10 Reasons Why Social Media Is Good For Business

Business and Social Media Are Good for Each Other

Thank you very much to Tom Duffy at Strategy Social Media for agreeing to let me post this, their latest article, in full on Virtuadmin.uk.

You can create a buzz – Get the word out about your products and services in a way that promotes online conversation and increases engagement.

Build relationships and become more personal – (expanding on the first point) Use a variety of social media, and you’ll build relationships with customers and potential customers. Trust comes through honesty and sincerity.

Branding – It is extremely important for a small business to create a recognisable identity for your product or service. This is the way the customer perceives you, and what better way to do this than the use of social media?

It opens up the line of communication between business owner and millions of potential customers – Millions of people who could possibly become customers? You could not have this easily in the offline world. Thank you social media!

Social networking with potential clients and customers from all over the globe – With social networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter (among many, many others) you can hold personal conversations with each of your customers. Tell them about new products, sales and coupons, suggestions and tips – the topics are endless!

Small businesses can compete with the large companies – In the past, this was very difficult with the advertising and marketing budgets of large companies. With the right type of viral social media, you could potentially get an immense amount of traffic which keeps coming for a long time.

Online reputation management – Social Media is a good way to keep an eye on what other people are saying about your name, company, or brand online – and if any problems or complaints arise, they can be dealt with.

Social media is much cheaper than traditional marketing and advertising – Social media marketing shouldn’t cost a small business nearly as much as traditional advertising. If you do it yourself it might not cost anything at all. It will, however, cost you time. This is why it is a good idea to hire someone to help with the social media marketing.

Find out exactly what your customers want – Social media is amazing in so many ways, as you can see from the last 8 reasons. But, maybe one of the most amazing things about it is that you don’t have to wonder what your customers want. Do you want to know what they want? Just ask them!

It provides another way for potential customers to find you – If you’re not high enough in the search engines for potential customers to find you, don’t worry they can still find you through social media. Even if you’re not on the front page of Google, it doesn’t mean you can’t receive traffic.

So there you have it. All small businesses should take advantage of the benefits social media can provide you with, it’ a no-brainer!

Follow our Twitter for more tips on Social Media @StrategySMedia

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25 Visual Content Marketing Tools To Engage Your Audience by Tomas Laurinavicius

Today I’m sharing a list of 25 visual content marketing tools to engage your audience. It will help you to enrich the storytelling experience you’re creating.

Desygner is an online design tool that lets you create banners, posters, invitations, Facebook covers, social media posts and more, all for free.

Snappa is on of the easiest graphic design tools you’ll ever use. It allows you to create amazing designs without the help of a graphic designer.

Canva makes it super easy to create graphics that get engagement on social media. There’s plenty of templates for marketers from email headers to blog graphics.

Piktochart is an easy-to-use infographic maker. It will take your visual communication to the next level, without hiring a professional designer.

Prezi makes presentations stand out and get remembered. Unlike static slides, it combines motion, zoom, and spatial relationships to engage your audience and help them remember your message.

Visage is a design and visual content creation tool for content marketers who need to create a lot of visual content.

Curalate is a visual commerce platform that connects content to commerce throughout the customer journey to generate awareness, increase engagement and drive revenue.

Storify gives you the tools to create the best evergreen and live blog stories, uniting traditional storytelling with engaged audiences.

PlaceIt lets you upload images of your product or website and insert them into high-quality photos for free. No Photoshop needed.

Silk is a data publishing platform. It lets anyone create interactive data visualizations, publish websites, and tell interactive stories.

ThingLink lets you create custom interactive images by adding clickable icons to links, video, text, music, other images, you name it.

Pablo by Buffer is a simple yet powerful design tool to help you become a better social media marketer. It’s designed for social sharing and makes it very easy to capture images to share directly to social networks or to add to your social content.

SlideShare is the biggest slide hosting service in the world. While it doesn’t provide creation tools, it’s a perfect place to find inspiration for your visual content or upload your own documents, presentations, infographics and more.

Polarr is free and powerful online photo editor. Simply put it’s the pro photo editor for everyone. From high-precision color tools to advanced clarity and dehaze filters, Polarr brings free pro photo editing tools to your mobile device.

ChartBlocks is an online chart building tool. You can easily design and share a chart in minutes. Import your data, design your chart and then start sharing it.

Infogr.am is the world’s most popular infographics creator. You can easily add graphs, maps, text, and even playable videos without diving deep into a design program.

Datawrapper empowers you to create amazing visualizations in seconds. You can use visuals to reflect numbers-related content by creating engaging presentations and infographics.

InVision is the world’s leading prototyping, collaboration & workflow platform. It’s a great solution for publishing clickable and interactive high-fidelity prototypes in minutes.

Venngage is another great online tool for creating beautiful infographics. To get started choose from hundreds of professional templates for infographics, reports, posters, promotions and social media posts.

Easel.ly lets you create and share visual ideas. You can choose from thousands of reporting, timeline, resume and process templates.

Issuu is the largest collection of free-to-read publications from incredible publishers around the globe. You can publish content such as magazines, catalogs, eBooks and more on this free platform.

Adobe Post empowers you to create stunning social graphics in seconds. A perfect tool for content marketers on the go.

Uberflip is a content experience platform that aggregates all of your content (blog articles, eBooks, videos, white papers, and more) so you can create, manage, and optimize tailored content experiences for every stage of the buyer journey.

Apester is a digital storytelling platform that allows you to create and embed surveys, personality tests, video quizzes and polls into your social posts.

Mapme is one of the most powerful map creators out there. You can easily create, customize, grow and promote your maps. The best part? No coding needed.

What’s your tool of choice?

That’s a big list to choose from. What tools do you use for your visual content marketing needs? Share them by leaving a comment or tweet me @tomaslau.

*This post by Tomas Laurinavicius first appeared on Forbes Tech on 11th May 2016.

 

 

 

195+ Perfectly Optimized Design Templates for Email, Social Media & More [Free Templates]

We all know visual marketing works. Visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Not to mention, infographics are Liked or shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content. 

The problem is, it can be hard to actually create these visuals — especially when you’re a small marketing team with too much to do and no designer on hand.

So when it comes to creating a cohesive set of campaign visuals — from Twitter graphics to blog images — what’s a marketer to do?

Well, to make your life easier, we worked with Canva to put together the ultimate set of 195+ design templates for every visual marketing need.

There are 10 visual design types and multiple themes that are carried through each design type, making it easy for you to quickly spin up a visual marketing campaign across multiple channels.

This set of 195+ designs includes:

  • Infographics templates
  • Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest templates
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter cover photo templates
  • Email header templates
  • Blog featured image templates

Ready to take your visual marketing to the next level this year? Get your 195+ design templates from HubSpot & Canva today.

download 195+ free design templates

 

Written by Niti Shah | @nitifromboston

Source: 195+ Perfectly Optimized Design Templates for Email, Social Media & More [Free Templates]

The Ultimate List: 70+ Best Tools For Skyrocketing Business Growth in 2016

If you want to be an effective business owner in 2016, you can’t manage everything on your own.

In order to scale the progress you’ve already made, or simply experience real growth for the first time, you have to be willing to delegate responsibilities, standardize processes, and use the right tools.

The problem is, there are a lot of tools out there to choose from. Knowing where to start or which tool to try is not always easy.

This collection of tools can help you narrow your search results and quickly find the right tools for your business—the ones that are really going to help move the needle and take your business to a whole new level.

The tools are separated into eight different categories:

  • Marketing
  • Conversion & Lead Generation
  • Business Management
  • Project Management & Communication
  • Customer Service & Retention
  • Outsourcing
  • HR, Employee Engagement & Appreciation
  • Social Media Marketing

As you go through this list, think about your business goals for this year, what your plan is for achieving those goals, and whether you think any of the tools listed could help you get you to where you want to go.

