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9 of the best plugins for your WordPress site

9 of the best wordpress plugins for your website

Its usability, affordable pricing, and excellent features have made it one of the world’s most popular website builders – around 28% of all websites are hosted by WordPress!

If you’re using WordPress, you already know the incredible power of the mighty plugin. Plugins allow you to customise your site, and with nearly 30,000 plugins currently available you can adjust your website exactly how you want to.

Plugins aren’t difficult to use, but they do require a bit of maintenance. This includes culling plugins you are no longer actually using.

Too many plugins can make your website crash and affect its performance, security, and speed. Also, when you have plugins left unsupervised, you’re at risk when one of them is abandoned by their developers or hijacked by hackers, making your website even more vulnerable to malicious attacks.

Your first task in creating a brilliant, effective, and secure website is to assess your plugin situation, keeping in mind the adage ‘quality not quantity’.

So, what makes a quality plugin? Here are a few of our faves.

 

For caching

About 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load. So caching plugins are an absolute necessity for a fast-loading website and significantly better user experience – especially for mobile users.

Our suggestion is WP Fastest Cache, which has both a free and premium plan.  This plugin works by creating static HTML files from any dynamic WordPress blog.

 

For security

Security plugins are a no-brainer. Despite WordPress having pretty sturdy firewalls, every user – especially businesses – should have a security plugin. This is even more important if your website gathers user data such as contact or payment details. A good plugin will block sensitive information from potential attackers without impacting usability for other users. You can choose between all-in-one solutions or plugins just to protect against specific issues.

Akismet, for starters, is a plugin everybody should have installed on their site to combat spammy comments.

Our favourite all-in-one security plugin is Wordfence, which has a free plan or premium plans starting from $99. If your site deals with e-commerce, we suggest iThemes Security.

 

For backing up

Possibly as important as security is ensuring your website is backed up. It just takes one unlucky event – a malfunction, a malware attack, or hacker action ­– and you could lose all your hard work. It doesn’t happen very often, but if you are that unlucky non-backer-upperer, it really sucks.

We recommend UpdraftPlus, which comes free with WordPress premium plans and has several premium versions available. This plugin can back up to a range of different cloud platforms, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, or can simply send the back-up to your email.

Here’s a nifty video from Updraft on how to back up your site:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZCmAZ8rnMk

 

For search engine optimisation

Even if you have SEO specialists optimising your searchability, it’s always good to have an SEO plugin. It’s a big ol’ online world out there, and you definitely want your business to stand out at the top of Google search results.

In our opinion, the hostess-with-the-mostest is Yoast. Yoast SEO – again, available in free or premium – is easy to use, and tells you how to better your SEO as you go. It’s super-effective for blog-based sites, allowing you to make “bulk edits” to your site and manage SEO roles if you’d like your staff to also use it.

 

For image optimisation

Content is key, and words paint a thousand pictures (do we have that right?), but if you want to chuck a cherry atop your optimisation pudding, we recommend looking at your images.

Images – particularly big ones, or lots of them – can do terrible things to user experience.

Like any big gnarly files, loading takes time and can really slow down your website. So you might want to think about compressing some images.

When you’re decreasing an image’s size (or compressing) you want to retain its visual integrity – this ain’t Nintendo 64, after all (although wouldn’t be great if it was?).

We recommend TinyPNG for the job. It isn’t really a plugin per se, but it’s a very effective way to minimise your picture files without maximising pixilation. It’s free, easy to use, and there’s even a cute little panda on the dashboard smiling at you while you wait.

 

For social sharing

Social media is quickly becoming the most effective marketing option, especially for small businesses. If you’ve nailed your content, you need to have an easy way for people to share it. You need little buttons on the content – one click and it’s shared to the user’s preferred social platform.

Social Snap (free, the full version starts at $39) is our favourite button-making-plugin.

 

For forms

One excellent way to generate leads for your business is to include forms for users to fill out for enquiries, bookings, or e-commerce.

Contact Form 7 (a free plugin) allows you to customise and manage multiple forms in an easy coding-free way. This smart-form creator is also brilliant for preventing spam.

So, there you have it: the bare necessities of plugins. Tried and tested by us personally, these bare necessities (these simple bare necessities) will hopefully help you forget your WordPress worries.

