Offices all over Australia are empty as we weather the storm of COVID-19 – a new survey from research and advisory firm Gartner HR has revealed that a whopping 88 per cent of organisations have encouraged or required employees to work from home.
The rapid shift to remote working has certainly presented challenges for many businesses, particularly those that rely on face-to-face communication. Some are struggling to move previously offline processes – like a mid-morning chat or a sales presentation – into something that works remotely.
As an agency that has been working remotely for six years now, we’ve built the knowledge and tools to operate efficiently online, and we want to see your business kicking goals too – global pandemic or no global pandemic.
We’ve done some research on the digital marketing tools Aussie businesses are using – including some of our tried-and-true favourites – as they shift to remote working, and analysed them for you below.
Australia’s top quarantine digital marketing tools
The tool you are most likely to be familiar with, Zoom provides live video communication software for both business and personal use.
Interest in the platform has grown massively over the past two months. With in-person communication out the window for many businesses, group calls via platforms such as Zoom have become the norm.
We have a team call on Zoom each week. We use it to get aligned on our tasks, follow up on things we’re waiting for, discuss solutions for clients – and to ensure we have some face-to-face communication!
It’s also our preferred platform for training. We share screens via Zoom to train each other on new business processes or tools and provide immediate feedback.
In March, it seems like everyone was searching for Zoom:
This data from Google Ads shows that searches exploded from roughly 10k per month to almost 2.5 million.
Udemy is a useful online learning platform aimed at professional adults and students – as of January 2020, it had more than 50 million students and over 57,000 instructors teaching online courses in over 65 languages.
Now that events are cancelled, Udemy is providing an opportunity for teams to continue to learn and upskill. Some of its most popular courses include Excel, web development, Photoshop and even something called ‘Ethical Hacking’.
And if some of the tools on this list seem a bit intimidating, you can upskill via Udemy. There are a range of courses teaching you how best to using things like Zoom and Monday.
Interest in Udemy is currently at its highest – and it had a noticeable peak around the Easter long weekend.
And search trends are up around 20k.
Slack is a messaging app that allows teams to communicate on various topics all in one place. It’s most useful as an ‘always-on’ chat and communication channel. It’s quick and good for generating ideas, but not as effective at keeping things permanently. If something needs to be remembered or recorded, it’s still better to do that via email or in your project management software.
Think of it as a way to replace those random chats around the office (and not always the ones about work!).
Slack also has a wide range of integrations. You can connect your Dropbox or your Google Drive for seamless file sharing, link it to your workflow management tools and even integrate GIPHY so you’ve got all the funny reaction images you might need.
Average search volume for Slack was around 60k before shooting up to over 150k.
Australian interest was at its highest in late March/early April, but it’s dropped back a little bit now as everyone settles into using it.
Toggl is an easy-to-use time-tracking tool we use religiously at The Marketing Project.
We have all of our clients in Toggl, and a range of projects for each client. Time tracking is as simple as typing a project and a client into the timer, writing a description of the task you’re working on – we use job numbers copy-and-pasted from Monday.com – and then Toggl tracks live until you hit stop or move onto the next job.
On the business end, you can also easily create timesheets to export and send to clients.
Interest in Toggl is pretty up and down generally, but searches definitely jumped in March.
Monday.com is another tool we use religiously at TMP. It’s an end-to-end workflow management system that connects remote teams to run processes and projects. We have shared Monday boards with clients, some for our own work and others for things like templates and internal processes. It’s highly customisable and very adaptable.
Our inboxes are relatively empty thanks to Monday. Every client, project and individual task is shown clearly, and each of those tasks has associated labels such as task status, priority, who is working on what, due date and so on. It also has a handy search option to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Trello is a simpler project management tool using ‘cards’ you drag around – like you might organise flashcards on the whiteboard during a team planning session. We use Trello from time to time, but rely more on Monday.com for the real grunt work.
Let’s look at Trello, as it’s arguably the more popular platform. After an understandable lull around Christmas, interest in Australia jumped to its highest in the past 12 months over March and April.
Finding the best digital marketing tools for you
There are a wealth of tools that can emulate the manual processes you are so used to. It can be overwhelming trying to sift through them all, but once you find the ones that work you’ll never look back.
So don’t look for a ‘quick-fix’ tool – pick things with the mindset that you’ll continue using them when all of this is over.
Our advice is to match your digital marketing tools to your existing way of working, rather than picking something shiny and trying to shoehorn it into your workflow.