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Great Apps for Marketing & Tools for Design

25 May

Today, I want to share with you some interesting and easy to use tools I have discovered lately, which you may find useful in marketing your products on Facebook and other platforms, as well as some others I have found for making designing work a little easier.

Social Marketing Apps
These easy to create apps are a great way to maximize your social media presence in the following ways:
    • Attract fans and likes to your Facebook business page by offering some of these ideas to promote your products and services -for example you can create a photo/video contest to engage users to interact with you.
    • Promote your art or products on a sale, or by running a special or offering a sweepstake campaign.

Image courtesy of [jscreationzs] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [jscreationzs] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Although I personally don’t enjoy pages I visit that request me to like their page before I can enter their contest or view their content, you can choose for the visitor to do this – it’s called “Page Gating.”

Lots of big brands are also making use of these social marketing strategies and by creating an app appropriate to the message they want to convey, or the promotion they want to boost, they are drawing large audiences and sharing extensively over the social media platforms. If they can do it on a large scale, surely we mere artists can do it on a smaller one – who knows how big it could grow!

These apps are quick and easy to use and you don’t need design or coding skills and their creators all vouch for increased sales through these new leads for customers.

Once you have created your app, you can then share these campaigns on various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, your website and mobile devices.

Additionally, this is a good way to collect new customer information for your emailing list for newsletters and further promotional emails.

Here are some categories available in the campaign focus apps:

  • Content Campaigns  – to create awareness
  • Sweepstakes, quizzes & polls – set a prize for a sweepstake, or create a short quiz or poll
  • Pinterest Tab  – pin all your posts from Pinterest on one graphic and share on other platforms
  • Vote Contests – set up a “vote for the best Picture/ Caption/Art piece” etc contest campaign– you can offer a prize too as an incentive for public involvement. You can set how many times the user can vote or how often they can cast a vote, e.g. once a day
  • Apps for Viral Campaigns – you can add videos/images etc to share on all social networks
  • Photo /Video / Essay Contests – you can do a “best photo wins a prize” contest, like the one I mentioned above, only this time instead of adding their artworks they could upload pictures they take on their cameras/phones, according to a theme idea you propose
  • Referral Campaigns – users get rewarded for making recommendations and sharing your campaign (the analytics in these apps will keep records of these interactions by specific users)
  • Group Offers/Promotion – you can create a special offer and promote a campaign with a start and cut-off time/date (like Groupon) with coupons to drive sales for a limited time

Big companies have also used these ideas to generate interest, as follows:

  • Loyalty Campaign apps – Focus on recognition of loyalty customers and awarding points – e.g. the Starbuck Card
  • Social Games for engagement – these really engage users, e.g. Bing created Farmville or Travel Channel created the Kidnap Game (a social game that challenges users to kidnap their friends to their favourite international hideout city)

Here are a couple of sites you can use to create your app:

Unknown-31) Shortstack – they offer a free package, a $30 a month and $75 a month plans.

I personally like them for these reasons:

  • You can use the free package and upgrade when you know it is actually working
  • The widgets and templates they offer for your design makes it easy and effective until you get the hang of designing your own
  • Integrates Newsletter subscription through Mailchimp
  • Ability to share on dozens of platforms  www.shortstack.com

images-2

 

Unknown-4Wishpond  – Pricing: No free plan, (14 day free-trial) but includes all their apps. They have a pricing plan of $19 a month (billed annually) to $97 a month (billed annually)

I haven’t yet tried out this tool, but I know someone who has and received many orders from the campaign. It could be very interesting though, as there is also the possibility of having your own store on the site if you have products to sell, like your art pieces or books or clothing.  www.wishpond.com

 

images-3

Design Tools

Picture Editing

There always comes a time when an artist needs to create images for their website, like banners or adverts or perhaps even badges for their newsletters like “Read My Blog” or “Latest Works” etc.

I have discovered a site where you can easily create and edit images to format them for these purposes and then you have the ability to save them on your own computer to use wherever you wish. You can even make a collage of some painting images for your invitations, blogs or marketing purposes. Best of all, it’s absolutely free! You don’t even need to register!

Check out ipiccy. www.ipiccy.com

Screen shot 2013-05-25 at 12.38.20 PM

Free Stock Photos

Free Digital Photos – and Dreamstime have a host of stock photographs and royalty free images should you need something specific for your covers or blogs. They are free and you can also pay as little as $0.20 for images. The only request they have is that you credit the designer of the image in the post/book in which it appears, (like I did in the top image in this post) www.freedigitalphotos.net or www.dreamstime.com

E-Books

We can create E-books in Word/Power Point, Pages/Keynote or Open Office and save them as a PDF, which essentially is an easy way to do this. We can also optimize them in Adobe Acrobat. But there are also sites, which you can use to generate information from your existing online content into a printable PDF.

Zinepal is one of these sites – www.zinepal.com

Zinepal creates eBooks in the PDF, ePub, Kindle and Mobipocket formats. It’s one of the easiest ways to make eBooks and printable PDFs from existing web content in order to reach additional audiences and offer readers more choices.

Books and E-Book Cover Design

Although we can easily create book covers and eBook covers in programs like Photoshop or Pixelmator, there are sites where you can create really dynamic covers in 2D and 3D for marketing purposes.

http://www.myecovermaker.com/

MyEcoverMaker is point-and-click online software that is extremely easy to use to create eBook covers without the need for expensive software like Photoshop or plugins to create stunning 3D eCovers.

Pricing options:

  1. Free access to design your cover and then you pay $4.95 per download
  2. $14,05 per month for unlimited downloads
  3. $99 a year special for unlimited downloads

Paying $4.95 for a book design is certainly cheaper than hiring a graphic designer!

MyEcoverMaker has the following features:

  • Eye-popping text effects
  • Powerful banner and graphic maker with hundreds of graphics to choose from
  • 90 Different cover templates to choose from and amend to suit your own desired cover

Unknown-5

So, these are my suggestions for today. I hope you get inspired in your marketing campaigns and that you find these tools exciting to use. Let me know if you did and if you have discovered any others which have simplified your life and made your promotions a breeze in driving new customers to your site. We artists should share our knowledge and discoveries and stick together in our endeavours to success in this wonderful technological age!

 

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1 Comment

Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Marketing Your Work

 

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One response to “Great Apps for Marketing & Tools for Design

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