On a final, more serious note (yes, we do serious): remember to check that a plugin has been updated recently (in the last 2-3 years) before installing it. This will help you avoid any nasty vulnerabilities.

Also, read user comments to find out if the plugin has unfixed errors that could put your site in jeopardy. This is especially important if you don’t have prior experience in coding or site development.

Alternatively, feel free to call us. You can also fill out our online contact form – it’s super-easy and spam-free.

The dos and don’ts of SEO copywriting

Seo Copywriting tips

Are you worried about ranking behind your competitors when people do a Google search on your industry? You’re certainly not the only one! Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a crucial tool to put companies directly in front of their audience, first.

Optimised copy answers the search intent of your audience while remaining readable and natural. The days of simplistic Google algorithms to determine the ranking of search query pages are gone, but many old SEO myths are still going strong. The ranking system has become more intelligent and complex to display the most relevant and high-quality copy first.

If you are thinking about writing your own copy rather than using professional SEO copywriting services, we have prepared a list of tips for creating your own content.

DON’T keyword-stuff your copy

Many site owners believe that creating a relevant web page for a search query requires stuffing your copy to the brim with a target keyword as much as possible. Of course, your page needs to contain relevant target keywords, but sentence after sentence with the same word looks ridiculous and certainly makes for bad reading! Potential clients don’t respond to poor quality writing, and neither does Google.

DON’T write unnecessary copy.

It may seem that in order to cover all points of relevance to your audience, you have to write a lot of copy. Google does value in-depth copy, but you have to keep your audience in mind. Readers respond to compelling, well-thought-out text that gets to the point. If they see an overwhelming amount of copy, they might choose not to read it at all! Whether it’s a blog post or a landing page, make your copy comprehensive, succinct and genuinely enjoyable to read.

DON’T include hidden blocks of text with SEO keywords.

The ‘SEO trap’ is a common technique, but in truth, it is a waste of time and resources. The smarter Google gets, the more it values transparency!

DO take the time to understand your audience.

You can incorporate all the SEO techniques you like, but if your copy and entire website aren’t as relevant to your target audience as possible, you will not generate the traffic or leads you are hoping for.

To craft your website to your consumer, consider what they want from your product or service. What tone are they expecting? What problems are they looking to solve? What information do they need to see on your web page in order to make contact or hit the purchase button? The more you understand your consumer, the better you can create copy that satisfies the search queries they make, and therefore rank your website highly.

DO incorporate Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI).

LSI keywords are semantically related to your main keyword. A lot of people think LSI keywords are synonyms. Synonyms are useful LSI keywords, but LSI incorporates all keywords frequently found together because they share the same context.

For example, ‘Apple’ and ‘iPhone’ and ‘smartphone’ are LSI keywords. However, ‘apple’, ‘juicy’ and ‘orchard’ are also LSI keywords; LSI ensures that the search query display shows pages relevant to the industry and topic your audience is looking for. Incorporating LSI, therefore, helps you better serve your user search intent.

Overtly stuffing your content with LSI keywords will, again, have you penalised by Google. Use them to help you rank, but do not let them interfere with the quality of your content. The idea of LSI is that you would naturally include the keywords as you write. You still need to create high-quality, well-written copy, but definitely with LSI keywords in mind.

Incorporating SEO into copy can take a lot of research and time – it’s completely normal to not know where to start! SEO research is particularly complex when it comes to small, niche (and therefore low search volume) businesses and products. To get it right first time and ensure the best results possible, you can bring in SEO and copy experts to optimise your site. At Creative Content, we use in-depth processes and techniques to make your site as ‘optimal’ as can be!

The Creative Content process:

As a professional web copy service provider, we make it our priority to create informative and inspiring website copy for our clients. We share our exact process for you so you can understand what is needed to complete a comprehensive plan for your business web content writing.

First, we need to understand your business including the services, the people and the company ethos. To do this we have developed a web copy questionnaire. Our goal is to understand what is unique about your business and the priorities of your potential clients. This helps us map your customer journey. We want to know how well-informed your customers are about your product or service before they visit your site, and what types of keywords you can think of that they would search to find you.

How to research SEO keywords

For particularly niche businesses, we have developed even more in-depth questionnaire to help web content writers create content specific to your very narrow audience. At this stage, we also do an analysis into the customer state of awareness about your product or service. For example; are your customers problem aware, but not solution aware? If so, we need to spend time explaining how your products solve their problem.

