The best collaboration tools for digital marketing agencies
3rd August 2020
The saying goes: “no man is an island”, and the same can be said for digital marketing agencies and the day-to-day tools they use. Collaboration is key if you’re going to execute a winning social media plan to reach your clients’ business growth goals. To do that, you need a mixture of different tools working alongside each other (which is why the likes of Slack and Trello are easily integrated into ContentCal). Anyway, we digress.
To encourage better team collaboration across agencies, we put our heads together and came up with our favourite and most valued tools. These are for web developers, creatives and project managers alike, and if you’re working remotely with team members then we can recommend something for you too. Take a look!
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Every good project manager has a project management tool that they swear by and virtually live in from one day to the next. Digital marketing agencies have numerous projects on the go at any one time, and all of varying natures. Your project management tool needs to seamlessly compartmentalise these projects, while providing their status as they make their way through your workflow.
When a missed due date could mean the difference between new business coming in or going elsewhere, you’ll want to find the perfect project management tool for your agency. Here are some of the best.
It didn’t take long for Monday to become the darling tool of project managers everywhere, and it’s now used by companies in over 200 different industries. Task-wise, Monday does everything a good project management tool should: you can set up tasks as an owner, assign due dates and prioritise work as you see fit. It works across different teams, giving everybody full transparency. The Pro package even has time tracking capabilities so you can accurately record billable hours.
Another trusted collaboration tool, Trello is a favourite among creatives, start-ups and established businesses alike. Its free version gives you everything you could need for project management, and its simplicity is the best thing about the tool. It’s straightforward and easy to set up. If you’re looking for a simple project management tool that your whole team can use with ease, then Trello is perfect.
No matter how impressive your creative process may be, you will always have clients who are more interested in the numbers. This is where a tool like Accelo comes in. Accelo goes way beyond mere project management, as you’ll also benefit from its automation capabilities and report functions. With built-in revenue forecasting, workload management, invoice creating and budget tracking, Accelo takes the guesswork out of marketing and automates the whole admin process. If you want a tool that dives into the analytics of your business while giving you the basics, you should check it out.
Without your web development team, the efforts of your creative department are for nothing, so you want to give them the best tools you can (including their own project management system in most cases). Collaborative tools for web developers have much the same functionality as those for copywriters or designers, but there are a few subtle differences that set them apart.
First, a good web development tool needs to have dev-friendly formatting where colleagues can share code. Second, web development projects are somewhat renowned for their huge scale, complex nature, and endless back and forth communications. This means that there should be an built-in messenger function to ensure instant client comms. Here are the tools.
With a three-tiered subscription package, Assembla restores order to the most chaotic of projects and creates a transparent environment in which your team can work in harmony. It has subversion and GIT hosting capabilities so that developers can share code with each other and browse online files, and it can even give clients limited access to sign off work or provide amends. All subscriptions have JIRA, Slack and Trello integrations so that your agency can communicate in the same place while working from a different collaboration tool.
Made specifically for web developers and with four subscription options (one being free), GitHub is a favoured tool for many developers. This cloud-based collaboration platform allows developers to store, manage, and reuse code whenever they like and is a real asset to any team working remotely. In GitHub, multiple developers can work on code at the same time and save their own versions for later comparison. Compatible with a range of protocols including FTP, SSH and HTTPS, GitHub is a great option for developers. The community support centre is fantastic, too.
Nevermore shall your developers and designers misunderstand each other. Zeplin is a collaboration tool created specifically for developers and designers, allowing for easier communication between the two departments. Designers can easily drop wireframe designs and sketches into the system and with comments and tagging enabled your two departments can coexist in productive harmony. Again, it comes with Slack integration and code snippet capabilities which makes your developers’ jobs that bit easier.
When you’re knee-deep in reports and percentages are coming out of your ears, your tools need to make the whole process as quick and as easy as possible. That way, you can focus your attention on the creation of work rather than getting bogged down with end-of-month reports. We know how time consuming social media analytics can be.
With these tools, you can deep dive into analytics without feeling overwhelmed. Like we said earlier, this is the kind of information that your clients need so it’s vital that your team can provide their reports in an easy way.
