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8 Digital Marketing Courses Business Owners Can Take for Free

8 Digital Marketing Courses Business Owners Can Take for Free

Calling all business owners who are tired of banging their heads against brick walls due to average digital marketing results. Sound like you? As every business owner knows, sometimes, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself…at least until you find (or can afford) an exceptionally competent person to take it over. For many businesses, budgets simply don’t allow for outsourcing everything to digital marketing professionals. There might be no choice but to dabble in some DIY marketing strategies. The problem is, when we do attempt our own SEO or Pay Per Click (PPC) tweaking, we often don’t know enough to get the results we’d like. And as they say, a little knowledge can be dangerous! If you’ve been experimenting with your own digital marketing like a nutty cyber professor, and your results have been… well…blah…it might be time to think bigger. Here’s a list of 8 free courses and resources available to amplify your DIY marketing prowess. All of these can be done online in your own time. Take your time and investigate them all, or click the link on the list below to jump to the course of most interest. SEO training with Moz Adwords & Digital Marketing training by Google WordStream PPC University Inbound Marketing – HubSpot training Open Universities Australia – Online Advertising GFC Learn Free – Social Media Marketing Canva Tutorials – create fabulous images Wistia Video Tutorials SEO Training by Moz (facilitated by Udemy) Had a crack at your own SEO before? Or do you simply need to wade through the basics because outsourcing isn’t an option? SEO can...
5 Inexpensive Visual Tools For Design-Challenged Businesses

5 Inexpensive Visual Tools For Design-Challenged Businesses

Professional looking visuals to illustrate content are a no-brainer when it comes to standing out from the crowd. But the problem with great design is that it’s traditionally come at a hefty price. Now, thanks to improving technology, there are plenty of online design tools. You can create professional visuals inexpensively or free, from infographics to cartoons and video – and often with only a few minutes work! DIY visual tools for businesses and individuals have really taken off in the last year or two, not only because they’re affordable, but because most are very easy to use. Graphic design skills not required – if you can point a mouse and click, you’re good to go! Here are five of our favourite (inexpensive) design tools. 1. Venngage   Infographics are huge at the moment and they’re a fantastic way to present complicated information in an easy to understand, visually appealing format. An infographic can help you grow your social media shares, boost your website visitors and give you a content asset you can use time and time again. Venngage is a handy platform that lets you create infographics on just about any topic you like, for minimal or no cost. How it works Venngage is about as easy as it gets. Sign up for an account and choose your template from the hundreds on offer. Next, input the information you want to display to generate your infographic. Customise with images and icons, and add any extra charts and text needed. Adapt the fonts and colours to match your branding or personal preference, and you’re ready to publish. The Venngage...
Boosting Your Social Strategy: Lists and Event Promotion

Boosting Your Social Strategy: Lists and Event Promotion

Does your social strategy need supercharging? This week we spoke to social business consultant Richard Wolff for his take on how to use social media to create business opportunities. He explains why it’s all about building lists and finding the right way to connect with your audience on each platform. Richard, what are the key areas of your consultancy? I do social media in a way that may not be your ‘101’ type of method. It’s to help people and organisations find out what about LinkedIn or Twitter or Instagram is special to them, and to use each platform to create a profile and find ways to truly engage with the community. It’s not about getting the most followers or the most posts. It’s about finding an authentic way to use each platform, not just to send out information, but to listen in on the communities they care about – their clients, their prospective clients and their business community. How do your methods work in the B2B arena? Let’s take the example of a business chamber I worked with. Their social media, their Facebook and Twitter, was as you would expect – just used for a few isolated posts such as their events. When I got involved, I said that if you can harness the energy of your 300-plus members when they post on Facebook and Twitter, we can pick some of that content to share and curate back to the other members. Likewise, if they start to follow our pages and set their notification settings higher, they can get updates in their feeds, engage with the chamber, and...
Social Selling with LinkedIn: interview with Tom Skotidas

