The rapid evolution of digital marketing gave rise to thousands of wonderful online tools. And, to be honest, these tools are making our lives a lot easier, especially now when most of us are forced to work remotely.
But you can never be too productive and effective, and there is always room for improvement. One of the key elements of a successful marketing agency is the ability to use relevant services to automate as much as possible.
Implementing technology lets your agency streamline your team’s work and focus on the most important thing – the needs of your clients.
But how do you choose the right tools among so many alternatives?
To help you out, we asked industry experts to share their favorite software that helps them work smarter and faster in various areas – from project management and reporting to SEO and PPC automation, here are the nine best remote work tools for agencies.
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#1. ClickUp for project management
ClickUp is a project management tool suitable for businesses and agencies of all sizes. Its features include notes, calendars, docs, dashboards, reminders, tasks, etc., so any team can plan, organize and collaborate.
Users can assign tasks to particular groups and team members, prioritize tasks, configure notifications, create customizable views and share them to get a better understanding of what’s going on in your agency.
“I like ClickUp for project management, it allows me to use a variety of templates to match the particular project I want to track.”
Rosie Brent, Senior Project Manager at MGC Agency
#2. Trello for team collaboration
If your team needs to perform multiple deadline-based tasks and wants to keep track of their completion, Trello is a must. This tool allows you to organize and prioritize your ongoing projects in a simple and flexible way using boards, cards, and checklists.
“Everyone needs a two-way communication with clients, so they know the agency or consultant is listening to them, and for them to see what is going on, a phone call or email might not be enough for every client. I use a template in Trello and share it with the client. Also, sending them weekly updates and letting clients know there is one coming each week can help.”
Sanjit Mandal, Digital Marketing Strategist at California SEO Professionals
#3. Airtable for smoother work with Google Sheets
Airtable is a collaboration and project management service that works like a visually appealing and easy-to-use spreadsheet. Packed with rich features like file attachments, calendars, reporting, and kanban card stacks, the application allows you to organize anything.
And there’s good news for Google Drive fans. You can integrate Airtable with Google Drive to easily and quickly organize and share links to your documents right within the platform. There’s no need to switch between the two apps, you can connect Airtable to Google Drive in just a few minutes to create, store, and share your files in one place.
“One of my partners asked me to start using Airtable. So we created a sheet where we track GMB posting. I prepare text and images in advance so the client can see it before it is published. What I really like about this sheet is that you can actually upload an image so they can see it, whereas with Google Sheets you would have to link out.”
Bostjan Tanko, SEO Specialist
#4. SEMrush Marketing Calendar for campaign management
The Marketing Calendar within the SEMrush Content Platform enables you to plan your campaigns and monitor all your tasks and deadlines. The tool is designed as a calendar (which is quite obvious, going by its name) and offers an intuitive interface.
You can organize your tasks by creating campaigns and activities, build checklists, attach files, set due dates, and assign team members to particular tasks to ensure all your team’s projects will be implemented on time.
“The other tool we have recently discovered is the SEMrush editorial calendar, in which we can give advice to our eCommerce customers on the planning of seasonal products or on the material to prepare for certain holidays. This tool is fantastic.”
Massimo Fattoretto, Founder at Massimofattoretto.com
#5. Draw.io for data visualization
Draw.io is a free online diagram editor that enables you to build flowcharts, network diagrams, mockups, org charts, process diagrams, and more. You can create your own customized shape libraries or use a collection of shape libraries with many visual elements. This tool lets you work with metadata to fill your diagrams with large amounts of meaningful data.
“I use Draw.io. Drawing the workflow during a video call actually seems to help people understand the process.”
Vladimir Gertner, Founder at Content HotSpot
#6. Klipfolio for building business dashboards
This cloud-based web app helps companies and agencies visualize and track any essential information, like metrics and KPIs. Klipfolio users can collect, display and share their data in real-time. This tool allows you to create visualizations using various elements, like tables or bar charts, to make large amounts of data more readable and clear.
“Klipfolio is great to see metrics, or set up something visual for each client based on what they need and want to see.”
Sanjit Mandal, Digital Marketing Strategist at California SEO Professionals
#7. Optmyzr for advertising automation
With Optmyzr, you can manage your PPC ads more effectively by getting optimization suggestions based on machine learning techniques. You can manage ads, automatically build campaigns from dynamic inventory, and share your results with automated reports.
Optmyzr offers integration with Google Data Studio and has features for budget management, bid management, A/B testing, conversion tracking, ROI tracking, campaign management, and more.
“I’d recommend combining tools/software, like Optmyzr, and the available tools within Google, like Smart Bidding. The best example of this is you can set Smart Bidding goals in Google Ads, and then Optmyzr has an inbuilt tool to optimize those targets/results. An example of this is you may have a target ROAS set in Google Ads to 800%, but if Optmyzr can see that you’re losing impression share in this auction, especially when the ad group is performing above the target ROAS, Optmyzr will reduce your target ROAS to maybe 780% to increase impression share and therefore the volume of traffic and, hopefully, conversions you get.”
Matthew Soakell, Senior PPC Trainer at Mabo
#8. BuiltWith for technology usage insights
BuiltWith provides trends in web technology usage across the Internet and global eCommerce sales trends. Its technology tracking includes widgets, analytics, CMS, content delivery networks, frameworks, and other technologies.
“We use a combination of SEMrush and BuiltWith data to scope out prospects in the early stages of an engagement, giving us the information we need to determine what they need to be successful.”
Amir Alsayegh, SEO Director at El Toro Interactive
#9. SEMrush for search engine optimization
SEMrush’s SEO Toolkit contains over 20 reports and tools that help you in each step of optimizing your website: competitive research, keyword research, link building, rank tracking, and on-page and technical SEO.
Site owners can use data-powered insights provided by SEMrush to improve their search visibility and grow their online presence.
“Pick up a good tool like SEMrush to help you streamline your technical audit and some of your on-page stuff that will give you an edge on automating some tasks.”
Felipe Bazon, Chief SEO officer at Hedgehog Digital
“We have an activities list that covers all of the possible actions to be used; each activity has an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and many of the SOPs are structured around SEMrush tools. We are changing and tweaking all the time and making more and more use of SEMrush and doing more and more automation.”
Trevor Stolber, Founder at Stolber Digital Marketing Agency
Choosing the right remote work tool
Running a growing agency is a challenging task, which is why having technology that makes sense for your needs is essential for your agency’s success.
It can save you time and money, making your team more productive. But with the variety of different remote work tools available, it can be quite difficult to make a choice.
Take into account your budget, major marketing activities, and long-term goals. You can start small: pick two or three tools and give them a try.
Guest author: Julia Olennikova is a Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush. Migrated from journalism to digital marketing and je ne regrette rien.