As part of our copywriting services, we use the questionnaires and work further alongside you to create the value proposition for your business. In essence, we identify why and how your customers would say ‘yes’ to your offer, and craft a succinct key message that often appears as a major heading on your home page, so readers are clear on the value of your business from the outset.

Armed with new knowledge about your business, we then utilise SEO software tools to generate target keywords and LSI keywords for you.

We follow proven structure elements that make your site easy to navigate and optimise it for search.

The ideal web copy structure

Headings that name the product in a way your target readers will understand.

Sub-headings briefly describing the benefit of the product to your market.

Summaries providing all essential information about your product. These have to be extremely well-crafted, as often people won’t read beyond summaries! The text needs to address the problem your product solves and why yours the best solution.

Quotes from you showing the human side of your company and the ethos behind your service.

Customer quotes describing how they experienced the benefits of your product – we help collect these testimonials.

Calls-to-action that encourage and provide avenues for readers to take the next step. In order to get more conversions, you need to get more potential customers to carry out a specific decision on your website. Usually, that action revolves around accepting an offer or contacting you.

We discuss our SEO copywriting strategy further here.

SEO copywriting is crucial to making your small business site as visible to your potential customers as possible. Correctly implemented techniques generate a surprising amount of traffic and leads for your website. You’ll be quickly convinced by the results of your new SEO strategy!

If you’d like to discuss SEO copywriting with us further, or find out how our professional copywriters can help you, get in touch with us.

Check out our other tips for small business marketing here.

Creative Content’s Guide to B2B Marketing

Creative content's guide to effective B2B marketing

Are you thinking about the next marketing campaign for your B2B business? Like many of the companies we talk to, you may be feeling confused about where to start – the services you offer may not translate well onto an appealing billboard or magazine ad, and even then, those ads wouldn’t effectively reach your small, specific target market!

The go-to strategies for B2Bs are often direct, outbound techniques – cold calls, tapping into referral networks or emails sent straight to identified prospective clients. This may deserve a place in your marketing toolbox, but it is not the only way to engage potential clients or your wider industry.

To generate leads, there are far better strategies to help you remain at the forefront of potential clients’ mind far longer than the time it takes for them to read the latest sales-focused cold email in their inbox!

 

B2B marketing versus B2C marketing 

B2B and B2C buyers have different mindsets. A typical B2C buyer is generally looking for one product, without much cost or risk to the transaction. Maybe, they’ll Google a product and read a few reviews or shop around, but often the sales process just a few minutes. Overt marketing tactics can easily inspire impulse buys for B2C customers.

B2B buyers are more sceptical and informed. Choosing to invest in a product line or service with business money carries far higher risk than purchasing as an individual. Also, a B2B purchase is often the start of a long-term relationship. So, they thoroughly research their future purchase before they even contact you.

Because the B2B buyer comes to you with knowledge, the best way to generate a lead is to have already established authority and trust within your industry.

To foster trust and bring your company to the forefront of your buyer’s mind first, effective strategies incorporating content marketing are crucial!

 

The elements you need for your ultimate content marketing strategy:

 

An absolute understanding of your audience

Content marketing is the creation of meaningful, helpful content with your exact consumer in mind. The goal of the content isn’t actually sales – it’s engagement. You are creating conversations and solving pain points for consumers in the wider context of your industry.

Content is useless if it doesn’t connect with your audience. Although you are discussing business and business processes, people make the purchase decisions. You’re targeting the key decision makers in these companies, so you need to gain their attention and respect through storytelling that resonates with them. You’re saying to your audience ‘I see where you’re at and where your pain points are, and here are several solutions…’ with an educational, interest-based focus.

So, you need to ask:

What is your core audience looking for? How do they communicate, and how do they expect to be communicated with?

Understanding the characteristics, needs and lifestyles of your consumers allows you to effectively craft marketing messages they respond to. A great example of this in action is our full rebrand of Connect Outsourcing, which we carried out based on extensive client interviews and market research to gain a deep understanding of their audience.

With your audience in mind, you can then begin to build your content.

 

An effective website

You need to completely tailor your website to your audience. There is no point creating an appealing website if it doesn’t contain useful, industry-specific information in the tone of the people you’re trying to connect with.

Given the risk involved in a B2B purchase, it is important to showcase up-to-date testimonials to assure prospects that your company ‘walks the walk’.