Cyfe is a do-it-all analytics dashboard that combines sales reports with social media engagement figures, SEO activity and general digital marketing reporting. You can edit reports however you like and assign client KPIs for your team to meet and report on month to month. With Cyfe, your agency can prove its worth to clients in clear, easy to understand terms. One of the best things about Cyfe is that you can integrate all your favourite analytics tools like Google Analytics and AdWords.
Although it’s on the pricier side, don’t let it put you off. Kissmetrics is a comprehensive user behaviour tool that has the potential to overhaul your digital marketing strategy and automate your processes. The depth of user insight is rich and detailed, giving you as much information as you need. If your team wants to understand customer behaviour and use that intelligence to launch marketing campaigns, then Kissmetrics should be your first port of call. Many digital marketers even prefer Kissmetrics to Google Analytics (Kissmetrics is said to provide more specific insights than GA).
Another digital marketing and web performance multitasker, SEMrush provides detailed insights including monthly traffic, search engine rankings, social media engagement, and so much more (you can even take a peek at your competitor’s performance). There are three plans, the Pro ($99 p/m), Guru ($199 p/m), and Business ($399 p/m) and each has its specific benefits. It also has an excellent digital PR function which gives you access to a website’s backlink profile which creates unlimited potential for your own campaigns. If you want to spy on your competition (and who doesn’t?!) SEMrush is for you.
Gone are the days of neverending email chains and being CC’d into things that aren’t relevant to you. Communication outside of work is instant, so work communication should be too. Communication is absolutely vital, as you’ll know. Last minute work doesn’t land on our desk anymore, it arrives in our inbox and requires a quick response by everyone involved. When those ad-hoc projects come in, communication across multiple teams needs to be quick and easy. Here are some tools to ensure that happens.
We’ll start with the most obvious. Slack has transformed businesses everywhere, making communication and collaboration the easiest thing in the world. With unlimited app integration, video call and screen sharing capabilities, as well a data loss prevention program, Slack is the ultimate team collaboration tool. You can set up channels to chat and work with people in your team, as well as those outside your organisation (which is great for client input). You can also use Slack to share files and documents, making it much quicker and more efficient than e-mail. Plus, it has a fine selection of GIFs that covers the entire span of human emotion.
The undisputed champion of 2020, Zoom has enjoyed widespread and rapid growth during the coronavirus crisis and has proven to be a valuable resource for keeping in touch with colleagues. Not only can you set up private video chats, public conferences, and hosted webinars, Zoom also works across multiple operating systems from Android to iOs and Linux. We suspect that Zoom will continue to be just as popular once we’re back to normality (whatever that is).
A relative unknown in our selection, Ryver is an instant messaging platform that works a little like a Facebook timeline. You can chat as part of a team, or set up individual channels within your team. The good thing about Ryver is its task management function which vastly sets it apart from Slack. You can assign tags and due dates to pieces of work, and set up alerts for specific members of your team so that you never miss a deadline again. If you’re a small team, the cheapest package ($49 p/m) allows up to 12 users.
When you have multiple clients in a range of sectors, your social media management tool needs to be flexible, quick, and easy to follow. It should also work fluidly alongside other day-to-day tools, whether it’s Slack, Google Drive, or Trello.
You have a lot of options when it comes to social media management tools, all varying in their features and capabilities. However, when it comes to digital marketing agencies, the needs are comprehensive and not limited to just social media scheudling.
The ContentCal platform gives you everything, from; built-in app integrations, task management and team collaboration all the way through to content curation, post approvals and an intuitive filter/search functionality.
In a little more detail, here is what ContentCal can do for your digital marketing agency.
- Store your content and marketing strategies in the Content Hub.
- Save to-do lists, ideas, briefs and more with our Notebook function.
- Share social media posts for team approval.
- Discover your most popular posts, edit, and re-share.
- Share and curate content ideas amongst your team.
- Assign and automate publishing times for consistency and regularity.
- Comment on projects for complete collaboration and transparency.
- Integrate the tools you use everyday for a customised setup that works for you.
- Use Grammarly to put an end to typos.
- Organise your workflow with colour-coded tags.