Yes, yes. I know it’s September, we’re a few days into many families school routines (‘ouch!’ for my educator friends who started back in mid August) and so, this roundup is perhaps a few days late. But hey, there was a national holiday in there, last minute summer ‘fun’ to be had … and work. And summer … and ice cream to make …. and work …
HubSpot – 7/31/14: ‘How to consistently keep up with the latest social media trends’ – which we all know is really hard to do!
Always new tools, new features, new tweaks to the big social networks – and the growing legion of niche networks – so it’s hard to keep track.
Creative Bloq: A not so new – but very useful – round up of free (some are only free w/ trial or limited aspects) tools for creating infographics.
I’ve used Infogr.am and the bits of Visual.ly, a few times in the past, but Piktochart is probably the ‘leader’. However, it’s free account version is quite limited. Also of note, Visual.ly is a bit like Fiverr – you submit a creative brief for your design projects and get teams or individuals to bid and work on it. Not great for someone just looking for a tool to help them create an infographic.
REELSEO – 8/28/14: ‘71% of Marketers Confirm Video Converts Better than Other Content’
Wow. We’ve been hearing anecdotes and tons of stories about video for marketing, and why you need to jump onboard. I think I’ve mentioned it myself, certainly in various Marketing Mix Roundups. But here’s a study with feedback from other marketers showing power of video.
This post might mention that you should host your own videos … well, that’s a controversial opinion! Videos can be big-time hogs of bandwidth and storage. They (and your site) could come to a slow, crashing halt. You CAN save/host them on something like AmazonS3 and use plugins to pull them back to your site. Can still run into stickiness.
If you’re a big corporation, nonprofit, college or have a seriously large video archive – you can go with a special video hosting platform (Wistia, EZWebPlayer, etc). But for most of us smaller fish – libraries, small non-profits, solopreneurs – you go the more standard route of uploading to Vimeo (for ones you may need to protect) or YouTube and embedding on your page or post. You can’t really NOT post to YouTube anymore, because you do want the video found, right? Google’s search results love YouTube.
[Study from Vidyard + Ascend2 – do note – Vidyard is a video hosting/marketing platform, Ascend2 is a marketing research firm – so it’s definitely in Vidyard’s best interests to find research to back up use of video!]
MProfs – 8/27/14: podcast/ interview w/ Marketing Profs Chief Content Officer, author, co-founder of ClickZ – Ann Handley -on writing, being a ‘recovering writer’ and ‘how to hate writing less’ … or how it can be less painful at least
Or If you want to go directly to the audio, here ya go: download it and listen on your next drive or workout.
From founder, author Joe Pulizzi – ‘the main things that keep me up at night as a content marketer’ – some interesting and perhaps controversial notions. [e.g. ‘forget real-time marketing; kill a channel; and if you’re not aiming to be ‘best of breed’ then start over]
Maybe that’s why he’s still considered by some as the father (or at least wise sage) of content marketing.
SocialMedia Examiner – 8/26/14: ‘ How to get started with visual content marketing’ – ‘especially when you don’t have a designer in-house’ (hello?! Who but the big orgs have that, right?! So the rest of us need help and tools).
The post is a nice mix of recommended tools and tips on how to create good looking visual elements, without that need for a graphic designer.
The 2 tools mentioned first are both faves of mine: PicMonkey and Canva. I can’t say enough about how cool Canva is, what great templates, free art, cheap stock and tons and tons of useful tips and tutorials. Yeah, yeah – I’ve gushed over Canva before – I’ll do it again!
PicMonkey is a another web-based app/tool that will grab images from your desktop, mobile, Dropbox, etc for photo editing, graphics editing, filters and more. It’s gotten love from PCMag.com and also offers plenty of tutorials, guides and help in using its features.
Of the mobile apps mentioned for graphic design, photo editing, word-tweaking – I’m currently using Over, but will have to check out the others mentioned. I’m also a huge fan of PhotoGene2 [apparently there's now a PhotoGene4 as well! hmmm] + Hipstamatic. Nothing takes better pics of food on your phone than Hipstamatic( DC film + Loftus lens )- see, that’s the cool thing about that app – it let’s you change ‘film’, ‘flash’ and ‘lens’ like you had a real SLR – filters, lighting, color, focus point all built in. Voila!