To be effective, your company website should be an industry resource engaging current and potential clients, solving their business problems in the wider industry context. FAQ’s sections, educational pages regarding your specialty or regularly updated blog modules can achieve this. We created effective educational resources for Aaron Martin of New Zealand Immigration Law, which helped position him as an authority figure on immigration. He is now a source for news outlets reporting on immigration! This exposure places him first in employers’ minds when they seek immigration law services.

Your website can’t just provide information! It should contain persuasive ‘calls to action’. Keep in mind the people-based nature of B2B business decisions – you’re not pushing consumers directly to carts or ‘buy now’ options but encouraging them to contact sales-people or request quotes. You can provide a bit more information about who they will be speaking with – showcase your staff as helpful, friendly or professional (whatever your audience is looking for) using an ‘about us’ page or staff profiles.

Succinct, clear copy is also crucial for websites. Read our thoughts on creating the most effective copy for your website here.

 

A social media presence

Social media platforms aren’t always the right place for B2B businesses – your industry content may not be what people want to see when scrolling through their newsfeeds! However, if used the right way, Facebook and LinkedIn in particular are valuable avenues to get your message noticed by your audience.

These platforms can start conversations around industry tips and news. You can share business advice for people in your industry, industry news, snippets of success stories or case studies and cross-promote blog material from your website. Essentially, you’re connecting with prospects on an interest level rather than sharing sales-focused content. The more visually appealing the posts, the better! Check out our guide to an effective Facebook video marketing strategy.

 

SEO

Potential B2B clients are likely to do a Google search to find solutions to their pain points instead of waiting to be found. You need to proactively place yourself in front of these clients as their solution! This is where Search Engine Optimisation comes in.

SEO helps search engines find you and rank you according to relevant keywords on your website. By improving your website rankings on a search query, you improve your visibility over your competition.

More visitors to your website means more leads! SEO experts help you apply the most effective keyword phrases based on pain points of your audience to optimise your site for search.

 

An engaging blog

Blogs provide a platform to showcase content outside of static website copy about your business. They also provide opportunity to build on your SEO keywords as you will be discussing industry-specific issues.

Blogs set you up as industry thought leaders. They help retain clients by continuing to provide them with useful information outside your specific service, and engage potential clients in a wider conversation led by your business.

Your blog should create engaging experiences, with each post providing unique and helpful perspectives. High-quality stories have power to push your prospects to take action and reach out to your business.

Potential blog topics:

  • Business tips
  • Pain point solutions
  • Industry news
  • Interesting features of your products or services
  • Success stories and case studies

There is no point creating useful content without incorporating it into your wider marketing strategy – blog posts can be repurposed for social media and direct emails.

Ultimately, a well-crafted, relevant message must be at the heart of B2B marketing campaigns. It is far more effective to connect with your specified industry audience through education and helpful information, leveraged through several platforms, instead of overt sales messaging.

If you’re looking to start your new marketing journey, our Creative Content team specialises in B2B marketing. We create a cohesive strategy to build brand profiles and generate leads. You can check out some of our recent projects here. Contact us now!

How Content Marketing Creates Leads

Content marketing to drive engagement

Marketing in 2019 is impossible without great content.

As a marketer, I see my clients struggling to identify where they should spend their energy (and budget) to get digital leads, especially if they have a B2B service.

Marketing is becoming increasingly complex, with a range of platforms to choose from to speak to your audience.

Is your business still supposed to be posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram? What type of content should you share? How does creating social content actually generate leads?

As a forward-thinking entrepreneur, you know there has to be a better way.

Enter content marketing.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach. It focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, drive profitable customer action.

Content marketing aligns with the new ways people engage with brands and content and develop brand loyalty. It’s integrated, intelligent, and customer-centric.

With content marketing you’re not simply pitching your products or services in traditional marketing copy. You’re providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects to help them solve their issues.

In some ways it is similar to what we see with the rise of the “freemium” product model. Now that people can access high-quality free advice and content online, it won’t cut the mustard to simply promote how great your product or service is. Your content needs to put your customer’s concerns first. This is especially important in light of the way Google serves any search query with the most relevant answers; your content needs to be accurately centring your customer’s questions if you want to appear on their Google search results.

