9 Tools to Outsource Your Content: Graphic, Text and Video

9 Tools To Outsource Your Content: Graphic, Text and Video - Duct Tape MarketingRunning a business takes a lot of hard work, time, and skill. You’re great at the business part, but how about your marketing? Social media is the best way to get the word out there about your business, but it may not be your strong suit. Outsourcing your content creation can be the best way to market yourself effectively in the online marketplace, without sacrificing your own time on the effort. If you’re thinking about outsourcing your content creation, try out these nine tools.

Graphic Content Creation

  1. Design Crowd: If you’re starting out, you’re going to need business stationery, and a logo to go on it. A business with the same design on everything, from their shipping labels to their letter overheads, looks professional. This service can create them all for you, giving your business a unified look over everything you send out to customers. You can even have them design clothing with the same branding for your customer facing staff.
  2. 99 Designs: Brand identity is key to showing potential customers you’re a professional business. This service can provide that for you, and if you meet a designer there you work well with, you can choose to work with them directly. Building a relationship with a graphic designer can be key to having a brand identity that becomes a household name.
    9 Tools To Outsource Your Content: Graphic, Text and Video - Duct Tape Marketing
  3. Crew: This service allows to access a huge community of design freelancers. Whatever your budget, there’s someone here who can create something you’ll love. Just place an advert telling them what you need, and you’ll get bids for the work. Pick the freelancer you want, and away you go.
    9 Tools To Outsource Your Content: Graphic, Text and Video - Duct Tape Marketing

Text Content Creation

  1. Custom Writing Service: Writing regular blog posts is essential to getting readers, and keeping them. It can keep them abreast of everything that’s new in your industry, and you can update them on your latest lines, news, and offers. However, having the skill to write a successful blog post is another thing entirely. This writing service can create those posts for you with the topics and themes you give them, and send them back ready for publication.
    9 Tools To Outsource Your Content: Graphic, Text and Video - Duct Tape Marketing
  2. Contently: Managing several different social media accounts can be difficult to do. This service allows you to create content and keep track of all your accounts in the same place, with little effort. Perfect for when you’re rushing to keep up with the latest trends online, or just trying to keep everything updated at once.
    9 Tools To Outsource Your Content: Graphic, Text and Video - Duct Tape Marketing
  3. EssayRoo: A well-edited blog is a blog that will go far. You may well write your own content, after all, you know your product better than anyone else. Do you have the time to edit your own writing, though? Australian writing service EssayRoo will do it for you, sending you back grammatically perfect work, every time.

9 Tools To Outsource Your Content: Graphic, Text and Video - Duct Tape Marketing

Video Content Creation

  1. Video Pixie: Looking for someone to create your video? Describe your vision on this site, and experienced videographers will bid to do the work for you. Select the best person for the job from the applicants you see, and you’ll be all set! You can even control the budget, and pay for the work through this site directly.
    9 Tools To Outsource Your Content: Graphic, Text and Video - Duct Tape Marketing
  2. Smart Shoot: To show your business off at its best, you need a photographer that really understands you and your industry. This service aims to match you with someone can create the perfect business profile for you to use online, and attract customers to you. Use this service, and all your social media accounts can be unified, inviting, and professional looking.9 Tools To Outsource Your Content: Graphic, Text and Video - Duct Tape Marketing
  3. Veed: An eye-catching, creative, and unique video is sure to catch the attention of potential customers online. This service matches you with videographers who share that vision with you, and who can create that video. They can even create ‘micro-content’, that will get your message out there without taking up your customers’ valuable time.

9 Tools To Outsource Your Content: Graphic, Text and Video - Duct Tape Marketing

Now that you have these nine tools to hand, you can outsource your content creation to some of the most capable people in the business. Have them handle your graphics, text content, and visual content, and you can get back to doing what you do best. Try them out and see for yourself.

Mary WaltonMary Walton is a professional editor from Santa Monica. She studied in Australia and traveled the world. Loves writing and e-learning. Find her recent rumblings at educational blog Simple Grad. Follow Mary on Twitter and Linkedin!

6 Tools We Use at Typeform to Amplify Our Marketing Productivity

6 Tools We Use at Typeform to Amplify Our Marketing Productivity -Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit: Unsplash

Working in marketing can be very demanding. KPIs, meetings, brainstorming sessions, monthly revenue, never-ending checklists… the list goes on. Luckily, we live in a time where productivity hacks are easy to find. Even easier than catching Pokémon.

