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 The initial days of publication and sending leaflets are outdated with everything available on the web.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.

Tools For Marketers To Improve Productivity And Creativity

There are so many aspects to being a social and digital professional. We often analyze campaign results but how does it all get done in the first place? The answer – tools. Use them to share new ideas, create plans with your team or organize the structure of your campaign – there are endless tools for marketers to increase your productivity and effectiveness.

Jira

Most software developers or IT agile scrums will have a love for Jira for social and digital marketing campaigns. Jira works perfectly for those who operate in an agile way. The interface (albeit a little backdated) allows you to prioritize tasks that need to be done in order to deliver a social or marketing campaign.

Although it may be a bit archaic and quite often it only operates on certain browsers and devices, Jira is a great system to use to control workload, backlog and have an overview of incoming social and digital campaigns.

The systems allows you to create a team kanban (progress) board, attach an avatar to tasks you are working on. It effectively creates a record of how a social or digital campaign has been delivered and which members of your team have contributed to the campaign.

jira

Trello

This is a simplistic version of a Kanban board. Similar to Jira, it allows you to move tasks along a board from \”to do\”, \”in progress\” and \”done\”. It is generally more helpful for a personal workload rather than a team workload as it clearly demonstrates what you are working on at any moment in time.

Trello

Kanban Flow

This board does what it says on the tin. It has aspects of Jira and Trello and is really helpful for groups. You can prioritise tasks by colour or by where they sit in the column and assign avatars to each one.

It’s really useful for having a view of how all small tasks can come together to create a great social or digital marketing campaign.

kanban

Yammer

Rather than a way of documenting tasks that are currently happening or are planned to happen, Yammer acts as a great hub to post suggestions, ideas and articles. Generally Yammer-ers post about previous social and digital campaigns that have hit the big time and how best to ‘borrow’ ideas.

Yammer is effectively a social network for your organisation. A place where bragging about social shares and time spent on your website is cool. It’s also a great way of keeping a record of cool stuff. If you’re in need of inspiration for your next campaign then look no further than your Yammer news feed. That is if your team are engaged and in the habit of looking for cool industry news.

yammer

Slack

Remember the days of MSN messenger and the phrase G2G? No? Well, let me enlighten you – MSN basically worked as a chat room for all of your friends so it was easy and simple to get as much information from as much people at any one time.

MSN’s flaw? It completely wiped your conversation once you logged out so you couldn’t refer back to what your friends had told you anyway. You’d have to log back in with the excruciating cacophony created by a combination of the dial tone and your sister attempting use the phone at the same time. All of which, just to ask the same questions you’d asked before. Slack is like MSN. Improved MSN!

Slack allows you to communicate with your team all at once -‘Who knows where the images for last month’s social posts are stored?’ – and it keeps a record! Therefore, like an email chain you can easily reference information or easily notify people with what you’re doing at any time. You can also share documents and it has an app.

slack

Basecamp

Basecamp is similar to Slack but more organised. You can sort conversations by subject or project so that you can easily find documents or conversations that you are looking for.

In a nutshell, it’s an email chain on a fancy system so you can easily filter by date, person and document and in turn, be a lot more productive.

basecamp

Therefore, whatever tool takes your fancy can really improve your inventiveness, efficiency and how your team interact. Why not try out a few and find out what’s best for you? If you’ve been using a bunch of useful tools yourself, please do share them with us!

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.

Image

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

4 Content Marketing Tools To Save Your Life

The latest buzz word on the Social Media runway is “Content”, something that would put other aspects of this business to shame. A life without actionable content marketing tools is therefore baffling. With numerous options available today, picking up the best is a task and in our quest to provide you all with the very best, we are sharing with you all our chosen four.

Percolate

This tool is God sent, and quite literally too! If you are responsible for content marketing at your company or  agency, Percolate would pass as your new BFF.

Key Features:

  • Say Goodbye to spreadsheets and welcome the ‘Percolate Content Planner’. This feature would help brands plan content across platforms, schedule and streamline campaigns and events along with leveraging content across teams.
  • It recommends shareable content thus facilitating, curation. If you are brand with a huge network this aspect would help to find the right content and sustain conversations. It also offers focussed trends, images and media recommendation in sync with your brand, thus enabling the team to come with full form content based on the ‘seed’ ideas.

