Comparing Popular Team Collaboration Tools That Can Help Non-Profits Stay Organized

Comparing Team Collaboration Tools

Comparing Team Collaboration Tools

More Image Marketing Tools to Help NonProfits Elevate Their Graphic Design

Finding the Right Image Marketing Tools for Non-Profits Pablo to Lumen5

Finding the Right Image Marketing Tools for Non-Profits Pablo to Lumen5

Discover the Right Image Marketing Tool for Your Non-Profit

Comparing Image Marketing Tools Canva to Boomerang

Comparing Image Marketing Tools Canva to Boomerang

Influencer Identification Tools for Non-Profits

Discovering Social Media Marketing Influencers

Discovering Social Media Marketing Influencers

In my previous post, I covered what influencer marketing is, how to develop an influencer marketing strategy and how to find the right influencers using the free methods already at your disposal. However, the free methods do take more time to research and organize, which is why this post will help non-profits find the affordable and easy-to-use influencer identification tools that will help them save time on their influencer marketing campaigns.

Trendspottr

 

You can sign up for Trendspottr Alerts as a freemium service to get alerts. Each alert is organized by content, the level (whether it’s elevated, high or extreme) along with accompanying analytics and the overall positive, neutral or negative sentiment on each alert. Once you set up a search query, TrendSpottr will detect any exceptional trending activity for your search query, which can include influencers who have been sharing content about your cause. TrendSpottr Alerts will also send you real-time email alerts that contain trending content that has high potential to go viral.

Not only will it enable you to find influencers who are speaking about your cause, you can also monitor news on your organization and stay on top of emerging news & trends.

In order to create & manage more than one custom alert, you’d have to look at one of Trendspottr’s subscription plans, which start at $49/month with a free 7-day trial.

Awario

Awario refers to itself as a social media and web monitoring tool but the great thing is that you can apply the monitoring directly to influencer research. If you’re looking for people who have mentioned your brand, you can sort it by reach to find the most influential people who are posting about your brand.

You can set up ongoing monitoring alerts for specific keywords and you can view them as influencer reports that will allow you to see the most influential accounts for that topic over time. So you can find influencers in real time and consider to stay on top on who is influential over time. You can also track mentions for keywords in any language, any given location and all across the web. The powerful analytics engine allows you to track the growth in the number of mentions and their collective reach, sort mentions by positive, negative and neutral with sentiment analysis and analyze progress.

You can sign up for a free 2-week trial and the most popular starter plan at $24/month allows you to monitor 1 project with 30,000 new mentions/month with 5,000 stored mentions per alert and you’re allowed to create 3 mention alerts.

 

Klear

Klear is currently one of the most sophisticated influencer search engines on the market. You can search for influencers on all major networks such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter & blogs, with detailed audience demographics such as interests, geography and level of influence. You can analyze 5 years of historical data for any influencer on their influence & engagement levels on each platform, what their true reach is on a given topic and what the top demographics are among their engaged audiences.

Using the top demographics, you’ll be able to dig through each influencer’s network to find other like-minded influencers and manage all of them through Klear’s user-friendly CRM system. You can contact influencers through the system and monitor each campaign. Metrics for each campaign can be monitored via performance reports that contain real time tracking for mentions, engagements and true reach.

The free plan will give you limited access to search for influencers through a finite number of social media platforms. To gain full access, you’ll have to schedule a product demo through Klear.

 

BuzzWeb

 

BuzzWeb Influencer Indentification Tool

BuzzWeb Social Media Influencer Identification Tool

On Buzzweb, you can search for influencers based on different demographics such as age, gender, location and interests. The tool will allow you to reach out to influencers separately or through an influencer list. Top-rated micro and medium influencers with 5k-400k followers are verified and handpicked by Buzzweb and filtered based on location, demographic and average engagement rates with their audiences.

You can use the dashboards to check on campaign progress including overall engagement levels (likes, shares, comments) as well as how many bloggers are currently working on content for you and which ones have yet to be approved. You don’t have to pay the influencers until you approve of the content.

Through comprehensive campaign analytics, you’ll be able to obtain thorough audience insights such as demographics, language and brand awareness. You can also monitor your key account indicators such as engagement, followers, rate of unfollows and prohibit fake accounts from following your account. Blocking fake accounts will allow you to raise the price of your sponsored posts and monitoring post popularity will give you a better understanding of the type of content your audience responds to.

The most popular package for $19/month allows you to search 100K influencers, create 10 influencers lists with 100 contacts/platform and do group outreach. You’ll also be able to monitor follower & engagement growth, obtain audience insight reports and receive growth recommendations and comprehensive campaign reports.

Subscribe to GlobalOwls for more information on non-profit marketing, including ideas on unique fundraising events, email marketing tools and cost-effective online fundraising and follow me for more information on marketing tools, social media marketing, blogging/freelance writing and publicity tips!

