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4 free time saving tools that will make your CFO scream with delight

4 free time saving tools that will make your CFO scream with delight Lloyd

In a follow up to our strategies for the time poor marketer post we’re going deeper into the 4 tools we swear by to keep our sanity and hair.

If you are like us and don’t know how to make more time, then these tools will help you do more, keep on task and automate the repetition in your daily workflow. They are amazingly useful, powerful and FREE.

 

4 awesome marketing tools that will make getting things done easier and faster

 

Trello

What is it?

It’s a project management tool or as we like to call it the first thing we put in our bag before we are deserted on a island for a month. In Trello’s words their boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritise your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way. If you are working with an internal or external team you can set your to do list, order it, upload files, ask questions, have discussions and almost anything that would feel natural as part of a project.

 

trello-the-super-project-tool

 

Benefits

  • Information at a glance
  • Set up unique teams for different projects
  • Integrate with a range of other services
  • Apps for mobile devices so you can see updates as they happen

Best bit

  • It allows you to keep projects together with ease for yourself and any collaborators

 

Canva

What is it?

It’s a design tool with easy to use features that anyone can use to create engaging visual content. It’s a browser based tool that gives you a ton of design elements and pre made layouts to lift the non designer into the world of “this looks good”.

 

canva-makes-your-designs-come-to-live

 

Benefits

  • Drag and drop interface
  • A ton of pre-made layouts and design elements
  • Millions of images
  • Photo filters
  • Icons, shapes and fonts by the boatload
  • A design school

Best bit

  • It only takes 23 seconds to learn!

 

Buffer

What is it?

In Buffer’s words their app is social media management for marketers and agencies. They let you schedule social media posts for the big social platforms from one central location. So if you need to start pushing a promotion on a specific date Buffer lets you get ready in advance.

buffer

Benefits

  • Schedule posts for later
  • A clean user interface that makes composing your social media updates easy
  • Manage multiple accounts in one place

Best bit

  • A browser plugin that lets you easily share the web page you are looking at

 

IFTTT

What is it?

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a web based service that creates automated actions based on the conditions you set. For example you could create an IFTTT recipe to save all images you are mentioned in on instagram to dropbox. If you are a cafe or restaurant and customers are constantly snapping pics of your amazing food this would be very useful.

There are many thousands of options that you can use. You can even make your hue lights turn blue when it rains.

 

ifttt

 

The benefit and best bit

  • IFTTT will make all the other smart services you use even better.

 

Those are some of the tools that we use. How about you? Let us know in the comments.

4 cost effective tactics for tiny marketing budgets

4 cost effective tactics for tiny marketing budgets Lloyd

Is your marketing budget so small that borrowing from petty cash feels like a good idea? We’ve felt that pain. What if you could start implementing tactics right now that wouldn’t cost a bomb and even produce results to be proud of? Our recommendations below outline our favourite budget friendly marketing tactics. We’ve included key details and our own pro tip — to get you on the right path.

 

Tactics for the cash strapped marketing budget

 

DIY Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is the focus of improving your organic (non paid) search engine results, i.e. getting them closer to the front of the results list. If people are searching for information about products and services you provide then having a programme to work on your search performance makes sense. If your company has long term goals this is the perfect tactic to align with those goals.

 

Investment: Time

Benefits: Improved brand presence online, more organic traffic. You’ll learn a lot about your website and how the web works

Recommended resources: The moz.com beginners guide to seo, Search Engine Land’s Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors , Buffer’s beginners guide to SEO and our Small Business SEO Guide

Pro Tip: Start with all the things you can. Don’t wait for your website to be perfect before starting with content creation

 

DIY Conversion Rate Optimisation

Conversion optimisation or conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of improving the percentage of people doing the things you want them to do. By working on your CRO, more visitors will start doing the things you want them to do. The work often involves looking at the user journey in their eyes from start to finish, creating a test or hypothesis to improve the journey, conducting the test, adjusting website content, rinse and repeat.

Note: This is an advanced technical field and you’ll need to get a developer or systems admin to help implement the required tools. 

 

Investment: Time and usually a small monthly fee

Benefits: Your website will go from pamphlet to lead / revenue generator

Recommended resources: Unbounce’s Ultimate Guide to Conversion Centered Design

Recommended tools: Optimizely (freemium), Unbounce (from $49), Google Analytics Experiments (Free)

Pro Tip: Your sales team will be able to give you all copy you need to test, from pain points to benefits that sell

 

Content Marketing

Think of content marketing as your own newspaper, writing for your customers and future customers. It allows you to have opinions, break news and position yourself in your industry as a thought leader and authority. Content marketing is a perfect pairing with SEO & CRO.

One of the best examples on the web at the moment is Buffer. Their core business is an app that makes scheduling social media posts easy. Their ‘newspaper‘ helps marketers be better at everything digital by teaching and informing.

 

Investment: A lot of Time

Benefits: Improved quality of content will lead to an improved quality of website visitor

Recommended resources: Hubspot’s content marketing guide, Getting started with the Content Marketing Institute and Marketo’s 100+ page definitive guide to engaging content marketing

Pro Tip: Think holistic and get a range of people (Sales, Tech, Engineers…) contributing to your content pipeline

 

Email marketing

If you need to do more with less, it’s hard to go past email marketing. Some say it’s dead, but in reality it’s more relevant than ever in an increasingly fractured media landscape. If you have a database of customers this is the best channel to send personalised 1 to 1 marketing communications. Daylight is second.

 

Investment: Time

Benefits: High detail of performance metrics as soon as users start clicking

Recommended resources: Vero’s email marketing guide and for inspiration Hubspot’s best campaign examples

Recommended tools: Mailchimp (Freemium), Emma (Free Trial), Constant Contact (Free Trial) and you can start email marketing with us

Pro Tip: Test everything with smaller segments before sending to your entire list

 

A google search for ‘marketing on a budget’ will show you a great number of other options.  What do you use for a cash strapped budget? Let us know in the comment section below 🙂

Google Analytics: Setting up an account

Google Analytics: Setting up an account Lloyd

Google Analytics is a free tool that you can use to track how visitors interact with your website.

It allows you to analyse information about how the visitor arrived on your website, what they did while they were there, if they converted according to a pre-defined goal PLUS offering lots of additional information about the visitors.

A Google Analytics account can be set up for anyone who has a website and would like an analysis of how their website is performing.

 

Following are the steps you need to take to set up your analytics account.

 

Sign up!

sign in

Select Google Analytics from the right hand side menu

select google analytics

Then, it’s pretty quick from there

  1. Select the Admin tab.
  2. Select ‘create new account’ from the drop-down menu in the ACCOUNT column.

create new account

  1. Click Web site or Mobile app.
  2. Under the section called Setting up your Account, enter an Account Name. Google says to “use a specific and descriptive name, so you can easily tell what this account is for when you see the name in the Account list”
  3. Under the section called Setting up your property, enter the Website or App Name. Google advises “if you plan on tracking more than one property in this account, use a specific and descriptive name”
  4. Enter the Web Site URL.

new account

Once you’ve finished selecting all the options, click ‘Get Tracking ID”. And if you ever need it again, you can log into Analytics and go to Admin > Property > Tracking Code

tracking script

The script part is what you put on your website. as Google says “This is the Universal Analytics tracking code for this property. To get all the benefits of Universal Analytics for this property, copy and paste this code into every webpage you want to track.”


your tracking script

Further reading

  1. The absolute beginners guide to Google Analytics via moz.com
  2. A beginners guide to Google Analytics from Kissmetrics