SCORE: Importance of visual marketing can't be overstated

In my last column, I promised to share a few more digital tools to help the small business CEO manage all the new technologies and make achieving your marketing goals easier. I started by sharing some of my favorite tools for keeping up with content and using that in marketing strategies.

I have found "Pablo" to be a great tool. It is a Buffer app for designing and sharing images on social media quickly. Using Buffer's free collection of images, or uploading your own, you can create an image with your own text or logo — Pablo then will resize it to dimensions that fit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, depending on where you'd like to post. A similar tool that some of my friends use is Canva.

The importance of visual marketing can't be overstated. Just because you don't have a degree in graphic design doesn't mean you can't create a great-looking image. When using a program such as Pablo or Canva, the templates are primed for you to share on social media — all you have to do is add your text or custom photo and instantly you have created a content asset that you can call your own.

When talking about "social media marketing," I always caution folks to not forget about the results of your efforts. Social Analytics, a free Chrome extension, is a great tool. For example, have you wanted to know how viral a piece of content has gone on social media? Say you read a great article and want to share it from your profile — using Social Analytics, you can get a real-time assessment of how popular a page or post is on various social networks. Likewise, you can easily check how one of your own blog posts is performing from a social sharing perspective with one quick look at Social Analytics. If you are interested in taking a deeper dive into your business' website analytics, use the "Google Analytics guide" to help get you started.

So, how can this fit into your marketing strategy? Know ahead of time that you are sharing relevant content that already is growing in popularity versus guessing whether it will resonate with your audience. Thanks to social media, the amount of content being shared is massive and fast-paced. If you are going to share something, you want it to make an impact.


I will end with some operations tools. Intuit QuickBooks Online is an excellent tool for managing finance, accounting and taxes. Earlier this year, Constant Contact announced a joint project with Intuit's QuickBooks online. Constant Contact for QuickBooks Online automatically imports all of your customers from Intuit into your selected Constant Contact email list, so you're ready to send your next email campaign.

One last suggested tool is Basecamp for project management. Basecamp allows your small business or nonprofit team to collaborate easily by organizing tasks in one centralized location. Basecamp automatically syncs critical customer data (such as email address, name, opt-outs) between your Constant Contact account and Basecamp.

In favor of a better work-life balance, Basecamp can help you and your team delegate tasks and ensure projects get completed on time though stronger collaboration.

Balancing business goals with the day-to-day marketing, finance and operational duties of owning a business can get overwhelming. There are several digital tools to assist you.

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