How Infographics (And Their Tools) Can Supercharge Non-Profits

 

Best Infographic Tools

Best Infographic Tools

As you might remember, I’ve previously covered a list of easy to use, inexpensive/free online tools that non-profits can use to create amazing visuals. This time, however, I thought I’d take a step further and focus on how non-profits can generate infographics to grab the attention of their audiences.

Infographics take visuals one step further by providing engaging and important information in an easy-to-read and easy-to-share format. Infographics also have one of the highest ROIs when it comes to content marketing and one of the longest lifespans on social media, receiving social shares long after they first went live. Best of all, you don’t have to start from scratch when it comes to creating compelling infographics. You can re-purpose your blog posts and articles, using some of the affordable, easy-to-use online tools on the market to do so, supercharging your organization and your cause.

This post will focus on the types of infographic templates every non-profit should have in their toolbox and some of the most popular intuitive and affordable online infographic tools on the market.

Types of Infographic Templates

Problem or Pain Infographic

 

Pain Infographic

Problem or Pain Infographic

This is an infographic that focuses on the problem that your non-profit can solve. How you address the problem is usually answered in your mission statement. But how do you do that in infographic format?

You could show the problem in numbers, if you have data that’s compelling. Visualizing the problem with a chart or showing the numbers off in large font could definitely help audiences understand the problem better, such as the above example on the global education crisis.

Unique Solution Infographic

Unique Solution Infographic

Unique Solution Infographic

 

The second infographic template focuses on how your non-profit has a unique value proposition or solution to the problem. The more you can articulate your organization’s strengths and how unique it is, the more compelling the story becomes. Check out the great infographic from World Vision on how a goat can help a needy family.

Impact or Success Infographic

Impact infographic

Impact infographic

The primary purpose for this infographic is to show your audience and donors the kind of impact their contributions are having. Sharing success stories on how effective a campaign was and personal stories from the very people your non-profit is helping can really give your donors the big picture on where their contributions are going and who exactly they’re helping.

Annual Report Infographic

Annual Report Infographic

Annual Report Infographic

Turning the annual report into an infographic allows your audience to easily understand the key metrics and milestones-and share it on social media, extending your organic reach. Pick some key metrics to highlight such as amount donated, number of people helped as well as details about impact and the finances.

Campaign Infographic

Non Profit Campaign Infographic

Non Profit Campaign Infographic

This infographic has campaign specific information that will get your audiences to spread the word, generate buzz and hopefully increase your chances of meeting your targets. This infographic should have key information on what the campaign about, what the time frame is, how people can share the campaign and clear calls-to-action on how to donate.

Make sure you keep up the buzz with periodic campaign updates so that your donors know exactly how the campaign is going. Also, don’t forget to add your call-to-action, whether it’s asking viewers to donate by clicking on the link, sign up for a newsletter, share the infographic on Twitter with a branded hashtag or ask the viewer to go a specific landing page for more information.

Now that you know what kind of infographic templates you should add to your content library, let’s look at some tools you can use to make infographics.

 

Piktochart

This tool makes it easy for you to create and customize infographics with its templates. You can register for free and use the 600+ templates to create infographics, posters, flyers, reports and presentations. You’ll have access to fully customizable interactive charts and maps and 1000s of free icons and images inside the infographics editor.

You’ll also be able to password protect your infographics, download and email them or share with the world through social media and embed them inside your blog.

The non-profit package at $39.99/month USD will give you access to 600+ templates, 1 GB image uploads, HD image and PDF exports, custom color schemes and animated icons.

Timeline JS

This free to use, open source tool allows you to build visually rich, interactive timeline infographics using nothing more than a Google spreadsheet. Pick fundraising campaigns and events that have strong narratives and mark each event in the campaign as a key milestone to reaching your goal to make it more compelling for your audiences.

Visme

This free tool includes over 100 fonts, millions of free images, thousands of icons and 100s of professionally designed infographic templates. You can also create your own layouts by mixing and matching pre-designed content blocks from Visme’s library.

You’ll get access to 20+ chart templates, professional tables and the ability to connect to live data. You’re even given the ability to make the infographic more interactive by inserting video and audio clips, maps, polls and surveys.

Easel.ly

This web-based infographic tool offers you a range of easily-customizable templates to start with, along with access to a library of arrows, shapes and connector lines and different typefaces, colors, styles and sizes. You’ll also be able to upload your own images and position them in the infographic template with one click.

With the free account, you’ll have access to 25 stock photos, 4 charts, 10 fonts and 10 high quality premium templates. With the pro account (which is $3/month), you’ll get access to 321 high quality premium templates, 300,000 stock photos, 20 premium charts, 112 fonts, priority email and chat support and live training workshops.

