Remote marketing with Asana will make your life a whole lot easier. That’s especially true when your team can’t meet in person. Regardless of whether your team is remote or not, it’s time to move past the office whiteboard or endless excel spreadsheets. There’s an easier way!
What is Asana?
Asana is a project management tool. It lets you collaborate with your team, schedule out tasks, and check the status of your various projects. At Squishy Peanut, we use it for all of our client projects, our own internal marketing, company operations, and new proposal work.
It helps you visualize projects so you know what tasks still need to be done and it allows you to check-in when tasks fall behind. We also use it as a place to hold any documents or links we want to remember for a client. You can even comment on tasks to share more information, ask questions, or upload relevant documents.
Since we use Asana for all our projects, we want to share with you how it can make your remote marketing a bit easier.
We’re also Asana Certified Pros which means we’ve done extensive training on the platform and know the best features to help you get the most out of it. If you’re interested in signing up, we’d be happy to help you get started. Click here to sign up and reach out to us for assistance with the initial set up for your marketing needs.
Project Boards, Timelines, or Lists for Marketing
This first place to start with Asana is to figure out how you work best with your marketing. Asana allows you to look at projects as boards (think Kanban), traditional to-do lists, or as timelines to show when certain elements are due.
The type of project you’re working on will help determine which type of project you want to start with.
Asana Board Projects for Marketing
Have you ever worked on a project using post-it notes? As each item progresses, the post-it note moves along the columns. That style of project management is called Kanban and it can be done in Asana using boards.
Let’s say, for instance, that you have a blog on your website. One single blog post might be one post-it note on the whiteboard. You can move it from an idea to a draft to finalized. However, you probably know that there are lots of tasks behind that one post-it note to get the blog moving along.
That’s where Asana comes in.
Above is an example of an Asana Board project. You can switch this project to Timeline or List mode at any time and we’ll share what types of projects might work best for each.
In this example, we’re looking at blog posts. We have a column where we can put in ideas. Not all the ideas are fully formed but it helps us know what could be coming up. When an idea is added to our schedule, we can drag and drop it into the schedule section. Once it’s complete, we put it in the done column.
As we mentioned before, each blog post has plenty behind it.
Within these blog post tasks, we can add subtasks.
Take, for instance, this blog post. Above, you can see that the post has been assigned to me (Rachael Flores) since I’m the main writer on the post. I’ve also included the date we want to blog shared as the due date.
Underneath that, there are more specific subtasks. There’s a task for me to write the blog post and a task for Deanna to review the blog post. That task is marked as dependent on me finishing the writing of the post. Once I have finished, Deanna will be notified that it’s ready for her to review.
There’s also a task for Angie, our graphic designer, to create a graphic for the blog post. She already completed this and her task has been checked off.
Whenever we have new blog posts, the tasks follow the same structure which is why we have a template task that we can copy out for each blog post.
This template has all the subtasks. The only one currently assigned is the graphic since Angie is always the point person on that task. Once we have a new blog post, we assign out the other subtasks depending on who the writer for a particular post is.
Asana Timeline Projects for Marketing
Some marketing projects that you work on have a really clear deadline. Maybe you’re scheduling an event or perhaps you want to release a new product. For those instances, you want a timeline project.
Here’s an example of a timeline project based on launching an online course on April 27th. Keep in mind, this is just an example. There are usually more steps involved but this gives you a good idea of how timeline projects work.
For this project, we have different sections that we know will need tasks: Social Media, Email Marketing, Video Production, and Follow-ups. We put the course launch date on the timeline and work backward from there. If we launch on the 27th, we need certain elements done before that. You can see the various tasks outlined here.
Asana also shows you when someone might be overloaded with tasks. For instance, Deanna is scheduled to do a Facebook Live and to finish editing and finalizing videos in the same week. That might be too much for one week with other client work so it’s a good opportunity to check in on how the schedule can be adjusted.
Within the Video Production section, you’ll also see that some tasks are connected with arrows. That means that a task is dependent on another task. Deanna can’t record the videos without first completing the outline and getting graphics for Angie.
If Angie can’t get to the graphics by the deadline, she can move the deadline which will adjust the rest of the timeline. That might be okay, if there’s time built into your schedule. If you’re on a tight schedule, you’ll have to see where else you can adjust things.
Asana List Projects for Marketing
Some projects won’t have a specific deadline and won’t necessarily need to move from column to column as they progress. For those, a more traditional list project is your best bet.
Here’s an example of a list project that allows you to keep up with monitoring important parts of your company’s social media.
You can set each of these tasks to repeat as often as you think is necessary and assign them out to the party best equipped to take them on. This helps you keep up to date on your social feeds, monitor your ads, and stay in touch with any trends in your industry.
You can also assign tasks to multiple people. For instance, it might make sense for the entire Squishy Peanut team to interact on their personal LinkedIn feed with industry related news, clients, or partner companies.
Lists allow you to keep track of repeating tasks or on-off tasks that still need to be completed.
Other Tips for Remote Marketing with Asana
Once you’ve decided on the best type of project for your marketing initiatives, you can have some fun with the various capabilities of Asana.
Task Comments for Collaboration
We had an idea for a marketing brochure and wanted our graphic designer to help find some inspiration.
Angie was given a task and was able to upload her inspiration directly to it. She could add comments and even tag other team members to have them weigh in.
There’s even an option to ‘like’ certain comments or uploads to indicate which are your favorites.
Not only can you see when individual tasks have been completed, but you can also use Asana to track the overall progress of a project.
Take, for instance, our Internal Operations project. You can see that 221 tasks have been completed and that 18 tasks are incomplete. None of the tasks are overdue. Within this section, you can also include a status update and whether the project is “On Track,” “At Risk,” or “Off-Track.”
We use this to share updates on our client projects. If we haven’t received everything we need or one task is keeping things from progressing, we can see that here. Every Monday, we send our clients emails about where their projects are and post that update in the progress section.
You can also add custom information to the individual tasks. For example, we can mark tasks as either having a high, low, or medium priority so that the assignee knows where to start. Each task can then be updated with a progress as well to share how much has been done so far.
These tabs can also be customized. For instance, you might want to mark something as an Idea or mark which social media platform you want to use that task for. There are plenty of ways to customize it to work best for your team.
Keeping Important Notes in One Place
Each project also has a spot for conversations. Your status updates will go directly to your conversations but we can also use this spot to save something you want to reference.
For instance, we might use it to save an important link, a document that we want to reference, or to store the hashtags we want to use for a client.
Checking Your Team’s Workload
Sometimes we give too much to one team member and don’t even realize it. Asana allows you to do custom reports to check on everything from tasks you’ve assigned to upcoming tasks for the week.
It’s helpful to get a birds-eye view of things and to understand where you can improve your project management.
Keep track of your own tasks
Asana lets you break out tasks by the different projects they relate to but it also gives you a section where you can check all your own upcoming tasks.
You can see what tasks were assigned to you and put them in custom categories. The default is to have task categories for “Today,” “Upcoming,” and “Later.”
Deanna has a custom section for things we need her to review. That helps her keep track of things that can only move forward with her approval so that she can complete those as soon as possible.
You can organize the tasks by priority as well.
Remote Marketing with Asana
By now, we’ve hopefully given you enough ideas for how you can use Asana for your company’s marketing. Not being able to meet in person, can be a difficult transition for some companies. Thankfully, technology helps with that. We’ve been using Asana for about a year and it has made a huge difference in our project organization.
As we mentioned earlier, we’re Asana Certified Pros (the only ones in Washington State). If your company needs help with Asana for project management, feel free to reach out. You can sign up for Asana here.