Social Selling with LinkedIn: interview with Tom Skotidas

Tom Skotidas is one of the world’s leading authorities on generating B2B sales leads using social networks. This week he spoke with Andrew Shaw at Article Writers Australia about what it takes to create an effective presence on LinkedIn, and how to avoid mistakes that make your potential business connections hit the spam button. Tom, what was your introduction to the world of LinkedIn social selling? “I realised the power of social media platforms in about 2008. I was head of sales and marketing at an agency that specialised in search engine marketing. I’d used LinkedIn since 2005 the way most people do – as a CV and rolodex. Then in May 2008, I sent my first InMail and realised how powerful LinkedIn could be in helping me generate qualified leads. Between May 2008 and March 2011, I grew that agency from about half a million dollars in annual billings to $7 million a year. Of that amount, half of it was directly attributable to my usage of LinkedIn and Twitter. I resigned from that agency in March 2011 to form Skotidas Consulting Group. Do people need to create content before they begin using LinkedIn?  Yes – they must create their personal profile. Your LinkedIn profile is your first– and most important – piece of content. Your profile must have the right picture, the right headline, and the right sales copy. You must also add marketing assets such as videos, presentations, and publications. A professional and impressive LinkedIn profile is your single greatest piece of content on the platform. After building their profile, do people need to share content...
Business Publishing Platforms With Visual Appeal: Instagram and Pinterest

Business Publishing Platforms With Visual Appeal: Instagram and Pinterest

Using marketing content based on imagery rather than words is becoming an increasingly popular strategy for businesses. And it makes a lot of sense in light of the fact that humans are visual creatures, wired to receive information through the sense of sight. After all, the old saying “a picture is worth a thousands words” is a cliché for a reason! Image-based social platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram can provide you with opportunities to take advantage of this natural human response to images to get your message across. In fact, people who are visual learners (those who receive and process information more readily when it is associated with pictures, diagrams or other imagery) are likely to be more responsive to picture marketing than to text alone. The really interesting thing from a marketing point of view is that research indicates around 65% of us are visual learners – representing quite a substantial proportion of the population! MORE: Choosing the Best Channels for Promoting Business Content Here’s why you might want to consider publishing on Pinterest and Instagram, and some tips for using the platforms effectively. The case for Pinterest Pinterest is like a virtual cork board of pinned images and videos relating to interests, hobbies, passions and the like. Common themes include lifestyle, home decorating, gardening, fashion, food, products, travel, and hints and tips on popular topics. The platform is sometimes referred to as a way of bookmarking images, or create a mood board. The pinned items are often accompanied by captions or descriptions and a website link. Pinterest has been growing in popularity in recent years. Statistics show...
Engaging Audiences and Showing Your Human Side with Twitter

Engaging Audiences and Showing Your Human Side with Twitter

There are plenty of reasons to use Twitter as a business publishing platform, not least because it’s very popular. Statistics indicate that Twitter has around 2.8 million users in Australia alone, and that it is used in both B2B and B2C spheres. In that sense, Twitter can provide some wide-ranging opportunities to engage with existing and potential customers, and to do some effective online marketing. MORE: Choosing the Best Channels for Promoting Business Content Why use Twitter? Twitter can be used in a number of ways: To show your business’s human side: Twitter enables you to communicate directly with large numbers of people and build relationships. To generate more leads: Business2Community claims that 34% of marketers effectively use Twitter to generate leads. To check out the competition: With Twitter you can easily track what your competitors are doing, all at no extra cost! As a multiple-use platform: Twitter can be used for a variety of tasks, including posting offers and special deals, business networking, posting job offers, directing people to your website blog, sharing relevant and valuable information with your audience, starting conversations, posting alerts, and conducting opinion polls. How to use Twitter Twitter is a microblog, which means your Tweets need to be very succinct, to the point, and without wasted characters. While the 140-character limit might seem like too much of a restriction, it can also have some advantages – an insightful pithy tweet can really impact audiences that are time poor or have a short attention span. You might want to turn your mind to how Dr Seuss wrote some of his bestsellers based on the challenge...