Quick Fixes to Polish Your Online Presence

You want to go to dinner, but your regular pizza place is packed. You turn to Google. You want to order flowers for your mom for Mother’s day. You turn to Google. You have a new candidate coming in to interview this afternoon. You turn to Google. You heard someone say that they recommend an auto mechanic. You turn to Google. Every day, people are turning to Google to find things that they need, be it a product or service.

Have you ever Googled yourself? Or your business?

If not, you should stop for a second and go check yourself out. What you see is essentially your online presence, your virtual resume. This is what people see when they are looking for your product or service, you or your business.

Yes, you might think that your Facebook page and website show the epitome of what you are, but do they show up when you are Googled? If not, it’s not lending as much as you thought to your online presence.

What will show up when you are Googled are the networks that you are the most active on, if they are public. For example, this is what it looks like when I Google myself:

kala google

We’ve got my Twitter and my LinkedIn at the top, followed by images. There are also things on here like past jobs and blog posts that I have written.

What does it say when you Google yourself or your business?

Now, how do you get this Google search to be a little more of what you want people to see? Here are some quick tips to polish your online presence:

  1. Consistent profile picture – My “Google myself” example is the perfect example of what not to do with your profile pictures. To present a polished and consistent front, it’s important that all of your public social profiles (from Pinterest and Instagram to LinkedIn and G+) to your author pic on the blog should be consistent. A nice, professional photo of your face, sized correctly, has proven to enhance interactions and connections. People love putting a face to a name, and this is your chance to do that.
  2. To stick with the theme of consistency, if you’re a business – ensure that your logo, company name, and website are consistent across all your platforms. There is nothing more confusing than having different versions of your company name or logo on various sites.
  3. For your business to show up in Google, make sure you register with Google My Business, and that this information (hours, contact info, etc.) is consistent with the information found on your website.
  4. Next, what do your profiles, blogs, and websites say about you or your business when someone does find them and click through? Ensure that your voice is consistent, your contact info is easily accessible, and that visitors know what you and your company are about when they get there.
  5. Content, Content, Content – The more content produced across your various platforms, the more Google is going to pull your website, social media, or blog up to the top. Google loves fresh information. My Twitter and LinkedIn are at the top of my Google search because a) my Facebook has privacy settings and b) I update them both a ton. At Duct Tape, we produce a ton of content. When you search “Duct Tape Marketing” you gain access to all of our sites and platforms, and even a link to Amazon to purchase the Duct Tape Marketing book. Pretty good, right? 

duct tape google

 

If you’re active online, your online presence can be overwhelming. There are online ads, SEO efforts, massive websites and dozens of social media platforms, but what do people see when they search you? These quick things to check should help your audience start turning more of the results you’d like them to see when they look you up.

IMG_2750Kala Linck is the Community and Content Manager at Duct Tape Marketing. You can find her blogging her travels, praying for summer or tweeting about marketing, coffee and cats @tadasunshine.

3 Effective Ways to Use Video in Your Marketing Mix

With consumers viewing more than 8 billion videos per day on Facebook and YouTube, it’s increasingly critical that businesses include video in their marketing strategy.

In a recent survey conducted by Animoto, we asked more than 1,000 U.S. consumers how they interact with and feel about businesses that use video in their marketing. Customers prefer video — in fact, one in four consumers actually lose interest in a company if it doesn’t use video. Read on to see where video can be used most effectively and how you can incorporate it into your marketing mix, in a way consumers will respond:

Boost email open rates

Our survey revealed that consumers are nearly 50 percent more likely to read email newsletters that include links to video. Additionally, more than half of consumers said they’ve watched a company video that came through email.