Content marketing works to build the respect and admiration of your audience, but this will take time. First you need to earn their trust. You need to prove you have the relevant knowledge and (even more importantly) that you have integrity. Then you can become a guiding light that people turn to for authority in the noise of too much available information.

The authority you gain then transfers to your products or services, making customers that much more likely to choose you over the competition.

Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate. Because of the complexities of the communication strategy required, it’s also something that I would recommend that you engage a content marketing agency to do for your business, rather than attempting it  on your own.  Quality content is now part of all forms of marketing.

So, what are the other benefits to your overall marketing strategy?

The Tangibles:

Site traffic: Traffic may be the obvious benefit, but it’s also one of the most important. Great content will bring people to your site, where they’ll also find information about your company and your products/services.

Improved SEO: The benefits of content for SEO are far too numerous to get into here. Great content attracts editorial links, which tells Google you’re important and authoritative. Google can also crawl your content, getting a better idea of what your company is about, which allows it to return your site for more relevant queries (including a great many long-tail queries). The list goes on, but it can be boiled down to this: without content, what is there for search engines to optimise?

Social media marketing: content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy. An ideal mix of content for social media is always a mixture of unique and curated content based on the themes that relate to your audience interests. So high quality content based on informing your potential customers is ideal content to share on social media. It can also become great “lead magnets” if you are creating a Facebook ad funnel for inbound inquires.

PPC: for Pay Per Click to work, you need great content behind it. Content marketing is not direct sales copy- that is what landing page copy is designed for, but your content marketing is supposed to warm up your audience handling all of their objections and answering all of their questions before you make the direct offer in an adwords campaign. It is also useful in your Adwords remarketing campaigns, if someone doesn’t call or email from your initial ad then you can remarket to them to take them to more information where your content page may address common objections and give the information required to inform the potential customer of the process.

PR And Brand awareness: content marketing is all about championing the customer and solving their problems. It involves storytelling and providing useful and relevant customer-centred information. A flow-on effect from creating high-value content is that you can now position your brand as an authority on solving your customer problems. So, you can begin commenting on the “state of your industry” and sharing this as an opinion piece to your local media or business networks as an opinion piece to increase your brand authority.

If you’re looking for help to market your business, get in touch with our Content marketing team. We can help you to create a content strategy that will transform your sales and marketing activities.  Contact us now.

 

5 Creative Content Marketing Myths

creative content marketing | Creative Content NZ

In the modern marketing world, content is king. And with so many online resources, you may feel you’ve got a pretty good grasp on how to create it and use it well.

But as this marketing method’s relevance and popularity increases, so too does the number of myths and false expectations around it. Before these content creation traps trip you up, let us dispel some of the most common falsities.

Myth #1: Creative content should be highly produced

The reality: You don’t need to create a fantastic content marketing strategy with a high production value. Instead you should be focused on how to provide value to your audience.

Try to solve a problem that is relevant to your audience, answer a common question, or share an interesting new finding. You can do this easily in a 20-second video, a 400-word blog post, or even a simple post on social media. The point of difference in content marketing is how timely and “human” it is – over-production and big budgets won’t necessarily achieve that.

Myth #2: Produce content every day, because more content means more social reach

The reality: You should focus on providing better-quality content that helps your audience. If you’re focusing only on quantity, the quality is going to suffer.

Bombarding your audience with information every single day will make them ignore you. And the quality of your content and its social impact will diminish. Only better content delivers better reach.

Myth #3: No one is doing creative content marketing like we are, so we’re doing it right

The reality: Don’t assume just because you’re taking a different approach to creative content marketing it will be effective.

There’s a good chance someone in your industry is already making content to grab the attention of your audience. It might be video, podcasts, email, blogs, or some other type of creative content.

Just because you’re doing it differently, doesn’t mean you’re killing it!

It’s essential you understand how your audience wants to receive and digest information. This is just as important as knowing what kind of information they’re looking for.

Myth #4: Our creative content marketing is going to drive serious cashflow

The reality: The right kind of marketing can undoubtedly make you stand out. In a perfect world, you would see new customers roll in every time you publish new content.

However, that is rare even for major brands. Most of the content you create won’t directly increase your sales. And, if it does, it certainly won’t happen immediately.

Creative content marketing is a slow burner. It’s great way to nurture relationships and build a loyal audience who may eventually tumble to the bottom of your sales funnel and make a purchase. But first you have to win them over with your charming brand personality and your titillating creative content. So, don’t expect instant results.

