20+ Indispensable Online Marketing Tools

 

Whilst building online businesses one comes across many useful tools…..some being more useful than others. I have selected my favourites, whilst trying to cover several key disciplines…..graphics, management, video, research, photos/images and blog creation.

 

GRAPHICS

 

1.      Create your own logo. You can make a good looking one at FlamingText. But don’t stop there – how about creating your own buttons and small animation? Imagine some killer “Buy Now” buttons on your sales page that you created yourself? You simply pick the style you like and add your text.

 

2.      Free online graphics editor. You no longer need the Adobe PhotoShop or MS Paint to do your graphic work. Pixlr contains all of your basic photo and image editing tools. Use Pixlr to create header images or make funky manipulations from stock photos you want to add to your product.

 

3.      Design your own ecover. MyEcoverMaker has about 40 designs for you to customize to create your own professional-looking product covers. You can create covers for reports, ebooks, CD/DVDs and membership cards. The site provides you with 100s of free graphics and backgrounds to build the right design for your product. There is a free account, which is somewhat misleading. It’s more of a pay-as-you-go service where you can sign up and play around for free, but you have to pay about $4 to download your ecover.

 

4.      Paint creativelyArtweaver lets you paint creatively with the help of a huge range of painting tools. You can create sketches from photos or just experiment with colors. For professional users, Artweaver Plus offers layers, group layers and support for the PSD file format. It is also possible to load and run Photoshop compatible filters.

 

5.      Explore, create and share colour themes Adobe Kuler generates colour schemes which can inspire any project. No matter what you’re creating you can experiment quickly with colour variations and browse thousands of themes.

 

MANAGE YOUR ACTIVITY ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES

 

 6.      Hoote Suite and Hootlet Improve productivity by managing all of your social networks within HootSuite. The dashboard is designed for you and your team to listen, engage and measure all messages from one simple interface. Hootlet takes the URL you’re viewing and pops it into a message, ready to share across Twitter, Facebook and our other favorite social networks. No need to leave the web page! Hootlet now includes AutoSchedule, which determines the optimal posting times for you to efficiently queue up scheduled messages.

 

7.      Buffer – a smarter way to share. Easily add great articles, pictures and videos to your Buffer and they are automatically shared for you through the day!

 

8.      TweetDeck Want to stay in instant contact with your contacts on Twitter and Facebook….then TweetDeck is the answer.This personal browser shows you everything you want to see across a single screen enabling you to stay organized and up to date.

 

9.      Tracking

 

Tracking your ads with TE Toolbox enables you to make informed choices on how to spend your advertising budget. You can waste a load of money if you are investing in ads which are performing poorly compared to other sites. You can assess the effectiveness of your page by split testing.

 

VIDEO

 

10.   Camtasia A picture speaks a thousand words….how true. Why not bite the bullet and record  professional quality videos using Camtasia. You can share them with anyone, on nearly any device – without formal training. Introduce yourself, promote your product or service…..video is the most impactful way of delivering your message.

 

11.   iWowWe –  Use cutting-edge video email for FREE! You can bring your email communications to life using iWowWe. What you communicate in a video is infinitely more powerful than what can be said with the written word.     

 

RESEARCH

 

 12.   Market Samurai a niche market research program. Market Samurai is a cutting edge tool which analyses the profit potential of keywords inside niche markets. No longer do you have to put up with big ‘gaps’ in data and make educated guesses with indirect statistics.

 

 13.   Diigo Enables you to keep track of interesting articles, so that you can retrieve them for inclusion later blog posts. Your own notes can be embedded in the saved content. Diigo supports mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad and Android.

 

 14.   Google Alerts   A great way of keeping abreast of what others are posting in your market niche is setting up some Google Alerts You will be informed by email of recent posts in the specific marketplace you are interested in.

