s no magic potion to make you a super-efficient, focused worker – trust us, we’ve looked. Luckily, there are plenty of tools and resources you can use to keep you on track and plan your time as effectively as possible.
As a team a little bit obsessed with getting more out of every day, we’ve tried just about every productivity tool available. We’ve put together a list of our favourite and most-used tools to help you better plan, manage and optimise your time so you can smash your digital marketing goals.
At atomix, we use Slack as our internal day-to-day chatroom and communications tool. This instant messaging system lets us reduce email noise, organise discussions by project or topic and increase real-time collaboration within the team. You can upload and share files and images with your team, integrate Slack with other apps and services, direct message team members and add your own custom emojis.
While instant messaging might seem detrimental to a focused day, we find that keeping all communication about a single digital marketing campaign in one searchable channel allows us to collaborate quickly, find answers to questions without distracting our equally focused colleagues, and avoid distractions from projects that we’re not currently working on.
If you find that your marketing team is constantly having unnecessary meetings that could be cleared up in a quick message, Slack might just be the answer to your time-poor prayers.
Interesting fact – Slack is an acronym for ‘Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge’.
Another atomix team favourite is Favro, a visual project management and collaboration tool that lets you organise and keep track of multiple marketing campaigns and tasks.
This flexible app lets you create collections (which could be a team, a project, a client or a department or whatever you choose!) and assign tasks (cards) to team members with due dates, estimated times, attachments, notes and more. Cards can belong to multiple collections and have team members attached, so you always know who is looking after a particular task. It makes it easy to collaborate, visualise and track big digital marketing projects with lots of moving parts.
Even better for your efficiency, you can see exactly when your tasks are due and how long each one is likely to take, essentially setting up your daily schedule for you.
Every morning at atomix, we have a 10 to 15 minute stand-up (or scrum) meeting where we take it in turns to run through what we did yesterday, what we need to achieve today, and whether there are any roadblocks preventing us from getting the job done.
These daily stand-ups are an invaluable tool to help us run our marketing team more effectively and efficiently, while keeping team members on track. Everyone does stand-ups differently but there are a few simple rules you should abide by to get the most out of this meeting style:
- Remain standing! It is called a ‘stand-up’ after all…
- Make sure your project management tool (in our case – Favro) is visible so that your team can see what is being finished and what is taking longer than expected.
- Keep individual conversations out of the scrum – one on one chats can happen at any other time of day. Similarly, don’t ramble – keep discussion relevant and concise.
- Develop a routine, and stick with it. Consistency is key here – without a routine, team members can procrastinate and meetings will never happen.
Most research into digital marketing strategies suggests that you should post to your social media channels anywhere from once a week to multiple times a day, depending on your industry. It can be a huge drain on your time. What might only be a ten minute task can end up keeping you from more in-depth tasks for a lot longer.
Hootsuite allows you to plan and schedule all your social media posts for weeks in advance so that you won’t be scrambling for content ideas a few minutes before publishing or panicking because you forgot to share that perfect post at the ideal time. Hootsuite also lets you manage all your social media accounts from a single dashboard, identify influencers, monitor your audience’s conversations and streamline team workflow with scheduling and assignment tools!
Action Priority Matrix
We love this offline tool because it’s so simple, yet so effective! The Action Priority Matrix shows you how to intelligently prioritise your tasks and activities to make the most of your time and energy.
Create a graph similar to the example included, with ‘Impact’ on the vertical axis and ‘Effort’ on the horizontal axis. Label each axis from Low to High. As you go through your task list for the day, categorise each task as either Low Impact – Low Effort, Low Impact – High Effort, High Impact – Low Effort, or High Effort – High Impact and place them on the matrix accordingly.
Start your day with the High Impact – Low Effort tasks. It won’t take you too long to get through, and it helps you start the day on a positive note by ticking multiple things off your list. Then, riding on the high of your productivity, tackle the High Impact – High Effort tasks. When you’ve got through these bigger items, end your day with some Low Impact – Low Effort tasks.
Take a moment to think about the final section; Low Impact – High Effort. Are these tasks really necessary or can they be rescheduled for another day when you have more free time?
Using this matrix should help you prioritise tasks and focus on the more important, time-consuming tasks in your day that are likely to deliver the results that you want.
Productivity, like marketing, is all about testing, testing, testing.
At atomix, we use these marketing platforms all day, every day and have found that they keep us focused, in control of our time and, of course, productive. However, not every marketer will use the same tools that we do. Some will use more, some will use less and others might favour a completely different combination altogether.
To find the perfect productivity mix for your own goals, a little trial and error might be necessary – but just remember in the long run, both your team and your marketing campaigns will reap the rewards.