Myth #5: We’ll only post long content because that drives the best results

The reality: It’s entirely possible to tell a story and make an emotional connection in content that is fast to consume. We can see this in the initial smashing success of platforms like Vine and Snapchat. You don’t necessarily need a lengthy blog post or a 10-minute video every day to succeed.

Of course, if you’re writing for a business-to-business audience you may want to put focus into longer posts to help build trust. But this is not essential, especially if your brand is focused on consumers. People don’t want to read anymore – they prefer videos and images. So, why not give them that?

Creating successful content can require a bit of trial-and-error. But from our experience, once you understand these basics it becomes a lot easier – and a lot more beneficial. Find a mix that works best for your audience and strive to deliver the value they’re looking for. And if you need more help developing a winning creative content marketing strategy adapted to your audience and your brand personality, contact us!

Content strategist vs copywriter: which one does your business need?

Content strategist vs copywriter

The goal of copywriting is to persuade, and the goal of a content strategy is to create purpose. So, does a content strategist have the same role as a copywriter? The answer is no! 

Over 170 million blogs are active online today, but it’s estimated only around 20% of blog content is actually linked to and read. You want content that is found easily in a search, is read by users, and has a positive impact for your business. It’s critical to the success of your marketing messages that you have a strategy for what you write about.

What does a content strategist do?

A content strategist gives your content a purpose and vision that is directly linked to your marketing and communications strategy. They ensure any copy written will be useful, usable, and relevant to achieving your marketing goals.

A content strategist blends their editorial skills with their understanding of the user experience to create content that is a communication pathway with purpose. Their focus is to generate copy that provides real value to your clients while showcasing your unique value proposition.

This requires an understanding of your business niche and your clients as well as thorough knowledge of the “decision-making  journey” to map a content pathway to attract, onboard, and convert the  audience.

Content strategists ultimately create an overall purpose to the copy, called the core strategy.

They put themselves in the shoes of each business owner and their audience to consider a website or marketing campaign. With these different perspectives they look at:

What are the business goals and how can the website copy or marketing campaign accomplish that?

Is the content pertinent to the audience?

What is the desired call to action for people to do after consuming this content?

How can we provide the best user experience?

What does a copywriter do?

Copywriters focus on crafting compelling copy that tells a story. They combine wit, writing skills, and empathy to create a call to action that will compel someone to purchase a product, sign up for a service, or fill out an inquiry form on a website.

A good copywriter understands sales funnels and will ask plenty of questions about their target audience before they start writing. Copywriters now handle most of the writing on a given website or within an integrated marketing campaign including: 

Website copy

Blog posts

News articles

Press releases

eBooks

White papers

Billboard advertising

Posters

Flyers

Radio and TV scripts

Interactive social media posts

How can content strategists and copywriters work together?

A content strategist determines where the content needs to go, and then works with a copywriter to write the copy. After the content is published, the strategist will evaluate performance and make sure the strategy is delivering value to the business in line with its goals. 

To put it simply, the content strategist defines how the site or campaign will be structured and what information will be included. The copywriter is responsible for crafting the actual words to engage users and drive them to those goals, getting them further into the conversion funnel.

When content strategy and copywriting have synergy, the result is a high-performance website or marketing campaign that helps you drive your business forward and stay relevant.

Are you trying to sell things over email but aren’t seeing results? Hire a copywriter. Don’t even know where to start your business content strategy? Hire a content strategist. Do you need both? Invest in a team like ours at Creative Content!

10 of the most useful apps for creating digital content

10 apps to help create digital content

If you run a business, it’s likely you have to do some of your own marketing. This might be as simple as creating Facebook content or as in-depth as building a website. If you’re creating content without the help of a professional graphic designer, it can be a challenge to make your content look consistent and professional. Whatever your marketing needs, this list of 10 of our favourite digital marketing apps and Chrome extensions is for you. These are the apps that will ensure efficiency with everything from design to organising to communication. And even better, they don’t cost a thing.

Page Ruler

This Chrome extension is simple yet surprisingly handy. Page Ruler lets you measure pixel dimensions and positioning of any webpage element. This is useful for creating or recreating the look you want and keeping consistency throughout design elements. The ruler is a great tool for producing much tidier work, especially when you’re building your website.