 

15.   Alltop Social media sites are continuously evolving so it can be difficult to keep abreast of new upgrades. However Alltop keeps you right up to date by highlighting new features which otherwise might fly under your radar. No longer do you have to jump from one social media site to another……Alltop delivers the latest news in a single, comprehensive schedule.

 

PHOTOS AND IMAGES

 

16.   Instagram Eye-catching pictures attract the attention of your audience, especially if they stand out and create impact. Why not use Instagram in combination with Flickr to provide images for your articles? Take photos on your phone whilst on the move and upload them to Flickr. Instagram creates images in a square format with a small download size, which works well in blog posts.

 

17.   Photo Pin Looking for that killer photo to take your blog to another level? Then Photo Pin will almost certainly have that image….and it’s free. This tool enables you to search for your image, preview and download it in a wide range of sizes. A great feature of Photo Pin is that it gives you an attribution link in html which you can insert in your WordPress blog. I recently wanted a picture of an eagle in flight. After copying and pasting the image…………

 

Eagle in flight

 

I included this attribution link in my post under the photo…..

 

photo credit: bbroderick86 via photopin cc

 

ENHANCING YOUR BLOG

 

 18.   Optin Skin A postscript (PS) at the end of your post is a proven way of building your list or promoting special offers. The numerous templates offered by Optin Skin able you to create an impactful postscript which is customized with your own style. So when the reader reaches the end of your post they get a reminder to sign up for your free report or get blog updates via email.

 

19.   Podcasting You can form deeper relationships with regular readers of your blog through the power of podcasting. Reading a blog is one thing…..listening to you reinforce the key elements of your blog is something else….another of the reader’s senses is brought into play, which can be an extremely powerful marketing weapon in your armoury.

 

20.   Themes There are many themes that will enhance your blog, but the one used in this blog is called Socrates . Although there is a modest financial investment it is great value for money

 

I will be adding new tools to this list, so please subscribe to my blog (See right hand sidebar) and you will receive regular updates.

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Google+…. Mix In The Right Circles!

Google+So why should you use Google+?

Here are just a few reasons…..

  • Google+ is a great place to market your product or service, as it is packed full of excellent content, which attracts a large targeted audience.
  • You will find that people are much more receptive to your approaches than on other social media networks.
  • The concept of ‘Circles’ enables you to connect and network with like minded people far more easily than on other social media sites.
  • Google looks favourably on you if you are active on Google+, which helps your quest to rank high on Google.

So where do you start? The key is to define your audience. 

Who will be interested in your content? 

What age range are you targeting? 

Where does your target audience live?

 Write down headings which define the subjects you will be covering.

Once you have defined your audience you must reach out to them.

Hashtags enable you to search for people who will be interested in your offering.

Engage with people……add them to your circles and more often than not they will add you back.

You can categorize your followers and place them in a circle which reflects their interests. If you are selling a number of products, then placing prospects in a relevant circle is a powerful way of targeting potential customers.

Circloscope is a great tool for managing your circles.

Building a targeted audience requires a lot of hard work but it will pay off in the end.

Another powerful tool in your armoury is the ‘Whats Hot’ button. This facility enables you to keep abreast of current trends and therefore to identify and promote products which your customers can’t wait to get their hands on.

There is no better way of marketing a product than by talking directly to the customer. ‘Hangouts’ enable you to chat to 10 people, whilst having an unlimited, live audience looking in. I hope this introduction to Google+ wets your appetite….good luck with your ventures.

Don’t forget to request your free ebook ’20 Ways to Supplement Retirement Income’  by completing the subscription form in the right hand sidebar

 

 

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Are You Really As Old As You Feel?

Elderly couple....So when did you suddenly realise that old age is creeping up on you?

Here are a few experiences you may wish to forget!

You discover that your birthday cake is too small to take all of those candles………or even worse the candles have cost you more than the cake itself!

Your last visit to the surgery was truly shocking…the doctor looked younger than your grandson.

You prefer watching a re-run of the ‘The Good Life’ rather than sit through two excruciating hours of the ‘X-Factor’.