Venngage

Simple and easy to use, this infographic tool allows you to choose from templates, themes and hundreds of charts and icons. You can also upload your own images and backgrounds or adapt a theme to suit your brand and even animate the images.

You can sign up for free but the premium non-profit plan at $10/month (50% off) will give you access to premium themes, templates, charts & icons along with privacy controls and ability to export to PDF and PNG.

Subscribe to GlobalOwls  for more informative posts on marketing strategies specifically for non-profits (including tips on email marketing, unique fundraising events and cost-effective online fundraising ideas) and follow In Retrospect Writing Services for everything related to PR, social media campaign strategies, tips and writing tools.

How Content Curation (and Their Tools) Can Benefit Non-Profits

what is content curation

What is Content Curation

In a perfect world, you’d have all the time in the world to create compelling and informative content that lets audiences know who you are and what you’re passionate about. But, as we know, running a business takes time and energy and producing original content takes time that you might not always have.

Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch. Not only is it a good practice to re-purpose your content (which will be featured in a later post), you can also post good quality content from others. That’s the essence of content curation.

What is Content Curation?

How Does Content Curation Work

How does Content Curation Work

Basically, content curation is the process of sharing valuable content that resonates with your audience. Although there’s no real hard and fast rule regarding how much content curation you need to do, many organizations abide by the 80-20 rule; 80% content curation and 20% original content.

The content you curate can definitely be used in other parts of your content marketing strategy. You can share the content via social media but also re-purpose it through summaries in your e-newsletters and blog posts. You could also save curated stories and turn them into a monthly round-up of stories to send your audiences.

Here are some ways on how content curation can benefit your non-profit organization

Benefits of Content Curation

Benefits of Content Curation

Benefits of Content Curation

Establishes Your Organization as an Authority & Lends Credibility

Sharing external content positions your non-profit as a reliable source of information on what’s going on in the industry at large. When the content you curate is specifically relevant to your audience, it shows that you’re on top of the conversations happening around you and that you’re engaging in a dialogue with the industry’s most influential organizations.

Builds Goodwill

Being willing to engage with other industry experts, influencers and fellow colleagues in non-profit organizations not only expands your reach with new audiences but shows that you’re open to mutual collaboration. You’re showing your own audiences that you’re committed to providing them with the best content, whether it was written by your organization or another one.

Gives the Audience What They’re Asking For

Sharing more helpful information, even when you don’t necessarily have the time to write the information yourself, shows that you’re giving your audience what they asked for. Content curation lets you share more content with your audience-and provide them with more benefits-than you’d otherwise be able to. So win-win all around.

Content Curation in Action

How to curate content

How to curate content

Content curation isn’t just about scheduling content to be shared on social media. It’s about framing the information in such a way that audiences still receive your input.

-You can summarize the main points of the content
-Give it some context so audiences know why it’s important
– Add your own opinion about the content & your organization’s perspective about why this is valuable.

This section will focus on inexpensive and/or free to use content curation tools that will help you find the right content for your audience.

Get Started with Feedly

Feedly’s Smart Reader allows you to organize your sources into easy-to-read feeds, which includes blogs, media publications such as Business Week and even YouTube channels.

You can even monitor news about your organization and the industry by integrating Google Alerts and searching for specific articles inside Feedly. Any relevant articles you find, say on non-profit fundraising, can be saved and read at a later date and you can easily schedule them through Hootsuite to be shared via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email and more.

You’ll also be able to create shared feeds & boards with colleagues in your organization to curate, comment and prioritize specific articles to place into your content marketing strategy.

The free version allows you to have up to 100 sources of information, 3 feeds and 3 boards for both mobile and desktop. If you choose pro for $5.41/month, you’ll have access to unlimited sources, feeds, boards and the ability to integrate Google Alerts, share to social media and save to Evernote and OneNote.

Delve into ContentGems

A content discovery engine, ContentGems scans hundreds of thousands of articles on a daily basis. Once you sign up for an account, you can monitor their massive database of publications and blogs for relevant content. You can filter search results based on keywords, social signals and other advanced filter settings. Based on your sources and filters, you’ll receive a comprehensive stream of dynamic and timely content that you can plug into just about anything such as e-newsletters, your blog/website and social media.

The free option allows for 1 content search with 20 RSS feeds, a weekly e-mail digest, daily content suggestions and the ability to add up to 10 keywords to search queries.

Generate Your Own Curated Magazine with Flipboard

This mobile app makes it easy for you to curate content into a beautifully designed digital magazine. Once you get the app, you can ‘flip’ any article, blog post, photo or other media via a browser bookmarklet. The app automatically creates stunning layouts with all the content that look and feel like a professional designed digital magazine.

Create Custom Content Pages with Scoop.It

You can use Scoop.It’s active community to search for content by keyword, share curated content directly to your social channels and embed what you find on your website. The website will also display your curated content into elegant, magazine styled layouts that you can send out as e-newsletters.