Embedding video in emails directly can be tricky, and won’t work with most email clients. So how do you go about using video in newsletters and other emails? Here are a few tips:

  • Link to the video hosted on your site rather than embedding the video in an email
  • Make it clear you’ve included a video by adding a still frame and linking the image to your video; superimpose a play button on top of the image to get more clicks
  • Use an animated .gif of several frames of your video to grab readers’ attention — this can replace the static image
  • Use the copy in the email to let readers know what the video is about
  • Mention the video in your subject line, especially if it’s a prominent feature in your email

Encourage engagement on social media

Videos shared on Facebook are proven to get more engagement than other types of media, and consumers are proven to interact with them. 84 percent of consumers said they’ve ‘Liked’ a company video in their news feed, and nearly half have shared a company video on their profile. A recent study from Socialbakers found that videos posted on company Facebook pages see an increase in organic reach of 135 percent, on average, over photos.

Use Facebook to engage existing customers with videos promoting special deals, exclusive insider looks at your products and short, fun clips that show off your company’s personality. To pique the interest of new customers, feature a video about your company, along with videos related to your industry. This video, posted by photographer Kelly Brown on her Facebook page, has been viewed over 17,000 times and received over 600 likes, 71 shares, and 40 comments.

 

Little Pieces Photography by Kelly Brown – Brisbane Newborn Baby Photographer from Kelly Brown on Vimeo.

Drive sales on your website

Video is a great way to move customers through the sales process — and especially to provide more details about your company and product offering. In a Video Commerce Report earlier this year, Liveclicker found companies that featured product videos on their websites saw larger average order values (AOV) than companies that did not.

What should you include in the videos you host on your website? The Animoto survey found consumers prefer these types of videos, in this order:

  1. Videos showing how a product is made
  2. Customer testimonial videos
  3. Videos about your company

Consumers want an inside look: 80 percent of those surveyed said a video showing how a product or service works is important.

Today consumers respond to, and even expect, video marketing on the web, via social, and in email. It’s the perfect time to start incorporating video into your marketing strategy.

 

Video Marketing Cheat Sheet

 

BradHorizontalAs founding CEO of Animoto, Brad leads the charge in driving Animoto to be the global standard for automated video creation. Prior to co-founding Animoto in August 2006, Brad spent eight years with Onyx Software, an enterprise software company. Through Brad’s career at Onyx he saw the company grow from a 17-person start-up to an 800-person public company, and eventually an acquisition. Brad graduated from Dartmouth College and currently resides in Oakland, California, with his wife and their two children, both of whom are stars of his frequent Animoto video creations.

6 Free Social Media Tools for Startups to Build a Strong Social Media Presence

You had a great idea, and you’ve built a viable business model around it, but getting the word around about the products and services you have on offer can prove to be quite challenging. With the use of social media, you can reach out to a greater number of people in lesser time. If you invest effort in social media management consistently, platforms like Facebook and Twitter also help you establish a relationship with your buyers.

Sure, continuous interaction means there may be instances when disgruntled customers diss you on social media. Instead of being scared away by the possibility, you should focus on having a crisis control strategy in place. Respond to negative feedback immediately and make it up to your customer. Good deeds on social media give you double the mileage – you can not only reconcile with an unhappy customer, but also reassure the others that you’re listening to them.

Building a strong social media presence is an imperative for startups in the digital age. Here are a few tools that will come in handy.

Rapportive

Sometimes, business correspondence via email can be tricky because there’s only that much you know about the other person. Rapportive fills this information gap by connecting your Gmail account to Linkedin. The tool comes as a free plug-in for Chrome and extracts a person’s Linkedin profile to display the information within your Gmail window.

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DrumUp

DrumUp is a smart content discovery tool that scours the web for relevant content based on the keywords you input. The tool acts as a central dashboard for your Twitter and Facebook profiles, letting you manage multiple accounts simultaneously. It allows you to choose from a list of suggested content, edit and schedule posts, and also add custom posts to the queue.

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Easel.ly

If you’ve used any social media platform or have been tracking the social media space, you know that visual content receives a higher rate of engagement. However, you’d think that creating visual content is a time-intensive task. Easel.ly makes you think again. The tool offers ready-to-use infographic templates that are categorized by subject. All you have to do is choose from their list of categories and search for a specific subject.

