Four Foolproof Newsletter Tools for Marketers

When we speak of newsletters, we know that they are going to provide us with some really interesting information on the topic of our interests. As a content marketer, to create an effective e-newsletter is of prime importance for us. The initial days of publication and sending leaflets are outdated with everything available on the web. I’ve gathered four amazing web based newsletter tools that can come to your rescue in the plight of creating and effectively placing your personalized newsletters.

1. Mailigen

Mailigen claims that they are on a mission to make marketing software easy to use. Their drag and drop email template editor allows you to create and send newsletters with set design templates which can be customized easily. It gives you a constant full view of the toolbar whenever you are editing in an email. It makes use of the drag and drop feature to add images and change styles or blocks in the writing styles and inserting columns. It also allows you to provide social networking buttons such as Facebook, Twitter, etc, which makes is more likely for your subscribers to share your campaigns with others.

Easy drag and drop template editor makes it easy to create and share newsletters!

Key Features:

  1. Create newsletters, surveys, signup forms and more.
  2. Provide social networking buttons for further reach.
  3. Generate real time performance reports.
  4. Integrated with Google Analytics.
  5. More than 130 templates to choose from.
  6. Create auto-responders – Every time you get a new subscriber, Mailigen will send an automated newsletter programmed by you to the recipient.

2. LetterPop

LetterPop has the amazing ability to make creation of a newsletter as enjoyable as it is easy to create them. Attach images with the drag and drop feature and upload new ones at the click of a button. Choose from more than 300 templates and work your way into the world of creativity with what looks best to your eyes. With individual plans ranging from $4.95 per annum to Business Plans starting from $48.98 monthly, users have a variety of options to choose from.
More More than 300 exciting templates to choose from!

Key Features:

  1. Templates that can be chosen with the drag and drop feature where content and images can be personalized.
  2. Faster editing options.
  3. Upload pictures from your Flickr and Facebook accounts as well.
  4. Ability to bulk import contacts from gmail accounts.
  5. Publish it or keep it private. Share it on your social accounts effortlessly.

As As simple as THAT!

 3. MadMimi

MadMimi is one of the easiest way to create, share, send and track email newsletters online. Free of cost, the tool supports easy integration and helps create professional looking, impressive newsletter.

Newsletters Newsletters created at MadMimi

Key Features:

  1. Provides a user friendly interface and thoughtful theme design approach to create great design templates.
  2. With themes and modules, it provides a streamlined approach for its users and helps them use only what they need.
  3. Themes created can be saved and cloned thus eliminating work repetition.
  4. The ability to create themes or choose from among the 35 theme templates.
  5. Social networking buttons can be inserted.
  6. Emails can be scheduled.
  7. HTML tags can be added for customization.
  8. Lists and contacts can be exported and imported.

4. MailChimp

MailChimp allows you to design email newsletters of your choice, design your own logo and pictures making them look different and identifiable by your customers. The free edition supports 1000 subscribers and more than 5000 emails can be sent in a month. Emails can also be created using HTML tags making them look as professional as you want them to. It provides professional header graphics and color pallets to customize your news letter. Like other tools, MailChimp also provides a detailed report regarding the emails sent.

templates

Key Features:

  • With subscriber profiles, users can keep their contacts in one place and get detailed insights about individual engagement and website activity.

Stay Stay Updated!

  • Add notes either on one-to-one conversation either on desktop or on mobile, thereby knowing who your real customers are.
  • MailChimp has a suit of mobile apps that help in being able to make and send posts on the go.

Make Make an impact – ON THE GO!

  • Generate automated triggered emails based on subscriber activity.
  • With With Twitter Tailored Audiences, you can target your subscribers on Twitter and make it easy for them to share your content with other people who have similar interests.
  • Email designer helps add and collaborate campaigns that fit your brand interests.
  • Personalized templates can also be built.
  • MailChimp is integrated with hundreds of apps like Shopify, Eventbrite, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

There are many aspects that are considered while choosing an effective platform for creating and establishing a newsletter tool. Some may want a variety of design templates such as those offered at LetterPop or some may prefer effective integration on the go such as that provided by MailChimp. All said and done, these are the four most effective tools that can help you achieve professional looking email newsletters that can be easily created and shared. They also provide you with suitable followup and generate reports that will allow you to stay updated with your user base and increase your reach.

Bottlenose: A Streamlined Social Dashboard

Website : www.bottlenose.com

About: Bottlenose is a trend intelligence application, or a social app/dashboard that allows its users to create business intelligence out of the clutter of social noise in Twitter, Facebook and so on. Simply put, it creates a streamlined access for its users to read only what is relevant to them and avoid all the other clutter. Works with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, to name a few!

