Marketing can be exhausting. With so many moving pieces, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the work that has to be done. But having the right tool can save you so much time and give you better results.
I love using tools and software that make my job easier. I recently wrote about the tools I relied on the most for my business last year.
Recently, I discovered some new tools that have been extremely useful for me. I’ve only scratched the surface of what they can do, and am looking forward to using them more this year.
But they’ve been helpful enough for me that I’m going to recommend them to you.
* Some of the resources listed have affiliate links, meaning that if you signup though that link, I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. However, each affiliate link is a resource that I personally use and would recommend regardless. So if you do decide to use that resource, I would appreciate it if you use the link provided. Thanks!
StoryBlocks – Stock Photos, Videos & Music
Have you ever wasted time trying to find the perfect stock photo or video clip to use, then hesitated because it was too expensive? Sure, there are lots of great free stock photo websites that are helpful, but sometimes you need something really specific.
StoryBlocks is a subscription-based platform with stock media. They’re actually split into 3 separate services, depending on what you need. StoryBlocks Images for stock photos, VideoBlocks for stock footage, and AudioBlocks for stock music.
You pay an annual subscription which lets you download any media type in their library. No more worrying about paying by the image, or buying something you don’t end up using. You can download as much as you want with the subscription.
Currently, I’ve used StoryBlocks Images like crazy for stock photos. I’m also using VideoBlocks a lot too as I’m making more videos this year and needing more stock clips. Along with that, the music from audio blocks really helps too.
Here’s how much each costs:
- StoryBlocks Images: $49/month or $149/year
- VideoBlocks: $99/month or $149/year
- AudioBlocks: $79/month or $99/year
But you can get a free 7-day trial on any of these platforms, letting you download as much as you want in a week for free. Then cancel if it’s not for you. Use these links to get your free trial:
Biteable – Social Media Video Maker
You’ve seen a lot of those short, well-done videos on Facebook and Instagram. They’re fun and engaging, and it would be nice to have them. But who has the time to do it, the skills to do it, or the money to get it done?
Biteable is an online tool that helps you create really slick short videos for social media, all with prebuilt templates.
You just pick a template that you like, then go in and add your own text or photos, and depending on the template, customize colors and music. It’s super easy to make a quick short video for a sale, product, optin offer, blog post, or just about anything.
This year, I’m going to start doing more videos for Facebook and Instagram, and this definitely helps me pump out a lot in a relatively short amount of time. With Biteable, I can create a nice video for a new blog post or optin offer in about 5-10 minutes.
Biteable is completely free to use, but you’re limited to 5 videos a month and there’s a watermark on your videos. You can get premium for $99/year, which gives you unlimited videos, no watermarks, and access to tons of stock footage.
SmarterQueue – Social Media Scheduler & Auto Recycler
If you run a lot of social media accounts, it’s really tedious and time consuming to always find new content and constantly be scheduling posts. You wonder how some brands can do it multiple times a day, everyday.
SmarterQueue is a social media scheduler that allows you to load up a media library and schedule posts, including automatically recycling existing posts.
You can connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages. Set up a weekly schedule for what types of content should go out when and on what platforms. Add your content, and it’ll load up the queue and automatically go out on those prescheduled times. You can set it to recycle, so it’ll use the same post again once everything else has been posted, saving you the time of always creating new content.
I’ve used a few social media schedulers and auto-recyclers in the past. I’ve gone from MeetEdgar to Sendible to eClincher, and now I’ve landed on SmarterQueue that I really like. Of course, the most useful feature is being able to automatically recycle old posts in a calendar. But some other features I really like are the ability to find and post animated gifs, connect to Instagram, and get analytics on which posts do the best.
SmarterQueue has a few different plans:
- 4 Profiles – $19.99/month
- 10 Profiles – $39.99/month
- 25 Profiles – $79.99/month
You can even customize your own plan to fit your specific needs, and you save on annual subscriptions.
But you can get an entire month free to try it out by using this link:
Data is hard to keep track of, especially if you’re not sure what format to put it in. Do you keep it in a Word document, Excel sheet, or some other tool? What’s the best way to manage your sales pipeline, marketing calendar, customer relations, digital assets, projects, or anything else?
AirTable is an online database that helps you organize all your info in a lot of different ways.
Set up groups, columns, and fields to organize all types of information, from text to media to specific formats like dates or addresses. Then you can view that data as a spreadsheet table, on cards, on a calendar, on a kanban style card view, or in a gallery – and switch interchangeably between all of them with the same data.
So far I’ve used AirTable to start holding a bunch of data. I use it store my customer testimonials, client leads, and social media content. I use the calendar feature to plan out my marketing calendar. And I’m using the cards feature to hold all my brand assets, such as logos, colors, fonts, and other graphics. I’m also experimenting with using it as a note taking and project planning system. The different data displays are so flexible that you can use it for almost anything.
Airtable is completely free to use, with a limited on how many records you can store. For most small businesses, it’s enough. But they have plans at $10/month and $20/month if you need more records.
I’ll be using these new tools a lot this year, and will provide an update as I see more of how they can help your business. But with them being free or free to try, give it a go if you think they’ll be helpful to your business.