Here are the 70+ tools you should be using in 2016 to grow your business:

Marketing

1. CuratedCurated is a tool that allows you to quickly find and save content to share with your email list in the form of a beautifully simple weekly email digest. It’s a great tool for providing extra value to your audience. Pricing: Starts at $25/month

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2. Referral SaasquatchReferral Saasquatch is a great tool that can be used to build and manage customer referral programs for your business. Referral tools like this one make it incredibly easy to incentivize and encourage more word-of-mouth advertising of your business. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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3. Content MarketerContent Marketer is the best tool on the market for promoting content, building links, and connecting with influencers. It’s the tool you want to use when you’re ready to take your content marketing efforts to the next level and start seeing more ROI from your efforts. Pricing: $19/month

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4. QuuuQuuu provides you with hand curated content to increase your social media activity. After selecting a few categories that represent the type of topics you’re interested in, Quuu automatically sends hand curated content to your Buffer account. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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5. CanvaCanva is one of the easiest tools out there for creating compelling, original images for social media and blogging. The tool offers a wide variety of backgrounds, icons, and fonts to fit the needs and dimensions of any platform you’re using to connect with prospects. Pricing: FREE

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6. Campaign MonitorCampaign Monitor is one of the top email marketing platforms on the market. The drag-and-drop email builder allows you to create a customized email campaign in a matter of minutes. It also offers a lot in terms of personalization, segmentation, and A/B testing. Pricing: Starts at $9/month

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7. BuzzsumoBuzzsumo is the top tool for performing content marketing research. The tool makes it easy to evaluate the performance of any blog post, website, or competitor. It’s a great tool to use when you’re ready to start investing in advanced content promotion and outreach. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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8. Death to the Stock PhotoDeath to the Stock Photo is a site that offers fresh, inexpensive, and non-cheesy stock photos that can be used in a wide variety of marketing campaigns. You can sign up to receive new photos each month, or you can go premium and get access to all photos at once. Pricing: $15/month

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9. SEMrushSEMrush is a top tool for performing advanced advertising, keyword, baclink, and competitor research. The tool provides powerful analytics reports that can give you valuable insight and help you decide where to take your strategy next. Pricing: Starts at $69.95/month

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10. Sticker MuleSticker Mule is a tool that can be used to create and order custom stickers and graphics for your startup. The tool is relatively inexpensive and provides fast delivery and free shipping. Pricing: Varies depending on quantities

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Conversion & Lead Generation

11. SumoMeSumoMe offers a suite of tools that can be used to drive conversions and engagement on your website. Examples include the Welcome Mat, the Scroll Box, the Smart Bar, and others—all of which can be added to your site and customized to fit the look and feel of your brand in a matter of minutes. Pricing: Starts at $10/month

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12. OptimizelyOptimizely is one of the top tools for easily and quickly building and running A/B tests on your website. A/B testing is an important tactic when it comes to influencing more engagement and conversions, and with Optimizely, you can test everything from color, copy, button placement, entire landing pages, personalization, and more. Pricing: Varies

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13. LeadChatLeadChat (shameless plug) is a tool that you can use to insert sales staff right into your website. The tool makes it incredibly easy to add their ready-to-go live chat agents to your site who can chat with visitors and convert them to customers. Sound interesting? Ask for a trial now. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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14. Import.io – Import.io is a tool that allows you to scrape the web for relevant information about products, businesses, and competitors. The tool automates the data collection process and presents it in an easily digestible manner for business owners looking to quickly identify and take advantage of gaps in their market or industry. Pricing: Varies

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15. Datanyze – Datanyze is a sales intelligence tool that allows you to uncover, research, and reach the right prospects. Alerts tell you which websites have started or stopped using a particular provider’s tool, Research helps you understand your prospects better, and their predictive modeling helps you determine which leads are worth pursuing first. Pricing: Request a demo to find out

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16. LeadPages – LeadPages is one of the top tools available for building customized landing pages on your site. The tool offers hundreds of templates that can be used to drive conversions and nurture prospects. Pricing: Starts at $25/month

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17. ConvertKit – ConvertKit is a tool that can be used to nurture leads down your sales funnel. The tool allows you to easily make customized opt-in forms that can be placed in content and around your site. You can also design landing pages, create drip campaigns, and send important one-off emails to your subscribers. Pricing: Starts at $29/month

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18. Crazy Egg – Crazy Egg is another tool that can be used to gain more insight into the actions and experiences people have when they land on your website. With this tool, you can analyze where people are clicking, how far down they’re reading, and where people are coming from when they land on your site. Pricing: Starts at $9/month

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19. Drip – Drip is a tool that you can use to create simple drip email courses. You can use the tool to easily repurpose your best blog content into a compelling email course that educates, nurtures, and converts your website visitors. Pricing: Starts at $49/month

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20. FullStory – FullStory is an amazing tool that allows you to actually record, replay, and analyze the experience people have when they land on your website. It’s a great tool to use for improving customer support, making decisions about development or product updates, and empathizing with users. Pricing: Starts at $199/month

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Business Management

21. Recurly – Recurly is a tool that automates recurring billing for subscription-based businesses and products. The tool is incredibly easy to set up and seamlessly integrates and connects with your existing merchant accounts and website. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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22. Xero – Xero is a beautifully designed online accounting tool. An alternative to QuickBooks, this tool can help you manage invoices and quotes, inventory, purchase orders, bills and expenses, employee payment, and more. Pricing: Starts at $6.30/month

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23. Chartio – Chart.io is a cloud-based business intelligence tool. It’s a tool that you can use to quickly organize, visualize, and analyze complex data related to your products and business. It’s a great tool for any business looking to become more data-driven in 2016. Pricing: Sign up to get pricing information

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24. TradeGecko – TradeGecko is an inventory management tool for business owners looking to automate painful and repetitive tasks. The tool can help streamline order management, stock levels, tracking at multiple warehouse locations, multi-channel sales, and more. Pricing: Starts at $39/month

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25. Segment – Segment is an incredibly convenient tool that allows you to collect customer data with one API and send it to hundreds of tools for analytics, marketing, and data warehousing. Pricing: Starts at $39/month

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26. Google Analytics – Google Analytics is an essential tool for any business owner looking to gain a better understanding about website visitors. With Google Analytics, you can track metrics, set up goals and events, and find ways to optimize your website in order to boost conversions, engagement, and repeat traffic. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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27. UpCounsel – UpCounsel is a tool that offers on-demand legal help for business owners who don’t necessarily have the funds to keep a full-time lawyer on retainer, but need legal assistance from time to time. The tool can help with agreements, trademarks, patents, labor and employment, and more. Pricing: Varies depending on work

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28. Toggl – Toggl is a time-tracking tool aimed at helping business owners boost daily productivity. The tool streamlines time-tracking and makes it incredibly easy to identify where time is going and how to become more productive throughout the day. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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29. Zirtual – Zirtual is a tool that can be used to find U.S. based virtual assistants. The tool now falls under the Startups.co umbrella, and is a great resource to take advantage as you continue to scale your business in 2016. Pricing: Starts at $398/month

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30. HelloSign – HelloSign is a tool that can be used to send and receive legally binding electronic signatures for business purposes. It integrates with familiar apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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Project Management & Communication

31. Trello – Trello is a fantastic project management tool that can really bring your projects to life. The tool creates a visual representation of your projects in the form of cards that can be moved from column to column as a project progresses. It’s a great tool to use for managing freelancers. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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32. Basecamp – Basecamp is another tool that can be used to manage projects. It’s different than Trello in that it’s less visual-focused and more centered around team collaboration. The tool just launched a brand new version, which can be explored here. Pricing: Starts at $29/month

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33. Asana – Asana is a project management tool that works well for teams that are moving a lot of projects through the door at a given time. It’s one of the most flexible and customizable project management tool available. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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34. Evernote – Evernote is a great tool for managing personal projects and to-do lists. It’s a cloud-based tool that can be accessed from the mobile, web, or desktop. It’s a particularly useful tool to use when you want to pull in various types of media (photos, screenshots, notes, etc.). It does also offer the ability to collaborate with others. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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35. Slack – Slack is one of the most popular real-time messaging apps available today. It’s incredibly well-designed, and easy to implement across multiple teams. The tool can also be used to manage specific projects by setting up different channels within a chat group. It’s a great option if you have or plan to grow a remote team. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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36. Google Apps For Work – Google Apps For Work offers professional email, online storage, shared calendars, video meetings and more. It’s also a great alternative to the Microsoft Office suite—it has a word processor, a presentation tool, a spreadsheets tool, and a form builder. Pricing: Starts at $5/user/month

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37. Wrike Wrike is a versatile project management tool that can be used by marketing teams, product development teams, department heads, and more. With the tool you can easily create tasks, mention team members, collaborate in real-time, and seamlessly integrate with your other tools. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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38. Projects by GrowthHackers – Projects is still a bit of a mystery, but early previews make it appear to be an incredibly user-friendly project management tool. To try this tool, you’ll need to request early access to join their beta program.