Price: Free

In the current social world, there is data everywhere and for a person who needs to analyze them, without the help of an effective ‘sorting’ tool, it can take ages to lay hands upon the what is most relevant. It’s sonar streamline feature that not only alters the data based on the interest of the user, but also portrays it in a pattern that is easily understood and can be detailed when desired. Bottlenose identifies topics of your interest through your social feeds, social likes, etc and tags what is important based on these likes and displays them, also allowing you to toggle between topics and add more topics based on your preferences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHuTbxcsPoU

Key Features

For those who tend to get access to as much meaningful data as possible is the target group of Bottlenose that excels in providing real actionable data. Coming to how effective and efficient it is, let us look at the pointers below.

1. Effective Keyword Search

Whether it is a paid or a free search optimization, it is highly important to know that what is being said about the topics of your interests. Be it Google or Bing’s AdCenter, we can gather an understanding that people’s searches are never the same and every search adds a new keyword. That is where Bottlenose comes into the picture. It ensures that topics and everything that is inter-related to it is made available to the user by way of keywords search.

 2. Refined Hash-Tag Research

Twitter is massive and to create a presence on the right page, it is important to use the most optimal hashtags within your tweets.  It is the keywords search and social listing tools that helps you know which hashtags gives you the maximum visibility. Bottlenose dashboard renders to you a plethora of hashtags relevant for your tweets and also facebook posts, everytime you add a topic.

3. Sentiment Analysis

It is important to write about what interests your viewers. Thus again, Bottlenose comes to respite with its sentiment streamlines analysis that gives you a clear picture of what is really trending. From topics, hashtags, keywords, mentions, etc., that are used most frequently, the user can get a clear picture of what is really in without much hindrance.

Image

4. Sonar Solo

This feature of Bottlenose gives a glimpse of everything that is trending with the help of simple keywords and hashtags that are inter-related to one another. With a simple input into the search bar, the user gets access to everything that is going on related to that field in real time.

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5. Automated Trend Alerts

Bottlenose’s StreamSense analyses more than 3 billion messages, filters out all the clutter and displays an array of emerging topics, people, and content, thereby making trend discovery simple. The latest developments and trends are delivered at the users inbox.

Judging the Opacity

Bottlenose is your virtual analyst on cloud. It automatically spots trends, discovers patterns and tracks perception as it changes. The two types of views, sonar and newspaper give a radar like view or a detailed newspaper like view to the user based on their convenience and time availability. It provides the ability to compare brand performance and give an analysis based on sentiment analysis on various brands, campaign or topic.

Get Get the larger picture!

1. New Trend Alerts:

Bottlenose quotes \”Get alerted when new trends emerge and when there is a burst of activity. See when a crisis spikes, peaks and drops. Track engagement, sentiment, demographics, psychographics, geography, influencers, topics, links, and more — across all forms of social media simultaneously.\”

A A holistic view to the current emerging trends!

2. Analyse the stream and sentiments:

With bottlenose you can point out the reason why a particular trend is trending the way it is or what is causing the buzz about the latest product.

3.  Judgments based on real-time performances:

See how well you’re performing in real-time. Discover previously unknown trending links, topics and hashtags around your interests to influence real-time marketing campaigns and promoted keyword buys.

4. Discover:

Discover what is trending and what is in news. having a personal virtual analyst team working with you 24/7.

To say it in their words –

Everyone has an opinion and something to say, often on many networks simultaneously. Bottlenose is how you make sense of all of the conversations you follow, and the trends they relate to.  Bottlenose is intelligent. Bottlenose is personalized. And If you have a large audience, follow lots of people and interests, or create a lot of social media content — Bottlenose is for you.

Mavenlink – The Online Project Management Tool

 

Website: https://www.mavenlink.com

About: Mavenlink is an online project management software that provides its users access to a streamlined workflow and support that helps them increase productivity. With a set of well established features for collaboration, file sharing, project management and team management, Mavenlink ensures that that its users not just manage projects effectively but also ensure timely and effective business management solutions. With its aim to be one of the most prime online workplace for companies while they engage in businesses with each other, Mavenlink creates an atmosphere that enables effective work environments with timely deliverance.

Pricing Model: After a free trial that is available, Mavenlink can be subscribed for a starting rate of $4 per month.

A tour of the Mavenlink Project Workspace below shows the ease with which a user can collaborate and manage projects and teams and get an instant access to the ongoing workflow and tasks in a dashboard view or Gantt Charts.

Key Features

1. Advanced Project Management

Mavenlink focuses on workforce management programmes by enabling effective collaboration between the teams and groups. Mavenlink centralizes and prioritizes all conversations, activities, tasks, and financials in one convenient location, so you can spend less time organizing and more time growing your business.