For the individual plans, the free version allows you to create 1 personalized content hub/page, 1 keyword group per topic page and attach 2 social accounts to share the content on. The system will give you 10 scoops/day with basic content filtering. The pro version at $11/month allows you to create 5 content pages with 5 keyword groups per page, unlimited scoops and the ability to attach 5 social accounts. You’ll also be able to customize each page, schedule posts and check the analytics for each page.

Stay Organized with List.ly

If you love sorting information into lists and keeping content organized, you’ll love List.ly. You can gather information into useful lists which your readers can vote on, helping you to continually curate great content that audiences want to read. Whether you sign in on the website or use the iOS app, each list is photo rich and visually stunning. You can easily embed the list on your blog (via the WordPress plugin) and share it via social media.

Promote Content with Paper.li

Chances are you’ve probably seen Paper.li online, especially on Twitter. This free service is your secret weapon for content curation-it automatically helps you discover relevant content, curates it into an online newspaper and promotes the paper across the web. Best of all, it only takes a few minutes of your time on a daily basis.

The free account allows you to aggregate content from 10 RSS or social media sources, it will host your curated online newspaper and share it automatically via Twitter.

The pro account for $9 USD/month has everything the free account has but allows you to aggregate content from 25 sources and it shares your top article and web newspaper on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, including business pages. You’ll also be able to drive traffic to your site with a customer call-to-action overlay, remove ads, install custom widgets, videos and photos inside the paper, obtain subscribers and more.

For more marketing tools for non-profits (such as email marketing tips), subscribe at GlobalOwls and also be sure to subscribe to In Retrospect Writing Services for strategic marketing, public relations and social media expertise

 

Affordable Image Marketing Tools to Help Non-Profits Create Stunning Visuals

When you’re working on promoting your next fundraising event or a thank you initiative to long-time donors, you want to add a visual punch in your campaigns, to make it more exciting.

It’s been proven time and time again that people are more likely to engage with posts that contain photos and/or videos because the visual aspect makes the post more interesting to read. But if you’re on a budget, it can be tough to justify paying for platforms like Photoshop, especially if you don’t use it frequently and/or don’t have a graphic designer in house.

That’s why I’m sharing some of the most popular inexpensive and/or free marketing tools to help non-profits easily create stunning visuals to attract donors, engage fans and make events and campaigns more memorable.

 

Canva For Non-Profits

By far one of the most popular visual tools online today, Canva has a free premium version available for non-profits. You’ll be able to create any image, from infographics, e-books and Facebook ads to email headers and you don’t need to be a graphic designer to use it. It’s the intuitive visual platform even novices can use with an extensive selection of stock photos and other elements available for $1 each. You’ll also be able to upload your own logos and images to the site and incorporate them into your own designs. There are templates available if you’re looking for something more structured and several photo enhancing tools for any touch-ups you need.

Crello

Another popular option that’s free to sign up, Crello has over 65 million free stock images and over 10,000 free design templates. While there are some advanced design elements for $1/each, anyone can sign up and get started on the pre-loaded templates right away. They have designs for print, social media, animations, digital ads and just about anything you can think of that will work for non-profit events, e-newsletters and blogs. The inspiration community page with ideas from members will definitely get the creativity flowing.

Animoto

An affordable platform you can use to easily turn photos, graphics, and video clips into animated video slideshows, Animoto starts with a free two week trial with the paid version starting at $13/month. The basic package gives you over 700+ styles and 500 music tracks to choose from, for each video you create. It’s a platform that works to create great short form videos for Facebook and Instagram as it can easily convert the slideshow to the square format. You can add any images, clips and text you see fit, save it and share it to your respective platforms.

Boomerang from Instagram

You may have tried Boomerang by now, but in case you haven’t, you can use it to create mini-videos that will play a short burst of photos forwards and backwards. It’s a quick, free and quirky way to create a fun visual of a great fundraising event that will be undoubtedly catch the eye of fans and followers. You also have the flexibility to share it on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, not just directly inside Instagram.

Pablo by Buffer

Pablo by Buffer

Pablo by Buffer

Buffer, a well-known social media platform recently released Pablo, a graphic design tool specifically for social media. There is a selection of pre-uploaded photos and text overlays for your images to supplement any Facebook posts and Twitter status updates your organization may be posting. It’s also free to use so you don’t have to pay a fee to edit your photos or share them via social media to platforms such as Instagram as well as Facebook and Twitter.

PhotoPin

PhotoPin Stock Image Site

PhotoPin Image Site

This is a great search engine for images on Flickr that are marked under the Creative Commons license, which lets you use the photos for commercial and non-commercial use for free, as long as credit is given to the creator. Search results can be easily filtered and each image comes in a variety of downloadable sizes and contains the info how you can give the creator credit.

