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10 Must-Have Marketing Tools in 2016

10 Must-Have Marketing Tools in 2016

“Money coming in says I’ve made the right marketing decisions.”- Adam Osborne

Marketing is the backbone of many businesses today, and without tools that support your business, your competitors may very well outclass you. While you can spend a hefty budget on finding the best resources for your business, hire manpower to work for you and get along with your business, there are several marketing tools that you can use on your own and get the best bang for your buck.

Marketing tools make things easy and simplify the process of professionally representing your brand. From small bloggers to top brands that rule the global market, everyone is looking to grow and marketing tools help them to increase their effectiveness.

Here are the 10 must-have marketing tools in 2016.

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1. Google Analytics

In order to implement different strategies and measure the impact of any business, one needs to know the frequency of the customers or visitors that they get online. Google Analytics, a simple tool developed by the tech-giant, Google, the tool makes it easy to find details about visitors, measures the impact of social media presence, and calculates conversion rates.

Google Analytics today is so developed that one can find customized reports including demographics, age, sex and user activities on their site. This helps companies to implement different strategies according to their needs and requirements.

2. Unbounce

Apart from just creating a website and a blog, many online businesses lack the capability to create conversions and generate leads. Landing pages are what makes things easy and boosts sales these days. This is where Unbounce comes in. This easy-to-use marketing tool helps marketers to create landing pages without needing to know the technical knowledge behind coding.

In order to develop conversion rates substantially, Unbounce helps to create, customize and publish beautiful landing pages to improve marketing campaigns without the help of an expert.

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3. RightlyWritten

While images are said to speak a thousand words, content is what really boosts rankings on search engines today. RightlyWritten provides premium copywriting services including blog posts, website content, product descriptions, and more to businesses of all sizes. The monthly blog packages available at RightlyWritten allow businesses to put their website blogs on autopilot. These packages are fully customizable and businesses can choose packages per their needs and get content idea generation, pitching, creation and publishing, all taken care of.

With a fully intuitive client dashboard made available, the service also provides businesses with the ability to track their content orders in real time, place new orders and communicate in no time. Last but not the least, the quality of content delivered is second to none and does not cost an arm and a leg.

4. Mention

The internet has so much that people are always talking about new online businesses. Be it on social media or blogs, businesses are being discussed everywhere. This is where Mention comes in handy. This tool helps to keep track of your business as well as your competitors and helps you to get to know what people are saying.

By tracking brand names and key phrases in real time, Mention helps businesses to reach out to their potential customers and never miss out on any conversation about them.

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5. Crowd Reviews

A crowd-driven, verified review site currently in its beta stage, Crowd Reviews is a marketing tool that helps both businesses and consumers to find legitimate online reviews about technology services and software. A consumer-friendly site with transparent details completely driven by the crowd, this tool provides free access to meaningful reviews and rankings while also taking into account the strength and validity of these reviews and rankings.

6. IFTTT

IFTTT stands for “if this then that.” Considered to be an amazing tool by many, IFTTT helps marketers to automate their business. From social sharing to different networks, receiving notifications about a sale in real time and more, this fantastic tool helps businesses to set protocols based on specific actions as desired.

Also said to be a useful tool for time management, IFTTT is a perfect automation tool for marketers today.

7. Canva

Infographics and other visually appealing images create a better buzz today. You might not be a graphic design expert and this is where Canva comes into play. Helping to create simple images to engaging presentations, appealing social-media images and great looking infographics, this tool provides templates that are easy to use. On top of that, they also store everything online, meaning that you don’t lose your material.

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8. Mailchimp

While there are several email marketing tools available to use, MailChimp is often considered to be the best in the industry. With its incredibly simple platform, MailChimp offers free as well as paid plans which makes it easy for marketers to create robust email campaigns and find their customers.

9. KissMetrics

Another innovative marketing tool for analyzing site analytics, KissMetrics helps marketers to analyze data more than the vanity metrics. Apart from just analyzing page views, bounce rates and time spent by a visitor, the tool actually digs deep into finding how current or potential customers interact with the website.

KissMetrics analyzes data that has a direct impact on revenue which includes conversion rates, average revenue per user, and churn rates, among other factors.

10. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is another great marketing tool that helps marketers to analyze online trends and the performance of their content. The service also helps with uncovering details relating to factors such as social media shares and the broader impact of this for your business.

Featured photo credit: Startup via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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