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39. Join.Me Join.Me is a simple tool that can be used to host video and audio conferences, share your screen, record meetings, and more. It’s a great tool to use when you need to quickly pull up a presentation or reference your screen while on a group call. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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40. Dropbox – Dropbox is one of the top cloud-based file storage tools on the market. It’s a convenient way to store and share important documents with team members, customers, investors, and anyone else involved in the growth and success of your business. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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Customer Service & Retention

41. SatisMeter – SatisMeter is a tool that helps you gather customer feedback through NPS surveys. Net Promoter Score surveys are an incredibly effective way to gauge how loyal and happy your customers really are. The tool can be installed onto any website or app in less than 10 minutes. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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42. Intercom – Intercom allows you to easily communicate with your customers through targeted in-app and email messages, triggered by time or behavior. The tool can be used to collect customer feedback, chat with customers in real-time, create marketing lifecycle email campaigns, and provide support. Pricing: Starts at $49/month

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43. Packs By Startup Threads – Packs By Startup Threads offers a convenient way to create and send customized swag packages to your customers. The tool is incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is build your pack, order a reserve amount to store at the Startup Threads warehouse, and use their API or dashboard to send out to customers in an effort to boost loyalty and retention. Pricing: Varies

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44. MailLift – MailLift is a handy tool for sending handwritten thank you cards to customers. Handwritten thank you cards are a great way to boost customer happiness, but as your business continues to grow, it’s important to take advantage of tools like MailLift that can help you automate time-consuming tasks, while still keeping things personal. Pricing: Varies

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45. Zendesk – Zendesk is a web-based customer support platform. The tool allows you to accept and manage support tickets from a variety of channels—web, email, social, chat, or phone. It also provides the ability to create and manage a Help Center for your website. Pricing: Starts at $5/agent/month

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46. UserVoice – UserVoice is a tool that allows you to collect and prioritize feedback from customers, partners, and teams that can influence future updates to your products. The tool makes it easy to collect feedback right in your app (web or mobile), from your website via a private forum, and in real-time chat. Pricing: Starts at $499/month

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47. GoToMeeting – GoToMeeting is a top tool for coordinating and hosting webinars. It’s a great tool to use when you’re ready to start educating prospects and customers about product benefits, protips, and other topics that can help them use your product successfully. Pricing: Starts at $24/month

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48. Snagit – Snagit is a tool that allows you to easily create screen captures and videos that can be used to create tutorials for customers. It’s another great tool to use when you’re ready to start spending more time and resources on educating your customers. Pricing: Starts at $49.95

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49. TypeForm – TypeForm allows you to create visually-compelling survey forms. The tool makes it incredibly easy to design custom forms to use for social media contests, customer feedback, hiring, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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50. Customer.io Customer.io is another tool that you can use to send targeted messages to users and customers. The tool allows you to leverage user behavior data in order to send more effective messages. With the tool, you can A/B test, build campaigns, track conversions, segment messages for specific audiences and traffic, and more. Pricing: Starts at $100/month

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Outsourcing

51. Upwork Upwork is a tool that you can use to find freelancers to help you grow your business. This site can connect you with developers, creatives, customer service agents, virtual assistants, and other consultants. Pricing: Varies

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52. ScriptedScripted is a tool that you can use to scale your content creation efforts. It’s a tool that can connect you with on-demand writers to help you produce content for blog posts, landing pages, white papers, social media updates, product descriptions, and more. Pricing: Varies

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53. FiverrFiverr is comprised of an incredibly vast network of freelancers who can help you complete almost any task, no matter the size. Categories on the site include graphics, marketing, writing, video and animation, video and audio, and more. Pricing: Starts at $5, then varies depending on project scope

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54. 99designs99designs is a site that primarily focuses on helping connect designers with business owners looking for help creating brand-specific collateral (logos, brand identity, t-shirts, etc.). Pricing: Starts at $299/month

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55. Toptal Toptal is a site that connect business owners with the top 3% freelance software developers and designers. Pricing: Varies

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56. PeoplePerHourPeoplePerHour is a site that connects you with freelancers who can help with design, development, content, and promotion. It’s a great tool to leverage when you need help fast. Pricing: Varies

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57. WriterAccessWriterAccess is another tool that you can use to find freelance writers. Pricing varies, but can be as low as two cents/word for content. 

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58. GuruGuru is a site that can connect you with admin support freelancers, engineering and architecture freelancers, legal freelancers, and more. Pricing: Varies

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59. Gun.ioGun.io is a tool that you can use to connect with and hire the best freelance developers in the world. The site offers a unique concierge service that matches you with a representative who can help you find the right person for the job. It’s a good site to go to when you’re looking for help building apps for mobile and desktop, when you need help scripting, building a UX strategy, and more. Pricing: Varies

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60. GigsterGigster is a site you can go to when you need to hire an entire freelance development team. Pricing: Varies 

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HR, Employee Engagement & Appreciation

61. TinyPulseTinyPulse is an employee retention tool that allows you to create surveys for your team to anonymously answer each week. It’s a great way to sync up with your employees and make sure they’re getting everything they need in order to be successful in their roles. Pricing: Starts at $5/user/month

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62. AnyPerkAnyPerk is a convenient tool that allows you to show appreciation and offer rewards to employees who go above and beyond in their roles. The tool offers a wide variety of perks that employees can choose from based on their interests—such as travel discounts, gym membership deals, restaurant coupons, subscription services, and more . Pricing: request a demo

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63. KinKin is a tool that allows you to completely streamline your human resources department. The tool makes it incredibly easy to onboard new employees, keep track of important employee information, manage communication with employees, track time off and vacation, coordinate employee performance reviews, and more. Pricing: $5/user/month

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64. 15Five15Five is a tool that allows you to keep track of what’s going on at your company week by week. The tool allows you to send customized surveys to employees in order to celebrate wins, identify challenges, and determine what people need in order to keep moving your company forward. Pricing: Starts at $49/month

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65. GlassDoorGlassDoor is a site that you can use as a tool to recruit top talent. As a company, you can create a presence on the site to attract job seekers, advertise jobs, and promote your company against competitors. Pricing: Request a quote

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66. Zenefits Zenefits is another tool that you can use to streamline your HR tasks. The tool can be used to manage payroll, benefits, time, talent, compliance, and management. Pricing: Free

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67. KudosKudos is a tool that allows you to give recognition and appreciation to team members in real-time. The tool makes it easy for managers to give praise to peers and for peers to give kudos to peers. It’s a fairly robust platform, and definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a way to boost employee morale at your company. Pricing: Starts at $2/user/month

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Social Media Marketing

68. CoScheduleCoSchedule is a top tool that marketers use to build editorial calendars, manage social media updates that relate to content, and manage the content creation process. Pricing: Starts at $15/month

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69. BufferBuffer is the top tool that marketers use to schedule social media updates. The tool makes it easy to schedule and share updates when your audience is listening in order to boost engagement, grow your following, and get the most out of your social media marketing efforts. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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70. GleamGleam is a popular tool that allows you to create and manage social media contests and reward campaigns. Examples of the types of contests and campaigns you can create include 1-click entry competitions, refer-a-friend campaigns, coupon offers, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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71. GrammarlyGrammarly is a tool that you can use to identify and eliminate common spelling and grammar errors in your content. The tool also offers content optimization features aimed at improving your content and your writing abilities. Pricing: Premium plans start at $29.95/month

