Your audience varies. While you may appreciate a long-copy whitepaper, another prospect may simply want to review a feature list before they contact you for business. This great infographic from ContentPlus, a UK-based content marketing service, provides an overview of the variety of content offerings that exist, why they work, and some supporting data. They also have an accompanying blog post that ties it all together.
Internet users have become sophisticated content consumers in recent years, and their preferences continue to evolve. Gone are the days when brands could satisfy their audiences’ needs by just publishing bog-standard posts that conveyed the same information as everyone else in their industry. The organisations that leverage content marketing successfully today are the ones that deliver compelling content in the formats preferred by their audiences, and this is the topic of our new infographic Content Strategy Pick ‘n’ Mix.
There are hundred of apps that claim to “increase productivity” and “optimize company workflow,” but how many apps actually do? We’ve selected a list of 8 apps that actually make your workday easier, and team collaboration more enjoyable in the process.
Did we miss any of your favorite team collaboration apps? If so, please let us know in the comments section below.
Dropbox is the quintessential app for file-sharing and document collaboration. Through Dropbox, you can share PDFs, files and folders. When you star a file, you can access it offline later on.
The free app comes with 2.5 GB of free storage space, with options to upgrade your account at a flat rate of $100 per year for 100 GB of space. Dropbox also offers 250 MB of storage for free when you complete five out of seven Getting Started tasks.
Flow makes project management incredibly easy and collaborative. Many business apps try to do too much, resulting in an overwhelming and stress-inducing experience. Flow’s clean, simple design, however, brings a zen-like peace of mind to task management. Plan a project by creating a folder, adding in lists for each project component and writing in an itemized task for each list. You can delegate tasks to co-workers via email, even if the person you’re delegating the task to doesn’t have a Flow account.
The activity log helps everyone involved in a project see when someone is assigned a task and when someone completes it.
This app is ideal if you work in any kind of visually creative field. From planning concert brochures to laying out next month’s magazine cover, Skitch makes it easy to communicate visually.
Image courtesy of Evernote
Salesforce offers an array of options for business-related apps that run on the cloud for seamless work-integration and collaboration.
The Sales Cloud is Salesforce’s CRM app. Its Leaderboard feature shows each sales team member’s rank. It also comes with access to a prioritized list of your top leads so that you can see them all on one page. The Sales Cloud also includes a page with customer contact information and links to their social profile so you can monitor their interaction with your brand on social media.
Social.com is a social advertising management app and is part of Salesforce’s Social Marketing platform. This app helps you manage all of your ad campaigns across every social media platform, from Twitter to Facebook. Social.com helps you target a specific audience and time of day in order to maximize your social reach. It automatically runs higher performing ads, so you get the most out of your campaigns. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud recently expanded its “listening” power to China and Russia through deals with each country’s primary social network.
The Service Cloud is Salesforce’s Customer Service app. It brings together all of your company’s customer support into one place and then directs certain issues to the appropriate channel, whether it’s to a 1-800 number, email address or social media channel. If there’s any problems fixing a problem, the Service Cloud has a task status feature that you can “Escalate” in order to alert your coworkers of the issue and solve the problem collaboratively. You can even facetime with customers through the app. The Weekly Agent Productivity feature provides incentive to solve situations quickly, while the customer satisfaction metrics let you know how good of a job your team is doing.
Dynamics Business Analyzer is Microsoft’s free CRM app. The app requires Windows 8 or Windows RT to run, and features a colorful metrics dashboard so you can copy, edit, view and refresh reports directly on your desktop. You can customize which reports you want to include on the dashboard, ranging from gross profit reports to sales per month reports. This app integrates with the Windows 8 edition of Lync so that co-workers can collaborate directly on the reports.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
6. Google Apps
The Google Apps for Business suite includes the Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides for collaboration in the cloud. Google offers a free 30-day trial and charges $5 per employee.
Google Hangouts is also a popular business app by Google. Hangouts are especially useful if you have employees who work remotely, as they can participate virtually in meetings and brainstorm sessions. You can share photos or emojis and add up to 10 friends per hangout.
Tempo is a calendar management tool that pulls in contextual information about your daily events — from contact information to driving directions. Every day, Tempo generates a daily schedule that you can preview either in calendar or list view.
Tempo is not specifically targeted toward businesses, but it can be especially helpful for pulling in email information about meetings or corporate events. The app comes with built-in Foursquare and Yelp integration, so locating your meeting is painless.