Percolate Percolate Content Planner

  • Images are an important part of content marketing and Percolate offers an exceptional suite including a Photographer App. This app helps capture images and syncs them to Percolate Media library along with the regular image editor and photo filter options. The app supports unlimited uploads and also allows customisation and branding, thereby ensuring brand consistency and quality. A great feature to involve employees!

Percolate Percolate Photo App- A great tool to engage employees

  • Percolate also believes in shunning –Photoshop, and works closely with Getty, Shutterstock and more recently Aviary to yield more ‘shareable human and real time images’ for your brand.
  • Percolate has an excellent publishing, monitoring and analytics tool to elevate your usability.

Curata

An important aspect of content marketing is content curation. While you would want a great “story” to be told, it requires consistent planning and brands often struggle to churn quality content. This is when Curata, comes to your rescue. Here’s how

Key Features:

  • Curata enables users to find content across platforms that includes social media, RSS feeds and even site without feeds. The interface also allows customisation to the extent of providing a self learning and recommendation engine.
  • It helps users to categorise content. Once a category is created, Curata follows an automatic process further! It also recognises important and trending topics and creates landing pages to boost SEO results. Curata also assists with pictures, quotes and recommendations, to improve the end user experience.

Categorising Categorising Content is quick and easy with Curata

  • Curata offers great publishing options with CMS integration that includes platforms like WordPress and Drupal to name a few. It is also integrated with marketing automation systems like Marketo and HubSpot.
  • Curata is integrated with Google analytics to help analyze, measure and assess your content marketing strategy to the fullest.

Gather Content

Moving onto our 3rd content marketing tool, a hot favourite with agencies like JWT and Saatchi and Saatchi, GatherContent’s marketing mantra is simple. It aims at gathering content from clients without much effort, thereby helping agencies and clients to work better and avoid project delays.

Key Features:

Screen

    • GatherContent is a pre- CRM tool, and puts a full stop to endless hours of agony that is caused by late content approvals or any other crucial delays impending at your client’s end.
    • A campaign or a project usually involves endless mails, shared documents and the likes. With GatherContent all this data is under one roof, a big plus while working on multiple projects!
    • It enables client and agencies to interact by means of discussion and comments and also evaluate the status of their project at each step, thus keeping it under control. This video would explain its functionality to the T.

      • GatherContent also aids in auto-reminders and detailed progress reports. It also has a white-labelled platform providing your clients with a unique experience.
      • This web-based tool offers a seamless interface and with transferring docs in Word or PDF format along with real time back-up.
      • It is integrated with WordPress, Drupal and also has an API.

Divvy HQ 2.0

Number four on our list is Divvy HQ 2.0. It is a great content and workflow marketing tool, and is especially useful when you have a team spread across geographies

Key Features:

      • The dashboard aids in monitoring your team activity in real time and looks like a Facebook feed, apart from the same you can also monitor content that is due or is already published. It also provides an overview of your production task list.

Divvy Divvy Dashboard

      • Divvy HQ offers multi- calendar architecture and customised solutions for that can be shared with your team. It offers a unique calendar admin that leads to customisation tab. This may include inter-department calendars, individual calendar, other topics or plain themes.

Divvy Divvy Calendar Dashboard

      • It also offers an amazing workflow mechanism. Explained effectively with this video

      • While content ideation is a regular process, we tend to shun them, missing opportunities for future use. Divvy HQ offers an amazing feature called ‘parking lot’, making brainstorming a cake-walk. It also provides opportunities to manage any type of content apart from the ones outside Social Media periphery. This may include webinars, e-books and print projects to state a few.

While this content marketing tools list is not exhaustive, you may also want to check our previous posts on Kapost, and Swayy, which offer some great features too! Before I leave you all with some time to explore these tools do have a glance at Coschedule as well, a brilliant social media editorial calendar for WordPress. If you are looking to analyze content performance or get some new ideas for content, then a social listening tool from Circus Social would be your best bet!

And yeah, we would love to hear more on this one, so let the comments flow!

Kapost: An End to End Solution to Your Content Marketing Woes

Company: Kapost

Website: http://kapost.com/

About: Kapost is a content marketing tool that helps brands grow revenue with their content. Kapost simplifies, the creation, distribution and analysis of content on a single platform giving content marketers an edge with their marketing efforts.

