Top 10 FREE tools for business owners and digital marketers

We’ve compiled our very favourite apps and tools to help manage your digital marketing and create new content. These amazing extensions, apps and hacks will help keep you organised and save you time and best of all, they’re all totally free!

1.      Canva

Canva is a wonderful tool for those who can’t afford a graphic designer, or just need some basic designs like social media templates creating fast. It’s free and super-easy to use. Even if you’re not that creative, they have heaps of templates that help you create something professional looking and engaging! It’s not just for social media and poster designs, you can also find infographic templates and even powerpoint templates to take your reporting or presentation up a notch!

2.      Facebook Ads Library

This nifty tool is an amazing way to find out what your competitors are up to in the world of social media advertising. Simply pop in their page name, and you’ll get a list of all the ads they’re currently running. This is great to get an idea of what your competitors are doing, and get inspiration from those brands you love.

3.      Trello

This is another great free tool that we use to plan out our social media content. It’s a productivity app, so you can assign tasks, leave notes for people and drop in files and images. But we use it as an online content calendar for those clients who like to approve their content. You can use the calendar view and then drag and drop your content cards to fit. It’s really easy to use and helps keep you organised!

4.      Asana

Asana is the tool we use to manage workloads and assign tasks. This is a great way to stay organised and on top of deadlines. You can email tasks straight from Outlook and then assign tasks by client, theme or employee within Asana. Once again, it’s totally free!

5.      Facebook Ads Manager

We run social media campaigns for most of our clients, so we all use Facebook Ads Manager regularly. Isabelle, our Ads Guru is in there on a daily basis checking and optimising our campaigns to get the very best results. Facebook Ads Manager can be a little confusing at first glance, but once you get your head around it, it’s a really amazing tool FULL of analytics.

6.      Loom

This free screen recording app is great if you need to train or brief people on a task done on a computer. You can record your screen as you do a task, then save and send a link. This is great for those who respond best to visual training, and it is also a good way to build up your induction documents for new starters without having to write a manual.

7.      Pexels

We love this royalty-free image library – it’s full of not-cheesy imagery that you can use for your social media posts, blogs or any other marketing.

8.      Grammarly

This is spell checker for the online environment. If you’re drafting copy straight into Facebook or your website, this will spellcheck your work as you go.  Just like in Microsoft Word, but for all sites.

9.      Dropbox

We use Dropbox to easily store all of our documents, presentations and client content. This is cloud based and we all have a login so we can access up to date copies of everything we need. I also love the phone app so you can easily upload images and videos from your Dropbox to Instagram Stories natively.

10. Answer the public

This is an awesome site that often helps us with ideas for blog posts and copywriting. You can enter a keyword, and it will throw up questions people have asked on search engines and social media. For example, if you pop in cupcakes, you get the following information. Great to spark off ideas for blog topics, Instagram Stories, IGTV’s, podcasts or social media posts!

 

How to change your Zoom background

Is your home office less than beautiful? To create a truly Insta-worthy Zoom visual, did you know you can change your background? Here’s how!

Change your Zoom background on the desktop app

1. In the Zoom app, click your profile in the top right corner, and click Settings.

2. On the menu to the left, click Virtual Background.

3. You’ll see a few default background options provided by Zoom, you’re free to use these, but you still won’t stand out from the crowd of savvy-zoomers.

4. If you want to upload a photo to use as your background, on the same Virtual Background Page, click the + icon next to where it says Choose Virtual Background. A box will pop up allowing you to upload a photo from your computer. Click on the one you want, and it will appear alongside the other pictures as an option for you to choose from.

5. Done!

Change your Zoom background on the mobile app

1. When you log into your account and join a meeting, tap the three dots at the bottom right of the screen to open the More menu.

2. Tap Virtual Background.

3. Select a background from the default options, or upload your own in the same way.

There you have it zoomers, enjoy! For luck, we’ve also chucked in two more extra tips for Zoom to brighten your remote working day.