  • Activity streams allows viewing of all your projects in one global feed and also individually in project feeds.
  • A centralized dashboard gives an overall view of all the activities.
  • Users have control over their choice of when to receive email updates which can be replied to even when offline.
  • Chrome plug-in turns emails into manageable tasks. To-dos can be assigned to your team members.

Create Create new projects with ease and have a detailed display of all the actions that take place within teams and on your project!

2. Task Management

Tasks can be assigned and prioritized with the drag and drop feature. With the entire workspace visible in an absolute collborative manner, work is simplified. Users can track time and budget, attach files, create sub tasks, all on the go. One of the added highlight of Mavenlink is the fact that it integrates with google tasks. Therefore, you can virtuously sync all your tasks at one location.

3. File Sharing 

File filtering, file history, linking files to tasks and again integrating them with Google Tasks, file management has taken an all new turn here.

file

4. Financial Management 

Manage time and expenses easily as users can input their project based expenses, upload receipts and categorize the accounts.

time Get a bird\’s eye view of all that is happening!

5. Invoicing

Mavenlink allows users to create and link invoices to their projects tasks, deliverables and milestones. Invoices can include fixed fee, time, expenses, etc. Mavenlink is also integrated with Quickbooks, desktop for windows and Quickbooks Online.

Payment capabilities can be embedded with each project which can be made and received via Paypal.

6. Timeline Management

With Gantt Charts, users can create dependencies between tasks and make the most of a comprehensive visual timeline. Know what is prioratized with the critical path tab and make changes effectively. Also track the percentage of completion of a task or project in real time.

Gantt

7. Resource Management

With personnel planning, hours can be allocated to individual team members. With the utilization reporting, you can view how the assigned tasks are being delivered and where do they stand in the schedules. With project job costings, user can compare the exact expenses with the budget that was allocated, there by cutting down extra influences.

Assign Assign hours to your team members and manage collaboratively.

8. Analytics and Reporting

Know exactly how much time and money is spent on each project along with clear status of ever invoice. Know your work in progress down to the task levels and stay on top of visibility in every sphere. Accounts receivable reports provide an overview into what costs are pending on individual projects.

accounts

User Interface (UI)

With a fairly simple and easy to use UI, Mavenlink boasts of creating projects and managing them in a manner that make businesses grow. Be it creating tasks or assigning them to individuals, it is all done with simple and user friendly modes as easy as a click of a button. A highly visual display of all the activities ensures that nothing stands amiss. With effective resource management tools, Mavenlink provides and all encompassing experience at a very reasonable rate.

With the only hitch being that Mavenlink\’s basic plan does not have enough storage space for its users which is sorted with the premier packages, Mavenlink provides it all for its users. With Mavenlink\’s feature of generating custom reports, users can generate reports on any other information as well which are not included in the built in reports.

Kasim

#LastSelfie: WWF’s Brilliant Snapchat Campaign

Social media has become the medium where brands have made it their word of mouth. The latest app, Snapchat developed by Evan Spiegel and Jonathan May, carved way for an engaging campaign created by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) called the #LastSelfie.

#LastSelfie

Snapchat is popular for its photo and video sharing features with a specialty of setting a time limit for the viewing of the same by the sender to the recipient, ranging from 1 to 10 seconds. WWF used SnapChat by sharing ‘selfies’ of many endangered animals such as tigers, polar bears, dolphins and others under the hashtag #LastSelfie. These images lasted for 10 seconds and before they disappeared, users had to either share, donate or adopt the animal or help in any other way which they could. These images cannot be saved and are clicked from real life moments creating emotional impact  in the minds of the viewers.

The idea behind the campaign is simple – the animals are conveying a message to their viewers which says “Don’t let this be my last selfie”. 

In an interview with Click Z, WWF’s communications officer Tugba Ugur said, “Since Snapchat has a limited display of images, you have to take a screenshot in order to save the #LastSelfie. At this point, we ask and expect the images to be shared on Twitter with their quotes.”

Quotes from the campaign includes: “Better take a screenshot. This could be my #LastSelfie” and “In 6 seconds, I’ll be gone forever, but you can still save my kind.”

“The emphasis of this new campaign is to underline that if we don’t take action in real life, these species will disappear for real,” Ugur shared.

The WWF campaign #LastSelfie managed to achieve a donation sufficient for one month in a span of three days. The company made this possible by tapping the core of social media tools. What were the key points that WWF made sure to adopt to make its mark can be understood as below.

1. Creating an Impact

The campaign’s main highlight was to create an awareness among the minds of viewers that these animals needed help or they would go extinct. For this, the company used Snapchat’s photo sharing feature where in real life images of these animals were shared and which disappeared within 10 seconds, post which the image cannot be saved implying on the fact that if we do not act soon enough, they are going to go!

