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Canva: The Best Tool You've Never Heard Of

Written by Aaron Charlie – Mon 01 Jun 2015

Canva is a free, browser based design tool. Canva's rapid expansion from 500,000 total designs in 2014 to 3.2 million a month gives you some sort of hint at it's serious potential. With the recent addition of ‘infographics’, Canva now does absolutely everything I need it to. There's even an iPad compatible app.

Canva is simple, intuitive and easily the best free design software available today. If the tutorial isn’t enough to get you acquainted then be sure to head over to the Design School.

The Best Tool

I’ve been using Canva for a good few months now, in fact it was recommended to me by our very own Social Media course trainer. Shameless plug aside, let's move onto what makes Canva so good.

Signing up requires an email address and password - nothing revolutionary.

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6 Photoshop Tricks Every Marketer Should Know

Written by Aaron Charlie – Thu 28 May 2015

If you aren’t having sleepless nights over the absurdities of the Polygonal Lasso tool then you’re missing out on modern marketing’s favourite tool.

Photoshop is like skydiving. At first it’s terrifying. Many spend their wholes lives without having done it. Most are too timid to commit to the climb. But minutes in, as you reach the peak of your ascent you feel like you’re flying…

Wait a minute. You are flying? It feels unnatural, you’re in uncharted territory. One glance over the edge and your world as you know it comes crashing down. Chaos, anarchy…elation? The void of uncertainty is overwhelming, there's so much you never knew...

Touchdown. You’ve just had the most incredible marketing revelation of your life; you’re dying to try it again. Soon you’ll be so obsessed with swatches and layers that you’ll find yourself convincing your first born to stop eating play-doh and start designing his graphics in-house. Why can’t everyone else see that smart objects are the best thing since sliced bread?

Have I ever been skydiving? Perhaps not.

Is Photoshop really the best thing since sliced bread? Undeniably.

Is there a company that can provide a quality two-day Photoshop Training course, preferably in the centre of Brighton?

Keep reading and find the six Photoshop techniques every marketer needs to know.

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Livestreaming: Meerkat, Periscope and the Competition

Written by Charles Byard – Wed 13 May 2015

From elections to reflections, let’s have a look at two of the newest major players In the live streaming world and how they’re faring against the competition. Meerkat and Periscope.

Following the NHL’s decision to ban all forms of live streaming from inside National Hockey League venues, many were lead to wonder what prompted such a decision. How is it possible that two apps released little over two months ago have risen to such notoriety in the eyes of an organisation as large as NHL?

Live streaming isn’t anything new, in fact "Severe Tire Damage" were the first perform live on the internet way back in June 1993. Since then the market has become loaded with hundreds of separate live streaming platforms; broadcasting everything from live football to birdcams.

Amazon’s acquisition of video game streaming platform Twitch in August 2014 for a reported $970 (£585m) drew the attention of investors and spectators alike. Twitter’s purchase of Periscope for $100million in late march only reinforced the serious potential of live streaming apps. Meerkat themselves brought in $12m from the likes of Greylock Partners in March 2015. We’re talking about serious money for and industry thats in its infancy.

Meerkat and Periscope

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Google+ Collections For Business

Written by Aaron Charlie – Tue 05 May 2015

Yesterday marked the launch of Google+ Collections. I’d like to be less cliché than hailing it as Google’s answer to Pinterest at this early stage even though similarities are evident. 'Collections’ undeniably provides us with an easy, efficient way to organise and curate the best content from around the web.

Creating a collection is as simple as navigating to the ‘Collections’ tab underneath your cover photo and allocating your collection a name and its desired visibility. ‘Custom’ audiences are formed from a number of Google+ circles if you’re looking to refine your scope. Collections can also be set to – Only Me. This is my favourite aspect of collections thus far. Share the best posts or ideas from Google+ to your own private collection and create a drawing board for future articles, or simply as a personal bookmarking tool.

After creating your collection you are able to ‘customise’ your collection image and colour scheme. Note – it is not possible to change the visibility settings of a collection after it has gone live. From here on the collection and the content contained within is completely at the discretion of the user.

See Heather Buckley's 'Google Plus Collections and How to Use Them' for a comprehensive guide on creating collections.

Customising Collections

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7 Simple Steps to Planning Your Next Social Media Campaign

Written by Aaron Charlie – Wed 25 Feb 2015

Planning A Social Media Campaign

Are you thinking of using social media campaigns to engage with your customers? 

Looking for advice on how to create a successful social media campaign?

Social media campaigns have evolved from simple Facebook contests and Twitter competitions into fully integrated promotional campaigns spanning several social networks. Think Chipotle’s Scarecrow campaign or Dove’s hugely shared viral video campaigns. Of course much of these campaigns have come from big brands with resources that a small business would be hard pressed to match. Some campaigns like the ice bucket challenge evolve virally, but with a little planning there is no reason why your social media campaign can’t reach audiences beyond your demographic.

Creating your Social Media Campaign Plan

So you've been tasked to develop a social media campaign.

You use Facebook to connect with your friends but not much more than that. You follow celebrities on Twitter but you don’t have a clue about promoted tweets or the best hashtags to use.  Your boss says “we need to get on Ello, Instagram is hot and we just have to be on Bubbly don’t we?” Would you know how to get started?

A planned campaign is a successful campaign. A plan keeps you focused on the number of steps you’ll need to take along the way.

So how do you actually plan an engaging social media campaign with very little resources and not much time? Good question - one that we can help you answer in 7 simple steps to planning a social media campaign.

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