Evernote Business breaks down communication barriers between departments. This democratization of knowledge facilliates collaborative problem solving, which drives faster solutions. Evernote Business also makes it easier for customer feedback to influence strategy.
Evernote Business easily integrates with your existing Evernote account and grants you access to Evernote Premium. With a Premium account, you get access to 2 GB of personal memory a month, and your company gets an extra 2 GM to share in Business Notebooks.
Shortly after the Superdome lights went dark during Super Bowl XLX in February, Oreo tweeted a qipppy photo, which immediately launched a “real-time marketing” fervor.
Since then, people have mentioned Oreo and real-time marketing nearly 2 million times on Twitter, and countless articles and panel sessions have examined how marketers can replicate the “Oreo moment.”
But the truth is, real-time marketing success starts with a brand’s day-to-day activity, not a single well-timed moment. Don’t swing for the fences your very first time out. Implement small, real-time marketing initiatives on a regular basis; patiently teach your audience they can expect timely, relevant communications from your brand. Then, when a really big opportunity arises, your team is poised and ready to make the most of it.
“You need to cultivate the principle of little bets, a concept coined by Peter Sims,” explains author Jon Burkart to Fast Company. “In other words, the willingness to foster lots of small, experimental creativity to put things out there and see what sticks.”
You must also understand the tone and nuances of the conversations taking place in the spaces where you are socially active. Your interactions need to be creative, highly contextual and timely, on topic and pitch-perfect. And people need to know you, or they might not listen.
Finally, don’t get caught in the trap of thinking real-time marketing is just about newsjacking. In fact, it’s more about “trend” jacking: inserting your brand in relevant, timely conversations on an ongoing basis.
So how do you get there?
1. Get your team and process in place.
The first step is putting a great team and process in place. You want to staff channels well, giving teams the dedicated time and ability to immerse themselves as regular and authentic community cogs, with a trusted voice and point of view.
The team also needs to closely integrate with the other processes in the organization. Oreo had strategists, marketers and even legal working together to streamline creative production, decision-making and approvals. Take the time to analyze how your organization works, as well as who needs to be a part of the process. And figure out how you can facilitate internal collaboration around news and activity across all your platforms.
2. Identify the high-level communities relevant to your brand.
If you’re GoPro, a high-performance camera for adventure athletes, you’ll wade into freestyle aerialist ski competitions, park and pipe events, downhill mountain biking and skydiving. Identify the core areas in which your brand plays, then start to map out adjunct areas to research and verify across social channels.
For example, if Burton snowboards notices GoPro is trending, it could immediately kick off a Twitter campaign tied to the #GoPro hashtag. The brand could tweet out a series of awesome videos on the hashtag or even provide a just-in-time offer for that community, which would be highly relevant to that audience.
3. Monitor the space closely.
Your team should also begin to identify the daily trends, topics, sub-topics, quirks, habits, news and tendencies in each of your spaces. Discover the influencers and their roles in the community. Start to gauge the tone, attitudes and flavor of the population. Set alerts in your social media analytics tools when conversations start to gain momentum around certain key phrases or search terms. Track and monitor buzz to reply or share key pieces of content.
4. Start generating high-quality, quick turnaround content.
All of this setup will situate you in an excellent position to start generating content. Retweet the top viral content and post to your social networks, or engage directly with influential people who are tweeting. You can even create small campaigns on the fly.
For example, if people start tweeting about a freestyle skier’s new mohawk, Red Bull could start a Twitter debate or even a voting campaign to get people engaged in the discussion, with the brand at the center of it all. Or if you discover a photo going viral in one of your communities, grab it and start a caption contest on Facebook. Wade out gently at first to test the waters, perhaps sharing content with your lesser channels to see how it goes over.
As you advance, build content from the conversation into social ads, particularly as you see traction for particular content or campaigns.
MediaWhiz’s Keith Trivitt shares advice for sporting brands that could apply to all businesses’ real-time marketing strategies: “The reality of real-time social media marketing in sports is that it’s not just the big, epochal moments that make for great marketing opportunities for brands. It’s what you do to integrate your brand within the broader context of the sporting event, between the pitches, between the downs and after the whistle blows, that sets the digitally savvy brands apart from [the] bystanders.”
How does your brand fit into relevant social media discussions? Share your real-time marketing strategies and tips in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Flickr, Selbe B