It doesn’t matter how skilled your team is; without the right tools, your marketing agency will struggle to gain a competitive advantage that will help you to attract new clients and keep them for the long-haul. However, with so many software solutions now available on the market, and them all promising to be bigger and better than the rest, it can be tricky to ensure that you choose the best digital tools for your marketing agency; the ones that will provide you with the solutions you actually need.
Whether you’re a freelance digital marketing specialist that operates as a sole trader, you own your own marketing agency or you manage a team within one, you all have similar challenges: to grow your client base and keep your existing clients happy.
This means that not only do you need solutions that help you carry out your everyday tasks for your clients (such as improving their organic rankings, managing their social media channels or crafting successful PPC campaigns), but to help you better manage your work for each project, keep track of your deadlines and communicate seamlessly with your clients (and whoever else you happen to be working with).
Check out our round-up below of the best digital tools to tackle the most common challenges you will face as a freelance marketer or a marketing agency.
Being a marketing professional involves a great deal of creativity, but being creative on-demand can be difficult to achieve when you’re constantly juggling different projects for clients. Luckily, creative thinking (like any skill) is one that can be developed with practice by using the right tools and techniques – which is where Ayoa comes in. As well as offering collaborative online whiteboards that mimic the physical whiteboard you’d use to brainstorm ideas with your team in the office, Ayoa also enables you to create visually stimulating mind maps to help you capture your best ideas.
It’s a known fact that visuals can help boost our creativity, which is why mind mapping is such a powerful tool for marketers who need to constantly devise ideas for campaigns. This is because mind maps use branches to ‘link’ ideas together, which allows our brains to make associations between ideas and generate even more. Ayoa has three mind mapping styles to choose from to suit your needs and makes it easy for you to share them with clients to get feedback.
Task management software is the secret weapon for marketing teams – or practically any team – that works on a range of different projects. If you choose the right one, it will enable you to be more productive by keeping track of everything you need to do and when, as well as your progress. With Ayoa (our very own work management tool), you can create a dedicated task board to share with your team or clients, which will outline all the tasks that are included in the project plan.
Ayoa makes it simple to stay on top of your deadlines and give instant updates to anyone else who has access to the project task board. As well as visual progress indicators, you can add further detail to tasks such as start dates, due dates, reminders, attachments, comments, and more. You can also delegate tasks to others – and if something is assigned to you, you can keep track of this and other tasks on your to-do list in Ayoa’s built-in personal planner.
If you offer social media management as a service, chances are you’re already using this type of software to help you schedule your clients’ posts across their various social media channels. However, if your agency is only just starting out, then Hootsuite is a great choice. Not only is it affordable compared to similar social media management tools, but it does the basics well; you can easily schedule content for multiple platforms at the same time, but keep track of your account mentions and ‘streams’ for any relevant keywords being used across various platforms.
Manage social media for a large number of clients? Hootsuite also enables you to collate your scheduled posts and ‘streams’ for them in dedicated boards. It also has a built-in analytics suite to help you build quick reports for your manager and clients.
As any creative marketer knows, there’s great power in visuals – and the more professional the images you use across your client’s website, remarketing adverts, and social media posts look, the more impressed they (and their target audience) will be. Fortunately for smaller marketing agencies and freelancers, you don’t always need a large in-house graphic design team to create simple and eye-catching images for your client’s blogs and social posts.
Canva is a graphic design platform that is flexible and extremely simple to use. You can quickly start with a blank canvas or choose a premade design, then customize your image with different text styles, shapes and icons. Although Canva’s free version has its limitations (you can’t resize your canvas after creating it and you need to pay for some icons, for example), you can choose from a range of pre-set sizes to suit whatever image you’re creating. There’s also still plenty of options for elements you can add to your images without needing to upgrade.
Whether you’re an SEO manager or a PPC specialist, staying on top of ever-changing keyword trends is an important aspect of ensuring you generate the results your clients crave. SEMRush is perhaps one of the most well-known tools for this purpose (aside from the Google Keyword Planner, of course), and we would argue that it’s one of the very best due to how well-rounded it is. SEMRush doesn’t just help you to discover the best keywords for you to target; it also allows you to analyze those used by their biggest competitors.
SEMRush actually offers a full suite of features for any full-service digital marketing agency that wants to provide the best possible results to their clients, such as content optimization help, as well as the ability to track changes in keyword rankings, run outreach campaigns, and schedule social media posts for your clients.
When it comes to retaining your client base, communication is key. How many times have you emailed different versions of the same document back and forth only for it to get lost in your client’s inbox and causing work to be delayed? It’s probably more times than you’d like to admit – but it can be avoided with the right digital tools.
As well as idea generation and task management capabilities, Ayoa also boasts built-in team collaboration, instant messaging and video chat features to make staying on the same page as your clients a breeze. If your clients have an Ayoa account, you can easily collaborate on any whiteboard, task board or mind map you share with them, and use comments to ask them a question or alert them to any changes that need to be made. With Ayoa, you can swap email threads for instant messaging, and host video meetings while you have your boards open at the same time – without the need for multiple windows or app-switching.
Want to tick many of these concerns off your list in one go? Discover Ayoa, the all-in-one work management tool for marketing agencies, and start generating your best ideas for campaigns, manage your projects and deadlines, and make communicating with your clients a seamless process at any stage.
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