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Collecto

A dedicated tool for Instagram, Collec.to lets you manage your photos, organize them into albums, run contests to promote your brand and get statistics on the effectiveness of your campaign. It also gives you statistics for your profile, as well as others’ who you follow, provided they are subscribed to the tool.

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Canva

With Canva, everybody can be a designer. The tool offers image templates and editing options to create a wide range of visual content, including Facebook Cover Photos, Email headers, Youtube Channel Art, Photo Collages, Twitter headers, Ads, Presentations and more. It also offers design tutorials to help you hone you artistic abilities.

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Newsle

Newsle is a monitoring tool that can be used on several social media platforms including Linkedin and Facebook. It tells you who among your connections, both on email and social media, are most in the news. This essentially means that you can track mentions of you professional acquaintances, competitors and peers.

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Each of the tools discussed here offer a unique functionality and together make for a powerful social media arsenal. Given that all of them are free, you’ve got no excuses to put off trying them out to see how they can boost your social media presence.

 

JessicaJessica has a keen interest in social media and content marketing and writes extensively about it. She represents Godot Media, a leading content marketing firm.

 

Your Customers are Talking, Are You Listening?

photo credit: DSC_8727 via photopin (license)

photo credit: DSC_8727 via photopin (license)

We’ve written at length in the past about how to use social media to broadcast your business’ message, but this is only half the equation of social media marketing. The truth is, you shouldn’t just be using social media as a means to reach your customers, you should try to leverage it as a means to reach you and your business. This all starts with listening.

You have a relationship with your customers, one you want to be as positive as possible. As in any relationship, it is a give and take. Your customers give you their business and their loyalty. You must return that by listening to their concerns. Maybe if you listen, you’ll even be able to gain insights on how to earn even more business.

Think about how your customers use social media. They aren’t broadcasting messages or promoting sales. They are giving snapshots of their everyday lives. They are voicing their passions, interests, viewpoints and most importantly, their frustrations. Paying attention to this can help you avoid frustrated customers and bad reviews. It will also give you valuable insight upon your customers, and help you identify ways to better serve them.

But how do you listen to your customers? Start by creating what John calls “Listening Stations” on social media. Here’s how:

Create Twitter Lists

When Twitter introduced lists in 2009, they had intended for them to be used widely to allow users to create essentially custom timelines. While they haven’t been used as widely as initially intended, they can be incredibly valuable for business owners.

If your customers are on Twitter, add them to a list exclusively for your customers. That way, if say you are a plumber or contractor, you’ll know if they are complaining or complimenting your service even if they don’t tag or mention your business. You can also recognize when all of your customers are talking about the same thing, and perhaps you can enter the conversation. You may even be able to make generalizations about your customers that can add depth to your ideal customer personas.

Search for local posts on Twitter

Search for local posts on Twitter

Search Keywords and Business Name

Use searches on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for your keywords that you have identified as part of your SEO strategy. You can even narrow your search to simply posts near you on Twitter (Example above.)

Simply searching is a great way to keep track of what is being said about a specific topic. Using the keywords you identify can not only give you an insight on the conversation occurring about your particular industry, but may also give you ideas of topics to cover when creating content. If a particular subject or question comes up frequently in social media, it is more likely to be shared, boosting your social influence. You can also keep an eye on the discussion surrounding your competitors this way.

If you don’t want to search frequently, use tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to keep track of hashtags or searches in real time.

Alert yourself

Another great way to automatically listen to your customers is to set up alerts on your desired keywords. You can set up email alerts for social media using Social Mention, and receive daily notifications right in your inbox. Track your business name, any keywords you want to monitor and perhaps even your competitors. This won’t be real-time, so it may be faster to keep an eye on your live feeds you created above, but it can give you a nice daily overview if you want. You can even create alerts using more powerful tools like Buzzsumo.