You find that the number of age related benefits you are receiving exceeds the days of the week…..Bus Pass, Free TV Licence, Free Prescriptions, Free Eye Test, State Pension, Winter Fuel Allowance, Christmas Bonus, Senior Railcard. Are you receiving all of these? There is information about each one at the end of this post.

You are offered a seat on a train by this young adonis…….and it’s not because you are pregnant!

As your hair falls out you are faced with a huge dilemma. Do you cover up your baldness with a wig or hair transplant….or do you have all of your remaining hair shaved off and return to being a skinhead?

Cup of teaYou become so obsessed with getting your card stamped at your local garden centre to earn a free coffee, that you don’t realise that the cost of travelling there is equivalent to three coffees.

You’re on first name terms with your chiropractor, osteopath and chiropodist, who are all on your speed dial just in case. In fact things have got so bad that everything hurts and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t work.

You always feel like the morning after and you haven’t been anywhere.

You’re totally confused by all those fancy computer terms……..in your book…

  • Bandwidth refers to your waist size….not the difference between two frequencies

  • Cookies are the nibbles you have with your tea at the WI….not a piece of computer data about you

  • Hot Spot is your favourite resort on the Costa del Sol….not where you can get a wi-fi connection

  • Eye Candy is the blonde on the beach you still dream about…..not eye catching graphics on a website

  • Plug and Play is…well I’ll leave this to your imagination…..you certainly don’t consider it to be hardware that requires to identify itself on demand

  • Surfing is playing in the surf….not browsing the internet

and the final insult is when you go out to a restaurant and you sink your teeth into a steak…and they stay there!

Here are the links to the free benefits I mentioned earlier….

Bus Pass

TV Licence

Prescriptions

Eye Test

State Pension

Winter Fuel Allowance

Christmas Bonus

Senior Railcard

Don’t forget to request your free ebook ’20 Ways to Supplement Retirement Income’  by completing the subscription form in the right hand sidebar

 

 

 

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Generate An Avalanche Of Traffic Using Twitter

singing-birdTwitter is a great way of building a steady flow of traffic to your website. An odd tweet now and again is useless, you will have to post a large number of targeted tweets to achieve worthwhile results…….but beware of spamming.

Twitter’s User Agreement defines what they consider to be spam. It would be wise for you to read the Agreement before embarking on a campaign. Sending the same tweet repeatedly would obviously be extremely foolish and would certainly result in a ban. However you can alter the wording of a tweet and change the image, whilst retaining the original link.

The Content Idea Generator feeds you with ideas for content which you had never dreamt of.

Buffer is a powerful program, which enables you to send innumerable tweets spread over a pre-defined period. They offer a free version, or you can use their upgraded software, free, for 30 days.

So lets see how Buffer works. Once you have registered, click on ‘Schedule’. Set your time zone and choose between a 12 or 24 hour clock.

You will need to promote a minimum of 20 WordPress posts to maximise the benefits of Buffer.

For example, you can spread your 20 tweets, promoting different posts, over 10 hours at a rate of a tweet every 30 minutes.

By clicking on ‘Content’ –> ‘Calendar’ you will see a graphic of the times when your tweets will be sent.

Now click on ‘Lists’. Write your tweets in the blank fields and attach relevant images. They will be stacked in a queue ready to be posted according to your schedule.

‘Analytics’ enables you to check on the performance of your tweets and you can also re-post your tweets using ‘Re-Buffer’.

As well as Buffer, there are several other tools, which help you to get the best out of Twitter. Here are some of my favourites starting with Tweetdeck It generates a rolling overview of the activity in your Twitter accounts in real time.

Once you have linked your Twitter account to Tweetdeck, you can choose which headings you would like to appear on your homepage. I selected Home, Notifications, Messages and Activity. However there are other headings, such as @Mentions, Lists, Likes, Followers, Trending, Scheduled, Search and Collections.