1 – There is also a beauty filter setting in Zoom so you can live-edit those blemishes and the fact you’ve not worn make-up in days. To turn it on, click the up arrow next to Start Video. Click Video Settings, and under My Video, check the box for Touch Up My Appearance.

2 – If you’re hosting a Zoom meeting, you can export the transcript of the chat box after the meeting. But… be aware, this includes all messages you’ve sent, including private messages to just one other attendee! This only applies to the host, so don’t panic if you were sending NSFW(from home) messages to your colleagues!

Photo of Woman Using Her Laptop

Our best podcast recommendations

Podcasts are a great way to consume content. In these weird Coronavirus times, they’ve become even more valuable and offer another way to keep us feeling connected. Whether you listen to escape, learn or be entertained, we’ve rounded up our favourite podcasts!

From true crime to business news and comedy, there’s something to appeal to everyone! Happy listening!

Amy

I know I should listen to business podcasts, but I feel like I do so much reading and researching online at work, that when I’m listening to a podcast, I just want to be entertained. I gravitate towards UK comedy podcasts, or podcasts presented by comedians. I miss UK humour and think I just like listening to voices from home! I’m loving the Ed Gamble and Matthew Crosby radio X podcast. Fun and irreverent and always makes me actually laugh out loud. Ed Gamble also teams up with James Acaster on Off Menu, where guests are asked to create their dream 3-course meal. Listen to the latest one with Joe Thomas from the Inbetweeners, he’s a hoot.

There are other podcasts I dip in and out of depending on my mood and general mental health. I lost my brother when I was 22, and this is something I still deal with / struggle with daily. If I’m feeling particularly stuck in a bad thought pattern or feeling really down, I often pick a random episode of Griefcast. Cariad Lloyd interviews comedians about their own loss and grief, and it’s strangely comforting and uplifting.

Adam Buxton is my OG podcaster. I love his voice, his humour and his style of interviewing. He always has interesting and entertaining guests and I just love his style.

Isabelle

I am a podcast addict and consumer so many! I love RadioLab as they break down so many different topics in interesting ways. How I Built This with Guy Raz gives a cool peek behind the curtain and explains how some of the largest businesses came to be. I’m an American living in Perth, so I like to listen to The Daily by the New York Times to keep abreast of the news back home.

Perpetual Traffic is another really interesting podcast by the team at Digital Marketer. I always learn something new and get inspiration for my Facebook Ads campaigns! And to relax and be entertained, I’m whizzing through Mogul, which shares stories from the world of hip hop.

Danica

I love anything true crime, so my favourite podcast is an American one called Sword and Scale. Each episode outlines a new true crime, retelling the events and what happened, with the real police calls, recordings, witness statements, and sometimes even the victim’s family and friends being interviewed.

Sam

I love sport and comedy podcasts. I catch every episode of The Grade Cricketer,  a weekly show featuring news, views and interviews with major names from across the cricket scene. For laughs, I love Tiny Meat Gang with Cody Ko and Noel Miller. Wrong, but so right.

I also really like Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend because he has such a funny interview style and some great guests. As a massive Eagles fan, I also never miss the AFL Fantasy Podcast with Roy, Calvin and Warnie.

What are you listening to right now? We’d love to know! If you fancy listening to our MD, Amy in action, head over to Osprey Creative’s podcast and You Tube channel for her recent interview about all things digital and tourism!

cocktail glasses with lemon

THE BEST BARS IN PERTH

We love Perth and we love a cocktail, so we thought we’d share with you our favourite spots for a tipple in Perth. Whether you like a dark, cosy corner to drink in, or to take in some spectacular views from a rooftop bar, here are the spots you’ll find us at on a Saturday night!

Itás picks

  • Strange Company in Fremantle is one of my favourites. It’s got a great vibe and it really reminds me of New Orleans where I studied and lived for years. In this little spot, it feels perfectly acceptable to have a cocktail at any time of day!
  • El Grotto in Scarborough. Hands down TH BEST margaritas I’ve had in Australia. I love their Spicy Margarita and it goes perfectly with their pumpkin tacos.
  • Panama Social in Northbridge. They have a room dedicated to Ricky Martin, need I say more? You’ll be living la vida loca in here – their décor is super cute and the cocktail list is brilliant.