Listen: It’s a great habit

Your customers want to be heard. Their comments on social media and blogs are valuable to you and your business. Get in the habit of listening to what they have to say, and you can earn their loyalty.

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443Alex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC

How to Use Your Content Platforms to Gain Valuable Customer Insights

Audience data 240x180You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on industry research or surveying your audience — most small businesses already have plenty of data collection tools right at their fingertips! The savviest businesses utilize their content to gain invaluable insights into their customer and potential customer base to understand what they want most- here’s how you can too!

Google Analytics

To get a good baseline for who your audience is, use your website’s Google Analytics data. On the left sidebar, click audience, then explore the demographics, interests, and geo sections. The location, age, gender, industry and topical interests of your website traffic is all displayed in these section. The interests section of your audience report contains particularly insightful gems. Affinity Categories relates to the other lifestyle interests they have, while In-Market Segments shows you their product and purchase based interests. Other Categories hones in on the most specific topics of interest or activities.

Blog Topics

Which blog posts get the most shares, views, or impressions on your blog and across your social networks? It’s important to distribute your blogs across a wide variety of platforms to get a feel for as many different segments of your audience as possible, as well as to get a better sense of the piece’s success. Sharing your blogs widely across the web also brings more traffic back to you site, and continues to feed into what your insights.

Downloaded Resources

You should make a few helpful pdf downloads available on your website. Not only is this a great way to capture emails, but it’s also a useful tool to see where your audience’s interests lie, or what problems are currently affecting them. Make sure all your resources relate to your business in some way- it wouldn’t be particularly helpful to learn what someone’s favorite color is or where they would most like to vacation.

Emailed Content

Whether you use a full on CRM like Salesforce or a simpler service like MailChimp- take note of what content your readers are clicking on. When sending them blog updates, industry news, or new services offered- note where their interests lie. Deliver more, similar content to see if you can hone in on the specific topics they care most about. Optimize your newsletters for key learnings.

Quizzes

People love quizzes, especially on social media. It’s also a genius way to learn more about your audience than any other technique. An easy tactic to start is a quiz themed to “What ___ Are You?”. Make sure you come up with questions that will help you in your your quest to understand your audience, such as “do you like to attack and solve problems, or do you seek the advice of others?”.

Facebook Insights

Immediately upon logging into Facebook, navigate to the left side menu and select Insights. You’ll find your Facebook audience demographics under the People category. Be sure to also note the section for when your fans are online to see what types of content you should be sharing to this audience. Lunch hour readers prefer entertainment, while morning browsers are primed for news. Long reads are best for the evening and weekend. For many brands, their Facebook audience consists of different groups, using Facebook at different times. Optimize your Facebook posts for greatest potential to collect the most audience data possible.

Twitter Analytics

Every user can now access their Twitter analytics. Similar to Facebook, Twitter’s Analytics lets you see basic audience demographic information (do you see any differences between your Facebook and Twitter audiences?) as well as an overview of your tweet performance. Twitter add-on Followerwonk assesses the bios of your followers to provide you with insights on their interests and how they describe themselves. You can see who else your followers tend to follow, what they tweet about and Followerwonk points you in the direction of new groups to go after (moms who love DIY or dads who like soccer).

LinkedIn Audience

When viewing your company page, select Analytics. You’ll see a concise listing of your posts’ performance as well as audience demographics. LinkedIn shares what level of professional attainment your followers are: entry-level employee through owner or VPs. You can also select Industry and Job Function from the audience data drop down menus. It’s highly advisable to appropriately tailor your content to appeal to the right level of reader: decision maker or someone who might suggest your company to the decision maker.

 

pro pic 150Diana Mackie is a small business writer, specializing in marketing and content. Diana writes for AllBusiness, Huffington Post, Social Media Today, Duct Tape Marketing and many other publications. She is currently the Chief Content Officer at Funding Gates. Diana attended Fordham University and now lives in New York City.