Usage: Kapost allows marketing teams of all sizes to easily collaborate, manage and organize their content, marketing assets and campaigns in an efficient environment.

Highlight: Kapost helps brands and businesses understand and learn what type of content best fits their needs through content score. The Content Scoring technology allows marketers to move prospects easily through the marketing funnel leading to increased sales and revenue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–9SGb44ahQ

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How does your content fare?

Lead scoring and lead nurturing are two of the words that are being thrown around a lot these days in the content marketing circles. Lead scoring allows you to determine if you are targeting prospects that are genuinely interested in your products. Lead nurturing on the other hand gives marketers with a systematic approach to follow up with leads and nurture them all the while moving them further down in the marketing funnel and leading to a successful conversion eventually. However, content plays a major role here. As a marketer, you will need to evaluate your content too and provide your leads with the right kind of content at the right time for marketing success. Kapost is a tool that tries to fill this gap quite impressively through their Content Scoring technology.

To shed some more light into Kapost, we managed to have a brief chat with Stanton Champion, Director of Product Marketing at Kapost and here is what he had to say.

On Content Scoring and the future of content marketing:

With Content Scoring, a marketer can quickly tell which pieces of content help move prospects down a buying funnel. With this information, marketers can ultimately nurture their prospects with the right content at the right time, progressively improving their prospects’ lead scores, encouraging more sales conversations, and ultimately driving more revenue. Prior to content scoring, marketers had to rely on what we call “vanity metrics” which show how much a piece of content was consumed. But this did not tell the marketer how valuable that content was in driving results, including revenue. With content scoring, marketers now have a tool that tells them the real business results of every piece of content at every stage of the buying funnel, helping them make the best decisions possible about nurturing prospects and driving revenue.

-Stanton Champion, Director of Product Marketing

Content scoring is something that is sure to help marketers a lot in the days to come especially with the rise in popularity of new strategies and tools that focus towards lead nurturing as well as lead scoring.

How can Kapost help a modern brand?

Making sure that the right form of content reaches your prospects at the right time is the most crucial aspect of content marketing as a vast majority of the modern buying cycles take place online. Many of the prospective customers prefer to conduct extensive online research before reaching out to the brand. As a result, marketers need to place sufficient information for the prospective customers in a ways the customers can easily find. This content also needs to be highly relevant as well as engaging and this is one of the areas where most brands fail. When asked how Kapost can help with this situation, Stanton responded saying

We believe that content is critical to modern businesses and that it’s the most effective way to reach customers in the always on internet and social media worlds. Kapost solves this problem by helping companies build a content operation – a repeatable and scalable process that makes it possible to create a steady stream of content that drives results. We do this with a combination of a content marketing platform that enables companies to adopt the right best practices to create their content, including providing team alignment, accountability, and insights into success. We also do this with our expert services offering, making it easy for companies to see results from content, even if they’re just starting out. Lastly, our partner ecosystem helps companies find the right tools and platforms to create the highest quality content possible, even if they lack the resources internally.

-Stanton Champion, Director of Product Marketing

What to expect from Kapost in the days to come?

While Kapost certainly seems to have some really powerful features, there certainly is some scope for innovation. Also, we had a lot of fun trying out their platform that we couldn\’t resist but ask Stanton if they were planning on reinforcing Kapost with more features and he was kind enough to let us peak under the hood for a bit.

Our content scoring algorithm is just the start, and we intend to improve it further to give marketers even better information about which pieces of content drive business results.

-Stanton Champion, Director of Product Marketing

Stanton also went on to say that Kapost was keen on developing three additional features to Kapost\’s existing environment. Stanton said that they are currently working on growing the partner ecosystem that already includes several content creation partners such as Scripted, Ebyline, Getty, Smartshoot and many others.

Providing quality content to internal stakeholders is another area that has been nagging content marketers for a very long time and according to Stanton, Kapost might just come up with a solution soon. Finally Stanton also revealed that auditing existing content is something that is quite hard for brands and businesses to undertake and that Kapost has plans to roll our features that could simplify this process in the near future.

