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Product Reviews

Pixlr Review vLOG – MKTG 3685

Pixlr is a free online (or mobile) tool that lets you edit photos using an intuitive interface. You can choose from your own photos, create a photo from scratch, or my favorite feature, choose one from thousands of stock images, all for free. It’s simple to use and continuously saves as you are working so you never lose your place or accidentally delete a project by closing your browser. This free tool is especially useful to those that want quick, professional editing done quickly and don’t want to pay a premium price for a handful of features. That gets my stamp of approval!

Learning Curve: 4/5 stars
Free Capability: 5/5 stars
Functionality: 4/5 stars
Price: FREE!

Biteable…Chocolate Cake?

BITEABLE is like eating a giant piece of chocolate cake. At first you are very content. You enjoyed every bite of that calorie filled goodness. Then the crash comes. You feel awful for eating that chocolate cake and you realized the short-term joy of chocolate cake was not worth the sugar rush and calories.

It seemed like a good idea… at the time.

There are certain things in life that seem like a good Idea at the time but then end up going terribly wrong. Like eating chocolate cake. Let me give you a few more examples.

Oh I will just take the Short Cut… Nevermind. Bad idea.

It will be fun they said….

“Dude, Watch this!”

Another thing that seemed like a great idea at first is Biteable.

First off, Biteable? This is a terrible name for a video making app. It just makes me think of vampires, bug bites or it just makes me hungry. I think Biteable, I could eat right now. After you get used to the name Biteable sounds like a wonderful idea. WRONG!

What Is Biteable?

Biteable. You may have stumbled across this nifty little app and thought “Wow this is a great idea!” only to discover it was actually pretty useless. Biteable is a movie making website. It is very intuitive and simple to use their motto is “Make better videos than you competitors. On your lunch break.” The idea is to make the video editing as simple as possible.

(Orange quote thingy from biteable)

It is a great idea in theory but when I actually tried using the site I found it very frustrating. There are some presets that you can’t see while you are editing the movie slides and you can’t change them. You see one thing in the editing process and then you click play and there are all of these other images or videos that you haven’t even seen. I felt almost insulted by how simple it was. I am no video expert but I felt like it needed at least a few more editing options.

It’s simple, maybe too simple… The subscription was originally $99 a year but they changed the price to $276 a year. They must think they are real hot shots. I think this app could be helpful for someone who knows absolutely nothing about video making but if you are trying to be just a little more original or professional this is not the app for you. I only used the free version so maybe the premium has worked through all of the bugs. I don’t think the offering is worth the price. Just like eating chocolate cake it may be enjoyable and feel worth it at first but then you get a stomach ache. You may make a few beautiful videos and then next thing you know you spent over $200 and you only have 3 high-quality videos.

But don’t take my word for it! Go make a video! Try it for yourself. Got to Biteable.com.

Whats the Hype about Hype3?

Hype 3: Keyframe-based Animation System for web content

Hype 3 makes animating web graphics easy. And I mean super easy. Hype3 seems to take after adobe products as far as their interface goes. The graphics and keyframes you choose show up on a timeline similar to PremierePro. It makes it easy to create natural graphics with easy blending tools.

Is the tool worth the price?

Before I go into price, how many of you hated when Adobe went to a subscription service? I for one did. I don’t mind paying more if I know I have the software and will never lose it. Hype3, as of now, is a one time buy of only $49.99. Now, is that worth it to you? Really just depends on how much you’ll use it.

Its cool, but should you use it?

Hype3 has many strong points. One, in particular, is its ability to make HTML graphics a lot easier. One of the issues I ran into while running this program was the fact that it is not an actual web service. It’s a program that you have to install onto your computer. While this isn’t a deal breaker, it would be nice to have the option of signing into the service from anywhere. I would say its worth it if you’re not a coder or designer. If you are either of those or both, you’d save money and time just doing it by yourself.

Track Clicks Visually with Hotjar

Hotjar is a digital marketing tool that lets you collect data and feedback on the UX of your website. Unique to Hotjar, you can create “heatmaps” of clicks, movement, and scrolls on your webpage. Heatmaps are a visual representation of clicks on a specific web page. I love this tool, and here I have identified a few ways where Hot Jar really earns its value in comparison to a more traditional form of click tracking, Google Analytics and Tag manager.

Sure, you can track clicks with Google Analytics, and some other tools. But those tools only give you numbers of clicks. It can be difficult to visualize thousands of clicks on a single page, and the impact those clicks have on user experience.

Also, you have to set up Google Analytics click tracking manually. Setting up Google Tag Manager can be a pain, especially if you aren’t well versed in HTML. If you have access to a developer, working with them can help, but there is still a delay in getting the code set up on your site.

Hotjar on the other hand, is a breeze to set up. Hotjar is installed in 2 minutes by putting a piece of code in the header right next to your Google Analytics tracking code. After installing Hotjar and then deciding what page to track through your Hotjar user dashboard, it will automatically start tracking clicks, movement, and scrolls.

