As lockdown restrictions are slowly lifted, many businesses are working their way to returning to a ‘normal’ way of working. However, for many, it’s now time to become accustomed to a new normal with many of the measures that were put in place during lockdown staying for the foreseeable future.
Remote working and working from home has become commonplace for many businesses, meaning teams have had to learn to work together in different ways. As a result, companies around the world have had to become accustomed to collaboration in teams that are apart. This is a hurdle we have had to overcome at Browser Media, both for internal communication and conversations with clients. After a period of testing and trialling, we’ve found a number of different tools that have made things much easier. Here are our top tools that every digital marketer needs for remote working, in no particular order.
Communication is one of the biggest challenges for a team that are working remotely, however, thanks to video conferencing tools such as Zoom, staying in touch couldn’t be easier. During lockdown, Zoom became everyone’s go-to way to stay in touch with friends and family, and it’s no different for businesses.
2. Google Suite
With apps such as Google Sheets, Docs, and Slides, Google Suite (G Suite) is something that we would recommend businesses make the most of. Even when not working remotely! These tools let teams easily collaborate together on the same document, which is ideal for a team that could be spread across the country, or even the world.
In addition to the variety of apps available, the G Suite also gives teams access to shared calendars and email facilities.
3. Google Hangouts Meet
This is a part of the Google Suite, however, it’s been so useful for our team while working remotely that we thought it deserved its own spot. Google Hangouts is a messaging platform that is part of Gmail and a quick and easy way to stay in touch. Emails can easily get missed in the busy inbox, so for quick questions of conversations Google Hangouts is perfect.
Google Hangouts Meet is Google’s video conferencing facility. Meetings can be set up very easily and all you need to do is share a link with your team and they can join. Alternatively, they can be scheduled in advance, which will send an invitation to your guests and block out their calendar to reduce the risk of double-booking.
Guild is a messaging and collaboration platform for professionals from all industries. It’s a fantastic way for teams to stay connected and to bring together communities to help build professional relationships, in a safe and secure fashion. The app is very simple to use and a great way to stay in touch with your team or other professionals from your industry while working remotely.
Monday.com is a task management platform that is specifically designed for agencies and other businesses. At the start of lockdown we began looking for a new task management tool to aid collaborative working, and after trialling a few have found Monday.com to work brilliantly. Tasks can be created and shared with the team members who will be working on them, and the timeline tool helps to plan resources and manage time effectively.
The previous tools were mainly focused around communication and working as a team, whereas most of the other apps we’ve highlighted are more focused on different areas of digital marketing.
Hootsuite is the go-to platform for social media management, whether you are working remotely or not. If you manage multiple clients’ social media accounts across various platforms and aren’t using Hootsuite, you’re doing something wrong. The dashboard allows you to manage every aspect of a social media account from one place. On top of that, you can manage a number of different accounts spread across various platforms so there’s no need to keep logging in and out of every account.
Again, MailChimp is something that we would recommend using whether you are working remotely or not. In our opinion MailChimp is one of the best email software options available as it allows you to easily work as a team, even when everyone is spread across the world. With the option to leave comments on campaigns, the addition of instructions when sending test emails, and an indicator when someone is currently working on a campaign the platform is set up for collaboration.
Available for free, GlooMaps is a really simple way to quickly create sitemaps. Once created the sitemap will be available via a personalised URL, which can be shared with other members of your team of clients to allow for easy collaboration. GlooMaps is a great visual way to create and display a sitemap, making it easier for those who are less familiar with the concept to visualise, which is vital if you’re making big changes to a site’s navigation.
For the creatives among us, Canva is a fantastic tool if you don’t have access to high spec (and expensive) software such as Photoshop. With a wide variety of templates, you can create posts for social media, flyers, business cards, and so much more. Canva is something that I used even when working in the office, but with options that allow you to define your brand’s visual identity, it’s a must-have when working remotely.
If you are looking for a free alternative to Google Keyword Planner then Keywordtool.io is definitely the thing to use. Generating over 750 long-tail keywords, as well as related and relevant questions searchers are asking, this tool offers everything you might need. The ability to download your reports makes it easy to work collaboratively with other members of your team.
Businesses around the world have had to adapt to a new way of working as a result of COVID-19, however, this new normal is looking like it could be sticking around for many. These are some of our favourite tools that have helped make working remotely really easy.