Image

2. Factual Accounts

The campaign ensured that it was true to its words and stated facts about the animals. They gave real life images and videos as examples with an option for the viewer to either share the post on twitter or snapchat, donate or adopt the animal for its well being.

3. Call To Action

Snapchat’s time limit feature was a boon in disguise to the campaign as it literally displayed what the core of the campaign dealt with., that is, act soon enough or it will disappear! The images were viewable for only 10 seconds within which the viewers had to act. Taking an all new spin in the selfie category, pervasive marketing was used to embed the feeling of loss and fleeting urgency if not acted soon enough. There are variant images and videos of animals shared, but all of them hold the same tagline.

Creating

Creating a feeling of urgency with the catchy tagline!

4. Going With What’s Trending

The campaign aimed at capitalizing on the popularity of selfies prevalent in today’s social front. It introduced ‘selfies’ of endangered animals quoting this could be my #LastSelfie”. This kept in tune with the minds of the viewers and made an impact based on what is currently trending in the social marketplace.

5. Emotional Quotient

EQ forms the most prominent tab that holds the first position in the checklist of things to consider before creating a social media campaign. Creating an impact on the emotional sphere in the minds of the viewers is essential and this has been taken care of very well.

6. Choosing The Right Medium

The Snapchat’s disappearing feature adds to the tagline of the campaign #LastSelfie. It creates a notion of urgency which is actually the aim behind the campaign itself – The urgency to act before time laps!

The outcome is definitely the success of the campaign. there are many draw backs to Snapchat as a tool, some like limiting sharing of the picture or video, time limit, inability to save or refer back to the images shred, no archives. These all can contribute to major failure in a campaign. But the nature of the WWF’s campaign was to enable a feeling of urgency and impact that if not acted soon enough these animals would be extinct, it blended beautifully with the features of the tool. The otherwise drawbacks of Snapchat became just what the meaning of the campaign was! In short, it seemed to be a tool tailor made for the campaign #LastSelfie, enhancing every meaning behind the tag line “This could be my last selfie!”

If you are looking for a campaign tracking tool that can track hashtag campaigns like this campaign, across multiple social media platforms, look no further than 20/Twenty.

Which Social Media Platforms Should Your Brand Be On?

The all encompassing social media has got everyone running at a marathon\’s pace to create a presence on the world wide web. With the online marketing cosmos having players such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, LinkedIn to name a few, the dilemma of making the right choice for marketing your product/blog/service is no less complicated than a three year old solving a Rubik\’s Cube.

Why Should You Be Present On Social Media?

  • Create a presence on social media to monitor what’s being said about you
  • Incredible tool for deepening connection with customers
  • Yield larger interest among customers through detailed marketing
  • Faster mode of communication
  • Minimal investment for small and medium scale businesses

With all the social media channels at our disposal, it is not a choice, but now a necessity to make one\’s presence in not one, but all the spheres of the online marketing. The social media channels not only enable way less cash outflow than traditional marketing techniques, but also channelizes our product and services through the right mediums enabling a larger market presence. The choice of the right channel or a multitude of channels however is the smart thing to do, helping you make sure that you are heard. So here\’s a basic checklist for business to determine which social media platforms they should be present and spending their resources on:

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Choosing The Right Platform

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A brand should focus their time and resources on practical social media platforms that work for them. Research has to be done to figure where their target audience is on social media and which platforms are most effective at creating brand awareness and engagement. If your target audience is minimal or non-existent on a particular platform, don’t waste your time on it. Read, research, plan, organize, schedule and make your way mark on social media.

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In the small scale sphere, Wed Me Good,  an online portal that helps you to find wedding inspirations, ideas and the professionals who create dream weddings took to Facebook in the month of February, 2014. In it, you can view gorgeous real weddings and see the vendors they hired, or browse wedding inspirations by color, theme and category. With great content, visuals and links, WedMeGood got itself more than 3,000 likes in a span of two months. This poses as a great example of what benefits you receive while choosing the right platform.

Using More Than 1 Platform

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With a list of social media channels available, it does not come as a surprise when we find other social media brands having accounts on rival social media channels. In August last year, Instagram went offline for over an hour. They eventually took to Twitter to share their technical issue. This was due to the all encompassing presence of these channels making it inevitable for these channels to have accounts with their rivals.

Essentially, choosing the right social media platform is an individualistic choice that varies from business to business. What works for your competitor may not work for your brand. Thorough research and analysis should be done, so that your efforts and resources are not wasted on creating a presence on a social platform that doesn\’t end up working for you brand.