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72. FlareFlare is a tool that you can use to create a social media share bar on your website content. Social share bars can boost engagement and brand authority. The tool allows you to track social and engagement analytics in order to determine the effectiveness of your blog content. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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73. MentionMention is one of the best ways to monitor your brand, your name, and the names of the people you work with (executives, coworkers, partners, etc.). The tool helps you keep track of mentions from the web and from social media, making sure you never miss an opportunity to engage with a fan or prospect. Pricing: Starts at $29/month

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74. NarrowNarrow is a tool that makes it easy to grow your Twitter following. The tool helps optimize and automate the process by working with you to identify the right types of followers you’re looking to connect with on Twitter. All you have to do is enter target keywords, and Narrow does the rest. Pricing: Starts at $9/month

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75. Notifier Notifier is a tool that you can use to boost traffic and engagement on your site. You can use the tool to scan your latest blog posts in order to automatically find and organize the influencers you know you want to reach out to. Once you scan your post and build your list, all you have to do is compose your social media outreach message template, select the people you want to reach out to, and send or schedule your tweets. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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What other tools would you add to this list? Leave a comment below and tell us what tools you’ve been using to grow your business! We’d love to hear from you.

3 Tools to Finding The Perfect Keywords for SEO

3 Easy Steps to SEO by Richie Contartesi January 4, 2016

Finding keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) that have the right balance of search volume, popularity, monetization potential, and competition might seem like magic to some people.

You might think that an SEO professional just taps his magic wand on a hat and out pops the best keywords, just like a rabbit out of a real magician’s hat. The reality, though, is that there’s no magic involved, just pure science and statistics. Let’s take a look at how you can leverage a few free tools to find the perfect keywords for SEO for your site or blog post. It all happens in three easy steps, with three free tools.

Tool 1: Check Google’s Key Word Planner Tool

The first thing you want to do is log into Google AdWords and see what the Key Word Planner Tool comes up with for your site or blog post. When you log into Google AdWords, just navigate to Tools and Analysis > Key Word Planner > Search for Keyword and Ad Group Ideas and put in a few keywords relevant to your site. You might enter in a few keywords related to your site as a whole and then, if you already have an idea in mind for your blog post, a word or phrase related to that concept. Once done, click on Get Ideas and check the tab labeled Key Words Ideas. Here, you’ll see keywords related to your idea, and you can begin to mine those for gems that you might use to center your new page or blog post around. That’s not the end of the story, though, so keep reading.

Tool 2: Making sure your keywords are relevant with Blog Social Analyzer

You might get quite a few keywords from the Key Word Planner Tool, and you want to make sure that the keywords you’re targeting are relevant to your particular site. After all, the more relevant your keywords are, the more people are going to share them on social media. Relevance will also determine how often people will link to the post or page, and the more likely it is that people who research for these keywords and end up on your site will be the perfect customers.

One way to check the relevance of the keywords is to see which content has shown the best performance on your site, and try to find similar keywords for the new page or post you’re working on. Using the Blog Social Analyzer tool, you can easily find out which of your current pages or posts are the most popular. Once you know what relevant content has performed the best, you can work to ensure your new content is focused around keywords with a track record of great performance.

Recommended for YouWebcast: TRACTION: How to Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Within the Blog Social Analyzer tool, you can determine what kind of topics performed best on your particular site. Is your blog or website more attuned to basic users looking for introductory information, or do your users seek knowledge about advanced topics? By looking at which pages or posts were shared the most on social media, you can get a hint of that. Once you’ve gotten a few ideas for relevant keywords, it’s time to look at search volume.

To check out search volume, we’re going to go back to the Key Word Planner Tool that Google provides us with, and find out what we’ve got to work with. With your keywords entered, you’ll see the average monthly searches in a bit of a hodge podge of results, because Google automatically sorts by relevance. This means, unfortunately, that you’ll often see results that have very, very competitive keywords that have a ton of search volume, like “social media site” with 18,000 monthly searches. That’s way too competitive to try centering your blog post around, though, so you want to look at the long tail search phrases that are relevant to your proposed content.

So, target those long tail search phrases and click one time on Average Monthly Searches, then click again to see the keywords with the lowest search volume. Avoid those keywords like the plague most of the time, because there just isn’t enough search volume to make them worth your while. Scroll towards the bottom of the page, looking for keywords that have more search volume but not so much as to be far too competitive. Fine tuning this really depends on how often you plan on posting, or how much content, but remember that if you find 10 keywords with 70 searches per month and incorporate those keywords, you’ll be looking at 700 monthly searches.

Within this same search of keywords, you can also check the commercial value of the keywords. Obviously, you want people to come to your site and buy what you’re selling, so you want to check the traffic you might get that will convert. One way to see that ahead of time is to look at the commercial intent, and see what the Average Cost Per Click is. This shows you the average cost per click of someone bidding on that key word in AdWord, which tells you which of your keywords will have the most commercial value.

Just by way of example, let’s say from your Blog Social Analyzer digging you found that people really liked basic content about “SEO” as well as deeper content about “Business SEO.” You might find that “Business SEO” has an average cost per click of $9, while “SEO” is closer to $0. You’d want to center your post around “Business SEO” in this case, because it has stronger commercial intent.

Tool 3: Checking competitiveness of your keywords with MozBar

Finally, you should find out how competitive your keywords are. Sometimes, even a long tail keyword with low search volumes is still too competitive to try ranking for. The MozBar, available for either Firefox or Chrome, will help you out here. Once it’s installed, search Google for your proposed key word and you’ll see Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) listed for each of your search results. If you see a lot of page authority of 50 or above in the top 10 results, then you might be looking at a keyword that’s too competitive to rank for. On the other hand, a mixed bag of Page Authorities in the 20s, 30s, and even higher (as long as there are some lower numbers in there) can be good to try ranking for.

The next thing to look at, though, before you get too excited is the Domain Authority. If the Domain Authority is really high across the entire top 10 list, this might also be something difficult to rank for. Again, a mixed bag of high and low results is what you’re looking for to find just the right balance of competitiveness.

Source: 3 Tools to Finding The Perfect Keywords for SEO

Planning For SEO Success In 2016

No-Hype SEO: A Realistic Formula To Making SEO Work For Your Business, Part 1

SEO- A realistic Formula
Looking to simplify your SEO efforts? Columnist Daniel Faggella has a simple formula for putting together an SEO regimen that will achieve results.

on December 29, 2015

SEO (search engine optimization) has come a long way.

After experiencing the “wrath of Google” years ago, some marketers have exited the SEO game and opted instead to use paid traffic to generate their leads and prospects. However, when done correctly (and ethically), there is no match for the longevity, consistency and quality of the lead flow you’ll experience from SEO. Today, I want to offer you an insider’s view of how to do this well.

All of my businesses are built entirely on organic SEO, and if I were to stop doing everything today, they would continue to experience high-quality lead flow consistently for many months to come. This just isn’t the case with paid traffic. Of course, the best marketing systems utilize both organic and paid traffic.

In this article, I’ll give you my thoughts on a time-tested and proven strategy for creating your SEO regimen.

Principles & Basics

All marketing is built on the notion of “desire” — i.e., you want something (whether it’s clothes, food, information, better abs or something else), and some business comes along with marketing promises to fulfill that desire.

In his book, “Breakthrough Advertising,” the late (and great) Eugene Schwartz stated that marketing could not (and should not) create mass desire, but that “it can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product.”

This is true. Great marketing, whether it be paid advertising or organic (SEO), is built on this principle. In the old days, the only way to tap into this mass-market desire was to show up in front of where the market happened to be (TV, newspaper or another medium).

This was (and is) both expensive and risky. If you pay large amounts of money to run an advertisement on TV, and you misdiagnose the desire of the market, you will not make any money.

Simply spending money on advertising doesn’t guarantee earning a return on that advertising.

Organic marketing, like SEO, provides you the opportunity to reverse this formula. Rather than needing to go out to where your market is located, you can attract your market, causing them to come to you.