On top of Hotjar being user friendly, its visual representation of the user experience is extremely useful for anyone trying to increase conversions on their site. I set this up on my own website to see how a group of UVU students would interact with my content.

As you can see in the screenshot of drewtadd.com, it’s pretty obvious that users aren’t getting a lot of direction on where to go. The clicks are pretty evenly distributed on the menu items in my header. This isn’t necessarily bad, but really I want users to view my resume or contact form. Using Hotjar, I found that I need to update my site with a few CTA’s that will push people to the pages I want them to go to.

Hotjar is a fantastic tool that is actually available for FREE to students and hobbyists with small websites! Take a look at hotjar.com for some more information.

Making Video Easier NOT Harder | RenderForest

Do you work in the creative market? You’re Going to Like This.

Everyone knows video has its challenges and whether you are a beginner or a pro, time is the most valuable thing you can have. RenderForest is a robust platform that helps making videos for clients much, much easier. If you are introducing logos, explaining a new app, designing an introduction to a company. RenderForest is the new go-to platform to build out more videos in half the time, that means more time doing things you want to do.

What If I’m Already Good A Video?

Being a one-person team comes with its benefits, you set your own hours, you get your own clients, and there is no one (except uncle sam) that you share your paychecks with. The only catch is one person can only do so much editing and shooting, eventually, a one-person team can only get so much done in such little time. If you find yourself cramped with time and not because you lack the talent RenderForest will still be a great option for you.

So This Is Great… But What’s The Cost?

Honestly since I’ve been researching RenderForest I’ve seen a lot of changes in prices, in October the prices for 1080p videos (there better packages) were prices somewhere in the $1000’s and now for their best Package which gets you 100 720p videos and 50 1080p videos a month and up to 60 minutes of video costs only $588. That money could be made back in one video for a decent client. RenderForest is for you if you find yourself with very little time and know the video will help will benefit you. You can even get this if you are pursuing video but lack the skills that can get you the professional video looks.

Klear Free Version Product Review

Klear is a huge influencer marketplace of 900 million influencers. Companies can search in a category, channel, and location to find the top influencers in that area. Obviously, this review is based on the free version of Klear’s software. After a visitor receives assistance to see the free version from Klear employees, visitors see that this version includes Demo Monitors, Limited Influencer Searches, and Limited Social Profiles.

What are monitors? Monitors can be set up, according to what package your company chooses, and measure mentions of your brand on various social media channels. It also measures the number of engagements. This page not only shows graphs correlated with those topics but it also shows useful statistics at the top of that page/tab (The Marketing Tab). It shows the channel with the most mentions and then the number. It shows the channel with the most engagements and then the number. It shows the channel with the newest fans and then the number. And lastly, it shows the channel with the most activity and that number. This information is useful because it communicates to the company which channel they should focus its efforts on.

The influencer searches display the contact information for the influencer of that category and the pages associated with that company or person. The searcher has to do the rest of the work that goes into influencer marketing.
The company can upload its social media channel profiles to Klear so that clear can analyze them and produce various analytics.

Klear provides a little more than what Facebook’s Pixel or other built-in social media analytics will give your company. The influencer market and contact information is useful and decisions can also be made from analyzing its Marketing Analytics page. The most useful benefit is that if your company can start building a relationship with an influencer, you can butter them up or make a deal with them; influencers very often bring more business/customers to you or spread your brand awareness.

AmCharts– Perhaps a Spork?

I picked the tool because due to the fact that I generally dislike graphs, however, this tool surprised me with its utility. After testing it out and seeing its capabilities I will now call it the spork of the utensil/content world! This blog post will be focused on helping you see if this spork is the right tool for your lunch or if you should keep on eating with a fork or spoon.

The Spoon

Excel has long been the go-to for anyone ranging from the novice to CEO’s to show awesome charts and diagrams. This is because it is easy to use and has a wide range of abilities, much like the spoon. Throughout the world, the mighty spoon is used for all kinds of things, much like Excel. It is very intuitive and made for a broad audience, that has its greatest selling point is also greatest pitfall as it is unable to compete with sexy interactive charts made by programmers (aka forks). The simplicity of the spoon leaves it unable to cut down into deeper, more tasty meats.

The Fork

Javascript is the go-to language sought after by training programmers. This skill leads a programmer to pat his portfolio with snappy pieces aimed at getting them hired or consult for people who don’t understand coding. Much like the forks incredible ability to penetrate deep into foods and partnered with a knife you can cut through almost anything Javascript is a great way to cut deep into and enhance data and make more interactive. If you want to zest up your presentation you may want to throw some javascript in there, but the hard part is you will have to learn it or hire it out. Hence the lesson here, if you want the stab deep into data interaction, it comes with the price of a knife (knowledge).

The Spork

AmCharts is a wonderful combination of both the fork (javascript) and spoon (Excel). With their platform, you are able to create interactive charts with very little coding knowledge. They have a wide range of templates, charts, graphs and demos aimed at helping you to get a great deal of value out of their free version so you will be more likely to come to them for the priced version (a little bit of content marketing). You will be able to stab into the coding side of things with the prongs and scoop with ease the wonderful data-driven illustrations.