Infogr.am

This platform allows you to publish charts and infographics through a variety of templates. You’ll be able to add charts, maps, videos, images and anything else you and share it with the one-click share button or embed it into your blog. With the free plan, you’re given access to 37+ interactive charts, 13 map types and the ability to import data, run up to 10 projects with 3 pages/project. If you move up to the pro plan for $19/month, that expands to 500+ map types, 100 projects, 10 pages/project, privacy control and the ability to download HD images, gain access to 1 million images & icons, premium templates and live analytical data.

Lumen5

Lumen5 turns your blog posts, articles and any other long form content into a video. Upload the text into the platform, choose some photos and music to go with the text and then you can share it directly to Facebook or upload it to share wherever you like. The free version allows you to create unlimited videos and upload your own logo and photos for the videos you create. It also gives you access to 10,000,000+ free media files. For the pro account at $49/month, you’ll get all that plus the ability to upload your own watermark and outro with square videos, no credit scene and Lumen5 branding

Subscribe here for more marketing tips & fundraising ideas for non-profits, including cost-effective online fundraising ideas and creative & outside-the-box event ideas. Check back here often for more marketing strategies, social media tips and insights into PR.

Online Team Collaboration and Organization Tools Part 2

Whether it’s the mad rush of the Christmas season or the busy summer sales rearing their heads, it can be tough enough to manage staff, new inventory and customer inquiries, without the added task of hiring new staff.

With so many people trying to manage new inventory and internal CRM systems, keeping everyone on task and on the same page can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve been following my blog, there’s no doubt you’ve probably read my previous post on Top 10 Social Media Apps to Improve Productivity and Organization, but I thought I’d add a few more affordable/free options that you may not have heard of before but go above and beyond to give teams easy to use collaboration & organization platforms.

On the Same Page

With a cloud-based collaboration platform like Same Page, business owners can sign up for free and log into their team account on their phones, laptops or tablets, increasing organizational efficiency.

‘Team owners’ can directly message staff, post in team chat windows and even use video calling to host remote conferences with staff members to assist businesses with stores situated in different locations.

Staff who are added as team members can easily upload diagrams and charts that show sales progress and even upload videos and photos of new products & services on the team page. Tasks can be given due dates and reminders can be assigned to relevant members, while the team task list can filter duties accordingly so they can be evenly distributed.

Staff members are able to keep track of their progress with the official task tracker and calendars – both team and individual – are available so everyone is aware of deadlines, meetings and special events.

Stress-Free Freedcamp

Freedcamp prides itself on being an all-in-one solution for team collaboration and organization. Business owners can have discussions with their staff in one place instead of dealing with scattered email threads and staff members can organize files in a state-of-the-art file system, backing up all information offline. Managers can also control staff rosters, tracking time on multiple staff members across multiple days.

Freedcamp gives staff members the option to assign tasks and set a goal by a certain date, notifying the team with progress updates as the goal moves closer as well. The software allows retailers to duplicate project templates, which increases productivity and eliminates the need to spend time and energy recreating homogeneous project types. This platform also has unlimited storage and allows for unlimited projects. Business owners and team members can take the tool on the go through the iOS app on Apple products.

Fleep

Known as the ultimate platform for project communication, Fleep gives you email compatibility just by adding someone to Fleep teams (and their conversations) with their email address. They’ll still be able to see the conversations as normal emails if they’ve not Fleep members as well. It’s an open platform, so anyone who’s a Fleep user can send messages to you, whether they’re a member of your organization or not, making it one of the easiest platforms to use for cross-team project collaboration.

You can create, assign, search and track tasks within the Fleep task management system and the native pinboard allows you to pin and edit notes on the side of each conversation. Every conversation’s photos and other files  can be found to the side in a conversation specific file drawer and you’ll be able to integrate video and audio calls. You’ll be able to have full message history, unlimited conversations & teams, unlimited integrations, 10 GB of file storage and  native apps for iPhone, Android, Mac & Windows with the free account. For 5 €/user/month to be billed annually, you’ll have everything free in Fleep, 100 GB of file storage, the ability for your company name & logo to be shown, managed accounts & messages. It’s also flexible with API and integrations from Dropbox, appear.in, to Slack and Google Drive.

Notion

This platform is known as the ‘unified, collaborative workspace’ for wikis, notes and tasks. Unified with Slack, you’ll be able to manage anything. On the document side, you can organize the pages by nesting the pages inside one another to keep things clean and organized at the same time. For wikis, you can drag and drop or embed 30+ different types content from anywhere and the wiki will update in real time. Content you can put in the wiki includes PDFs, iFrames, videos, Google Docs & Google Maps. For tasks, you can also build the perfect visual task board and integrate it with Slack.

