As the digital age progresses, the importance of understanding how to acquire and organize data and analytics is becoming more and more prevalent. Yet far fewer marketers and administrators are not familiar with the many functionalities of Excel. For many tech companies, however, knowing how to use Excel can make the process of calculating complex formulas and reporting very easy.
Below are three reasons why knowing Excel can truly help take your content marketing to the next level.
Create Charts and Infographics
In the past few years, the term "infographic" has seen an amazing increase in trend. More and more marketers are understanding the benefits of incorporating charts and graphics in their content strategy. But part of creating compelling infographics is learning how to compile accurate and well-organized data.
Some of the best infographics are those which feature unique data in a series of easy to understand charts. Knowing how to format such data accurately for a range of chart types is incredible necessary. Whether you are putting together a simple pie chart or a multi-series chart, each style requires you to organize your survey results in a different manner.
Lucky for you, Microsoft Excel actually features a number of useful templates to choose from. Simple select File > New > New Form Template in order to see the range of choices. For a more hands on approach to learning how to get better with excel, you can always opt-in to take an excel training course offered by someone experienced with Big Data, and data visualization.
Facilitate Influencer Outreach
Content Marketers are required to do a lot of influencer outreach, but tracking vast numbers of contacts can become overwhelming. One of the best ways to track and reach out to new influencers is to organize names and emails into a spreadsheet.
One of the biggest struggles I have when it comes to organizing people to reach out to, is that every influencer falls into a different category or niche. In one spreadsheet I may have influencers who specialize in Social Media, SEO, Outreach, Branding, Email and more. By using filters to pinpoint a specific group of influencers, I can ensure that my outreach method is more targeted.
Yet Another Mail Merge is an email merge Chrome extension that works specifically with Google Spreadsheets. You can easily import a CSV of all your contacts directly into Google, and email specific groups of people in one shot.
Strategize, Report and Schedule
An important part of marketing is reporting metrics. Whether you want to make an annual report, or track your analytics on a week to week basis, you need to be able to make quick calculations. Understanding how to use the proper formulas in Excel can really speed up the process and help you avoid having to manually solve different equations.
Now it may seem a little unrealistic to know all of the Excel formulas, as there are hundreds of different ones. Some of these include advanced formulas for engineering and logic. A list of these formulas and functions can be accessed here.
Another use of Excel for content marketing is to create an editorial calendar. Depending on the blog or website, it can be very easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer number of content in the funnel for publishing. Curata has a great list of editorial templates to access that are ready to use in Excel.
The fact remains that Excel will never really be an outdated software. It becomes more and more critical that individuals working in the tech industry understand its functionalities, but fewer programs are offering specific training in Excel. With the creation of new softwares, many assume that Excel is a program that's relevance will eventually expire. The truth is, data analysis and data organization will always be a useful, and often required skills among marketers. Taking advantage of the resources and training available should be a priority for anyone who doesn't understand how to use Excel.