Some of the most effective marketing tools for content marketers are Trello and Slack. These two simple apps allow you to organize all your thoughts in an easy-to-understand way, while also saving time and effort on phone calls or other slow workflows. Learn how they can help your workflow today!
My firm, L&T Co., began looking for the finest technologies to assist us manage our content, customers, and authors more efficiently as a startup experiencing “super-growth” last year. We discovered two that have not only proved invaluable to us, but will also assist any marketing department or agency in increasing productivity, motivation, and, most importantly, providing customers with as much transparency into the daily process as they want.
L&T needs to keep structured around our projects since we have a portfolio of 20 customers for whom we run campaigns of variable scale and length. When you add in a staff of 40 writers, all of whom work remotely, plus a half-dozen in-house editors, it’s easy to see how the organization might have degraded into a jumbled mess long ago if not for efficient project management.
After depending only on a clumsy Google Drive-centric procedure that required transferring a document from one folder to another for editing, and then to another for client approval, we switched to Trello approximately a year ago. Not only did this swiftly devolve into a logistical nightmare, but our customers had almost little visibility into the process. Despite the fact that we were only dealing with a few firms at the time, the process had become too complicated for anybody to keep up with.
It was not an easy choice to adopt a project management application. Despite the fact that L&T was in “growth mode” at the time, we were still a bootstrapped firm and couldn’t justify spending thousands of dollars on a flashy new platform.
We chose Trello after considering what a variety of systems had to offer (as well as the costs of each). The platform’s seamless connection with Google Drive, affordability, functionality of multiple privacy options, easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, and free support for our fast increasing workforce made the decision a no-brainer.
Every one of our freelance writers now has access to a Trello board where we distribute tasks to them through “cards,” each of which includes a Google Doc where the writer may finish their work on an article. Our editors can simply access the papers via Trello and take up exactly where the writer left off, offering comments and overall transparency into the editing process that these freelancers may integrate into their future work, thanks to the connectivity with Google Drive.
In addition, each of our clients has their own Trello board where they may submit story ideas for us to investigate or assess our own recommendations for future features or blog entries. Each stage of the process may be followed by an infinite number of corporate officials, including when an article is assigned to a writer, when it is received by our in-house editing staff, and when the final version is available for their evaluation and approval.
This compartmentalized method enables L&T’s management to painstakingly monitor what each team member and client contact can and cannot view, resulting in a significant increase in the efficiency of our daily workflow process while also removing a number of privacy issues. Trello has not only helped our management and editing teams stay organized and on schedule, but it has also resulted in considerably more openness and feedback for customers and freelancers.
L&T quickly realized that Google alone wasn’t cutting it as our only communication medium after switching to Trello. We couldn’t keep track of a lot of important internal KPIs, such as the frequency and timing of posts to clients’ online publications and updates on our social media coverage of published content, even though it allowed quick chats between team members via Hangouts and unlimited file sharing via Google Drive. Furthermore, connecting with several team members at the same time was still a significant and unneeded challenge.
Slack has a creative, artistic image, but it’s rapidly being utilized by businesses and people outside of the creative world. One of our more technically focused customers, in fact, was the one who first introduced me to it, gushing about how it had transformed the way their organization communicated.
At its heart, we required our internal communication platform to be able to transmit any and all forms of information in real time, ensuring that all team members were aware of what was going on with each given customer while also keeping the management team informed of employee growth and development.
Slack has been set up with a channel for each client. Each of these channels is set up with an RSS feed that includes not just the client’s blog posts, but also any updates to their Trello board. This means that at any time, everyone on the team can see how any piece of content is progressing through our system.
Slack’s vast array of plugins, as I just said, is a significant plus. We’ve linked the platform with Google Hangouts and Drive in addition to Trello and WordPress, and there’s the option to add social network APIs, CRM systems, error monitoring, and bug tracking, to name a few.
We’ve also set up private chat groups for departments (editors, management, and social media employees), so we can talk to each other for immediate feedback and communication as needed.
Making Processes Run Smoothly
Before pushing your whole staff to learn and utilize new software, as you’ll discover when introducing any new technology to manage your company’s workflow, it’s critical to acquire their buy-in.
We’ve discovered that our teams — both internal and external — have adapted to Slack and Trello far better than we could have predicted, thanks to cross-platform mobile and desktop applications. At the end of the day, it’s because they’re so easy to use and encourage regular feedback, collaboration, and learning on the job.
Furthermore, Slack’s in-depth statistics show us which aspects are being used the most — and therefore are working — and which aren’t, enabling us to change our approach on the go and guarantee that everyone is comfortable with and eager to use these tools.
Have you or your organization begun utilizing any services that you can’t imagine living without? Let us know what you think in the comments!