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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 January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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