Regardless of whether you’re in a large team or an army of one, at the end of the day, it’s all about working to achieve your goals. To do so, staying organized and focused is key. At Typeform, web apps are a must. Here are six of our favorite tools that help us get stuff done.

1. SaneBox for sorting out our email

There are two kinds of people in our team: those who aim for “inbox zero” and those who prefer the “filtered email” approach. Either way, keeping email organized can be a difficult task, especially if you’re subscribed to an endless list of newsletters. That’s where SaneBox comes in. This tool, as the name suggests, keeps you sane by cleaning up your inbox in minutes. It also creates automatic file uploads to the cloud and lets you snooze your email for later—a must-have for when it’s time to focus.

2. Trello for getting organized

Organizing our day-to-day goes way beyond Google Calendar. We seem to have a thousand and one projects in motion at any one time. Project managing is a tough job. That job is made easier for us by using one of our favorite tools, Trello. Perhaps SCRUM methodologies work best for you, or maybe you’re perfectly fine with a good ol’ checklist. Trello is a great management tool that will keep your project organized from start to finish.

3. Feedly for finding the best content

At Typeform, if there’s one thing we love to do lots of, is reading online content. We need to keep up with the latest trends and always like to find new and great examples of top-notch content online. Feedly makes this task easier. This tool lets you make carefully curated lists based on your area of interest. However niche you want your reading list to be, discovering, reading, and monitoring content has never been simpler.

4. Meet Edgar for distributing content

One of the best hacks for social media marketing is scheduled content distribution. But we always found that the available tools were quite limited… until we met Edgar. Meet Edgar is a social media distribution tool that automatically fills itself out by recycling and queuing your content. You can create “buckets” of different types of content, and tell the app how often to share something from each bucket. It’s a massive time-saver.

5. Canva for creating beautiful and shareable images

Statistics show that Facebook posts with images drive 2.3x more engagement than those without and articles with images have 94% more views. So visuals are the way to go. When in doubt, Canva has got you covered. Canva is a complete graphic design tool for non-designers that lets you create beautiful visuals that make your content more attractive. It also has specific image sizes for every platform—allowing you to reach across multiple channels. We’re lucky enough to have an in-house design team at Typeform, but we use Canva to create quick, good-looking images to share in presentations, etc.

6. Crazy Egg for optimizing our website

Having a beautiful website that’s friendly, engaging, and simple is key for us. However, we sometimes want to know how much people are actually engaging with our content. Do they scroll? Have they seen that link? Do they know there’s a “see more” button at the bottom? This is where Crazy Egg comes in. It shows you how your visitors interact with your website through heat maps and scroll maps. This lets you see what works, what doesn’t, and where people are getting lost.

Whether you’re a full-scale marketing team or on your lonesome, we all ask ourselves the same question at some point: “how can I be more productive?” Hopefully with this selection of tools you’ll find that your efforts will be simplified and your results amplified without losing focus.

Joanne TorresJoanne Torres is an online & outreach marketer at Typeform. Compared to the industry average, Typeform has 4x higher completion rates due to their human-first design approach—keeping people’s attention from start to submit. Whether collecting customer feedback or having any other type of conversation with your customers, typeforms are beautiful, friendly, and engaging.

Twitter: @possiblyjoanne

LinkedIn: https://es.linkedin.com/in/joanne-torres-a1529852

How To Publish More Content Faster With A Content Creation Process (And Limited Resources)

How To Publish More Content Faster With A Content Creation Process (And Limited Resources) - Duct Tape MarketingThat back burner of yours has a lot on it, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, it’s easy to let creating content for your small business fizzle out at the tail end of your to-do list.

How To Publish More Content Faster With A Content Creation Process (And Limited Resources) - Duct Tape Marketing

But what if there was an easier way to not only publish more content but do it faster and with next to no resources? Would you reprioritize your to-do list to polish your content creation process?

Our co-founder at CoSchedule, Garrett Moon, once wrote there are only three ways to save time writing content:

  1. Add more tools or people into your content creation process. This means using the right tools for planning, like ditching your spreadsheet for a project management tool designed to help you work more efficiently. Outsource straightforward tasks like social media scheduling to a virtual assistant to save your valuable time for creating more content.
  2. Use the time you spend writing more efficiently. Many people are more productive in the mornings, so that may be the best time for you to write faster than in an afternoon when you’ve worn yourself out. Part of this may involve critically analyzing the steps involved in your content creation process, too, to focus your preparation and workflow on the tasks that really make a difference instead of just doing the same things you’ve always done.
  3. Eliminate something or hone in on what really This means picking a single audience to target and making sure every topic you cover connects deeply into solving that specific persona’s challenges. You could also remove unnecessary steps from your workflow to make everything flow even faster.