Key features of Kapost

1. Editorial Calendar

\"Screenshot

Kapost provides one of the most advanced editorial calendars with features that are sure to help boost your productivity as a content marketing team. There are plenty of predefined filters and options to include custom filters giving you an unlimited number of ways to organize your content in the editorial calendar. You can filter the calendar by region, author, campaign, buying stage, buyer persona and a host of other filters.

2. Analytics

\"Screenshot

Kapost measures and analyzes different types of metrics including production analytics, engagement analytics, performance analytics, content scores and alows you to generate customized reports as per your needs. These key metrics could help you make sure that your entire team is working towards a unified goal.

3. Easy Communication

\"Screenshot

Content marketing efforts usually require a massive team and this could easily lead to massive confusions within the team. To simplify this, Kapost has a powerful dashboard to manage your team. In addition to this, you could also assign tasks and converse with other members of your team with a simple @Mention like Twitter.

4. Editing and duplication

\"Screenshot

Kapost makes editing content a breeze on it\’s platform. The platform supports innovative features such as collaborative editing much like Google Docs. In fact, if you prefer Google Docs, you can edit all of your content at Google Docs and Kapost will keep a copy of all the revisions so you can conveniently choose the best of the lot for the final version.

\"Screenshot

Kapost also has an additional feature to duplicate content. The ability to duplicate content can help those who manage international content marketing efforts greatly. For example, if you need a particular blog post translated to different languages, you need not have to rewrite the whole copy several times. Instead, you can simply duplicate the initial copy and translate into as many languages as you like and reduce all the additional work.

Alternatives

While we are very much satisfied with what Kapost has to offer, there are a handful of competitors but only 2 of them come close to Kapost. One of them being Compendium and the other being CoSchedule.

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.”

Vipud

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.beta21.circussocial.com in a particular period.

Given below is an example of how many times the link beta21.circussocial.com 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.

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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!

Which Is The Best Graphic Design Web App?

If you don’t have nearly $50 a month or $600 a year to spend on professional products Adobe produces, there are literally hundreds of graphic design web apps available out there for you to use. But which one? I took at look 3 of the most commonly used graphic design web app – PicMonkey, Canva and Sprites. A time limit of five minutes was used for each app because that’s all you’ll have time for when the boss rushes in and says \”Give me a blog post with a creative image\”. These three apps are rated according to these factors:

  • Ease of use
  • Functionality
  • Usability of their free features
  • User control (the freedom to do a lot of different things without barriers)

Sprites

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Website: Spritesapp.com

Cost: Free with no add-ons for extra design stuff as of yet. The website says they’re not ready to accept payment but I say they’re not ready to provide something you’d pay for.

Easy of use: When a website says “developer-friendly,” unless you speak JavaScript, interspersed with a little CSS, Ajax or JSON run for the hills. Sprites advertises itself as web-friendly needing no Flash and using HTML for its animation of imagery but the tool is just not intuitive for the non-developer. While I may not be the smartest monkey in the barrel, it took me far too long to do simple graphical additions such as image title, text on image, color changes and so on.  It’s like these guys have never heard of drag & drop.

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I had to hunt to find the place to upload an image instead of using the limited graphic images provided by the app. All in all, I created a subpar “animated” image that I couldn’t even download but only got an embedded URL link to, which didn\’t even up working. See here. It was a bad experience.

Rating: 2 points 

Functionality: The app functioned well once I figured out how it worked. I uploaded an image but took forever to place the text in the foreground instead of in the back of the image. Ever heard of “Send to Front”? For someone that would just want to demo the app, Sprites definitely makes it a troublesome process, having to sign up for an account to enjoy other basic features such as saving.

Rating: 4 points

Best Free Stuff: The free icons you can use to create infographics are pretty sparse. Even though everything is free on this app right now including the upgraded features, there isn’t much to offer here.

Rating: 2 points

User Control: There is a tremendous lack in features. You won\’t be able to create an intermediate piece of design from this tool. The animation tool would only work well for someone that can design great experiences.

Rating: 4 points

Total: 12 out of 40 points (Pass on this one.)

PicMonkey

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Website: Pickmonkey.com

Cost: Free to do photo editing. $4.99 a month, or the annual plan at $33 a year, for more fonts, editing options and no advertisements.