Amy’s picks

  • The Shorehouse in Swanbourne offers the best ocean views, Insta-worthy yellow sun brollies and a cocktail list you can easily spend the afternoon working your way through. Although this place looks swanky, you can walk up straight from the beach with sandy feet and salt in your hair and enjoy a refreshing cocktail. The perfect sundowner!
  • Darling Darling in Fremantle is great if you want to enjoy a stripped-back drinks menu and a dark corner. The bar is based on a seafarer’s tipple spot from the 1800s, for weary sailors who spent years at sea travelling from overseas to Fremantle. It’s dark and cosy, plus you can grab a handful of monkey nuts, crack into them and leave the shells on the floor. A novelty, but a fun one.
  • I’ve got to give a shoutout to my local, the Rose and Crown Hotel in Guildford. This is one of WA’s oldest pubs and it has a gorgeous, leafy beer garden. This is within walking distance from my house, so it’s often the place I come with my husband and our two young boys – one in the pram, one on his bike – for a Sunday afternoon drink and dinner. There’s a lovely atmosphere and usually live music on the weekends.
  • Sneaky Tony’s is also one of my favourites. They do a mean sour cocktail and I’m a sucker for the “knock and give the secret password to get in” gimmick. Make sure you follow them on social for today’s password. 

Danica’s picks

  • Halford Bar is one of my favourite’s in the CBD. It’s a bit tricky to find, but that makes it feel like you’ve stumbled upon something a bit special when you do get there! Top tip, if you’re looking for one of Perth’s hidden laneway bars, follow the cobblestones in the pavement, they’re all there to act as pointers to bars or restaurants!
  • I recently tried out the new bar at Hyde, the latest addition to the Perth hotel scene. They’ve got a gorgeous poolside bar and summery, cool decor. I spent the afternoon munching bottomless fries and drinking white wine. It doesn’t get more “Perth” than that!
  • Another newbie is the Quarter Acre Hotel. It’s in Applecross, so a bit out of the City, but worth the detour. The menu is full of summery food and they do a special Sunday session with DJs and drink specials.

Courtesy of Hyde Perth

What do you think? Where’s your favourite spot in Perth for a tipple? Let us know, we love reccommendations almost as much as we like going out!

HOW TO OPTIMISE VIDEO FOR MOBILE

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ll know that video is where it’s at for social media marketing.

Not only is video the most engaging medium, but it’s also how people love to digest information on their mobiles. People already spend more time on mobile devices than they do watching TV and Facebook predicts that this year, 79% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video.

You may have experience in creating video for TV but creating content for social is a different beast. You’re basically creating content specifically for mobile use – so the length, style and creative of the video is very different to that of a TVC.

person looking at you tube on moble

Here are our top 7 tips to optimise your video for mobile.

  1. Engage your audience quickly. Use the first three seconds of your video to entice your viewers with the most compelling, thumb-stopping visual.

 

  1. Don’t wait to show your product – get your brand or product in front of the view immediately so the viewer knows what to expect.

 

  1. Keep content short, snappy and visually exciting.

 

  1. A large percentage of people watch video without sound, so make sure you communicate your story visually so it’s effective with or without sound.

 

  1. If you do have a script, or a more complicated message, add captions or subtitles.

 

  1. To the dismay of videographers everywhere, video should be shot vertically for social. This aspect takes up the most real estate in people’s feeds and looks the most impressive.

 

  1. If you don’t have budget for video, try to create your own animated content using effects, graphics, panning, zooming and slideshows to add an element of movement.

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2020 planner and pen

2020 Special dates for Australian social media and content marketing

The new decade has begun, and we can guarantee a lot of people have vowed this is the year they get their social media strategy in order. The first place to start is with a measurable and concise strategy. Always start with what you want to achieve and who you’re wanting to reach, then get cracking with the creative and exciting implementations.

When it comes to strategic planning, it’s always a good idea to have a content planner which takes into account seasonal trends, key dates, special occasions, product launches and all of your current marketing activities.