Resize Images-Landscape by Sprout Social

Are you a social media manager, a blogger or someone who posts to multiple social media pages a day? Landscape may be a great tool for you.

Landscape is an image resizing tool so that companies and whoever can post optimized photos for a specific social network. On Landscape you can optimize your photo for just one social network at a time or all social networks at one time. You can also choose what type of photo you would like it to be, whether it be for a post or for a profile picture, or a cover photo this tool helps you resize your images what you are needing for. Landscape also does not charge a monthly premium and is completely free to use.

Sprout Social developed Landscape. They are a platform similar to Hootsuite. They help schedule social media posts and analytics, etc. They developed Landscape to make resizing images quick and easy for those who need it. Most platforms have a image resizing tool built in but for those that need it, Landscape is here.

Yotpo: Happy Customers = Happier You

Happy customers. The goal of every direct-to-consumer business. Getting a happy customer can be a difficult process. However, maybe that’s not your problem. You may have a business that has that clientele with satisfied customers. Now you want to grow your business and you want to have more people knowing about your amazing product or service. But how do you use your happy customers to scale more happiness and more success for your company? That is where Yotpo comes in to make a happier you!

What is Yotpo?
Yotpo is a Content Marketing Software specifically designed for e-commerce stores and retail businesses. Yotpo’s main goal is to help your business create satisfied customers at scale which at the end of the day helps your bottom line. They do this for your business through assistance in social proofing, traffic acquisition, customer insights, and shopper experience. Yotpo can also be seamlessly integrated with whatever e-commerce platform your company may be using.

Pricing Model:
This is where Yotpo should get even more enticing for your business. Yotpo offers a free trial, for life. You heard that right, you could use a free version of Yotpo for life, given you only do up to 50 orders per month. There are limitations to the free version, but even with that, the free version can be proven to be very useful especially to get a taste of how Yotpo could help your business. Those features are talked about in the sections below.
Yotpo also offers a Premium Version which offers more features and ways to help your business succeed. The pricing plans are set to grow with your company’s needs. As you make more sales and the amount of monthly orders increase, so does the pricing plan. If you find that you like what Yotpo offers for your business, you can start the Premium Version which is broken into 5 different plans:
• Growth 50:
o 50 Monthly Order Amount
o $29 Per Month
• Growth 100:
o 100 Monthly Order Amount
o $49 Per Month
• Growth 200:
o 200 Monthly Order Amount
o $99 Per Month
• Growth 500
o 500 Monthly Order Amount
o $199 Per Month
• Anything after 500 monthly orders is quote based and you will need to contact Yotpo for pricing that suits your business.

Key Features of Free Version:
• Review Request Emails
• Advanced Analytics
• On-Site Widgets
• Social Push
• Moderation and Commenting
• SEO Page

Key Features of Premium Version:
Everything included in the Free Version plus:
• Reviews Carousel
• Coupons
• Rich Snippets
• Email Upsells
• Product Recommendations
• Targeted Site Reviews

Should You Use Yotpo?
Absolutely. Yotpo’s Free Version should be incentive enough to create an account to try it out for your business. The features they offer in the Free Version is worth testing to see if it increases sales for your company. From there you can decide to upgrade to the Premium Version, which again would be beneficial for your business’s best interest. I believe the pricing model is fairly set and I enjoy how they have it set to grow in price only as much as you grow in sales. To put things in perspective, Yotpo will only make money to extent of how much they help you to make more sales and have more happy customers. They’re best interests will be in your business’s best interests as well. And that alone gives me the piece of mind to choose Yotpo as the Content Marketing Software for any direct-to-consumer business.

Nuzzle: It’s okay for small businesses

What is Nuzzle?

Nuzzle is a media intelligence reporting software. The product allows you to select any type of topic that you might want to follow. This might be important for certain businesses who want to know whenever their company or their competition is mentioned in the media. The idea is to get updates so that you know when sometimes is being said about your company, whether good or bad.

Nuzzle can also be helpful if you are trying to research a certain product or whole industry. It gives you the ability to follow whatever keywords you can think of. Then it gives you other feature to target certain areas or exclude specific phrases.

Pricing
Nuzzle has 3 different pricing tiers: professional, team and enterprise. The professional package cost $49 a month and includes 5 intelligence reports and 10 recipients per report. The team package cost $79 a month and includes 10 intelligence reports and 25 recipients per report. The enterprise package cost $169 a month and includes 30 intelligence reports and 50 recipients per report. All three of the packages have discounted rates if you get billed annually.

Recommendation
Nuzzle can be very useful for a fairly small business. The features are pretty minimal and they don’t really have a great way to organize any data or articles, but it is very cheap. If you are just starting a business where media intelligence is important Nuzzle might be a good place to start, but if you are a larger business I would recommend paying a little more for a more enterprise level software.

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