You will receive valuable information relating to these subjects as it happens. The Tweetdeck platform also allows you to send tweets and direct messages, as well as to add images and to schedule tweets.

YouTube has a range of tutorials on how to operate Tweetdeck.

Hootsuite locates interesting content and enables you to share it automatically. Other facilities include……

  • Scheduling of a large number of posts

  • The ‘Suggestions’ facility identifies relevant content

  • The messages you have scheduled for the coming weeks are displayed in a calendar format 

Here are the links to several other useful tools……..

AgoraPulse – a social media engagement manager

missinglettr – enables you to drip market your posts on Twitter for months ahead

IFTTT – Lets you know which of your websites are mentioned on Twitter

Friends + Me    – Reposts your content to other social media networks

I hope you have great success building your traffic volumes with Twitter…best of luck

Don’t forget to request your free ebook ’20 Ways to Supplement Retirement Income’  by completing the subscription form in the right hand sidebar

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Tweeting and Managing Your Twitter Account

Twitter is rapidly becoming one of the most powerful  marketing platforms on the web. 

singing-bird

This post covers ways of composing a tweet for marketing  purposes and the best way to manage your Twitter  account.

Tweeting 

There are two steps to tweeting……firstly writing the tweet  and  secondly managing the followers who receive your tweets.

Before you even start to write your tweet you must identify your target audience.

The following post shows you how to drill down to people interested in your product or service.

Now you have to target your tweets at the group of people whom you have identified as being interested.

Your tweets should introduce them to content from which they derive real benefits.

Once you have generated an audience for your tweets, you should maintain their interest by commenting on their tweets. They will also appreciate your support when you retweet their tweets. They will often return the favour.

You must keep your list of followers up to date by unfollowing followers who have been inactive for more than thirty days. Concentrate on following people who are tweeting every day. There is a tool called ManageFlitter which identifies people with certain characteristics….more on ManageFlitter a little later.

Writing Your Tweet

A promotional tweet is composed of four parts…..

  • Your message about 75 characters

  • Hashtags about 20 characters

  • Product link about 20 characters

  • An image about 25 characters

The maximum number of characters you can use in a tweet is 140.

Your Message

Your visitors will be asking themselves the following questions when they read your tweet.

  • What is being promised?

  • Is the content going to be relevant to me?

  • What’s in it for me?

  • Is it worth my time and effort?

These questions should be addressed through the wording of your tweet.

This article shows you how to write effective headlines.

Hashtags

Putting a hashtag symbol in front of a keyword enables people to find your tweet when they carry out a search using that keyword.

A quick and easy way to find relevant hashtags is for you to carry out a search on Twitter on an appropriate keyword.

Twitter will then present you with a number of tweets, which will include hashtags targeting your marketplace. Use the best of these hashtags in your own tweets.

Here is an article which shows you how to get retweets using hashtags.

Product Link

To reduce the number of characters you use in your tweet, you can shorten the length of your promotional URL using https://bitly.com

The visitor should be directed to a landing page with a strong call to action such as ‘Receive My Free ebook’ or ‘Subscribe To My Blog’.

Images

Using strong images generates more response.

This article shows you how to source free images….

Managing Your Account

Don’t allow dead wood to build up in your list of followers.

ManageFlitter prepares lists of people you follow, which are grouped into a number of categories.

For example

  • People whom you are following who don’t follow you back

  • People who have not bothered to include an image in their profile

  • People who use a foreign language to write their tweets

…..and so on

You can unfollow the people on these lists using ManageFlitter in the following way..

  • Click Search—>Account Search—>Refine

  • ‘All fields’ should be left empty

  • Complete the remaining fields as appropriate

  • Select ‘Only active accounts’

  • Complete ‘Followers 100 minimum 5000 maximum’

  • Click ‘Find People’

Unfollow these people.

I hope you have found my post useful……Happy Tweeting

Don’t forget to request your free ebook ’20 Ways to Supplement Retirement Income’  by completing the subscription form in the right hand sidebar

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