Time to hit the beach!

Marketing Mix Monthly Roundup – June

Summer heat is here, fireworks are Time to hit the beach!coming – so take a cool break to read the June Marketing Mix roundup!

In doing the recap for great reads from the month of June, I noticed a bit of a theme in what I picked out to share. . .

Tools

Tools for your marketing tool kit

Infographics + visual help, analyzing and building your website, social media, and other items to stock in your tool kit!

 

Firepole Marketing – 6/24/14: ‘ Create your own infographics with these awesome free and low-cost tools’

Infographics are a great part of a content marketing plan – and people still love to share them. Plus, #s and stats are just easier to read in nice, neat, colorful images!

Another reason, some research says we remember 80% of what we see vs. 20% of what we read – so get infograph-ing!

What can you turn into an infographic?

Just about any factual material! Statistics, original or other research, numbers into graphs, charts or diagrams – show off things like demographics of your users or customers, favorite things they do. Maybe it’s most popular genres checked out of the library this month or  most requested DVDs.

Graph out events, milestones, or key dates (they can be your own key dates or something cool in your industry) on a timeline

Break up text with cartoons, text boxes, word bubbles or stickers.
Show a process in a flow chart, animation or doodle it with boxes, arrows and lines.

If you can say it, you can probably ‘draw’ it.

Tools recommended:

  • Infogr.am – free and easy to use, able to upload spreadsheets right to tool; basic templates included (more w/ paid ver); good for beginners
  • CanvaI personally LOVE Canva and have been a beta tester for
    Made in Canva - my stock photo, their design

    Made in Canva – my stock photo, their design

    months. It’s so much more than an infographic tool – if you need super slick, creative, awesome graphics of any kind for your business or organization – check it out. Plus, it has hundreds of templates, social media size ready formats, free graphics and a giant library of stock photos for $1 ea. [Also check out their interactive design tutorials – walking you through the tool plus useful design tips + best practices]

  • Piktochart – upload spreadsheets or data, plus colorful templates – but only 7 basic themes in free ver, tons more in the paid versions. This is the option for businesses or org’s with a bit more of a budget and need for higher resolution and more formats.
  • Visual.ly – a ‘community’ tool – create your own and share, see the millions of other users’ designs, use filters to see what’s there and even has a match-making option for those creating infographics and those needing to buy infographics.
  • Visme.co – for infographics, presentations, demos, animations, ads and most other graphics needs. Lots of templates, fonts and themes plus pulls in free images from Flikr. Free, basic version for up to 3 projects + the Visme brand is stuck on them. Have to pay to get all the charts, themes, widgets, support and no branding from Visme. [Pretty cheap monthly options] Newer tool – less known.

KISSMetrics – 6/23/14: ‘ 7 Free SEO Tools You Should Be Using’

Some are well known (Google), some more pro centered and yes, one is from the site’s owner (QuickSprout from Neil Patel). I’m personally a using a few of the Google tools, but not to their full power – so much to learn. If you know of others – send along the info!

  • Google Analytics – every site owner or blogger, large or small probably needs a Google Analytics account. Doesn’t mean we’ll use all the high-powered features (or not right away), but start out right.
  • Google Webmaster Tools – even if ‘webmaster’ isn’t your official title, (or even one of the umpteen hats you regularly wear in your own business), this is helpful. Start with regularly checking out your site’s dashboard. More info at this Webmaster tutorial.
  • Google Keyword Planner – what replaced the important Keyword Tool, and pretty much one of the only ways to do keyword research inside/with/around Google. You need to create a free Adwords account to access it (don’t worry – you never have to actually create an ad campaign if you don’t want to). KISSMetrics has a nice tutorial on using the Keyword Planner.
  • MozBar – helps you know what you’re looking at and looking for. Get quick glance stats of any site, because this is a toolbar button that sits in your browser, always ready to go. Check out how other sites are doing things so you can learn and apply back to your own site. Or use it for competitive research and analysis.
  • SEOWorkers Analysis Tool – plug in ANY URL (right, doesn’t have to be your own) and get a report. Quick, detailed, background info + pointers. It tells you if there elements on a site that it thinks need work – so it’s a tool that teaches as it shows you. That’s awesome!
  • WooRank – not just a ‘freemium’ tool (one that gives a little bit away in hopes of getting info or $ from you for more info). Analyzes websites and gives some good insights – but also has a tendency to be completely wrong about some sites and features. Geodata is nice touch, but the social sharing info all in 1 place is the real reason to give this a try.
  • QuickSprout – Patel (he’s behind KISSMetrics too) has a nice, free web analyzer with a very clean visual layout. Think infographic for website data. QuickSprout and its blog also give lots of in-depth tips, tutorials and resources on all things related to websites – traffic, SEO, content creation, blogging, conversion, copywriting, social media, etc. He puts out very detailed guides on many of those topics – check the sidebar of the blog.