You’re thinking, “That’s all fine and dandy… but how can I make this work for my small business, really?” Well, my friend, let’s explore that even further.

The Only Way To Publish More Content Is To Start

If you want to publish more content, you need to publish more content. It may seem obvious but from my conversations with dozens of marketers… it’s not.

You need to spend time honing your content creation process to be able to create more content faster. This takes two commitments: Acquiring skill and turning that skill into a consistent habit.

Researchers have found it takes at least 100 hours of practice before you learn a skill beyond producing a crude version of the desired behavior.

How To Publish More Content Faster With A Content Creation Process (And Limited Resources) - Duct Tape Marketing

That means the only way to publish more content is to practice publishing more content. And as you publish more, those same researchers suggest you will smooth out your process, remove errors from your execution, and indefinitely improve as you continue using the skill.

That whole indefinitely bit ties nicely into habit formation. Consistency is important for success in marketing, and habits make it possible to be consistent.

According to Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit, your brain literally works less after you build habits. It’s as if your brain needs habits so it doesn’t have to think so hard about every little detail.

How To Publish More Content Faster With A Content Creation Process (And Limited Resources) - Duct Tape Marketing

Habits require five traits to last:

  1. Cue: A trigger that sparks the habit. This could be a day (if you always write on Mondays) or a time (if you always write in the mornings the moment you get into the office).
  2. Routine: After the cue, this is the process you consistently follow every time (writing headlines, then introduction, then the body).
  3. Reward: The great feeling you get after you follow your routine (Yay! I did it and didn’t put it on the backburner!).
  4. Craving: The desire to do the routine again and again to experience the reward. This is where habits become consistent instead of just one-at-a-time activities.
  5. Belief: Probably the biggest necessity to committing to a habit—the faith in the habit that it will produce the reward you’d love to continue experiencing.

In other words, you need to commit to spending time building the skill to publish more content. As you do that, you will start to build a process—with clear habits—that literally cut the amount of time you need to write content and make the entire process easier.

To do that, you need to believe in your system as you start. You will hit snags. But you have to use those lessons to learn from your mistakes and continue on.

You have to have faith in your content creation process to succeed in publishing more content consistently.

10 Steps To Streamline Your Content Creation Process To Publish More Content Faster

1. Plan

A mentor of mine once told me, “Plan your work, then work your plan.”

Those who write things down are more successful, so make the most efficient use of your time by planning the work you’ll do rather than reacting to fire drills and sporadic tasks.

2. Prioritize

Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion uses a simple prioritization method to make sure he uses his time as efficiently as possible. For the content you’ve planned, rank it all from 1 to 3.

A 1 rank means the content may bring inbound traffic, but may not convert. A 3 is the best; a project that will definitely help you increase sales and leads. Work on your 3 ranked projects first.

3. Dissect

Atul Gawande, author of The Checklist Manifesto, suggests creating checklists for larger projects helps you make sure nothing gets missed. You’ll cross your Ts and dot your Is while breaking a large, intimidating project into smaller, achievable tasks.

4. Eliminate

There’s a concept in the startup world called the minimum viable project. It suggests that you can publish content quickly by removing unnecessary—possibly overzealous—tasks from your checklist.

5. Create

At CoSchedule, we’ve found starting with content outlines helps you plan your topic more effectively, stay on point more consistently, and ultimately write faster.

6. Optimize

Improve what you’ve written with keywords to help your audience find your content when they need it. Add strong visuals to get 94% more page views. Optimize to make the most out of the time you invest into your content creation process.

7. Publish

As Seth Godin writes in Poke the Box, “If you don’t ship, you actually haven’t started anything at all. At some point, your work has to intersect with the market. At some point, you need feedback as to whether or not it worked. Otherwise, it’s merely a hobby.”

8. Share

Automate your social media posting schedule with a tool like CoSchedule or even outsource it to a virtual assistant to spend less time sharing your content. Just make sure to promote the work you’ve produced to help your audience find it.

9. Retro

Part of building your skill involves continuous improvement. After you publish, ask yourself what went well, what went wrong, and what you can improve next time.

10. Commit

An easy way to commit to publishing more content consistently is to use a marketing calendar.

As Joe Pulizzi from Content Marketing Institute says, “One thing is certain: If you don’t keep an editorial/content calendar, the content doesn’t get done.”