To help, we’ve created a list of the key dates that are great to inspire your social media strategy in 2020. From the AFL Grand Final and Easter, to National Tree Day and Black Friday, you’ll find all the important dates you need, which can be overlaid onto your annual planner. They might spark some ideas for your content marketing, or they may prompt you to run a promotion to coincide.

You can download the PDF by clicking on the link below. Happy planning everyone!

2020 Key Dates for Social Media

2020 ket

If you’re still looking for help with your social media strategy or implementation, get in touch. Our team has helped so many brands create strategic and successful content marketing strategies, that achieve real results.

We can help with your planning, run training sessions with your team, or take over management of your content production and social media posting if you’re short on time and want to outsource. You can find a list of the clients we’ve worked with here and get in touch with our friendly team here.

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A day in the life of Danica

We’re continuing with our Day in the Life feature, profiling a typical day for everyone here in the Wanderlust team. This week, it’s our lovely account executive, Danica!

7am – This is usually wake up time, however, some days I’ll snooze and laze around in bed until 7:30ish. I wouldn’t say I’m a morning person, so straight away it involves a coffee and something to eat, which this morning was fruit toast. My mornings are quiet as my partner Josh leaves early for work, so the house is mine from 6am each day, yay! I’ll eat brekky and drink my coffee on the couch while flicking channels on TV or scrolling on my phone.

7:45am – Time to hop in the shower, get changed and get my bags ready (and lunch – which is almost a lie because it’s that rare I bring lunch to the office!) Maybe my morning routine should start to include MAKING something for lunch? We’ll see… probably won’t happen…

8:25am – I’ve just moved to a house in Attadale, so I leave home now to make it to the office in Guildford in time. I’ve never minded driving, as I’ve always had jobs that need me to drive a bit, so I settle in with the radio and off I go.

9am – Arrive at the office. Set up my desk and open my emails to see if I’ve missed anything overnight or if there is anything urgent to reply to or action. Nothing this morning! Time to open my daily checklists, fill up water bottle and get cracking.

9:30am – I start each morning by doing monitoring for each client. Facebook, Instagram, on desktop, in app, everywhere! That way I know where each client is at for the start of the day and if there’s anything there to deal with or report to the client about. Today, one post for a large tourism client has gone viral over the last 24 hours, so I’ve emailed the client to let them know it’s doing so well, replied to all the comments and also forwarded onto the state and national tourism organisations to flag in case they’d like to share on their channels. This is a great way to promote our client’s region to a larger audience.

10:30am – Today is a scheduling day, as the end of last week was content creation where we draft and create 2 weeks’ worth for each client. All the posts have now been approved, so I’ll spend the next few hours scheduling these using Hootsuite and Sprout Social, so that we are ahead with all of our content.

12:30pm – Time for lunch, which means nipping to the local café, supermarket, or shopping centre to grab something quick to eat, and run any quick errands. Today no errands, so just some sushi for me!

1:00pm – Back to the office and settle back in. Now is when I’ll start to empty my inbox, action anything clients have asked for, or any random ad hoc tasks. Today is collating some new content from a client, reorganising some images, not too many tasks to tick off!

2:30pm – Amy has asked me to create an organic social media monitoring and engagement manual/best practice guide, so that if/when new people start at Wanderlust, they can have a read through and understand how we do things, the procedures we follow, sites we use, and general ways of doing things for social media monitoring. I’ll do this as a step by step guide.

3:30pm – Taking a break from the manual for now and helping Isabelle to create a hashtag spreadsheet for her clients. I have one for myself, which is split up into tables for each client, with all the relevant and important hashtags needed for Instagram. This makes life SO much easier when scheduling content, as you don’t have to think of them on the spot each time.

4:30pm – Finishing a task close to 5pm means I can spend some time inviting to like on Facebook, or trawling hashtags and geolocations for some outstanding user generated content for our clients. For our destination marketing client, 90% of our posts are UGC, which includes a great deal of searching to find some gems!