If you sign up for the free account, you’ll get 600 blocks (blocks are drag & drop content such as photos, videos, text blocks etc.) for the desktop version, unlimited blocks for mobile use, unlimited members/guest & 5 MB/file upload. If you choose the $8/user/month option, you’ll have unlimited usage/control over your workspace, unlimited blocks for desktop and mobile use, unlimited members/guests, no file upload limit, admin tools and priority support.

Scoro

This last platform’s probably the most expensive out of this list but it’s also the most comprehensive. For 19€/user/month with a minimum of 5 users, you’ll be able to manage everything about a project on one page from invoices and expenses, planned tasks/meetings and manage your project portfolio by using configurable statuses (such as in progress) and tags.  You’ll also have access to the company news feed, file management and sharing, custom fields for multiple projects, CRM & quote management, financial & work reports, Calendar, Toogl, Dropbox & Mailchimp integrations.

If you spring for the premium package at 29€/user/month with a minimum of 5 users, you’ll get access to all that plus the ability to schedule tasks & projects to individual team members, schedule team meetings into the calendar and have completed tasks go directly into the work reports, eliminating the need for timesheets. You can also schedule invoicing and send out late invoice reminders along with tracking billable hours and have integrations with both Quickbooks and Xero.

With the right team collaboration and organization tools, retailers can better manage staff tasks. The aim is to avoid drop-offs in productivity by allowing staff members to spend time on what matters: keeping their customers happy during the holiday rush and expanding business.

Investing a little time and energy in the short term to find the best team collaboration tools will pay dividends in the long term and ensure the holiday rush is smoother and far jollier.

 

How to Find & Develop Relationships with Social Media Influencers

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve probably read my posts on how unit publicity helps indie film, great advertising campaigns and tips on great tools to use to help manage social media and save time.

But with the rise of influencer marketing and platforms to help you manage said campaigns recent years, I’ve been asked about the best ways to develop influencer campaigns affordably.

If done correctly, influencer campaigns can drive word-of-mouth marketing and consumer growth, leading to influencers becoming brand ambassadors for companies. Brand ambassadors can help to generate fun and engaging organic content for your brand on a consistent basis, lead campaigns through email, social and advertising and help to elevate events you participate in.

In order to avoid missteps and choosing someone just based on their number of followers, make sure you outline goals you want the influencer campaign to accomplish and do your research on influencers.

With this post, I’ll be focusing on how to develop a plan for influencer marketing campaigns and how to find the best social media influencers for your brand.

Developing a Plan for Influencer Campaigns

As mentioned earlier, working with influencers can help to put a face to your brand and humanize the company. But how do you go about creating a plan to find influencers and run marketing campaigns with tangible goals?

You want to thoroughly plan out what you’re looking to do. Are you launching a new product or service? Is it an event you’re attending and/or organizing? Is it a promotion/contest you’re looking to gain more entries?  Who are you looking to influence to pay attention to this news, attend these events or enter a contest?

If you’re looking for an influencer to share a video helping to promote your indie film fundraiser, are you prepared to offer them exclusive tickets to the world premiere or a media screener with a small gift? What about offering them a chance to tour the set of your next film or perhaps a cameo on screen?

If you want an influencer to write a blog post, review your product or hype up an event, you have to think about what you’re willing to give influencers in-kind. Are you going to be sending them different products to review 3 times/year? Will you have exclusive VIP events that they’ll be invited to? Are you expecting them to post 4X/promotion via Twitter, Facebook and perhaps do an Instagram takeover for an event?

Once you have the general framework for influencer campaigns in place, you can tailor it to suit specific campaigns for certain influencers.

Next, I’ll be focusing on how to find the best social media influencers for your brand and the tools you can use to make it easier.

Finding the Right Social Influencers 

The right influencers can help you reach more of your core demographic by allowing you to piggyback on their follower base and they can also increase your SEO value by developing more backlinks to content you’ve posted.

As you search for influencers, you need to consider the criteria you’re looking for:

Relevance: Is the influencer is sharing content and do they have an audience that’s relevant to my brand? Would my own audience trust this person and be engaged with the content?

Reach:  Does the influencer have enough of an audience that the content we create/promote together will bring my brand value?

Make sure you also do your outreach slowly. Don’t approach influencers right off the bat with an offer of a brand partnership. Start by following them (if you’re not already), comment on conversations they’ve having and share their content.

 

How to Find Influencers Using Tools You (Probably) Already Have

On LinkedIn

As LinkedIn is already a great platform to discover secondary connections through groups and your own connections, you can use the search function to also find influencers. You can search for keywords such as “indie film” and “food bloggers” and pull up secondary connections that are relevant to your industry. Send them a message about their content (make sure you do your research about what they do) and ask them if they wouldn’t mind having a chat about it. Be honest about how you found them and start the conversation.