 

Boost Your Social Media Engagement With These Tips

Boost Social Media EngagementEveryone wants more likes, RTs, pins, favorites and shares on their social media posts. Isn’t that the point of social media, to spread your business and personal influence to as many potential followers and customers as possible?

But how do you earn those RTs and shares? It may feel like there is some sort of secret sauce that makes some users get more than you, but it isn’t. Here are numerous ways that you can boost engagement on your social media accounts.

Listen to and engage with your Customers

This one is easy and is one of the main elements of the Duct Tape Marketing Social Media System. Social media is not designed to be a one-way street. You can’t just broadcast your messages and expect your customers to engage with you. Social media is best used as a listening post, a momentary glance at what your customers are doing and talking about.

Take time to listen to your customers. Create a Twitter list of your customers and maybe even the accounts they engage with most. Find what they’re talking about and, if it applies to your business, join the conversation.

Imagine if you are a plumber, and one of your customers tweets their frustration with a DIY plumbing project they are working on. This is a perfect opportunity to offer some tips. If they can fix it, great! Now you have earned even more trust. If they can’t figure it out, I’d be willing to bet you’ll be the first plumber they call.

Add Visuals / Videos

Social posts are much more likely to be engaged with if they have pictures or videos attached. This can be anything from product pictures, to behind the scenes photos, to custom infographics or designs. Videos can include do-it-yourself step by steps or just personal updates from the owner.

If you have a new display in your shop, share a photo to drum up excitement. Even taking an Instagram photo of the sunrise over your building is a great way to engage your customers. They were probably already talking about the weather.

There are many great tools out there to create excellent custom graphics and infographics on a budget. I’d suggest piktochart for more complex infographics or Canva for social and blog images like the one above.

Give Promotions

Promotions can be a great way to spur engagement. Offer your customers a discount or a freebie for a share or retweet, and you’ll see your post spread like fire through their social networks. This can even be offered to guests who have already come into the store. If you offer them a promotion at the point of sale, it can be a nice surprise, especially if they were already planning to buy.

Ask a Question

Ask your customers for their opinion and they’ll be happy to give it to you. You can even include polls on Facebook giving your customers multiple choices. On Twitter, ask your customers to RT for one option, and favorite for another. The RTs will almost always win (RT’s will spread to other people’s feeds where favorites won’t) so it isn’t scientific, but it will certainly help increase your engagement and help you identify leads.

If you’d rather not use an actual poll, you can also create photos and graphics with multiple options and ask your followers what they prefer. You should share your customers’ answers and engage with the conversation that ensues.

Include a Call to Action

All sales copy you write usually includes a call to action, why should social media be any different? You should always include some call to action. Avoid using phrases like “Please RT” or “Like this post for…” unless it is a promotion. Instead, try to get a bit more creative.

For example, if you want someone to share your post on Facebook, try concluding your post with “Ask your friends and family what they think.” The easiest way to do that is simply press the share button. Or maybe this call to action can simply be an attempt to get people in the door like “Hurry in before they’re gone!”

Earning social media engagement isn’t rocket science. All you have to do is design your posts and make it easy for your customers to engage.

Do you have examples of social media posts you have created that used these tactics? Let me know in the comments below, or share them with me on Twitter – @AlexBoyerKC

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443Alex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. He loves to write, tweet and talk about sports and content marketing. Connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC

The Minimalist Guide To Managing Your Brand Reputation Online

A dissatisfied customer, on an average, tells 25 of his friends, while a happy one tells only 15. Seems like if good reviews spread like wildfire, bad reviews would be rushing with light speed. Reviews, and how the masses consume them, are human nature, but this human nature can be fatal for online businesses especially at a time when 8 out of 10 customers treat and trust online reviews just like personal recommendations.