5:00pm – Pack up and leave the office and make my way home. Usually, if we need stuff for dinner I’ll stop past the shops on my way, but tonight I’m heading out for a friend’s birthday dinner and a drink at General Public in Scarborough.

5:45pm – Arrive home just as Josh is leaving out the door for work. He is on night shift this week, meaning our schedules are backwards. This doesn’t happen very often, and usually, he’s home from 2:30pm each day.

6:10pm – Leave home and head to Scarborough to meet friends for dinner. A Monday night dinner sure does throw the week out – as we RARELY eat out on a Monday, usually try save this as an end of week treat!

8:45pm – Get home from dinner and I have the house to myself. This works perfectly tonight as all I want to do is lay on the couch with a glass of wine! What’s even better is I have 2 new episodes of Real Housewives to watch. My love for trashy telly really shows when Josh isn’t home, as he’ll never sit and watch it with me, so now’s my time!! Real Housewives has become a TV addiction as of late…don’t even ask me why because I can’t tell you. It’s so bad but so good!

11pm – A quick shower then off to bed. For someone who loves sleep as much as I do, I don’t know why I continue to go to bed so late! Maybe another thing I can try to implement into my routine? Hmmm…

When I’m not heading out for a friend’s birthday dinner, my normal night consists of us cooking an early dinner and lazing around on the couch. If there’s anything to do around the house, I’ll usually get this done as I get home from work so we can relax for the rest of the night, as Josh is off to bed at 9pm for work. I’m trying to get back into Pilates, so this is slowly becoming part of my week again too!

One thing I love about my job is the flexibility. I work from the office on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday most weeks and from home on Wednesdays and Fridays. Some weeks this schedule will change around, but it’s usually pretty standard. So, on my home days, my schedule is a little different to the above, but not far off it (with a slightly longer sleep in!)

A day in the life of our MD, Amy

Ever wondered what we get up to each day? Fancy working in digital marketing but unsure what that actually entails? Over the coming weeks, we’re going to give you a peek behind the curtain. We will share a Day in the Life of each of our team, giving you an insight into who we are and what we do!

First up, it’s Amy, our MD and founder of Wanderlust Communications

6am – 7am           I’m woken up anytime between 6am and 7am by one of my boys. If it’s Noah, 5, he will come crawl into bed for a snuggle. If it’s Louis, 2, I’ll hear him shouting for us over the monitor. I think I’ve only set my alarm three times in the last 5 years! They are my wake-up call! I’m not a morning person, so I’ll normal have a cuddle on the couch with the kids whilst my husband, Jonny, makes coffee. Then it’s time to hop in the shower before he leaves at 7.30am.

7.30am                 I’ll make the kids their breakfast and pack up Noah’s lunch for Kindy. If I remember / have time, I’ll also try and sort something for my lunch too… but far too often I forget and just buy something from the IGA at lunchtime. I’ll grab the boy’s clothes and pack up their daycare / kindy bags, plus my handbag and laptop. Then it’s time to wrangle them into clothes and brush teeth.

8am                       If the boys are playing nicely, I’ll whip round quickly and do some jobs. This morning these were reloading the dishwasher, putting a load of washing on, paying for Noah’s school incursion and checking my emails so I know what’s waiting for me at the office!

8.30am                 We pile in the car and drop Louis at daycare. He’s just moved into the toddler room, so there are a few tears and I have my first bout of mum guilt for the day!

8.50am                 Whiz around the corner to drop Noah at Kindy. He seems to be following Louis’ lead and is also a bit teary, unusual for him. He’s also a bit mad as I forgot his 50c for the book raffle. Soz, bud!

9am                       Arrive at the office and open up my emails, Asana job lists and timesheets. Go make coffee.

9.10am                 Read and prioritise emails, add to my job list, check my calendar and plan for the week ahead.

10am                     Time for our weekly meeting. I have two staff members, Danica and Isabelle, and we start each week with a quick update on where we’re at with projects, what’s going well for clients, what needs work and what our priorities are for the week. We also have monthly meetings where we strategise for each client, and monthly staff performance reviews. But today, it’s just our weekly meeting.

