Running a successful marketing campaign is contingent upon several factors. This includes realistic goal setting, organization, communication, execution, and keeping track of metrics. In the past, there were limited tools and resources to aid in a marketing campaign. These tools were primitive and many lacked efficiency. Fortunately, cloud apps have changed the marketing landscape and are ideal for business owners looking to streamline their marketing campaigns and their progress.
Let’s discuss the benefits of cloud apps and some of the best ones available for streamlining marketing campaigns.
Use Cloud Apps to Streamline Marketing Campaigns
Perhaps the most beneficial part of cloud apps is their ability to safely and securely store data. Whether you’re using spreadsheets, documents or forms, information can be conveniently saved and accessed whenever necessary. Since this data is in the cloud and not saved onto a computer, disc or USB, there are no worries about it being lost or destroyed.
Even if your computer has a meltdown, all data from your marketing campaign could easily be retrieved online. In an uncertain world where there’s always the potential for curveballs and human error, cloud apps offer marketers a peace of mind that critical data will never be lost.
It’s also relatively secure because the cloud can only be accessed by authorized individuals with the username and password.
If you’re coordinating multiple people into your marketing campaigns, it’s important that everyone can quickly access the information they need. For instance, one person may be in charge of SEO, another in charge of social media and another responsible for email marketing. Using a cloud app allows each person to log in and work on whichever aspect of the campaign they need to from any location that has Internet access.
This means that a small business can efficiently run its marketing campaign with employees across the country or even the world. Since many cloud apps are also available on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, this allows employees to complete tasks while they’re on the road and increase productivity.
Although big companies may have the funds to pay for elaborate software to run marketing campaigns, many small to mid-sized businesses are on a limited budget. Since many cloud apps are inexpensive or even free, they’re a great solution for staying on track without breaking the bank. Many cloud providers also operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, so there’s no need for long contracts and obligations. Besides this, updates and upgrades are usually part of the package, so there’s no need to pay additional fees.
Now that you understand what the inherent advantages of cloud apps are, let’s discuss some of the more popular products on the market.
This is the preferred choice of many marketers and business owners because it’s simple, effective and free. According to TechCrunch, Google Drive had over 10 million users as of mid 2012 and this number is likely to keep growing. It’s easy to use and allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, folders, forms, drawings and presentations. The interface has a minimalist aesthetic with a clean, white background.
Projects can be stored according to title, the last date they were modified, opened or edited for efficient organization. Unlike some more complicated apps, this platform is also highly intuitive and the basics can be learned by most people very quickly. This makes it practical and minimizes the learner’s curve. If you want to upload existing documents from your computer, it’s easy to do. Due to the large volume of free storage, it’s equipped to handle the data needs of most businesses.
My favorite part of Google Drive is the fact that it allows team members to collaborate simultaneously on the same document. This means the whole team can view and edit a spreadsheet together, improving collaboration and reducing headaches.
Many people also use Google Calendar, which is perfect for keeping track of deadlines and keeping things on schedule. It will also notify you via email when a project is due or of other important information.
When it comes to running a social media marketing campaign, this is one of the most popular and effective platforms. It allows you to manage profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Mixi and even Myspace. In a nutshell, HootSuite makes it easy to monitor user engagement and track the progress of a social media campaign.
For Facebook, you can monitor feeds and coordinate posts with greater ease. On Twitter, it’s simple to schedule tweets, track how many mentions a profile receives, favorite tweets, etc. Integrating HootSuite with Google+ makes it possible to monitor circles, comments and user activity. It also provides more control over publishing to maximize the impact of a campaign.
This platform incorporates a highly sophisticated analytics program to help marketers uncover information about their demographic. Data can be broken down by geographical location, language and posting source to gain insights. By integrating various social media profiles with this app, it will produce comprehensive analytics reports that can be broken down daily, weekly or bi-weekly. This makes it easy to spot trends and make the adjustments to better optimize a campaign.
If you have a lot on your plate and are always coming up with ideas, this app can be very helpful. It can be accessed via computer, tablet or smartphone and allows you to store a variety of media. During a brainstorming session, you can conveniently make notes to view later. You can save images, important websites, files, snapshots and documents from one central location. Once data is saved, it can conveniently be retrieved on any compatible device regardless of where you’re at.
Collaborating on projects and sharing notes with employees is simple, which helps capitalize on new ideas while they’re still fresh. Evernote also has a feature that allows you to search for whatever you’re looking for via tags. Consequently, it can hasten any project and eliminates having to manually search for information. Basically, this cloud app is ideal for small marketing teams that need to quickly share information and boost productivity.
Regardless of the location of team members, everyone can work alongside one another to accomplish the most tasks with the least amount of effort. Since everything is stored online, there’s no need to worry about broken computers or losing valuable information.
When communication between employees is critical and there are tight deadlines, this app can come in handy. Asana is all about productivity and ensuring that each team member completes their tasks on time. Through Asana and email notifications, time sensitive information can be sent and received quickly. Individual employees can receive tasks, which can be prioritized according to importance.
Since you can view other team members’ tasks and priorities, this can reduce wasted time spent at meetings and more time can be dedicated to actually getting marketing done. If you’re behind on a certain project, you will know before it’s too late and you can take the necessary steps to get back on track. Like many other apps, Asana can be used on a variety of mobile devices for streamlined access to information. Basically, this app is intended to improve communication and boost productivity.
Cloud Apps Photo via ShutterstockMore in: Marketing 101