Topsy: A Twitter Search and Analytics Tool

With millions of tweets being posted on Twitter every hour, a free twitter search tool is definitely very handy. Introducing Topsy, which unlike the usual Twitter Search, is a tool that allows marketers to search for tweets from the date of inception of Twitter all the way back from 2007. Similar to 20/Twenty, the social listening tool from Circus Social, Topsy also allows marketers to track their brand on twitter, analyze how content is being shared (whether through links, photos, videos, or plain text), who are the active participants in the tweets, the key influencers and the sentiments over the brand over time. “How do you make sense of 400 billion pieces of content?” said Vipul Ved Prakash, Topsy’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “By ranking it. We do that ranking by looking at how much a particular piece of content is being cited by other people.”

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About: A San Francisco Start up, Topsy is a  Twitter search and analytic tool that helps marketers know their place in the active social media.

Price: Free for the basic Topsy Search, Topsy Pro for a $12000 per user.

Key Features

1. Review All Tweets

One of the basic feature of a twitter search tool, Topsy allows its users to review and analyze all the tweets followed by a domain name, hashtag, or twitter profile name. This can also be done on Twitter search but that would give a glimpse of tweets limited to two or three numbers based on the recent tweets. Topsy, on the other hand would display all the tweets pertaining to the particular search.

I I limited my search to 30 days, i met all 773 tweets from Beta21

2. Who Are Your Influencers?

Knowing who really is interested in you and your business can come very handy for a marketer. The \’Influencers\’ feature of Topsy helps you with just that! Upon clicking the \’influencers\’ tab, you get to see the top influencers of your company or search category. The people who who make the most mentions about you or your search topic. Here, I found the five names that influenced Beta21 in the past 30 days.

The The Influencers!

3. Reviewing Mentions

One of the most beneficial attributes of Topsy, you get access to exactly how many times a person or twitter user had mentioned you in his/her tweets allowing you to know exactly who you are influencing and to what extent. Just search using your username and then the topic. Here below is an example of how many times I mentioned Beta21 in my tweets in the past 30 days!

Know Know your popularity!

4. Know Your Reach

For a Social Media Manager, it is important to know how many people talked about their reviews and articles. That, is made fairly simple by simply adding the domain name of the article on the search index and you get access to the number of tweets your link was mentioned in and how many tweets were influential enough.

Know Know Your Reach!

5. Tracking and Analytics

With Topsy\’s free social analytic tool, you can gather information about the trends the tweets take of one or more domains or twitter profiles. This is a great advantage for knowing the trends and popularity of your profile in the social media.

The The graph shows the number of tweets pertaining to the domain name www.www.circussocial.com/beta21 in a particular period.

Given below is an example of how many times the link www.circussocial.com/beta21 was mentioned on twitter as compared to the profile Beta21.

comparison

The User Interface

Topsy has a fairly simple UI which is as easy as typing the keywords in a search index. “By adding a full historical index, now we can look even further back to the very first tweets 7 years ago, meaning our users have access to the best, most accurate view of the world’s social conversation,” Prakash said in a statement.

Vipud

The New York Times has reported that Topsy, based in San Francisco, has indexed every Twitter message since the first tweet was posted in 2006 — about 425 billion pieces of content, including photos. Topsy\’s free service offers a limited archive, but the pro version unlocks them all for a cost.

What About Their Competitors?

What makes Topsy stand out is the fact that Twitter themselves use the Topsy Analytics for its Twitter Oscars index that tried to predict the winners from many of its twitter chatters. Topsy thus, must definitely be doing something right! Competitors like DataSift and Gnip also offer access to the Twitter archive shared Prakash, although their ability to deliver real-time information is more limited.  Others (likeRadian6) have a large amount of data which anyway are not easy to find. Furthermore, creating reports is too cumbersome there. But with Topsy, report generation takes seconds, not minutes.

Topsy has many benefits. From granting access to every single tweet from the start of twitter, to immediate access to results and multiple ways to analyze data, the Topsy search and analytic tool comes definitely as a boon!

Increase Engagement Through Photo And Video Contests

Brands are on every social media platform imaginable to make their mark, fetching themselves some likes, getting pinned on boards or simply busy sharing an \’inside\’ view of their workplace. However, getting the end user engaged requires a lot of efforts by brands and that can be done via photo and video contests. Analysed below are examples of two popular brands that have successfully created contests to win over their audience and increase engagement.

Skittles: BFF Campaign

Skittles took to social media in 2009 and since creating their Facebook page, they have garnered over 26 million page likes. One of their tactics was to make their page fun and interactive through innovative videos to photo contests, creating an image of themselves as a  \’living entity\’ and \’not\’ just a candy brand.

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Skittles launched a campaign called BFF (Best Fan Forever), early this year. It had fans from all over post a picture of themselves with Skittles on Facebook and be eligible to be featured as a BFF for the week. Pictures poured in thousands and it is still ongoing.

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The Strategy

Online Engagement

Skittles BFF campaign created large levels of consumer engagement where customers not only posted pictures of themselves but made efforts to bring the brand in the larger picture. A free ad campaign by all means!