On Twitter

As you probably know, Twitter’s advanced search function is useful to look for the latest news items and notable Twitter handles. Pulling up any search using hashtags will allow you to see who’s talking about a certain subject such as #indiefilm or who identifies as a #techblogger. From there, you’ll have an idea of who is sharing content relevant to your brand and you can start following them, sharing their updates and making an effort to engage them in conversation.

Twitter’s also a great platform to find micro influencers among your own fans as well. Your own fans are already interested in your brand, so it’ll take less effort to convince them to work with you. Fans are already promoting your content and your brand without prompting, so why not make it a mutually beneficial partnership by formally giving them perks to help hype an event or write a review of some of your products that you’ll gift to them? Of course, fans being interested in and supporting your brand is only half the story, their audiences also have to be relevant to your company.

On Instagram

Looking through your Instagram followers is also great way to find micro influencers (you’d want the reach to be significant-between 1,000-10,000 followers). Take a look at what your followers are posting about, including the reach of their posts and if they’ve been sharing your updates. If they’re consistently posting about food & wine, indie film, sports/fitness and your brand is in those industries, they might be interested in partnering with your company.

Just like on Twitter, you can also search for influential hashtags such as #organicfood, #organicbeauty or #MMAfitness. You’ll get a list of top photos using any of those hashtags that have the most likes. Take a look at the accounts that posted these photos and see if they’d work as a micro influencer for your brand. If you’re a fitness brand or gym facility, you could consider giving them free passes to your facility to try out training and a few classes. If you make organic sauces, marinades and spices, consider giving the influencer a gift basket to try out your products and ask them to make a few of your tried and tested recipes.

 

Using Other Tools to Help Discover Influencers

FollowerWonk is a tool that can help you find Twitter influencers and you can add the first profile for free. Once you sign up, you can click on the ‘Search Bios’ tab and look into the advanced search options. You can tailor the search results based on location, number of followers and whether you’re searching for bloggers.

The social authority column is the best indicator of how influential someone is as it combines the number of followers with how much influence they wield over the followers. If you see low authority numbers that means they don’t engage their own audiences and aren’t worth your time.

Lastly, BuzzSumo is a great tool to help with influencer marketing. Though the pro option will set you back about $79/month, you’ll be able to search for Twitter influencers using specific keywords.

The number of followers will give you an idea of an influencer’s reach and the retweet/reply ratios will keep you informed of the influencer’s engagement rates. You’ll also be able to find influencers, bloggers, companies, journalists and regular people. You can also organize results by followers if you’re interested in reach or retweet/reply ratios. Sorting the results by authority will give you a good mix of reach & engagement. Those who have high page authority are seen as experts in their niche.

Let me know if you have recommendations for more affordable ways to find influencers & manage influencer campaigns! Keep it posted here for more content on marketing, PR and social media tools.

Top 10 Apps for Social Media Productivity and Organization

In working with clients across several industries such as tourism and hospitality and film and television, I’ve noticed a major trend.

With their priorities ranging from business development to film production and screenwriting, marketing is often an afterthought. They understand the importance of posting on social media, writing a blog post and marketing campaigns through online ads, websites, social and even print, but don’t often have time, energy and expertise to devote to marketing. And unfortunately, in the world of marketing, particularly social media, consistent content development is the key.

In order to keep your fan base relevant, you have to interact with them, get them into conversation about what interests them and let them know what’s going on with your brand. If you don’t, audiences will shrink and interest in your brand drops.

Here’s the good news: although content will always have to have your stamp of approval on it, whether you work with a publicist or social media marketer, there ARE apps and platforms that can make your life easier.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 social media apps to help you stay organized & keep your productivity up!

 

 

The 411: This platform is specifically built to help you manage Instagram.  You can arrange how your feed will look with the exclusive Drag & Drop feature, schedule content & captions days/weeks/months in advance (you’ll get reminders when it’s time to post) and it even gives you analytics that will show who has interacted with your most popular posts. The built-in scheduler allows you to schedule not just photos but videos and gifs too and you can use the just-announced hashtag manager allows you to create different groups of hashtags for each post. It also makes it that much easier for you to search for UGC (user-generated content) that use your custom hashtags.

The free version gives you the option of uploading and scheduling 30 photos/month, with a month’s worth of analytics stored but if you move to the duo option for $15/month USD, you’ll be able to manage 2 accounts with unlimited photo, video and gif uploads and analytics history saved for up to a year. You have the option of adding the ‘Shoppable’ package which embeds the gallery onto your website, tags products on every post and tracks performance based on how many people purchase the item.

 

 

The 411: Basically the easiest way to manage your Twitter timeline, in a nutshell. It keeps unread tweets in sync between apps on different devices, helps eliminate duplicate notifications and allows you to stop notifications on a sleep period. No matter whether you choose the iPhone, Android, iPad or Mac version, you’ll be able to view timeline photos and videos in full screen and see all the tweet details by tapping the tweet and open links without the app.

