Marketing Stocking Fillers: Essential Tools for 2014

Tis the season of goodwill, cheer and presents! We all know everything is changing in the world of digital marketing but that isn’t necessarily bad news, because with change comes innovation. New ways to approach tasks, if not made easier then at least more interesting. As our strategies have been evolving we have also have to adopt new tools to accompany the achievement of our goals. Something I’ve found great this year is the amount of new tools being provided to help collate and create relevant and interesting content. We at Netleadz are looking forward to the coming year and the following tools and goodies are absolute must haves in the months ahead and maybe even beyond tried and tested by yours truly. Enjoy!

Storify

Storify is a tool in which you can curate timelines from a variety of social sources: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. The idea is that you create snapshots of social happenings adding comments in between these snapshots in order to build your own story. The benefits to this is that it speeds up the blog posting process and allows you to comment almost immediately on the latest trending articles and happenings in your industry or in popular culture. Bang on trend!

Curating a story with storify

 

Curating content is at the heart of today’s internet. It’s all about > YOU < (with big arrows pointing to ‘you’ at every angle!) What we curate is how we wish to be perceived by a larger audience. What this means for brands and businesses is this: to be on topic is to be perceived as an authority on a particular area/industry.

Swayy

Another curatorial tool, Swayy allows you to login via social networks Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin – the more the better as it helps make your feed more relevant. From here it looks at who is in your network. What are their interests? What are they talking about? What is trending? Providing your followers aren’t fake or a bunch of randoms (i.e. are your target audience) then Swayy will pull up a heap of relevant and most importantly interesting articles. From here you can automatically share to Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. It’s great for finding content your audience will actually enjoy as well as learning more about their interests and also an excellent learning ad research tool.

Creative Commons

Using the creative commons to find useful images

We are not all budding photographers. The usual stock images we use on our blogs – you know the ones, the 3d stick man in a variety of situations (I’ll stick one in this post just in case) - are boring and uncreative. The Creative Commons provides the perfect solution. The original intent of the internet was to share information freely and fortunately there are still a whole bunch of folks keeping this spirit alive. This is where you will find perfect images for you blog posts and articles. There are many services out there offering ways of searching the creative commons, even the Creative Commons website itself offers a way of exploring content available to use freely. But as far as images are concerned, the best method is to use the creative commons filter within the “advanced search” Flickr. Once you’ve found your image, double check the licence terms (usually it’s an attribution via a link to original source) and you’ll be free to reproduce the image to illustrate your article. 

Moz

Moz's Roger

A firm favourite! Moz has a series of great tools that come in handy for a whole range of SEO purposes; from content marketing to link building to social analytics. What I love about Moz is the fact that they are the total package. They have a thriving social community, feature tons of useful blog posts and educational content including the fabulous White Board Fridays. Ultimately, they have created a series of marketing products that they will not let stagnate; they are innovative, creative and will continue to provide useful marketing measurement tools for as long as Google continues to change the game. They will also provide useful insight into how the coming changes will affect your current game play. Of course the main reason to love Moz is the ever charismatic Rand Fishkin.

Hubspot

Hubspot offer similar services to Moz. Their added value ultimately comes in the form of whitepapers. Tons of resource material no matter what level you are at, Hubspot have the PDFs in their Marketing Library to help you get to grips with digital marketing. From how to build perfect social profiles to link building strategies to organising your content marketing. Whenever I get a little stumped I always head their way for a bit of inspiration and recommend you do the same. Sometimes all it needs is a little tweak in approach and they could provide that tweak.

IFTTT

Breaking down what IFTTT stands for

The abbreviation stands for “If This Then That” and its uses are endless! IFFT allows you to form recipes based around social and productivity apps such as drop box, gmail, twitter, RSS feeds and so on. The only restriction here is your imagination, however in marketing it’s all about being more effective and efficient. There are some great recipes to try. Create content ideas from social feeds. Effectively automate blog posts and social media accounts. Automatically save email attachments in dropbox. Receive a text if it’s going to rain in the morning (gotta make that meeting looking smart and dry!) Here are some great recipes to get you started.

MarkUp

MarkUp is fantastic for communicating with developers. It is a Chrome extension which essentially allows you to treat webpages like a notebook. The extension creates a live snapshot of a webpage, and then allows you to modify it with shapes, pens and text. If you need to shuffle a few things around, create a checklist of amendments or simply exchange ideas you can mark up the webpage accordingly and then publish, or share, this with whoever needs to see it. It’s a very effective and efficient way of communicating ideas.

Using mark up to annotate websites

YouTube Subscriptions

This is an obvious one but many people don’t take full advantage of YouTube subscriptions, especially within their own industry. Many top SEO agencies, influencers, Google’s spam and webmaster teams, social tools and academics regularly post great educational and informative videos that will help your digital marketing strategies and understand the ways in which things are changing. Alright, Matt Cutts’ channel has turned a little drab as he is seemingly allowed to say less and less about future changes, but every now and then he does drop a few hints which Moz will no doubt elaborate on. Digital Marketing is a very generous industry, Google Plus communities, company blogs and journals all show how keen we all are to share information and breakthroughs with one another; there is no shame in subscribing to a competitor’s YouTube channel!

We Subscribe to:

Google

Google Webmasters

Moz

Hubspot

Distilled

Twitter

David Amerland

Martin Shervington

Merry Christmas, from Netleadz

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