Let me tell you, brand value is diluting. And it marks an uprise of a generation of advocates and influencers that are a part of the crowd our customers identify with.

So here is a quick look at the ways you can ensure that your online brand reputation shines forever like gold and earns you higher AOVs, bigger ROIs, and ever increasing conversions.

How to ensure that each product has at least five reviews

Tip #1: Ask and ye shall receive

Most customers will happily review your product if you ask for it. Just call them up or send a follow-up email. This picture here shows how to get reviews on site through email:

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 10.55.46 AMTip #2: Give an incentive for review

For the hesitant ones, incentivise the review process. Run a reward point campaign or a loyalty program. [editor note – the FTC frowns on this practice unless you disclose that the review was incentivized.]

Tip #3: Poach the influencers

Dig out the people whose reviews are most trusted and offer them freebies or trial packs to ensure that each product has been reviewed.

How to manage third-party reviews (off-site)

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 10.56.03 AMManaging third-party reviews can get a little twisted if you do not have an automated services like Yotpo, which will syndicate all reviews in one dashboard and give you a chance to monitor and reply them instantaneously.

The first thing you need is a customer content service and second, a Godly omni-presence. Staying social does help, but so does having a profile on every review site. A great idea would be to have a separate profile, maybe on Twitter, to handle customer complaints.

Finally, be open and amiable. A demonstration of ‘respect for your customer’s opinion’ and ‘openness to take up criticism in stride’ will take your business a long way in fetching you repeat, happy customers.

How to build a positive reputation online and leverage customers’ trust

Most of the marketing experts unanimously vouch for one factor that gets most conversions, which is openness for customer opinions.

Step #1: Patiently listen to your customer.

Step #2: Respond instantly, but in an appreciative, comforting tone.

Step #3: Be vigilant.

If you find a great review somewhere, spread it on social media and display it on your site as a badge of honor and proof of great service.

Pay special attention to negative reviews. Do not leave them unaddressed. As much as you try to delight your happy customers through giveaways and discounts, try to make amends with the angry ones too. Apologize with a genuine voice and thank them for pointing out the potholes in your service. Send them goodies or vouchers if they are really unhappy with your service. However, do not do this too often or with everyone as it will encourage bad reviews more than good ones.

Believe it or not, customer reviews boil down to one thing – perceived value or customer expectation. If you set it too high on your website and the product doesn’t live up to it, your customer is going to feel disappointed. Keep the product copy unique and compelling but do not exaggerate its features.

parasParas heads Product Marketing at TargetingMantra, a SaaS company that lets ecommerce retailers create a personalized shopping experience for their customers just like Amazon and Zappos. An expert in Personalization and behavioral targeting, Paras has consulted over 50 clients across the globe on conversion optimization and increasing customer loyalty. He is a serial entrepreneur from IIT-Guwahati and Indian School of Business, who loves to spend his time exploring new technologies. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

5 Ways to Produce Eye-Catching Content Without a Designer

photo credit: kaboompics

photo credit: kaboompics

There’s nothing like great content. I create it for work. I create it for fun. Crazy? Perhaps. Especially since creating good, visually appealing content is a huge challenge faced by many.

There is no rule that says you have to hire a pricey graphic designer in order to generate beautiful, design-rich content.  Of course, design specialists are a great resource to have on a team – but, for many earlier-stage businesses, increased costs and headcount may not be ideal.

Luckily, a universe of tools exist that enable quick content creation for even the non-designers among us – whether it’s as simple as a quick meme or as elaborate as an ebook. Slim, bootstrapping teams could wear a designer hat and produce the rich content quickly and inexpensively by enlisting some of these fantastic content-producing tools:

Capture the moment with Skitch

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 7.32.16 PMSkitch is a great app that helps brands tell a visual story – and it’s free! Grab a quick screenshot on your device and mark it up with arrows, boxes, text and more. Skitch lets you mark up images, digital assets, PDFs, and other files with arrows, callout boxes, text, and more.

