7 of the best mobile apps and tools for marketers
With marketers using their smartphones for everything from posting on social media to searching contacts, Molly Raycraft asks marketers which mobile apps they couldn't live without
We live in a world where more people own a mobile phone than a toothbrush. Apps have become our digital toolbox for everything from switching on a light to (ironically) providing timer for brushing your teeth. We asked marketing professionals to reveal the work-based mobile apps that make their lives an absolute breeze:
From LinkedIn to Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, juggling all the multiple social media platforms available out there can leave you wishing you had eight arms: which, while making you look like an octopus, would be useful nonetheless. Buffer is a tool that prevents you from springing platform to platform on a copy and paste spree, by posting to multiple sites at the optimum time on your behalf.
Ben Leach, digital marketing and PR executive from HeX Productions, explains: “Buffer is a great tool to use for social media in general, you’re able to link Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram with it and queue tweets.
"Buffer is also a great tool for when a marketer is going on holiday. For example, I’m going on annual leave next week but I’m able to schedule tweets and post for the whole of next week to cover my time off – and to the normal person it will seem like regular updates without having to manually update while I’m away."
The group chat has had a corporate upgrade. Slack is the self-proclaimed app for making ‘communication simple’. This software allows you to message individuals, specific teams in the office, or even external freelancers, clients and stakeholders. It’s a suitable alternative to conducting group conversations via email when that one person decides to work from home.
Even better, the software allows to you to transfer files at the click of a button – ideal for working on a document that’s travelling back and forth.
Camilla Ley Valentin, chief communications officer and co-founder of virtual waiting room company Queue-it, explains: “At Queue-it, we use Slack as our main collaboration tool, both internally and with suppliers. For project and topic specific communication it works so much better than any other tools/apps, and it helps keep our email inboxes focused.
"We have permanent channels for anything from teams to company-wide peer praise (aka the 'high-fives' channel). In addition to this, we create temporary channels for specific ecommerce events like Black Friday or iPhone launches, where our teams collaborate to manage the numerous online queues we operate for our customers during these high traffic internet events.”
Gone are the days when to-do lists existed on a scrap piece of paper. Wunderlist is a nifty digital storage holder for all your day to day tasks.
This is a dream for anyone that considers themselves to be an organisation maniac. Lists can be divided into various topics and shared with colleagues. You’ll even be able to see when someone ticks a task on the project list, so nothing will ever be done twice.
“I am a list person,” admits Ash Chandler, head of marketing automation and digital marketing at Really B2B. “But paper is so 1998. Wunderlist allows me to list and track to-dos on all of the devices I use, whether that's laptop, tablet or phone.
"It's dynamic and updatable, meaning I can change project deliverables on the fly. It allows me to set deadline dates, assign tasks to team members and track what's been done and what's outstanding, but without being overly complex like some project management tools can be. Plus, it has a really useful view to see tasks assigned just to me or a weekly to-do view where I can prioritise projects at a glance.”
LastPass prevents you from scrupulously searching old notebooks in a dismal attempt to locate long-forgotten passwords for a website you haven't accessed in months.
By providing a strong master password, the app keeps your passwords in a digital vault, protected by various algorithms and encryptions. This is ideal if you have approximately two million passwords to remember.
Camilla says: “I really feel that LastPass helps me manage credentials across platforms and devices. If I get locked out of everything on one device, it's super easy to use the app to get all the passwords sorted out by accessing LastPass on another device.
"Another feature I appreciate is the new password generator since I'm always at a creative loss when trying to imagine complicated passwords for so many platforms."
Chandni Trehan, head of marketing at UpSlide, adds: “LastPass is incredibly useful and most definitely the safest way to store your logins and passwords for all the tools and websites you use in your day-to-day activities. You can log into your LastPass account on any computer or laptop and not face difficulties with having to remember passwords.”
As a social media management app, Hootsuite places a strong emphasis on employee involvement and customer engagement. Hootsuite maps out your engagement stats – making it easier to plan how to progress with your social media presence. The nifty default and admin settings also allow your employees to like and respond to customer activity quickly.
Ben Caine, founder of content marketing agency The Copywriting King, says: “Working with small businesses, my team and I often work with clients who have very tight budgets. By using a platform like Hootsuite, we can keep admin and planning costs to a minimum as we're able to schedule posts in advance. This means I can focus on engaging with potential prospects for my clients and providing further value.
"With more and more apps and platforms coming onto the market, it’s important that businesses don’t get swamped by too many. Content marketing is about building relationships, so if you’re constantly changing what platforms and services you're using, you limit the time you have available to look for and develop those relationships.”
Teamwork is a series of three apps comprising Projects, Chat and Desk – all created to complement each other. Projects is a hub to create to-do lists, allocate work and even complete estimates on how long the work took; Chat does as its name suggests and offers communication software; while Desk goes one step further and allows your team to connect with customers via a digital help desk.
Helen Anglin, digital PR team leader at Exposure Ninja, says: “As a B2B remote marketing company, Teamwork is our hub of everyday activity and we couldn’t get by without it. It enables us to manage projects, talk with each other and communicate with clients through an email server that everybody can access. This is ideal for client emails, as we can assign each email to the appropriate employee.”
When we asked marketers to name their favourite apps, Trello was one that appeared consistently. The organisational platform seems to be an all-round favourite, so we’ll let the reviews do the talking:
Everton Levi, marketing intelligence at SDR, says: “If you work from home, freelance or outsource, then one of the biggest problems is staying connected to everyone involved in a project. Trello gives me the ability to view a partner’s schedules without needing to be with them. Others do the same, but Trello is very easy and hassle-free. I can have a corporate organisation chart in different environments and maintain the flow of work.”
Kelly Ruston, head of marketing at Natural HR, adds: “Trello is great, it’s simple to use and to follow, you don’t have to download or install any software and can access it on your phone from anywhere. It provides a transparent and detailed plan of action, highlighting who's involved and what stage the project is at. It also allows all stakeholders (internal and external) to see who needs to do what and when (so no deadline is missed)."
Chandni says: “Trello is brilliant for structuring your work, working collaboratively and just making it easy for everything to be organised. As a B2B marketer, you're constantly working on different campaigns and a tool like Trello can really help you stay organised and on top of everything. It has an easy-to-use interface and other handy features like checklists, deadlines and the ability to add members to a card."
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