Now You Know How To Publish More Content Faster Than Ever

You’ve got this! Start, commit to honing your content creation process, build consistent habits, and let ‘er rip.

Nathan ElleringNathan Ellering is the content marketing lead at CoSchedule, the marketing calendar for everything.

6 Web Design Tips to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

6 Web Design Tips to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit Pixabay

After putting a ton of thought into your sales offers, it can be disheartening to have customers abandon the shopping cart at the point of sale. However, the problem might not be in your offerings, but instead in your web design. To improve your conversion rate and avoid high cart abandonment statistics on your site, adopt some of these best practices in your web design.

6 Tips to Improve Your Shopping Cart Closings

To understand what is going on with high shopping cart abandonment statistics, you will need to do a little investigative work. However, the work can also apply to your online business marketing strategies, thus serving a double function. To understand what is working in your small business web design and what is derailing, try looking at these six possibilities:

  1. Predicting Customer Behavior – Your web design should enable a potential buyer to close the sale, however, sometimes the funnel isn’t flowing smoothly either because of slow load times on specific pages or broken links. By reviewing Google Analytics reporting, you get a bird’s eye view of what happened right before a customer abandoned the site or shopping cart. If they spent too much time on a page, it could be it wasn’t loading quickly. If they hit a broken link, they may have gotten frustrated and abandoned the site completely. Try to identify what pages they visited and what happened prior to the issue so that you know how to predict future behavior with your shopping cart abandonment solutions to improve the web design.
  1. Registration IssuesMaybe the problem isn’t in the shopping cart itself, but in the registration process to get to the shopping cart. E-commerce sites that force registration can often frustrate buyers that don’t want to give out personal details before they’ve decided to buy. The shopping cart should still be available for them to be able to add and remove items and see how your deals stack up. Don’t make them register with all their full details until absolutely necessary and they won’t hit a roadblock that makes them want to quit the process early.
  1. No Visible Progress Indicators – A customer who is going through the shopping cart process wants to know how much longer before they’re done. Add a progress indicator and break down the shopping cart experience into quantified steps that they can follow. This way, they aren’t left wondering if they have time to finish the buy before they have to pick up their kid or finish their lunch at work.
  1. Limited Ability to Make and Save Changes – The shopping cart should be easily changed for picky buyers who are dropping items or adding them as they go along. If the reload times take too long or the changes are not saved, a customer is likely to abandon the cart because it’s not easy to work with as they change their mind during shopping. If a customer leaves the site and comes back later, they want to see the same items they had before in the shopping cart in their first visit, instead of requiring them to enter them again.
    6 Web Design Tips to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment - Duct Tape Marketingccc

    photo credit Pexels

  1. Web Content and Features That Reassure Customers – Even though more and more people are becoming comfortable with online buying, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to prove your worth or provide evidence that you are safe to do business with online. Small business web design, in particular, needs to show they are as security conscious as the big guys by advertising VeriSign logos on their pages or creating a page of testimonials of good shopping experiences. If your shopping cart has a way for people to review their purchases, it can help spur sales. People want to avoid buyer’s remorse for deals that got away because they were too slow to snatch them up. Offer price guarantees and detail the types of warranties available with a purchase.
  1. Pinpoint Errors at Checkout – If a customer makes an error in paying, you don’t want the cart to start over. Instead, the system should know which fields are causing the errors and highlight them so that the customer can make the needed corrections and the payment process can continue unhindered. Another way to avoid errors is to automatically fill in fields, like zip codes, and use drop-down lists for states. Bad coupon codes can also cause errors and should give a message to the customer if the coupon is expired or invalid, so they aren’t left wondering what’s wrong with the cart. As always, provide other options for purchasing on your website, like a chat window or phone number, in the event that someone does have an issue you aren’t aware of and still wants to make the purchase by going another route.

What Works in Web Design

Online business marketing strategies that improve transparency will also reduce shopping cart abandonment. If you keep the customer informed of the buying process and offer as many payment options as possible, you can increase your sales dramatically because you appear more genuine and trustworthy. Check Google Analytics reporting to pinpoint bottlenecks and eliminate them. Reduce the need for excessive registration details and understand the types of behavior that lead to shopping cart abandonment so that you can address them fully in your small business web design.

Riya Sander

Riya Sander is now working in a position of marketing supervisor for Web123, one of the fast-growing web design companies in Australia. She holds a bachelor’s of Business Administration(Marketing). Apart from her marketing expertise, she always enjoys reading, cooking, pocketbooks and playing with her cat on weekends. Twitter.