I find that at least once a day I use Skitch’s “Screen Snap” function to grab all or part of my screen for use in content. I don’t need to plug my captured image into another program for further cropping and other editing since the all-in-one features of Skitch enable me to do so right in their app. A great time saver and useful tool for supporting your talking points with a rich visual design.

Skitch is owned by Evernote but does not require an Evernote account to start using. Try it out and screengrab to your heart’s content.

Don’t use any old font, use Dafont

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 7.32.42 PMSick of using Times and Ariel in your creative. Aren’t we all? Luckily, resources like Google Fonts, Font Squirrel and more offer a wealth of wonderfully designed, open-source fonts to add a little character to your characters.

I like Dafont for its abundance of options that range from general purpose to highly specialized. Each font is well-tagged so the site’s great search function could pull up just what you’re looking for. Simply download, install and use a desired font in graphics, presentations, ebooks and more – just make sure to check for any attribution requirements.

Pound out a quick infographic with Piktochart

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 7.33.07 PMThere’s nothing like a good infographic to capture an audience and teach them something new. When it’s simple to create in just minutes and free, it’s all the more reason to inject them into a content strategy.

Piktochart is quick and simple for anyone to create professional-looking infographics, reports, banners, and presentations. An intuitive interface and simple drag-and-drop features help a designer-less team fake it until they make it.

Get instant access and “start creating in 30 seconds,” as the site’s homepage describes. Start yours from scratch, choose from customizable free templates or step up to Pro for some more options.

Along with the vast library of templates, you can find over four thousand graphics to really spruce things up, or get more custom and create your very own images. When generating visual creations to represent your brand, avoid a clunky MS Paint design and make them look professionally mastered at low commitment.

Become an author with Guides.co

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 7.33.14 PMHave what it takes to write an informative eBook but lack the design skill to bring into fruition? Guide.co offers the perfect solution.

We’ve all experienced the power of eBooks, in educating an audience, adding credibility and thought leadership status to a brand and capturing more qualified leads. But the more comprehensive the piece of content the more time and budget it consumes.

Guides.co provides a useful, plug-and-lay model to take on the burden creating an attractive body for your killer copy. Like Piktochart, Guides.co offers multiple templates to kick off your design – and easy-to-use customizing features help to guide your guide to fit your brand.

Guides.co even goes the extra mile and hosts your content on their site for the world to discover!

Get interactive and think ThingLink

ThingLink adds a totally new form to social media that brings life to your content. The tool makes interactive visual graphics easy to make and void of the premium price tag.

The site integrates with others like YouTube, SoundCloud, and Vimeo to pull in sounds and videos to add to your graphic.

Register for free or get a few other advantages with a membership – but you might not need to spend the extra cash. The tools basic features enable users to design quite rich, interactive videos and images to incorporate into a content marketing strategy.

Even better, once completed, ThingLink lets you tag your piece and share with your social network along with their own community. Interact with other creative ThingLink users for ideas, inspiration and feedback.

Go forth and design

Designing is not easy. Supplementing the talent of an experienced designer will save costs but could indeed reduce the effectiveness of a content strategy. However, since more basic content is better than no content at all, getting your engine running with intuitive and affordable tools is key.  Helpful apps that enable the everyday entrepreneur or busy marketing generalist to design without breaking the bank or eating up your time is lifesaving.

Have any questions about improving your content strategy? Contact me! 

VinceVince is a passionate digital marketing specialist with a track record of evangelizing technology to modernize business development and brand building in the startup through enterprise levels. Skilled in strategic data-driven campaign management, Vince focuses on demand generation programs that influence growth, including marketing automation, social media, digital advertising, search engine optimization, blogging, public relations, video and event marketing.? Vince is a well-established Twitter influencer under @vince_tech and Founder of Boom Digital, a boutique digital marketing agency specializing in supporting the growth of early-stage startup companies through social media, content marketing, and design.