Cost Effectiveness

Of course, visuals are one of the primary modes of advertisements today and they sure do cost a lot but what Skittles did was extraordinary. It made people talk about it,  for it! The campaign had the brand posed as the \’hero\’ in every entry for the BFF campaign.

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Creating Awareness 

The competitive environment created in the minds of the users would only add to the establishment of the brand further, by word of mouth. Fans made efforts to indulge themselves into getting creative pictures made just to be a part of Skittles photo contest.

Vine Your Disney Side

Disney parks (Disneyland) launched a video contest called \”Vine Your Disney Side\” where fans were invited to send in creative videos that showed how Disney was a part of them – heart and soul! And yes, it worked crazy well. Their daily winners received $1000 and the grand prize winners won a trip to Disneyland along with a prize money of $10,000.

<iframe class=\"vine-embed\" src=\"https://vine.co/v/hgVKIDQ9XzY/embed/simple\" width=\"600\" height=\"600\" frameborder=\"0\"></iframe><script async src=\"//platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"></script>

The Strategy

Brand Awareness 

The contest made people remember the brand for its USP which is enlivening the child in you. People of all ages created and shared videos on Vine that had creativity at its best.

Media Hype

The hashtag #disneyside received all the media hype it could get and is popular all around the globe making this one of Disneyland\’s most popular campaigns.

Cost Effectiveness

One of the most obvious features of creating a video or a photo contest is that you get all the advertising done – by the masses and for the masses – therefore almost zeroing in costs.

Increase Engagement

The #disneyside contest created increased engagement among the followers of the brand. It allowed interactions to grow within the brand and its user in a much more personal level.

Creating Photo And Video Contests

If you\’re thinking for a way to increase your online engagement with audiences, Circus Social\’s plug and play app will do the job for you. Creating photo and video contests allows users to create stories with their customers, thus increasing brand worth and reach. People love stories and get engaged by visuals and what better way than to make them the source of what they say and hear!

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Plug and Play

 The simple view dashboard provides a clean placement of all the apps offered by circussocial.

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Customization

A simple click of a button and some standard information is all it takes to get through to your own personal photo or video contest. Select a theme and customize you contest based on information such as the name of the theme, the prizes, rules and submission information. That and you are ready to go!

Online Engagement

Creating an impact in the minds of the consumer is what today\’s digital marketing environment is all about. With the help of subtle apps such as plug and play apps for your Facebook pages, it is simpler for the marketer to tap the segment they are eyeing on. Making a statement and creating stories via photo and video contests form the \’way\’ today!

ReadingPack: Read, Share and Socialize

Website: ReadingPack

App Download Link: Google Appstore

About: ReadingPack provides you with a streamlined access to discover, save and share articles of your interest, from anywhere within the web. ReadingPack provides you with a reading list based on your interest that can be shared with friends and followers. Imagine a Pinterest like tool – but made primarily for articles!

Cost of Application: Free!

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Lets\’s say you laid hands upon a really interesting article but don\’t have the time to read it just then! More so, you would like to share it with a friend and also know what they have been reading. Do all that with ReadingPack – the online reading app – with a social twist!

Released in September 2013, Yuval Shoshan, founder of ReadingPack shares that most of our articles are saved according to titles or images. ReadingPack offers a different form of service.

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Key Features

1. Discover

With ReadingPack, you can discover new articles of your interest based on what your friends with similar interests recommend!

  • Recommend and save articles easily from your browser
  • Read articles that have been recommended by your network
  • Get live notifications on your activity
  • Get notifications of articles based on your interests

2. Save For Later

The standard feature of any read it later app – save articles on the go and have access to the same at leisure. ReadingPack also automatically prioritizes articles that you have saved based upon what has been highly recommended. Thus, you get to read the best, first!

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3. Socialize

ReadingPack makes your reading list Public! The benefit? You get to share your reading interest with others and also having access to some of theirs which are within your field of interest. Follow friends and have them follow you back, all the while getting great articles to read!

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4. Shared Reading List

A user of ReadingPack can create a \’shared reading list\’ that displays articles recommended by them which can be seen and followed by anyone. So, if you want to know what I\’m reading, just follow my shared reading list!

5. IFTTT Channel

Short for (If This Then That), IFTTT is a service that enables customers to connect channels with personally created or publicly shared profiles called \”recipes\”. You can join IFTTT and use one of these \’recipes\’ to empower your reading list. Simply put, ReadingPack connects you to 110 different channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Buffer and even Pocket!

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User Interface

A fairly simple display of pages recommended by you and also the pages recommended by others makes it a no-nonsense tool. Yuval believes that the ability to prioritize your saved articles by number of recommendations from people that you follow is one of the specific features of ReadingPack.

