Working in such a dynamic environment, it’s not unusual for digital marketers to get bogged down in their never-ending ‘to-do’ list.
Every day can be different. Though this variety is highly appealing, in order to deliver successful campaigns for our clients, we have to stay at the very top of our game. We have to stay relevant and juggle lots of tasks at the same time.
It’s important to get the most important point in first, and that is: ‘coffee makes the world go round’!
But if coffee’s not for you, here are a few useful productivity-boosting ideas that are quick and easy to do, but will hopefully have a great impact upon productivity.
Make a To-Do List
People work in different ways, but one thing I’d strongly advise is to make sure you create a ‘to do’ list first thing every morning. If you’re working on multiple projects and dealing with several clients, a clearly defined list of tasks can help you to effectively manage your time and set priorities for the day.
Why not get to your desk about 15 minutes early and plan out your day before it begins? This will help to keep you focused and stay on track throughout the day. I always like to set out my top three most important tasks to do first.
It might be a good idea to dedicate the first hour to try and get as much done as you can. Avoid all distractions and get stuck in. This will help to set the pace for the day. It’s a good tactic to try and tackle the hardest task first, to ensure it gets done.
Turn Off Email Alerts
If you work for a busy agency, you might receive hundreds of emails each day. Though it’s not a good idea to simply ignore these, it’s important that you don’t let them distract you from work.
I am notoriously bad for being too reactive and responding to emails as soon as they come through, which often distracts me from the task at hand. So perhaps schedule certain times to check your emails throughout the day.
The Best Productivity Tools for Digital Marketers
One of the biggest challenges in digital marketing is to sort the right set of digital marketing tools that best help to address your clients’ needs and strategies. Every tool you use needs to be efficient in terms of both cost and time.
Here I will run through a selection of my favourite productivity tools. If you don’t already use these, give them a go!
Is this the most used tool in digital marketing?
It would be hard to conduct digital marketing without a thorough analysis of a website’s performance. This free tool collects all your data and accumulates all information about your site visitors. It’s useful for things such as allocating budgets, refining SEO efforts, effecting website improvements, and defining a target audience.
Moz is one of my favourite SEO tools. You can use it to compare keywords, to see how your chosen keywords are performing, analyse search engine traffic, and much more. The dashboard is also intuitive, uncluttered, and easy to navigate.
But as a Digital PR specialists, by far the most useful feature is that which allows you to assess the authority of a website’s domain. This is vital for link building.
Moz will give you a quick insight into the authority of any website you visit:
This is a project management tool that allows people to coordinate and communicate tasks with clients and other team members.
You can share files and host discussions on a project by project basis. Notable features include task assignment systems, calendars, up-to-the-second updates, and file uploads for version control.
Basecamp is web-based, but they also have an excellent mobile app.
For me, Basecamp is a great alternative to emails. It can sometimes be difficult to stay on top of all your active discussions. But with Basecamp, you and your clients can discuss your projects in a single thread, so there’s no need to worry about miscommunication and missing messages.
If it’s important for you to stay active on social medial platforms, then Hootsuite should be one of your top choices. The software allows you to schedule tweets and Facebook updates in advance. It also helps bring together multiple social accounts into one platform, so no signing in and out of client accounts. Instead, you can schedule your content for your client to post at the right time automatically.
This is a content collaboration platform that helps multiple people to track the progress of copy from draft to approval. No more attaching drafts to emails. GatherContent streamlines the sign-off off process on a web based platform.
A project status can be allocated to your copy, so everyone can see what stage it’s at. This is particularly useful if you’re working on a project that involves pages upon pages of copy:
The popular online storage solution. Dropbox’s cloud-based storage means you can securely access your vital files from anywhere, so there’s no need to worry about back up when working from home.
If you want to conduct any email marketing, use MailChimp. It’s easy to use with plenty of useful features, including social sharing buttons, analytics tools, designer templates, and personalised contact forms. Just upload your emails from Excel and get going.
The free version also offers the capability to send 12,000 emails to up to 2,000 subscribers, which should be more than enough for most.
Buzzstream is a valuable tool for Digital PRs, Link Builders, and anyone else who needs help with their content promotion.
You can research influencers automatically and easily, gathering the contact information you need to start a relationship. You can email and tweet direct from the platform, and all emails and tweets are saved automatically. You can even set yourself reminders to follow up on your outreach.
Finally, my favourite productivity tool. Sometimes the easiest way to make a copy of something is to take a snapshot of your screen.
The snipping tool might be one of the most underrated tools on your PC. It is arguably the quickest way to grab an image from the internet, emails, or anywhere.
I mainly use it to grab images to add to social media posts:
(Ironically, I had to print screen to capture the snipping tool.)
So there we have it. I’m sure there’s more tools and advice out there, but these are just a few essentials that you can master.
If there are any that I’ve missed, feel free to add your comments below and tell me about any tools that can help me stay productive through the day.