11am                     Write a blog posts for a health and wellbeing client.

12pm                     Dash to the local cafe and grab lunch (whilst promising to be more organised tomorrow. even though I know I won’t be)

12.30pm               Proofread social media captions from Danica and Isabelle and approve a new social media advertising funnel for a client.

1.30pm                 Work on new campaign strategy for a destination marketing client. We’re creating a digital strategy to encourage visitation in the shoulder season, including organic social, paid strategy, shooting some new content and a media partnership.

3pm                       On Tuesday’s I finish at 3pm to get Noah from Kindy. It’s been a challenge adapting to a couple of shorter days a week, so we’re thinking about ways to get some after school help in the new year.

3.30pm                 Swimming lessons, then back to pick up my baby from daycare.

5pm                       Dinner and chat with the boys about their days. Jonny gets home about 5.30pm and on Tuesdays I go to Pilates. I currently only fit this in once a week. I would love it to be more, but right now that’s all I can commit to.

6pm                       Pilates followed by a quick whip round Coles for supplies.

7pm                       Dinner, a glass of wine and Netflix. If we’re feeling good, we will sit outside and have a glass of wine, but tonight we’re both tired and just want to veg on the couch.

10pm                     (At the latest!) Bed! I love my sleep so try and get to bed at a decent time so I don’t feel crappy the next day.

So that was my day in a nutshell! I love the variety in both my work and home life. It can be stressful juggling lots of different things, but to be honest, I get bored easily and love doing lots of different things.

I have every other Wednesday off and don’t work Fridays so I can have time with the boys, so my “day in a life” would look pretty different on those days – zoo / park / nappies / food prep / tantrums / The Wiggles / coffee / playdate etc!

I know I could be more productive and am trialling turning off my emails whilst I’m working on something specific as I get distracted too easily. I don’t have a commute (benefit of choosing where your office is!) and daycare and school are just around the corner, so I love that my time is maximised at work. When I have meetings I currently listen to music or comedy podcasts, but I’d like to try and listen to more business podcasts when I have that travel time.

What’s your day look like and what changes are you looking to make in 2020?

Woman on a beach with two children, sunset in the background

Amy with her boys, Noah and Louis, on a recent holiday to Broome

Top tips for staying creative

Lightbulb

I was watching my two boys playing yesterday and it struck me how creative they were. My 4-year-old was making up different scenarios and games with his train set, whilst my 18-month-old was pretending to eat the play food in his little kitchen. ❤️

It made me think about creativity as an adult, and how it’s so easy to get into a rut doing the same things for too long.

It’s so important to try and keep things fresh and new, especially when you’re working with clients who expect a lot from their agency. I’ve been thinking about ways to increase my creativity and thought I’d share a few tips with you!

🚶‍♀️ – Get moving. If I’m feeling blah or needing to get the creative juices flowing, I try to go for a quick walk. Fresh air (and most of the time a strong coffee) clear my head and help me think about things differently.

📴 – Turn off my phone. I used to start Googling or scrolling Instagram to help get ideas flowing, but I find when I do that, I actually end up either overwhelmed by content or just replicating what’s already been done. By taking a little digital detox I usually get the space to think more clearly about bigger ideas. I normally have a few lightbulb moments on holiday, which I think is due to being away from my work and letting the creative juices flow.

🎧 – Be inspired. I try to listen to a good business podcast or read an article at least once a week. I love Seth Godin for his quick riffs that get you thinking (especially since he’s now back on Insta showcasing them in a nice visual way), or his podcasts to spark ideas.

🍜 – Eat. If me and the team are getting a bit stuck in a rut, I normally suggest going for lunch. To be honest, this only happens once a month, but just having a meal and chatting about clients normally sparks a few good ideas and new things to try.

🖊️ – Start. Most of the time, once I start thinking about ideas and noting things down, lots spill out at once. It’s the actual starting that takes the effort. So I try to clear some time for thinking and ideas each month (it really should be each week, I’m working on that) and just do it!

What do you do to shake things up and stay creative? I’d love to know!

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