This has changed everything: You can now put together marketing that fulfills the desires of your market very cheaply (or for free) without risking too much if you should misdiagnose or otherwise get it wrong.

SEO: The Self-Funded, Self-Regulating Lead Generator

Here’s a simple formula that will help you wrap your brain around SEO:

(B1 + B2 = DP), DP ≅ Your Organic Strategy = $$$

(Belief + Behavior = Decision Patterns), Decision Patterns Your Organic Strategy = Sales

The first “B” is belief. The second “B” is behavior. The belief and the behavior are always correlated; together, they make up the “Decision Patterns” of your prospects, (Tune into this interview with Artillery Marketing founder Douglas Burdett for more on determining buyer persona.) I’m going to get deeper into this in a bit.

When the “Decision Patterns” of your prospects are congruent with your organic strategy, your SEO kicks into hyperdrive, and you start seeing serious traction.

There are really four levels to your organic (SEO) strategy:

  • High Level (search terms, PPC terms).
  • Top of Funnel (indirect content).
  • Blog Level (relevant blog topics and lead generation tools).
  • Back-end (marketing automation and database marketing).

Today, we’re going to outline the first two levels, and in Part 2 of this series, we’ll tackle the last two levels.

Attractional SEO: Getting People To Come To You

The first level is “High Level.”

Instead of going out to set up shop in front of where the market is located, the internet allows you to build marketing assets that will “pull” your prospects towards your business. This starts with the Top Level of your SEO strategy: determining the terms specific to your offering and your market.

Many refer to these as “PPC Terms” because they are the terms your prospects are putting into Google when looking for a solution. (If you’re a little rusty on your PPC definitions, this article fromPPC Hero provides a succinct glossary.)

We do this by outlining the belief and the likely behavior of your market. For instance, if you are an online marketing consultant who serves affluent businesses in Boston, you might come up with this list:

  • Email marketing consultant Boston.
  • Digital marketing agency.
  • Experienced InfusionSoft consultant.
  • Landing page optimization expert.

This is your master list, but it’s only the top level. Remember, there is a correlation between the things people are looking for and the behavior they perform. This means your search terms will be divided into different levels of quality, which we’ll get into later.

The second level is your “Top Of Funnel.”

The top of funnel is the area of indirect interest. For instance, using the same scenario as above, you might come up with this list of “Top Of Funnel” terms:

  • How To Make Better Email Newsletters.
  • How To Create Profitable AutoResponder Series.
  • Compare InfusionSoft to Hubspot.
  • Case Study of Email Marketing for E-commerce Business.

These are all going to attract people who are interested in your specific offering, and you can use these to create the “building blocks” of your SEO strategy. Webinars, white papers, free reports and other such “opt-in” devices can be created from these “Top Of Funnel” terms.

Next week, as we get into the second two levels, I’ll show you how to connect all of these levels together into a seamless regimen. Before then, here is your homework:

Create your list of “PPC Terms,” and, from there, your list of “Top Of Funnel” devices. Like a car on a long road trip, these two lists will act as your map and your guide when we start creating blog content and database marketing material to monetize your SEO system.

Tune in next week for Part 2 on making SEO work and generating more traffic for your business.

 

 

29 Checklists and Cheat Sheets to make Marketers’ Lives Easier

Checklists and Cheat Sheets
To Make Marketer’s Lives Easier
Business 2 Community
Checklists and Cheat Sheets by Natasha Alex December 10, 2015

Digital marketing is a multifaceted beast that evolves and gets more complicated every week. With so many different ways to reach your audience, it’s important to stay on top of the latest tactics and trends.

From content and social to analytics and retargeting, you’re staying up to date on it all. It’s a lot easier when you can do so with simple, easy-to-digest guides. So I’ve pulled together 30 cheat sheets and checklists to keep your digital marketing fresh and make your life easier.

1. Periodic Table of Content Marketing

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/the_perdiodic_table_of_content_marketing-blog-full.png.png

the_perdiodic_table_of_content_marketing-blog-full

This periodic table is a unique chart highlighting the important terms in content marketing. it covers everything you need to keep an eye on. From content strategy to metrics, it’s an all-inclusive index that can help you deliver great content.

2. The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Awesome Marketing Emails

Email marketing is a key element of any campaign. From the subject line to the email footer, every section of your email contributes to its overall ability to convert. If you think you’re having trouble with your email outreach, this cheat sheet from HubSpot can help you dissect your emails and optimize each aspect of your campaign to obtain the best results.

3. A Detailed Guide to Photo and Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and More

When it comes to social media, great visuals increase engagement. But this only applies when your pictures are relevant, eye-catching, and of course, optimized. With so many types of images to choose from, it’s not easy to keep track of the rules for each network.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/twitter-image-sizes.png.png

twitter-image-sizes
This handy infographic shows you all the different images in your social media profiles, along with what they’re used for. It includes recommended sizes, image scale, etc. to make it easier for you to get the most out of your images.

4. Advanced Content Promotion Checklist

Writing content is hard, but promoting it is even harder. With all the distribution tools and channels available to you, it gets tough to keep track of where you’ve promoted your piece and where you’ve yet to share it.

And that’s after figuring out what to do in the first place. Process Street has created a great checklist to streamline content promotion, originally made for themselves before giving us all access.

5. Google Analytics Cheat Sheet

Google Analytics is an absolute essential for any marketer, and this cheat sheet from Portent has you covered. From setting up your account to tracking your goals and conversions, this cheat sheet can really help you get the best out of Google Analytics.

6. Retargeting Cheat Sheet

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/retargeting-cheat-sheet.png.png

retargeting-cheat-sheet

This cheat sheet simplifies the process of retargeting your customers. It covers the basics to get you started, along with advanced tactics and tips to help you succeed.

7. The Ultimate SaaS Metrics Cheat Sheet

Chart Mogul created this cheat sheet with every important metric you need to know for your SaaS. What’s covered: which ones are important, why they’re important, and how they’re measured. All condensed into a simple 2-pager.

8. The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 3.0

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/moz-seo-checklist.png.png

moz-seo-checklist

Moz, an industry leader in SEO, created this fantastic cheat sheet for SEO newbies and professionals alike. It’s constantly updated by the Moz team, and is great help for web developers to keep their work SEO-friendly and up to date.

9. The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Checklist

This comprehensive checklist covers all the essentials of inbound marketing. Drafted like an ebook, it not only tells you what to do, but how to do it. This guide is a must-have for any marketer’s toolbox.

Recommended for YouWebcast: Sales and Marketing Alignment: 7 Steps to Implement Effective Sales Enablement

10. 101 Copywriting Dos and Don’ts

This PDF from Copy Hackers contains all the dos and don’ts of writing great copy that converts, from how to order your bulleted lists, to which famous authors should inspire your copywriting.

11. Google Adwords Cheat Sheet

Google Adwords can get a bit confusing, so Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd came together to create a resource to help. It shows you how to set up, the rules you need to keep in mind, and how to write ad copy that works. It also goes on to define some of terms that might have seemed like gibberish when you first got started.

11. Local SEO Checklist

This checklist is a great way to keep track of your local optimization. From on-page SEO to social signals, this list covers every aspect your SEO to manage your process in the easiest way.

12. Social Media Marketing Checklist

Social media is an essential channel for marketers and this infographic can help you manage your efforts and make sure you don’t miss a beat!

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/social-media-marketing-checklist.png.png

social-media-marketing-checklist

This fill-in-the-blank infographic will guide you through setting up the beginnings of a social media marketing strategy, from identifying your audience through measuring your results.

13. A Complete Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist

Conversion science can get messy when you don’t know what exactly brings you conversions. This checklist helps you streamline the process and identify the factors that can be optimized to improve your overall CRO, from choosing KPIs through designing A/B/ tests.

14. Google Analytics Metrics and Dimensions Cheat Sheet

Google analytics can be confusing to a beginner. It can take forever to discover all the data it’s tracking without a guide. This PDF helps you understand the metrics and dimensions you need to figure out the various aspects of your customers’ interaction with your website.