Site streams deliver tweets in real time with LiveLinks on your timeline and you’ll be able to tweet over 140 characters as well. The Android version also has dashboard widgets that allow you to access the most used Twitter features without leaving the home screen.

 

The 411: The free version gives you a ton of flexibility beyond simply scheduling tweets. You can set up alerts to track keywords in your public stream so you can follow what everyone is talking about. You can shorten your links, purge tweets and your inbox to start over and use up to 5 Twitter accounts with it.

The professional version ups the ante by letting you vet new followers, apply SPAM protection, filter spammy profiles and sort them into Twitter lists. You can also use the tool with unlimited Facebook profiles, schedule Facebook status updates, upload photos for Pinterest, schedule shares for LinkedIn and have unlimited LinkedIn and Pinterest as well. You can even use it to publish and schedule blog posts.

 

The 411: This platform is a social media organization tool that focuses more on audience monitoring, analytics and statistics in real time. They replace arbitrary scheduling with actionable data on what your target audiences are engaging with at any given moment. You enter the content into the queue and the software uses real time data along with business rules that you can customize, to determine when is the best time to publish content to your social media platforms. They support organic publishing for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ & LinkedIn and monitor aspects such as geo-tracking clicks, number of clicks, likes and comments.

On the social media advertising end, the tech makes recommendations on keywords, audiences and even ad spend so that you have the right insights to optimize campaigns.

 

The 411: In a nutshell, this platform makes it easy to pull together and sift through content from different sources such as YouTube, Instagram, Flickr & RSS feeds to publish it across all the social media platforms. You’re also able to customize the content to suit the style and audience of each social media platforms and modify them, depending on the platform to add/remove hashtags and @mentions.

The free option gives you the ability to connect one account on each platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ & LinkedIn and allows you to integrate content from 3 feeds such as Instagram, YouTube and RSS feeds. As you move up to the other options, you’ll be able to connect multiple accounts on the platforms and integrate content from up to 15 feeds.

 

The 411: A tool that makes team collaboration easy. You can use the customizable boards to plan out your social media content calendar, plan a campaign or organize ideas you’ve brainstormed. It’s completely up to you on how you want to customize it, as you can organize posts by a given week on a specific platform on a particular topic.

You can also add checklists to the boards which allows you to cross off items as they’re completed, making it easier to track campaign progress. Different team members can be assigned different tasks with customized labels and different publication statuses so team members can see what social media status update is on which platform and when they’re due.

 

The 411: This platform has multiple functions that make content development easy such as the ability to schedule and repost your content as you see fit and content recommendations based on a list of keywords you’ve previously selected, straight to your dashboard. There are also feeds that you can add to select content from and the app allows you to add a certain number of hashtags and re-post your content over a period of time so the queue is never empty.

You can manage multiple social media accounts and link your blog updates to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and with the iPhone and Android apps, you can keep your productivity up even on the go. The new Chrome extension allows you to share the stories you’re reading without leaving the browser.  The starter package is $15/month allows you to have 3 social media accounts, 10 posts/day/account, 3 content streams and custom scheduling.

 

The 411: It places the emphasis on who you should be following and who you shouldn’t follow by listing users in 3 different groups: Influencers, Supporters and Engaged Members, which allows you to target your audience more efficiently. It also provides free Twitter analytics, allowing team members to manage your accounts and recommends people you should respond to.

Influencers, Supporters and Engaged Members are determined by followers/following ratios, engagement history, retweets and brand mentions, identifying these valuable people for you to follow.  You’ll also be able to manage multiple Twitter accounts and focus on your top influencers and supporters.

 

The 411: A visual tool that lets you easily turn ideas to visuals. You’ll be able to create images with quotes, conversation bubbles, custom icons and stickers. You have a wide variety of filters and effects to choose from and the ability to re-size images any way you see fit. It also has a ton of customizable layouts that can be changed.

No matter which package and version (Web, iPhone or iPad) you choose, you’ll have access to over 8,000 templates and access millions of photos for $1 each. The Canva website also has a ton of informative tutorials and ideas on how to use the app, along with actual design courses that you can take.

 

The 411: This platform takes things one step further by extending the report monitoring to PPC, SEO and social media marketing campaigns. You can automate all the reporting for all the digital campaigns and include performance metrics from Adwords, Analytics, Facebook, Twitter ads and more.

You also have the option to use the site auditor to automatically crawl your website and gather data about key pages and fix any SEO problems your website may have.

Interested in more social media related tools to make running your business or promoting your film a little easier? Check out my posts on the top tools to create infographics and the top 10 unique ways to promote your film, TV or web project!