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App and Desktop Extensions

From browser extensions in Chrome/Firefox/Opera/Safari to Mobile apps in Google Playstore and an upcoming iOS, ReadingPack is available everywhere, ensuring you get to read, save and share articles at your own time.

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Bookmarklets and Emails

Granting an easy access to ReadingPack are the bookmarklets and email features that are keyed in.

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Alternatives

What makes ReadingPack different from its competitors like Pocket, Readability, Feedly and others is the fact that you can socialize your reading interests. The tool allows you to prioritize your reading interests and shows a list of articles recommended by others who you are following and also displays your saved articles in a sequence analysed by what topics interest you first. Feedly allows you to follow articles while at ReadingPack you can share and recommend them to others!

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Yuval\’s small but strong team of three people have created ReadingPack keeping in mind the need to share in today\’s social era. Granted there are competitors, some who trend differently altogether, ReadingPack has managed to create a tool that picks all that is required for a good reading experience, just spicing it up with some fun by allowing you to talk about it with your friends!

Brightpod: A Project Management Tool

Brightpod

Purpose:  A project Management tool that allows users to create, delegate and communicate tasks within teams.

Pricing : Price ranges from $19 to $129. A 2 week trial is available as well.

A lot of hard work goes into the conceptualizing, programming, delegation, execution and follow up of any project or campaign. Until now, there were never really any technological help that could assist a team. But yes, only until now!

Brightpod by Synage Software, helps you plan, collaborate and delegate all your digital marketing and creative projects on the browser. Brightpod’s consumer friendly dashboard helps you effectively create pods, or projects, using a custom workflow, sharing the same with your team, creating and managing tasks and also following up. Sahil Parikh, Founder & CEO, Synage, believes that the key to a company\’s creativity, speed and success lies in following a system that documents all tasks, communications and workflows that each of the team member can follow.

Sahil

Key Features

Creating Pods with Real Time Task Lists:

Brightpod allows its users to create individual pods or projects and have access to a birds eye view of each of these. It is easy to manage the performance and growth of individual pods, grouped with effective team work. A fairly creative display of task lists is available that can be executed as the Kanban Board. Kanban helps you manufacture products based on demand thus reducing inventory. In the social scheme of things, Kanban will simply help its users know what and when to work on a specific task).

Manage Manage PODS (PROJECTS) individually!

Team Work

Brightpod allows its users to share real time progress on each pods with the relevant team members. They can send and receive instant messages and also are aware of each others developments. \’Brightpod Send\’ allows your team and clients to add tasks, task lists, messages and files to your projects via email.

Involve Involve your Team and work collaboratively!

Stay Updated

The \’Recurring Tasks\’ feature allows you to place tasks on repeat, avoiding the risk of skipping any important and usual scheme of work. For example, placing the task \”submit report every Monday\” under the tab. A track list of blogs relevant to your industry can also be maintained effectively.

A A glimpse of what the tasks lists look like and what can be done with it.

Workflows

Another impressive feature of Brightpod are the workflows that can be created to help similar projects perform without any glitches. Helps save time by planning faster therefore enhancing work-ability.

Editorial Calendar

Editorial calendar helps deploy and channel work that can be shared within the team. A simple drag and drop feature allows you and also your team members of individual pods, work collaboratively giving you the larger picture.

Share Share events and create more within the TEAM!

Task Reviewing

With the ability to manage the workflow through the \’activity stream\’ tab, the administrator of the pod gets to view the progress of individual team mates.

activity

Archives

A task or message that has been deleted, is saved in the archives folder for 30 days. Thus, if your team mate deletes something that is important to you, but irrelevant for his/her use, you need not fret and simply gain access to the archives.

Time Tracking

You can budget time for each project, track time for each task, add custom time entries, choose between billable and non-billable, filter time by team members and even export all your time to a spreadsheet. Therefore, it assists in knowing exactly how much time is being spent over each project. Files upto 25 MB can be shared leaving enough space for anything to be done!

Screen

User Interface

Using Brightpod is as simple as using an email and does not need much getting used to.  The pods displays the entire conversation and tasks on the same page, ensuring nothing that is important is missed.

Every user will have an individual page that notifies them about the tasks assigned. Only Administrators can view everyone else’s \’Me\’ page by clicking on the \’Team\’ tab and further clicking on any team member\’s name. Here, you can explore everything this person has done in Brightpod. Moreover, you can move tasks to prioritize and even send a notification which will tell the person that their tasks have been prioritized by you.

Project Management Alternatives

There are many general purpose project management tools. Brightpod innovated its approach by not making a software for everyone, but specifically for the marketer and his teams. A small list of comparison of the same is below.