Ease of Use: Called the “poor man’s Photoshop,” by one happy blogger, PicMonkey is a favorite among the faithful. It features an easy interface, lots of free options and easy-to-use graphic tools. Within seconds I had an image uploaded and began tinkering, cropping, resizing, rearranging and adding text etc.

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Even if you want to start from scratch to create your own graphics, it may take a bit of doing but it is easily achievable. However, PicMonkey may be a little too simple. It reminds me of the decorative digs you can delve into in say Shutterfly or Walgreens Photo Book apps.

Rating: 7 points

Functionality: A lot of granular stuff that designers just know – what image size is best for print or online, glossy or canvas finish, PicMonkey takes care of it all for you.

The functionality of the app was lovely. Easy, breezy “Drag & Drop,” reverse arrows for “Undo” and “Redo,” all the scissors to represent “Cropping,” all the iconic familiarity a time-strapped content creator could want. You can do an incredible amount of operations using PicMonkey for free including:

  • Adjust image sizing,
  • Crop image
  • Adjust exposure
  • Add text
  • Add shadows
  • Add image art (you’re own or icons from their library)
  • Even add logos, watermarks and other icons on photos.

Rating: 8 points

Best Free Stuff: As aforementioned you get a lot for free but not a lot of imagery. And the imagery is fairly Shutterfly-ish. The text offerings are fairly robust but some are a bit cartoony for the business setting. But with a little ingenuity you can create professional looking graphics with just a few clicks. And our image we created in five minutes:

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Not bad eh?

Rating: 9 points

User Control: You have all the freedom and control over this app and you’ll have no problem doing what you want to do with his app if creating simple image ads and blog post imagery is what you want to do. But if you want more sophisticated graphic design artistry, infographics, data analysis charts and so on, PicMonkey may not be the app for you.

Rating: 7 points

Total: 31 out of 40 points 

Canva

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Website: Canva.com

Cost: Free to use but $1 add-ons for Canva-marked images and special effects. More polished than PicMonkey, less cumbersome than Sprites, Canva is the Goldilocks of this pictorial graphic trio. It fits perfectly for marketing professionals who want a sophisticated looking graphic without all the time and talent it takes to use Photoshop correctly.

Ease of Use: When you start an account with Canva it immediately gives you this five-image tutorial that’s a bit annoying if you’re know what you’re doing but incredibly helpful if you don’t. As this screenshot shows it automatically configures your settings and choices by what type of graphic you’re creating.

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It literally has all the choices that any quick-thinking marketer would need right at your fingertips making it incredibly easy to use.

Rating: 10 points

Functionality: Once you click on those icons you can create anything you want and have the perfect dimensions. Here’s my 30-second Facebook Cover Image:

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We could literally spend all day creating stuff with this app. It was so amazingly easy and professional and had so many functions.

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As soon as you’ve completed your graphic Canva offers you a URL, choice of png or pdf of the image right away.

It is literally the easiest, coolest graphic to publishing interface tool that’s out there. Photoshop doesn’t even do that. Don’t have images? No problem, they have thousands available but shopping could get pricey as they charge about $1 an image. Canva also doesn’t bog you down with every font known to man or color text available instead offer you color palettes to choose from and recommended fonts for ads, graphics etc. Again this takes the guess work out of creating graphics and adds amazing functionality to the application.

Rating: 10 points

Best Free Stuff: Canva offers you free quality narrowing down it’s choices of text, overlays and effects. You can always tell when a non-designer discovers a graphics tool because they break all the design rules with three fonts per text overlay. Canva doesn’t let you wander into such dangerous tacky territory offering you limited but quality choices in fonts, color palettes and imagery.

Rating: 8 points

User Control: If you use your own photos, you have unlimited free control with Canva. If you don’t, you still have a lot of options to choose from. Again, Canva does all the thinking for you but let’s you delve into the creative instead of the technical issues of dimensions, scripting and so on. You can create amazing graphics and have them instantly available to use and reuse at your will.

Rating: 10 points

Total: 38 out of 40

Final Verdict

Just two points shy of perfect, Canva is the best graphics creation tool for professionals and amateurs alike – low barrier to entry for some amazing outputs.  Their warm welcome e-mail from “Hazel, Customer Happiness,” is a nice touch so we’re giving it a 40 out of 40. Leave your horror or success stories in the comments below!

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.

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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!

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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.