15. The Ultimate SEO Checklist

The Ultimate SEO Checklist from Leapfroggr covers on-page and off-page SEO for anyone who’s looking to make sure that their website has a good foundation for their digital marketing strategy.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ultimate-seo-checklsit.png.png

ultimate-seo-checklist

But unlike most other SEO checklists, it’s not a list of the ranking factors or how to optimize for them. It’s fully covers creating an SEO strategy, from performing market research to reputation management.

16. The Shelf’s Blogger Outreach Checklist

When it comes to reaching out to bloggers or influencers, any old email just will not do. This checklist from The Shelf covers the essentials of your outreach for the best results, including best practices and sample outreach emails.

17. Site Audit Checklist

Site audits can be intimidating, but Annie Cushing (aka Annielytics) makes it easy with her site audit checklist. It’s in the form of a Google Spreadsheet, so you can quickly make a copy and start tracking things yourself.

It becomes a lot less daunting to check track your work one section at a time. The sheet includes the initial data pulls, architecture, analytics, e-commerce, and pretty much everything you need to make your audit a breeze.

18. Universal Analytics Cheat Sheet

This comprehensive cheat sheet simplifies Google Analytics. It has three sheets that cover general usage, method and field reference, and limits and quotas.

19. Startup Launch List

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/startup-launch-list.png.png

startup-launch-list

The Startup Launch List is an amazing compilation for budding entrepreneurs. Its reading list gives insights into each aspect of building a startup – from the initial idea to raising finances from investors. These tidbits from experienced hands can help you get your idea up and running.

20. The Social Platform Cheat Sheet

There are so many social channels out there, and they’re constantly changing. This cheat sheet guides you through the main platforms, who’s on them, and how to engage them.

21. .htaccess Cheat Sheet

Redirecting pages can get a little tricky for anyone without a technical background. This cheat sheet teaches you the basics for redirection, security, and other rules.

22. The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Advanced Search

Twitter’s one of the best ways for a brand to engage with its customers. And advertising there has proven awesome for many marketers. Even if your company doesn’t even have a Twitter handle yet (but it does, right?), you can find leads, track brand mentions, follow important topics, etc.

This Zapier guide is your way into the world of tweets, with its step-by-step guide to using advanced search to get real time data about your customers.

23. The Google Guide to Making Search Easier

Google advanced search is an essential skill for any marketer. This search guide can help you use search operators to get specific search results on Google.

You can use this to find really specific content, search unique mediums, and perform any kind of research faster.

24. A 50-Point Checklist for Creating The Ultimate Landing Page

When your landing page is your key to conversions, it’s important to make sure that you’re not missing any key elements. This Unbounce checklist highlights all the essentials of a great landing page so that while you’re building one, you don’t miss anything.

25. Website Usability Checklist

Building websites can be difficult for marketers, and in the process of making a beautiful site, it’s easy to lost sight of usability when you’re not an expert.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web-usability-checklist-1024×474.png.png

web-usability-checklist

The website usability checklist covers the common problems faced by users on a website. From forms to navigation, it helps you make sure that your site is not only well designed, but also user-friendly.

26. The Ultimate Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet

Google is constantly updating its algorithm to provide a better user experience. Neil Patel has created a cheat sheet to simplify these changes and help marketers make sense of the ranking factors and how they can affect your website.

27. The Keyword Research Cheat Sheet

As a marketer, you know how important SEO is. This keyword research cheat sheet covers the basics of the way keywords work and how you can use the best ones to bring in relevant, converting traffic.

28. The SEO Cheat Sheet for WordPress

WordPress is the easiest way for marketers to get their blog out there. By using themes, connecting your blog to useful plugins, and a few other tricks covered in this resource, you can optimize any page.

29. Website Launch Checklist

The launch of a website is stressful enough as it is, without the hassle of forgetting something simple like checking links. Launchlist makes sure that you’ve got all your bases covered before your site goes live.

Prepare Yourself

Most marketing missteps come from skipping a step, rather than actually not knowing what to do. We’re busy, we’re stressed, and we handle it really well most of the time. And with checklists to ensure accuracy, we can handle it well all the time.
[Source: http://www.business2community.com/marketing/29-checklists-cheat-sheets-make-marketers-lives-easier-01399754#D5RKwYfTEchq047U.99]

Your business will grow if you start using video marketing today.

YouTube is considered the second search engine
With Video Marketing 64% of viewers are more likely to make a purchase.

YouTube is not just about funny & entertaining videos. It has over 1 billion members, and you can tap into this crowd to find your target customers. I’m going to show you how to drive floods of targeted traffic to your website or blog.

This is not just your average “look at my stats” traffic, but high-converting traffic. Basically I’m going to walk you through how to profit from YouTube traffic.

Video viewers are 64% more likely to make a purchase.

Additionally – I will show you the secrets to get your videos to rank not just in YouTube, but Google as well. This is one of the things that 90% of businesses using video today get wrong. And believe me, showing up on the front page of Google with a laser targeted keyword can mean a huge difference in your results using video to market your business.

Source: http://www.videotrafficacademy.com/?hop=elfyau01

Marketing: Top 10 Social Media Management Tools

Social media management has become one of the core focuses for marketers.
Social media management has become one of the core focuses for marketers.

Regardless of their organization’s size, social media management has become one of the core focuses for marketers.

Having an active presence on most popular social platforms is as important as learning how to manage them effectively and make the most of their features and benefits.

Managing various different networks at the same time can be challenging and that’s where social media management tools come in handy. Such platforms let you keep an eye on and promptly reply to messages on social, monitor all your social accounts in one place, schedule posts in advance, and analyze your online activity.

There are plenty of tools out there, so choosing the right one for your business can prove difficult. For this article, I decided to have a look at the top 10 most useful and popular social management tools and ease your decision of choosing the one that suits your needs.

1/ Buffer

Buffer is great for staggering content throughout the day across multiple social platforms
Buffer is great for staggering content throughout the day across multiple social platforms

User-friendly and clean, Buffer is great for staggering content throughout the day across multiple social platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

If you’re looking for a simple and efficient management app for scheduling updates, helping you save time on administrating your networks, Buffer can definitely help.

Also, all available accounts (Individual, Awesome and Business) allow users to track engagement metrics such as shares, favorites, comments, and clicks, which can help you discover with little effort which are your best performing posts on social.

Buffer’s free Image Creation tool, Pablo, can help you create engaging images for your social media posts quickly, without any hassle. The app has stock images you can use, but there’s also an option to upload JPEG and PNG images. Very handy and worth trying out!

Cons:

If you manage numerous social accounts with lots of followers, and have an interest in responding to comments/tweets and interacting, Buffer has its limitations, and in this case, it’s probably not the best option.

Pricing:

The Individual Plan is free, but you can also opt for one of their paid plans which range from $102 to $2,550 / year.

2/ Hootsuite

with over 25 social networks, Hootsuite is the right management tool for you if you’re looking for engagement, great publishing and workflow features, analytics, and managing campaigns, all in one place
With over 25 social networks, Hootsuite is the right management tool for you if you’re looking for engagement, great publishing and workflow features, analytics, and managing campaigns, all in one place

Integrated with over 25 social networks, Hootsuite is the right management tool for you if you are looking for engagement, great publishing and workflow features, analytics, and managing campaigns, all in one place.

One of its core strengths is definitely facilitating audience engagement. On a single dashboard, anyone on your team, in any region or department, can quickly respond to messages, mentions, and comments. There is also an option to save responses for future use, which can be handy.

Another useful feature is the ability to target your posts and share content with your customers based on location, language and demographic details, helping you reach and communicate with your online communities in a smart and effective way.

Due to its integration with Brandwatch (and uberVU?), Hootsuite is the ideal solution if you’re seeking to combine publishing and engagement with a social analytics solution.

Cons:

Being such a complex and multifunctional platform, Hootsuite can be a bit daunting for social media rookies and it takes a bit of time to get used to. However, once you pass that stage and start exploring all its benefits, it’s all worth it.

Pricing:

There’s a free plan available, great for personal use, and also 2 additional options: Pro (from £6.99/month) and Enterprise, recommended for big corporations and organizations.