Social Media Marketing tips –

Business News Daily – 6/24/14: ‘Twitter Marketing- 4 ways to engage customers’

Love that another article mentions the first thing you need to do is have a strategy! Yes.  Don’t just rush off to tweet, pin, like or share indiscriminately . You’ll run yourself, your team or your organization ragged and not know if you have anything to show for it.

Their top tip is one I see lots of folks on Twitter ignoring or forgetting about – especially since the move to new, larger graphics on profiles – incomplete profiles.

Twitter Profiles with missing header image

Protecting the innocent – beware the missing header images!

Take a few minutes, even if it’s to grab a cool stock photo, public domain image or one from your own stream and tweak it in PowerPoint (yeah, you can and it’s easy) and get it the right size for the new Twitter header.  Please don’t leave a big blank, colored box up there. It’s as bad as still being a silly colored egg-head. Don’t forget your org’s URLs, location and keywords.

Now, on to strategy – is it to increase awareness of your org? of a program, offering, product or service from your org? Are you using Twitter for customer service and engagement – to get feedback, testimonials, cool stories and help them?

What’s your purpose on social media – and stick with it.

Twitter (and any social media) is just another part of a larger marketing plan for your org. Right? You have an overall plan, of course.

Don’t forget to use one or more of the many free social media monitoring and tracking tools to know how it’s going for you on Twitter, or any other platform. Klout, HootSuite, Sprout Social, and Twitter’s own Analytics can all help in some way to look at reach, influence, demographics and behavior of your social audience.

PR

Google has been taking a bit of aim at press releases with its animal-themed updates of the last few years – mainly at the kind of spammy, shoot-em-out-anywhere-and-everywhere, link-loaded releases that were designed primarily to boost traffic and links back to a site.

There’s still value in a well-crafted release that tells a story and helps the media do their job in telling a story that their audience will want to read about/hear/watch.

The Publicity Hound [ no, we’re not actually related!] has some tips on navigating this newer world of PR and releases on the web.

And finally, one last comment on content marketing, blogging and of course – strategy!

Jeff Bullas – 6/30/14: How to use a blog as the cornerstone of content marketing

Best line = ‘content marketing doesn’t start with content, it needs a plan’

Thankfully he lists ‘strategy’ first!

He also does a nice job showing how to figure out a connection between goals and content, using the example of a blog as a lead generation tool. You can’t just keep throwing ‘content’ out there willy-nilly and hoping something magical happens.

Which we’re probably all a bit guilty of.

2nd best line = ‘You are not blogging to make money. You are blogging to be a resource to your clients and prospects. This means helping them whenever possible.”

And really, that’s the whole mantra or point of Content Marketing – useful, helpful content that your audience wants and needs. You give it to them and become their hero and preferred, go-to source. THEN you can get them to help you out – through donations, giving you an email address, visiting your store or restaurant, buying your course or coming to your event.

Go enjoy your summer time, especially if you’re enjoying a 4th of July holiday weekend!
Fireworks for the 4th

Fireworks from a Florida 4th. © J.E. Burke

About the Author Jennifer Burke

I want all of my solopreneur pals to feel confident and mighty in their marketing - sharing what makes their work special and so vital to their clients. No B.S. or fluff here. I do the digging and research for you, translate "marketing-ese" into simpler terms, and help you avoid marketing headaches.

follow me on:
>
mighty marketing mojo top 10 social tools
Jennifer E Burke

Hi, I'm Jennifer.

​Discover few of my fave tools to ​save time and make social media ​work smarter for your solopreneur biz marketing.

​Signing up means you get emails from me with marketing tips, tools, and special offers. I never spam. You can check out our terms