Brightpod

Brightpod seems to be the all encompassing tool that maintains it\’s quality and functionality towards its target audience. The only improvement that can be suggested would be for it to launch a mobile app. The viewing, listing, user interface and even the communication benefits within the tool make it a winner.

General Electric’s Instagram Content Strategy Analyzed

“Imagination at work” constitutes General Electric’s promise in the fields of science – be it healthcare, finance, industrial engineering, energy or social media. GE has not held back in creating its space in the media mammoths like Facebook, Twitter and everything else. Now comes, Instagram – GE’s presence on Instagram? Over 170,500 followers – yes, it’s not much compared to some celebrities but for an organisation like GE, that’s a huge feat to achieve. How can a company that deals with manufacturing windmills and healthcare and industrial gadgets make people on the social media wait anxiously for a campaign created called Instawalk – #GEInstaWalk and #GEInspiredMe.

General Electric’s Content Strategy

The 120 year company deals in designing and building aeroplanes, power turbines locomotives and molecular imaging equipment. Every single day, those products are used by people all over the world. GE uses social media to share its story and engage its global audience. Instagram has become the hub of its visual storytelling  allowing GE to connect with its followers in a new way.

1. High Quality Images

Since 2013, GE has prioritized on generating great content for its Instagram profile. It keeps up with the trend of high quality images, planning photo shoots at its most innovative facilities in the world.

A A GE90 #engine at #GE #Aviation in Peebles, OH. Shot by @adamsenatori.

2. Real Time Feeds

Giving its viewers the a never-seen-before experience and access to its facilities that only a few people have, GE’s Instagram posts create images that make GE’s loyal followers crave for more. These photo shoots took place in locations like the GE Aviation Engine Testing Center and GE Transportation’s Manufacturing Facility. The loyal followers got in real-time feeds of the most popular airshow where GE boasts of its talent, displaying some of its most cutting edge technology at Dubai and Paris. GE takes their fans all over the world and immerses their followers in the beauty of innovation.

3. Crowdsourcing

General Electric\’s most popular campaign, the first one launched in November 2011, called Instagrapher, is highly sought after ever since.General Electric asked Instagrammers to take photos inspired by three areas of GE innovation and tag them with ‘#GEinspiredme’. More than 5,000 photos are submitted in every contest under the hashtag. The winner of the contest becomes the next official GE Instagram photographer and gets the opportunity to visit the GE facilities around the globe.

4. Adding A Personal Touch

GE\’s Instagrapher contest winners are invited by large to visit the brands magnanimous properties in London and this time at Cape Cod Air Force Facility in Massachusetts.

Making Making it all – REAL BIG!!!

 5. Communicate With The End User

Linda Boff, the company’s executive director of global digital marketing, believes that social started because we wanted to be having conversations with peopl – consumers, employees, investors – and anybody else that shares our passions. If that’s what you’re looking to do, then you’ve got to be where people are now spending 22 percent of their time. GE uses Instagram to keep the customer engaged and up to date!

“We love the idea that Instagram lets us share this intersection of science and technology, but doing it from a very visual, artistic point of view,” said Linda Boff. “When you’re as complicated as GE, how you tell the story and how you bring the company to life is incredibly important.”

4 Tips For A Successful Content Strategy

1. Keep It Personal

The entire scheme behind adapting to Instagram for content marketing would be to share behind the scenes images of your company. This will create a bonding between you and your customer, giving them a glimpse of what employees have the access to.

GE GE quotes on Instagram from within premises – “Happy 3D Printing Day! We have racks of #3Dprinters from @3DSystems and @Makerbot ready to take your gift orders”

2. Professional Photography Is Not A Must

Investing into professional photography can cost a big hole in you pocket and if it falls out of your budget, it’s fine to do without it. A good picture at the right angle can always be edited with various softwares, including Instagram\’s edit features to give your images a beguiling feel.

3. Take Risks

Brands often use the excuse of not participating on social media in highly regulated industries like GE stating it could be too big a legal risk to be publishing on the social media. The fear of losing control of what is ‘apt’ to messaging holds them back. A solution to this was executed by GE which creates teams that consists of a strategist, producer, designer and a lawyer, who help it conceptualize and promote its social feeds on Instagram and other hubs.

4. Create A Story

An example of this would be the Instagrapher campaign by GE. Here users update pictures of products made by the brand on a hashtag promoted by GE. This way, great stories are made increasing the interest and involvement of the end user.

A A contest created by a simple hashtag increasing engagement and reach.

When brands like General Electrics hold on the Instagram and make it count, other larger companies must not shy away. Instagram is explored to show the consumers, what\’s happening behind the curtains of the company. “Photos can be so emotional,” says Amy Cole, Head of Business Operations, Instagram. “It’s a great way for users to really connect with a brand in a way that ‘s different from text posts.”