Snip

Snip is a faster, easier way of taking screenshots – just click the snips and away you go.

The app has a feature that allows you to write or draw on the ‘snip’, which comes in handy for things like communicating edits to someone digitally, or showing your mum who lives 700 kilometres away where the ‘save’ button is.

Snip saves your screenshot image to your chosen file as a PNG, so you can insert it into documents, emails, social media, anywhere else that lets you add a picture. This app is a Windows feature, but if you are running on Mac there’s a similar version available in the App store.

Nimbus

Like Snip, Nimbus is used to take screenshots, but more specifically for web. The big benefit is that Nimbus allows you to capture shots of entire pages in one click. Similar to Snip, you can save the image as is or write and draw on it within the app. You’ll then have it saved as a PNG for later use, which is a major asset if you need to clearly explain specifics to web developers, designers, or clients.

Eye Dropper

Ever wanted to know what shade of blue the Google ‘G’ is? Or maybe you need the exact colour used on your webpage, but can’t get hold of your designer. Eye Dropper is a Chrome extension that allows you to pick, view, and copy colours from the web. Simply click the dropper on the colour you’re after and it will save to the app. It then shows you the colour formula in a range of formats so you can match it in any program you need.

WhatFont

Have you ever met a designer who can just look at a font and tell you what it is? Well, this is the more efficient (and less intimidating) app version.

WhatFont temporarily converts your cursor into a font detector that shows the name of a font as you hover over text. If you want to know specifics, simply click and it’ll show you the font family, style, weight, size, line height, and colour. This is super handy if you want to borrow another brand’s aesthetics (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all) or if you’ve simply lost your style guide.

Loom

We’ve talked about Loom before in our Top 10 Apps to Market Your Business, but it’s so good it’s worth another mention. Loom can be used to create quick videos of your desktop as you use it. It’s great for creating walkthrough videos that you can then share or link to. We use it to provide advisory services to clients who can’t meet face-to-face, but it’s also great for communicating clear, concise instructions or for creating social media content.

Lasso – Bookmark Manager

Lasso wrangles selected pages to bookmark, helping you herd them efficiently either into folders or by searchable tags. Each bookmark is saved under a ‘card’ that gives a brief, editable visual and description of the page. The interface of the app is a much more user-friendly way of managing bookmarks, especially if you have so many saved you forget what they all are (or why the heck you saved them in the first place). The dashboard also allows you to invite individuals or ‘teams’ to access chosen bookmarks or folders.

Reshot

Finding great stock images is key to creating good content. But if you have to post a lot of social media content this can get pricey if you’re paying $10 – $15 an image.

Enter Reshot: Reshot is a stock photo site that avoids cliché stock imagery.

Unlike the standard stock image libraries, the photos on Reshot reflect a photographer’s point of view. This means the photos are generally more interesting and higher quality than those on many other free stock photo sites. The site uses a simple license and terms that give you a lot of flexibility for using the photos.

Reshot photos are free, although you can also find photos for sale from Reshot partners. To browse the images or learn more, visit the website.

TinyPNG

If you are uploading images to your website, app, or social platform, you need to compress them to a small file size so they don’t slow down your website. Web app TinyPNG is an online PNG conversion tool that does just that. It makes your PNG image files tiny – or at least tinier then they were. It does this by selectively decreasing the number of colours in the image, which in turn reduces the file size. The visual changes in the image are practically undetectable and it can preserve any transparency (i.e., if it’s a clear-cut logo). TinyPNG can even convert animated PNGs. Converted PNGs can be used on your platforms but will use much less bandwidth, meaning they will load much faster.

Crop Photo

Crop Photo allows you to easily crop pictures without fiddling around with Adobe or other editing programs. Crop Photo features a bunch of templates designed to make cropping images for social media super easy, or you can use custom dimensions for your own projects (i.e., cutting an ex out of an otherwise great photo). You can then choose to save your image to your desktop, Facebook page, or Google Drive account.

So that’s our rundown of the 10 most useful marketing apps and extensions for digital marketing. Whether we are building a new website, creating digital content – or, let’s face it, just geeking out – we use at least one of these apps every day. For more great tools check out our previous blog Top 10 Apps to Market Your Business. And if you’ve got any projects that need a professional touch-reach out to us at Creative Content, we can help you to build your website, create great content and increase your online profile.  Get in touch with us Here.