3/ Spredfast

Spredfast allows users to monitor online conversations through keyword searches and it’s also recommended for managing multiple social media sites
Spredfast allows users to monitor online conversations through keyword searches and it’s also recommended for managing multiple social media sites

Spredfast allows users to monitor online conversations through keyword searches and it’s also recommended for managing multiple social media sites and its reliable publishing capabilities, as it also suggests optimal scheduling time.

If reporting is what you are looking for, Spredfast is unmatched. It provides advanced analytics reports and all data is clearly presented in formatted graphics which you can easily export.

Their dashboards are a good source for a quick reference of what is happening across your pages and it’s also very easy to track what type of content is performing best on specific channels.

Cons:

For those who aren’t that familiar with social media, Spredfast requires a bit of a learning curve, and while there is an extensive amount of training documentation available, it can take some digging to find an answer to some user questions.

Pricing:

Not available

4/ Percolate

The System of Record for Marketing
The System of Record for Marketing

Using Percolate’s customizable marketing calendar, you can schedule content for multiple channels, organize and collaborate with team members on campaigns.

Its user-friendly interface makes it easy for you to find what you’re looking for. For instance, you can easily find all images that you have tweeted out or look at the calendar to find out how many times you have posted in a day across various social channels.

If one of your core focuses is content creation, Percolate is a great choice. It provides everything you need to build visually appealing content, such as access to Getty Images and your own built in media database.

The Brew, Percolate’s content suggestion feature is extremely useful for finding shareable content, which is a real time saver.

Cons:

At the moment, there is no possibility to change time zones for different users, an issue which can be tricky to tackle if being part of a global team.

Pricing:

Not available

5/ Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck makes it easy to engage with streams and posts quickly and it is also extremely flexible, as it allows you to add all Twitter streams you’re interested in
Tweetdeck makes it easy to engage with streams and posts quickly and it is also extremely flexible, as it allows you to add all Twitter streams you’re interested in

If you’re simply looking for a Twitter-focused managing tool, with a clean and responsive interface, Tweetdeck fits the bill perfectly.

Tweetdeck makes it easy to engage with streams and posts quickly and it is also extremely flexible, as it allows you to add all Twitter streams you’re interested to keep an eye on. Also, desktop notifications can be set up to make sure you respond to comments or questions in real time.

One of the best things about Tweetdeck is its search features. You can easily stay abreast of latest Twitter trends and join discussions about hot topics.

Cons:

It is quite difficult to manage more than one Twitter account, and also, scheduled tweets including images can’t be edited. Lack of analytics can also be an issue, but I’d highly recommend this as a first Twitter management to use for beginners.

Pricing:

Free

Click this link to read the remaining Top 5

Source: Marketing: Top 10 Social Media Management Tools

How to Grow Your Instagram Exposure Social Media Examiner

Written by: Elizabeth Victor Published 4th August
How to Grow Your Instagram Exposure

Are you using Instagram to promote your business?  Want to increase your exposure?

Making a few simple tweaks to your Instagram marketing can generate more engagement and increase the visibility of your content.

 

In this article you’ll discover how to get more exposure for your brand on Instagram.

#1: Embrace the Hashtag

Descriptive hashtags on Instagram will help expose your content to more people. This will lead to more engagement and ultimately grow your followers.

For anyone who doesn’t already know, hashtags are short, descriptive keywords, preceded by the hash sign (#), which enable users to find content they’re looking for with a simple click. Relevant hashtags in posts help create a dialogue between your business and other users.

There are a number of things you can do with hashtags to get the ball rolling on Instagram.

First of all, add hashtags relevant to your industry or niche to every post your business makes on Instagram. Remember, you can use as many hashtags as you want, which will help you attract a wider audience. Note: Research has found even small accounts that use 11 or more hashtags receive an average of 77.6 interactions.

So if you’re an online retailer specializing in women’s clothes, include the hashtag #womensfashion, among others, in your photo description. This will help users find inspiration, as well as help you land more followers, improve brand awareness and increase sales.

#2: Engage With Your Community

To make the most of your efforts on Instagram, it’s vital to spend time engaging with your community and other users on the platform.  See what photos and hashtags attract the most comments and likes, and jump on the bandwagon. You can also re-post exceptional images from your followers.

Also, determine where people from your target demographic hang out. Find out which accounts they follow and then engage with them. Comment on their photos and like their posts. Remember to add value with your comments and don’t be spammy.

If you’ve done your research and interact with the right people, these users are likely to engage with your brand and follow your account. Your brand will also start to show up on their followers’ radar.

#3: Launch a Contest

The prospect of getting something for nothing has always been alluring in the world of marketing. Use the reach and popularity of your Instagram account to host competitions and attract more followers. An Instagram contest is a great way to drum up excitement and get people talking about your brand.

Whether you go with a tag, hashtag, like to win, share or other type of promotion, your Instagram contest will certainly be a hit.

#4: Build Awareness of Your Instagram Handle

Even though this is fairly obvious and straightforward, it’s still worth mentioning. The first step in Instagram marketing is to promote your handle to your customers. Then they’ll know you have a presence on Instagram and where to find you.

There are various ways to spread the word that your business is on Instagram. If you have a storefront, print out an Instagram badge along with your username. Laminate it or put it in a frame and display it in your store. This is something you can share virtually on your social platforms as well.

You can write a blog post on your Instagram presence, and share it on your different social platforms. Be sure to link to your Instagram account from you website as well.

#5: Cross-Promote Visual Posts on Other Social Media Channels

Part of the reason Instagram is so popular is that people love visual content.

Don’t limit your visual posts to Instagram. Share them on all of your social channels, such as Facebook and Twitter. That way you can leverage the fan bases of all of your social accounts.

Cross-promoting is yet another way to raise awareness of your Instagram account.

Final Thoughts

Instagram now has more monthly users than Twitter, which makes it one of the most popular social media networks out there.

A visual platform like Instagram is the perfect social media channel to convey your brand’s personality to your audience. Use these tips to effectively market your brand. You’ll increase your audience, as well as your visibility, and in turn grow your business.

Source: How to Grow Your Instagram Exposure Social Media Examiner published on Social Media Examiner on 4th August 2015.

5 Twitter Analytics Features You Might Not Know About (But Should)

Analytics Features for Twitter
Original Image taken from this post on HubSpot – The additional text included was by Virtuadmin

Using Twitter? Make sure you know about these super handy Twitter analytics features.

Sometimes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the questions that arise when you’re creating or analyzing your Twitter strategy.

Who follows you? What kind of Tweets do they like (or hate)? How often do they want to hear from you? How quickly do they expect a response?

As an SMB Marketing Manager at Twitter, I hear these questions from a lot of businesses. The good news is you’ve got a great tool at your disposal: Twitter’s free analytics. With a few clicks of a button, you could be on your way to finding out what’s working (and what isn’t).

Not sure which Twitter analytics features you should be using? Below are a few you may not know about (but should).

1) Get monthly reports.

Your Account home provides a handy overview of your Twitter statistics, with monthly averages for engagement rates, replies, and more. So the next time your boss is asking for a wrap-up, you’re just a click away.

Want an even deeper dive? Visit the Tweet activity dashboard to see in-depth metrics for your individual Tweets. You’ll see stats like impressions and total engagements — and Twitter will even calculate your engagement rate, too.

If you click on a Tweet, you’ll see engagement broken down even further into Retweets, Favorites, clicks on media, replies, link clicks, follows, and more. If that’s still not enough data for you, you can download the data on your last 3,200 Tweets, going back as far as October 2013.

2) Uncover your influencers.

It’s not just about statistics — your Account home has even more in store! It’ll let you know who your top follower is every month, in terms of reach. You can also see whose Tweet mentioning your handle drove the most engagements. This is a great place to start when you’re looking to kick-off a co-marketing venture or find a business partner.

3) Get to know your followers.

Aside from the fact that they all made the (great) decision to follow you, do your followers have anything else in common? The followers dashboard is loaded with audience insights that can help you answer that question, and many more. You can track your follower growth over time, see their tops interests, and uncover their demographics. You can also benchmark your numbers against the total Twitter user base, and find out what makes your community stand out.

