At first glance, it may seem like cloud computing is best left to the IT department, while marketing mavens concentrate on getting out the company message and building a brand. However, cloud resources can actually enhance marketing efforts through accessibility, security, document organization and recovery and ease of sharing, according to direct response strategist Conrad Flynn.
Cloud-based systems offer secure storage for data you can access anywhere, at any time. Access control settings keep material only accessible to those who need to see it, which can be very important when developing marketing around a new product. Additionally, the cloud’s scalability means you can harness these capabilities without overspending and purchase a larger package as enterprise needs grow, according to Paranet.
1. File Backup
Data loss can seriously compromise business. Keep important files secure by creating a cloud-based backup. In case of hardware failure, file corruption or natural disaster —- say, a fire ruins your offices — you’ll be able to regain those important files. With so many cloud-based backup providers, check out audits including Dropbox critiques and Backup Genie services and reviews to choose the right option for your business. Many providers also offer automatic backup options, so you don’t have make time to manually transfer files on a regular basis.
2. Access Files Anywhere, Any Time
Need to pitch your logo idea at a business meeting in another city? Don’t worry about saving files to a flash drive or bringing print materials. Simply sign in to your cloud storage service, and show the files to your client. This saves time and encourages increased sharing of ideas, Flynn reports. Plus, you can even access files from your mobile phone. Mobility is key in today’s economy.
3. Share More Quickly and Easily
Need to get a client’s approval of a file that’s too large to upload via email? Online cloud storage offers an elegant and free solution. Upload the large file or files to your chosen cloud provider, grab the share link or set the item-level permissions levels, and email the client with the file. Again, as Flynn notes, you’ll save time and make idea sharing and feedback even easier for all parties involved. As an added bonus, you’ll never have to wonder if the file made it past a spam filter or firewall.
4. Collaborate with Team Members
Many cloud storage programs have collaborative tools, including chat capability and groups. Use these functions to share materials across a group, and ensure everyone is seeing the same set of documents and working together. This offers easy versioning control, since all materials are kept in one location accessible to all involved. As CNET notes, the cloud is increasingly becoming the expected model of sharing among companies. Most cloud-based applications will also track changes, so it’s easy to see what was changed, when it was changed, and — if notes were used — why it was changed.
5. Quickly Organize to See What’s Working — And What’s Not
With the organizing functions offered by cloud storage systems, you can sort and store project files together. No longer will you have to hunt for that one image file that has gone missing. Plus, draft materials and abandoned ideas can be easily identified and marked as such to avoid future confusion. Archived files can quickly be found and consulted on an as-needed basis.
If you’re not using the cloud to organize and share your materials, consider this the right time to adopt a cloud-based solution. After all, both colleagues and customers are beginning to expect it, as CNET notes. There’s no universal cloud storage solution, but if you carefully catalog your needs and how you plan to use the cloud, you can easily research and adopt the right solution for your company.
Have you used cloud storage in your marketing efforts? Share your experience in the comments.