We’ve also recently introduced personas. This means that, in addition to your followers, you can now get to know specific audiences on Twitter such as parents, millennials, or small business decision-makers.

Once you find the persona that matches your desired audience, you can easily target them in an ad campaign — it’s just one click on your audience insights dashboard. Personas are currently only available to advertisers in the U.S., but we’re working to roll out this new tool more broadly.

4) Check analytics on your mobile phone.

Out and about, but with Tweets on your mind? You can hit the graph icon to check in on a Tweet’s engagements.

If you’re checking in on the Promoted Tweets in your Twitter Ads campaigns, you can go even further: the new Twitter Ads companion allows you to monitor and edit your campaigns from your mobile phone. You can change your campaign start and end dates, pause or resume a campaign, and edit your budget and bid.

5) Promote individual Tweets in 1-2-3.

Now that we’ve gotten you into the good habit of checking in with analytics.twitter.com every day, you’ll be ready when one of your Tweets starts to get noticed. If you see that something is resonating with your audience and racking up the faves and Retweets, it could be ready for a wider audience. With quick promote, you can click on the Tweet in your timeline or your Tweet activity dashboard, and promote it with just two clicks.

You’ll be able to target people who are similar to your followers, and those that are likely to be interested in the topics mentioned in the Tweet. You can also refine by geography, to make sure you’re quickly promoting content to the most relevant country, region, or metro area. Our easy budget slider makes it simple to choose the amount that makes the most sense for your business and goal.

We’re stopping at five, but once you start exploring analytics.twitter.com you’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about your content and your audience. Of course, data is only as valuable as the insights it brings to businesses, so take time to get familiar with all the reports and identify the best for your business. We’ll be sure to keep the dashboards actionable, easy-to-use, and up-to-date with new, helpful features. Deal?

Source: 5 Twitter Analytics Features You Might Not Know About (But Should) and first appeared on HubSpot on       4th August 2015 Written by:  Jane Stecyk

Content Marketing Tools A to Z That You Can Use in 2015 and Beyond

Tools are only as effective as the skills of the person using them.

Content Marketing Tools A to Z That You Can Use in 2015 and Beyond.

In a world of digital marketing that’s 24/7 with ubiquitous connectivity from anywhere, anytime, marketers’ need for tools is greater than ever. Content Marketing in particular offers a competitive landscape where the effectiveness and efficiency offered by the right mix of tools can make the difference between feast or famine.

There are many categories for content marketing tools since content and consumer pursuit of information are the backbone of the web experience. Here are some of the content marketing tool categories that come to mind (not too different than a high level list of marketing tools actually).

  • Content Planning
  • Content Research
  • Content Creation
  • Content Curation
  • Content Distribution
  • Content Promotion
  • Content Optimization
  • Content Measurement
  • Content Reporting

Obvious content marketing tools include the class of enterprise platforms and services that many large brands are using including Contently (content marketplace), Kapost, NewsCred, Skyword and Percolate (content marketing software), UberFlip (content marketing automation), new content marketing platforms like the one from Curata and much anticipated tools like Cintell (customer intelligence).

Wisdom of the Crowd – I’ve published lists of content marketing tools here in the past but these sorts of resources warrant regular updates. In addition to the near-daily pitches I receive and my own research, I reached out to my network on Facebook for new content marketing tool suggestions.

The result? An A to Z list (and then some, 45 tools in all) of new and many not so new but highly useful content marketing tools to help you solve content planning, creation, promotion and measurement challenges.  This is by no means a comprehensive list but it is a collection of the content marketing software companies that are top of mind amongst my own social network.

Atomic Ally – Content scoring tool to customize for specific audiences.

Buffer – Content promotion scheduling, analytics and team collaboration.

BuzzSumo – Content social media research, alerts, links and influencer discovery.

Canva – Web based visual content design tool with stock photos.

CoSchedule – Content editorial calendar plug-in for WordPress offering workflow and analytics for blog posts and social shares.

Curata – Content curation and content marketing platform.

DashThis – Create a content marketing dashboard marketers will actually use and execs will understand.

DivvyHQ – Web based editorial calendar with content planning and workflow.

Evernote – A multi-platform app that captures text, images and video synchronized to the cloud and across devices.

Flipboard – Create a curated online magazine.

Grammerly – Grammar checker app for the Chrome browser.

HemingwayApp – Web based, dynamic text editing tool.

InboundWriter – Predictive analytics for content creation and marketing.

Jing – Desktop software to create content recorded from your computer screen as images, animation or video.

Kapost – Content marketing platform.

Keywordio – Find topics in demand on search engines.

KISSmetrics – Connects all data to a person. See the entire customer journey —across campaigns, web and mobile.

Leadfeeder – sales lead generation tool for B2B companies that shows you which companies visit your website and what they do there.

Leadin – WordPress CRM & lead tracking plugin with analytics.

MeetEdgar – Social content scheduling (by category that recycles shares).

NewsCred – Content marketing software.

Oktopost – Social media content distribution tool for B2B.

Over – Mobile app for adding artwork and text with creative fonts to images.

Piktochart – Web based infographic creation tool.

Prismatic – Social content recommendation tool.

Qzzr – Create and embed quizzes in your content.

Resonance – Content retargeting tool.

Scripted – Written content marketplace.

Scoop.it – Content curation, blogging and social promotion platform for small businesses.

Scrivener – Mac software for structuring, writing and editing long documents.

SEMRush – Discover what topics and keywords are driving traffic to your competitors’s content.

Share as Image – Microcontent creator and sharing tool for Chrome that turns text into an image.

Shareist – Research, curation, scheduling, and page creation tools for social media channels, blogs, and email newsletters.

ShowHows – Tool for making embeddable content focused on step by step instructions.

SlideBatch – Curate embeddable “batches” of any kind of content or media with customized layouts that display on any device

SlideShare – Content hosting and lead generation.

Sniply – Share other people’s content in a way that drives traffic to your own content.

Stipso – Dynamic user generated infographics with embedded social shares and call to action features.

Trello – Visual organization tool.

Uberflip – Curate content, design an experience and convert with offers using this embeddable content hub.

Videolicious – Easily create videos using a mobile phone with easy social sharing and centralized dashboard for review and publishing.

Viraltag – Pinterest marketing tool and platform.

Word Swag – Mobile app for adding text with creative fonts to images.

X – What? There’s no content marketing tool that starts with the letter “x”? Seems like a nice marketing opportunity!

Youzign – Basic web-based tool for creating marketing graphics: facebook covers, twitter covers, YouTube channel art, infographics.

Zemanata – Content ad platform for amplification.

Other content marketing tool resources:

A big part of compiling this list of tools was a group effort – participation marketing in action!  Thank you to these fine folks from my Facebook network for their content marketing tool suggestions!

Andrew Davis, Brian Fanzo, Bhupesh Shah, Kelly de Vooght, Ian Cleary, Marc Meyer, Robyn Tippins, Bas Van Den Beld, Jay Baer, Tamar Weinberg, Teri Ross, David Brown, Kristi Hines, Lisa Picarille, Ashley Combe, Kristie Wells, Cari Bugbee, Shel Holtz, Tom Martin, Susan Emerick, Janette Speyer, Angie Schottmuller, Ann Handley, Martin Jones, Susan Beebe, Kimberly Reynolds, Corey O’Loughlin, Stephanie Losee, Cindy Turrietta, Bernie Borges, and Susan Bratton.

What content marketing tools have you discovered recently that really WOW you?

[Go to original article]

Where to Find Free Images Online by Stacey Roberts

Free Images Online

   In a perfect world, we could all take amazing photos, edit them scrupulously, and somehow manage to have enough props and stylish flair to snap the exact image you need to illustrate your post.  In the real world, we have access to other talented people who do that instead!

   I’ve lost count of the posts I’ve pinned, sent to Evernote, or emailed to myself that round up great places to find free images on the internet. To save myself that headache (and hopefully you too!) here they all are, finally, in one place. Pin it for yourself!

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